For our weekend business and political readers:

DUNKIN MORE THAN DONUTS NOW
Expanding from the east coast to the west coast, Dunkin Donuts now calls itself a “beverage company” reports Forbes. That’s because in addition to its baked goods, Dunkin is offering coffee and other drinks at “a cheaper, down-home alternative to pricey, hoity-toity Starbucks.”

With coffee and other drinks accounting for 58% of U.S. franchisee-reported sales in 2012, the outfit’s CFO has admitted that the future is not in Powdered Sugar or Boston Kreme.

“We are a beverage company,” Paul Carbone told investors and analysts this week, stirring nostalgia by referring to Dunkin Donuts’ beloved mascot of the 1980s and 1990s: “Fred the Baker is not coming back.”

As it rolls out its newest media campaign emphasizing drinks, what prize state is Dunkin Donuts targeting next? A state than has more than 2,000 established Starbucks, and what are some of those summer cool-down featured drinks you can get along with your favorite baked confection?  Forbes has all the details at this link.

NEEDED: PEOPLE WHO CAN COMMUNICATE DATA
Harvard Business Review says there is a need for “businesspeople who can think quantitatively and make decisions based on data and analysis, and businesspeople who can do so will become increasingly valuable.”

According to a McKinsey Global Institute report on big data, we’ll need over 1.5 million more data-savvy managers to take advantage of all the data we generate.

The Review post points out that along with data analyst, managers need “to become better consumers of data, with a better appreciation of quantitative analysis and — just as important — an ability to communicate what the numbers mean.”

As a manager, it’s not your job to crunch the numbers; but it is your job to communicate them. Never make the mistake of assuming that the results will “speak for themselves.”

Go to this link for more on the lesson of disseminating your data results.

OK YOU SCREWED UP, NOW WHAT?
“An apology is no guarantee that you’ll find yourself out of hot water,” says Harvard Business Review, so what should you do when you blow it?  How about apologize the right way.

When you screw up, the victim of your screw up does not want to hear about you. Therefore, stop talking about you and put the focus of your apology where it belongs: on him or her. Specifically, concentrate on how the victim has been affected by your mistake, on how the person is feeling, and on what he or she needs from you in order to move forward.

Want to learn effective ways to apologize that allow you to “fine-tune your approach”?  You’ll be “sorry” if you don’t go to this link.

I SPY
The company is called Booz Allen Hamilton and at the end of March it reported $5.76 billion in revenue, 99 percent of which came from government contracts, and $219 million in net income. Almost a quarter of its revenue — $1.3 billion — was from major U.S. intelligence agencies.

Along with competitors such as Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), CACI, and BAE Systems, the McLean (Va.)-based firm is a prime beneficiary of an explosion in government spending on intelligence contractors over the past decade. About 70 percent of the 2013 U.S. intelligence budget is contracted out, according to a Bloomberg Industries analysis; the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) says almost a fifth of intelligence personnel work in the private sector.

Keeping a low profile, most Americans probably had never heard of Booz Allen reports Bloomberg News until one of its technicians, Edward Snowden, leaked classified documents and “revealed himself to be the source of news stories showing the extent of phone and Internet eavesdropping by the National Security Agency.”

So how has the massive publicity surrounding this story affected the publicly traded company, and how exactly did Booz Allen become spy central? For the complete story go to this link.

FARM BILL FAILS
With little Democrat support and a lot of Republican opposition, the Farm Bill died in the House this past week. What happened that caused the bill to end up in a quagmire of last minute amendments and cool support from factions of both parties?

Republican insiders immediately tired to foist the blame on Democrats, insisting that 40 “yea” votes had been promised and the vote count was dependent on those votes being delivered. (Worth noting: The administration made it clear in a statement Monday that President Obama would veto the bill if it passed, a declaration that undoubtedly had a chilling effect on Democratic votes in favor of the legislation.)

But the Washington Post in a stinging criticism of Republicans says, “The majority party in the House should never – repeat NEVER – lose floor votes on major (or, really, minor) pieces of legislation. Republicans, literally, write the rules governing the debate – and, as the majority, must ensure that even in the worst-case scenario they can get the ‘yeas’ they need from their own side. That didn’t happen as a number of conservatives revolted, believing that the cuts proposed in the bill were insufficient.”

Republicans continue to act as an opposition party and not as a governing party, which is congruent with increasing parliamentary behavior among the electorate and their elected officials,” said one former Republican lawmaker. “This is not a path to a majority. House Republicans need to recognize their destinies are intertwined.

For a full summary and analysis go to this link.

BIG CHANGES FOR NBC’S SUNDAY MORNING PROGRAMS
NBC’s “Meet The Press” Senior Executive Producer, Betsy Fisher Martin will be leaving the program later this summer to focus full time on her role as managing editor of NBC News political programming, NBC News announced Thursday.

“I have been so honored to have had almost 22 years in a front row seat to history every week on ‘Meet the Press,’” Fischer Martin said in a statement. “And while I am moving on from that incredibly humbling seat, I am thrilled for the new opportunity to shape NBC’s political coverage and work with all our talented producers and correspondents across the network.”

POLITICO has the full story at this link along with the scoop on what’s up with Chris Matthews’ move from NBC to full-time at MSNBC which means the end of his Sunday morning show that debuted in 2002.

Also in a written statement, Matthews announced he will no longer host “The Chris Matthews Show” — a half-hour Sunday program produced by NBC — in order to focus on “Hardball,” write books and produce documentaries.

POLITICO has more about the move and Matthews’ plans at this link.

ARE PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS A BETTER WAY TO REBUILD AMERICA’S INFRASTRUCTURE?
The American thinks so and in a recent post expands on why such partnerships would work as a way to provide high-quality infrastructure.

As governments across the United States wrestle with the challenge of providing high-quality transportation infrastructure, they should increasingly consider public-private partnerships. The record shows that such partnerships are more likely to be built on time and on budget, and that they offer greater value than conventional infrastructure projects.

Public-private partnerships are a way for governments to cooperate with the private sector to share the risks and rewards of providing public infrastructure. The government agency involved in the project establishes the project goals and desired outcomes (without being prescriptive about the means) while a consortium of private companies takes on the task of achieving them. A single private partner assumes stewardship of the project and responsibility for multiple tasks.

Why does the American writer think this is a better way than the standard conventional means? What are the differences between the two, and are there any drawbacks to public-private partnerships?  Click here to find out.

THE SHIFT IS ON
That is the shift among Democrats on Capitol Hill from Obama to Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton has already racked up a couple of endorsements for the 2016 presidential race — and she hasn’t even announced she’s running yet. Requests are flooding in for the former Secretary of State to campaign for candidates.

President Obama’s approval ratings continue to sink and if his “star power” erodes, “the political focus of the Democratic Party will shift to Hillary, and in some ways it has already,” said former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D).

Read more on this story at this link from The Hill.

TRENDS IN DIVORCE
Jeff Landers is a divorce financial strategist and he says, “Over the years, changes occur in all aspects of our culture, and everything from food, film and fashion to parenting, politics and pop music goes through cycles and trends. Naturally, the same is true for divorce.”

In a piece for Forbes, he notes the three most striking changes he’s seen in recent years.

Find out what they are at this link.

COMPANIES WANTING TO TRANSFORM HOW WE WATCH TV
Slate reports that, “On a typical day, you and your fellow countrymen watch about four hours and 39 minutes of live TV, plus an additional 26 minutes of “time-shifted” (i.e., DVR’d) programming, according to Nielsen.”

That’s more time, by far, than we spend with any other technology: more than we surf the Web, more than we use our phones, more than we play video games. In a given week, the average American child will spend more than a full day—nearly 27 hours—in front of the tube. And children don’t even watch as much TV as adults. Generally, the older you get in America, the more television sucks you in. The average senior citizen spends more than two full days of every week in front of the TV.

But companies like Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google are wanting to “transform” how we watch TV and then there’s YouTube. What do these companies and other start-ups have in mind to snag viewers from traditional TV and when could it begin in earnest?  Channel-up at this link to find out.

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