David DeLong

Dec 11, 2017
President Trump Is Sending NASA Back To The Moon : The Two-Way : NPR
President Trump has formally told NASA to send U.S. astronauts back to the moon.

"The directive I'm signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery," he said.

Standing at the president's side as he signed "Space Policy Directive 1" on Monday was Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt, one of the last two humans to ever walk on the moon, in a mission that took place 45 years ago this [More]
I'm always interested in the latest discussion about returning to the moon because it resurfaces the problems NASA has created for itself by failing to retain critical knowledge about how to get to the moon. Even though we have landed astronauts there 6 times, everyone involved with this project knows we couldn't go to the moon today if we had to. We have lost most of the knowledge from those Apollo missions. Are you losing knowledge in your organization that you will seriously regret in the future?
Jul 20, 2017
Closing the Skills Gap Involves Matching the Right Person to the Right Job ChiefExecutive.net | Chief Executive magazine
A great way to help resolve the skills gap challenge at your organization is to map each employee to the best job for them and for the company, and to provide training and reskilling to help employees improve their productivity and their value to the firm.

Cisco’s solution

One company that has made this a strategic priority is IT and networking firm Cisco. Since 100% of Cisco’s manufacturing is outsourced, the firm needed a way to e [More]
Interesting description of what Cisco has done to avoid critical skill shortages in its supply chain.
Jun 26, 2017
Are You Ready for the Talent Crunch? | Stanford Graduate School of Business
Hiring isn’t easy. Employers might get hundreds — sometimes thousands — of resumes for a single open position and still, somehow, hire the wrong person. Companies working in emerging fields like artificial intelligence or robotics have far more job openings than talented people to fill them. There’s been a shortage of software engineers and health care workers for more than a decade.

As America’s aging population of Baby Boomers exits the [More]
Some interesting insights from a veteran workforce development expert. What works and what doesn't? How do we need to be thinking differently about workforce development? How is technology changing the nature of jobs? All questions she addresses.
Sep 12, 2017
Wisconsin businesses grapple with a growing worker shortage | Madison Wisconsin Business News | host.madison.com
A Pulaski yacht manufacturer that cut 1,000 positions during the Great Recession now strains to fill 70 openings.

In Neenah, a business consulting company replaces print shop workers with tech-savvy programmers, some of them working remotely in other states.

At a Lancaster dairy farm a robot milks the cows 24 hours a day.

A Madison restaurant has raised pay for entry-level chefs in recent years more than 50 percent to $14 an [More]
This article describes the challenges many low margin businesses face today in recruiting and retaining a viable workforce. It is a good description of what is going to be facing many states in the next few years. And there are no simple answers.
Oct 29, 2017
How to Build a Next Generation Leadership Team
The best leadership teams contain a healthy dose of in-house talent, where leaders have developed institutional knowledge that only comes from rising up within the company.

The obvious challenge for teams that depend on promoting from within is that they have to be good at developing leaders. Failure to do so means either promoting weak managers or being left with no choice but to hire from the outside.

All CEOs will tell you that p [More]
Almost every organization is worried about where their next generation of leaders are going to come from. This article has from useful tips for starting to develop your own leadership talent inside the organization.
Sep 01, 2017
States Fight to Fill the Middle-Skills Jobs Gap and Survive in the Digital Economy | Best States | US News
When 43-year-old Lori Faith was granted probation in 2012 after serving only eight months of her eight-year prison sentence for drug trafficking, her stint outside prison didn't last for long.

A little over a year after her release, Faith was sentenced to 10 more years in a Kentucky prison for trafficking methamphetamine. Though she says there is no excuse for her behavior, Faith attributes her return to criminal activity to her inabi [More]
Interesting article on how Kentucky is training inmates for a future in skilled trades.
Aug 08, 2017
Millennials don’t switch jobs any more than Gen Xers did | Pew Research Center
Millennial workers are just as likely to stick with their employers as their older counterparts in Generation X were when they were young adults.
Here are some facts that should surprise you about Millennial job hopping. If this is true, why are managers so upset about the "lack of loyalty" among younger workers?
Aug 03, 2017
Maybe We’ve Been Thinking About the Productivity Slump All Wrong - The New York Times
American businesses are doing a terrible job at making their workers more productive.

Productivity growth is the weakest it has been since the early 1980s — only 0.8 percent a year over the last half a decade, compared with 2.3 percent on average from 1947 to 2007. This is the root cause of slow growth in both G.D.P. and worker pay.

At least, that is the standard way of thinking about productivity and its relationship to the economy [More]
Here's an article definitely worth paying attention to.
Jul 31, 2017
The Universe Doesn’t Care About Your ‘Purpose’ - The New York Times
Keys in hand, I took a deep breath. I flipped the ignition and the memories of my Papa rushed back, just as the familiar rumble of his Thunderbird kicked in.

After a series of painful events in late 2016, I struggled to understand how almost everything around me went wrong so suddenly. If anything, I felt aimless. That is, until the moment I inherited my grandfather’s 1972 Ford Thunderbird. Immediately, it reminded me of the best memories [More]
A thoughtful piece about why purpose is so important to a meaningful life, always an important topic to consider.
Jun 25, 2017
On Campus, Failure Is on the Syllabus - The New York Times
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — Last year, during fall orientation at Smith College, and then again recently at final-exam time, students who wandered into the campus hub were faced with an unfamiliar situation: the worst failures of their peers projected onto a large screen.

“I failed my first college writing exam,” one student revealed.

“I came out to my mom, and she asked, ‘Is this until graduation?’” another said.

The faculty, too, [More]
This article is an excellent reminder that a lot of the college experience and the job search process afterwards is learning to rebound from failure and rejection. Increasingly, top schools are making an effort to teach students how to fail -- and that it is part of life.Those who succeed long term learn how to bounce back when things don't go their way. These are critical lessons to remember when you start the job search process. You are likely to receive more rejections that you ever have in your life. Learning to deal with that -- crying a little, then laughing and moving on -- is going to be a key skill for surviving in today's job market and tomorrow's workplace.
Aug 24, 2017
COLUMN-Age discrimination persists 50 years after anti-bias law’s passage
CHICAGO, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Imagine a time when employers hung out a sign that effectively told job seekers, “People over 55 need not apply.”

That was the U.S. job market in the 1960s, when more than half of private-sector job openings explicitly barred older applicants, and one quarter even refused to look at applicants over age 45, according to a 1964 U.S. Department of Labor report. At the same time, employers were free to forcibly reti [More]
I'm quoted in this article, which reflects the complexities of age discrimination and work opportunities for aging job seekers. It really does depend on the type of job, the skill sets involved, how fast relevant technologies are changing, and how individual job seekers present themselves. All these factors play into the perceived value of older workers. It may not seem fair, but it is how the market works.
Jun 11, 2017
New Global Survey Underscores 'Corporate Amnesia' Epidemic - New York Times
With the current shift toward more flexible and freelance work environments and a 23 percent global employee turnover rate, businesses are more susceptible than ever to "corporate amnesia." This affects organizations when information, knowledge and content is misplaced or lost due to the departure of employees, data overload and an increasingly distributed workforce. The spread of corporate amnesia was measured by a new Jive Software, Inc. (Nasda [More]
Here is an example of another software vendor trying to take advantage of the real challenges in retaining knowledge. I am not sure how successful the solution is, but this article points to some specific areas where knowledge is lost frequently due to the use of newer technologies. This is another frame on the "skills gap".
May 30, 2017
Fighting the silent crisis of physician burnout
I’m a physician and the son of a physician. I went into medicine because I wanted to help people get better and stay well. Somehow along the way, I got worse. Five years ago, I hit a wall, and admitted to myself that I was burned out.

My joy of practicing medicine had faded. I was overloaded with countless hospital initiatives and committees. I felt like I was letting down my patients, my colleagues, and my family. My most important relati [More]
Here is another article on physician burnout and the costs it can impose. What is useful about this piece, however, is that it describes an attempt by one health system to intervene with a solution. The idea of using executive coaching and leadership development programs is another creative way of helping mid-career professionals in demanding, high stress jobs find balance in their lives. We have created so many roles for highly-skilled professionals that are extremely expensive and difficult to replace that society must pay more attention to how we make these careers sustainable, so we don't lose essential capabilities too soon.
May 24, 2017
Lack of Workers, Not Work, Weighs on the Nation’s Economy - The New York Times
SALT LAKE CITY — Stephanie Pappas and her brothers built their roofing supply company in this fast-growing region by promising next-day delivery, but lately they’ve been forced to tell some customers that tomorrow is impossible.

Their company, Roofers Supply, employs 28 drivers across Utah, and Ms. Pappas said she would need at least 15 more to meet the exploding demand for shingles and tiles. The company has raised its starting wage by 10 [More]
Could Utah's experience of a worker shortage be a harbinger of things to come for other parts of the country. One thing this article highlights is the particular problems this creates for low wage industries like farming. This is another frame on the "skills gap" and speaks to the regional nature of the problem. How is your state similar or different?
May 30, 2017
In 'Drop Out Club,' desperate doctors counsel each other on quitting
urned out cardiac surgeon seeks opportunities or empathy,” one message reads. “I feel stuck,” another confides. A third says simply, “I don’t want to be a doctor anymore!”

The posts come in from across the globe, each generating its own thread of commiseration and advice. “I just wanted to reach out and let you know I feel your pain,” a doctor-turned-MBA replies to one surgeon. “Your story is so similar to mine,” a respondent marvels to a [More]
This article describes a troubling trend in a profession where there is already a significant skills shortage -- physicians. While it is hard to feel empathetic for people making a comfortable six-figure income, the reality is demographic trends dictate that we will need more and more doctors as the population ages. But, like a lot of jobs today, many physicians find the demands of their professions outweigh the rewards. This is another field that needs attention to retention and how the healthcare sector can better structure physicians' roles to create a more satisfying work environment. (Of course, this is true for other roles in healthcare, too, such as nurses and allied health professionals.) Retention of good employees is critical.
Aug 28, 2017
The Myth of the Skills Gap - MIT Technology Review
he contention that America’s workers lack the skills employers demand is an article of faith among analysts, politicians, and pundits of every stripe, from conservative tax cutters to liberal advocates of job training. Technology enthusiasts and entrepreneurs are among the loudest voices declaiming this conventional wisdom (see “The Hunt for Qualified Workers”).

Two recent developments have heightened debate over the idea of a “skills gap” [More]
May 28, 2017
Demo Memo: Educational Attainment of American Workers
Among the 161 million Americans with earnings in 2015, more than one-third had a bachelor's degree or more education...

Educational attainment of people aged 18 or older with earnings, 2015

8.2% do not have a high school diploma

26.3% have a high school diploma only

29.8% have some college or an associate's degree

22.6% have a bachelor's degree only

13.2% have an advanced degree
Next time you are wondering how many American workers have a college degree, here are the numbers. A vast majority do not and these people need training for a rapidly evolving workplace.
May 28, 2017
The Dumb Politics of Elite Condescension - The New York Times
To win in 2018 and especially 2020, Democrats need more identity politics — not less. They must address the widespread working-class revolt against global elites. Doing so is a pressing issue because in four years the Electoral College will again give outsize power to the working-class whites in Rust Belt states who delivered the last election to Mr. Trump.

Democrats have taken to the streets to reaffirm our existing alliances and raise ou [More]
I might be revealing my politic bias here, but I collect articles by smart people who are thinking strategically about how to minimize the damage President Trump is doing to long term workforce development in this country. So many of the administration's policies ignore the "big picture" forces that are changing the nature of work and the skills needed by companies and the country to support future growth. (For example, the idea of preserving jobs in the coal industry is painfully unproductive for many reasons.) But this article focuses on one thing the Democrats continually ignore, which is the economic pain being felt by underemployed white workers, particularly in the "Rust Belt". The author suggests the only way Democrats will regain the upper hand is by addressing the specific training and skill development needs of the 60% of young Americans who are not attending college. Helping lower middle class and middle class folks succeed in a technology-driven economy without an expensive college education is g
May 22, 2017
Four Ways To Satisfy (And Retain) Millennial Employees | HuffPost
There are millions of fresh college grads burning the midnight oil in the workplace, giving 110% of their energy and effort to their employers…yet most of them are barely bringing home enough income to survive.

Why do so many companies let their new talent burn themselves out? Why don’t they provide adequate compensation – at least enough for them to pay their rent and their student loans in the same month?

They do it because they c [More]
Managers today are always looking for ideas on how to retain millennials. One place to start is to have an honest conversation about expectations around vacation time. This is a natural place of tension between generations and the sooner it is sorted out the better.
Oct 27, 2017
This is How Severe Boomers Have Made Company Brain Drain | Inc.com
The term "brain drain" was first used to describe the movement of scientists and technologists to America from postwar Europe. Because today the chances of US talent emigrating to other countries is low, brain drain is now more commonly used in reference to Baby Boomers retiring without transferring their knowledge or expertise to successors. In other words, brain drain is the result of not having a succession plan.

In 2011, the first Baby [More]
This article has some new numbers showing how unprepared most organizations are for Boomer retirements. It makes the case for why retention of millennials will become such a big deal.
1-20 of 2621-26 >>

    Twitter Icon Facebook Icon Linked In Icon Wordpress Icon