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Book Review: Business Intelligence Success Factors By Olivia Parr Rudd

The mailman brought me “Business Intelligence Success Factors, tools for aligning your business in the global economy” by Olivia Parr Rudd. I agreed to review the book because I was intrigued by Chapter Two, where the author examines chaos theory, complex adaptive systems, quantum physics and evolutionary biology in relation to running a business. I wasn’t disappointed.

Olivia Parr Rudd is the president and founder of OLIVIAGroup a consulting firm helping companies maximize their business potential. She found that the rapid change in technology and the tremendous flow of information, is putting tremendous stress on companies and changing the way they do business.

Rudd’s stated purpose of the book “…is to enhance understanding of the current business climate along with the tools necessary to thrive in the new global economy.”  I think she does that very well with footnotes and the source is listed at the end of each chapter.

Part One not only describes where we are today, exposes us to the latest scientific research.  This to me was the most interesting section of the whole book.

Part Two explores communication, collaboration, innovation, adaptability, and leadership; the five essential competencies that improve an organization’s ability to prosper in the changing economy.

Part Three presents some new models for working in the new economy.

Part Four deals with a new form of organization: Holacracy.

My wife and I operate a furniture store, Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery. It is a small business. It opened after 9/11. We have three employees and under $1 million in annual sales. I looked for ways that this book could help not only us, but others like us and larger. Three ideas stood out to me for our business:

  • Democracy is in, central planning is out. Top down management is moving to a flatter structure in which decision making and responsibility are pushed down. The boss isn’t the only person with good ideas for new products and procedures.
  • The internet made almost all information available to all. Information is vital for survival, because change is constant and rapid. In our case, our customers shop online and then come into the store. We need to do all we can to interact, provide answers and build authority.
  • Every process of a business can be analyzed. The other day I asked our bookkeeper to give me a printout of all designers who bought fabric in the last 12 months and how much. If we tracked it I could know which brand sold the most for each customer.   That kind of  information is powerful.  It helps us target our marketing.

As I indicated, Chapter 2, Models from Science and Nature was the most interesting and valuable.  Rudd explained Quantum Physics in relation to organizations; Evolutionary Biology and Living Systems; Complexity Science and Chaos Theory.  Sometimes a system can be very Zen like.  It can choose between adaptability and resilience.  A picture of a large rock in a river came to mind.  In the short term a rock represents solidity with feet solidly planted while current events flow around and over the rock.  In the short term it’s good to be the rock.  In the long term it pays to be the river where obstacles are only diversionary.  In the long term you only need to view the Grand Canyon for the river’s success.

There’s much more here.  My mind kept thinking about the complex system of government we’ve built and how politicians think they can control our complex economic system.  They need to read Chapter two in Rudd’s book.

Rep. Anthony Weiner Loses it on House Floor

Married just days ago to Huma Abedin, Rep. Anthony Weiner argues for a bill that does not have enough Democrat support.

Tags: Rep. Anthony Weiner Huma Abedin

Two Things To Know Before Using Your Credit Card Overseas

With many of us planning vacations in August and September, I thought the following information very valuable:

By Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of CardHub.com, an online marketplace for credit card offers

I’ve been working in the credit card industry for almost a decade, and at this point I consider myself to be something of a subject matter expert. However, on a recent trip to London, I was humbled to discover some gaps in my basic knowledge of how to best use credit cards when traveling abroad.

During my stay in London, I used my credit card to make most of my purchases. Credit cards offer some of the best exchange rates and the convenience of not having to carry around large amounts of cash. I was also sure to use a no foreign fee credit card, so I knew I was getting a good deal. This was all well and good, until I came back home and received my credit card bill.

It was almost 10 percent more than the charges I thought I had made on my trip. When I examined my bill and receipts side by side, I discovered that I had been charged an extra fee for currency conversion on many of my purchases. My advice to you: never accept a merchant’s offer to convert your credit card transactions from the local currency into U.S. dollars. I accepted this offer many times while I was in London because an amount in dollars means more to me than the same amount in British pounds. What I didn’t know was that this is a consumer trap called Dynamic Currency Conversion.

Merchants use Dynamic Currency Conversion to charge travelers exorbitant conversion rates as high as 7 percent and pocket the difference as a fee. It gets by you because, if you’re like me, you’re not doing the math on the spot to see if the currency conversion is in line with the official exchange rate. If a merchant offers to make this conversion for you, save yourself some money and respectfully decline.

A secondary lesson that came from this trip, which I also learned the hard way, is that if you want to use your credit card in Europe, you need to carry your passport with you at all times. Most countries in Western Europe, have switched to chip-and-pin technology for their credit cards. These cards are much more sophisticated than the magnetic stripe cards we have in the U.S. and offer more security.

Therefore, if you want to use the magnetic stripe cards, merchants expect that you have your passport with you as an added measure of security. This came as a surprise to me, given that in the United States they don’t even bother to verify your signature. Merchants will and have to accept your U.S. credit card, but if you don’t have your passport to identify yourself, you can pretty much forget about making the purchase.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that credit cards are one of the most effective ways to make purchases while traveling abroad. They offer favorable exchange rates, the security of not carrying around large amounts of cash, and the convenience of always having enough money and not being stuck with left over foreign currency. In order to make the most out of your credit card, my advice is to do the following: carry your passport with you at all times, decline any merchant’s currency conversion offer, and compare credit card applications for the best no foreign transaction fee credit card before you leave. If you do all of these things, there is no better way to make purchases overseas.

The Amnesty Memo

National Review, writes that the the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services memo (USCIS) is considering ways in which it could enact “meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action” — that is, without the consent of the American people through a vote in Congress.

Perhaps the most egregious suggestion is to “Increase the Use of Deferred Action.” “Deferred action,” as the memo defines it, “is an exercise of prosecutorial discretion not to pursue removal from the U.S. of a particular individual for a specific period of time.” For example, after Hurricane Katrina, the government decided not to remove illegal immigrants who’d been affected by the disaster.

Not The Race Card

Rep. Mike McMahon (D-NY) compiled a list of Jewish donors to Mike Grimm, the G.O.P challenger for has seat in Congress.  Apparently McMahon wanted to show that not all of his campaign contributions were coming from inside the district, but he singled out just the Jewish voters.  To me McMahon just threw down, not the Race card, but the Jew card.

Tags: Rep. Mike McMahon (D-NY) Mike Grimm Jew Card

The FED Is Worried!

The NY Times reports, “On Thursday, James Bullard, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, warned that the Fed’s current policies were putting the American economy at risk of becoming “enmeshed in a Japanese-style deflationary outcome within the next several years.”

“This is very significant,” Laurence H. Meyer, a former Fed governor, said of Mr. Bullard’s new position. “He has been one of the most hawkish members, but he is now calling for the Fed to ease aggressively. There seems to be no question he wants to do it sooner rather than later, and relatively forcefully.”

It’s Inflate Or Die!  Let’s see how the markets react.


Stocks Plummet After Bullard Warns Of Deflation – U.S. Commentary

Court Strikes Down Key Parts of SB1070

From Blogs for Borders.:

Arizona’s much maligned SB 1070 was set to take effect at midnight tonight, but a federal judge today ordered key components of the state’s attempt to protect itself from the violence and fiscal strain caused by the influx of illegal aliens crossing the southern border.

Though several components of the law were upheld and will be allowed to take effect, an injunction was issued to prevent the most controversial measures’ implementation.

Section 2, subsection (b) of the law required state law enforcement officers to make a reasonable attempt to verify a person’s immigration status if:

  • A lawful stop, detention, or arrest occurred;
  • Reasonable suspicion existed that the person was an illegal alien; and
  • Such an attempt was practical;

The order does not specifically prevent an officer from checking a suspected illegal alien’s status, but blocks the requirement that an officer do so. Some legal experts speculate the striking of this section will expose any law enforcement agencies and officers who attempt verification to lawsuits. These experts predict the likelihood of litigation will effectively prevent attempts to verify the legal status of immigrants by state law enforcement. Section 3, part (a) of SB 1070 would have made any illegal alien guilty of “willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document” if was in violation of 8 USC 1304e or 1306a. This is the section opponents said would require all Arizonans to “carry their papers.” What they refused to acknowledge, and the wording of Judge Bolton’s order obfuscates, is all immigrants/aliens over 18 years old are already required to apply for and carry documentation of their legal status according to federal law.

8 USC 1304e

Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Any alien who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.

8 USC 1306a

Willful failure to register Any alien required to apply for registration and to be fingerprinted in the United States who willfully fails or refuses to make such application or to be fingerprinted, and any parent or legal guardian required to apply for the registration of any alien who willfully fails or refuses to file application for the registration of such alien shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not to exceed $1,000 or be imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

It’s important to understand federal law already requires immigrants/aliens to both register for and carry (at all times) immigration documents. Accordingly, to be in violation of section 3, part (a) of SB 1070, a person would have to already be in violation of federal law–a federal law the Obama administration refuses to enforce! Judge Bolton’s enjoining this section effectively guarantees illegal aliens the right to violate federal law with impunity.

Section 5, subsection (c) of SB 1070 would have declared it unlawful for an “unauthorized” alien to seek or perform work in Arizona. An “unauthorized” alien is specifically defined in this section as “AN ALIEN WHO DOES NOT HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT OR AUTHORIZATION UNDER FEDERAL LAW TO WORK IN THE UNITED STATES AS DESCRIBED IN 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1324a(h)(3).” Here again, Judge Bolton is guaranteeing illegal aliens the right to violate federal law without fear of punishment.

Section 6, subsection (a), part 5 of SB 1070 would have given Arizona law enforcement officers the authority to arrest a person, without obtaining a warrant, if the officer had probable cause to believe the person had committed an offense that “makes the person removable from the United States.” In other words, if probable cause existed to make the officer believe the person committed some act punishable by deportation, the officer would have authority to detain said individual.

In striking down this section, it appears officers will be required to seek warrants before they arrest an illegal alien who has committed an offense that warrants deportation. Of course, while law enforcement awaits a court order the illegal alien isn’t likely to wait around. He’ll be long gone, and on the loose, before any such warrant is issued.

Though the rest of the law will go into effect tonight, Judge Bolton seems has done the bidding of the Obama administration and other the other left-wing groups who refuse to acknowledge the hardships inflicted on our nation, and especially the border states, by the tide of illegal immigrants streaming over our southern border. Stripping the law of its most potent provisions, Bolton has pulled the teeth of the law the Grand Canyon State hoped would be the guard dog that would protect her borders and her citizens.

Tags: SB 1070, Arizona, immigration, amnesty, illegal aliens

Amazon Unveils New 3G, Wi-Fi Kindles

Amazon Wednesday announced the latest Kindle device, which features 50 percent improved contrast, a sleeker design, separate Wi-Fi and 3G versions and a lower price.

The 3G edition still costs $189, while the Wi-Fi version will sell at a new Kindle-low price of $139. The new version also offers faster page-turning, double the amount of storage and a lighter weight.

The Chelsea Clinton Wedding

Big day: Chelsea Clinton’s wedding to Marc Mezvinsky in a country mansion on Saturday could cost up to £3.2million

Did you get your invitation to the Chelsea Clinton wedding of the year?   Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend.  Las Vegas and World Market is a greater lure.  Imagine spending over $3 million for a wedding!  I think it’s great for the economy  The Mail Online estimates that about £6,400 or about $10,000 will be spent per guest!  My gosh, if Dad insists on an extra couple it would be the equivalent of an average wedding for we less-thans.

What kind of mindset do you live in that says it’s ok to spend that kind of money on a wedding.  Who benefits from such extravagant spending?  Does the couple get payback down the road or is it just money spent so others can have a good time?

Tags: Chelsea Clinton Wedding Marc Mezvinsky

Magnitude 5.3 Off Coast Of Oregon

MAP 5.3 2010/07/28 16:12:06 43.770 -125.802 10.0 129 km ( 80 mi) WNW of Barview, OR

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