Back to the Future II - or NOT

We may still be waiting for a Delorian that travels through time, but a surprisingly number of "predictions" made in that movie have become reality! Has it really been 30 years?

October 21, 2015, is the date Marty McFly travels to in Back to the Future Part II. He encounters a number of different technologies that were strange to his 1985 brain, but are common to us … 30 years later. The movie’s creators made a lot of predictions about the future of technology and they came amazingly close in a number of cases.

In honor of the movie’s 30th anniversary, here’s a look at some of those predictions that have come true.

Voice-command television. When Marty’s son arrives home in the future, he walks into the living room and tells the TV to open a number of different channels for him to watch. Anyone familiar with Kinect for Xbox knows Marty’s experience is almost exactly like what’s possible now. Voice-controlled remotes also provide similar capabilities.


Some great rules for effective leaders

Effective leaders are at the center of many successful businesses, frequently rivaling the impact of a compelling product, a marketplace niche, or a unique value proposition. In fact, a DDI global survey found that organizations with the highest quality leaders were 13 times more likely to outperform their competition in key bottom-line metrics such as financial performance [1].

As 2015 unfolds, make sure you’re leading your business in a way that drives results by focusing on these seven key leadership ingredients.

1. Be crystal clear
Being transparent about the state of the business and its objectives helps employees understand their roles in pushing the organization forward. But author William Schiemann found when polling businesses that only 14 percent of employees have a solid understanding of their company’s strategy and direction [2]. From monthly newsletters to daily team huddles, employ a regular communication plan that spotlights priorities and defines the path to results.


Shakespeare, Ethics & Common Sense

Editors's note:  With all the recent goings on in Albany regarding the Speaker of the Assembly being indicted, and all the machinations from other elected officials on his resignation; some of us are left wondering out loud whether basic ethics in politics and business have been completely lost. We found this short article referencing ethics and what William Shakespeare might have thought:

Expert Author Patricia J Moser

If Shakespeare was alive today, he would already have penned a tragedy reflecting the lack of ethics as continuously reflected in procurement activities world-wide.

"To take or not to take -- that is the question. If I get discovered, I might suffer slings and arrows, however I might have amassed an outrageous fortune. There may be a sea of troubles it may cause, yet I can always (with lawyers) oppose and thereby end them!"

I have often had people come to me and ask how to proceed when a decision "path" is somewhat grey. I always ask them "How do you think this would play as a headline in a newspaper?" I always see a shocked look and they say, "Well, that would be taken out of context!"

The reality is no one asks for guidance on a potential ethical issue, unless their gut is already saying this shouldn't be done.

Yes, there are always two sides to every story, and the one that results in the best headlines usually wins; and this doesn't always mean it's the absolute truth, but perception is the reality.

To paraphrase Dr. Phil -- "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!"


Tech gifts from the recent pass

Fifteen years of various tech gifts.  Like all in computing, things have gotten more innovative along with faster, better, and cheaper.  And it's a lot more connected than in 1999.

Do you remember what gifts you were giving—or more importantly, hoping to get—a few years back? Tech devices have long been a holiday favorite, but technology changes fast. The top spots on our own wish lists rarely stay the same day-to-day, let alone year-to-year. So we thought it would be fun to revisit some of the coolest tech gifts of the last 15 years to see what it was we loved about them—and if we still would put them on our wish list today.


Feedback that works


Our daily lives revolve around people. Whether we’re at home with our family and friends, or at work with our colleagues. And because we are so dependent on the people around us for life to work, we have to communicate. If we don’t, problems or concerns tend to build up; and what started out as a ping pong ball could start feeling a lot more like a wrecking ball.

That’s why regular useful feedback is so invaluable. But giving feedback itself is not the key. It’s how you give feedback that could unlock a world of potential in the recipient. Here are five tips to help you give feedback that works.

Start by asking

The way you approach the act of giving feedback is paramount to the outcome. You could call a meeting with your colleagues without telling them what it’s about, just to bombard them with an evaluation the moment they’re seated. Or you could start by asking permission first. A simple, “Hey Tom, do you have time for some quick feedback later today?” will give your colleague ample time to get into the right frame of mind to receive it.


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