Weekend Digest: The Simpsons Edition

by Larry Brannan (ltbrannan@aol.com) 3 views 

For our weekend business and political readers:

Does a Twitter IPO get your attention? The social media giant has filed paperwork for an initial public offering. Founded seven years ago and with more than 200 million users, the Wall Street Journal reports “Twitter will seek to raise up to $1 billion.”

The number should be considered a placeholder for now. Filers are required to give an amount on their first filing, but Twitter could ultimately raise much more or even less. Facebook’s first filing, for instance, said it was seeking to raise up to $5 billion, but most knew the final IPO would raise multiples more. It ultimately priced a deal that raised over $16 billion.

How will Twitter be listed on the TICKER, what exchange may it select, and who are the underwriters? The Journal has all the latest details at this link.

It is called “micro-moves” that go against the conventional wisdom of organizational change in healthcare says Harvard Business Review. So, what are micro-moves?

These are small and often barely visible actions and interactions that my research and that of others has found to generate real and consequential change, rather than derailing it as sweeping organizational makeovers often do. By inviting collaboration in the change process from people across the organization, micro-moves tap collective energy and build enthusiasm that is essential for driving change.

Go along with the Review to Wisconsin to learn how one healthcare system used a collection of micro-moves called “discovery.”

These actions encourage people to notice their taken-for-granted assumptions regarding how things are done, reconsider them, and create alternatives. For example, a team of managers and clinical leaders at a medium-size health system, Thedacare, in Appleton Wisconsin, gained invaluable insights about their own care delivery process simply by walking the “care path” with patients.

Click on this link to learn more about micro-moves models that could keep consultants out and streamlined patient care in.

Small has become the “new big” for business, reports Harvard Business Review more-or-less by default.

The American worker just can’t seem to get a break. Automation is wiping out whole job categories, from cashiers to machine-builders, while pressures from globalization, trade, and new Internet-driven business models have disrupted industries and displaced hundreds of thousands of workers. And the prescribed solution — education — is becoming increasingly unaffordable for most Americans.

But the tide is about to turn. A series of breakthrough technologies and new business models are destroying the old rule that bigger is better.

What are these breakthrough technologies and new models that are causing “the global business environment to decompose into smaller yet more profitable markets, so businesses can no longer rely on scaling up to compete, but must instead embrace a new economies of unscale?”

Go to this link for more.

That according to Forbes, but we”re not talking about bulked-up ex-football players or a striker from a lady volleyball team. What Forbes is talking about here is hiring those with athletic traits that are “akin to leadership traits.”

So what are those traits?  Here”s an example:

They have the drive to practice a task rigorously, relentlessly, and even in the midst of failure until they succeed.

For the full list of “athletic traits” for hiring winners in your company, dial-up this link.

With the government shutdown and no compromise in sight, The Economist reports on another looming deadline it calls even more disruptive.

The first thing to clarify is that a government shutdown due to failure to pass a budget and a shutdown due to failure to raise the debt ceiling are different things with different implications. In America many government functions — such as defense and the national parks — must be funded by annual acts of Congress called appropriations. If Congress fails to appropriate funds, the activity must cease, with exceptions for essential services. Shutdowns are disruptive and a bad way to make policy but do not force the government to renege on anything it had promised to do. The debt ceiling is different.

How is it different and what exactly is the debt ceiling? How could debt ceiling gridlock force the Treasury to “not meet some of its legally required spending commitments?” What is the current debt ceiling and what “extraordinary measures” will be exhausted on October 17?

Find out by clicking this link.

With just a glimmer of perhaps optimistic news from Congress, The Washington Post reports, “Anxious Republicans began steering the party away from a dead-end debate about the health-care law and toward discussion of a broader deal to reduce the nation’s debt.”

In meetings with small groups of rank-and-file lawmakers, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has emphasized that he will not permit the country to default for the first time on its debt. Given that a bloc of hard-line conservatives is unlikely to vote to increase the limit under any circumstances, Boehner has told fellow Republicans that they must craft an agreement that can attract significant Democratic support.

For more on this developing story, click on this link.

Well it”s not the GOP, surprisingly says TPM News.

Having failed to persuade their traditional Republican allies in Congress to avert a government shutdown, business leaders fear bigger problems ahead, and they”re taking sides with a Democratic president whose health care and regulatory agenda they have vigorously opposed.

On Wednesday, Obama is hosting chief executives from the nation”s 19 biggest financial firms. Moreover, the Chamber of Commerce has sent a letter to Congress signed by about 250 business groups urging no shutdown and warning against a debt ceiling crisis that they say could lead to an economically disastrous default.

For more on this “divide between some GOP lawmakers and the corporate groups that have helped shape the Republican agenda in the past,” go to this link.

Who is it? Well “The Simpsons,” of course.

This month marks the opening of the 25th season of “The Simpsons.”  Twenty-five years later, “The Simpsons” is still one of television’s premier political pundits, at least as far as U.S. presidents are concerned.

“The Simpsons” has had, for good or for ill, in demystifying our political leaders – especially our presidents. In a sequence that would have been unimaginable before “The Simpsons,” the popular “Game of Thrones” series beheaded a character with the visage of George W. Bush. And when Barack Obama goes on one entertainment show after another – literally dozens in the reelection period in 2012 – to appear to be a regular guy, he owes a debt to “The Simpsons” as well.

All over a cartoon series? Well not just any cartoon series, but a groundbreaking show that is the third highest rated Fox series for the last quarter-of-a-century behind “Glee” and “American Idol.”

The American reports on this national phenomenon and explores how “the etiquette of mocking the president on TV took time to develop.”

Go to for the full “Doh!” Or should we say, the full story.

Then you must do these 12 things, says Forbes. What are the “dominant dozen” and what habits do successful people have in common? How much does failure contribute to success?  Click here to find out.

With a just announced IPO, and more than 200 million users, Twitter has helped change the face of social media and along the way some of the tweets, like the announcement of the discovery of ice/water on Mars have been historic.

Mashable has the tweets from 10 of Twitter”s most historic moments, at this link.