• Cool Corporate dot COM takes a look at the business world from the perspective of a young manager in the making. It offers posts, articles, and news clippings that cater to that young manager, but without being overly basic, so that it is still relevant to the seasoned business professional.
  • The Jazzy Cool One (aka, some guy named J.C. Payne), is a news producer with a news/talk radio station by day, and a passionate cheerleader for business and free enterprise the rest of the time.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Juneteenth: A History Lesson & Example Of Missed Communication

For the last few days I have been busy with Little Rock’s big Juneteenth Concert Celebration, and really focusing on the history of day. Bear with me as a do a bit of inflection.

Juneteenth is the celebration of the slaves in Galveston, Texas getting word that they were freed...two and a half years after the civil war ended. Imagine how much more these free people could has accomplished with a two and a half year head start? Imagine how life would be in your business if you communications pipelines were this slow?

Granted, information travels at speed faster that pony express in the 21st century, but the basic principals remain. There must be a sender and a receiver for communication to occur, and because everyone is so afraid of missing some critical information, they make themselves available at all hours across multiple platforms. Cell phones, pagers, email, text messages, and even newer, faster forms of communication are being developed every day. Imagine watching the signature of the Emancipation Proclamation around the world live on a 24 hour news network, or having imbedded journalists with the Union soldiers at Gettysburg.

It is apparent that it becomes harder to get your message across to the masses as you get more moving parts between you and your people, even with today’s flood of devices created to find a way to do so. Imagine running your business today under the real world conditions of the 1860’s.

- Juneteenth (Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia)

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Rhapsody Online Music Services

Mothers & Fathers Make Money For The Phone Companies In Their Own Special Way

There's an urban legend that states that Mother's Day is the biggest holiday for phone calls and Father's Day is the busiest for collect calls.

Thanks to Snopes.com, we get a confirmation...and it's the truth. A quote from Dave Johnson, a spokesman for AT&T's corporate headquarters in New Jersey in 1998, "Father's Day is our biggest day for collect calls, not just the biggest holiday, but the biggest day of the year."

They also tend to be much longer... three to four minutes longer. Hope you picked up a few extra shares of your favorite telecomm stock last week...

- Pew Research Center: Calling Mom on Mother's Day (Pew Research Center)
- Urban Legends Reference Pages: Holidays (We Love You - Call Collect) (Snopes.com)
- Collect Calls (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Net 10 Wireless

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Cool Corporate News Clippings - 6/13/06

In a day to busy to post so far, here are some business stories that at least need a mention:

- WWE's Profit In A Chokehold (CNNMoney.com)
- Lunch Break Becomes Briefer As 'Hour' Shrinks (USA Today)
- Fendi Sues Wal-Mart Over Sales Of Fake Handbags (Reuters)
- Opinions On Aging May Contradict Reality (Post Chronicle)

Forbes Magazine

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Incredible Shrinking Office Space

Maybe it not just an over-active imagination with a view from an overly-cluttered cubicle. Maybe your workspace, the space you actually inhabit at work, is shrinking.

This article written by Justin Matlick for the Puget Sound Business Journal tells how many companies in the Seattle area are taking advantage of the rising costs of commercial real estate to possible take advantage of workers by allowing them a few less square feet to work in than before.

The national trend shows a noticeable de-sizing in office space over the past decade. According to the International Facilities Management Association, per-employee square footage has seen a 31 percent decrease in as much time, shrinking from 589 in 1994 to 406 in 2002. And group is working on updated numbers to show considerable further shrinkage since 2002.

Two companies included in the article are the Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) and Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM), both looking to cash in by planning smaller cubicles and an expanded array of conference rooms as part of their revamped work environments in the Seattle area.

- Offices Getting Smaller (Puget Sound Business Journal)


CNN Pipeline Is Cool, But Is It Paying The Bills?

Thank to Brian Stelter at TVNewser for finding an article that is showing even the cable news networks are having headaches with the same issues I'm having with my day job. CNN, owned by parent company Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) is now working to cut deals with cable operators and broadband providers to expand the distribution of the CNN Pipeline product. As a quote from Senior Vice President and General Manager of CNN.com, David Payne (no relation) says, "Subscription content has been a tough sell to online users."

The internet is geared up for the potential to make money on a multitude of services...yet most people are still looking to keep the same services, along with any new ones, for free? As more audio and video content is being accessed via a computer on demand, what should the cost of this access be? What cost will people actually pay? Will it be enough to justify the time, energy, and resources to do it right?

- News Networks' Top Story: Facing the Future (Multichannel News)

Supermediastore - Your Online Media Store


Cool Corporate News Clippings - 6/12/06

A few business stories that warrant a mention in lieu of a proper post:

- Johnson Hopes To Work Image Magic With Food Service (USA Today)
- Wal-Mart On Black Enterprise Diversity List (Arkansas Business)
- Famed Microsoft Blogger Scoble Leaves For Start-Up (Washington Post)
- iTunes Under Legal Fire In Europe (Spotlighting News)

Grads & Dad's Deals at WolfCamera.com


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Cultivating Your Minor League Talent For A Major League Call Up

A quick look at sports as a business. Teams are only successful if the right players are in the right positions. The NFL and NBA gets fresh players mostly from the college ranks through a yearly draft, throw a lot of money at a prospect, and hope they get a return before there rookie contract is up and they test the free agent market.

But Major League Baseball drafts player to play in the minor league to hone skills and see if what are essentially kids are really ready for the pressure of prime time coverage and the grind of a 162 game season. The minor leagues are the basis of the baseball farm system that allows teams to pull from its own resources of players already in tune with the systems and cultures at a moments notice to fill a void at any position.

Now lets go back to the world of you average corporation. What would seem like a simple concept of recruiting good talent and growing your own successors from within this pool of talent isn't. At least not in the execution. This comes from an article by Ann Marsh in this month's Business 2.0 Magazine titled, "Why Companies Overlook Their Own Talent," documenting how companies aren't making cultivating talent a top priority. The result in many cases is serious problems when its time to begin the executive succession process, a serious neglect of potential leaders at lower and middle levels of management, and the tendency to lose out on prospects who see greater potentials for opportunity at competing companies.

The article lists various companies who got the secession plans outlying home grown talent wrong (like NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE), Gateway, Inc. (NYSE:GTW)) and right...eventually (like Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN), Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX)).

- Why Companies Overlook Their Own Talent (Business 2.0)

Baseball Express

Friday, June 09, 2006

Hope For The Shy Corporate Professional

Or to be more accurate, introverts. If you're prefer a smaller social circle and need a little alone time after large social events to get back to being yourself, you have a lot in common with many corporation CEOs and top executives, who often say that it's lonely at the top and confide in a small circle of friends to stay connected.

Included in a list from the article from USA Today.com:

- William Swanson of Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN)
- Jim Green, formerly with Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ:SUNW) and now CEO of Composite Software
- Chris Uhland of SkyeTec CEO
- Chris Scherpenseel, president of Microsoft's FRx Software subsidiary and the
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Chairman himself, Bill Gates

As stated in the article, some organizations don't see the rise of many introverts because they are seen as uninspiring, but that same personality trait can be seen elsewhere as calm, unemotional and wise.

- Not all successful CEOs are extroverts (USA Today)

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