For our weekend business and political readers, a round-up of national and international news stories and analysis:
INTERNAL PROBE STALLS WAL-MART’S PROGRESS IN INDIA
The Wall Street Journal reports that Wal-Mart’s grandiose plan to become India’s top retailer by 2015 has hit a wall. It says the business plan was called Project Jai Ho, a Hindi phrase meaning, “let there be victory.”
The company opened just five wholesale stores in the country last year — well below the 22 planned. This year, Wal-Mart plans to open eight locations, a person familiar with the company’s plans said.
Part of the reason lies in what people in the industry say is India’s labyrinthine process for developing commercial real estate and operating stores.
But the journal says there is another huge reason things haven’t gone as planned. Click here for the whole story.
MILLENNIALS CAN HELP GET RID OF CORPORATE DEAD WEIGHT
Millennials. That’s the generational name given to people graduating from college now and a guest poster for Forbes, Pierre Gergis, himself a Millennial, says corporations would be well advised to use their talents.
It’s important to realize that young people entering the corporate world now are the product of a very different upbringing than any prior generation. Having been educated on a planet that is newly and deeply networked geographically, economically, and informationally, we have had to adapt to unprecedented speeds of intellectual paradigm shifts and scales of competition.
The way we think, the way we learn, and the way we work have been fundamentally transformed, and a lack of clarity — on our part as well as on the part of our leadership — as to exactly how we’re different threatens to slow us down, or worse, to turn into weaknesses those tremendous strengths that the forces of globalization have refined by fire.
Dig in to the full Forbes story to learn more about this “energetic and inspiring force” that Gergis says needs “little if any ground-up training” by clicking on this link.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE CREATIVE PEOPLE?
Harvard Business review says they can be arrogant, eccentric, and moody but implores you to hire them.
In fact, unless you learn to get the best out of your creative employees, you will sooner or later end up filing for bankruptcy. Conversely, if you just hire and promote people who are friendly and easy to manage, your firm will be mediocre at best. Suppressed creativity is a malign organizational tumor.
But how do you manage creative people?
Click here to learn the Review’s “Seven Rules for Managing Creative People.”
SMALL BUSINESS EFFECT HUGE FOR THE ECONOMY, BUT GROWTH DATA OFTEN OVERLOOKED
The American says the majority of private sector growth is from small business and “yet detailed data about the attributes and needs of small businesses are too often unreliable or nonexistent.”
Thus policymakers are largely flying blind when creating legislation that affects these firms. Research by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation shows that without new businesses, there would have been no net job growth in the United States over the past three decades, both on average and in nearly any given year as well. Understanding the preferences of these firms should be a priority for researchers and policymakers.
The American goes on to point out that there are very few reliable data sources about the nature and preferences of small businesses in the U.S.
Professional licensing regulations and effective training and networking programs receive relatively little discussion by state legislators relative to their importance to small businesses.
But is all that about to change, and what did a recent small business survey say was the worst regulatory burden for small business? Are there new technologies on the horizon to help small businesses input data where it counts?
Key in to this link for the complete story and analysis.
VIRGINIA CAMPAIGN IS HILLARY’S FIRST TEST
Democratic businessman and entrepreneur Terry McAuliffe is running for Virginia’s governor and Politico says his campaign “is a testing ground for Clinton’s clout, operatives and donors.”
In fact, McAuliffe and some of his top allies have suggested to big donors and consultants that supporting his campaign is a way to get in on the ground floor of Hillary 2016, several donors and operatives told POLITICO.
He’s stocked his campaign with top-tier talent likely to be involved in any Hillary Clinton presidential effort, including campaign manager Robby Mook, senior adviser Patrick Hallahan and bundlers such as Jonathan Mantz and Jackson Dunn.
So as Politico points out, “The success or failure of McAuliffe’s campaign is a chance to measure Clinton’s strength and organization in a critical state that now rivals Ohio as the pivotal swing state for winning a presidential election.”
Go inside this intriguing post to learn more about how this Virginia election could begin Hillary Clinton’s potential bid for the White House.
A ONE DAY LOOK AT THE CHALLENGES FACING THE PRESIDENT
This past week President Obama took a swing through the western part of the U.S. On the first day of the trip, the Washington Post points out that “all of the president’s second term challenges came in to focus on that single day.”
Obama stopped in Denver on Wednesday, where he met with law enforcement officials and delivered remarks urging Congress to take action on his stalled gun control agenda.
From there, he flew to San Francisco, where he appeared at a pair of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraisers Wednesday night — his first of the cycle.
Click on this link to learn why those two stops “served as a reminder about both the complications the president has faced in his second term, and how he is trying to ease them.”
COULD WAR REALLY BE LOOMING ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA?
It’s a frightening scenario and one that could fully involve the United States, this time with the threat of nuclear conflict. Or is it as bad as it seems? Slate has posted an in-depth story piecing together how the tensions have built along with its complete analysis on what it believes may happen next.
The reassuring news: Much of Kim’s bellicosity is probably aimed at his own people, whipping up war scares to justify their continued impoverishment and oppression. And Obama’s brandishing-of-arms is aimed, in large measure, at his South Korean allies—to assure them that America has their back and will take action if the North gets aggressive.
But there’s a nerve-racking flipside to this news: Messages are sometimes misinterpreted; gambles are often based on miscalculations, especially if the antagonists aren’t speaking to one another directly (and Kim’s regime did shut down the North-South hotline not long ago). History is littered with wars that neither side wanted to happen. That’s what worries many officials and analysts when they look at the Korean peninsula.
For the full opinion from Slate on this escalating threat, click here.
THE OFFICIAL, “OFFICIAL RELIGION”
Last week, two lawmakers from Rowan County North Carolina raised a lot of eyebrows across the nation “for pushing a resolution that says North Carolina and its counties and towns have the right to establish an official religion.”
Rep. Carl Ford, a Republican from China Grove, and Salisbury Republican Rep. Harry Warren filed the measure this week as Rowan commissioners gear up to fight a lawsuit that seeks to end their habit of opening meetings with specifically Christian prayers.
But would this measure if actually passed be constitutional, and exactly what would that religion be?
The lawmakers have received stinging criticism from the media and even from some evangelists. For the whole “official” story from NewsObserver.com, go to this link.
LONG TIME FILM CRITIC DIES
Roger Ebert was one of America’s best known film critics. He passed away this past Thursday at the age of 70 from cancer.
He reviewed movies for the Chicago-Sun Times for 46 years and became a well-known personality and film critic on television for three decades.
So it’s only fitting that the Chicago-Sun Times “reviewed” his life and stellar career.
Click here for the story.
Do we change on Fridays, and if so what do we become?
Thought Catalog thinks so and takes a look at the “Six People You Become on Fridays.”
Click this link to find out.
TIRED OF THE SAME OLD ROUTINE?
Well try something new on the side, says Fast Company.
From magic and music to drone making – creative types share their passion projects and how these extracurricular outlets don’t just boost sanity – they feed back into their day jobs.
So what are some ideas? Go to this link to find out about “thirty inspiring projects and why you should have one.”