Avoiding waste in the housing industry. An interested TEDTalk.
Avoiding waste in the housing industry. An interested TEDTalk.
From Daniel Richards
In 2001, author Dan Pink chronicled the growing ranks of people who work for themselves, in the popular book Free Agent Nation. While you may have started your own business to become a part of the "nation," you can use freelance workers or others in "alternative employment arrangements" to help meet some of your staffing needs.
Who Are Freelance Workers?
Freelance workers may be in-between jobs, permanent full-time freelancers, stay-at-home parents looking for flexible work options or any combination of the three. They usually will work from their own home or office space, but in certain cases can also be onsite. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2005 there were 10.3 million independent contractors in the U.S., representing about 7.5 percent of the total labor force.
Our own Executive Director, Susan Coates, is an independent contractor and is available for freelance work. View more about Susan at http://www.linkedin.com/in/thespeakerstudio
According to ITT’s recent Value of Water survey, American voters are waking up to the issue. Ninety five percent of voters rate water as “extremely important,” more important than services like heat or energy. 80 percent stated that water infrastructure was in need of reform, and 63 percent stated that they would pay an average of 11 percent more for water to address the problem.
Charging more for water has been a hot button political issue for years, and there is a big gap between accepting a rate increase on a survey and accepting one in real life. Still, the survey indicates that consumers are willing to spend dollars and exert political muscle to keep water clean and reliable, as illustrated by this recent PSA:
by Mike Michalowicz
Delegating is a task that even well-seasoned managers sometimes struggle with. It can be a challenge all the way around, as letting go of the reins and finding the right person to hand them over to isn’t an easy thing to do. As an entrepreneur, you most likely have big projects from time to time. And there is also a good chance that you already have too much on your plate to manage it all. Trying to fit more in and manage it all is counterproductive, so just don’t do it.
Daring to Delegate
The sooner you trust the process of delegation, the faster you will lighten your load and still get everything accomplished. Sounds good, right? So here are the keys to your success when it comes to effectively delegating:
For starters, you need to find a champion in your organization. Choose someone you think can be trusted, someone who has the motivation and tenacity to make things happen and to follow through.
There are some projects where significant design input is not required in the early stages. Perhaps the project is at such an early stage that you don’t even know whether the idea will fly.
Perhaps you’re trying to save money and just put something out there quickly, especially if the scope is fairly limited. To quote a startup guy I know: “I generally introduce (visual) designers to a new project pretty late, they cause big delays if they’re involved too early”. I have experienced this phenomenon: it wasn’t that design was unhelpful, we just did too much of it for an untested idea.
However, there’s a big risk involved that I’ve seen play out a number of times. Perhaps fundamental design flaws were built into the project, and it grew before anyone had a chance to ask critical questions. The structure of the product might be inappropriate, or the interface lacks consistency. In the race to get something working, the focus on actual use has been lost.
Written by Molly Gamble
Proficient healthcare design gives hospitals the buildings and framework to help them gain efficiency and avoid risks associated with healthcare reform. Doug Strout, healthcare practice leader for KMD Architects, explains recent trends in hospital design along with tips for hospitals considering future development.
1. Design-build is a cost-effective, time-saving delivery method. Traditionally, architects and engineers designed and documented instructions for contractors to build, a project delivery system known as design-bid-build. General contractors bid for the work and came in on the project after the design had been established. With the design-build process, however, contractors and architectural/engineering design teams combine forces to collaborate on design and construction. This approach, called a turnkey delivery method, is meant to reduce the time-cost and financial burdens of the project. “This will become more frequent since hospitals are looking for opportunities or delivery methods that allow them to have what they need sooner and with less cost,” says Mr. Strout. The Surgery/Emergency Replacement Project at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif., is a current KMD project being designed and constructed via design-build delivery method.
by Chris Brogan
It’s amazing how few people consider their email database to be their most important business asset. Though businesses come and go, if you treat your customers and peers and colleagues and competitors and friends as an important relationship, you always have something. When money comes and goes, it’s the relationships that will help you find the next opportunity.
Here are some thoughts on building email lists and keeping them valuable:
Does the statement, “We’ve always done it that way” ring any bells…?
The US standard railroad gauge is 4 feet, 8.5 inches.
Why was that gauge used?
Because that’s the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US Railroads.
Why did the English build them like that?
Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.
Why did “they” use that gauge then?
Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.
Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?
Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that’s the spacing of the wheel ruts.
So who built those old rutted roads?
Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.
And the ruts in the roads?
Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.
The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. And bureaucracies live forever.
So the next time you are handed a spec and told we have always done it that way and wonder what horse’s ass came up with that, you may be exactly right, because the Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses.
Now the twist to the story…
When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank.
These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.
The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses’ behinds.
So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world’s most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a Horse’s ass.
And you thought being a horse’s ass wasn’t important ??
Benjamin Franklin argued that the turkey, and not the bald eagle, should be the national symbol of America. He claimed that the “vain and silly” turkey was a far better choice than the bald eagle, which he thought was a “coward.”
• Can fly up to 55 MPH over short distances
• Run up to 25 MPH on the ground
• Have excellent hearing but no ears
• Have a poor sense of smell
• Can see in color
• Have a 270 degree field of vision, making them difficult to sneak up on
• Sometimes sleep in trees
Over 45 million turkeys are prepared and eaten in the United States for Thanksgiving each year.
The five most popular ways to eat the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving includes: soups or stews, sandwiches, casseroles, stir-fries and salads.
Age does matter. Older male turkeys are generally considered to be tastier than young males (stringy) or females (tough).
Young turkeys have a number of unfortunate names including “fryer” when they are less than 16 weeks old, and “roaster” when they are between 5 and 7 months old.
Only male “Tom” turkeys gobble, and they can be heard a mile away; the females only cluck or click.
The “Turkey Trot” dance was named after the short, jerky steps that turkeys make.
The Native Americans called turkeys “firkees,” which some believe to be the origin of the word. However, when turkeys are spooked they make a “turk turk turk” sound, which is where the name likely originates.
Turkeys may “gobble gobble” in English, but in Portuguese they say “Gluglu gluglu.”
CINCINNATI—The Procter & Gamble Company has unveiled its long-term environmental sustainability vision. As part of P&G’s strategy to grow responsibly, the company will work towards a long-term environmental sustainability vision that includes: powering its plants with 100 percent renewable energy; using 100 percent renewable or recycled materials for all products and packaging; having zero consumer and manufacturing waste go to landfills; and designing products that delight consumers while maximizing the conservation of resources.
The new vision provides P&G with a long-term framework to guide all sustainability decisions and goal-setting within the organization.
“Accelerating P&G’s commitment to environmental sustainability is a critical component of the company’s ongoing purpose inspired growth strategy to improve more consumers’ lives in more parts of the world more completely,” said Bob McDonald, P&G chairman of the board, president and CEO. “We’re announcing this vision and these goals because we believe in the power of P&G’s purpose, and our responsibility as a company to be a force for good in the world.”