Several years ago, things didnt go well for Peter Brooks when his former employer bused his division to a suburban Washington, D.C., field. They were divided into teams for a round of paintball.
“We were issued safety goggles and paintball guns, one of which immediately misfired. It hit a district manager in the crotch,” Brooks says.
He remembers that the game quickly devolved into screaming, pleading and retaliatory rage — the paintballs left large welts.”
A lot of people pointed their guns right at their supervisors, me included,” Brooks says. “I shot mine right in the middle of the back, and then when he spun around with revenge in his eyes, I surrendered.”
The bus ride home, he says, was dead silent.
The shot that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was fired a hundred years ago this weekend.
The assassination in Sarajevo, on June 28, 1914, triggered World War I and changed the course of the 20th century. The consequences of that act were devastating. But the beginning of the story sounds almost like a farce — complete with bad aim, botched poisoning and a wrong turn on the road.
Today, in the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, you dont have to hunt around for the spot where it all took place. A big purple banner announces it in white capital letters: “The street corner that started the 20th century.”
People take photos as streetcars rumble by. And according to Dr. James Lyon, an expert in Balkan history, the street would have looked almost identical a hundred years ago — it just would have had a few more trees.
A Route Lined With Flags, Fans … And Assassins
IS A university degree a good investment? Many potential students are asking the question, especially in countries where the price of a degree is rising, as a result of falling government subsidies. Recent research suggests that the conventional wisdom remains true: a university degree pays handsomely. In America and the euro zone, for example, unemployment rates for graduates are far below average. Yet the benefit of university varies greatly among students, making an investment in higher education a risky bet in some circumstances.
Starbucks will provide a free online college education to thousands of its workers, without requiring that they remain with the company, through an unusual arrangement with Arizona State University, the company and the university will announce on Monday.
The program is open to any of the company’s 135,000 United States employees, provided they work at least 20 hours a week and have the grades and test scores to gain admission to Arizona State. For a barista with at least two years of college credit, the company will pay full tuition; for those with fewer credits it will pay part of the cost, but even for many of them, courses will be free, with government and university aid.
Quality is one my few trades. I started out in Metrology then progressed into (after I majored in) Quality. Over the last, what, 10 years I specialized increating and maintaining databases while remaining in Quality. I’ve had the chance to follow closely the evolution of the internet from its, now old, 1.0 format to the 2.0 one.
Wikis, to me, represent the ultimate form of collaboration as they synthesize just about anything there is when one considers having multiple contributors working together (from them communicating to the end result, whatever that may be).
I work from home. Which is to say ,I don’t have an office to go to. What I do have are a lot of pubs, most of which are pretty quiet during the day. And I have evolved a routine that gets me out of the house, gets me fresh air, keeps me productive and goes some way to keeping me active.
The magic ingredient – changing where I work every ninety minutes or so.
It’s that simple. Every 90 minutes, I finish whatever delicious beverage I have been imbibing, pack up my stuff and stroll sedately to my next port of call. I’m lucky that I live in a small city which has no lack of pubs all within walking distance of each other, so my strolls are usually no more than 15 minutes at most.
But those 15 minutes are worth their weight in gold. Which makes no sense, but I don’t care – because I get a solid 15 minutes where I am not bashing my head against a wall because some function won’t work the way I expect it to. 15 minutes where I am not struggling to figure out why the production environment is behaving differently to the test environment. 15 minutes where I can’t actually do anything except think.
The skills required for digital transformation probably can’t be groomed entirely from within. Leadership teams must be realistic about the collective ability of their existing workforce. Leading companies frequently look to other industries to attract digital talent, because they understand that emphasizing skills over experience when hiring new talent is vital to success, at least in the early stages of transformation. The best people in digital product management or user-experience design may not work in your industry. Hire them anyway.
Tesco, the UK grocery retailer, made three significant digital acquisitions over a two-year span: blinkbox, a video-streaming service; We7, a digital music store; and Mobcast, an e-book platform. The acquisitions enabled Tesco to quickly build up the skills it needed to move into digital media. In the United States, Verizon followed a similar path with strategic acquisitions that immediately bolstered its expertise in telematics (Hughes Telematics in 2012) and cloud services (CloudSwitch in 2011), two markets that are growing at a rapid pace.