Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Craft Beer

Back on this day in 1978 President Jimmy Carter signed a bill legalizing home brewing.  However states could still set their own limits.  The American beer market has definitely changed since President Carter was in office, especially in the past five years.
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The Brewers Association defines American craft breweries as those independently owned operations (note: they can’t have greater than 25% investment by a non-craft beer company) producing less than 6 million barrels a year.  The Census Bureau released in July indicated that the number of U.S. breweries doubled in the past five years largely due to craft beer.  In the past two years alone, on average, 1.2 craft breweries opened each day, contributing to a total of 15.6 million barrels of beer last year.  According to the Brewers Association, craft beer now accounts for 7.8% of the U.S. beer market.

Craft beer: I’ll drink to that!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Wine by Gender

Approximately how many glasses of wine does one acre of grapes yield?                                                                                                                                  
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Answer: On average, 15,000 glasses.

According to the consumer market company Canadean, in 2013, U.S consumers spent $21.2 billion on wine.  Women accounted for 59 percent of consumption by volume.  Their research also revealed that women drink wine to relax and seek value; men tend to be wine buffs seeking more high quality wines – new drink experiences.  Some more interesting Canadean wine stats:
·         Woman accounted for more than $6.7 billion in 2014 total wine sales.

·         Even though men consumed less wine, they tend to spend more on quality products; $1.8 billion in their search for quality versus $1.0 billion for women.  

·         The market research firm indicated that men are also driven to find products that offer new experiences thus fueling $2.4 billion of their consumption compared to $2.2 billion of female consumption.

A spokesperson for Canadean put it best: “Women are looking for wine to accompany conversations while they unwind with friends.  For men, wine is the conversation.”

Gender equality: I’ll drink to that!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Social Marathon

Are you still a social media naysayer or are you finally on board?  The 2014 Global Social CEO Survey conducted by Brandfog clearly indicates that a large percentage of CEOs now understand the benefit of being social.  At last, they recognize they are now participating in a social marathon.
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According to Brandfog nearly three-fourths of senior executives in the U.S. believe that social media provides great tools to communicate their company’s core mission and brand values.  Consequently their companies are more trustworthy than those who don’t adopt social media.  The survey also indicated that 82 percent of senior leaders think executive use of social media raises brand awareness and helps establish industry leadership.

Great news!  CEOs that now embrace social media have taken the first step towards social enterprise.  Now they have to learn that they are participating in a social marathon.  They must train themselves as Hayes Drumwright, the founder and CEO of Trace3 a leading IT Systems Integration company advocates; recognize the difference between “social noise” and “actionable social.”  “Social noise” is the vast amount of online data and content.  “Actionable social” is the useful information that can be acted upon to improve business results. 

My company believes that the starting gate as it relates to identifying “actionable social” is to train and provide the resources for your employees to become knowledge workers that exhibit “social smarts.”  As a result, over time, like running a marathon, your people will improve their overall communication skills, collaborate (internally and externally), make better decisions and innovate. 

Time to train for the social marathon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


I was reminded of an old post, “Lessons from Great Artists and Architects” when Apple unveiled some new products last week.  Apple designers are taught to mimic a principle Picasso employed when he created one of his masterpieces, “The Bull.”  Key innovative design lesson from great artists: Simplicity!    
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In addition to some new iPhones (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus) and Apple Pay (their new mobile payment system), Apple will introduce “one more thing.”  The Apple Watch with creative functionality through the dial of its screen (e.g., a BMW app to remind people where they parked their Beamers).  The watch will be smaller than most of the current smartwatches and will come in a choice of two sizes with a variety of styles and straps.  Apple designers once again are striving to deliver an innovative product that personifies simplicity! 

Another key art lesson: “Creativity takes courage.”   – Henri Matisse  

Friday, September 12, 2014


re·tire·ment (noun) riˈtīrmənt/  The action of leaving one's job and ceasing to work; the act of ending your working/professional career. 

Boomers are now struggling to adjust to life after work.  Consequently a new coaching industry has emerged.  Consultants that help people progress via reinvention.
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Have you ever viewed any of the retirement advertisements on television – Fidelity, Wells Fargo and Voya Financial, to name a few?  They all address how individuals need to financially plan their futures so basically they do not outlive their savings.  They never speak to how retirees can use their time creatively beyond travel, playing golf, sitting by the pool, etc.  As a result, people are now hiring retirement coaches.  At fees starting at $50 per hour or packages ranging from $30,000 to $50,000 over a negotiated time frame, people can assess with the help of a professional coach what they can do with their unused wells of energy and productive time.  Anything from part-time work, humanitarian/charitable endeavors, artistic pursuits, etc.  Bottomline: People are learning that they not only need to plan their retirement financially, but they need to reinvent themselves to remain productive or accomplish other lifetime goals beyond work.

Retiring?  What are your reinvention plans?