8 men own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world

The title of this post is the one of an article found on the World Economic Forum web site. Everybody wants to be wealthy, it’s all a matter of the size of the wealth. Another article on the same web site, written by the Executive Director of Oxfam, goes into some additional details. The video below, embedded in both articles, illustrates the basic idea of the gaps that exist between the richest and the poorest.

Wealth sharing

Even though the poorest are less and less, which is a good thing, because it brings more stability and health for everybody, the richest people get richer. You can see this in the below chart showing the share of global wealth in the last 6 years.

Share of global wealth, 2010-2015
Image: Oxfam

A lot of food for thoughts, that need to drive the governments across the planet to change the way they tackle this share of wealth, and how to continue creating a more human economy.

Basic Income

Capital in the Twenty-First Century by [Piketty, Thomas]Although I do not see the creation of a basic income for everybody as the solution to this reduction, I’m not an economist and I do not have the knowledge to make a decision, but at least to have an opinion. When you cross this with the reading of the Capital in the 21st Century, by Thomas Piketty, it makes you think that our current economic model is doomed.

So what is the solution? Well, read Piketty, makes yourself your own opinion and start something, even small. I think we have all the tools to change the world dramatically. As Ghandi said: “You must be the change you want to see in the world”, so what change do you want to be?

Not only those two articles are interesting, the video that you will find at the end of the first is really insightful. I look forward to your comments.

Top Photo by Madi Robson on Unsplash

Best airline, really? SAA come on!

Everybody loves to be informed when any delay happens right? With modern technology, sending a SMS or an email has never been so easy. This is what happened yesterday to my flight from Mauritius to Joburg on my way to Dakar. Flight was supposed to depart a 3:35PM, but we got pushed back 45 minutes later. It was unfortunately nor planned nor predictable. As the captain explained, the delay was caused by missing paperwork that should have been dispatched by the ground personnel. Anyhow, we got delayed, took off, landed safely and I could catch my connection, so happy ending.

However, I just laughed my ass off when I had a look at my mailbox the next day. Right there was a message from the airline informing me about my flight’s delay. Now, look at the top right of the window: “17:36”. The message was received at 5:36 PM. Then look at the message: “the new expected time of departure is 16h10”. That is 4:10 PM. So tell me, what the purpose of sending a message one hour after the delay has happened, informing me of something I already knew. If I appreciate the intention, the message could have been tweaked apologizing for the delay and thanking me for being a loyal member of the frequent flyer program, but not for informing me about something I already knew.

Now, I may sound negative, as I said, the intention was good. But come one, when you brag largely about being the “Best Airline in Africa” for the 14th consecutive year, it leaves you wonder where the others are. Customer service, particularly automated customer service, like this email message should be easily configured to leave a positive and customized experience, not a laughable one.

To continue on the analysis of the above message. Let’s look at the disclaimer:

  • The information in the e-mail is confidential and is legally privileged. WTF! The information in the e-mail is just an information about a flight delay, it’s nothing confidential nor privileged.
  • If this email is not intended for you, you cannot copy, distribute or disclose information to anyone and request that the email be deleted. Now, does this imply that because this email was intended for me, I can copy, distribute or disclose information to anyone? I suppose so… but let’s face it, this is just an information about a flight delay!
  • Any disclosure of confidential or privileged information transmitted herewith may result in legal proceedings being instituted against the recipient thereof. Now, since the first sentence states that the information in the e-mail is confidential and privileged, I presume that putting this on my blog puts me at jeopardy!
  • While all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure the accuracy and integrity of all data transmitted electronically, SAA does not accept liability if the data, for whatever reason, is corrupt or does not reach its intended destination. In other words, we are brilliantly good, but shit happens and if it does, we are just not responsible. So we have the right to sue you, but you have not!
  • Please note that this e-mail
    and the contents thereof is subject…. Email. Not only it should be are subject and not is – it’s just grammar, hey – but yes all big corp are paying lawyers to create disclaimers policies… But the best is yet to come…
  • Should you not have access to the internet, send an e-mail to requestdisclaimer@flysaa and a copy will be sent to you. I do not know for SAA lawyers but for me, if I do not have access to internet, it will be hard to send an email to anyone… This leaves me speechless at the overall legal quality of this disclaimer.

I am sure there are good legal reasons to include this piece in any email (I am not a lawyer, but generally common sense tends to prevail even in court), but come on, to use any piece of email as court evidence, it needs to be proven it has not been forged or tampered, and this requires more than a useless disclaimer.

To close on this, after this huge image showing wonderful muscles of SAA (who is losing money every day BTW… interesting that what forms the best airline is not judged as well on its ability to generate profits for its shareholder), you find the list of Directors. WTF? What has this information to do in a customer service email. Give me the email address of these people so I can send them this message or just get rid of all this clutter.

To end on a positive note, as it’s easy to throw away the baby with the wash basin, thank you, SAA! You flew me comfortably and safely to Dakar! But please, please, change your CMO, change you Customer Service director, allow to request business upgrade online like any modern airline, have a website that is user-friendly and not cluttered with useless information, that makes it very difficult to find what you are looking for, and send correct, customized and timely email!

Good luck!

Turn On Reality

Geoff Lewis, partner of Peter Thiel who supported Trump, writes an incisive post on Donald, titled Turn On Reality. Of course it’s a pun, the word reality is referring to both our own reality – Trump has been elected -, the reality the world is in and Trump comes from – Reality TV -.

It’s a call to people to wake up, to lift their head from their smartphones, to talk to their neighbor. I wrote multiple times on this blog to unplug the TV, to unplug social medias, the worst time consumer of this world. People do not live for themselves anymore, they live to look like others, they think TV is the real life, that social media delivers the right news.

Like-minded people have always find ways to gather. The discussions they have together reinforces their belief, It’s no surprise that religious people go to church, it’s necessary to reinforce their belief. Social networks and Reality TV have become the new churches of the 21st century on which you will always find a priest to sermon!

“Sure enough, it’s almost always impossible to discern the authenticity from the agenda”.

This is one of the biggest concerns I have when people do not realize TV is fake! They think TV, whether Reality TV, debates, etc is the real life! But no! It’s scripted! If it were not, advertising company would not buy space. The only purpose of any given show today it to sell advertisement space! Once you’ve understand and realized this, you just switch the TV off FOREVER! Same with Facebook! The only good use of those sh*t is to TURN THEM OFF!

“Presidents reflect our culture, and since the dawn of Hollywood, our culture has been celebrity-obsessed”. There has been Reagan, now the US has Trump. They had Schwarzenegger too in California, France had Sarkozy, who is definitely a show man. People do not elect the most capable, but the best liar!

“If we take Trump seriously, it may not be safe for me to write a post like this a year from now”

I still remind everybody that Nazi is short for National Socialist (It’s actually National Socialist German Worker’s Party, does not really sound evil, does it?), nothing frightening… at the beginning. History loves to repeat itself, because very few know history and learn from it. The vast majority ignores it! We cannot deny that Trump has been elected by the workers left on the street by globalization, by those people who rejected the elite and had their voice heard on the resounding board of nationalism. Will free press will continue to exist in the US?

“The antidote to fear is empathy”

Trump was elected on fear: fear from the others, fear from the globalization, fear from the difference, fear from the reality. But the reality is others, is difference, is right now, here, outside, in the real world, not the one created by a screen.

So Reality is here and now, and we have a duty to draw a clear line and to start taking care of each other, including those who do not have the same opinion. Diversity is a blessing, not a curse. Difference creates beauty, uniformity creates ugliness. There’s a lot to be learned from this election, people will wake up with a hangover, so what? We just need to continue to listen, to teach, and to love others.

 

Enough small things by enough people coalesce into the next big thing

The title of this post comes from today’s post of Seth Godin titled Resilience. And yesterday, a lot of small things (votes) by enough people (the people of the United States of America) coalesced into the next BIG thing (sending Donald Trump in the White House) that the world commented today.

Sometimes, ideas and reality collide. And this creates the next firework of ideas made reality. What will come out of it, nobody can predict. However, the topic was in every discussion. But what will change in your own life? Now, right now? Nothing! We will see next year when Trump is really in Power, but for the time being, business as usual!

Enough is enough, if you’re not close to the Donald and do not expect a job in the coming government, go back to work, switch the TV off, unplug the social networks, shut the noise up! The Earth is still spinning, coffee is grinding and the sun rose this morning! Enjoy!

Crisis, what crisis is back online…

After long weeks of silence, due to a faulty plug-in, the site is back online and accessible. A big thank you to the GoDaddy team, my hoster, who was able to find the culprit and bring the site back on its feet.

I will then, after huge popular demand (okay, I’m slightly exaggerating, but not that much… :-)), be capable to post some new posts. With the victory of Donald Trump today, the crisis news will intensify!

Happy reading and see you soon under the sun of the internet!

You get what you inspect, not what you expect

This is one of the favorite sentence of Kevin Turner, Microsoft COO. And unfortunately, it’s the reality. Due to the law of the path of least resistance, people do not tend to do what is expected, but what is inspected.

Now, there are two ways to approach inspection: coaching and managing. The difference is subtle and critical. Managing is telling people what to do. Coaching is asking people what to do. In the first case, it’s an order. It works well at a certain level and particularly in a military setting. However, orders in the corporate world do not work at all, particularly with millennial.

Keep orders for the military

Orders may work well as well with apprentices, as long as they understand it’s part of the journey and they accept it. Beyond this, giving, or worse barking, orders is a no-no. Coaching may seem to require more work and thinking, but you can look at it from prevention/cure point of view.

If you give and order and this order is not apply, you will need to cure the situation and eventually get rid of the employee, resulting in loss of productivity, energy and money. If you coach, you help the employee/colleague to grow and prevent bad things to happen. You eat healthy to stay fit or you eat junk and get sick. Your choice!

Inspect by coaching

So inspecting by coaching is the way to go. However, coaching may sometimes require tough love and the coach need to move to a mentor position in which he/she gives advice and potentially orders. Coaching is not cajoling. Coaching is helping the other grow by finding the right answer for him or her.

Of course, some people may say that coaching is manipulating, because generally the coach is influencing the coached person. And this is where the fine line is. The coach should not manipulate or influence, otherwise it will rapidly be felt and the coaching will fail. Coaching is not easy but it’s massively rewarding for both parties. It’s definitely a good investment of time and money to get on the bandwagon. I will provide some insights of my coaching practice with my peers in coming posts.

Have a wonderful day and remember, you and yourself are in charge of your present and future!

 

Gravity’s not just a good idea, it’s the law – Seth Godin

This makes my day. As I was reading the last but on post from Seth Godin titled Actually, the truth isn’t up to them, this last sentence (the title of this post) made my day! It made me create a new category too under my Misc one: Truth.

Truth is an interesting concept. It’s generally linked to undisputable facts. It’s anchored in reality. However, it’s subject to interpretation. God is real is a truth for believers. However, proving the existence of God is factually impossible (at least as of today). I am not saying it’s impossible, it’s “factually” impossible. There are no facts that prove the existence of God (a book or a man does not prove the existence of God, and I know I am on a slippery slope).

However, everyday we hear so-called truth on TV, on radio or over the Internet. In most cases, those are not truths. Those are facts that lead to creation of fake truths. Gravity existence is true. The moon’s existence is true. A plane that flies is a truth. However, as for the God’s example, truth is subject to deep-rooted beliefs and emotions, and generally very little science backs those truth up.

Have a read a Seth Godin’s post. It’s not only enlightening, it makes you think about the what the truth is and how some powerful medias or people manipulate the truth. Ponder the following quote from Blaise Pascal : “The truth on this side of the Pyrenees, error on the other”. The Pyrénées being a mountain chain that separates France from Spain.

However, IMHO, truth should be objective, not subjective, otherwise it’s just an interpretation of facts or emotions. If the world was governed by real truths, it would probably not be in this current state. However, it’s in the best possible state with the knowledge and the wisdom (or lack of) we have. So our only subjective truth is to enjoy what we have and look at improving oneself and the world.

Tying Productivity, Methods and Tools

Your Hump Day Success Edge Post #3

Productivity is a loose word as it may mean a lot of different things for different people. As per the Oxford dictionary, productivity is the state or quality of being productive, that is to be able to achieve a significant amount or result. If I need to deliver 10 actions in the course of the day, I want to deliver as fast as possible with the required quality. Therefore, productivity is generally linked to a form of time management (method) and to tools we use.

Make your own productivity methods

A good productivity method makes thing being created

https://unsplash.com/dakotaroos

Unfortunately for any human being, there are plentiful time management, goal setting, project management methods, just to name a few “buzzword”. The most important method is the one that works for you. I’ve seen many failed attempts to fit a square peg in a round hole. The only way to make any method work is to adapt it to our own existence and adapt our own existence to the method. This means making a conscious effort, but not a too steep one. It needs to make sense for you. If the method does not make any sense, change it!

Make your productivity tool work for you (not the opposite)

Adapt your tool to get optimal productivity

https://unsplash.com/wesleycaribe

As a professional, I keep track of my goals and what I need to do in Microsoft Outlook, because it replicates to all my devices and is easy to capture any new task. But I’m not a classical user of Outlook, I’m a deep user of Tasks and Calendar, on my own terms. However, Outlook may not work in every situation, particularly for team work, for which I am using my own version of Scrum in simple Excel spreadsheet. Because my motto in productivity tool is: Keep It Simple, Stupid! If any tool requires more that one hour to master, I throw it away.

Does this make sense? Let me know!

The one behavior that makes a huge performance difference

Recently Inc.com published a post entitled The Productivity Secret Behind Bill Gates’s Incredible Success. The title entices you with the idea that Bill’s success is a matter of just a productivity secret, which is, of course, not really true. However, it puts the finger on something that has now been demonstrated numerous times: intensity of focus is a game-changing behavior and increases performance.

Monotask

https://unsplash.com/negativespace

https://unsplash.com/negativespace

For peak performance, the first to get rid of is distraction. Second, you need to concentrate on the one task you have to do. If you’ve ever been totally absorbed in what you do, like coding or painting, or any pleasurable activity, you should have been amazed at how time flies fast and how much you have done. This is the power of dedicating all your energy to one activity and one activity only. Of course our brain and body are multitasking: we breathe without thinking about it, we digest, we do all sorts of things without being conscious about them. However, dedicating our conscious energy to one thing only is what I’m calling monotasking here.

Concentrate

https://unsplash.com/asthetik

https://unsplash.com/asthetik

When you are about to do something difficult, you often need to concentrate. This moment of deep thinking allows to focus our mind and energy on what we are about to do. Unfortunately, with all distractions, many people have lost the ability to concentrate and dedicate oneself to deep work. If you are prone to distraction, you may need to start with short period of concentration, like 10 minutes, and increase slowly to be able to sustain an hour or more of deep concentration. Concentration will bring you to the next performance level.

Meditation can help you reach your concentration goal. By bringing back focused monotasking in your daily work, you will soon be amazed at your results!

The only thing you can control is you…

Your Hump Day Success Edge Post #1

Today’s inspiration comes from Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s COO. During a presentation on Monday, he used this quote: “the only thing you can control is you, the only thing you cannot control is everything else”. When you reflect on this, you realize it’s common sense on one side, but really powerful when you’re interested in learning and growing. Do the Iowa results have an effect on what you do and think? If you’re in politics and your career depends on it, may be. Otherwise? Can you control what Cruz or Clinton will do? Probably not. Even Bill does not control Hillary! Joke aside, focusing on what you can control is the best, if not the only way, of creating a better you.

https://unsplash.com/pawelkadysz

https://unsplash.com/pawelkadysz

Of course, you can argue that you can control any kind of machinery, your car or your direct reports, for instance. However, think for a moment. What if something breaks in your machine or car, what if one of your direct reports is sick? Can you still control them? The only thing you can really control is you, you are in charge of your actions and your emotions, and it’s within your power and decision to take control of your actions and emotions. Once you let go what is around you that you have no effect on, you can concentrate on what matters really: becoming a better you, to serve better others!