Classic Rock for a Summer’s Afternoon – Enjoy!

Harvest Moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to listen to Neil Young’s Harvest Moon on YouTube.

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Ted Talk – Shyam Sankar: The rise of human-computer cooperation

We are in the era of fusion of machine and human, this fusion not only will be a evolved biological entity, we are talking about a much more complex symbolic field than the human mind can imagine, the expansion of consciousness is a reality and the two forces have begun to collaborate with each other.

EMR systems deliver better health care – but not necessarily from massively expensive systems.

Breakthrough solutions at a clinic or health facility level will come from more modest EMR systems. In the Long Term Care sector for example, simpler, smaller highly focused EMR systems allowing facility managers, healthcare professionals, patients, and their families to track healing processes will do the most good.

Its about minimizing the friction between people and the system. Watch the talk to understand this idea.

The What If What Next spirit.

Industrial Trends: On one hand and the other

We are tracking these stories…

One one hand:

Researched by Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas)–Industrial Info is tracking more than 900 industrial projects worth an estimated $148.85 billion that are set to begin construction in Canada in 2013. A large portion of the spending is planned for the western half of the country, primarily due to the large oil sands projects set to kick off, which help make the Metals & Minerals and Oil & Gas Production industries the country’s top spenders.

And on the other:

Canada’s Mid-Sized Firms in Decline, BDC Study Shows

Manufacturing sector suffers biggest blow

Highlights

  • Canada’s number of mid-sized firms plummeted by 17% from 2006 to 2010. Mid-sized companies have 100 to 499 employees.
  • The worst-hit sector was manufacturing, which saw over half its mid-sized companies disappear from 2001 to 2010.
  • While every region saw declines, Ontario was hit hardest, with a 25% drop in its number of mid-sized companies followed by Quebec
  • Mid-sized businesses cited access to financing as the most important barrier to growth

MONTREAL, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ – Canada’s mid-sized companies, a key motor of the economy, saw their numbers decline by 17% – 9,370 to 7,814 – from 2006 to 2010, according to a new study by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

Hardest hit was the manufacturing sector, which saw over half its mid-sized firms vanish between 2001 and 2010 from 2,807 to 1,381.

BDC undertook the study to fill an important research gap on mid-sized firms. The study is based on StatisticsCanada data and supported by survey results from market research firm Harris/Decima. The study is one of three that the BDC plans to release this year on economic issues of importance to Canadians.

“This decline should signal a call to action as mid-sized firms are vital to the Canadian economy,” says Pierre Cléroux, BDC Vice President, Research and Chief Economist and lead author of the study. “They’re few in numbers, yet their contribution to Canada’s economic prosperity cannot be overemphasized. They really do punch above their weight.”

Mid-sized firms represent 1% of the total number of companies, but contribute disproportionately to the Canadian economy, accounting for 16% of Canadian jobs, 12% of GDP and 17% of exports. It is worth noting that a greater portion of mid-sized firms have their head office in Canada, compared to large firms (90% versus 77%).

“During the last ten years, medium-sized firms have faced serious challenges from the rapidly appreciating Canadian dollar, financial crisis and recession,” added Cléroux.

The study also found:

  • 14% of mid-sized firms became small firms (below 100 employees) or closed down each year from 2006 to 2010. Only 1.4% grew to become large-sized corporations with 500 or more employees.
  • While mid-sized companies declined across the country, Ontario was hit worst, losing 25% of its number of mid-sized firms between 2006 and 2010 (from 3,810 to 2,861).

But the news is not all bleak, the BDC study found. Many CEOs are optimistic about their prospects during the economic recovery, with 64% of mid-sized firm leaders saying their annual sales will go up by 4.5% over the next three years.

Firm owners said the main obstacles standing in their way to becoming large companies are fierce competition, availability of financing and employee acquisition and retention.

Mid-sized firms with a board of directors or an advisory board are most likely to say they expect sales to go up.

“Canadian businesses will continue to face major challenges as competitive pressures will not disappear. As Canada’s development bank, BDC will look closely at how it can better support our mid-sized firms, particularly in the manufacturing sector, in order to help them make the investments required to increase their competitiveness,” Cléroux said.

For detailed study findings consult BDC’s “Analysis and research“. Do read the report.

 

Note the comment about fierce competitiveness. Canada has a huge domestic industrial construction market. We wonder if the introduction of innovative products and  effective, measurable marketing remains an underlying issue to the survival and growth of Canadian mid-sized firms.

Imagine if your marketing campaigns were this agile?

Reading: The Information: A History, A Theory by James Gleick

Reviewed on Manzon

Amazon Best Books of the Month, March 2011: In a sense, The Information is a book about everything, from words themselves to talking drums, writing and lexicography, early attempts at an analytical engine, the telegraph and telephone, ENIAC, and the ubiquitous computers that followed. But that’s just the “History.” The “Theory” focuses on such 20th-century notables as Claude Shannon, Norbert Wiener, Alan Turing, and others who worked on coding, decoding, and re-coding both the meaning and the myriad messages transmitted via the media of their times. In the “Flood,” Gleick explains genetics as biology’s mechanism for informational exchange–Is a chicken just an egg’s way of making another egg?–and discusses self-replicating memes (ideas as different as earworms and racism) as information’s own evolving meta-life forms. Along the way, readers learn about music and quantum mechanics, why forgetting takes work, the meaning of an “interesting number,” and why “[t]he bit is the ultimate unsplittable particle.” What results is a visceral sense of information’s contemporary precedence as a way of understanding the world, a physical/symbolic palimpsest of self-propelled exchange, the universe itself as the ultimate analytical engine. If Borges’s “Library of Babel” is literature’s iconic cautionary tale about the extreme of informational overload, Gleick sees the opposite, the world as an endlessly unfolding opportunity in which “creatures of the information” may just recognize themselves. –Jason Kirk

The 4C’s

Social media efforts should be developed in the context of the 4C’s:
Connections
Creation
Consumption
Control

All 4 underlie consumer motivations to participate and will lead to higher ROI because the company’s marketing investments can better leverage the active “investments” its customers will make as they engage with the company’s brands.

Read more: http://sloanreview.mit.edu/smr