Growing confidence by CFOs and other corporate leaders in the strengthening economy is expected to lead to increases in IT spending this year. However, the forecast for IT job creation isn't quite as sunny.
According to the Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey of 848 CFOs across the world, finance chiefs plan to spend 9 percent more on capital expenditures over the next 12 months and nearly 5 percent more on technology. Overall, CFOs are anticipating a 2 percent rise in full-time domestic hiring for the coming year, representing the highest increase since 2006. The increase would represent 3 million jobs, which would lead the U.S. unemployment rate to drop below 9 percent, according to John Graham, a finance professor at Duke's Fuqua School of Business and director of the survey who was cited in a CFO Magazine article about the study.
One of the most important traits in great leaders is the ability to communicate effectively and clearly, regardless of who your audience is. This includes having a knack for delivering impactful presentations, whether that's on a stage in front of several hundred people, in a board meeting or to a group of staffers. It's a particularly important requirement for CIOs who often have to speak to a diverse set of audiences.
Let's face it, some people simply have a gift for public speaking. There are certain presenters who dazzle, others who stimulate or provoke and still others who move us with their stories and experiences.
But for most of us, public speaking is stressful. We worry about making mistakes, or not being able to engage our audiences or to provide listeners with meaningful content or messages.
There's an article on Fastcompany.com by Jens Martin Skibsted and Rasmus Bech Hansen in which they argue that user-led innovation can't lead to breakthroughs. The co-authors, who are Danish designers and entrepreneurs, say that customer-centric innovation doesn't work and that great brands lead users and not the other way around, citing Apple and IKEA as examples.
Skibsted and Hansen make an interesting case. For instance, they claim that design leaders at IKEA have informed them that they've tried incorporating customer-led innovation and it just didn't work. Instead, both companies are intent on creating great products that customers will love.
Happiness is subjective, especially when it comes to those factors that bring people contentment with their work.
Nevertheless, an online career community called CareerBliss has compiled data to rank the happiest and unhappiest cities in the U.S. in which to work. The information is based on analysis from more than 200,000 independent company reviews. The company evaluated eight factors that affect happiness with work: growth opportunities; compensation; benefits; work-life balance; career advancement; senior management; job security and whether an employee would recommend the company to others.
I rarely blog about politics. It's a sensitive subject for so many people, and with the increasingly polarized society that the U.S. has become, it can be downright dangerous to write about, much less discuss politics with others. It even divides our friends and families.
But I'm going to plunge ahead anyway, and I'll do my best not to take sides or to anger anyone who leans to the right or left.
According to the U.S. Labor Department, the productivity of U.S. workers surged in the fourth quarter at a 2.6 percent annual rate, far surpassing projections of a 2 percent rise by a survey of economists conducted by Bloomberg. Meanwhile, labor costs fell for the fifth time in six quarters. In short, when the economy produces more goods and services with effectively the same size workforce, productivity goes up.
Although some economists expect productivity to slow during the year as the economy continues to expand and companies hire more workers to increase output, the short-term prognosis isn't terribly encouraging, at least for some job seekers. In fact, the startling rise in productivity could also backfire for some CIOs and IT staffs, at least in the near-term.