Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Smart Solar Growing Faster than Market

    Smart Solar Growing Faster than Market
  • In the rush to build manufacturing capacity for smarter solar power technologies, overcapacity is now predicted to drive prices down and pressure vendors toward mergers as market growth cools to sustainable rates.
  • In the rush to build manufacturing capacity for smarter solar power technologies, overcapacity is now predicted to drive prices down and pressure vendors toward mergers as market growth cools to sustainable rates.As the recession faded in 2010, pent up demand conspired with a rush to use about-to-expire tax incentives, temporarily ballooning the solar panel market and prompting a dozen Asian, European and U.S. competitors to expand capacity in 2011. In the current quarter of 2011, photovoltaic equipment spending is predicted to peak, followed by a sharp decline over the rest of the year as the industry abandons expansion plans in anticipation of a pending market downturn in 2012.


    Photovoltaic equipment spending reaches a quarterly high of $3.7 billion in the current quarter, but will sharply decline as the industry resets its expansion plans to meet the expected market downturn. (Source: SolarBuzz)
    The good news is that the slower growth rates for photovoltaic manufacturing capacity expansion will be sustainable, allowing vendors to plan with a cooler head. The bad news is that overcapacity woes in 2012 will like lead to price-cutting and perhaps even consolidation as the weaker vendors merge.
    The total spending for photovoltaic equipment in 2011 will likely top $15 billion, according to the Solarbuzz PV Equipment Quarterly report. As in many markets, growth in 2010 was astounding--139 percent for photovoltaic equipment that manufacturers are using for plant expansions in anticipation of shipment growth rates of 55 percent in 2011.
    Unfortunately, expiring tax incentives and other contributing factors will slow market growth as 2011 proceeds. The current quarter is predicted to mark the highest photovoltaic equipment spending to date, reaching a quarterly high of more than $3.7 billion (see figure), but will be followed by a sharp decline as the industry slows expansion plans in anticipation of slower growth in 2012.
    New capacity build up in 2011 is split between silicon solar cells and the cheaper plastic thin-film varieties such as CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide). New Chinese and Taiwan silicon solar cell producers are the main contributors to the 2011 build-up in capacity, trumpeting their manufacturing expansion, measured in gigaWatts (GW), including JA Solar (3 GW), Trina Solar (1.9 GW), Neo Solar Power (1.8 GW), and Jinko Solar (1.5 GW), according to SolarBuzz, which claims that 82 percent of the $3.6 billion spent on capacity expansion this quarter was for new silicon solar cell manufacturing equipment.
    Plastic thin-film solar cell capacity, however, is growing at an even faster rate, more than 70 percent in 2011 at 65 separate facilities worldwide for a grand total of 4.8 GW, according to SolarBuzz. The super low manufacturing costs of plastic solar cells, compared to silicon, will likely continue that capacity expansion for the foreseeable future.
    The growth rates for photovoltaic equipment overall may top 44 percent for 2011, according to SolarBuzz, but by year's end the quarterly rate is forecast to be down to around 12 percent--a rate that is sustainable, but nevertheless portends an equipment spending downturn that will hit hardest in 2012.
      

Monday, April 25, 2011

Smarter Billionaire Buddhist Reveals Key to Success

Smarter Billionaire Buddhist Reveals Key to Success


  • By focusing corporate goals on employee happiness, celebrated Japanese entrepreneur claims do-the-right-thing leadership “by example” guarantees business success by inspiring creativity, accountability and ultimately, customer satisfaction.

  • By focusing corporate goals on employee happiness, celebrated Japanese entrepreneur claims do-the-right-thing leadership “by example” guarantees business success by inspiring creativity, accountability and ultimately, customer satisfaction.Founder of both blue-chip electronics conglomerate Kyocera and Japan's No. 2 wireless carrier KDDI, as well as part-time Buddhist monk, Kazuo Inamori recently described the key to success which he is currently using to reconstitute troubled Japan Airlines (JAL).
    Kazuo Inamori founded the Kyoto Ceramic Co., Ltd. in 1959 with $10,000 and 28 employees, and today the company (since renamed Kyocera Corp.) has more than 65,000 employees and sales of nearly $13 billion. Then in 1984, Inamori proved his success was not a fluke, by repeating it when he founded DDI to go up against telephony giant NTT, and today the wireless carrier (since renamed KDDI) has more than 14,000 employees and grosses more than $30 billion. Last year, Forbes magazine named Inamori the 28th richest man in Japan with a net worth of nearly $1 billion.
    The key to his stunning business successes, according to Inamori, is what he calls the Kyocera Philosophy, which was adapted to become the KDDI Philosophy, and which Inamori, currently serving as CEO of Japan Airlines, is retreading to resurrect (JAL) after its bankruptcy last year.
    "I strongly believe that corporations should have a philosophy on which to base their management...such philosophies affect the employees and the performance of the company," said Inamori in an exclusive interview. "Having the right mindset is very important, not only for research, but also for life."

    Kazuo Inamori addresses the Kyoto Prize gala where three laureates are chosen each year for outstanding contributions in science, technology, philosophy and arts that have also contributed to humanity. (Source: Inamori Foundation)
    Instead of recruiting employees with the most talent, Inamori encourages employee loyalty by pronouncing a formula by which hard work and a positive attitude can overcome lack of talent. Trained as a scientific researcher at Kagoshima University, Inamori later expressed this mathematically in a formula where ability and effort are measured on a scale of 0-to-100 percent, but attitude is measured on a scale of  -100 to +100, thereby gating the product of ability and effort. In other words, a bad attitude can negate both effort and ability, but a positive attitude can multiple them: Success = Attitude x Effort x Ability.



    Management's purpose, according to Inamori, is not to “chase” profits, but to provide opportunities for the material and intellectual growth of employees, and to inspire their joint efforts to create innovative products that fulfill the workers’ urge to creativity, which in turn please consumers, and which ultimately contribute to the advancement of society and humanity.
    At Kyocera, Inamori's philosophy inspired an array of challenging new products that other ceramics makers had rejected as impossible. For instance, Kyocera perfected an innovative manufacturing process for ceramic packages for semiconductors that had previously required handcrafting, landing it early contracts for ceramic packages used at Intel, Texas Instrument, Motorola, Fairchild and many other semiconductor makers.
    The Kyocera Philosophy was later adapted to KDDI, and now to JAL.
    "When I started KDDI, and also when I got involved in the management of JAL, at first I urged the executives of those companies to read and study the Kyocera Philosophy. I then encouraged those executives to come up with their own philosophies which could be applied to their own companies," said Inamori. "So KDDI, and also JAL recently, came up with their own philosophies that are very similar."


    Kazuo Inamori explains that the Kyocera philosophy makes employee happiness the primary job of corporate management, with profit-and-loss managed by independent interlocking business units.
    The resulting KDDI Philosophy produced pioneering infrastructure advances using wireless microwaves for backhaul, instead of the old-school landlines used by NTT, as well as creative consumer products that bundled multimedia content before NTT, and at lower-price points even after NTT followed suit. As a result, KDDI enjoys a leading-edge image which has propelled the company into the No. 2 mobile carrier slot. 
  • Motivational Moment





    A most beneficial use of time is silent meditation, while searching for guidance from within.


    We all experience rare moments when a blinding revelation comes to us, when we suddenly see things differently than ever before. Usually, however, we learn the truth about ourselves gradually, over long periods of time, from quiet introspection. We are all spiritual, but some of us have learned to tap more effectively into the great strength that resides in the spiritual portion of ourselves. The spirit is not boisterous and noisy. Getting in touch with your spiritual self demands tranquility and solitude. Make sure you dedicate a portion of every day to thought and study, to think and reflect upon your life. Choose a time and place that best allow you to relax your mind and devote your thoughts to reflection.






    This positive message is brought to you by the Napoleon Hill Foundation.

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    The BDPA Insider - April 17, 201



    Click here for the latest issue of "The BDPA Insider":

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    BDPA New Jersey chapter past president Coram Rimes serves as commissioner for the Orange (NJ) Housing Authority. He was recently recognized by the National League of Cities (NLC) for reaching the Platinum level in its Certificate of Achievement in Leadership program. This is a certification level reached by only a few NLC members since its inception in 1999.

    NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. As part of the NLC mission to create stronger communities, the Leadership Training Institute provides local officials, like Coram, with the professional development opportunities to assist then in promoting positive change and innovation within their communities. At the same time, seminars are designed to explore the nature and practice of local governmental leadership.

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    BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to learn that 2-time national BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) champion James Arama is using his Jesse Bemley Scholarship to help fund his freshman year at Marist College. James is studying computer science and software development at Marist College, as well as applying his knowledge to his own entrepreneurial venture.

    We asked James to share his thoughts about his experiences as a member of the BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter.

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    There are many members, officers and leaders around the country who are volunteering their time, talent and energy to support the growth of BDPA. This blog plans to take some time to ask these folks about their thoughts about past, present and future of BDPA.


    Dalric Webb, an Engineering Information Technology manager at GE Aviation, recently joined the leadership team of BDPA Cincinnati as the chapter's VP-Membership Management. Dalric is an MCSE+I and received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Hampton University, his Masters in Information Technology from Capella University, and his MBA with a concentration in Information Management from Grantham University. BDPA expects Dalric to provide the leadership and inspiration necessary to grow the membership of a chapter with a rich BDPA history.

    Dalric shared some of his thoughts on BDPA with us in the following Take Five interview.

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    Computer Resource Solutions has changed its corporate identity to The CRS Group.  This change coincides with the development of several new and enhanced service offerings and capabilities of the firm, which will have a name that embraces a more global service offering.

    CRS is also committed to enhancing the education of youth within the technology spectrum and has partnered with a variety of community organizations to support their goals. In addition to being involved in such organizations, CRS has been a proud sponsor of BDPA Chicago for their various initiatives for over 15 years. CRS employees are also active members of BDPA Chicago's Corporate Advisory Council.

    Click here for more:

    BDPA Detroit TAC
    By Microsoft Subnet

    As expected, Microsoft released a record-breaking, massive number of patches today that affects all versions of Windows and Office -- including its cloud apps -- and addresses some long-standing holes that hackers have been exploiting in the wild.

    By the numbers: 17 security bulletins fix a whopping 64 holes. These include nine critical patches and eight important. Of the critical patches, five of them have the highest "exploitability index" rating of 1, meaning that the risk of attack is high and the impact of being pwned is also high. Today's Patch Tuesday is a record-breaker in the number of holes fixed. In December, 2010, Microsoft released 17 patches, too, but these fixed a total of 40 holes.

    Affected software runs the gamut. There are patches for all supported versions of Windows, including XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and even the non-GUI WS2008 Server Core version.

    Click here for more:

    Please accept our invitation to join us in the City of the Big Shoulders by registering for the 33rd Annual National BDPA Conference, August 3-6, 2011 at the Hilton Chicago.

    Early bird registration for $350 now open!

    Click here to register for the 2011 National BDPA Conference today!

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    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Record-breaking Microsoft patch day affects all versions of Windows

    Record-breaking Microsoft patch day affects all versions of Windows


    Not Star Trek but scientists find better way to see warped space, time

    Not Star Trek but scientists find better way to see warped space, time


    European Technology Competition Applies IT to Social Problems

      European Technology Competition Applies IT to Social Problems
    • A European Commission competition aims to get researchers working together to solve grand challenges by applying information and communications technologies to social problems.
    • A European Commission competition aims to get researchers working together to solve grand challenges by applying information and communications technologies to social problems.Imagine a payout worth more than $1 billion over 10 years. … That's the level of funding at stake as six European research teams compete for two spots in the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagships program.
      The program's goal is to bring together teams of researchers from across Europe to solve grand challenges. The program is being driven by the European Commission and will award 1 billion euros (about $1.4 billion) over 10 years to the winners.
      All told, there were 21 entries in the program. The six projects selected (last month) as finalists in the competition are dubbed FET Flagships (FET-F) Pilots. The variety of topics represented among the finalists is compelling. The FET-F Pilots include:
      The FuturICT Knowledge Accelerator and Crisis-Relief System: This project focuses on using information for a sustainable future. This research entails designing a planetary scale computer (dubbed the Living Earth Platform) to help government officials, citizens and scientists analyze data and complex events. FuturICT as a whole will act as a Knowledge Accelerator, turning massive amounts of data into knowledge. The ultimate goal of this project is to understand and manage complex, global, socially interactive systems, with a focus on sustainability and resilience. 
      The IT Future of Medicine (ITFoM): This project aims to address the unprecedented IT challenges posed by the advancement of personalized medicine. In particular, the project will focus on developing data-driven, individualized medicine of the future, based on the molecular, physiological and anatomical data from individual patients. ITFoM plans to make general models of human pathways, tissues, diseases and, ultimately, the whole human. 
      The Human Brain Project: This project has broad implications for medicine and neuroscience. Its long-term goal is to understand the human brain by building a supercomputer simulation of the brain. Research also will examine new tools and treatments for brain disease as well as a new generation of brain-enabled robots. (The Website for this and many of the selected FET-F Pilots is still under construction.)
      The Robot Companions for Citizens: This project looks to technology to offer an alternative companion by delivering assistance to people with soft-skinned machines. These companions will possess lifelike qualities complete with cognitive, perceptual and emotive capabilities. They also will respond to their social and physical surroundings.
      Guardian Angels for a Smarter Planet: The goal of this project is to provide information and communication technologies to assist people in all sorts of complex situation. The help will be imparted via digital "Guardian Angels." These Guardian Angels will be like personal assistants and are envisioned to be intelligent, autonomous systems that will provide assistance from infancy right through to old age. A key feature of these Guardian Angels will be their zero power requirements as they will scavenge for energy.
      Graphene Science and Technology for ICT: This project will explore the importance of grapheme for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Bringing together multiple disciplines and addressing research across a wide range of issues, from fundamental understandings of material properties to graphene production, this project will seek to provide a platform for establishing European scientific and technological leadership in the application of graphene to ICT.
      The researchers behind the projects will have a year to move the work forward. In mid-2012, the EC will make its choice and select two pilots to fund.
       

    Smarter Nano-Materials Beat Bad Bugs

      Smarter Nano-Materials Beat Bad Bugs

    • Hospitals worldwide are suffering an increasing number of bacterial infections that have become resistant to antibiotics. New nanotech materials promise to eradicate bacteria in the body without affecting healthy human cells.
    • Hospitals worldwide are suffering an increasing number of bacterial infections that have become resistant to antibiotics. New nanotech materials promise to eradicate bacteria in the body without affecting healthy human cells.Using the same electrostatic principles used to control semiconductor microchips, researchers are targeting infectious bacteria with magic-bullet-like nano-particles.
      Every year, more than 100,000 infections and 20,000 hospital deaths are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but now IBM Research (San Jose, Calif.) working with the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (Singapore) have demonstrated a self-assembling magic nano-bullet that can target harmful bacteria while ignoring healthy tissue.
      "We’ve been able to leverage decades of materials development traditionally used for semiconductor technologies to create an entirely new drug delivery mechanism," said Advanced Organic Materials Scientist at IBM Research (Almaden), James Hedrick.


      The cyclic carbonate organocatalysts used in this experiment exhibited ring-opening polymerization. (Source: IBM)
      Over many generations of selective breeding, many bacteria have developed resistance to the most common antibiotics, with increasingly high doses needed to kill bacteria being a threat to healthy cells. However, this fundamentally new mechanism, the electrostatic charge of the cell membrane, is claimed by the researchers to sidestep the normal ability of bacteria to build up resistance. And normal cells are safe, no matter the dose, because the electrostatic charge of normal cells cannot attract the polymer.
      The researchers hope to develop nano-materials that can be directly injected into the body--or even applied like a salve--to destroy harmful bacteria in all the places touched by deodorant, soap, hand sanitizers and table wipes as well as to help heal lung infections, wounds and perhaps even tuberculosis.
      How it works
      The magic nano-bullet works because the membranes of microbial agents--bacteria--are negatively charged. The magic nano-bullet was fabricated from polymers that can be injected into the blood stream, and which are biodegradable in that they flush through a healthy system in a short period. However, if one of the positively charged polymers become electro-statically attached to a negatively charged bacteria cell, then it acts like a spearhead, with other polymers chaining up behind to push through the cell membrane, killing the bacteria without harming surrounding cells.
      The magic nano-bullet synthesis method, which the researchers claimed could be scaled up for commercialization, used metal-free cyclic carbonate with an organo-catalytic ring-opening polymerization. The self-assembling nanoparticles were shown to disrupt only the cell walls of suspect bacteria and fungi, including one of the worst killers--methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
      “Novel nano-structures can offer viable therapeutic solutions, effectively integrating our capabilities in biomedical sciences and materials research,"said Yiyan Yang, Group Leader at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology.
      The antimicrobial polymers created by IBM Research and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and were tested against clinical microbial samples by the State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine and Zhejiang University (China).
        

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    House votes to strike down FCC net neutrality rules

     House votes to strike down FCC net neutrality rules

    Lawmakers pass a resolution of disapproval largely along party lines

    By Grant Gross,


    The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday voted  kill network neutrality rules approved by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in December, with majority Republicans arguing the regulations amounted to a government takeover of the Internet.
    The House voted 240-179 largely along party lines to approve a resolution of disapproval that would roll back the FCC regulations. Two Republicans voted against the measure, while six Democrats voted for it.
    The FCC's rules would prohibit wired broadband providers from selectively slowing or blocking Web content and applications.
    Republicans argued the net neutrality rules aren't needed and would open the door to heavy-handed government regulation of the Internet. "Congress has not authorized the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the Internet," said Representative Greg Walden, an Oregon Republican and main sponsor of the bill. "If not challenged, the FCC's power grab would allow it to regulate any interstate communications service on barely more than a whim and without any additional input from Congress."
    President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the legislation, should it pass through the Democratic-controlled Senate. The FCC, in crafting net neutrality rules, sought input from groups on "all sides" of the issue, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said in a position statement this week.
    "The Federal Communications Commission's rule reflected a constructive effort to build a consensus around what safeguards and protections were reasonable and necessary to ensure that the Internet continues to attract investment and to spur innovation," the OMB said this week. "Disapproval of the rule would threaten those values and raise questions as to whether innovation on the Internet will be allowed to flourish, consumers will be protected from abuses, and the democratic spirit of the Internet will remain intact."
    Some House Democrats questioned why lawmakers were devoting time to the net neutrality issue when the U.S. government faces a shutdown Saturday if Republicans and Democrats can't come to agreement on the federal budget. Democrats also argued the bill would allow broadband providers to block any Web traffic.
    "At such a moment of grave threat to our economic health, what are we doing on the floor today?" said Representative Henry Waxman, a California Democrat. "The Republican leadership insists on bringing to the floor a bill that will end the Internet as we know it and threaten the jobs, investment and prosperity the Internet has brought to America. This is an outrageous sense of priorities and policies."
    The FCC's net neutrality, or open Internet rules, have widespread support from consumer groups and Web-based companies, said Representative Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat. AT&T and Comcast have opposed the bill, Democrats argued.
    But the FCC's actions will hurt the Internet, one of the few bright spots in the U.S. economy, Republicans argued.
    "We're here to put the brakes on runaway bureaucracy," said Representative Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican. "The FCC has overstepped its authority and is attempting to seize control of one of the nation's technological success stories."    

    Motivational Moment




    It’s mighty easy to justify dishonesty if you make your living from it.

    The subconscious mind makes no moral judgments. If you tell yourself something over and over, your subconscious mind will eventually accept even the most blatant lie as fact. Those whose lives and careers have been destroyed by dishonest behavior began the process of self-destruction when they convinced themselves that one slight infraction of the rules wouldn't matter. When you sell yourself on an idea, make sure the idea is positive, beneficial to you, and harmless to others. Just as negative thoughts and deeds return to their originator, so do positive ones. When you practice honest, ethical behavior, you set in motion a force for good that will return to you many times over.

    Permanent link to this post: It’s mighty easy to justify dishonesty if you make your living from it.


    This positive message is brought to you by the Napoleon Hill Foundation. We encourage you to forward this to friends and family. They can sign up for this free service at our web site: http://www.naphill.org.

    Thursday, April 07, 2011

    IT's superheroes snag new skills

    IT's superheroes snag new skills

    By Mary K. Pratt



    Kevin Joyce is taking on tasks that aren't usually given to a network manager.
    He's part of a committee to make sure that his employer, St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica, N.Y., is prepared for a disaster. And he recently volunteered to be the IT representative on another hospitalwide committee, even though he's not yet sure of the committee's focus.
    Joyce says he believes he has to step up to ensure that the organization is successful and to help advance his own career.
    "I think people recognize who's willing to take on extra projects, who's willing to volunteer," says Joyce, who wants to eventually move into management.
    Joyce's situation isn't unique. Layoffs and hiring freezes have left many IT professionals with new tasks and additional responsibilities. While some might grumble about being overworked, the savvy ones are pushing past the negative vibes and learning to see opportunities in this rough economy. They're gaining new skills and raising their visibility as they take on roles that once would have gone to others.
    "There is always opportunity in the midst of change in an organization. That's an important dynamic for people to know," says Karyl Innis, founder and CEO of The Innis Co., a Dallas-based career consulting firm.
    Innis says the prospects for job growth are real, even if IT budgets are stressed and workloads are high. Companies still need to get on with technology projects, and employees who are willing to accept new responsibilities in order to get those projects done can advance their own careers in the process.
    That's because these high-octane workers are able to build relationships, become experts in specific technologies and demonstrate leadership skills that they didn't have a chance to showcase during better economic times, Innis says.
    Taking the Long View
    This isn't about working more hours, Innis notes.
    "It's about making somebody's footprint wider and deeper," she explains. "The people who are plotting for their future are those people who tend to look at things big-picture and work toward the specifics. They're likely to be asking, 'Can I learn something here that I can use tomorrow?' "
    Many IT workers are asking themselves that question. In Computerworld's 2011 Salary Survey, 44% of the 4,852 IT professionals polled said that taking on new tasks in their current positions is the No. 1 way for them to advance their careers and earn more money.
    Indeed, many IT workers are looking ahead to better opportunities: 40% of the respondents said that they expect to be promoted to a higher-level position five years from now.
    Shannon Stoltz, a former techie who now works with IT departments as a consultant with Houston-based SheaKay Communications, says people who are capitalizing on opportunities in today's work environment will find themselves well positioned for advancement when the job market starts to expand.
    Who Cashes In?
    Storage, Other Special Skills Pay Off
    Salaries are on a slow upswing. But who, exactly, will take home the largest pay hikes?
    Computerworld's 2011 Salary Survey found that, besides IT executives, those who saw the biggest increases in total compensation from 2010 to 2011 were storage professionals (administrators, architects and engineers), who received an average bump in pay of 2.6%. Next in line were IT security specialists, with an average 2.3% increase, followed by IT security managers (2.1%) software engineers (2%) and network managers (1.9%).
    Job title and skills, however, are only part of what gets IT workers more money.
    "Salaries are migrating up," says Robert Keefe, CIO of Mueller Water Products and past president of the Society for Information Management. But he says he's seeing companies reward IT workers who are willing to put in extra effort, by paying out project-based performance bonuses or bonuses for stepping in to fill gaps.
    Also, IT workers are increasingly recognized and compensated not just for their technical prowess, but for their ability to help drive their organizations forward, says Karyl Innis, CEO of The Innis Co. What matters in this matrix is whether a person is willing to work hard, do what needs to be done, learn the business, work collaboratively with others and learn new skills to stay relevant.
    "Opportunities come to those who show a good work ethic, are fulfilling their responsibilities and are demonstrating the ability and willingness to help the health of the organization," she says.
    There's no question that having a "go get 'em" attitude right now will pay off when better times (with bigger budgets and bigger staffs) return, according to Stoltz.
    "I've yet to see anyone who truly stepped up and played as a team player and put their organization and projects in front of their agenda stay in the same role for years, unless it's their choice," she says.
    Standouts in the Crowd
    Mike Miller, director of information security at Media General in Richmond, Va., says he sees his IT workers taking on roles and responsibilities that they didn't have prior to the downturn. As a result, they're learning new and valuable skills; for example, some staff members were pulled in to work on the company's virtualization project.
    Miller acknowledges that he hasn't been able to hand out big raises, but he hopes to provide more recognition when the economy recovers in earnest. He says he has already told one administrator who has shown management potential that he'll be in the running when a position opens up.
    Joyce L. Gioia, president and CEO of The Herman Group, an Austin-based management consultancy, says managers need to take that approach and let workers know now that they're valued and that more recognition is ahead.
    "If employers do not understand and reward -- or at least recognize -- the extra effort that some employees are making, they ignore them at their own peril, because they'll be the first to go," she says.
    Edward A. Ruffolo, director of IT at Miron Construction in Neenah, Wis., says his staffers have shown a willingness to advance themselves as the company has pushed ahead with key initiatives.
    "It's really a great opportunity -- if you want to look at it in a positive sense, and you might as well -- for those workers left behind," he says. "Now you're being forced to step out of your box."
    Ruffolo says he's not taking that for granted, either. His company has tried to recognize employees who put in some extra effort, by preserving as many perks as possible, both large and small -- from bowling outings to employer-paid health insurance. He says he also likes to extend a simple "thank you" to individuals who have taken on new responsibilities.
    He says that approach is paying off, because he's now able to cherry-pick top talent that's undervalued elsewhere as he starts to accept résumés from applicants interested in an open position.
    "We're going to find out who took care of their people during the downturn and who [didn't]," he says, "because those who did are going to be propelled forward, and those who didn't are going to have some significant losses." 

    Monday, April 04, 2011

    Motivational Moment

    Napoleon Hill's Thought for the Day (graphic)

    Honesty is a spiritual quality that cannot be evaluated in terms of money.

    There are many practical reasons to practice honesty. It requires far less effort to be truthful than to be deceitful, and in the long term the risks are fewer and the rewards greater. But in today's complex society, the boundaries of acceptable behavior have been blurred until they are sometimes indistinguishable. Laws and codes of ethics establish minimum standards of behavior. Make sure you establish standards for yourself that exceed such minimums, a standard below which you will not allow yourself to fall, regardless of what others may do or say. Your own set of standards will allow you to decide quickly and easily upon an appropriate course of action when faced with a difficult problem.

    Permanent link to this post: Honesty is a spiritual quality that cannot be evaluated in terms of money.