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Mentoring Through Challenging Times: Mentoring with pride

This story is part of a special section for the Jacksonville Business Journal's 2022 Business of Pride honoring local and national voices on LGBTQ issues in business. Celebrating Pride Month offers an opportunity to celebrate LGBTQ+ individuals in the workplace as well as in our personal lives. Wendy Lopez serves as a mentor for LGBTQ+ engineering students as she shapes company policies to encourage Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Wendy Lopez, Senior Vice President, Texas Executive for AECOM,….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJun 23rd, 2022

William Raveis: The Family Advantage

How William Raveis Real Estate Responds to Market Needs in Real Time  As one of the industry’s most iconic firms, William Raveis Real Estate’s (WRRE) origin story is a classic tale of entrepreneurial moxie. Started above a Fairfield, Connecticut, grocery store by Bill Raveis in 1974, the firm now comprises 136 offices in eight states, […] The post William Raveis: The Family Advantage appeared first on RISMedia. How William Raveis Real Estate Responds to Market Needs in Real Time  As one of the industry’s most iconic firms, William Raveis Real Estate’s (WRRE) origin story is a classic tale of entrepreneurial moxie. Started above a Fairfield, Connecticut, grocery store by Bill Raveis in 1974, the firm now comprises 136 offices in eight states, and is home to 4,300 sales associates. In RISMedia’s 2021 Power Broker Report, WRRE ranked No. 7, reporting more than $16 billion in sales volume in 2020. Today, Bill and the next generation of the Raveis family—brothers and co-presidents Chris and Ryan—share leadership responsibility for increasing revenue and expanding WRRE’s footprint in the coming years and beyond. In this exclusive interview, the pair explains how operating as a family-run business provides the firm with two critical characteristics necessary for growth: cultural agility to turn on a dime to innovate; and consistent leadership with an unmatched level of pride, passion and strategic vision. “No matter how much we evolve, this is not just a business for us—it’s a family,” says CEO and Chairman Bill Raveis. “At our core, family values drive every decision we make. From the very beginning, I said our agents are our customers, and 47 years later, we continue to provide the tools, technology and mentoring to empower their success.” Here, Ryan and Chris Raveis share what’s enabled the company’s extensive growth over the years, along with how they’re helping agents and clients maximize value and experience outstanding customer service in any market. Maria Patterson: William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage & Insurance is the No. 1 family-owned real estate company in the Northeast, and your father views the entire firm as family. Please share a bit about how you and your brother came on board. Ryan Raveis: Growing up, Chris and I saw all those yard signs and wondered why our name was in front of everyone’s homes! We definitely had an affinity for the company and saw what Dad was doing and how hard he was working. But as we grew up, Chris and I wanted to spread our wings a bit, like most young, post-college graduates. I decided to pursue management consulting and Chris worked in commercial real estate. Then, in our late 20s, we were offered the opportunity to join the family business, but with a very clear understanding. Dad sat us down and told us there were two conditions: You have to grow the company; and you can never sell it. MP: I take it you’re happy with your decision? RR: I have worked in a large public company and so has Chris. While every industry has its excitement in some way, shape or form, there’s nothing I’d rather do than work with my Dad and brother and continue to drive our goals of a family-owned real estate, mortgage and insurance powerhouse. MP: What are some of the biggest advantages of being a family firm? RR: The biggest advantage is the consistency in leadership. This is a family business, and our name is on the door. We take our reputation, professionalism and the way we support our agents very seriously, to the point where being a family business is part of our identity. We plan on passing the company down to our children, so we want to leave it in a position where it’s thriving in each of its markets and each of its businesses. The only way we do that is by delivering superior service for our clients and agents. CEO Bill Raveis (center) poses with sales associates and managers at a WRRE networking event. MP: William Raveis Inc. is one of the only privately held firms to offer mortgage and insurance services under one roof. What role have these firms played in your growth over the years? RR: I don’t look at our mortgage and insurance companies as businesses under the real estate umbrella. Each of those companies was purposefully built with the ability to stand on its own. Granted, they service our real estate clients, but they also partner with clients who used another real estate brokerage prior to doing business with the mortgage and insurance companies. We strategically built these companies to a substantial level to support the overall entity, and this helps when we’re looking to expand into new markets. MP: Does having an established mortgage and insurance business play a more significant role in today’s real estate climate? RR: I think it does. In today’s market, we see plenty of large private equity and public companies that are trying to find their way. They’re struggling to figure out how to make a profit, and it’s not that easy. We’ve been running William Raveis Mortgage and William Raveis Insurance since the ’80s, and both have well-established operations and excellent reputations. MP: How would you describe market conditions in your regions? Chris Raveis: If I’m a home seller, I’ve seen my value increase by 30% in all the markets we serve. If I’m a buyer, I’m looking for solutions to help me find a home in this market. Overall, the market has been excellent for real estate brokers and agents, and that will continue through the end of the year, particularly in Florida, where we just had some of the largest sales in our company history—$80 million and $50 million in Palm Beach and Naples, respectively. The luxury market has taken off in those areas. MP: WRRE serves luxury buyers in many of your markets. What role does the luxury market play in the company’s success? CR: The luxury market is essential to our identity. We’re recognized by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® as the globe’s top luxury broker. We serve some of the highest-end markets in the U.S.—Naples, Florida; Fairfield County, Connecticut; Nantucket—and we have many of the finest agents in the world serving those markets. Their local knowledge and real estate expertise enable them to best connect with affluent clients, which is a priority audience for us. That said, we have a large audience base and serve other segments as well. Best practices honed by selling luxury properties are completely transferrable. We’ve fully embraced superior customer service at every point in the home-selling and -buying journeys, and consequently, invented new products and processes to support our agents. When we look at the level of service we strive to provide, we’re looking to emulate brands like The Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons. Co-Presidents Chris Raveis and Ryan Raveis snap a picture with mortgage banker Francine Silberman and VP of Business Development Lisa Theiss. MP: Tell us about some of the ways you’re supporting agents… CR: Ryan, Bill, our senior management team and I are constantly in the field, constantly listening to agents. As a family business, we make decisions very quickly. Plus, we have the resources to compete with anybody. Each branch has a full-time manager, and we have multiple layers of admin and marketing support for agents. We are the only company that provides personalized branding for our sales associates because we believe each one is an entrepreneur who cannot be fit into a single, specific mold. Every manager is extensively trained through our career development department to become a certified coach and mentor to our sales associates. And we also bring in world-renowned business coaches, like Tom Ferry and Mike Staver. On the tech side, we’re well ahead of the market, particularly with automation. We have a completely automated listing launch platform, where in 30 seconds, an agent can get a listing launched, one that is personally branded with the agent’s name. Even better, we have integrated performance tracking, giving our agents and clients customized and immediate insights with real-time analytics. MP: This year, you quickly rolled out products to help buyers and sellers navigate the unique challenges of the market. Tell us a bit about them. RR: We truly walk the talk on exceptional customer service throughout the buying and selling journey. For the seller who has their home listed but can’t financially move or can’t get the equity out, we provide a bridge loan through William Raveis Mortgage. Another option we offer is Raveis Purchase, where sellers benefit from the speed of getting out of their home and unlocking their equity to make a non-contingent offer on a new home. With this program, we buy the home from them and use Raveis Refresh to help prepare and stage the home with our certified network of designers and installation teams. And here’s the best part: When we sell the refreshed home at a higher price point on the open market, the client keeps the upside, which is different than any other model out there. We’ve moved a couple dozen customers in the 90 days since we launched this innovative offering (at press time), and the traction has been incredible. We have hundreds in the pipeline. We also just launched the Raveis CashBid program where we buy the home from the seller—on behalf of the buyer—and take title to the home. Then we help those pre-approved buyers get a mortgage and repurchase the home from us. This creates opportunities for those buyers losing out on offers, as well as first-time homebuyers who can’t put down an all-cash bid. These are just a few examples of how we are empowering our agents to take care of their clients during a competitive market. We are always thinking outside the box and partnering for success. It’s all really exciting. MP: Were programs like this borne out of the pandemic? RR: 100%. When the pandemic hit, we knew that listing inventory was going to be slim, absorption rates would be fast, and that we needed to come up with solutions. Ryan and Chris Raveis with Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Carpenter MP: It seems like only a company of your scope and size, with in-house mortgage services, could make programs like these work… RR: Yes, it wouldn’t happen without the mortgage company. When the agent understands the 360-degree view of the consumer, it makes them a better agent. We have the resources—the luxury, mortgage and insurance products—but being able to execute and help thousands of agents put those resources to use is another thing. With the breadth of our offerings and our investment in career development, our agents are better trained than anyone else in the industry. MP: Do such programs represent the future of real estate, or are they temporary solutions to market conditions sparked by the pandemic? RR: If a company’s business model is banking on programs that buy homes and resell them, that company will have a tough time in a downturn. You have to be good at recognizing the tenor of the market and actively develop the right programs because each year has different needs. We constantly listen to our agents and innovate to serve their market needs. This was true in 1974, and it remains the same today. MP: What other evolutions—to your company and to the market—do you foresee taking place in the next year or so? CR: The market will remain challenging. The fourth quarter won’t be like last year, but it will be better than we thought at the beginning of the year. We are continuing to grow—having just expanded in Sarasota, Florida. Our footprint will encompass new areas in the Northeast and down the eastern seaboard as well. MP: Finally, if you had to point to just a few keys to success that have been instrumental to the firm’s longevity and growth over the years, what would they be? CR: You have to love the business; it has to be part of your soul. If you do, there’s a palpable energy that continually motivates you. And being a family business lends a lot to that—people are proud to associate themselves with real people as opposed to a large public or private equity firm. We thrive off each other and our larger business family. Our success is truly a collective team effort all around. For more information, please visit www.raveis.com. Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s executive editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to maria@rismedia.com. The post William Raveis: The Family Advantage appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaOct 7th, 2021

Mentoring Monday mentors share advice for navigating pandemic

The pandemic has changed business for women. During these challenging times, that’s made mentoring more important than ever......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsFeb 19th, 2021

I"m a kids" soccer referee who"s been threatened with violence by angry parents and coaches. It"s easy to see why there"s a national shortage of officials.

Brian Baer is a referee in eastern New York who's been threatened with gun violence and had to abandon matches and be escorted by police to his car. Brian Baer, third from the right, in a group of referees.Courtesy of Brian Baer Brian Baer is a veteran referee and the president of the Hudson Valley Soccer Referee Association. He said abuse by parents and coaches has always been an issue but post-COVID-19 it's gotten worse. This is his story, as told to writer Elle Hardy. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Brian Baer, the 55-year-old president of the Hudson Valley Soccer Referee Association in New York, about his job. The following has been edited for length and clarity.When my two oldest kids were playing youth soccer in 2004, I decided I wanted to give back a bit to our local community, so I started coaching. Since then, I've become a referee mentor, licensed by US Soccer, and I've moved into officiating soccer matches for youth as well as amateur adult games, which I've been doing for about 15 years now.In 2017, I also became the volunteer president of the Hudson Valley Soccer Referee Association, which assigns more than 400 member referees for the community league.There's currently a real referee shortage for youth and amateur games, and it's come as a one-two punchThe smaller punch was COVID-19. Over the last two-and-a-half years, we've lost a number of senior referees who felt it was probably a good time to step away.But honestly, the bigger punch is the high amount of verbal abuse, harassment, and sometimes even assault that referees have been experiencing, not just in our area but across the country.I've had multiple incidents against me personally and dealt with even more that's happened to other refereesJust the other day, an adult referee in our league was working a boys-under-14 game. He told me he wound up having to send the coach off after cautioning him twice. The match ended up having to be abandoned.One of the team's coaches was yelling and swearing because he disagreed with how the referee was calling the match. The kicker is, after the game while the referee was walking across the field, he had to walk through the spectators to get to his car and they were verbally abusing and harassing him.The actions by the spectators are in clear violation of the eastern New York Youth Soccer Association's zero-tolerance policy.Penalties for this behavior varyCoaches will receive a minimum of one-game suspension, up to a full 10-games or more for poor behavior from themselves or the parents and supporters.If the parents abusing referees can be identified, they can be banned anywhere from two games to life. There have been extreme cases where a coach or spectator has received a year through to life suspensions.Last year, I was physically threatened by a parent whom I'd thrown out of the game He threatened to kick my butt. I asked the coach to take the parent to the parking lot, but then he came back. Keep in mind, the team that the parent was there supporting was actively winning the game — he was just disagreeing with an offside call that we actually got right.After abandoning the match, I dialed 911 and the state police came and wound up escorting us to our cars.Once, while working an amateur adult game, the referee crew and I were threatened with gun violenceA player, after disagreeing with a decision, threatened to go to his car after the game to get his gun and shoot us in the face. Again, we had to abandon the match and walk off the field.I have dozens of stories that are less extreme than those, but just as equally valid and pertinent to why so many referees are leaving the sport.Before COVID-19, abuse usually came down to a lack of knowledge of the laws of the gameThe main issue that seems to get people angry is the offside law. This knowledge hasn't really improved post-COVID-19, but now it seems people are even more aggressive after being cooped up for two years. And they're taking that anger out on the 14- or 15-year-old, brand new referee — and even the 45-year-old, experienced referee.The referee is just there to do a job, which is to make sure the players are safe and that the laws of the game are applied equitably so all players, spectators, and coaches can enjoy the game.In 2017, eastern New York had just over 3,200 referees. Today, we have 1,300.On top of that, there are even more games and tournaments now than there were five years ago, so staffing games is an issue.The average lifespan of a referee in our association is about four to five years — it's usually kids who start at 14 or 15 and referee with us until they go off to college. In my district, about half the referees are teenagers and half are adults.It's not that we can't attract referees — depending on how many games a referee works, they can earn between $80 and $250. The more games you referee, the more you're going to make per match. Equally, the higher age-level games you do, the more you earn. For example, for an under-17 or 18 match, the center referee would earn roughly $90 and the assistant referee would earn half of that. In an under-10 match, you're only earning about $30 per game.The problem is that once they get harassed, they leave, and it makes retention our biggest problem.In order to deal with referee abuse, we've implemented a robust mentoring program in our district Most of the abuse I've seen is during games for players aged nine through 13. It's not just the parents abusing us, but the coaches as well. For some reason, they start to get abusive from under 11s — because by then they've been in the system for a couple of years.We set up a mentorship program to connect more experienced referees with newer hires. They take one weekend off from officiating and provide support to those who are usually younger or less experienced. We're building a community of referees who look after each other.We do an exercise that we call an 'Oreo cookie'This is when we give them two things that they did really well and something that they can improve upon.So, for example, "You blew your whistle very loudly and confidently throughout the game. Coupled with that, you signaled very confidently, too. But what you can improve upon is your positioning on the field during the run of play" — and then give them two or three examples to help them understand. For someone who was already refereeing at a seven, now we want them to bring it to an eight or a nine.It can be challenging, but I still love refereeing. It gives me an opportunity to give back to the sport that I love so much. I'm able to develop future referees and create a safe and healthy environment for players, whether they're eight or 58 years old.Do you have an interesting story to tell related to your job? Email Lauryn Haas at lhaas@insider.com.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 9th, 2022

Drugs, danger, and discrimination: Portland"s strippers describe precarious workplaces despite organizing for better conditions

Dancers in Portland say they still face discrimination and violence at work, from both management and customers, despite years of labor organizing. Stripper Sasha "Vixen" Gold lounges at Guilty Pleasures night club in Portland, Oregon.Sasha "Vixen" Gold Labor organization efforts among Portland strippers have improved some working conditions in the area. Despite their efforts, dancers still report facing discrimination and sexual violence at work.  "Every dancer has something super traumatic they had to go through," a dancer called Mercedes told Insider. While growing mutual aid and labor organization efforts among Portland, Oregon, sex workers have had some success in improving working conditions in the area, multiple dancers told Insider they still have a long way to go as strippers in the area still often face discrimination and violence at work. Dancers said they appreciate their jobs for flexible scheduling and higher than average wages, but making a living in the sex industry comes with painful and dangerous experiences and little support from people outside the industry to manage them.  "I'm not saying this in a bad way, I'm saying most of us bond on the fact that every dancer I've ever met has trauma," a stripper called Mercedes told Insider. "Every dancer has something super traumatic they had to go through and I think that the reason for that is because you have to have a strong mental and thick skin to be able to do this job."Mercedes Mercedes, a Polerotica award-winning pole dancer, has worked at multiple clubs in the Portland area in the past two and a half years. A single mother of one, she relies on her income from both stripping and selling pictures and videos online to provide for herself and her son.Though she loves the artistic and athletic elements of stripping, she described witnessing or experiencing multiple instances of drugging, stalking, and sexual assaults while working. "I have customers and friends of mine getting attacked in clubs because security can't do their job. I'm getting assaulted on a regular fucking basis because management won't keep creepers out," Mercedes said. "There's dudes that I have to basically hide in the dressing room most of the night when they're there because they're fucking stalker types and I don't want anything to do with them."Whether these incidents are well-handled by management, Mercedes said, depends entirely on each individual owner, as there are no set standards for clubs handling handsy, belligerent, or violent customers. The inconsistency between clubs — and the behavior allowed within — can cause problems for strippers working with unclear expectations. "I've not seen a single club in Portland that doesn't secretly have prostitution going on there," Mercedes said. "Not a single one. There's always something."That prostitution goes unchecked at most venues makes dancers who don't engage in full-service sex work less safe, Mercedes said. Customers may expect that they'll be able to purchase sex from strippers and can get violent when told no. "Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to judge because a woman's body is her own. What she does with that is not my business," Mercedes said. "But as a dancer, as an entertainer, a performer, I don't want to compete with prostitutes. If you're going to do that, don't do it at the club."Bunny Bunny, a Black and nonbinary stripper and content creator who has been a sex worker for less than a year, told Insider one of the most common issues they see in clubs is drug use. Though they are regularly misgendered at work and said their race is fetishized by clients, they said the prevalence of drugs makes the club a more dangerous place to work. "I just don't like the whole drug dealing crowd because they're always trying to like push it up on you," Bunny said.At several clubs, Bunny said they have seen dancers dangerously intoxicated at work, with an inconsistent response from management. At one club, they worked with a dancer who was fired for being too intoxicated and causing a scene in a dressing room, while at other venues drinking and drug use from dancers and clients is ignored. Even if the dancers aren't doing drugs themselves, the risk of clients being under the influence can impact them in dangerous ways. Bunny told Insider they once experienced a contact high after the saliva from a client high on cocaine came in contact with their nipples. "Obviously, I didn't ingest it or anything, but it's like, that was so violating to me," Bunny said. Bunny also told Insider that they've seen and heard of manipulation from management to get dancers to perform sexual favors in order to get preferential shifts or receive more lenient treatment when it comes to rules like drug use and prostitution."There's clubs that, like, if you want to actually get good shifts you like have to perform for the owners or the managers or, you know, whoever's making the schedule and a lot of people take advantage of that," Bunny said. "Like, 'how come so and so gets this and I don't' like it should be based on merit or some other fair system. And they say like, 'well, they're playing ball.'""And it's always that stupid fucking euphemism, like, 'Well, if you don't, you just can't hang.'"Stripper Bunny inverted on the pole at Guilty Pleasures night club in Portland, Oregon.BunnySarah Harassment from managers is common among dancers, especially of "minors" — dancers over 18 years old but under the age of 21.Sarah, a dancer for about two years, told Insider that management may use the excuse of "helping" or "mentoring" younger strippers to ultimately take advantage of them, ask for sexual favors, or put them in uncomfortable situations. "One of our daytime managers was like, 'Do you know what happens in a VIP room?' And he was like, 'Portland has like a lot of gray area,'" Sarah said, describing an instance of sexual harassment at work. "And he, one day pulled me into the office, and was just like, 'Oh, I'm just worried about you like pleasing your customers, like I just need to know that they're getting like a good experience so that you can keep them coming back.'"In Portland, dancers who are under 21 years old are not permitted to freely roam the floor and are confined to separate, caged stages when they aren't performing on the main stage. Keeping younger dancers separate also makes them a target for clients who are only interested in their inexperience. "A lot of people are really into the fact that the girls in the cage are all under 21. And it's like a little creepy, but they want someone who's like, just got out of high school, as young as they can get them and there are people who would only hang around the minor stage area," Sarah said. "And I've noticed that some of the customers that liked me when I was under 21 have stopped having as much of an interest in me."VixenVixen, a former firefighter, has only been dancing for four months, but after several interactions with unsupportive management, already strongly feels the need for organization among strippers and other sex workers. "One night, I had a couple of drinks before I went to work so I was a little tipsy while dancing, but one guy snuck a kiss in on my mouth," Vixen said. "And I was the one who got in trouble. The manager acted like I was the one who did it."At 34 years old, working as both a stripper and private lingerie model, Vixen has a protective impulse at the venues she works at, taking younger dancers under her wing even if they have more sex work experience than she does. She looks out for them, making sure they don't drink too much or find themselves in dangerous situations. A caretaking demeanor, she says, which is not appreciated by those in charge. "The managers have called me to the office multiple times now to tell me to stop trying to be a house mom," Vixen said."House moms" are usually experienced strippers or part of the management team who help take care of dancers in the club — the club Vixen works at doesn't have one and, while she isn't trying to fill the role, she doesn't want other dancers to feel like they're alone at work.Instead of encouraging dancers to stick together or look out for one another, Vixen said, management has been discouraging of attempts to get close to other strippers. Though Vixen has only been in sex work for a short time, she's been inspired by the things she has seen in that short time to try to support other sex workers. Since she started stripping, she has created a brand "Respect the Hustler" to try to change the public perception of sex work and promote positivity among dancers. "I think it's important for people to realize that sex workers are real people," Vixen said. "They have real lives they have real families, they're daughters, they're mothers, they're sisters, they're fucking aunties, they're maids on the side, they're watching your kids."Forward MomentumVixen is not alone in her efforts to create resources for strippers and improve the quality of their work life. Mercedes said she someday plans to start her own club with stripper-friendly policies and organizations such as the Haymarket Pole Collective have created funds to provide strippers with basic necessities and mental health support. Despite progress made by individual dancers and organizations designed to help their material conditions, multiple dancers told Insider the attitudes surrounding sex work — both from management and clients — urgently need to change to ensure the safety of strippers and other sex workers. "I don't care if I'm naked. That doesn't mean you get to touch me. I don't care if you're paying me for my entertainment. That's what you're paying me for, is my entertainment. And I feel like a lot of customers get that twisted," Mercedes said. "And I'm nobody's property, no dancer is anybody's property."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 5th, 2022

Luongo On Disney"s Demise: "This Is Not The Way"

Luongo On Disney's Demise: "This Is Not The Way" Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog, We live in an age of maximum arrogance. When you watch companies with some of the most marketable brands in the world torch them on an altar of political correctness, it’s easy to just think them stupid or going with the flow of history. But they aren’t. Because not only do we live in an age of maximal arrogance, we also live in the biggest self-created false realities in human history. It is the height of irony that the biggest brand in storytelling, Disney, has succumbed to its own arrogance and self-delusion, becoming trapped in a false reality that Disney should dictate the direction humanity should accept. That’s what lies at the heart of Disney’s troubles today. It arrogantly believed it has an obligation to decide what is and is not culturally acceptable to a majority of its customers. It completely misread the room in thinking a large percentage of its business comes from the insufferably woke suburban moms who are just as fucked up as the kids they’ve raised. The good news is Disney got the message loud and clear that they are not the arbiters of when it’s appropriate to groom children for adulthood. The bad news is they may not have heard it. Social media, political pressure and simply the massive extended echo chamber that is California politics suffused Disney’s board and its corporate culture with the mind virus of egalitarianism, eschewing any basic faith in humanity itself. Since they’ve rejected all forms of god, or submission to a higher authority that wasn’t man-made, Disney decided it was time to undermine all of its properties by coming out of the closet, as it were. Disney chose poorly. The Phildickian Nightmare Made Real I’m a huge Philip K. Dick fan. Dick wrote dozens of short stories and at least half a dozen important novels focusing on this very problem of false realities leading to a crisis in faith. In Dick’s work those false realities were tangible: You could visit them through drugs or meditation, meet your analogue from an alternate Universe or by nearly dying get trapped in a hellish landscape of someone else’s design. But in reading these tales, we recognize that they exist as metaphor, like all stories do, to teach us lessons about how to navigate our conflicts and emerge transformed into something better. For all of his wacky situations and conceits, Phil Dick’s stories are all about the most important issues we all face: empathy overcoming shame, pride justifying violence, selfishness justifying nihilism. Dick’s protagonists are all suffering basic crises of faith. The modern world has let them down, led them on a false path experiencing deep mid-life bouts of ennui as their carefully constructed coping strategies to numb their pain are shattered. And like all great storytellers Dick chose the fantastical and the weird not just to hide real human stories as enticements, but also, I’d argue, to make them far more memorable than they would have been otherwise. UBIK, for example, has been hailed as one of the greatest novels of the 20th century and whose ideas populate hundreds of derivative works of Hollywood. It’s what we will remember him for. By contrast all of his ‘real world’ literature which covered the same topics, couldn’t get published during his lifetime. The Storyteller’s Apprentice The alchemy of the fantastic with the mundane is what makes for great storytelling. It’s what made Disney into Disney. It’s what gave Dick’s science-fiction work its heft and power. It’s what makes stories something worth retelling. Taken to its extreme stories and legends become something larger than individual chapters. In an oral tradition the stories handed down would morph to suit the challenges of the day, their sequels can and would contradict what came before. Continuity wasn’t a thing. It wasn’t important, what was important was the underlying lessons, the underlying truth. Read any anthology of ancient stories and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. Dick created novels like UBIK and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch to be purposefully insolvable puzzles of nested realities. They can be seen as examples of modern storytellers submitting to the higher power of stories themselves, knowing that the puzzles they present bring people back to them over and over. And guess what? You get exposed, again and again, to the deeper message, the deeper meaning. It’s what happened to me. I used to re-read UBIK every June 5th, the day the novel opens, because the book is that important to me. It’s why we watch beloved movies multiple times. You may have come for the superheroes or the lightsabers but you come back for the story. The point being is that stories which last have resonance and speak truth. Some become so big they grow beyond their origins into something that cannot be untangled. They become myth, legend. When the stories in the Bible or the Norse myths were being passed down through the ages, there wasn’t any care about continuity, only imparting lessons to the next generation who heard them. Jordan Peterson has made the point that it is actually the lack of continuity, the lack of logic, that makes Creation Myths capable of sustaining a culture and a society from falling into chaos and civil war. He frequently uses the example of the Egyptian stories of Osiris, Set and Horus as the big example, which sustained ancient Egypt, apparently, for thousands of years. Even Christianity can’t claim that…yet. This is the responsibility Disney took on when it acquired first Pixar Studios, then Marvel Studios and then, most importantly, Lucasfilm. It already owned ESPN and ABC. It was now a story generating conglomerate so large that it owned all the modern mythmaking franchises sans DC Comics. And with its overtly dipping its wick into the obvious political fray over Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law it betrayed that responsibility as a repository and generator of new stories capable of becoming myth to its core. Disney, who used to stand apart from Hollywood’s descent into depravity and violence, became the ultimate symbol of it overnight. The War Over the Stars Star Wars I would argue, is one example of a modern story which is looked on by many today with that same kind of reverence. Star Wars’ inherent weirdness is what makes it so very accessible. The comic mythologies of Marvel and, in particular, DC have these same echoes. Both have been subverted to serve the ‘Woke’ agenda of the World Economic Forum and their Great Reset of all things human into all things Transhuman, which I’ve discussed at length in the past. It’s also why I think Zack Snyder’s Justice League {ZSJL} was a major turning point in the culture war, because the fans overrode the studio, exposing their betrayal of good storytelling for personal political gain. They butchered ZSJL and its predecessor on purpose to kill the franchise and create something both incomprehensible (Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice) and hollow (2017’s Justice League) That’s how much Warner Bros. executives hate Zack Synder and the basic message of his DCEU films: Chaos is bad, men need to be strong, and unite against madmen who are irredeemable. Management are furious by the runaway success {of ZSJL}, across the globe…This movie touched a deep nerve with a lot of people, especially in China (330 million views in the first 7 days), and whose release, in and of itself, feels like an inflection point. Snyder’s DC films aren’t woke, they are archetypal. The more this story about how Warner Bros’ execs screwing Snyder over gets out, the worse it looks for them and the more momentum the fans have to get stories they want, not the stories the powers want to give them. … or the stories the powers think we need, which is the fine line between propaganda and art. With Warner Brothers Discovery now a reality, everything DC in the pipeline is being retooled and all attempts to leave poison pills behind with billions of dollars tied up in bad projects blocked by new CEO David Zaslav, it’s looking like my call about ZSJL being an inflection point in the culture war was prophetic. Disney hasn’t yet cleaned house and possibly never will. I stopped referring to Star Wars as a fairy tale years ago, recognizing that it has risen for some to the level of Creation Myth. The bitter divide over the Original Trilogy vs. the Sequel Trilogy is a kind of incel version of the Old Testament/New Testament divide. It’s not that Star Wars is a good replacement for these far older, richer stories. It is that Star Wars has become that replacement for too many in our world today. As such, we have to recognize the angst surrounding it is real, even if the reality in which that angst was generated is a false one. They are in need of something more. This is why The Mandalorian was such a hit with all Star Wars fans. It restored some faith. Again from last year’s article on this subject: With two good guys who have deep storytelling chops now effectively running Lucasfilm, Dave Filoni and John Favreau, Star Wars will regain ‘the high ground’ in the culture war over the next decade. Now, today I’m not as sure of this statement as I was then, because Disney’s leadership has shown itself to be so thoroughly compromised. But if Star Wars comes back in full it will be despite the internal war within Disney and Lucasfilm. They will have to respond in part because of the competition on the horizon from Warner Discovery and also because burning Disney to the ground will leave it vulnerable to the same forces which led Elon Musk to buy Twitter. The Way Forward Embedded to the core of Star Wars is this idea of the power of stories to sustain culture. The mythology of the Jedi’s impartiality helped sustain the Old Republic for “a thousand generations,” even as they became hidebound and dogmatic. George Lucas built Star Wars on this idea, a mythology for a culture losing touch with its old traditions. Early returns are that he was successful. Star Wars will have to last a hundred years as a playground for storytellers to acquire even a smidgen of that power. Canonically, the collapse of the Jedi and the cynicism of Luke Skywalker as expressed in The Last Jedi is what spurred Favreau and Filoni to create The Mandalorian and heal the divide in the fanbase. Mando’s story is the opposite of Luke’s: A bad man driven by faith in an ancient creed to protect the innocent Grogu (Baby Yoda). That faith leads him to self-sacrifice but also challenging the creed’s self-negation to plant the seeds of spiritual rebirth in the post-Empire chaos through which hope springs in all of us. The creed he follows is even older than The Republic, a story of the historical conflicts between Mandalorians and Jedi going back 10,000 years. Those stories have sustained the most faithful even through racial purges, deadly civil wars, and the Empire’s turning Mandalore to a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It is truly powerful stuff, of the type new myths are born from. Mando’s story will be finding a new relationship with his creed that restores Mandalore, just like Luke did with the Jedi creed. “This is the way,” has joined “May the Force be with you,” as the rallying cry of a generation of people inspired by a story. To bear the burden of rebuilding a fallen world takes both fortitude and faith, hope and strength. And it shows you just how far Disney has fallen as a company that it succumbed to madness about race, sex and parental rights in service of false realities rather than seek the truth inherent in its own stories. The way out of the crisis is through it. *  *  * Join my Patreon if you want to get real. BTC: 3GSkAe8PhENyMWQb7orjtnJK9VX8mMf7ZfBCH: qq9pvwq26d8fjfk0f6k5mmnn09vzkmeh3sffxd6rytDCR: DsV2x4kJ4gWCPSpHmS4czbLz2fJNqms78oELTC: MWWdCHbMmn1yuyMSZX55ENJnQo8DXCFg5kDASH: XjWQKXJuxYzaNV6WMC4zhuQ43uBw8mN4VaETH: 0x1dd2e6cddb02e3839700b33e9dd45859344c9edcDGB: SXygreEdaAWESbgW6mG15dgfH6qVUE5FSEARRR: zs132w864erce9x8lmcmlnv8vw05p646kp0uxy29q82ak4n9504at0sut3eu3kmscn5yqhtje2yjyv Tyler Durden Wed, 04/27/2022 - 18:45.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 27th, 2022

MoviePass Co-Founder Stacy Spikes Is Trying to Stage a Comeback–and Save Movie Theaters in the Process

Any resemblance to Steve Jobs was unintentional, or so Stacy Spikes claims. Back in February, minutes before Spikes was set to take the stage at Lincoln Center in New York City to announce the resurrection of his old company, MoviePass, he realized he was sweating through his white button-up shirt and jacket. He changed into… Any resemblance to Steve Jobs was unintentional, or so Stacy Spikes claims. Back in February, minutes before Spikes was set to take the stage at Lincoln Center in New York City to announce the resurrection of his old company, MoviePass, he realized he was sweating through his white button-up shirt and jacket. He changed into a more breathable black mock turtleneck, which, on his slim figure, paired with dark jeans, sneakers, and glasses, looked a lot like an homage to the Apple co-founder. “I didn’t want to be thinking, Are they going to see my sweaty pits?” Spikes, 54, says during an interview in a Manhattan office several weeks later. “When people said, ‘That’s very Steve Jobs,’ I was like, ‘Everybody in New York dresses in all black.’” [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Spikes will invite the comparison again when his memoir, Black Founder: The Hidden Power of Being an Outsider, arrives in December. For the stark cover, he wore a nearly identical black shirt. Like Jobs, Spikes built a company from scratch only to be pushed out. Like Jobs, he watched from the sidelines as it fell apart. And like Jobs, he will attempt a triumphant return to the business he built. But while Jobs was self-assured to the point of polarizing colleagues and occasionally the public, Spikes charms you into buying his vision of the future—specifically the future of moviegoing. He asks everyone he meets what films they’ve seen lately. He refuses to disparage a movie (to a journalist, anyway), even when I try to goad him into criticizing some of this year’s Oscar contenders. He’s eager to discuss why his friend might have missed the majesty of Dune’s sandy hills by watching the sci-fi epic at home rather than in an IMAX theater. “An adventure should never come with a pause button,” he says. He loves a dramatic metaphor: during his MoviePass 2.0 presentation, he included a slide of a phoenix rising from the ashes. Read More: 10 Oscar-Nominated Movies and Performances You May Not Have Seen—But Should Most people who are familiar with MoviePass—and it had more than 3 million members at its peak in the late 2010s—probably remember it as the company that offered cardholders the chance to see one movie per day at the theater of their choice for just $9.95 a month, and then predictably crashed and burned when the deal proved too good to be true. For Spikes, the story is more complicated—and more personal. It is one of struggling for years to secure funding, which he attributes at least in part to racial discrimination, and then being ignored when he disagreed with the business plan put forth by the company that bought a majority stake. He illustrated the implosion of MoviePass during his presentation with a picture of the Hindenburg. Spikes is staging a comeback in a radically altered moviegoing environment. COVID-19 scared people away from theaters, and the proliferation of streaming services has kept them on their couches. The 2021 domestic box office, which includes the U.S. and Canada, trailed 2019’s by 60%. “We’re at the point where the industry is willing to try things,” says Daniel Loría, editorial director at Boxoffice Pro. “This is probably the perfect time for MoviePass to come back if it was ever going to come back at all.” In its heyday, Spikes says, MoviePass increased any one user’s moviegoing somewhere between 100% and 144% by incentivizing customers to take risks on movies they wouldn’t otherwise see. Now Spikes believes he can boost attendance again. “We ask, Will anyone go to movies anymore? But we don’t ask that about other events,” he says. “We don’t ask, Is anyone going to go to basketball games anymore? Soccer games? Because you can watch those at home, but the live experience is different.” Spikes is a magnetic pitchman, but it’s impossible to assess the feasibility of his plan. He is still trying to strike deals with theater chains and won’t even specify a date for the product’s release beyond that he’s targeting summer movie season. Perhaps most salient, while he says there will be a tiered pricing plan, he won’t say what those numbers actually are until launch day. He will say this: “It won’t be $10.” Spikes often tells the story about how Blade Runner convinced him he wanted to pack his bags for Hollywood. When he was 14, he watched it in a theater wedged between his father, who fell asleep, and his inattentive brother. “I kept nudging my dad, who was just snoring, and my brother’s like this.” Spikes fidgets in his seat. “And I’m there thinking, How can I be a part of this world?” Spikes worked in a video store as a high schooler in Houston, left Texas for California with just $300 in his pocket, and got a job as a production manager at a production company at 19. He worked briefly on the business side of record companies before helping to market film soundtracks at Sony. By age 27, he was vice president of marketing at Miramax. Illustration by Party of One for TIME But it was films like Dumbo that set him on his career trajectory. “Do you know that Dumbo song with the crows?” he asks, before singing a few bars of that song, the one sung by a bird named Jim Crow. (Disney now runs a warning in front of the movie.) “As a kid, I guess it was supposed to be flattering that you were getting seen in something,” says Spikes. “But as I got older and worked in the movie business, I had this whole different view of what I saw in my childhood.” In 1997, he founded the Urbanworld Film Festival, which featured the works of BIPOC filmmakers, including Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler before they were household names. “I was the Spike Lee of distribution because there was no one of color on that side of the fence,” he says. In 2004, the festival hosted the premiere of the thriller Collateral starring Jamie Foxx, Tom Cruise, and Jada Pinkett Smith. “I felt like I’d summited Everest, but I needed to find what was next.” Read More: Hollywood So Often Gets Black History Wrong. Black Filmmakers Are Setting the Record Straight In 2006, he designed a system that would allow moviegoers to sign up for a subscription and request tickets via text message. There were already subscription services at the movie theater chains in Europe, so Spikes was just introducing the concept to the U.S. “Everyone was like, ‘A subscription? That’s stupid,’” he says. “I was laughed out of conference rooms.” Or worse. For years, he was unable to get funding for his venture. Black entrepreneurs received about 1% of venture-capital funding in 2011, the year he ultimately launched the company. (A decade later, that number has barely ticked up: Black founders received 1.2% of VC funding in the first half of 2021 when startups raised a record-breaking $147 billion.) “When you want access to higher capital, there’s a Black tax on you,” Spikes says. “It was like I had to run faster, climb higher than these guys who had multiple failed businesses. If you don’t look like Mark Zuckerberg, you don’t fit the mold. I saw a lot of people getting funding for worse business ideas, but they dropped out of Stanford, so they got a shot.” Spikes used to bring an analyst named Geoff Kozma with him to pitch meetings to run the numbers in real time. “So Geoff and I walk into the meeting, and the guy walks over to Geoff, puts his hand out, and goes, ‘Stacy, it’s so nice to meet you,’ and Geoff goes, ‘That’s Stacy.’” Kozma was a young white man. “But even after that, at that meeting and a lot of other meetings, Geoff would be sitting there, and the VC guys’ attention would start drifting toward him. They’d start asking him questions instead of me. And I was like, Really?” The rejections were particularly upsetting because, as his current and former co-workers attest, Spikes is obsessed with going to the movies. Ryan McManus, who started as an intern at the first iteration of MoviePass and is now head of product for MoviePass 2.0, has worked with Spikes on and off for nearly a decade. “I’ve saved every movie-ticket stub going back to 2003,” says McManus, “and he was even more passionate about movies than I was.” In 2011, Spikes brought on Hamet Watt as a co-founder, and they were able to raise a combined $1 million from AOL and the venture-capital firm True Ventures. MoviePass launched that year, but five years after that, it still wasn’t profitable. Mitch Lowe, a former Redbox and Netflix executive, acted as an early MoviePass adviser, and found working with Spikes frustrating. But he felt they always had a connection, and agreed to come on board as CEO in 2016. “His main investor brought me in to essentially be his boss,” Lowe says. “That would be hard for anybody. He put his heart and soul into it. But he and I were great partners for that first year and a half, two years.” Liz Hafalia—The San Francisco Chronicle/Getty ImagesMoviePass co-founders Stacy Spikes, left, and Hamet Watt at AMC in San Francisco, Calif., on January 29, 2011. Around that time the company had 20,000 subscribers who were being charged $34.95 to $49.95 per month, and it was still losing about $50,000 to $110,000 per month. Lowe, too, struggled to convince investors that MoviePass had juice. Looking back, he says Spikes may indeed have faced discrimination, but there was clearly a problem with the business proposition as well. “I met with 120 different investors and got no on 120,” Lowe says. “My wife is African American, so I see racism out there. I see the way people are treated. But I would not say that was the only reason. I wasn’t with Stacy in any of his investment meetings, but I can tell you I had 120 nos, and I’m a white guy.” Then, in 2017, the data-analytics firm Helios and Matheson bought 51% of the company for $25 million. To increase subscribers, Helios and Matheson wanted to run a “promotion” dropping the price to $9.95 a month. Spikes, who had experimented with price points ranging from $19.99 to $49.99 over the years, was not wild about the idea. The average movie-ticket price in the U.S. was $8.97, so users would have access to near unlimited movies for just over the price of a single ticket. In the press, Lowe and Ted Farnsworth, CEO of Helios and Matheson, said they hoped MoviePass would work like a gym membership: plenty of people pay the monthly fee and never go, so the gym turns a profit. Here’s the problem: people don’t like running on a treadmill; they do like going to the movies. Still, Spikes says he agreed to the promotion as long as they upped the price again after 100,000 new sign-ups. “It happened in literally 48 hours,” says Spikes. “I was like, ‘Great, turn it off.’ And they were like, ‘No, no, leave it on. See what happens. We know what we’re doing.’” Spikes calculates they were losing $30 per customer per month. Lowe says it was closer to $17. Either way, they were losing money. “The math didn’t work,” says Spikes. In December 2017, the same month MoviePass reached its millionth subscriber, Spikes was removed from the board. The next month, he was informed he was no longer needed at the company. A few days after he was ousted, Spikes went to the movies. “I walk up to the kiosk. And the person on my left pulls out a MoviePass card. The person on my right pulls out a MoviePass card. And they’re literally looking and smiling at each other. And you knew we were all part of something big,” he says. “And I’d created that. I never forgot that feeling.” Read More: The 10 Best Movie Performances of 2021 By the first half of 2018, MoviePass members were buying 6.6% of all movie tickets in the U.S., according to Lowe. But that year, Helios and Matheson reported an estimated net loss of $329.2 million. In 2020, Helios and Matheson filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and in 2021 the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint alleging that the company had failed to secure customer data and had engaged in fraudulent practices like invalidating users’ passwords to try to prevent them from buying too many tickets. The resulting settlement prohibited the company from misrepresenting its practices and required it to put better security programs in place. But by then, MoviePass was long gone: it shuttered in September 2019. (Lowe said he could not comment on the FTC investigation because of a nondisclosure agreement, but blames the demise of MoviePass largely on user fraud—members sharing cards with one another and otherwise bypassing the system. Farnsworth did not respond to requests for comment.) Spikes equates what he experienced with PTSD. “I was licking my wounds for about two months when my wife was like, ‘You need to put some clothes on and get out of the house.’” Then, late last year, he heard from someone working on a documentary about the rise and fall of MoviePass that nobody had bought the company assets during the bankruptcy auction. He called the trustee, who said the minimum bid was $250,000. Spikes talked him down to $140,000. In September 2020, Spikes drove alone from his home in Manhattan to Hoboken, N.J., donned two masks, and sat in a theater with 10 other people to watch the action film Tenet. The next weekend he returned to see it again. “He’s my people, right?” Spikes says of director Christopher Nolan, who very publicly refused to debut his movie on a streaming service. “I told my wife, even if I have to get on a plane to fly to an open theater, I’m going to support this movie. And I’ve been at the movies pretty much every weekend since.” He’s likely one of the few who can make that claim. Movie attendance plummeted during the pandemic: In 2019, 76% of people in the U.S. and Canada saw at least one movie in theaters. In 2021, that number dropped to 47%. People may have gotten used to streaming movies at home, especially since services like Disney+, HBO Max, and Peacock all launched right before or during the pandemic. Every year, the Motion Picture Association releases data on the combined theatrical and home/mobile entertainment market. In 2019, it found that global digital spending (which includes purchases and rentals of movies from companies like Amazon and Apple) made up 48% of the market, theatrical sales made up 42%, and purchases of physical content like DVDs made up 10%. In 2021, digital spending made up 72% of the market, theatrical 21%, and physical content 7%. That digital spending calculation doesn’t even include the money customers pay for subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix. The window between a theatrical release and a streaming release is also shrinking; would-be moviegoers often have to wait only a few weeks to stream a movie like The Batman. The Oscar-winning CODA was released simultaneously on streaming and in theaters, and studios occasionally skip the theater altogether. Spikes dismisses the threat of streaming and compares the situation to when DVDs went mainstream in the late ’90s. “We forget that we were worried people would stay home then too,” he says. But Rich Daughtridge, CEO of the upstart chain Warehouse Cinemas and president of the Independent Cinema Alliance, views the proliferation of streaming differently: “We see our main competition as the couch.” Read More: The 10 Best Movies of 2021 Spikes often touts the loyalty of MoviePass customers. When he first founded the company, he was inspired by Steve Jobs’ biography to suggest that every employee—including himself—spend at least one day per month on the customer-service line. He recalls one not-so-happy customer who dropped her phone while running to the theater and demanded the company buy her a new $600 smartphone. “I was like, ‘But, ma’am, you dropped your phone,’” he says. “I think I gave her a free month.” But more often the calls would turn into discussions about how much MoviePass members adored going to the movies. They hadn’t abandoned cinema because of Netflix. They’d abandoned it because movie tickets had gotten too expensive: movie attendance was already declining before the pandemic even as the box office ballooned, thanks to higher ticket prices. MoviePass’s relatively low (and later, absurdly low) price tag helped increase its customers’ attendance, until those fervent movie-goers quite literally loved MoviePass to death. Persuading moviegoers to return to MoviePass may prove less challenging than wooing movie theaters. MoviePass buys tickets for its users directly from the theater. If it can buy discounted tickets, in exchange for promoting the theater on its app and incentivizing customers to go to the movies on slow-traffic days, the company can flourish. But if it has to pay full price for tickets, it will have to rely heavily on other revenue streams like advertising. Spikes claims that the pandemic has made theaters much more open to MoviePass. “Before, the conversation was ‘Eh,’” says Spikes of his initial proposal in the 2010s. “Now the conversations are, ‘Congratulations on buying it. How soon can you be up?’ So COVID definitely did something it would have taken us years to do.” My exchanges with theaters were more measured. The head of a small theater chain, who asked to remain anonymous because the company is still considering working with Spikes, said the customer-service issues that plagued MoviePass at the end of its first run “left a bad taste in our mouths.” The big chains—AMC, Regal, and Cinemark—declined to comment for this story. Loría of Boxoffice Pro says those chains likely see MoviePass as competition to their own loyalty programs, which were developed, at least to some degree, because of the success of MoviePass 1.0. Spikes is undeterred. He says he’s had preliminary conversations with Cinemark and Regal, but AMC has not responded to his calls: “My feeling is at the beginning there may be some competitiveness, but if you still have empty seats, what do you care? Get bodies in there.” Justin J Wee for TIMESpikes, who has been infatuated with Hollywood since he was a teen, makes weekly trips to the movies. Smaller chains and independent theaters—which make up about 20% of the industry, according to Daughtridge—seem more open to working with MoviePass. Alamo Drafthouse has 36 locations across the country and boasts comfy seats, meals instead of just concessions, and alcohol. The founders pride themselves on exhibiting smaller films that the bigger chains don’t show. In theory, their interest in saving the indie filmgoing experience should align with MoviePass’s mission. According to Lowe, in 2018, MoviePass was buying 30% of all movie tickets sold in the U.S. for smaller films (ones that grossed $20 million or less). “We’ve been quite disruptive in the space,” says Michael Kustermann, the chief experience officer at Alamo. “So I think we were always curious about MoviePass. I think the $9.95 thing was a mistake. But like all good disrupters, there was probably a seed of a great idea that theaters should have been thinking of themselves.” Kustermann says Alamo, which has its own loyalty program, has not yet decided whether it will partner with MoviePass but has not ruled it out. “Instead of being dictatorial about how people get in the door, Alamo focuses more on the experience once they’re in the door.” After all, most theaters make their money on concession sales, and that’s especially true of chains that sell alcohol. “I’m definitely intrigued,” says Daughtridge, of Warehouse Cinemas, which has two theaters in Maryland. He and Spikes have spoken several times about the potential of MoviePass 2.0. “We’re just running the numbers to make sure we don’t cannibalize our own sales.” This summer will prove a crucial test for MoviePass’s viability, as a backlog of delayed blockbusters, like Top Gun: Maverick, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Jurassic World Dominion, debut exclusively in movie theaters. “All the good content had been moved out. So it’s kind of like starving the patient and asking why they’re not gaining any weight,” Spikes says of the box office. Optimistic prognosticators point to Spider-Man: No Way Home, which in December had the second biggest opening weekend in Hollywood history despite premiering during the Omicron surge, as a sign that audiences will come back. But even with that coup, the domestic box office totaled around $4.5 billion last year, compared with $11.4 billion in 2019. About 10% of the estimated 5,500 movie theaters open pre-pandemic in the U.S. closed either temporarily or permanently, according to Comscore, and the theaters that are open today are mostly surviving on a few hits like Spider-Man and The Batman. Cinephiles fear a future in which studios make only superhero films for the big screen and relegate everything else to streaming. MoviePass doesn’t move the needle on the Marvel or Star Wars movies—people are going to come out for those anyway—but it may be able to have a substantial impact in driving ticket sales to indie films, Oscar bait, and documentaries. If MoviePass can scale, then it could play a major role in saving the moviegoing experience. But with just months before launch, MoviePass won’t confirm whether Spikes has brokered any deals at all. MoviePass can exist without theater buy-in, but it’s unclear if it can thrive. To that end, Spikes will try to build a subscriber base quickly with several changes from its original incarnation, including tiered pricing options and in-app credits that customers can earn by watching ads. They will be able to apply these credits toward tickets for friends and family members who don’t subscribe to MoviePass, and, eventually, Spikes says, users will be able to trade credits among themselves via blockchain technology. Customers can also invest as stakeholders in the company. During the MoviePass relaunch presentation, Spikes floated the idea of implementing technology that would track the user’s eyes during an ad and pause the ad if the user looked away or put the phone down. The demo immediately drew comparisons to dystopias like A Clockwork Orange. “I can say it’s given us some level of pause,” Spikes tells me when we meet. “If it’s something that we even decide to deploy, it might be radioactive. So it maybe doesn’t see the light of day.” A month later, he says he’s decided it will not be a part of the app launch this summer, though he may consider integrating it later. It’s clear that Spikes cares deeply about the future of cinema, but he’s also desperate to give the MoviePass story a happy ending. “I sometimes worry if I build something new, someone will take it away from me again,” he admits. Yet he forged ahead with the relaunch. “I knew I could build something again. Because you can’t take my intelligence. You can’t take away my passion.” Read More: People Longing for Movie Theaters During the 1918 Flu Pandemic Feels Very Familiar in 2021 If MoviePass succeeds, Spikes will be vindicated. Lowe and others who pushed him out will be cast as the obstacles he had to overcome to make his comeback. I ask Lowe how he feels about his role in that potential narrative. “I’d be so happy for his success in this,” he says. “It wouldn’t bother me at all for people to say that he told me so.” With reporting by Mariah Espada.....»»

Category: topSource: timeApr 27th, 2022

5 reasons narcissists are successful at work — and what you can learn from them

Narcissists' ability to dominate workplace politics can help get them noticed and promoted to leadership roles, says psychotherapist Amy Morin. Narcissists can be very charismatic and are adept at playing office politics, says psychotherapist Amy Morin (author not pictured).Hinterhaus Productions/Getty Images Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, author, and the host of "The Verywell Mind Podcast." She says despite their negative traits, narcissists can often be very successful in the workplace. This is due to their charisma, extreme self-confidence, and willingness to take big risks. It's tough to work with a narcissist, but it can be even tougher watching them get ahead at work as a result of their narcissistic behavior. Author Amy Morin.Courtesy of Amy MorinHowever, it's common for narcissists to succeed in the workplace. Research shows narcissists tend to get paid more and may be more likely to get promoted to leadership positions.Here's how narcissists manage to get ahead at work.1. They embellish their accomplishmentsYou'll never catch a narcissist downplaying their success. Instead, they'll typically overstate their achievements and exaggerate the role they play in the company's overall success.While you might see right through their boastful comments, not everyone will recognize their gloating. Narcissists are charismatic and can charm many people into believing them, so some people will be impressed by a narcissist's grandstanding.2. They take big risksWhether they're going after the biggest deal in company history or employing a strategy that's never worked in the past, narcissists take huge risks. And of course, some of those risks will pay off.Even when others warn them that their tactics aren't likely to work out, they remain steadfast in their position. They're so intent on gaining attention for their good work they'll do whatever it takes to succeed.3. They're good political actorsA narcissist won't waste their time mentoring a junior-level employee or talking to colleagues unless it's going to somehow advance their own career. At work, narcissists know who to take advantage of and who to flatter.A 2018 study published in the Personality and Individual Differences journal found that individuals with 'dark personality' — a.k.a., socially aversive traits like narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism — know how to play the political game. Researchers found that these individuals consider themselves superior and feel entitled to certain privileges. The study also found that these people "seek to obtain favors by flattering others and pretending to like them" and have a ready "willingness to exploit others."By nature, narcissists lack empathy, so they're not invested in supporting others or caring how other people feel. Consequently, they're more likely to use colleagues to advance their own agendas without feeling bad about who they hurt in the process.4. They believe in themselves Self-doubt keeps a lot of people from reaching their greatest potential. But a narcissist believes they're the best and that arrogance helps them achieve many of their goals.Whether they're applying for a promotion or launching a new product, they're convinced that they'll succeed. Their unwavering belief in themselves goes a long way toward helping them advance in the workplace.5. They're undeterred by rejectionRejection doesn't make them question themselves. Instead, they'll question the person who rejected them. They're more likely to think, "That person doesn't recognize talent when they see it" rather than, "I'm not the best candidate for the job." When faced with a public rejection, they'll likely make an excuse or publicly discredit the person who rejected them. Then, they'll likely vow to try again with more determination than ever before. Dealing with the frustrationIt's frustrating to watch someone with a superiority complex skyrocket themselves to the front of the line. Still, there may be times when you can learn from this behavior — watching a narcissist take risks or own their success might inspire you to step up sometimes, too.However, don't let yourself get too distracted by their behavior. Stay focused on what you can control — your attitude and effort when it comes to your own work.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 26th, 2022

Gilad Nahari joins AMA Group LA Senior Leadership

AMA Group, a nationwide industry leader committed to providing technologically sophisticated and solution-oriented engineering design and implementation, is pleased to announce that Gilad Nahari has joined the Los Angeles Senior Leadership Team! As a Managing Principal, Gilad will work closely with the existing leadership of Dawn MacFadyen and Chris Carson,... The post Gilad Nahari joins AMA Group LA Senior Leadership appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. AMA Group, a nationwide industry leader committed to providing technologically sophisticated and solution-oriented engineering design and implementation, is pleased to announce that Gilad Nahari has joined the Los Angeles Senior Leadership Team! As a Managing Principal, Gilad will work closely with the existing leadership of Dawn MacFadyen and Chris Carson, tasked with assisting in expanding in the office as well as take a more active role in operations and mentorship, both of which are integral to the firm’s continued growth. Gilad Nahari Gilad comes to AMA Group with over 25 years of experience in creative mechanical engineering, including a broad understanding of sustainability and energy efficiency. Most recently, he served as the President of IDiaz Design, an engineering and consulting firm he founded in 2012, and where he specialized in delivering top engineering design practices worldwide for a variety of commercial and residential projects while consulting considerably on sustainable design, energy modeling and LEED certification. Gilad has global experience, having worked on projects in Chicago, Israel, Equatorial Guinea and other international locations. This body of work also includes sustainable initiatives and practices, ranging from solar thermal and power plants to gray water recycling systems. This in-depth knowledge and expertise, combined with his own creativity, work ethic and entrepreneurship, has resulted in the mastery of his craft across numerous sectors and a unique understanding of how to engage clients. “We are thrilled to welcome Gilad to our west coast leadership team and look forward to leveraging his knowledge and experience throughout the organization,” said Arthur Metzler, CEO of AMA Group. “His extensive experience in multiple facets of the industry plus his unique global background and leadership will make him a great asset to AMA Group. The firm takes pride in our ability to design complex spaces and Gilad’s experience and mentorship will be integral to our growth.” Nahari will continue to exemplify his leadership and ability to foster strategic growth for both himself and the team. With several years of proven success in understanding clients’ business goals and using collaboration, innovation and outstanding engineering to achieve those goals, he is uniquely qualified for these responsibilities. “With the current demand of highly complex and advanced spaces that have defined the workplace, I address technical, cost and schedule concerns during the design phase in order to minimize any potential issues which might arise during construction. I also thrive on mentoring the next generation of engineers and leadership, and as such, given AMA Group commitment to continued growth, I feel my skill set is perfectly suited for the challenges” said Nahari. The post Gilad Nahari joins AMA Group LA Senior Leadership appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyFeb 24th, 2022

Top 20 Media Stories CNN"s Brian Stelter "Overlooked" On His Show Dedicated To Media Stories

Top 20 Media Stories CNN's Brian Stelter 'Overlooked' On His Show Dedicated To Media Stories Of all the year-end roundups coming out, the one that caught our eye for pointing out the worst examples of MSM hypocrisy comes from Joseph A. Wulfohn via Fox News, who notes the top 20 major media stories that were utterly ignored by CNN's Brian Stelter - whose entire job is to cover controversies involving the media. Yet, "Stelter turned a blind eye to many headlines that were far from flattering to his liberal allies in the industry," writes Wulfohn - who notes that this is nothing new for the CNN host. "Most famously, he completely avoided ABC News' shocking coverup of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, omitting it from his "top ten media stories" of 2019." Without further ado, here are 2021's top 20 major media stories ignored by Brian Stelter: Judge bans MSNBC from the Kyle Rittenhouse trial The entire nation was intensely monitoring the trial of teenager Kyle Rittenhouse, who was charged with murdering two people amid the Kenosha riots following the 2020 police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake. But the day before Rittenhouse was acquitted on all counts, Judge Bruce Schroeder made headlines by barring MSNBC from the courthouse after police caught a freelance NBC News producer following the jury bus when he ran a red light.  Stelter swept the controversy plaguing CNN's closest liberal competitor under the rug. -Fox News In fact, CNN has essentially sheltered MSNBC from scrutiny - which has appeared just 34 times in Reliable Sources' 2021 transcripts vs. Fox News, which appeared 695 times (via Grabien search results). Stelter ignored Joy Reid's spat with rapper Nicki Minaj over her vaccine hesitancy, as well as MSNBC analyst and NYT editorial board member Mara Gay, when she said that the sight of American flags on the back of trucks was "disturbing," which caused the Times to issue a statement in her defense. Yet, crickets from Stelter. As Wulfohn notes, the respect seems to be mutual, as MSNBC offers 'little to no coverage' of any controversy at CNN. Trump-era media narratives that fell apart  In March, the media pundit avoided the Washington Post's major correction to its bombshell January report about a phone call between then-President Donald Trump and a Georgia elections investigator, urging her to "find the fraud" and that she would be a "national hero" if she did, which turned out to be not true. WASHINGTON POST PANNED FOR MASSIVE CORRECTION TO TRUMP-GEORGIA ELECTION STORY: 'SO, THEY MADE UP QUOTES' The CNN star had nothing to say about the collapsed narrative alleging Trump ordered Lafayette Square Park to be cleared of protesters so he could pose in front of the riot-torched St. John's Church last year. An inspector general investigation concluded U.S. Park Police and the U.S. Secret Service deemed it necessary to remove protestors from the park in order to install anti-scale fencing. -Fox News The Washington Post issues stunning corrections on articles involving the Steele dossier Yet, Stelter couldn't be bothered when the dossier his network breathlessly peddled was completely debunked after Christopher Steele source Igor Danchenko was accused of lying to the FBI, leading to a flood of corrections from WaPo. The first two stories, published in March 2017 and February 2019, were changed when the newspaper’s executive editor, Sally Buzbee, said she could no longer stand by their accuracy. The Post added editor’s notes, amended headlines, removed sections identifying Sergei Millian as the source and deleted an accompanying video summarizing the articles.  Lengthy editor's notes were additionally placed on at least 14 other articles.  The Steele dossier helped fuel the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy for years and dominated CNN and MSNBC's coverage. -Fox News The New York Times forced to admit Babylon Bee is not ‘misinformation’ This one was a biggie - after the Times ran a story in March characterizing the satire site The Babylon Bee as "misinformation." In fact, they called it a "far-right misinformation site" that "sometimes trafficked in misinformation under the guise of satire." Under the threat of a lawsuit, the Times issued a correction in June which backpedaled their claim. "An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to the Babylon Bee, a right-leaning satirical website, and a controversy regarding the handling of its content by Facebook and the fact-checking site Snopes. While both Facebook and Snopes previously have classified some Babylon Bee articles as misinformation, rather than satire, they have dropped those claims, and the Babylon Bee denies that it has trafficked in misinformation," reads the correction. Paging Stelter? Nope. Don Lemon's texts emerge during the Jussie Smollett trial Former "Empire" star Jussie Smollett shocked the nation in 2019 when he claimed he was the victim of a vicious hate crime in Chicago, which the national media hyped while offering little to no skepticism. It wasn't long before Chicago Police Department suspected Smollett had orchestrated a hoax.  Nearly three years later, Smollett stood trial and was ultimately convicted on five counts of disorderly conduct. However, before the verdict was in, Smollett revealed during his testimony that he was tipped off about the CPD's doubts into his claims by his pal, CNN anchor Don Lemon. -Fox News Neither Lemon nor Stelter mentioned the incident on their CNN shows. The turmoil of The Lincoln Project If CNN is the king of propaganda, anti-Trump PAC The Lincoln Project is a close second. They also have a pedophile problem in common. In January, news broke that Lincoln Project co-founder John Weaver was accused of sexually harassing 20 young men online, one of whom was just 14 when it began. All of Weaver's former colleagues denied knowledge of the predatory behavior, and Weaver himself has since resigned and vanished from the public. In addition to ignoring this, Stelter also failed to mention questions over the group's murky financial dealings - and where millions of dollars raised to fight Trumpism actually ended up. The marathon of controversies sparked an exodus among the group's prominent leaders and even calls from co-founder George Conway, who had left the group in 2020, to be shut down.  However, the Lincoln Project was able to weather the storm and managed to keep the lights on thanks to the lack of media coverage its scandals received.  More recently, Stelter failed to address the Lincoln Project's widely panned race stunt it took credit for in the days leading up to the Virginia gubernatorial election. In a move that co-founder Steve Schmidt even condemned as "recklessly stupid," the Lincoln Project sent five people – one of them a Black man – to dress as Tiki-torch bearing White nationalists in front of Republican Glenn Youngkin's campaign bus in Charlottesville, in what was viewed as a desperate smear effort to liken his supporters to racists. -Fox News USA Today allows Stacey Abrams to stealth-edit column to water down past support for Georgia boycott This spring, Georgia was at the center of an intense national debate over its election reform legislation that was signed into law after the 2020 election with prominent Democrats calling it racist and comparing it to "Jim Crow." A movement to boycott the Peach State was ignited and one of its backers appeared to be Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.  In an op-ed published by USA Today in March 31, Abrams argued that boycotts were an effective form of protest, writing, "The impassioned response to the racist, classist bill that is now the law of Georgia is to boycott in order to achieve change." But after Major League Baseball announced it was moving its All-Star Game out of Atlanta, Abram's op-ed went through a stunning transformation, watering down her support for boycotts historically without issuing any editor's note acknowledging the changes. A spokesperson for Gannett, USA Today's parent company, told Fox News, "We regret the oversight in updating the Stacey Abrams column. As soon as we recognized there was no editor’s note, we added it to the page to reflect her changes. We have reviewed our procedures to ensure this does not occur again." The journalistic malpractice was ultimately ignored by CNN's media hall monitor. -Fox News Joe Rogan's explosive interview with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta This one might actually be #1, as podcast giant Joe Rogan cornered CNN's top doc over the network's disingenuous framing of Ivermectin as a 'horse dewormer.' "Calling it a horse de-wormer is not the most flattering thing, I get that," said Gupta. "It's a lie on a news network - and it's a lie that they're conscious of. It's not a mistake. They're unfavorably framing it as veterinary medicine," Rogan shot back. "Why would you say that when you're talking about a drug that's been given out to billions and billions of people? A drug that was responsible for one of the inventors winning the Nobel Prize in 2015?" the 54-year-old Rogan continued. "A drug that has been shown to stop viral replication in vitro - you know that, right? Why would they lie and say that's horse de-wormer? I can afford people medicine, motherfucker. This is ridiculous." Watch: Joe Rogan asks Sanjay Gupta if it bothers him that CNN outright lied about Rogan taking horse dewormer to recover from covid. This is fantastic: pic.twitter.com/PEgJqIXhSD — Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 14, 2021 CNN then doubled down on their stupidity, issuing a statement which said "The only thing CNN did wrong here was bruise the ego of a popular podcaster who pushed dangerous conspiracy theories and risked the lives of millions of people in doing so." Radio silence from Stelter... Rolling Stone, MSNBC stars peddle false narrative of ivermectin overdoses overwhelming Oklahoma hospitals After Joe Rogan announced that he'd kicked Covid in just a few days using a cocktail of drugs, including Ivermectin - an anti-parasitic prescribed for humans for over 35 years, with over 4 billion doses administered (and most recently as a Covid-19 treatment), the left quickly started mocking Rogan for having taken a 'horse dewormer' due to its dual use in livestock. Rolling Stone's Jon Blistein led the charge: Then, Rolling Stone's Peter Wade took another stab - publishing a hit piece claiming that Oklahoma ERs were overflowing with people 'overdosing on horse dewormer.' As people take the drug, McElyea said patients have arrived at hospitals with negative reactions like nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, and cramping — or even loss of sight. “The scariest one that I’ve heard of and seen is people coming in with vision loss,” the doctor said. -Rolling Stone It was all a lie...  as NHS Sequoyah, located in Sallisaw, Oklahoma - issued a statement disavowing McElyea's claims. Of course, the lie was peddled by MSM notables, including Rachel Maddow and Joy Reid. Stelter? Reliable sources? His job running cover, as opposed to exposing MSM lies should be clear as day by now. New York Times sports reporter ousted after failing to disclose book deal with Michael Phelps New York Times sports reporter Karen Crouse landed herself in hot water in July for failing to disclose the book deal she made with Michael Phelps while she herself was covering the Olympic swimmer.  In June, Crouse authored a glowing piece that painted the 23-time gold medalist in a highly positive light with multiple tidbits about Phelps mentoring youth athletes.  But a month after the piece was initially published, it was updated with a scathing editor’s note.  "After this article was published, editors learned that the reporter had entered an agreement to co-write a book with Michael Phelps. If editors had been aware of the conflict, the reporter would not have been given the assignment," the editor's note read. "Our guidelines state that no staff member may serve as a ghost writer or co-author for individuals who figure or are likely to figure in coverage they provide, edit, package or supervise," a New York Times spokesperson told Fox News. "As the editors’ note makes clear, the arrangement was a conflict of interest. This was a significant lapse in judgment. We are reviewing this matter and will take appropriate action once the investigation has concluded." After initially being suspended, Crouse announced weeks later she was leaving the Times after 16 years with the paper. The controversy received no on-air mention by Stelter, a former media reporter for the Times. -Fox News USA Today botches fact-check claiming Biden didn't check his watch during dignified transfer ceremony "Stelter typically reveres fact-checks conducted by his media allies, but there was one in particular that mysteriously never reached the "Reliable Sources" radar," writes Wulfohn. Biden was slammed by Gold Star families after he checked his watch several times during a ceremony for 13 service members that were killed during his botched Afghanistan pullout. Gold Star Father Darin Hoover, whose son Marine Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover was killed in Kabul, alleges that President Biden looked down at his watch when all 13 fallen service members arrived at Dover Air Force Base: "That happened on every single one of them." pic.twitter.com/PC83XWNWsx — Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 31, 2021 USA Today attempted to "fact-check" the report, claiming that Biden had only checked his watch after the ceremony. Not so. And USA Today was forced to issue a correction which read: "This story was updated Sept. 2 to note that Biden checked his watch multiple times at the dignified transfer event, including during the ceremony itself." Meghan McCain's dramatic exit from "The View" 2021 was a year of many high-profile media departures, among them the exit of "The View" co-host Meghan McCain.  McCain turned the ABC daytime talk show into must-watch television for the on-air clashes she had with her liberal co-hosts throughout much of the Trump administration, as well as the first six months into the Biden administration.  While she was vocal with her opposition to Trump, her conservative stance was repeatedly met with hostility from Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin.  But McCain's exit received no mention on "Reliable Sources." -Fox News Jeffrey Toobin's awkward return to CNN Need we say more? Stelter certainly didn't. We just want to reintroduce Jeffry Toobin after a bit of a hiatus *fap fap fap fap* Jeffrey had to take time off *fap fap fap* After an unfortunate incident during *fap … fap fap* A zoom meeting. Welcome back, Jeffrey. *fapfapfap* Jeffrey, stop pic.twitter.com/piS3vp778L — Geoffrey Ingersoll (@GPIngersoll) June 10, 2021 Chris Cuomo's mounting scandals When CNN announced it had fired its primetime star Chris Cuomo after the network learned of a second sexual harassment allegation leveled against him, Stelter spoke critically of his fallen colleague and the "headaches" he created for CNN as he aided his brother, now-ousted Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. This, however, was a drastic shift in tone since the CNN lackey spent months defending the anchor and downplaying the blatant violation of journalistic ethics, most infamously on "The Late Show." But while Stelter was occasionally forced to address the Cuomo saga on "Reliable Sources," there were other controversies that plagued the CNN host he overlooked. For example, he made no mention of Cuomo's first accuser, veteran TV producer Shelley Ross, who alleged that he grabbed her buttock at a 2005 work function when the two of them were colleagues at ABC News. -Fox News And finally... CNN's own producer arrested for child sex crimes The "Reliable Sources" host would be the first to revel whenever an employee at a conservative media outlet landed in hot water, but he was noticeably mum about the alleged pedophile walking the halls of CNN. John Griffin, a senior producer for CNN's flagship morning program "New Day," was arrested by the FBI after a grand jury in Vermont indicted him for shocking child sex crimes.  After initially being suspended, Griffin was later fired by CNN.  "The charges against Mr. Griffin are deeply disturbing. We learned of his arrest Friday afternoon and terminated his employment Monday," a CNN spokesperson told Fox News Digital. -Fox News And, as usual, silence from Stelter! Tyler Durden Mon, 12/27/2021 - 13:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 27th, 2021

I"m a personal sign language interpreter for actor and model Nyle DiMarco. I get to travel the world, interpret fun questions from fans, and attend celebrity events - here"s what it"s like.

"If people swear when they're talking, I sign it. It's my job to be faithful to the message," says interpreter Grey Van Pelt. Model Nyle DiMarco and interpreter Grey Van Pelt. Nyle DiMarco Grey Van Pelt, 31, is the personal interpreter for deaf American model, actor, and activist Nyle DiMarco. Van Pelt has been traveling and working with DiMarco for 3 years, and says his favorite moments to interpret are fan interactions. This is what his job is like, as told to freelance writer Claire Turrell. This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Tom Kerss, a Grey Van Pelt, a sign language interpreter, about his career. It has been edited for length and clarity.When I was a kid, I loved the circus. I watched the Cirque Du Soleil film by Franco Dragone called "Alegria," in which there's a deaf clown who meets a girl and signs to her underneath the bleachers. I asked my mother what he was doing and she told me it was called sign language. She bought me a book about it, and then I found out there was a class I could take. When I saw the way two people can come together with sign language, and the way it makes the space between a picture, I thought it was the most beautiful thing. In college, I studied American Sign Language (ASL) for interpreting. Three years after graduating, in August 2017, I founded my agency, Flamingo Interpreting, to bring together interpreters to work as a collective and book gigs in the corporate or entertainment world. I first met Nyle DiMarco three years ago in New York, after his manager called my agency to book an interpreter. The first job I did with him was a business meeting in New York, the second was his TEDx Talk in Austria. Grey Van Pelt (right), Nyle DiMarco, and a colleague at a UN conference in Portugal. Sami Housman As Nyle comes from a multigenerational deaf family, he's incredibly fluent. I joke that he signs like butter. He can easily move between ASL grammatical structure and English grammatical structure and also plays with sign in really interesting ways. He's incredible at communicating and always makes sure I don't trip up. There are times when I have to go back and study Nyle a little bit. When we have an event about a certain project that he previously worked on, I'll go through past interviews and refresh. He was the producer for the Netflix show 'Deaf U' and the movie 'Audible' and he runs the Nyle DiMarco Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the deaf community. If there are specific people Nyle's going to meet, I research their background and watch videos of them to get a sense of their voice. Van Pelt (right) interprets for DiMarco during an event for ARN pride in the Canary Islands. Model Grey Van Pelt and interpreter Nyle DiMarco. That way, I'm not just trying to understand their personality for the first time at a cocktail party. I will read Nyle's signs and say out loud to the guest or interviewer what Nyle signed, then sign their response back to Nyle.When I'm interpreting what someone is saying back to Nyle, they often ask me if they need to talk more slowly. Nyle's manager quips that seeing as I'm a New Yorker we sign quickly, but I have the deaf community to thank for every bit of fluency I have. There are tons of words that don't have a sign in ASL, and one of my favorite challenges is conceptualizing words that don't have a specific sign. If people swear when they're talking, I sign it. It's my job to be faithful to the message.There isn't a course on how to be a personal interpreter, but personal interpreting is such a niche field that you start meeting fellow interpreters while working, and we all call on each other if we have any questions. The highs of being a personal interpreter is that it will take you to some of the most sacred moments of humanity. The lows are that it's hard to see a community that you work with - especially a community that offers brilliant artists, creatives, and academics - be oppressed, simply because they use a different language. It's so hard sometimes to interpret a message that includes heavy undertones of injustice or is problematic. It's very hard to do. Compared to working with someone in the corporate world, working with a celebrity has more external pressure. Interpreting at the Life Ball charity event in Vienna. Model Grey Van Pelt and interpreter Nyle DiMarco. Most of the time, meeting with a corporate client about their quarterly taxes is not going to be live-streamed on Facebook, like it is with a celebrity doing a fan Q&A.Some of my favorite times to interpret are when Nyle meets his fans. At an interview people will ask similar questions like 'What sort of struggles did you have growing up,' but when we meet a fan on the street, they'll ask 'What brand of teeth whitener do you use?' or 'Tell us about your DWTS partner Peta [Murgatroyd], is she really that great?"Depending on the season, I work with Nyle up to six days a week.Sometimes we'll be travelling for a month together, as we did around Europe just before the pandemic. Then other times, when he's working on projects and has less meetings, he doesn't need me as much, so I work with other clients. On a typical day if I'm traveling with Nyle, I wake at 6 a.m. to find some coffee, while Nyle will already be at the gym. We discuss the day's plans over breakfast, then usually have a couple of meetings before going to a venue or event. I will already have done my prep. At the end of the day, I go to the gym for two hours in the evening to mentally unplug from translating all day. There are a lot of interpreters who often don't want to speak at the end of the day because they've already been talking for hours. Even when it's challenging, I'm so thankful for my job as an interpreter and look forward to something interesting happening every day. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 31st, 2021

A Bank of America exec says she likes to ask job candidates about times they"ve showed initiative. Here"s how you should answer.

"It isn't about past work experience," Bank of America's Katy Ingle said - it could be about a sports team you play in, or any volunteering you do. Katy Ingle, head of diversity and inclusion EMEA, Bank of America. Bank of America. Insider asked Bank of America exec Katy Ingle what question she asks during job interviews. Ingle said she is very focused on what "initiative" an applicant can show. That's often about what you do outside of work, such as playing sports or volunteering, she said. A lot of executives have a favorite interview question for prospective employees. Virgin founder Richard Branson has said that asking people "what didn't you get the chance to include on your CV?" helps him gain a better understanding of a candidate. Oprah Winfrey's "What's your spiritual practice?" aims to bring out a person's "inner relationship with themself." The aim is the same: to find out whether a candidate is a good fit.Insider asked Katy Ingle, Bank of America's head of diversity and inclusion for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, what questions she asks during interviews, and what applicants should know if they apply for a role at the bank. Ingle said that she was very focused on what "initiative" a person has shown. That's not necessarily about their work experience, but about the skills that they can apply to their future job, she said."So for me it's around, can you talk about your outside activities, your outside interests, your passions. What can you bring to the table?" said Ingle. "That can be a good question for asking young people."Ingle said that in the past, when she has asked people "what skills can you bring?" during mentoring or classroom sessions, she has been met by blank stares. Asking a person about their interests, however, or what sports teams they're in, can prompt a different response. "You start to see those animated people looking at you saying 'oh yeah I'm the captain of a football team' or whatever it may be. Then you start to say, well think about the skills; there's leadership, teamwork, and collaboration," she said.In terms of answering a question about initiative and skills, Ingle said that it's important to be your "authentic self." There is no perfect response, she added. "It doesn't have to be a sports club, it might be that they're a carer for a family member that they're able to say my skill set is organization or coordination," Ingle said. If people don't have that, they can use volunteering as a way of showing initiative, she said. "You can bring skills to the table and we can develop your knowledge," she said.It's important to find a balance between the personal and the professionalA survey of 500 US professionals suggested that "Tell me about yourself" was the most common question asked by recruiters during an interview in 2021. Research suggests you should speak at a steady pace when answering questions in order to seem more calm, and resist the urge to "humblebrag" about your achievements. Actively asking relevant questions in return can make you look more prepared. Ingle agreed that finding a balance between your professional and personal life is important. "They should definitely have read up about the organisation and be able to demonstrate that they've done some reading and some preparation for the interview. They should be able to articulate what they've seen or heard, and to put that into context," she said.She also said that finding the right mentors and having an open mind are important if you want to climb the career ladder.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 26th, 2021

Interview With Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev From The CNBC Disruptor 50 Summit

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Vlad Tenev, Robinhood Co-Founder & CEO, live during the CNBC Disruptor 50 Summit today. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Interview With Robinhood Co-Founder & CEO Vlad Tenev JIM CRAMER: Thank you so much, Vlad. I am so glad you’re with us. How […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Vlad Tenev, Robinhood Co-Founder & CEO, live during the CNBC Disruptor 50 Summit today. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Interview With Robinhood Co-Founder & CEO Vlad Tenev JIM CRAMER: Thank you so much, Vlad. I am so glad you're with us. How have you been? VLAD TENEV: I'm glad to be with you, Jim. Good to see you again. CRAMER: Alright, so let's get the zeitgeist of Robinhood. When I first met you, had a great app, you thought that people would be attracted to, it younger people. Younger people have been completely turned off from the market for years. Where are we now between when I saw you as a disruptor multiple years ago and your current status of business? TENEV: Well I think it's fair to say that investing has become culturally relevant. It's everywhere. People are talking about investing like they do their other financial needs – spending and saving. And Robinhood has grown tremendously. Over 22 million customers use the platform as of Q2 and, you know, despite the growth, we still feel like we're just at the beginning and there's so many people out there that are still not investing. Over half of Americans don't have any investments outside of their individual retirement accounts or 401ks. And nearly 70% of 18 to 29 year-olds have no investments whatsoever, not to mention a lot of people globally who lack access to a functional banking system. So I think the trends are going in the right direction and we see a huge opportunity to continue democratizing and democratizing safely. And we see a world where nearly everyone is investing in some form or fashion. CRAMER: You and I have both agreed that democratization is the greatest force in finance in this period, but I want to be sure it's democratizing correctly. You mentioned people are investing. If you looked at your book of business, we learned from Gary Gensler, the Chairman of the SEC, this week average customer 31 years old, median account balance $240. How much of that money, and it's all hard earned of course, is in option trading, in crypto trading, or investing in common stocks? TENEV: Yeah, so the bulk of the activity has been investing in common stocks in terms of assets on the platform. Relatively few customers are pattern day traders, I think the number is 2% or so. We have customers trading options, but that's a relatively small percentage as well. A little bit over 10% on a typical month. So, the bulk of the activity is equities. And, you know, we definitely see an increasing interest this year in cryptos as well as that asset has become a little bit more mainstream. And the philosophy is to allow access to these assets at the lowest possible cost, make it available to people on a level playing field, but also do that safely. You know, it's incredibly important to provide the customer support, the stability, the high quality infrastructure and the educational content to make sure that the people that are investing, a large portion of whom are first time investors, are in the best possible position to succeed. So we absolutely believe in democratization. And you've heard me say this a bunch of times, but it has to be done safely and we recognize that responsibility. We've actually spent a lot of effort this year, and all the way through the pandemic, in making sure that we make lots and lots of investments to put our customers in the best possible position to succeed. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, we announced rolling out 24/7 customer support via voice for everyone using the app and doing that across every issue for logged in customers. And I think it's hard to overstate how challenging it is to do that at scale, and do it in a high quality way. And I believe we also became one of the first, if not the first, in the cryptocurrency market to offer 24/7 voice support to all customers. CRAMER: Well let’s talk about, before we talk about the single source of truth and safety, which I know you have adopted to because you had to after what happened in the events in January. We'll get to those in a moment. How do we, you and I, if we were brainstorming, keep people doing responsible things when it comes to crypto? We've got some cryptos that are named after dogs and then we have actually dog variations. There's mutts, I mean, there's some of this stuff you put to sleep? I’m against that, I own a lot of adopted dogs. But I am concerned that you and I both know that a market itself could be irresponsible and there's nothing you can do. You can't tell people, I don't want you to buy a slice of crypto. How are you engaged in trying to make people more wise and how much of what you see in crypto would you describe as speculation as opposed to investment? TENEV: Yeah, I think this is a tricky balance in the business, right. And, you know, a lot of things that end up being quite serious in a bigger and bigger part of the financial system started out being underestimated and, you know, made fun of and ridiculed in some sense. So I think it's important to have that perspective and be balanced. And the way that we approach it is of course by clearly articulating what our values are. And you've heard me mentioned, our value of safety first, our top value. And, you know, the way we operationalize that through the product is to make sure that of the assets we list, we make it clear to customers what the asset is, in certain cases, this year earlier, we launched information labels on certain assets like volatile, exchange traded products, or companies that have entered bankruptcy or companies or products that are undergoing volatility. So it's important to inform people of what's going on and give people that information and it's a delicate balance because some people, a lot of people, actually do understand what they're doing and they know exactly what these products are, and they'd like to have exposure to them, alongside their other investments. And we have to make sure we allow that and sort of make sure the happy path of people who are responsibly interested in diversifying and having exposure to cryptocurrencies and different assets have the ability to do that through our product and have an excellent experience doing it as well. CRAMER: Alright, I know that is definitely your duty and you're fulfilling it. Let's talk about the report that came out. This is the staff report on equity and options market structuring conditions early 2021. I’m calling it the report. You and I have both read it. I want to dive into my first takeaway is that a lot of people who felt that there was a vast conspiracy of people – Citadel, for instance. You, me. That we were all somehow in on it to hurt people. I think that this report represents a complete vindication of that and if you feel that way, tell me why you think so. TENEV: Well, of course. You and I probably already knew that. And there's a lot of people on the internet that are going to be difficult to convince one way or another. I think, misinformation on the internet has been a big issue of our time. Of course, as I said and a bunch of TV interviews around that time and I know you and I have made it into some memes together on the internet over the last couple of months as well. Which, you know, has it's good and it's bad, as I'm sure you know. But the sort of cause for these restrictions that we had to impose, along with other brokers, was crystal clear. It was an unprecedented time where you had lots and lots of people that wanted to invest in a small handful of stocks at around the same time. And you know, the market wasn't really built for that. If you look at the core infrastructure of the market and the clearing and settlement system, and the way that everything works, I'm sure that when everything was built over the course of the past few decades, they just didn't anticipate social media people getting together and funneling money into a small number of stocks. So, I actually, I'm not really making a value judgment on whether that's good or bad. I think people should be allowed to communicate with each other and buy the stocks that they're interested in buying. And moreover I think what's interesting is a lot of these companies a lot of these meme stocks are companies that have been hit hard by the pandemic. You have, you know, retailers, brick and mortar stores. You had the airlines getting the attention of retail customers in the early part of the pandemic. And you could argue, you know, the government hasn't stepped in to help them in this difficult time, and retail investors have come in and supplied them with capital and allowed them to grow their management teams. So it is a very interesting thing that I don't think we've entirely unpacked. But I did appreciate that the report mentioned my policy suggestion of shortening the settlement time. I think regardless, that's the right move for the industry, and the right way to move forward our financial system and reduce systemic risk. So, I was really happy to see that, alongside a number of other policy proposals that Robinhood and myself personally have made. CRAMER: Now they didn't really – when I spoke to Chairman Gensler it was clear that he is concerned about two issues we have to speak about. One is payment for order flow and whether people know about it and the other is the game like features. Now I was out last night with a big Robinhood fan. 19 year old gentleman. And I said what draws you to Robinhood? And he said, because the app is so much like Candy Crush. It was not the answer I expected. Is the app too much like Candy Crush, Vlad? TENEV: No, I think that's – as someone who played Candy Crush maybe 10 years ago or so, I can tell you that I don't see any similarities whatsoever. And I will say this – CRAMER: But the customer can’t always be right. Maybe something needs to be done to dissuade people from thinking this is as easy and as fun as Candy Crush because I've not seen people borrow money and lose money on Candy Crush. TENEV: I think it's important for it to be easy and accessible, and there's a big difference between that and so called gamification. And if you look at Robinhood right now, we do pride ourselves on having a simple onboarding, on having pioneered a cost structure and a business model with no account minimums and no commissions that has brought in a ton of new investors, a lot of whom are from diverse backgrounds that otherwise wouldn't have been even thinking about investing. And that's something we're incredibly proud of and we stand behind. I think it's a very, very powerful force. And there is this notion that you hear thrown around that, you know, when wealthy people or institutions are buying stocks, then that's investing. But when poor people do it, it's gambling. And I think we just have to move away from that. I think we reject that. We're proud of bringing all these new customers in. We're also proud of the educational content and a lot of the recent features. You know, not just the 24/7 support, but improvements we've made in app learning modules. CRAMER: I could not agree with you more. TENEV: Go ahead. CRAMER: I have spent an inordinate amount of time in my life trying to explain to people that just when someone – just because someone who doesn’t have any money is trying to make something of themselves in the stock market does not mean they are fools. That does not mean they don't know what they're doing. And until you came along, I felt no one in the industry believed in me. And that's one of the reasons why I've supported you from the day I met you. Because you do want to give people a chance. You do not discourage. Now shouldn't it be celebratory? I don't know. Should confetti go down? TENEV: Amen. CRAMER: What matters is that you have – you do not look down upon people who aren't that wealthy. Now sometimes I think, and my wife does too since she met you, think that perhaps it's because it’s your immigrant upbringing. Some of it is because I think you're just a good guy trying to get people involved. And some of it is because you realize technology can – a lot of barriers. At the same time, there are issues that the Commission brings up. Issues about like payment for order flow, where to me, it would seem like you're willing to tell anybody anything. I mean, you're willing to inform. You have become a person involved with safety and truth. Should you just give everybody a caveat that just says look, you know, there's other ways to trade, you can pay commission, some people think you get better. I don't know if you get better. We think you can get better. Something that indicates that the Commission's issues about this payment for order flow could go away and instead we focus on the fact that there are 22 million people who are trying to make something of themselves. TENEV: Well, I'll put it this way. I think that payment for order flow and digital engagement practices are what you call gamification in the report. It was a little bit confusing to me to see it in there because first of all, it had nothing to do with restricting the handful of stocks that were restricted in January. So it was sort of like a policy position that was kind of thrown in there a little bit as an aside with no connection to the restrictions or the underlying issues and I think the rest of the report supported that. I think some of the criticisms of payment for order flow, and the business model, frankly, don't make sense to me. I mean, you look at what the industry was like three years ago, pretty much all of the large brokerages were charging commissions and making revenue from payment for order flow as an addition, right. And Robinhood forced that to zero. Forced Commission's to zero and the payment for order flow model has become kind of the standard transaction base model for offering brokerage services in that space. And alongside that, you've had the best conditions for being a retail investor ever. By far the lowest cost of execution, across the board, whose spreads have been have been tighter. And I think it's a great time to be a retail investor in America and there's actually a lot of competition. Now I will say, I do support – I came out with a policy proposal a couple of months ago about the Sub-Penny Rule, and there has been some criticism about whether our exchanges can fairly compete with off exchange market makers like Citadel securities and Virtu. And I think there are opportunities to make the system better and to encourage more flow to go to the exchanges, and to strengthen the NBBO, and I think we should look at doing that. But I think the – CRAMER: Well, remember, we don't want people running ahead. We don't want rich people running ahead of the people who are trying to make something of themselves, correct? TENEV: We certainly don't want to do that, but I think by and large, this business model has helped pioneer commission free trading and make it possible. And certainly what we wouldn't want is the return to a commission structure in the industry that'll just keep people out especially those people of lower incomes and less means. CRAMER: Now how – if you were to look at the breakdown of what kind of common stocks people are buying, how much are these stocks that are say jumping 50% in one day – more than even GameStop – and how much are these days because we don't get to see them run like we used to. And I used to love that run. Where people are buying the great American industrials or they're buying the FAANGs, or buying fractions of the FAANGs because they cost too much. What is your –  just if you want to break up the mosaic of what you're seeing, how many people are really investing in America? TENEV: Well I think a lot of people are interested in buying the stock of companies that they believe in. You know, companies that make products that they use and understand. So you'll have, you know, the big technology companies, the consumer companies that are among the 100 most popular at Robinhood at any given time. And that's actually, you know, some information that we provide for customers within the app. There's also, you know, certain events that happen, so cryptocurrency entering the mainstream this year I think got a lot of people interested in cryptocurrencies and we offer seven different coins on our platform. And from time to time, you will see sort of shifts from one sector to another. When I was on your show last year – CRAMER: Is bitcoin the most popular? Or are they starting to buy like the dogecoin? The cocker spaniel coin, whatever it is. I mean, where are they – are they buying like the most steady of them? Or you're seeing people buying whatever is the least -- lowest value? Lowest dollar value. TENEV: You will have a range of activity. I think, generally speaking, people do buy larger companies, especially with fractional shares now making those companies more accessible, you'll see people investing smaller amounts into these companies, and with some of the tools that we've rolled out like recurring investments and drip, you'll see people automating a lot more of that activity, and actually dollar cost averaging into these names so that they don't have to watch day to day and keep track of the prices so closely. CRAMER: Okay, we like that. Are they dollar cost averaging into things like what people are chatting about Shiba. Now I feel somewhat embarrassed to say that they're talking about Shiba, but that's what they're doing. Are you seeing Shiba being traded? Is it on your platform? Or will you recognize it on your platform? TENEV: Well, I’ve heard a lot of people in that community – CRAMER: Are you thinking about adding it? TENEV: We actually don't offer. CRAMER: You don’t. TENEV: We only offer seven coins currently. And I think it goes back to safety first, right. So we're not generally going to be the first to add any new asset. We want to make sure that it goes through a stringent set of criteria. And, you know, we're very proud of our cryptocurrency platform, and giving people more utility with the coins they have. As a matter of fact, we rolled out our wallets waitlist. A lot of people have been asking us for the ability to send and receive cryptocurrencies, transfer them to hardware wallets, transfer them onto the platform to consolidate. And you know, the crypto wallets waitlist is well over a million people now, which is very exciting. We see an opportunity to continue growing that business. CRAMER: There was this bad old days period that fortunately did not last long, where there was kind of a, let’s call it a hate Vlad movement. And I'd like to think that the hate Vlad movement actually peaked on the night that you were willing to go on Twitter and debate Dave Portnoy. Where people thought you would be a no show. People thought that you didn't feel that safety had become paramount. That you were gamifying or whatever. And you showed. And it pretty much ended. Do you see that the way I did? TENEV: Well, it's been certainly an adventure over the past nine months, you know, to put it mildly – CRAMER: What do you mean? What are you, a diplomat? Give me some old Vlad, will you? Give me some old Vlad. Like the pre-Marc Benioff Vlad. I mean the guy who says yeah well I showed up I was willing to take the heat because I knew I did nothing wrong. What happened to that Vlad? TENEV: I'm surprised my hair is still dark and I don't have I don't have grays or it hasn't fallen out, put it that way. CRAMER: Watch yourself. You know, we don't like that our show. But no I mean, it did peak. And I think it peaked because you recognized that things – you didn't want things to get out of hand. I remember in the midst in the darkest moment, you were saying, look, no system was built for this. Which is true. That was one of the things that came out in the report. But I think that your democratization got challenged. And you never wavered, but you did have to change what was the most important value. And since you've done that Vlad – have you noticed that Vlad Tenev has become and Robinhood have become major I don't want to say you're, I hate to say this, but you're not a disruptor anymore. You're the norm. Do you mind being the norm? TENEV: I think there's always opportunities to continue along our mission, and, you know, I know that a lot of people talk about Robinhood as being a disruptor, and we certainly have been. We changed the industry and people used to be paying commissions and now we're not anymore, but I don't think that's done by any means. I think that, you look at cryptocurrencies, for instance, people are still paying 3%, 4% fees to access that market. You see a lot of opportunities to serve more customers that have even less money, who are even more underserved than the people we have now. So I think the mission has always been to democratize finance for all and to do that safely. And, you know, in some cases that might require disruption, in other cases is just going to be continual improvements to the product and just getting, you know, getting better and better each and every day with things like 24/7 support, improving our educational content, and really just helping customers be successful on the platform. I think that's a big part of it and we have really made incredible strides. I mean, the team has been working very, very hard to make the platform as reliable as possible for it to stand up to heavy volume and days where customers need us most. And to be there for customers if they need help, specifically for the first timers who can benefit the most. CRAMER: If you’ve got this set up – you’ve got the robust system, you've got 24/7 help, which most people don't. Is it time to start thinking bigger? For instance, right now we're hearing that perhaps PayPal is going to merge with Pinterest. But we see what some of the companies are doing – Square is doing. Not willing to be bound by the initial mission. I think that you have 22 million people who want more from Robinhood. Maybe they want to get some of the things that SoFi has, some of the things that Square has, is it time to be thinking about the next big leg up for Robinhood? TENEV: Well I think that there's always an opportunity to keep serving our customers and we have been expanding quite a bit over the past few years, especially getting into becoming one of the first to offer cryptocurrency trading, sort of, alongside traditional asset as a brokerage, our cash management product which allows customers to earn high yield and spend. And then, with cryptocurrencies, getting more into cryptocurrencies as a means of transacting with our new wallets waitlist that we announced and are rolling out shortly. So we're going to continue to do these things. I do think that investing and making people owners of our global economy is an incredibly powerful thing. And despite all the progress that we've made, there's still a lot of people that don't invest, and we see it as being very, very important to serve those people. I think it's not just good for them in their wealth building but also important for society. A society where more of us feel like owners in the common enterprise is one that's just going to be healthier. And I think, you know, we started this company in the wake of the financial crisis, there were a lot of protests, a lot of people were unhappy at the status quo, and just felt like the financial system wasn't working for them. And hopefully, bit by bit we can improve that and make it an inclusive system and one that really serve the needs of the people, as well as it possibly can. CRAMER: I know Chairman Gensler was very concerned about suitability. You have 1 million people who are 19. What do we tell the 19 year-olds to be sure that they understand that they're doing something that is in keeping with their suitability which by the way Vlad, they may not even know the word. How do we get 19 year-olds to be investing what you and I would say responsibly and not blow their heads off on shorting calls? TENEV: I think it's the things that we've been building and of course suitability is – there's very strict rules by FINRA and brokerages have to follow them, and Robinhood is always committed to following the rules of the road there. There's also educational content. You know, I think, investment products are not suitable for everyone. They involve risk, especially when you're talking about options, and having people understand the risks and understand all of the information of how they work, assuming they’re willing to take those risks and are suitable is something that's incredibly important as well. So we are continuing to do a lot more in product and through Robinhood Learn to educate people. CRAMER: Yeah, that's why we started our investing club here. Right because people don’t get enough. I think that, you know, we do investment club basically just to be able to teach. And I think that you're doing teaching now and I think it's absolutely terrific because we need to do that because we don't, as much as we're thrilled that you have – the average customers age 31, we've got to get this median account balance up to 240. Now how do we do that? And do these people own mutual funds away or index funds which I think is a very responsible way to start investing. And then they use their so called Mad Money $240 with you. Have you seen that grow? I mean, because you know that's not enough. And we all work hard. I started with $200. I know you started with nothing, which it is terrific to start with nothing. But I do believe that we need to get that balance up and I'm trying to figure out how to make people wealthier. How do we make people wealthy? TENEV: I think the best way to do it is to have a long term perspective and put aside a little bit at a time and really start young and you'll see kind of the magic of compounding and compound returns happen over a longer period of time. And I think there's ways we can continue to make that process easier with recurring, with drip, with fractional shares, we have a lot of the building blocks. And, you know, we're excited to see more and more people adopting those products and we believe that in the future, they'll be a larger and growing percentage of the activity on the platform. CRAMER: Now is the average investor, making I don't want to call it necessarily progress, but I would like to see the average investor not just suddenly go crypto. I mean are you saying people –people used to be say 90% stock, now 90% crypto? TENEV: It's certainly an interesting trend. I think there's certain advantages that crypto has for especially interoperability, and the ability to be global by default. So, you know, regardless of where you are in the world whether you're in the U.S. or overseas, you can have a wallet, you can send people cryptocurrencies from that wallet to their wallet. And so there there's certain advantages that are in the technology that make it kind of global and accessible by default and that makes it very interesting. Now of course, we also have, you know, the equities market in the US has really been where the best companies list over time. It's been a tremendous source of wealth creation, and there is an opportunity to kind of make that easier and make that more accessible as well. So I, generally agree with you, I think it's important for people to be diversified, for them to build up portfolios over time and invest for the long term. And you know what that specific mix is, I think, you know, we can probably debate, but crypto certainly is here to stay as an asset class, and the ease of use and the global nature of it, I think, has made it attractive to lots of people, not just in the U.S. but overseas in particular what you are seeing is very interesting. CRAMER: But Vlad, people are starting to come back to work. It's also football season, which is a DraftKings FanDuel situation. Are you seeing fewer people sign up? Is the app going down in popularity at all? As people then switch to football gambling, we know that – we're not saying that they're doing Robinhood  gambling with the football game, but these are various ways that people want to be able to make money. And the return to work means that most people can’t sit there and trade or invest during the day. Are you seeing those two trends which is gambling and back to work, cutting into the growth of Robinhood? TENEV: What I've always said and, you know, I think in our last conversation you've heard me say this as well. We're not paying too much attention to short term trends. The way that we're going to make progress and serve our customers and go after this opportunity of making as many people long term investors as possible is by focusing on the products. And so we're going to continue to roll out new products, improve the service, make sure that it's as easy as possible for first time investors to become long term investors and get all the support that they need. So, you know, whether short term fluctuations, Covid, reopening not something that we're going to spend too much time commenting on. CRAMER: By the way, did you see former President Trump’s SPAC today? Up 40 points. Do you follow any of these trends that some of the younger people really get a kick out of, too? TENEV: I heard about the product, the new social media platform. But I haven't been watching the stock too closely. CRAMER: No, no, it's a what I call a newer public offering, so to speak. Definitely newer. Well Vlad, look. I think you've come through Hades and back. I love the theme that I know you do care about passionately is safety. Any last words for people who are young who are watching who are thinking about taking the so called plunge into common stocks? TENEV: Yeah look I think that it's important to invest for the long term and to be educated. And we want to make sure to meet our customers where they are, and especially for young people, a lot of that educational content has to be contextual. It has to be in the form that customers expect. And we're going to continue to provide that through Snacks, on Snap and in in-product, which is our podcast and newsletter. We're going to continue to increase the tools and the functionality and the support that's available to customers. And we're going to continue to roll out products that democratize finance safely by giving you the lowest possible cost that we can offer, and the lowest barriers to entry with a great experience. So that's what Robinhood is all about and over the coming decades, I think we'd like to see more and more people globally become investors and we'd like to be a part of that and really driving that transition to where everyone becomes an owner of our economy and our society. CRAMER: Well I want to congratulate you for everything. For being 2021’s top disruptor, for the journey you have taken, for the maturity that we all had to have because so many new people have come in. And for your advice and counsel, particularly as far as I am concerned, in light of what happened at the end of January, shows that you never lost the flame. Some people thought you did. The report vindicates you. And I'm thrilled that you came to our Disruptor conference and to Mad Money. And it's always good to see you, Vlad. TENEV: It's always a pleasure. Thank you. Thank you for the time, Jim. Updated on Oct 22, 2021, 10:21 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkOct 22nd, 2021

For Onboarding Hires These Days, How a New Job Starts Might Be Why It Ends

Conveying a company’s culture is always hard, and often in-office interactions offer cues that no handbook can capture For all the talk of American workers quitting in droves, it’s surprising we aren’t dwelling more on another career milestone, especially post-Covid: how to start a new job. Some 28% of people leave a new job in the first 90 days, according to new data from the recruiting-software firm Jobvite—and that number is growing. “The way that a new employee interacts with company culture is a major determining factor in their potential for success,” Jobvite advises. “Hiring managers and HR professionals should pay attention to how new employees react to the company culture as they are being introduced to it.” [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] To invoke an overplayed meme, how it starts might be why it ends. Conveying a company’s culture is always hard, and often in-office interactions offer cues that no handbook can capture (think office attire, the length of lunch breaks, eavesdropping to gauge tone). The acute challenge these days is that many companies’ culture is in the midst of upheaval amid remote or hybrid work, concerns over a lack of inclusion, fears of worker burnout, and a need to maintain business continuity or, in many cases, meet increased demand. Systems that were in place to onboard a new hire at the beginning of 2020 are simply antiquated and inadequate now. Here are some suggestions for how to do better, based on interviews with hiring managers and workplace experts: Hire differently to meet this moment. In his new book, Remote Leadership, David Pachter argues that you should recruit for different qualities in a work-from-home (WFH) company than you might have during the Before Times. “In building a high-achieving WFH organization, hiring is the key to success,” he writes. “Some people, despite their experience and skills, simply cannot be effective and productive working at a distance.” Those employees, he says, need workplace dynamics, motivation of peers, and the proximity of a boss in the room. Meanwhile, remote or hybrid work relies more on the following qualities: intrinsic motivation, focus, discipline, coachability, accountability, and humility. Ask candidates how working from home has changed their career aspirations and how they stay focused and connected to people on their team and across the organization, suggests Pachter, co-founder of outsourced sales and marketing provider JumpCrew. “When the new job honeymoon phase ends, people are finding it too easy to quit,” he says. Hence, another question: How passionate are they about the role/company? Start onboarding new hires the moment they accept the offer. Ford Motor Co. now ships laptops and accessories directly to a new employee’s home before they start. “We also leverage our online portal for new hires to complete pre-employment forms and access helpful information about the company’s legacy, history, and culture,” says Kiersten Robinson, Ford’s chief people and employee experience officer. The more new hires can do before they start makes for an easier first official week. There’s something about not reporting to a physical space that makes starting a new job right now, quite frankly, weird. Think of how some of us bought entire new wardrobes—or at least a new purse—before starting jobs in the past. A new job is a chance to hit reset on life. Now, for many people it just means a new email address to log into from the home office. Thus, employers can help by creating more excitement and preparedness for the change. Technology and documentation are key to a seamless start. One of the key characteristics Gallup has identified over the years in successful and engaged teams is that employees have the tools they need to do their work. It may seem basic, but getting new staff the right technology delivers on that, and sends a signal of your commitment to the employee as well. Documentation, such as manuals and how-to videos, is another important part of orientation. Gitlab, for example, has a 13,804-page handbook that it makes publicly available, listing everything from company history to a code of conduct to its travel policies. Yours need not be that thorough, but it’s very helpful to new hires for implicit practices, norms, and rituals to be written down. Onboarding must go beyond the first week. In her list of onboarding “don’ts,” Nettie Nitzberg says a big mistake managers make is not checking in every day (you read that right) for the new hire’s first two weeks. “Being at home when you start a new job is lonely enough,” says the co-founder and chief learning officer of Saterman Connect, a consulting company. “When your manager doesn’t care how you are doing or feeling, it sends the wrong message.” Other companies mentioned laying out an agenda of meetings and tasks for the first week, along with broader goals for the 30-, 60-, and 90-day marks. Give them a person, or two. Besides the direct manager of the new hire, many companies mention creating a buddy system, mentoring programs, even “peer circles” to help acclimation move along faster. No question is too small or stupid. “We’ve tried to turn the strangeness of the distanced environment to our advantage,” says Pachter. “Peers often handle onboarding of new employees in keeping with the basic principles of peer learning. These sessions are…intentionally personal, friendly, and open to anyone questioning anything.” The list of who new entrants meet with—and why—is similarly key, says executive coach Sushil Cheema. You are trying to show talent that you see a bright future for them at the company. “Exposure to various parts of the business is also important: The new hire will not only get a better sense of how the company operates overall but also will have a chance to meet more people and have a chance to ask questions and offer ideas,” she says. “The more involved they can get from day one, the more likely it is they will feel comfortable.” Build inclusion. Creating an inclusive workplace does not start and stop with diversity in hiring. It must be woven into all aspects of company culture. Nitzberg suggests a few ways to build inclusion: A team deck where everyone has a slide with their picture, months/years with the organization, and contact info. Maybe include some fun facts, such as favorite foods or pastimes. Have the new hire make one too. Have the CEO record a welcome message for the newcomers or join a video call. Department heads might also consider doing these. Send a welcome gift, swag, or even lunch. Accenture has hired 118,000 people in the past year—54,000 in the last quarter alone. “Before Covid, when you started a job, one of the exciting things was showing up someplace,” CEO Julie Sweet said last week at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit. “What we realized pretty quickly is that people we were hiring were literally shutting their laptop, and then getting the new laptop from Accenture and there was no sense of excitement or connection.” Accenture used corporate swag—desk trinkets, posters, giveaway items with its logo—to try to address some of that problem. The company also bought tens of thousands of virtual reality headsets for employees to share a virtual experience. Even small gestures can go a long way: Personal touches like sending takeout from the new staffer’s favorite restaurant or everyone agreeing to order the same cuisine for a virtual team dinner one night. We are in an era of uncertainty. A part of the reason onboarding has been so rocky in the pandemic is because we are in rocky times. Equipping employees with the skills and tools they need to weather this uncertainty also feels like a necessary and urgent part of onboarding. New hires at Dell, for example, are getting a deep dive on the company’s agile model during their orientation. The agile approach to projects focuses on incremental improvements, theoretically making it easier to weather change. “They go through this to understand processes, our methods and to get to meet people,” says Jen Felch, chief digital officer and chief information officer at Dell. “We treat this like a cohort, but they also get to meet people across the company.” Recap early and often. New hires have a lot being thrown at them in these early days, and procedures others have internalized might take some time to sink in. In that spirit, remember that successful onboarding essentially boils down to: offering tools and information gauging and signaling excitement for the job and investment in the new employee’s career providing ongoing connections to colleagues across the company......»»

Category: topSource: timeOct 19th, 2021

Van Zyl Team Brings Investment Expertise to Florida Coast

Marcia and Albert van Zyl—whose husband-and-wife team, Team van Zyl, works under the banner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Florida Realty—serve buyers and investors along the Fort Lauderdale coastline. It took them a few twists of fate for the magic to happen. Marcia Saunders was a young woman from Illinois with a background in advertising […] The post Van Zyl Team Brings Investment Expertise to Florida Coast appeared first on RISMedia. Marcia and Albert van Zyl—whose husband-and-wife team, Team van Zyl, works under the banner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) Florida Realty—serve buyers and investors along the Fort Lauderdale coastline. It took them a few twists of fate for the magic to happen. Marcia Saunders was a young woman from Illinois with a background in advertising when she left home for England to pursue an MBA in global marketing at Imperial College London. She had no way of knowing she would meet and marry a young property developer there and remain in the UK for 20 years—or that a divorce that left her with a vacation home in Fort Lauderdale would find her resettling in the Sunshine State. Marcia van Zyl obtained her real estate license in 2011, then meeting and marrying an ambitious Florida yacht engineer named Albert van Zyl, who had an interest in property investment. As Marcia honed her people skills and a talent for digital marketing with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty, and Albert focused on investment strategies, it didn’t take long for the two to realize they were working two ends of the same business. “After six years as a managing broker, I was up for a new challenge,” says Marcia van Zyl. “At the same time, Albert decided he wanted to be in the trenches full time—and so in May of 2021, the van Zyl team, specializing in real estate investment strategy and marketing, came into being.” Barbara Pronin: Your backstory has a bit of a fairy tale vibe, Marcia. But I’m sure it’s not been without some bumps. Marcia van Zyl: Every career has its ups and downs. But if Albert and I have one thing in common, it’s a drive to be the best at what we do—and a passion for helping buyers and investors achieve their goals in the thriving Florida real estate market. BP: What types of properties do you handle? MvZ: Both residential and commercial properties—waterfront homes, ocean view properties, downtown—just about anywhere in the Broward County area. BP: So, how do your individual strengths play well together? MvZ: My expertise is in digital marketing and brand management, and I love staging and marketing open houses. Albert is an exceptional problem-solver with proven strategies in waterfront property investment. Together, that makes us the right resource for anyone with an interest in our fast-growing Florida market. I think the proof is in the fact that we successfully serve unseen customers from all areas of the country,  including clients from as far away as England, where I have maintained contacts from the many years I lived there. Most of our business, in fact, comes from referral and repeat clients. BP: Sounds like you were using marketing aids like virtual tours since before the pandemic put them in vogue. MvZ: Absolutely. We had to become expert at videography and virtual techniques early on because so many of our clients live outside our area and often buy properties without being able to see them up close and personal. BP: How would you measure the success of your relatively new team? MvZ: I think we are definitely better together. Albert recently closed on a rental property with 17 tenants, for example. Our combined skills made for a smooth transaction even in the midst of challenging times. BP: Who handles all the administrative details? MvZ: I do. I’ve always been the detail freak. But we get great support from Rei Mesa, our broker, and from the whole BHHS Florida Realty team. BP: What do you see as your biggest challenges right now? MvZ: We are coming into high season in Florida, and we pride ourselves on being effective real estate matchmakers—on finding just the right property for each client. But right now, developing enough inventory is problematic. BP: How do you work within those challenges? MvZ: We love helping people achieve their real estate goals regardless of the market, and that means sellers as well as buyers, vacation or investment properties, or primary homes. We are great fans of target marketing and promotion, and that goes a long way toward helping us find the right matches. BP: What are your plans for growing your team? MvZ: We think our business model offers a lot of opportunity for growth, especially in the commercial space, and we look forward to that as the market demands. Also, our daughter is a successful real estate marketing director, and we have high hopes that at some point, she may become part of our team. Barbara Pronin is a contributing editor to RISMedia. The post Van Zyl Team Brings Investment Expertise to Florida Coast appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaOct 19th, 2021

15 questions to ask about perks and benefits before accepting a job offer

Besides the basics like health insurance, ask your potential new employer if they offer mentorship programs or tuition reimbursement. Job seekers should always understand perks and benefits before accepting a job. Getty Images When you're interviewing for a new job, be sure to learn what perks and benefits the company offers. Ask about healthcare coverage, dental and vision insurance, and remote work flexibility. Some employers offer on-the-job training, while others even offer tuition reimbursement for continuing education. See more stories on Insider's business page. Once you've found a job and company that you're really excited about, salary might top your list of priorities. But while salary is important, it's only part of the overall offer. To get the full scope of what you'll really earn at a job, you need to factor in the perks and benefits that a company offers, too."Look at it as more of a package than just a job with a paycheck," said Leslie Slay, senior vice president of employee benefits services at Woodruff Sawyer, an insurance brokerage and consulting firm.Compensation traditionally includes non-salary benefits like health insurance and retirement plans. And many companies also offer perks - including flexible schedules, educational opportunities, and wellness programs - to support employees in other ways. "More and more, perks and benefits are becoming integrated together" to support employees in a more holistic way, said Bobbi Kloss, director of human capital management services at Benefit Advisors Network.On average, a benefits package makes up about 30% of an employee's total compensation in the US. So it's definitely worth paying attention to the perks and benefits a company offers as you're looking for a job in addition to the salary.Employee benefits and perks can be confusing, though. In fact, about a third of all workers and 54% of millennials said they don't understand the employee benefits they signed up for, according to a 2020 survey by Voya Financial. So as a job seeker it's often up to you to ask a prospective employer plenty of questions to make sure the benefits they're offering meet your needs.Better understanding the benefits and perks you're offered will help you make the best choice about which job offer to accept. To help guide you, here's an overview of 15 common employee perks and benefits you might come across as you look for your next job:1. Health insuranceHealth insurance pays (or helps pay) for your medical expenses as they come up in exchange for a premium, or money paid - by you and/or your employer - to the insurance provider each month. Health insurance plans typically cover doctor visits, prescription drugs, emergency care, and certain medical procedures.Health insurance plans vary from company to company and you'll likely have a few to choose from. Some companies pay the full premium on their employee's behalf, but usually, you have to contribute to the cost with a certain amount that comes out of your paycheck before taxes. You may have some other out-of-pocket expenses, too, such as copays when you visit your doctor. Many insurance plans also have a deductible, which is an amount of money you're responsible for paying before your health coverage kicks in. Make sure you're aware of these costs before you choose a plan to enroll in.And to ensure a company plan meets your needs, Kloss suggests checking that it covers treatments for any medical conditions you have or prescription medications you take and that your preferred doctors are in the plan's network.If you have dependents (most commonly children or a partner you support financially) or plan to soon, you should also check that the plan will cover everyone and how much it will cost you. For example, a company may pay 100% of your health insurance premium but you may be stuck paying the full premium for everyone else in your family (which can add up fast). Read more about what all those health insurance terms mean here.Find jobs at companies that offer health insurance2. Dental and vision insuranceDental and vision insurance cover your dental and eye-care needs. Dental insurance typically covers routine exams, cleanings, x-rays, and some portion of procedures like root canals and fillings. Vision insurance generally covers eye exams and prescription lenses.Many employers offer dental and vision insurance, either as part of health insurance or as separate benefits. But whereas some employers cover a portion or all of the costs of health insurance, most companies require you to pay in full for dental and vision insurance, Slay said.Just as you would with health insurance, check if the plans will let you keep your dentist and eye doctor (if you'd rather not switch) and cover any pre-existing conditions or treatments that you need.Find jobs at companies that offer dental insurance, vision insurance, or both3. Flexible spending accountA flexible spending account (FSA) allows you to put pre-tax money aside to pay for the year's out-of-pocket healthcare costs, like over-the-counter medications, copays for doctor visits, medical devices like crutches or blood sugar tests, or vision and dental care needs like glasses or contacts.Your employer may also contribute up to $500 to your FSA without you contributing anything (they can match you dollar for dollar on top of the $500), so be sure to check if a company will pay into your account before determining your own contributions. Total FSA contributions are capped at a certain amount each year (for example, they were capped at $2,750 for 2021).Find jobs at companies that offer FSA accounts4. Life insuranceLife insurance is an insurance policy that pays a set amount of money to your chosen beneficiary (or beneficiaries) when you die. If you're just starting your career and don't have any children or others who depend on you financially, life insurance may not seem necessary. But it's still something you should consider, Slay said - especially if your company covers your full premium.You decide who you want to leave the money to, such as your parents or another family member, to help cover funeral costs, for example. You could even name your favorite charity as the beneficiary.Find jobs at companies that offer life insurance5. Disability insuranceDisability insurance offers compensation or income replacement when you're unable to work because of an injury or illness that's not job-related. "I can't tell you how critical disability insurance is; it protects your paycheck," Slay said. Disability insurance is usually optional, but worth looking into, she said - just find out what your employer offers and what it will cost you. Some policies are fully paid by an employer and others require you to pay some of the costs in the form of a paycheck deduction, Slay said.There are two types of disability insurance: short term and long term. Short-term disability insurance varies according to your plan, but typically covers you if you're out of work for less than six months and on average pays about 60% of your regular salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most long-term disability insurance lasts for 10 years or less (but some policies last until you reach retirement age) and covers about 60% of your annual earnings.Find jobs at companies that offer short-term disability insurance, long-term disability insurance, or both6. 401(k)sA 401(k) is a retirement-savings plan that's commonly sponsored by your employer. Plans can vary, but generally, you contribute to the fund as a pre-tax paycheck deduction and pay taxes on the money when you withdraw it during retirement. Many companies match employees' 401(k) contributions, either dollar for dollar, where they put in what you put in, or with a partial match - for example, adding 50 cents for every dollar you contribute, up to a certain percentage of your salary. Yearly employee 401(k) contributions are capped (the limit is $19,500 for 2021), but the employer match doesn't count toward the limit.Retirement may seem like a long time away. But Slay urges early-career employees to contribute as much as they can to their 401(k), especially if there's an employer match. The match can help you grow your savings faster and if you're not taking advantage of it, you're essentially leaving money on the table that your employer is offering to give you. Plus, in an emergency, you may be able to pull money out of your 401(k) before retirement (and without paying a tax penalty) for certain expenses, like buying a home or paying medical bills.Some companies have taken a new approach to employee retirement benefits recently to meet their workers' current needs, Slay said. For example, some help employees pay down student loan debt by making direct payments to their lender, while others make a larger 401(k) contribution to employees currently paying off student debt.Find jobs at companies that offer 401(k)s or 401(k)s with company match7. Paid time offPaid time off (PTO) can include paid holidays, sick leave, federal and state holidays, personal days, and vacation days.Typically, the amount of PTO offered by your company is based on how long you've worked for them, and you accrue more PTO over time (for example, if you get 15 days of PTO per year, that means you accrue about 0.058 hours of PTO for every hour you work, or roughly 10.5 hours of PTO per month). If, say, you're looking to start a new job right before a holiday or planned trip, you might want to ask the company if it has a policy about using PTO before you've technically accrued it.How a company offers PTO varies, too. For example, some designate a separate number of personal, sick, or vacation days, which is sometimes required by state law. But, Slay said, more employers are lumping all PTO in together to make taking off easier for employees. Some companies even offer unlimited PTO.Time off is an important factor in your overall compensation, so make sure to ask about how many PTO days you get. Often, you can negotiate your PTO, Slay said, particularly since the pandemic has shown more companies the benefits of giving their workers more time off. "PTO is one of those areas where you can ask for things that are a little different and you might get them." Also, be sure to check if you can carry over unused PTO into a new year and whether you'll be paid for any unused days when you leave the company.Find jobs at companies that offer paid holidays, paid vacation, personal and sick days, or unlimited vacation8. Family and medical leaveThe Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a US law that enables employees to take unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. Employees can take up to 12 weeks off for the birth or adoption of a child, a family member with a medical condition who needs care, their own health condition that prevents them from performing job functions, and other reasons.Under this law, your job is protected and your health insurance continues during this leave. Companies with more than 50 employees are required to comply with the law and you're eligible if you've worked for the company for at least 12 months and meet other requirements. If you're considering going to work for a smaller company, be sure to find out their policies for family and medical leave.Find jobs at companies with more than 50 employees9. Parental leaveParental leave enables employees to take off following the birth of a child, an adoption, or the arrival of a newly placed foster child, or for a child otherwise needing parental care, according to the US Department of Labor. Though the FMLA requires some employers to offer unpaid leave in these instances, there's no broad guarantee of parental leave in the US - which means it comes down to the employer.More than half of US employers offer paid new child leave to women, and 45% offer paid new child leave to men, according to a 2020 study by the Society for Human Resource Management and Oxford Economics. However, specific policies vary for the companies that do offer parental leave, so find out about a prospective employer's rules if you plan to start a family soon, Slay said. Ask whether the leave is paid or unpaid, whether your job will be there waiting for you when you return, and how much time off you're allowed.Find jobs at companies that offer maternity leave, paternity leave, or both10. Remote work optionsRemote work gives employees the freedom to work from home or anywhere else outside of a traditional office setting, either full-time or part-time in a hybrid schedule. The COVID-19 pandemic made remote work a necessity, and it was such a hit with workers that many have said they'll quit their jobs rather than go back to the office. Employers realize that remote work has benefits for them, too, such as opening up a much broader, more diverse talent pool to hire from, so many organizations plan to allow remote work in some fashion post-pandemic.While more employers will be offering fully or partially remote positions after the pandemic off the bat, the ability to work from home is something you can likely negotiate, Kloss said. "I think employers are recognizing after COVID that they can be more flexible in those areas than they ever thought possible." So find out whether you'll be able to work remotely some or all of the time and what the company's policies are for remote work schedules, virtual meetings, and communication. Also ask whether they provide equipment or stipends for internet, phone, or other expenses for remote workers.Find jobs at companies that offer remote work opportunities11. Flexible schedulesA flexible schedule is when your employer allows you to work hours and days outside of the traditional nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday schedule. For instance, you might work 10 hours a day, four days a week or set core hours when you're available, such as 9 a.m to 1 p.m, and have flexibility the rest of the day to complete your work whenever you'd like. Like with remote work, the pandemic led more companies to offer flexible schedules to accommodate different work styles and time zones as well as employees who have children or other caretaking responsibilities. Flexible schedules are another perk that you can likely negotiate - just make sure you and your employer both come away with a clear idea of which days and times you'll work.Find jobs at companies that offer flexible work hours12. Wellness programsWorkplace wellness programs aim to improve an employee's mental and physical health and offer more resources beyond health insurance. Wellness programs have traditionally included health screenings and tools to help people lose weight or stop smoking, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.But organizations have taken a broader, more holistic approach to their wellness programs in recent years by offering individualized supports that take into account an employee's emotional, social, physical, and financial needs, Kloss said. Wellness-based perks-such as fitness subsidies, meals, and access to mental wellness apps and counseling - are becoming more common.Even more so than with other perks and benefits, wellness program offerings vary widely, so find out the specifics of what a company offers and consider how it meets your needs.Find jobs at companies that offer wellness programs, fitness subsidies, on-site gym, and meals13. Education benefitsMost companies offer some type of education benefit, including access to online courses, on-the-job training, tuition reimbursement for continuing education, and learning and development stipends to cover educational expenses.If you're just starting your career, these programs can help you succeed long term by keeping your skills fresh, which could increase your chances for promotions or raises, Slay said. Education benefits and perks also signal that a company values and invests in its employees and their growth. So be sure to ask what a company you're planning to work for offers if education is important to you.Find jobs at companies that offer access to online courses, tuition reimbursement, or learning and development stipends14. Mentor programsMentor programs pair you with someone at your company who's more experienced and can answer questions and offer guidance to help you advance in your career. "Mentorship is huge," Slay said. Mentors can serve as advocates to help you navigate the technical and political parts of a job as well as you build and expand your network.Mentorship programs help employees feel valued, create a culture of learning and increase job satisfaction and productivity, Slay said. So find out whether a company provides formal or informal mentoring and what their programs entail.Find jobs at companies that offer mentor programs15. Diversity, equity, and inclusion programsDiversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs and initiatives encourage the representation and participation of different and often underrepresented groups, such as women, people of color, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community. The programs may include mentorship opportunities, targeted recruitment efforts, and employee resource groups (ERGs).As with many employee benefits and perks, some DEI programs are more robust than others. So it's a good idea to find out the specifics of what a company offers and how it aligns with your values and needs, rather than just noting that they've ticked the box in offering a DEI program.Find jobs at companies that offer diversity and inclusion programsBefore you accept a job offer, make sure you have a good grasp of the company's benefits and perks and how they fit into your overall compensation structure. Ask plenty of questions to get all the details of how each benefit and perk aligns with your needs and negotiate to get what you want. Keep in mind, too, that when you're searching for open jobs on The Muse, you can set filters so you'll only see open positions at companies that offer the benefits and perks that matter most to you.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 6th, 2021

Cover Story: A Better Future for Agents

Editor’s Note: This is the cover story in the October 2021 issue of RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine. Subscribe today. HomeSmart Believes the Right Business Model Will Always Win. Here’s Why. The competition is fierce as brokerage companies pull out all the stops to provide a better future for agents. With no crystal ball to predict […] The post Cover Story: A Better Future for Agents appeared first on RISMedia. Editor’s Note: This is the cover story in the October 2021 issue of RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine. Subscribe today. HomeSmart Believes the Right Business Model Will Always Win. Here’s Why. The competition is fierce as brokerage companies pull out all the stops to provide a better future for agents. With no crystal ball to predict who will come out on top, one thing is clear: A company that values evolution and choice will always win. Today, it’s no longer about being with the right brokerage model. Instead, it’s all about the right business model—a distinction that’s behind every decision and every iteration of brand evolution at HomeSmart. HomeSmart is moving full-speed ahead—adapting to every new environment so that as the future unfolds, the brand will still be going strong no matter who else is at the top of the leaderboard with them. With an agent-centric, technology-powered business model—and the freedom of choice built into each and every step along the way—HomeSmart is empowering its agents from every angle and adapting to new environments in numerous ways. Business Model vs. Brokerage Model: A Key Point of Differentiation As a trend-setting, cutting-edge company, HomeSmart provides dedicated broker support, proprietary systems and tools, flexible fee plans, and marketing and transaction services. But that’s just the beginning. Laser-focused on helping agents serve their customers, HomeSmart was built on a service mindset that’s delivered upon through technology and scale. Permeating every aspect of the business, HomeSmart provides power of efficiency and the ability to leverage any type of go-to-market strategy via its proprietary technology platforms. “Because of the vision and proprietary technology built into the organization, we can support a number of different types of models,” says HomeSmart President Ashley Bowers, underscoring the importance of recognizing the difference between brokerage models and business models. While a brokerage model is simply a fee structure, a business model constitutes everything behind that. It’s operational excellence, high service, offices, people interacting with people, technology and marketing. An ongoing conversation among real estate practitioners, there’s no shortage of discussions surrounding which brokerage model is the right way forward. “Our agent-centric business model provides both flexibility and optionality so that agents don’t have to stick with one type of brokerage model,” says Bowers. “We can offer a variety of fee plans to fit both the situation and needs of any particular agent, all of which goes back to providing agents 100% of the resources they need to be successful.” Brand Evolution and Technology’s Leading Role A key component of HomeSmart’s brand evolution, technology has played an integral role since day one. “We’ve focused on technology from the very beginning, and rather than using it as a barrier between ourselves and our agents, it has been an important piece of the puzzle as far as helping our agents grow their business further,” says HomeSmart Chief Industry Officer Todd Sumney. By utilizing technology to gather all of the information an agent needs and placing it at their fingertips—whether it be on their mobile phone or company dashboard—HomeSmart has remained focused on core competencies. This has paved the way to providing extremely high service and support in addition to a large amount of value through technology and service…or what the brand refers to as its recipe for success. “As we’ve continued to evolve, it’s become clear that many people working in the industry didn’t even know that the opportunity we provided at HomeSmart existed,” explains Sumney. “In a way, we were the best kept secret in real estate; however, we needed more agents to know about it.” Building in and offering flexibility for agents in every aspect of the business has allowed the team at HomeSmart to adapt to any agent’s need no matter where they are in the country or within the lifecycle of the real estate business they’re in. “By focusing on innovation, collaboration, tools and resources—and empowering agents in every way with technology—we serve them and help them evolve as well,” says Sumney. As the real estate industry continues to change for both practitioners and consumers alike, HomeSmart has cemented its spot at the forefront of the evolving landscape. One of the first companies to embrace the shift toward moving transactions online and becoming 100% paperless, HomeSmart has always been on the cutting edge. “We were able to achieve this goal through our own technology,” explains Sumney. “Because we still own brokerages and we’re working in the business every single day, we know when something needs to evolve and get better. So we’re constantly honing the system so that we can do an extremely high amount of transactions in a very efficient manner.” “At HomeSmart, our focus is technology,” adds Bowers. “The technology is really about being able to get more transactions across the finish line and remove the friction and tension from the process while being less about providing flashy tools that don’t necessarily lead to a successful close.” Another aspect of the brand’s evolution that has helped position HomeSmart ahead of the competition is HomeSmart Founder and CEO Matt Widdows’ philosophy of never taking “no” for an answer. “That’s a big piece of who we are as a brand,” says Bowers. “While many companies within the industry defer to saying that things aren’t possible, we take a different approach by asking, ‘Why can’t we do that?'” This simple mindset shift can be found throughout the organization, laying the foundation to ensure that progress isn’t obstructed. “One of the biggest things we’ve done is integrate all of our technology together into one real estate ecosystem,” says Sumney. “We’ve eliminated all the pain points and have made it easy for agents to scale their business while offering deeper engagement for the consumer.” Along with providing a higher level of service, HomeSmart has kept the REALTOR® at the center of the transaction. “So many companies in the real estate industry try to remove the agent from the process, but we believe that the agent is the center of the transaction,” says Sumney. “Instead of displacing them, we empower them and enable the consumer to engage with them on a deeper level.” The Power of Choice in an Ever-Evolving Landscape There’s no shortage of choice within the real estate industry. From deciding which company to work for to the type of clients you’d like to represent and the best market to launch your career, agents are inundated with an overwhelming amount of options. While having too many options at your disposal can often be counterintuitive, at HomeSmart, it’s all about choice. In fact, as we head toward the future, it’s going to become increasingly important for brokerages to continue providing choices for agents so that they can adapt to the market—no matter what it looks like. “We offer agents 100% of choice in many different areas, beginning with our ever-popular flat-fee model and 100% commission on all sales and rental transactions,” says Sumney, who goes on to explain that the company recently announced additional options as it relates to fee plans. Enter HomeSmart+, HomeSmart’s newest commission plan. Designed to provide a way for agents to earn additional income beyond their own transactions, and an opportunity to earn money into their retirement, the HomeSmart+ revenue share program allows agents to earn money when their referred agent closes a transaction. Giving agents yet another choice as to the way they can run their business, HomeSmart+ is the next step in the brokerage’s continued growth. Choices abound in other areas as well, including education, training, mentoring and technology. By providing optionality in these key areas, agents can choose the pathway that’s best designed to help them meet their goals. Depending on their specific needs, HomeSmart agents can work at their own pace so that they’re totally in control. “Some agents want to have a mentor, while others want to join a team, so we give them the freedom to choose what works best for their own situation,” notes Sumney. The same philosophy applies to education and training, as some agents prefer a remote or in-person learning program that has structure, while others would rather do it on their own. Agents even have options when it comes to the technology they use within their day-to-day routine. There is, however, one tool agents across the company must use. “Everyone uses our transaction management platform, RealSmart Agent,” says Sumney. As the industry continues to change and evolve, determining what else should be brought to the table centers around listening to what agents, brokers and franchisees, as well as internal HomeSmart employees, are asking for. “We feel that knowledge is power, and we want as much information and input as possible,” adds Sumney, who wholeheartedly believes in the power of choice. A brokerage built by a broker, for brokers, and a real estate company built by an agent, for agents, HomeSmart is in a unique position to see first-hand exactly what agents need, whether they’re in the first phase of their career or working at a more advanced level. Courage Through Leadership: Setting the Stage for Change Great leaders come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing they have in common is the courage to push through uncomfortable situations. Now more than ever, people want leaders who have the strength of mind to make the hard decisions that will ultimately bring about change. And that’s exactly the type of people who make up HomeSmart’s leadership team. “As leaders, we’ve all vowed to never be in a situation where we look back and say, ‘We should have changed or made a pivot here, but we didn’t have the courage to do so,'” says Bowers. “We’re okay with making mistakes here and there as we put ourselves in a vulnerable position when trying something new and different, but keeping this spirit alive will help us continue to lead in this space.” Coming from outside the industry herself, Bowers understands the importance of a diverse leadership team made up of individuals from all walks of life. No matter what type of experience a leader brings to the table, grit and determination are two qualities that can’t be overlooked. “We’re always looking for those who want to join the revolution and who like to run at warp speed, which is something we can get a sense of very early on during the interview process. We want people on the team who truly believe that there’s no job too small or too large,” says Bowers. “The people who join HomeSmart are typically on the rebellious side anyways,” adds Bowers. “They tend to do things differently, and that fits with the overall vibe of the brand.” Reevaluating Your Business Model to Keep Up With the Competition As real estate brokerage companies contend with change rather than simply resting on their laurels and sticking to what they know, they must get to a place where they’re comfortable being uncomfortable. While it may sound like a challenging proposition, in keeping with the stages of business growth, broker/owners should reevaluate their business model every two to three years. “You don’t necessarily need to change your business model entirely, but you need to question it because everyone around you will be questioning it,” explains Bowers, who urges those at the helm of brokerage operations to ask themselves three important questions: Is it still right? Is it still working? Is there something that needs to be added? HomeSmart is empowering its agents from every angle to solidify their position at the center of the transaction. To help brokers with the process, HomeSmart leans on every member of the organization to share where they see the potential for opportunity as well as what they believe the brand can do to stay ahead. “So much of the reevaluation process is the eyes and ears that are on the front-line,” says Bowers. “We want to know what they’re seeing and hearing in addition to what parts of the process are causing frustration.” Paying attention to the competition is also important, as one of the first steps in revamping your own business model is understanding how you stack up against others, finding the whitespace to compete. “Look at the competition and see how their growth compares to yours,” says Bowers. “Are they staying the same, or are they growing faster or slower than you?” Sizing up the competition also includes being aware of organizations outside the industry that could potentially get their foot in the door and change the real estate landscape as we know it. Preparing for the Future The future is looking brighter than ever at HomeSmart as the brand hunkers down and prepares to raise the bar higher when it comes to what they’re offering real estate agents—and how they’re positioning them for continued success no matter what transpires. “We’ll continue to provide agents the things they’ve come to love and expect,” says Sumney, which includes office access, brick-and-mortar locations, support, personnel on the ground and in every market, training, mentoring and marketing resources. Sumney concludes, “As we work toward the future, we’re 100% committed to providing a full-service brokerage with both remote and tech-driven capabilities.” And that’s how HomeSmart will continue to win. For more information, please visit www.homesmart.com. Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to paige@rismedia.com. The post Cover Story: A Better Future for Agents appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaOct 4th, 2021

Closing The Worthiness Gap

This summer, it seemed every time a friend texted me, it was to say they were leaving their job. Some left for high-tech jobs and doubled their salaries.  Others left for startups that gave them great-sounding titles of ten-person organizations like ‘chief growth officer’ with handsome equity packages.   The “Great Resignation” was in full swing, […] This summer, it seemed every time a friend texted me, it was to say they were leaving their job. Some left for high-tech jobs and doubled their salaries.  Others left for startups that gave them great-sounding titles of ten-person organizations like ‘chief growth officer’ with handsome equity packages.   The “Great Resignation” was in full swing, and it felt like just about everyone I knew had decided that the twin perils of uncertainty and monotony in pandemic work-life required chucking it all for something more worthwhile.  If we were going to spend our lives wearing stretchy pants while talking into a webcam for ten hours a day, it needed to be worth it. [soros] Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Earlier in the year I had led a quantitative study on love and worth at work.  Eighty nine percent of the people we surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that it matters to feel worthy; yet, five out of ten indicated they sometimes, often, or always struggled to feel worthy.  I call this difference between how much it matters to feel worthy, and how hard we struggle to feel worthy, the Worthiness Gap. We want to feel worthy, but struggle to do so.  And yet we have no choice but to show up and go to work every day, bringing our unworthy-feeling selves to the workplace.  Or we choose to try to find our elusive worth elsewhere. Worth matters because 84% of people said they do their best work when they feel worthy.  Workers who rate their employer highly for humanity and for genuinely caring about their experience, are two and a half times more likely to be motivated at work, and one and a half times more likely to take on more responsibility than their peers. Beyond increasing productivity, greater worthiness in the workplace boosts creativity and innovation. There are two kinds of worth, intrinsic and extrinsic.  Extrinsic worth is the kind that you can measure with paychecks and job titles.   Don’t get me wrong — like many people, I want to get paid more and promoted to an ever-cooler sounding job title.  But I also want to feel that both me and my work matter, particularly now that in the U.S. we work more than any other culture and any other time in history .  The strategic workplace needs to focus on closing not only the extrinsic pay gap in this volatile labor market, but also closing the Worthiness Gap.  While the market must absolutely correct for hot skill areas, poverty-level wages, and pay inequities for minorities and women, we also need a different kind of currency that taps into people’s feeling of intrinsic worth. By definition, intrinsic worth is an inside job. It is that internal feeling of being enough before we say or do anything, write a report or give a presentation.  It is present regardless of how well the report goes over well, or whether the presentation is ‘the’ bomb or ‘a’ bomb.   Showing up to work every day, we see our actions and omissions subject to constant evaluation—that drain our intrinsic worth and tells us we will never be ‘good enough.’  I can say with absolute certainty that there will always be someone who is smarter, faster, or just generally better at some aspect of my job than I can be any single day in every moment. No one is that good all the time. Filling The Worthiness Gap In my experience and research there are four ways that strategic organizations can stop the drain on talent and begin to fill the Worthiness Gap. First, as any manager knows, the actions of an individual leader matter.  Just by being the ‘leader’ your words and actions, no matter how small, gain a significance that other words and actions lack.   We all want to believe that we are seen as worthy by someone who has authority over our work.  The challenge, as a wise friend and mentor once told me, is to leave an individual feeling better off for having interacted with you no matter how brief, insignificant and infrequent the exchange. For leaders, this means using your authority, allyship or power on behalf of the people on your team to make them feel that both they and their work matters.  I am frequently surprised how important a small micro-affirmation, act of conscious kindness or sign of gratitude can seem to a team member who previously felt invisible and unworthy.  I will never forget when my CEO ended a meeting simply by saying, “I see you.” Three powerful little words. The second way we can close the worthiness gap for colleagues is to become an active sponsor.  Many organizations are formalizing programs to match junior team members with senior ones.  My definition of sponsorship is about more than simply matchmaking, mentoring, or seeing the worth in rising employees who may not yet see it in themselves.  Sponsorship means using your personal and positional power to act on behalf of a colleague to remove obstacles.  Having a sponsor at work feels amazing.  Sponsorship, built on personal relationship equity, is hard to walk away from and replicate with pay or job titles. The first two ways to close the worthiness gap rely on the acts and efforts of individual leaders that, depending on their sphere of influence, may not scale broadly to the organization. Much depends on your luck in finding a leader who recognizes your worth and takes you on as a sponsor. The third way to close the worthiness gap is to institutionalize a process of recognizing the fundamental worth in others – thereby making people’s feelings of mattering the norm rather than the exception.  In my practice, we created the “Human Experience Dream team.” We issue a survey every six weeks simply asking the question, “What could we do to elevate your experience?”  The dream team responds to each survey with small but deliberate acts to make our employees feel worthy.  They have sent gift cards for coffee, locally-sourced chocolate (my fave), stuffed animals, freshly baked cookies, and more to colleagues all over the country. Finally, beyond an individual’s actions, sponsorship, or team dedicated to recognizing the worth in others, we can celebrate worthiness at scale.  Many organizations, including my own, enable employees to ‘catch someone in the act’ of kindness and reward them with points, tokens, or other small gifts. Thrivent, a financial services organization, and one of the very few not-for-profits on the Fortune 500, goes beyond individual recognition to public celebration.   Their ‘goodness’ points are tied to an internally-focused social media recognition program.  All employees have a level-based monthly budget of points and an unlimited number of “free” social recognitions to apply to any colleague doing something worth celebrating.   Recipients can redeem their points for company merchandise or items from an extensive catalog, but the main value is the enterprise-wide celebration and recognition of their worth in public channels.  One leader at Thrivent told me he knows he won’t find another financial services company that makes him or the people he works with feel more worthy than his current employer. When you can’t pay people any more, and you’re out of better-sounding job titles, consider investing in a new form of currency that helps to close the Worthiness gap in employees.  It just might be worth it. About the Author Amelia Dunlop is the Chief Experience Officer for Deloitte Digital, and she leads the Customer Strategy and Applied Design practice for Deloitte.  She is based in Boston, and author of the forthcoming Elevating the Human Experience: Three Paths to Love and Worth at Work (Wiley, Oct. 26, 2021). Updated on Sep 29, 2021, 10:45 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 29th, 2021

Transcript: Hubert Joly

       The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Hubert Joly, Best Buy CEO, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.   ~~~   BARRY RITHOLTZ,… Read More The post Transcript: Hubert Joly appeared first on The Big Picture.        The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Hubert Joly, Best Buy CEO, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.   ~~~   BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, I have an extra special guest. Hubert Joly is the man who helped turn around Best Buy when they were floundering about a decade ago. The stock has since returned 10X from when he joined as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He is the author of a fascinating new book, “The Heart of Business: Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism.” He’s really a fascinating guy, has an amazing background, both as a consultant for McKinsey and being on a number of different boards and running a number of different companies. Everybody who’s looked at his work always put him amongst the best CEOs, top 100 this, top 30 that, really just a tremendous, tremendous track record. And I had a fascinating time speaking with him. I think if you’re at all interested in anything involving leadership or the next era of capitalism or why the old-school Neutron Jack approach to just firing everybody and cutting costs away to restore profitability no longer works, you’re going to find this to be a fascinating conversation. So, with no further ado, my interview with Hubert Joly. VOICEOVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. RITHOLTZ: This week, my special guest is Hubert Joly. He is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Best Buy. He is currently the Senior Lecturer on Business at Harvard Business School. He is on the boards of directors at Johnson & Johnson and Ralph Lauren and has been named one of the top 100 CEOs by Harvard Business Review, one of the top 30 CEOs by Barron’s and one of the top 10 CEOs to work for in the U.S. by Glassdoor. Hubert Joly, welcome to Bloomberg. HUBERT JOLY, Senior Lecturer, Harvard Business School: Well, thank you, Barry, very much looking forward to our conversation. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s start with a little bit of your background, you’ve been the CEO of three major companies. Tell us about how that came about. Take us to the beginning or early days of your career. JOLY: Yes, Barry. I started my career with McKinsey & Company in France and then also in the U.S. Essentially, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. So, that, I thought, it’d be a great training ground and I ending up staying a dozen years at the firm, done a great deal and had wonderful opportunities to lead great companies. At first, I left McKinsey to lead a client that was EDS, Electronic Data Systems in France and I ended up doing a number of turnaround and transformations of companies in industry sectors that were challenged by technology. So, in videogames, in travel, and then, of course, ended up with Best Buy. And I’ve ended up working a variety of industry sectors and those specializations there and every move was a move that was based on — it was – there was somebody with whom I had developed relationship that played a critical role. And so, for example, when I left Vivendi Universal to become the CEO of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, the CEO of (inaudible), which was one of the two shareholders, had been a client of mine and where we have stayed friends. So, Barry, one of the key lessons is that try to minimize the number of people you annoy or irritate along the way and try to focus on doing a great job when you are and then I hope that God provides in the end, which is, I think, the lesson for me of my career. RITHOLTZ: So, I want to spend more time talking about your career. But I have to ask, how did you find yourself moving from France to the United States, what led to that and what was that transition like? Because every time I’m in Paris, I always end up saying to myself, God, I could live here. JOLY: Yes. Thank you for that, Barry. So, the first time I moved to the U.S. in 1985, I was with McKinsey & Company. I’d gone to school in France and there had been discussion of should I do an MBA in the U.S. and after a while, McKinsey said no, you really don’t need to do that. But if you want to spend time in the U.S., we’ll send you to one of our offices. So, I ended up in the San Francisco office, quite the years where the minors were at the top of their game, right? So, that — it’s quite fascinating. And then the last time I moved to the U.S. was in ’08, 2008, when I became the CEO of Carlson Companies. So, I moved there from Paris, France to Minneapolis, Minnesota. And I love France. I think it’s a great country. I love the U.S. What I love about the U.S. is that since Jefferson, we’ve been optimistic. It’s been the dream of a better life and it’s this optimism. Let me tell you, in France, you talk about a problem that has never been solved. People will say, well, who are you to talk about it. Nobody has been able to solve it, right. But in the U.S., if a problem has never been solved, immediately, your friends is like, this is interesting, let’s see whether we can solve it. I love this optimism in this great country and I’m now a dual citizen, Barry. RITHOLTZ: Very — really, really interesting. So, let’s talk a little bit about how one becomes a good CEO. Is it effectively on-the-job training or is it a function of your experience and ability that makes you a great leader? JOLY: Yes. There’s the myth that you’re born a leader. I think that every leader was born, of course, but none of us were born leaders and I think it’s a learning journey. And for me, it’s been — yes, I’m learning by doing, learning on the job, learning from great mentors. One thing I learned the most about — with McKinsey was watching my client’s lead and I learned so much from a number of them. Learning from colleagues, at Best Buy, I learned so much from the frontliners and some of our great executives and then our coach. So, let’s slow down here. Can we agree, Barry, that exactly 100% of the top 100 tennis players in the world have a coach. RITHOLTZ: Sure. JOLY: I think the same is true for all of the NFL teams, all of the Champions League teams. What about us executives, right? And so, it’s interesting that now, for CEOs and senior executives have coaches much more popular. But 10 or 15 years ago, not so much. And I’ve benefited enormously, my first coach was the inimitable Marshall Goldsmith. I’ve learned a ton from him. He helped me deal with feedback and focus on getting better and asking for advice. And without Marshall, I would not be – it is infomercial before and after picture, it’s most improved. RITHOLTZ: Marshall Goldsmith was where? Was that at McKinsey or? JOLY: It was — the first time I worked with Marshall was in 2009. I had just became the CEO of Carlson Companies and my head of HR, Elizabeth Bastoni, told me, would you like to work with a coach and my first reaction was, am I doing anything wrong, is everything wrong with this? He said, no, no. I know Marshall, he helps in a great deal get better. His clients are – were, at that time, Alan Mullally of Ford and Jim Kim of the World Bank. I said, that’s cool, I want to be a member of that club. And Marshall was so helpful because when I was getting feedback, you do a 360 and you hear the goods and then you hear the other parts and my reaction initially was, what’s wrong with them, right? What are they talking about? And Marshall helped me — and the way he helped was — so, I did the 360. He gave me first all of the good things that people have said and says, spend the time to swallow this, digest this. And then the next day, he gave me the other stuff and he said, here’s the scoop, you don’t need to do anything with it, right? There’s no god that says that you need to get better at any of these things but you can — but you get to decide what you want to work on and get better at, right? And think about, so, here’s a question that we could ask, right, think about things that you’d like to get better at, right, and if you cannot think about anything, try humility, right, as a potential area. And then what Marshall made me do is talk to my team and said, thank you very much for all of the feedback you’ve given me and then based on what you said, I’m going to start to work on three things, number one, number two, number three, and I’m going to follow up with each of you to ask you for advice on how I can get better at these three things and then a few months from now, I’ll follow up to see how I’m doing. Now, believe me, Barry, first time I did this, this was excruciating pain having to admit to my team that I was not perfect. They knew it. They knew I was not perfect but having to say it out loud and then I wanted to get better at something. But this getting better at something makes it very positive. And then — so, later on, when I joined Best Buy, I repeated that signaling to every one of the executives that it was OK to want to get better at something. And so, later on, everybody at Best Buy had a coach and we were all helping out each other on getting better at our job, which is what I think you need to do. So, coaching — executive coaching plays a key role in my life. RITHOLTZ: Very interesting. And I recall seeing Marshall Goldsmith’s name on a book, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” and a quick Google search shows me that like you, he also is a professor. He teaches at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and has quite an impressive CV. But I want to stick with the concept of coaching and mentors, what did you learn at McKinsey who helped you when you were there sort of develop into the CEO that you are today? JOLY: Yes. So, there was — for me, there were two phases, Barry, at McKinsey that we serve, before the partnership and then the partnership. So, in my first say six years as an associate and then a manager, I learned a lot about problem-solving, communications, serving functional matters and so forth. So, I could say I learned a bunch of technical skills. But when I became a partner, the opportunity I got was sit down next to the CEO of the clients, watch them do their thing and listen and learn from them and that makes me — I got a great deal, right, because they were paying us and I was learning from them, right? Couldn’t get a better deal than that. And so, I will always remember, there was a client in, Jean-Marie Descarpentries was the CEO of a computer company Honeywell Bull and this is the guy who told me that the purpose of the company is not to make money, right? It’s an outcome, right? In business, you have three imperatives. You have the people imperative, which are the right teams. We have the business imperatives, which are the customers or clients and then great products and services. And then there’s a financial imperative and, of course, you have to understand that excellence on the financial imperative is the result of excellence on the business imperative, which itself is the result of excellence on the people imperative. So, it’s people, business, finance and finance is an outcome. And by the way, it’s not the ultimate goal because if you think about a company as a human organization, a bunch of people working together, they’re probably in there to create something in the world, right, and we can dig into this but that was — and believe me that was 30 years before the BRT statement of 2019 that we said we need (ph) in August the second anniversary. And so then, it was — the practical implications around this is that when you do your monthly review with your team, start with people and organization. Don’t start with financial results. If you should start with financial result, you’re going to spend your entire time on financials and you want to understand what’s driving these results whereas if you start with people and organization, you have a chance to spend time on that, then business, customers, products and then the CFO will make sure that you’ll spend enough time on the financial results. So, for me, that was a game changer and I applied this throughout my career and you could say whether it was in videogames or in travel or hospitality or in Best Buy, this focus on people first and treating profit as an outcome was a big driver performance. And this has not smoked anything illegal when I say this, Barry. As you know, the share price of Best Buy went from beyond low, it was $11. Recently, it’s been between 110 and 120. So, time spent in nine years, that’s not bad. Maybe you could have done better, Barry, but it’s OK, I think. RITHOLTZ: No. I don’t think I could have done better than 10X and PES no longer illegal in New York. So, you could smoke whatever you like. We’re going to — by the way, those three steps that you just mentioned are right from the book and we’re going to talk a little more about the book in a few minutes. But before we get to that, I have one last question to ask you which has to do with the fact that Best Buy, you mentioned it’s up 10X, it’s a publicly-traded company. Before you were at Best Buy, you are also at a giant company but it was privately held. Tell us a little bit about what that transition was like having to answer to shareholders and Wall Street. How did you manage that? Very different experience from everybody I’ve spoken with over the years. JOLY: Yes. Barry, so, I’ve worked in a public company, Best Buy. I’ve worked in a family-owned company, this was Carlson Companies. I’ve worked in a partially private equity-owned company, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, one equity partner of JPMorgan with 45 different shareholders and frankly, I think it’s pretty much all the same. You have shareholders whether they are large entities like Fidelity or Wellington or it’s a private equity player or it’s a family, they have expectations and needs and, by the way, all of them are human beings, right, by the way and that’s focused on the high-intensity trading that all the longs and all the shorts, they are human beings, and I’ve had – even though I say profit is an outcome and is not the ultimate goal, shareholders, even in stakeholder capitalism, are very important stakeholders. They’re taking care of our retirement. So, we love them for that. And so, when I was a CEO of Best Buy, I so enjoyed spending time with our shareholders sharing with them what we’re doing, answering their questions, they’re smart. It was always taking things away and the key was pay attention, listen and then pay attention to the say/do ratio. Best Buy had lost its credibility because they were saying a lot but not doing much, right? So, with my wonderful CFO sharing the column with me, we’re going to say less and do more and that’s how we’re going to build our credibility and we would be very transparent, share our situation, the opportunities we saw, what we’re going to do, and then we update them in our progress. And so, I really enjoy the competition. But in many ways, Barry, I think public, private equity or a family is largely the same. It’s people, we have to respect them and take care of their needs. RITHOLTZ: My extra special guest this week is Hubert Joly. He is the former Chairman and Chief Executive at Best Buy, a company that he helped turn around over the course of his tenure there. Let’s talk a little bit about that. If you would have asked me a decade ago what the future look like for Best Buy, I would have said they were toast that Amazon was going to eat their lunch and they were heading to the garbage pile. Tell us what the key was to turning the company around so successfully. JOLY: You’re, right. Everybody thought we’re going to die. There was zero buy recommendation on the start in 2012 and what I found as I was examining the opportunity to become the CEO because my first reaction when I was approached was this is crazy, right? This is the same reaction as you described. But what I found is that there was nothing wrong with the markets or the business outside. All of the problems were self-inflicted. In fact, the customers needed Best Buy because we needed a place where to see and touch and feel the products and ask questions. And the vendors ultimately needed Best Buy. They needed a place where to showcase their products, the fruit of their billions of dollars of R&D investments. The problems were self-inflicted. Prices were not competitive. The online shopping experience was terrible. Speed of shipping was bad. The customer experiences in the stores have deteriorated. The cost structure was bloated and, and, and. That’s great news because if a problem is self-inflicted, you can fix it. RITHOLTZ: Right. JOLY: And so the first phase was all about fixing what was broken and the advice I had been getting, Barry, was cut, cut, cut. We’re going to have to close stores, cut headcounts. We did the opposite. All of the stores were profitable. So, frankly, there was no point of closing stores in a significant fashion. RITHOLTZ: Right. JOLY: It was very — the first phase was a very people centric approach, listening to the frontliners. My first week on the job, I spent it in the store in St. Cloud, Minnesota. I think in France, we would say St. Cloud but over there it’s St. Cloud so there you go. And really listening to the frontliners, they had all of the answers about what needed to be done. And so, my job was pretty easy, it was do what they have to — what they said we needed to do like fix the website, make sure the prices were competitive and so forth. The second on the people centric approach, build the right team at the top and then instead of focusing on headcount reduction, focus on growing the top line by meeting the customer needs and fixing what was broken in the customer experience and treating headcount reduction really as a last resort. And then focus on mobilizing the team on what we need to do for the customers. That sounds soft but that was our opportunity and that’s what we need to do in the first two or three or four years. And then once we have saved the company, it was about how do we — where do we go from here, how — what kind of company do we want to build for the future. And that’s why we focused on designing our purpose as a company. We said we’re actually not a consumer electronics retailer. We are a company in the business of enriching life through technology by addressing key human needs, which we’ll talk more about this. But this was transported because it’s expanded our addressable market and have to mobilize everybody. And as a company, we have to work on making this come to life in all of our activities and really creating an environment where – I think the summary at that time was we unleashed human magic. We had a hundred thousand people plus, I think spring in their step, connecting would drive them in life with their job and doing magical things for customers. And frankly, Barry, I learned so much along the way and, again, all of this sound soft but go back to — we went from $11 to 110 or 120. That was the key. RITHOLTZ: To say the very least. So, let’s talk a little bit about what you guys had done in the physical stores. The big threat to Best Buy was people showrooming, meaning showing up to look it up products and then buying it for a little cheaper at Amazon. How did you — and this is the line from the book, quote, “How did you kill showrooming and turned it into showcasing?” unquote. JOLY: Yes. So, everybody was talking about showrooming at that time. The frequenct was not that high actually but of course, it was incredibly frustrating for the blue shirt associates in our store to spend time with you, Barry, we love you but we spent 30 minutes with you answering all of your questions about the TV and then you buy it online. So, after 30 days at the company, we actually decided that we were going to take price off the table by lining up places with Amazon and giving the blue shirts the authority on the spot to match Amazon prices. And so, I took price off the table … RITHOLTZ: Right. JOLY: … and the customers, once they were in our stores, they were ours to lose. RITHOLTZ: Right. When you want to drive home with the TV in the back of the car instead of waiting a couple of days from it to come from Amazon, immediate gratification has to be a huge benefit you guys have as the physical store. JOLY: Exactly. And then, yes, of course, the (inaudible) but you’re still going to die because your cost structure is too high, it’s higher than Amazon or Walmart. So, we did take $2 billion of cost out. RITHOLTZ: Wow. JOLY: But the way we won in the end was we just had aha moment of, as I said, showcasing. If you are a Samsung or HP or Amazon and Google products, you need a place where to showcase your products, right, because you spend billions of dollars on R&D and if it’s just I’d say vignette on a website or box on a shelf, you’re not going to excite the customers. RITHOLTZ: Right. JOLY: You need a place where to showcase your products. And so, we did deals. The first one was with Samsung where we had a meeting in December of 2012, Barry. J.K. Shin, the then CEO of Samsung Electronics came to visit us in Minneapolis in December of 2012 and over dinner, we did a deal where in a matter of months, you would have 1,000 Samsung stores within our stores where you could showcase these products. It was just across the aisle from — we already had an Apple store within the store and it was good for the customers because they could see the products, they could compare with Apple. It was good for Samsung, right, because the alternative for them first was to build 1,000 stores in the U.S., it takes time, it’s difficult, and. of course, we have this great location and great traffic. And good for us because it was part of our OPM strategy, other people’s money strategy, right, because there were some good economics for us. And so, that allowed us to offset the cost advantage in Walmart or Amazon we have and then over time, we did deal with all of the world’s foremost almost tech companies, including Amazon for crying out loud, and that was the game changer. And we look — if you look at our stores today, they are shiny because — we have all of these shiny objects and you can see and experience all of these products. So, that was really a game changer. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s talk a little bit about both Samsung and Amazon. First, I’m always surprised that people don’t realize what a giant product company Samsung is. It’s not just phones but it’s phones, its TVs, it’s washers, dryers. I mean, Samsung basically anything in your house is a product that Samsung makes and not just entry-level washer, dryers or refrigerators. I think was it last year or two years ago, they bought Dacor, which is like a subzero, high-end manufacturer of kitchen appliances. So, when you set up the store within a store with Samsung, tell us about what that did and how did that impact Samsung’s sales at Best Buys? JOLY: Sure. Yes. I mean, you’re right to highlight this great company. The first deal we did with them was focused on phones and tablets and cameras. So, in a matter of months, they had these stores within our stores and it really put them on the map. It is I think — if you go back to the ’90s, Samsung was not the same company. They were really low end and the chairman at that time, so, the father of the current — of J.Y. Lee now, came to the U.S. and said, at some point, I want Best Buy to carry us and it would be the ultimate goal. And now, they’re one of our top five vendors, probably better than top five. And so, it really gives them the physical presence and to prove that it’s worth for them was then we did the same in the TV department and then in the appliance department. So, it’s been a series of wins for them. And once we have announced the deal with Samsung, other — we had similar conversation with Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, we had a conversation at CES and then two months later, we did the Microsoft stores within Best Buy and then it went on and on. And Tim Cook at Apple told me that he didn’t really like what we were doing, he understood it but he didn’t really like it and Apple has been a very important vendor to Best Buy. So, what we decided to do with them is do more. And so, it was stronger partnership. So, Best Buy is not simply carrying products and partners with the world’s foremost tech companies and with some of these companies and partners on product development, new product introduction and because there’s so much innovation that drives the business, it’s a critical role we play. We also partner in service, Best Buy sells AppleCare, an authorized Apple service provider. So, these partnerships really changed the game. And in the U.S., I think it’s not arrogant to say that Best Buy is the only player which these large companies can do these meaningful deals. So, it really changed the trajectory. RITHOLTZ: I have to ask you about the Geek Squad. Whose idea was that and how significant is it to the company? JOLY: Sure. Robert Stephens was a student at the University of Minnesota, was the — is the founder of Geek Squad in 1994. Very creative guy. The name itself is good — is cool, the logo and so forth, and then Best Buy acquired the company in 2002 when it was quite — still quite small and now, of course, it’s become really big, it’s 20,000 employees. And it’s the key elements of Best Buy’s differentiation because Best Buy is not just in the business of selling you something. We’re — our target customer — people who are excited about technology need technology but also need help with it. And so, with the Geek Squad and the blue shirts, we’re able to advise you when you’re looking at what to do but also help you implement in your home, helps you figure out if something is not working across, right? Of course, let’s take an example. If Netflix is not working tonight at your house, Barry, is it because of Netflix, is it piping to the home, is it the router, is it the streaming device, is it the TV, honey, what is it, right? And we’re honey, right, and we’re going to be able to help you across all of these vendors. And so, that’s a big differentiator for the company. So, really genius. RITHOLTZ: My extra special guest this week is Hubert Joly. His new book is called, “The Heart of Business.” Let’s talk a little bit about writing a book which is quite an endeavor. What motivated you to sit down and say, sure, I’ll write a book? JOLY: Well, this is not a traditional field book. So, this is not a memoir. This is not about the story of the Best Buy turnaround per se. It was reflection, Barry, and it’s really been something I’ve been thinking about for the last 30 years that so much of what I’ve learned at business school, what McKinsey or the early years of my career is wrong, dated or incomplete. And when sit back today or in the last couple of years, even though I’m the eternal (ph) optimist, I have to say it out loud, the world as we know it is not working, right? We’re in this multifaceted crisis, you have, of course, the health crisis and economic crisis, suicidal issues, racial issues, environmental problems, geopolitical tension, it simply is not working. And what’s the definition of madness, right? It’s doing the same thing and hoping for different outcome. And for me, on my FBI’s most wanted list, is two people. One is Milton Friedman, shareholder primacy, and two is Bob McNamara, the former Secretary of Defense and executive at Ford who’s the — almost the inventor top-down scientific management. These approaches don’t work and I think they got us in trouble and there’s a growing number of us, right, and certainly, I’m not the only one, who believe that there’s a better formula that business can be a force for good that — it’s the idea that business should pursue a noble purpose and take care of all of the stakeholders that you put people at the center. You embrace all stakeholders in some kind of declaration of future dependents. There’s no need to choose between employees and customers and shareholders. It’s by taking care of customers and employees and the community that generate great returns for shareholders. We treat profit as an outcome and this formula, people call it stakeholder capitalism or purposeful leadership, I think everybody now talks about it and embrace it, most people. There’s still a few who don’t agree. But the challenge then is how do you do this, how do you make this happen and, Barry, I felt that with my experience and the credibility of the Best Buy turnaround, I could add my voice and my energy to call this necessary foundation of business and capitalism around purpose and humanity and provide like a guide for any leader at any level frankly who is keen to move in that direction but like the rest of us, we would help. And so, that was the genesis of the book and the subtitle of the book is leadership principles, right, for the next era of capitalism and the book is full of very concrete examples and stories and illustrations. There’s questions at the end of each chapter that people can use to reflect and act at their company. So, that’s the book. RITHOLTZ: Speaking of the book, it got a terrific review from all — of all people, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. How did that come about, how did Bezos give you a review and what’s the relationship like between Best Buy and Amazon these days? JOLY: Sure. Best Buys has always sold Amazon products because we think about Amazon as the retailer, of course, as a cloud company but Amazon is also a product company, right? They have the Kindle and, of course, all of their Echo products. And Best Buy have always sold Amazon’s products in the stores. Other retailers say it otherwise but we felt these were great products and we’re here to serve customers. I got to know Jeff firstly through the business council. Both of us were members there on the executive committee and once, I was invited to discuss our turnaround and how we had approached that transformation and Jeff was in the first row and being very kind. But then we did this significant partnership where I think it was in 2018. Amazon gave Best Buy exclusive rights to Fire TV platform, which is their smart TV platform, to be embedded into smart TVs. So, any smart TV with the Fire TV embedded in it, Best Buy is going to control that. It’s only going to be sold at Best Buy or by Best Buy and Amazon. And when we did the announcement for this deal, we did it in a store in Beverly, Washington, and Jeff came and we had some media there and Jeff said, TV is a considerate purchase. You got to see the TV. Best Buy is the best place in the world we you can do this. That’s why we’re doing the partnership and we built this stress-based relationship. And, of course, the media was — this was a jaw-dropping moment and Jeff is a very generous man. It’s interesting because it raises another question which is how do you think about competition. As you lead a company, do you obsess about competition or do you obsess about your customers and what you can become. And that’s one of the things that Jeff and and I share which is you obsess about your customers and becoming the best version of yourself you can be. Of course, at Best Buy, we look at Amazon. We wanted to — actually, in the sense, we neutralize them, right, because same prices, same great shopping experience and we ship as fast as they do. So, let’s call it a draw on the online business and then we have unique asset. And so, you’re not obsessed about your competition. In fact, in some cases, you partner with them and I think the world — other than the COVID pandemic, there’s another pandemic in the world which is the fear or the obsession about zero-sum games. The only way that Amazon could win is if Best Buy loses or vice versa. The only way this podcast can be successful, Barry, is if you win and I lose. That’s crazy, right? You get to collaborate and create great outcomes and I think in this world as leaders, we have to think about how we can create when win, win, win outcomes for our customers, our employees, our vendors, the community and ultimately, their shareholders. RITHOLTZ: And to put some flesh on those bones, some numbers on it, in 2007, before the financial crisis, Best Buy had done about $35 billion in revenue. In 2020, they were somewhere in the neighborhood of 47 billion and this year, I think the company is looking for an excess of 50 billion. So, clearly, that’s been heading in the right direction. Let’s talk a little bit about your experience on other boards. You’re in the board of directors of Johnson & Johnson and you’re on the board of directors at Ralph Lauren. What have you learned from those firms that were applicable to Best Buy and what do you bring to the table for those companies? JOLY: Yes. So, I joined — the first board I joined was Ralph Lauren in 2009 and I was the CEO of Carlson Companies, which was Carlson Wagonlit Travel, TGI Fridays and then a bunch of hotels, Regent and Radisson. The reason why I was interested in joining another board was to try to become a better CEO in the relationship with my board and sitting on somebody else’s board, you can see the needs of the board and then you can see how the CEO and their team are dealing with you. So, that was a great experience because when you become CEO and you deal with the board, you have zero experience, right, dealing with the board. So, that’s one of the things you learn on the job. So, that was a great way for me to learn. And these two companies, J&J and Ralph Lauren, they’re two amazing companies. J&J, I joined recently. I joined about 18 months ago. And so, watching Alex Gorsky and his team navigate the pandemic, their Credo-based approach. I mean, they’re the inventor of stakeholder capitalism before (inaudible), right, with their Credo that they created in 1943 that’s focused on all of the stakeholders. They’re one of the most innovative companies. So, they show the value of doing meaningful innovation for the benefit of, in their case, their patients. This is a wonderful entrepreneur. The company was founded in ’67 and it’s a great company, one of the most iconic brands on the planet. So, how do drive this and how do you balance left brain and right brain and, of course, enjoying cooperating with Patrice Louvet, the CEO, who is a terrific guy. And so, learning — I’m like a sponge, I love learning (ph) from others. What I bring, I would frame it along the lines of what I was looking for my board to do when I was CEO and I was not looking for the board to give me all of the answers and do my job, right? But I use the board — I wanted — I build a board that would give me complementary skills. So, I wanted to have the best people on the board that would have skills that would be additive to our management team and use the board as a sounding board to — I would get 80 percent of the value of the board meeting in preparation to the board meeting. And then getting reaction at the sounding board. When you are in the weed, sometimes, you’re missing something and then being able to access unique expertise from my board. So, what I try to bring on these boards is I try to be a resource for the management team, a sounding board, and helping them with their most important issues. I really enjoyed that. I’m in the state now where I started a new chapter as you highlighted, I’m no longer a CEO but it’s a matter of giving back and helping the next generation of leaders be the — become the best version of themselves they can be. So, I do that through boards and through executive education at Harvard Business School, also coach and mentor of a number of CEOs and executives. So, it’s — I just love doing that. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s talk a little bit about what you’re doing now. Tell us about the class you’re teaching at Harvard. JOLY: So, on Monday, August 30th, that is the first day of school for the incoming MBA class. So, I’m one of the professors in the first year. I teach marketing, which is about — it’s focused really on how do you grow a company focusing on the customers. So, that’s one of the things I do. I’m also part of the faculty that’s — as a program for new CEOs. So, twice per year with a small bunch of new CEOs, I did this when I became CEO, that come here for three days and we try to help them out. I’m also part of the faculty that’s doing a program called Leading Global Businesses and last but not the least, I’m really passionate about this, we’re designing and we’re going to pilot program for companies and then also in the MBA program called Putting Purpose to Work and Unleashing Human Magic. So, many companies on this purpose journey today. And so, there’s going to be a series of workshops for the top 30 people, custom programs, one company at a time, and we’re going to try to support them in their journey. We’re doing our first pilot this fall and to look forward to learning from that experience. And I think we’re just in the early innings of that new era of capitalism. So, so much to learn. I’m super excited to be part of that journey with a number of companies. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. I have to ask you the obvious question, is your book a book you assigned to your students? What do you have them read? JOLY: So, HBS is a school where there’s really not, for the most part, mandatory reading of any books. So, I know that last year, before the book was established, my wonderful Section E from the MBA program, they all got a copy of the manuscript and they had great conversations, too. Sometimes, the book gets distributed to the participants of the executive education programs. But in the MBA, there’s little mandatory reading. It’s all about, as you know, the case study methodology, which is a wonderful way to learn because it’s hard to learn just from reading. Reading, I mean, I encourage people to read the books for sure but it’s by practicing that you really learned, right? So, that’s the HBS way. RITHOLTZ: To say the very least. And one of the things that Bezos specifically mentioned was that he thought your turnarounds at Best Buy was going on eventually become a Harvard Business School case study. What are your thoughts on that? JOLY: Well, we’re actually working on that with Professor Gupta and it’s going to be taught for the first time. This is going to be fun, right? It’s going to be the last case of the marketing class in December. And so, of course, in my section, it’s going to be ironic. I’m going to be Professor Joly and I’m going to be one of the protagonists. There’s been other cases on Best Buy but this one is going to be much on the turnaround and transformation. So, that’s going to be fun. I’ve also taught it — we’ve also taught it in some of the executive education programs. So, Jeff – I know Jeff is right, there’s a Best Buy case now at Harvard Business School. RITHOLTZ: Really, really quite interesting. So, you mentioned purposeful leadership. Let’s delve into that a little bit. How does one become a purposeful leader who’s focused on creating the sort of environment where others can flourish and perform at their best? JOLY: Yes. This is, for me, such an important information and I grew up believing that as the leader, what was important was to be smart, right, where I went to school and to — some of the best schools and in the early years of my career, this is the left brain would highlight being the smartest person in the room. I’ve learned over the years that this is not what drives great outcome over time. I had an entire reflection and we slowed down. One of the things that is important to do is reflect on why do we work. Is work markedly a mixed reputation, right? We work — is work a punishment because some dude send in paradise, right, or is work something we do so that we can do something else that’s more fun or is work part of our fulfillment as a human being, part of our quest for meaning, right, to talk about Victor Frankl. And one of the things that I really invite myself to do and every leader to do is reflect on this. What’s going to be the meaning of my life professionally? How do I want to be remembered? One of the things we ask the CEOs to do in the CEO program in Harvard is write your retirement speech or with my wife when I — when we coach or mentor CEOs, we ask them to write their eulogy. What would you like other people to say on that day when you’re not here to listen? And I think this is so meaningful because people talk about the purpose of the corporation. I think it starts with our individual purpose, right, because motivation is intrinsic, right? And so, how can you lead others if you cannot lead your life and yourself? For me, that’s the beginning. And very practical, one of the turning points in our journey at Best buy, Barry, was every quarter, we would get together as an executive team for an offsite and one day, I asked every one of the executive team members to come to the offsite with a picture of themselves when they were little, maybe two or three years old. We got some really cute pictures, Barry, I can tell you that and over dinner, we spent the evening sharing with each other our life story and what drives us in life, what’s the meaning of our life. And what came out of that discussion, several things, one is we realized that all of us were human beings, not just a CFO or CMO or CHO, and that, with a couple of exceptions, all of us had the same kind of goals in life, which is it is the golden rule, do something good to other people. And that was transformational because we said, well, we’re the executive team of Best Buy. At that time, Best Buy — we had saved Best Buy and it was — where do we go from here? Why don’t we use Best Buy as a platform to do something good in the world and become a company that customers are going to love, employees are going to love, community is going to love and, of course, shareholders are going to continue to love. And so, there’s a similar idea in my mind which is connecting what drives us as individuals with the purpose of the company and the thing for companies that are embarked on the purpose journey, they write down their purpose but if they just try to cascade it down and communicate it to everybody and say, why don’t you — why aren’t you excited about this new purpose, right, it doesn’t work. We really have to start with what drives every individual and the company and then you realize that, yes, what is your role. So, in the book, I talked about the five Bs of purposeful leadership. The first B is be clear about your — what we are talking about, be clear about your own purpose, be clear about the purpose of people around you and how it connects with what you’re doing at the company. The second one is be clear about your role as a leader. It’s not to be the smartest person in the room but to create the environment in which others can be the best version of themselves. And, of course, if you’re leading a significant company and Best buy has more than 100,000 people, the only thing that happens is the thing that you decide that you come up with, you know it’s going to go far, right? So, it’s all about creating this environment which is significant mind shift. It’s also about — yes, Barry? RITHOLTZ: I was going to say, I’m struck by your comments and this comes through the book about showing vulnerability, inspiring people, embracing your humanity. I think back to the former CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch, whose nickname was Neutron Jack for how frequently he would lay off people and close divisions and fire other executives. When you were putting your philosophy to work at Best Buy, were you aware that this is a radical break from what had come before you? JOLY: Yes. And to quote — so, to go back to France in 1789, at the moment of the Storming of Bastille, there is Louis XVI asked La Rochefoucauld, is this a revolt, and La Rochefoucauld’s response says, no, sire, this is a revolution. And I think that’s what it is and it’s really shifting things. People are not the problem. They’re the source and they’re also the ultimate goal. And I think that most people agree with this, Barry, the challenge is not agreeing with this now, I think it’s really doing it and it’s — I can speak from experience. If you were to look at my face, you would see all of these scars on my face. Learning from experience and trying to get better at this is a lifelong journey of learning to be vulnerable. I was raised — being taught that I — you couldn’t say I don’t know and now, in the world we live, did you have a manual for the COVID pandemic, did you have a manual for back-to-the-office, Barry? No. So, it’s clear that we don’t know. So, we have to be able to say my name is Hubert and I need help and we’re going to work together to figure it out. So, there’s a C change in leadership, meaning from a place of purpose and with humanity and a great deal of humility. RITHOLTZ: So, I want to talk about the pandemic in a moment. I want to stick with this revolution that you mentioned. There’s a quote from the book that I really like, quote, “The Milton Friedman version of capitalism got us here. But now, this model is failing.” Explain to us how it got us here, why it’s failing now and what comes next. JOLY: I used this to highlight the idea which mainly has been Milton Friedman’s, only I get was the context when he spoke. But the obsession with profits being the only thing that matters is proven to be poisonous and excessive focus on profit is poisonous and there’s several reasons for this. One is when we look at the reported profit of the company — by the way, if anybody believes that U.S. GAAP really tries to equate economic performance, study your accounting again, it’s not even trying, it’s a set of principles. There’s many things that GAAP profit does not capture, including your negative impact on the environment or how well your sales force is trained. The other thing is that it focuses on an outcome. So, in medicine, the (inaudible) analogous is my MD was focused on my temperature, right, and I don’t want a doctor that’s purely focused on my temperature because maybe he’s going to put the thermometer in the fridge or in the oven, right, depending. I want somebody who’s going to be interested in what’s driving my health and try to help me get healthy. And so, we got confused by this obsession and that was (inaudible) and, of course, there’s extreme cases. Enron is one of them but — where we lost track of why we’re on this planet and responsibility with doing the right thing. So, this new model, the reinvention of business probably going back to some of our roots, right, with the idea that business is here to purse enabled (ph) purpose. And this is not about socialism, this is about doing something good in the world that could be responding to needs of customers in a way that’s responsible. It’s about putting people at the center embracing all of the stakeholders in a harmonious fashion, refusing zero-sum games and treating profit as an outcome. I think that’s the formula that’s employed by some of the best companies on the planet. And as leaders, we need to go back to that and to learn new things because we’re so influenced by some of the techniques we learned last century, including this top-down management approach and using it extensively. So, that’s something you’re going to learn over time. There’s research by the MIT that shows that financial incentive deteriorates performance, which is the opposite of what we’ve learned, right? But if you feed somebody with carrots and sticks, beware because you’re going to get a donkey, right? RITHOLTZ: Right. JOLY: And in a world where you need creativity and people to be their best, motivation is going to be intrinsic. So, that’s what you need to be able to touch and get to the environment where people want to be their best and make a meaningful contribution in their work. So, I think this is a very exciting phase. This is an urgent phase because I’m concerned probably like you and many others that we have a few ticking timebombs and I have three wonderful granddaughters. I want to do my best to try to, quote-unquote, “make the planet” be a better world, right, than the current trajectory. RITHOLTZ: And this is very consistent, I have a fuller understanding of your philosophy that profit should be an outcome and not just the goal in and of itself. You’ve really put some meat on those bones. JOLY: Yes. Thank you, Barry, and there’s practical implications of that again and starting your monthly business meetings or even your board meetings with people and organization and then customers and business and then basically (ph) with with financial results. You should take care of the first two, the profits will follow. So, it’s a significant practical and philosophical transformation. Talking about quotes here, we quoted Milton Friedman, but I love this quote from the Lebanese prophet, Kahlil Gibran, who said that work is love made visible. RITHOLTZ: That’s a wonderful quote. And let’s talk a little bit about visibility of some of the changes you did. By the time you stepped down from the board of directors in June of last year, Best Buy’s board of 13 directors had, for the first time ever, a majority of women and three African-American directors. Tell us how you brought about this increase of diversity. What about diversity throughout the rest of the company and what was the impact of so much inclusion and a shift away from the older homogenous types of boards? JOLY: I think, Barry, it’s clear for every one of us today that having diversity is going to get to a better business outcome and I do believe that has there been Lehman brothers and sisters instead of Lehman brothers, we would have had a different outcome. But if you also take it a very practical fashion, in one of our stores in Chicago that’s in the Polish neighborhood, if the blue shirts don’t speak Polish, they’re not going to sell much. RITHOLTZ: Right. JOLY: Or when we had Brazilian tourists in Orlando, the blue shirts didn’t speak Portuguese, they were not going to sell much. So, having diversity of every dimension, talent, skills, profiles, gender, race, the country’s color is changing very rapidly, it’s becoming black and brown, we have to represent — it’s very simple, we have to represent the diversity of the customers we serve. If we don’t, bad things happen. And so, there’s a business imperative, there’s also a moral imperative when we see the state of the country. So, from a gender standpoint, as I said, I have three granddaughters, I want them to have the best opportunities, and why would it make sense to only recruit from a quarter of the population, right? RITHOLTZ: Right. JOLY: The board’s — I’ll say the board’s composition was a great place to focus now. It’s not the only one. When we rebuilt the board study in 2013, we want to have the best skills. We were determined to be diverse. So, we had an early focus on gender diversity and when I started to focus more on ethnic diversity, probably starting in 2016, 2017, I met — I had a great meeting with Mellody Hobson of Ariel Investments and … RITHOLTZ: Sure. JOLY: … she’s now the Chair of Starbucks, everyone knows Mellody, she’s amazing, one of the things she told me is that people cannot be who they cannot see. And so, starting at the top and having a board that would signal the direction was important. So, what’s really — and changing the composition of the board is not that hard with only 10 or 12 or 13 people, how hard can it be? So, we told the headhunter don’t bother giving us resumes of non-black directors, right, and if you believe that you are unable to find great black candidates, well, say that’s OK, we won’t have a problem with that. We’ll just work with another firm. It’s not a problem. And so, we recruited three amazing directors and we got them on the board that they’ve concluded (ph) in this direction and I think it makes a huge difference. And, of course, Best Buy is headquartered in Minneapolis and following the killing — the murder of George Floyd, it’s pretty simple, if you — if the city is on fire, right, if the community is on fire, you just can’t open stores, right? You can’t run a business. RITHOLTZ: Right. JOLY: So, in this country, we have this big racial issue that has been going on for centuries. I think generation has the opportunity to end systemic racism and that’s something we, I think, business can play a big role in this. So, that was determined and that’s what we did. RITHOLTZ: Let’s jump to our favorite questions that we ask all our guest starting with tell us what you’re streaming these days, give us your favorite Netflix or Amazon Prime, what’s keeping you entertained during the pandemic? JOLY: I have so much electronic equipment in our place that I’m doing a lot of streaming. I love — I always listen to music. I’m a movie buff. I have a collection of probably 800 movies on my (inaudible) setup. Our favorite I would say recently has been “Good Doctor.” I think that’s Season 5, it’s starting at the end of September. We’re very excited about this. And then from a podcast standpoint, I like listening to HBR’s Idea Cast. That’s a weekly – a great weekly podcast. Whitney Johnson has a great leadership podcast called “Disrupt Yourself.” And then I have to mention, there’s a young teenager, well, teenager would be young anyway, right, but let’s call him a teenager, Logan Lin has got a FinanZe podcast that focused on the Z generation. My God, the guy is so cool. So, everybody joins and downloads FinanZe spelled F-I-N-A-N-Z-E and that’s Logan Lin. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. We hinted at some of your mentors but let’s jump into that in more depth. Tell us some of the people who helped to shape your career. JOLY: There’s so many, Barry. Jean-Marie Descarpentries, a client of mine, had this big influence on me teaching me so much about how to put people first and treating profits as an outcome. There were two great friends, yes, who happened to be monks in a religious congregation in the early ’90s. That was a turning point. They asked me to write a couple of articles with them on the theology and philosophy of work which is where I got a lot of my roots in terms of work as part of our search for meaning as individuals, as human beings. It changed my perspective on work. Another turning point, too, in my early 40s, you could say throughout the book, it was at the top of my first mountain, right, had been a partner at McKinsey & Company. I was on the executive team of Vivendi Universal, by many measures., I’ve been successful, right, except I think the top of that first mountain was very dry which was not fulfilling. There was no real meaning. So, I call it my midlife crisis, right? So, instead of going on to an island, I did — I stepped back and I did the spiritual exercises of Ignatius of Loyola. So, you could say the founder of the Jesuits, of course. You could say he was one of my mentors that was really helpful to help me discern my calling in life, which today or since then has been to try to make a positive difference on people around me and use the platform I have to make a positive difference in the world which is what I’m doing now teaching and mentoring and so forth. And then we mentioned Marshall Goldsmith, my first coach and a good friend. Later on, I also worked with Eric Pliner at YSC. When the board — so, Marshall was doing my annual — having that board with my annual evaluation and the board realized that Marshall and I were such good friends and said, we need somebody more objective now. And we got Eric Pliner, who is now the CEO of YSC, worked with me but also his firm works with every one of our executives and helps us with executive team’s effectiveness and that was quite transformative. You should have spent more time earlier on not just on building the right team but enhancing our team effectiveness and I learned a lot working with Eric in that journey. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk a little bit about everybody’s favorite question, tell us about some of your favorite books and what are you reading right now. JOLY: I read three books this summer. The first one is by Rakesh Khurana who’s now the President of Harvard College and it’s called “From Higher Aims to Hired Hands” which is the history — exactly for me, the history of business education in the U.S. over the last 120 years and how the business school curriculum were saved and how — and why he believes and I do believe as well that we need to evolve it not just learning techniques but also with — it’s not just about learning something or learning to do something, it’s also learning to be, which is I think an entire journey. I also read “Caste” by Isabel Wilkerson and a book by my colleague, Tsedal Neeley, “Remote Work Revolution” which is, of course, a very timely book. Best book ever read, I have to mention Marcel Proust being French, “In Search of Lost Time.” It’s only 3,000 pages. So, if you have a minute or two, I encourage you to get to it. Victor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” is another favorite. And you mentioned the Marshall Goldsmith’s “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.” And finally, I have to mention my wife’s book called “Aligned: Becoming the Leader You’re Meant To Be” and her name is Hortense Le Gentil. It’s one of the best leadership books that I’ve ever read and, of course, a little bias maybe. RITHOLTZ: Maybe you’re a little bit bias. So, you work with grad students and college students, what sort of advice would you give to a recent college graduate who is interested in a career either as an executive or leadership or even in retail? JOLY: I think the advice is the same as we give the new CEOs is write your retirement speech or even better, write your eulogy. And I know my good friend John Donahoe, who’s now the CEO of Nike, did this when he graduated and he’s always kept it. And I understand he goes back to it every year and it’s hard. (Inaudible) between the ages of 26 and 34, early in your adult life, you don’t necessarily know everything but try to write it and see what journey you want to be on and how you want to be remembered. That would be one plot. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. And our final question, what do you know about the world’s of leadership and executive management today that you wish you knew a couple of decades ago when you were first getting started? JOLY: Well, there’s so much over the years. I think it has to do with profits being an outcome not the goal. It’s about importance of looking at drivers of performance. It’s about my role as a leader is not to be the smartest person in the room but to create the right environment. Not about being perfect. Nobody’s perfect. And I think the quest for — maybe I’ll finish with this, the quest for perfection can be very dangerous, can be evil, right, because if you’re trying to be perfect, guess what, you’re not going to be successful. You’re going to be incredibly demanding and harsh with people around you because you expect them to be perfect. And so, you have to be laxed and be kind with yourself and others around you and be able to open up and share what you are struggling with, understand what they’re struggling with and help each other out. That’s the — I think to me, that’s — it’s such an important consideration. The quest of perfection can be very dangerous. Be kind to yourself. During the pandemic, we learned so much, right? We used to fly around Barry, long time ago on planes, right, and we were told by the steward or the stewardess, if the oxygen mask comes down, put it on yourself first before you help others. So, as we continue to go through challenging time, taking care of yourself as a leader, making sure you meditate, you reflect, you exercise, you ask for help either from your personal board of directors, your best friends, that’s the key thing, that’s going to be the way that we can then help others. So, take care of yourself first. RITHOLTZ: Quite interesting. We have been speaking with Hubert Joly, former Chairman and CEO at Best Buy and currently a lecturer at Harvard Business School. Thank you, Hubert, for being so generous with your time. If you enjoy this conversation, be sure and check out any of our previous 376 former discussions that we’ve had. You can find those at iTunes, Spotify, Acast, wherever you feed your podcast fix. We love your comments, feedback and suggestions. Write to us at mibpodcast@bloomberg.net. You can sign up for my daily reads, you can find those at ritholtz.com. Follow me on Twitter @Ritholtz. I would be remiss if I did not thank the crack staff that helps put these conversations together each week, Charlie Vollmer is my audio engineer extraordinaire, Atika Valbrun is my project manager, Paris Wald is my producer, Michael Batnick is my researcher. I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio   ~~~   The post Transcript: Hubert Joly appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureSep 27th, 2021

Field Trip Health Ltd. Reports Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2022 Financial Results and Provides Business Update Including Corporate Reorganization

Completed strategic review and announced intention to separate the Field Trip Discovery and Field Trip Health divisions into two independent public companies. Earned patient services revenues of $1.7 million in fiscal fourth quarter, an increase of 26.7% over the prior quarter and 228% year over year. Full year patient services revenue was $4.9 million, up from $0.96 million in the same period of the prior year. At March 31, 2022, Field Trip had approximately $63.7 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents. On April 5, 2022, granted U.S Patent for the first novel psychedelic molecule in development, molecule FT-104, for exclusive rights for the composition of matter, use and manufacturing of a family of hemi-ester compounds of hydroxytryptamines, including FT-104 until 2040. In May, 2022, launched Field Trip at Home Powered by Nue Life, an advanced wellness platform for personalized, at-home psychedelic care. The program's ketamine treatments, interactive companion app, and virtual aftercare programs, provides an alternative to in-clinic care for those seeking treatment, but who are unable to travel to one of Field Trip's existing locations. TORONTO, June 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Field Trip Health Ltd. (TSX:FTRP, FTRP.WT, NASDAQ:FTRP) ("Field Trip"), a leader in the development and delivery of psychedelic therapies, reported fiscal fourth quarter and full year 2022 results for the period ended March 31, 2022 and provided a business update. All results are reported under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") and in Canadian dollars, unless otherwise specified. Corporate Reorganization Post quarter end, Field Trip announced the completion of its previously announced strategic review and the intention to complete a reorganization that will separate the Field Trip Discovery and Field Trip Health Divisions into two independent public companies (the Spinout Transaction). The reorganization will be completed by way of a Plan of Arrangement (the Arrangement). Field Trip Discovery will be renamed Reunion Neuroscience Inc. (Reunion) and continue to focus on the research and development of novel psychedelic molecules such as FT-104. Field Trip Health will be renamed Field Trip Health & Wellness Ltd. (Field Trip H&W) and will continue its focus on developing proprietary, competitive and differentiated psychedelic-assisted therapies (PAT) through innovation in therapeutic protocols, with a view of achieving the best patient outcomes in the treatment of mental health and mood disorders. Pursuant to the terms of the Arrangement, each share of the Company will be exchanged for one common share of Reunion and approximately 0.86 common shares of Field Trip H&W. Following the completion of the Arrangement, Reunion will remain listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market and Toronto Stock Exchange, and Field Trip H&W, subject to exchange approval, will list on the TSX Venture Exchange. Concurrent with closing of the Arrangement, Field Trip H&W is expected to complete a series of private placement financings (the Concurrent Financing) for gross proceeds of $20.0 million, led by Oasis Management Company and Field Trip. Following board approval on June 14, 2022, Field Trip announced that it will increase its initial investment from $5.0 million to $9.8 million for a 21.79% equity interest in Field Trip H&W. On June 27, 2022, the Company announced its shareholders had approved the Arrangement and Concurrent Financing (thereby approving the Spinout Transaction), at a special meeting of shareholders. In addition, subject to completion of the Arrangement, shareholders approved the Field Trip H&W equity incentive plan and authorized Field Trip H&W to reserve and allot for issuance, and issue, upon the exercise of options, up to 10% of the number of common shares in Field Trip H&W issued and outstanding from time to time, on a non-diluted basis. On June 29, 2022, the Company received final court approval for the Spinout Transaction by way of the Arrangement. The closing of the Arrangement remains subject to regulatory approvals, including conditional listing approval by the TSX Venture Exchange. It is expected that the closing of the arrangement will occur on or around August 2022. The Company's management team and the Board believe that the separation of the two business divisions will establish two independent, leading businesses in their respective areas in the psychedelics sector and ultimately result in maximized long-term value for the Company's shareholders. Joseph del Moral, Field Trip's Co-founder and CEO, said, "Now that the strategic review has concluded, we are focused on the future for the separate drug development and clinics businesses and allowing them to execute on their respective strategic priorities. We are pleased that we were able to secure the financing to execute on our plan in the current challenging market environment, and we are confident that we are setting the companies up for long-term success and increased shareholder value." Key Highlights and Recent Developments During the fiscal fourth quarter, Field Trip continued to advance its drug discovery work which is focused on the research and development of its novel molecule, FT-104, as well as other molecules under development, specifically the FT-200 series. The Field Trip Health clinics business achieved operational efficiencies and increased customer reach as well as announcing innovative strategic partnerships to offer new psychedelic-assisted treatment options. Field Trip Discovery FT-104 Field Trip Discovery is leading the development of the next generation of custom synthetic molecules targeting serotonin 5HT2A receptors. FT-104 is the first drug candidate in development by the Company. FT-104, given the name "Isoprocin Gutarate", is anticipated to produce a psychedelic trip of about 2-3 hours. The structure of FT-104 is based on classical serotonin 2A psychedelics, like psilocybin, which have been reported to be useful in treating a variety of mood disorders, including depression, anxiety and substance abuse. FT-104 completed Phase 1 enabling studies in early 2022 and is now entering the clinical stage of development in 2022. In late 2021, FT Discovery entered an agreement with an Australian Clinical Research Organization (CRO) to perform a Phase 1 trial with the objective to study the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of single, escalating doses of FT-104 in healthy human volunteer participants. Exploratory objectives include characterization of the intensity, duration and subjective feeling of the psychoactive experience produced by the study drug. The Phase 1 protocol was developed in collaboration with our CRO and our clinical advisory team, was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee and is being implemented at the clinical trial site where screening and recruitment have begun. Dosing of participants in the study is expected to begin shortly. On April 5, 2022, the Company was granted a patent for claims related to FT-104. The patent application entitled, "Tryptamine Prodrugs," grants exclusive rights to Field Trip for the composition of matter, formulations, methods of use and methods of manufacture for a family of hemi-ester compounds of hydroxytryptamines, including Isoprocin. Patent protection will extend to at least mid-2040. FT-200 Group During the quarter, Field Trip continued to progress research and development of its FT-200 molecule group. Research so far is showing that candidates in the FT-200 Group are demonstrating interesting pharmacological differences with classical psychedelics that might make them safer serotonin 2A (5HT-2A or "2A") agonists with a broader use potential in mental healthcare. The aim of the work is to reduce or eliminate the potential for cardiovascular related harm by decreasing the relative activity at the serotonin 2B (5HT-2B or "2B") receptor. Early stage candidates are under continued investigations. Dr. Nathan Bryson, Field Trip's Chief Scientific Officer, said, "Field Trip Discovery has benefited greatly from our association with the clinics division over the past 2 years to better understand the responsible use and enormous potential of psychedelic drug-assisted psychotherapy to produce durable relief for patients. As Reunion Neuroscience, we feel we bring a unique perspective to the development of the next generation, regulated psychedelic medicines, such as FT-104, a proprietary clinical-stage prodrug designed to produce a short duration experience, and FT-200, a family of molecules with potentially reduced cardiovascular risk profiles." Field Trip Health Centers Throughout the fiscal fourth quarter, the Company continued to implement operational improvements to reduce costs and increase throughput at its Field Trip Health Centers. In addition, the clinics saw an improvement in marketing efficiency and revenue growth as a result of improved marketing and digital client acquisition strategies that have increased conversion of new clients to the clinics. Consequently, Field Trip Health Centers achieved fiscal fourth quarter revenue of $1.72 million, representing an increase of 26.7% over the prior quarter and more than three times higher than the same period of the prior year. During the quarter, the Company announced the opening of its Vancouver, BC and Washington, DC locations. Coming out of the strategic review, and with the increased emphasis on client acquisition through its digital platforms, Trip and Field Trip at Home™, as well as ongoing efficiency improvements of its in-center offerings, Field Trip has deferred the opening of additional new clinics. Subsequent to quarter end, Field Trip launched its Field Trip at Home™ Powered by Nue Life platform, which provides ketamine treatments from the comfort of a person's home, providing an alternative to in-clinic care. Through this arrangement, Field Trip offers increased accessibility and convenience for those interested in pursuing the powerful treatment outcomes of ketamine therapy outside of a clinic setting through Nue Life's at-home and telehealth offerings. Ronan Levy, Field Trip's Co-founder and Executive Chairman, commented, "Our Field Trip Health centers have played an important role in enabling access to ketamine and psilocybin assisted treatments that have helped change the lives of those living with depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions. With the future separation of the clinics business, we will be uniquely focused to build upon this strong foundation and direct our efforts into growth in client numbers, while also implementing operational improvements to scale efficiently, continuing the momentum of revenue growth we achieved during the fourth quarter. Furthermore, we will increase our focus on using digital platforms, such as Trip and Field Trip at Home™, to increase our reach. We will work to leverage our existing Field Trip Health Centers to maximize their impact while reducing capital requirements going forward." Financial Highlights For the fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31, 2022, the Company earned patient services revenues of $1,724,102 from its twelve clinics in operation, an ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzinga8 hr. 38 min. ago

8 of the best books for couples who want to strengthen their relationship, according to couples therapists

Whether you want to work on your communication skills or understand your love languages, these are the best relationship books for couples. Whether you want to work on your communication skills or understand your love languages, these are the best relationship books for couples.BookshopWhen you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Relationships of any length, size, or phase can see challenges. Couples' therapists often use books to help people in relationships work through issues. We spoke to 2 relationship therapists to find the books they recommend most to couples. Romantic relationships can be a source of unparalleled joy for couples, but nearly everyone who is or has been in a relationship can attest that they're not always easy. Between varied communication styles, different love languages, and outside stressors, any relationship is likely to face challenging moments. Many people in relationships turn to therapists to help navigate through hard times or strengthen a relationship so it will last. Relationship therapists use all kinds of practical tools to help couples. We spoke to two — Nawal Alomari, LCPC of Noor Psychology & Wellness, and Mychelle Williams, LPC, NCC of Therapy To A Tea — to find what books they recommend most to couples in counseling. From practical workbooks to insightful self-help books, here are the eight best relationship books for couples, according to two relationship therapists.The 8 best relationship books for couples in 2022: A radical relationship book about healthy communication skillsBookshop"Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships" by Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from 10.99"This is the number one book I recommend," says Alomari, who helps couples in any phase of a relationship, whether it's a new relationship or marriage, a transitional period, or a couple that's in a stable relationship and wants to continue with healthy communication. "It teaches couples that 'violent communication' is communication that pushes the couple to have conflict. Using phrases like 'you always' or 'you never,' not using 'I feel' statements, not finding productive ways to find solutions together causes conflict in the relationship," explains Alomari, "and this book gives really good examples of how different forms of communication can either help or hinder the relationship." Alomari directs couples to look at the communication examples in the book and focus on what they do individually that isn't helping and offer solutions from the book that could. "That way, they're taking ownership of their own role instead of pointing out what the other person is doing that's upsetting them."A bestselling relationship book about the differences in how we express loveBookshop"The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts" by Gary Chapman, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.57"The 5 Love Languages" is a popular self-help relationship book that outlines the five ways people give and receive love. The author demonstrates how learning to love our partner(s) in their love language can help them feel loved, whether that is through words of affirmation, acts of service, touch, quality time, or receiving gifts."I recommend this book because we tend to show love the way we want love," says Alomari. "Then we can work on showing love in their partner's love language so the effort isn't overlooked."  A self-help book about balancing different attachment stylesBookshop"Hold Me Tight" by Sue Johnson, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $21.94"Hold Me Tight"  focuses on attachment-style emotion therapy and Alomari recommends it because it explains how couples can create a safe attachment in their relationship through a blend of independence and dependence that feels more secure."I recommend this book when there are two different levels of attachment in a relationship, such as when one person is avoidant and one person is more anxiously attached," says Alomari.  "This book can help us identify and name our attachment style and learn how to balance it out."A relationship workbook to complete before marriageBookshop"I Do!: A Marriage Workbook for Engaged Couples" by Jim Walkup LMFT, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.58Even though this workbook was designed for engaged couples, Alomari recommends it to many couples to help get back to basics. "I give it to everybody because it talks about the most basic things in a relationship like who handles finances, how does the couple divide chores, how do you plan on sharing responsibility for the dog?"Alomari, who's also used this with couples who've been married for years, adds that "it gets into deeper topics as well such as emotional support, what does family time look like to you, and how many date nights do you want a week."A relationship book geared towards polyamory and consensual nonmonogamyBookshop"Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy" by Jessica Fern, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.29"Polysecure" recognizes that most studies of attachment styles focus on monogamous relationships but Jessica Fern, a polyamorous psychotherapist, extends our understanding of attachment, trauma, and emotional experiences into the world of consensual nonmonogamy. "I recommend this book for all relationships, no matter the dynamic, because it allows us to get curious and intentional about why we are choosing the relationship style we're choosing whether it be monogamy, ethical nonmonogamy, or anything in between," says Williams, whose relationship counseling focuses on enhancing boundaries, understanding, connection, and intimacy for queer and trans BIPOC.They like this book because it gives people in relationships the "opportunity to find specific language around boundaries, expectations, and influences as to why we are choosing a relationship style and how we can be ethical and responsible."A book for everyone to understand how their emotions impact their relationshipsBookshop"Anchored: How to Befriend Your Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory" by Deb Dana, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.69Polyvagal Theory focuses on the function of our vagus nerve and its connection between emotional regulation, social connection, and our fear response in our nervous system. In "Anchored," Deb Dana explores how we can tune into our nervous system in order to better understand and ultimately control our responses to our environment and those around us who we may be negatively affecting. "I start all my couples work with this book because our nervous system takes in information and processes it in a way that we don't and can't consciously see but it affects us all day," says Williams. "I recommend couples read this book because it gives them a chance both individually and together to recognize the condition of their nervous system. It allows them to access strategies and tools to self-soothe and regulate but also to co-regulate with each other and the community in a way that's affirming. . . and eye-opening to ways they may have learned how to survive but have been maladapted and negatively impacting themselves and their relationship."A book to help couples civilly navigate breakups and divorceBookshop"Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After" by Katherine Woodward Thomas, available at Amazon and Bookshop from $14.29"Initially, people might recommend this book for relationships going through a breakup or divorce, but I recommend couples get into this book is because it allows people in a relationship a chance to think about how things they've gotten disconnected from, things that have changed and how it's affected them," says Williams."Conscious Uncoupling" breaks down breaking up into five steps including "Finding Emotional Freedom" and "Become a Love Alchemist." Though it initially seems counterintuitive to the growth of a healthy relationship, Williams recommends this book because "it allows the couple to once again be curious and intentional about their personal care and individuality and also how they can be in loving and respectful relationship no matter the challenge."A classic, insightful book about love and relationshipsBookshop"All About Love: New Visions" by bell hooks, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.99In "All About Love", bell hooks explores love in different facets of society and the ways we've entangled and divided love with other acts or feelings in a way that has caused division and suffering. Williams recommends "All About Love" because "bell hooks creates a working definition for what love is and separates it from 'care.'" "In my couples' work, I've found that oftentimes only one person is able to connect to this book and the other is feeling defensive about what is described because it causes them to question what they've learned is love," says Williams. "It creates a dynamic conversation around what love can look like and what the expectations are.""If a couple is struggling to process their own issues, bell hooks provides a lot of examples in this book and through those examples, they can start talking about where they stand on different topics, issues, or concerns and how those opinions are impacting the relationship."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider16 hr. 54 min. ago