Posts tagged “growth”

Join me for Soft Skills Are Hard at Interaction 15

On February 9 I’ll be teaching a new workshop at Interaction 15 in San Francisco. Entitled Soft Skills Are Hard, it’s a deeper-dive that build the interactive talks I’ve done recently that focus on developing the interpersonal, creative, and cognitive skill sets that are essential in innovative work cultures.

If you are registered for Interaction 15, you can sign up here.

Below are the slides and video from an earlier talks. The workshop will focus on identifying individually relevant skills and creating an action plan to strengthen them.

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream
Note: the talk itself starts around 30:00

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] A Quandary for Swatch – It’s Too Popular [] – [They are also looking to stop being the parts supplier to all of their rivals] Swatch, the world’s largest watchmaker, is rushing to add factory capacity so that it can make enough watches to meet demand. It wants to add as many as 2,000 employees this year ­ about 1,500 of them at home in Switzerland. But it is struggling to find enough qualified people. “Managing our stock is at the moment not an issue for us because demand is so big that we unfortunately don’t even have the time to build up any stock”… Swatch’s production and hiring problems reflect the overall health of a sector that has rebounded from the world financial crisis. Demand for watches has soared in Asia ­ a region that accounted for more than half of Swiss watch exports last year ­ with makers of mechanical watches capturing an increasingly large slice of the market. Exports of mechanical timepieces rose 32 percent in unit terms last year, compared with an 18 percent increase for less expensive quartz watches.
  • [from steve_portigal] Remembering the XFL, a 1-and-done league in 2001 [SFGate] – [Lessons from a failed attempt to innovate against an established competitor] While some ideas (trash-talking announcers, no penalties for roughness) didn't work, McMahon was a visionary in how he let fans inside the game. Players and coaches were miked up during games, and cameras were allowed into the locker room and behind the scenes. The XFL used the Skycam, the camera held up by wires over the field, and the NFL adopted that almost immediately. McMahon also did away with extra-point kicks, fair catches and coin tosses. At the start of the game, a player from each team would line up at the 30-yard-line and race to the ball at the 50 and fight for it in a "scramble." However, a member of the Orlando Rage separated his shoulder in a scramble the first week…In the end the XFL was caught in the middle. The football product on the field wasn't good enough to lure NFL fans, and there wasn't enough of the "personality-driven stories or crazy characters" to attract wrestling fans.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • The portion of homes with cell phones but no landlines has grown to 18 percent, led by adults living with unrelated roommates, renters and young people, according to federal figures released Wednesday. An additional 13 percent of households have landlines but get all or nearly all calls on their cells. That means about three in 10 households are essentially reachable only on their wireless phones. The figures, covering the first half of 2008, underscore how consumers have been steadily abandoning traditional landline phones in favor of cells. The 18 percent in cell-only households compares with 16 percent in the second half of 2007, and just 7 percent in the first half of 2005.

How long to plan for growth/change?

From Arizona Adds Digit to License Plates to Keep Up With Growth

The increase in motor vehicles has exhausted the 10.6 million or so combinations of characters on the state’s six-digit plates, said Cydney DeModica, a spokeswoman for the state’s motor vehicle division.

So Arizona is joining New York, California and other more populous states in adding a seventh digit. The extra digit allows for 106.48 million possible combinations – three letters followed by four numbers – which should accommodate a growing population through 2040.

2040 doesn’t seem that far off when it comes to making sweeping changes to infrastructure. Do they know what they might do after that? Or do popular growth (or motor vehicle ownership) predictions not hold valid beyond 30 years? Seems like a perfect problem for long term thinking, the absence of which created technology challenges such as the Y2K bug.

Of course a key difference here is that the Y2K bug failed to address a definite event (the year 2000 would eventually be reached, at a predictable time in the future), whereas the growth in Arizona cars may follow a trend but it’s far from definite as changes in weather patterns and oil prices could conceivably change the trend dramatically by 2040.

Small Stories About Small Creative Consulting Firms

Given what we’re trying to figure out and plan for here at Portigal Consulting (essentially growth in all the ways one might define that), I enjoyed listening to two brief podcasts about starting and growing (design) consulting firms, one with Chris Fahey and another with Myk Lum. Both are in the category of here’s what I did which is very different than here’s what you should do. That’s not a criticism, of course. Anyone who is has been in similar situations will hear a number of head-nodding-in-recognition moments, and maybe find a few ideas for things to try.

Latino-owned businesses add to economy

Days after blogging about the dramatic impact of Latino culture, there’s a front page story in the SF Chron about Latino-owned businesses.

Theirs is one of a increasing number of Latino-owned businesses in California and across the country that reflect the nation’s growing Latino population. The number of Latino-owned businesses in the United States grew by 31 percent between 1997 and 2002, more than three times the rate for all businesses. In California, Latino businesses grew 27 percent, more than twice as much as businesses overall, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

“It illustrates that the contribution they make to the economy is growing rapidly,” said Lee Wentela, chief of the bureau’s economic census branch. He said 15 percent of all California businesses are owned by Latinos.

Indeed, the vast majority of Latino entrepreneurs nationally have only themselves on the payroll — 87 percent versus 75 percent for all businesses.

The impact of Latinos on California and its economy is deepening. In 1997, 336,405 Latino-owned businesses took in $51.7 billion in California. In 2002, the 427,727 Latino-owned businesses in California had $57.2 billion in sales and other receipts, a 27 percent rise in the number of businesses and an 11 percent increase in their economic impact.

In 1997, Latinos accounted for 9.8 million or 30 percent of Californians. By 2002, their number had risen 21 percent to 11.9 million, and they made up 34 percent of California’s population. Nationwide, the Latino population grew 33 percent, from 29.2 million to 38.8 million, or 13 percent of the total population.


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