Mission Impossible

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. As newtechnology drives the role of HR and external agencies exert greater financialaccountability, HR directors are facing a heavier workload than ever. Here someexperts offer advice on how the industry must seize the chance to evolve andshape the business agenda to suit HR’s future strategy HRdirectors are always being told – or are always telling each other – to stopcomplaining and get on with it. But even the most cursory look at the way theprofession is evolving seems to indicate that many of these complaints may,after all, be justified. Inthe past five years the role has changed and broadened so much that somepundits now claim it is “impossible” to carry it out with any degree ofcomprehensibility. They liken it to asking a GP to run the entire NHS includingall the different medical specialisms, while maintaining an efficient day-to-day practice in the surgery. In a nutshell, they claim, the job has growntoo big for any individual to manage it effectively.Beforewe sanction an official day of hand-wringing, however, it’s worthwhile consideringhow difficult it is to perform any senior management role in the currentclimate, wedged as we are somewhere between what might be termed the ancienregime and the beginnings of a new, yet largely uncharted, business age whosesole defining feature is its unpredictability.Eventhe most celebrated management gurus admit the way forward is so uncertain thatthe only way to read the future, let alone the present, is to concede theimpossibility of it all. “If someone tells you they know the answer, they don’tknow the problem,” concluded CK Prahalad at an HR conference last year. Butfor the simplest exposition of the situation, we may as well turn to managementguru Tom Peters. “Nobody knows what’s going on any more”, is his informedopinion.Thereare two possible options open to companies confronted with this situation,although the first – that of playing a game of wait and see – is widelyconsidered to be out of the question. “Stability is death: somehow the worldhas to adapt itself to a condition of perpetual novelty, at the edge of chaos,”claims yet another management thinker, John Holland. But the second option –broadly summarised as covering all the bases and never making a single bet –means a lot more hard work and insecurity for everyone when translated intoreal life.“Thechallenge of the digital economy means it is much more complex to runbusinesses, simply because timescales have been shortened and you get only onechance to get it right,” claims Colin Carmichael, a partner with theorganisation Consulting Partnership (OCP), which specialises in designing andimplementing management change programmes.Whatsort of impact is this situation having on the lives of managers? Research todate has concentrated on chief executives – and the results are alarming.According to the Harvard Business Review, CEOs are three times more likely tobe sacked today than they were in 1985, and even if they survive this obstacletheir average “life expectancy” in the job has declined dramatically. In somesectors this is now as low as two years.Themain reason for this shift is the rapid growth of influence exerted by externalagencies, most notably the financial markets. Increased activism on the part ofshareholders and the organisations representing them has dramatically alteredthe role of the CEO in many organisations, and this in turn has had a knock-oneffect on other functions. “Weknow that the length of tenure of CEOs is declining, and also that CEOs spendmore time dealing with issues outside the firm and less time managing theinside,” says John Purcell, professor of HR management at the University ofBath. And evidence would suggest that it is the HR function, above any other,which is being called upon to fill the vacuum.Addto this the other major side effect of the information economy – the rise inimportance of “soft” assets such as human capital in determining the value andlong-term health of an organisation – and it is hard to escape the conclusionthat HR is in the ascendancy. Soisn’t this the kind of role and recognition the profession has spent decadescampaigning for? Perhaps, but evidence suggests victory, if it is such, isbeing dished up with a decidedly sour accompaniment.Itis not just that the average HR director’s workload has increased, althoughthis is now beyond question. As Purcell points out, many HR directors areexpected to do at least two jobs. “They do their day job, usually managing thefunction, but they are also responsible for any number of set projects and assignments.And that is very demanding.” Even the so-called day job has evolved into aseries of specialisms far too complex for one person to manage, even with aneffective team in place to help take the strain. Takean issue as seemingly straightforward as improving the calibre and knowledgesets of people in the organisation. According to Linda Holbeche, director ofresearch at Roffey Park Management Institute, that in itself requires multipleskills sets, incorporating recruitment, building career tracks, setting andworking with appropriate performance targets and developing systems andprocesses to underpin the whole thing. “Forme, that’s a big enough focus in itself. You could end up with 20 differentinitiatives all springing off that one thing,” she says. “People expect a lotfrom HR, from getting the basic delivery right – inclu- ding such contentiousthings as directors’ pay – right through to instantly translating decisionsthat are often political into organisational strategy, then delivering it.”KevinRubens, senior European vice-president of Aon Management Consulting, has nosympathy for the “mission impossible” argument – “people find ways of coping”,he says – but nonetheless concedes that the job has certainly got bigger andmore difficult to manage.“HRnow consists of a string of multiple disciplines that need to be coordinated.In any typical [blue-chip firm], the HR department will have business analysts,MBAs, occupational and organisational psychologists, IT people…” he says. Tothese we might add compensation and benefits specialists, employee relationsexperts, staff relocation professionals, employment law gurus, change agentsand knowledge management wizards. In fact, you run out of synonyms for “expert”before you even begin to complete the list.AsRubens points out, in well-run companies technology is beginning to take upmuch of the strain, certainly in terms of administration. And in someorganisations much of the day-to-day responsibility for staff management anddevelopment has devolved to line managers. Moreover, the arrival of specialistHR outsourcing companies such as Exult and e-peopleserve is a trend that mostbelieve will accelerate.Butnone of these developments ultimately absolves the HR director from bearingprime responsibility for the entire people function, in all its differentguises, and this is particularly true when things go wrong. In fact, the job isarguably made more difficult when hands-on control of the situation is placedelsewhere. Thewhole point of outsourcing is to give the in-house function the time and spaceto get on with more strategic objectives. But observers like Holbeche questionthe reality of this. In too many cases, she argues, the outsourcing contract issigned and then forgotten about, with predictably dire results. “You end upspending more time doing damage limitation than anything else,” she says.Unsurprisingly, it is generally agreed that the most important new skill HRdirectors need to take on board, apart perhaps from project management, is theability to manage third-party relationships.SoHR directors have a much bigger workload, a wider set of responsibilities and apressing need to update their management skill-sets. But all these issues,while tricky to get right, by no means make the role impossible to carry out.Where, then, does the real difficulty lie? Theanswer is that HR, above any other corporate function, is being heldresponsible for solving some of the most difficult and seemingly contradictoryproblems posed by the transition into the information economy. Yet in mostorganisations, the function continues to be deprived of the necessary power andtools to accomplish the feat. In other words, HR directors have becomeembroiled in a classic Catch-22 situation.Nowhereis this better illustrated than in the issue of people capital. Certainly theargument for the development of people as “hum-an resources” is won, at leastin theory, but practice continues to lag behind. Atthe heart of the problem is the unwillingness of many management boards –themselves constricted by the greater influence being wielded by marketanalysts and shareholder pressure groups, to commit the necessary funds topeople development – without the promise of concrete evidence that the investmenthas paid off. And HR directors, in their continued efforts to be takenseriously as business partners, have in the main gone along with this.Butthe fact remains that after nearly 30 years of trying, no credible means ofmeasuring the financial value of people has emerged. In fact, there is agrowing school of thought that maintains the quest will remain foreverfruitless on the simple grounds that however much we may hope to the contrary,it will always be impossible to evaluate “soft” assets in the same preciseterms as their “hard” equivalents. “Thishas been the Holy Grail since the 1970s, when it was called Human AssetAccounting, and we are still no closer to finding a solution,” says Carmichaelat OCP. “The concept behind it is certainly important but attempts to measureit have always been thwarted. I have seen several studies [that purported tohave tackled the question successfully] which were clearly wrong.”Unfortunately,the people capital question is only one of several conundrums bedevilling theHR function that will always be impossible to solve so long as companiespersist in their attempt to impose new-economy thinking on old-economystructures and mindsets. The question of mergers and acquisitions – indeed ofany sort of external deal-making – is another case in point. Althoughmost management boards will happily go along with the notion that HR has acritical role to play in the success of any joint venture, they are still notprepared to lend any real substance to the theory by insisting on change. Facedwith the choice of kowtowing to the continuing anti-HR prejudice of Citydeal-makers, or of supporting the long-term interests of their ownorganisations, the evidence suggests that most continue to take the easyoption. The result is HR remains “downstream” of the decision-making and peopleissues are still considered, at best, a nuisance in any negotiation. Yet no-oneneeds to be reminded which department will ultimately be responsible fordriving through the resulting changes.Butperhaps the most pressing problem facing any HR director is still primarilyinternal in nature and can be summarised as tackling what John Bank, lecturerin HR management at Cranfield, calls “the new psychological contract” betweencompanies and employees. “Companies used to look after you like a parent, butit’s tough love now,” he says. “As long as your competencies meet ourrequirements you can stay here and develop. If not, you’re out.” Butmany HR directors are still struggling to manage this new project-basedattitude to work, in which notions of loyalty and reward have shifteddramatically, in the context of often resolutely unchanging corporate models.“Managersare not changing as quickly as many would like because there are systems inorganisations and society that resist that change,” concludes Martyn Brown, abusiness director at Ashridge, in a recent paper. Yet the business environmentis evolving so quickly that companies do not have the luxury of taking aconventionally planned long-term view. Consequently,he says, “The most challenging and scary implication [facing senior management]is that of letting go – as in not having the same kind of traditional control –of their role of planning, control and strategy formation, and of not beingable to predict outcomes.”What,then, is the best means to go about dealing with this series of “impossible”problems? For a start, recommend the experts, get your own house in order.“HRdirectors need to start making some tough choices – choices about what thedepartment will and will not do, what it will outsource, and how it will managethat outsourcing,” says Holbeche. “You also need to look very closely at yourown team: has it got the skills you need? Again, this might be the time fortough choices. Train people to work across boundaries and aim for athree-to-five-year strategy, but be prepared to be flexible with it. Bolsterthis with short-term projects.”Rubens,meanwhile, recommends some inward gazing. “Know yourself. Understand your peaktimes for learning and try to make sure you don’t give up this creative time.”He claims there are three strong core competencies in every successfulexecutive: “Time management, project management and strong internal values, soyou don’t spend too much time agonising over individual decisions when theycrop up”.Butthe real conclusion to all this is clear. For too long, perhaps, HR has beenlambasting itself for a perceived failure in getting to grips with the businessneeds of organisations. Yet the transition into the new economy has alreadydemonstrated the growing irrelevance of many of these structures and mindsets. Insteadof always trying to comply with someone else’s business argument, therefore, itis time HR seized the initiative and began dictating its own terms. If youreally believe the future of your organisation lies in the quality of yourpeople, then you must accept the challenge of reshaping business strategy tofit that goal – and of summoning up the necessary influence to push it through.UntilHR directors realise the necessity of setting the new business agendathemselves, they will continue to play a central role in Mission: Impossible.Difficultsectors for HREvery sector poses its own HR challenges and difficulties. Herewe list a few of the more tricky ones.TelecommunicationsThe current travails of BT demonstrate the speed at which this sector hasshed its comfortable high-value, high-tech past, evolving into a cut-throat,low-margin business. In terms of remodelling business models to cope with thisnew environment, it’s likely to be a case of pain, pain, pain.High-TechThe recent market decline of such new economy stalwarts as Intel, Cisco andDell demonstrates that the industry’s problems extend much further than a fewshakeouts in the dotcom sector. Many of these new-model pioneers have yet to betested by a significant economic downturn – will their structures be resilientenough to cope? Will the previously heavy investment in training prove itsworth if hard times kick in?NHSMorale is up from the depths following a much-needed government cashinjection but recruitment is still the paramount problem. The UK is short ofsome 40,000 nurses. Searching questions need to be asked as to how this declinecan be halted and how it was ever allowed to happen in the first place.FinancialSectorThe financial sector is never immune from the pressure of downsizing andobservers predict new waves in the months ahead as merger and acquisitionactivity continues apace. Increased customer competition in the financialservices arena from sectors such as retail means the pressure to innovate isstill high.ManufacturingManufacturers continue to be dogged by the twin pressures of exchange rateand continued cost-cutting. Employee tension and insecurity is growing in manyindustry sectors. Motivation becomes a real issue when, as happened atsteelmaker Corus, huge improvements in performance lead to – the chop.Tourism,Hotel & CateringThe industry’s perennial problem with recruitment could be replaced bysomething much worse as the wider ramifications of the foot and mouth epidemicbegin to bite. Three weeks into the crisis, and there is already the prospectof mounting international cancellations. The industry is facing very precariousdays indeed.DotcomsMaintaining staff morale in the face of continuing financial losses andlayoffs is proving an uphill struggle for many in the sector. With evenAmazon’s future considered increasingly open to question, expect a rocky roadto come.PharmaceuticalsAgain, merger and acquisition preoccupations abound. Either you’re tryingto rebuild morale and devise new post-merger structures or you’re contemplatingan imminent buyout. Renewed international political pressure on drug patents isanother unwelcome hornets’ nest this sector is having to deal with.TransportHow much time do you have? Mission ImpossibleOn 27 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Federal Member for Petrie Luke Howarth shares his property journey

first_imgI bought my first home in Zillmere about 20 years ago. It was a more affordable suburb but still close to friends and family as I grew up in Bracken Ridge. The best advice I’ve received is not to get a home loan unless you can afford a 10 per cent interest rate. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus12 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market12 hours agoYou never know when interest rates will go up, but if you’re prepared, you will always be able to afford your house.*** CURRENT HOME Aerial photo of Redcliffe and Scarborough — Picture: Richard WalkerI would love to have more space in the backyard, and maybe another storey so my three boys could have more space as they’re growing up. Where I live, there’s an incredible sense of community. You’re always bumping into someone you know, and we work together to get things done. *** DREAM QUEENSLAND HOME Not a politician in sight! Kakadu in Wet, Renata Gortan — Scenic flight over Jim Jim Falls during the wet season. Picture: Tourism NTFederal Member for Petrie Luke Howarth (LNP) regularly sits in Parliament House, but when he is not in Canberra he prefers chilling with his family at their home in Clontarf, a beachside suburb on the Redcliffe Peninsula. My fantasy home would be in Australia’s Kakadu National Park — I enjoy being surrounded by Australia’s wildlife and freshwater eco system. Queensland MP Luke Howarth in the House of Representatives in Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: Gary RamageHe was re-elected to his seat with a 6.68 per cent swing in his favour, securing over 58 per cent of the local vote. Here he discusses his property journey and dreams.*** FIRST HOME I don’t have a specific location in mind, but I would build a house out of natural materials like timber and stone, somewhere on a big block of land surrounded by Australian wildlife.*** FANTASY HOME I love that my house backs on to a beautiful golf course with residential koalas and I’m very close to Moreton Bay. last_img read more

Men’s Basketball: Wisconsin transfer Kobe King commits to Nebraska

first_imgFormer University of Wisconsin men’s basketball guard Kobe King officially announced his decision to transfer to the Nebraska Cornhuskers basketball program Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello.Despite never visiting Nebraska during the transfer process, King — a former top recruit from La Crosse Central High School — chose the Huskers over multiple other programs, including UNLV and Gonzaga.King, a redshirt sophomore, will file for a transfer waiver with the NCAA to be eligible to play right away in the 2020-2021 season this fall. Wisconsin transfer Micah Potter has experience with the NCAA transfer rule, as he was ineligible to play in the Badgers’ first 10 games this season despite filing for a waiver.Whether or not King is granted the waiver, he will have two years of playing eligibility remaining.Men’s Basketball: Multiple contributors fill void left by Kobe KingFollowing a frustrating Jan. 27 loss to Iowa on the road, the Badgers were slammed with more bad news just Read…King was part of the Badgers’ 2017 recruitment class, entering as a 3-star shooting guard. After taking a redshirt season in 2017-2018 due to injury, King came off the bench for much of the 2018-2019 season, averaging 4.2 points across 34 games.In the 2019-2020 season, King started all 19 games he appeared in as he grew into a leader of the team. King averaged 10.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists this season before deciding to transfer Jan. 29.In parts of three seasons with the team, King appeared in 63 games with 20 starts, averaging 6.1 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game.King’s last appearance as a Badger was Jan. 24 against Purdue, when he totaled zero points, four assists, two rebounds and one block across 28 minutes.Men’s Basketball: Don’t attack Kobe King for his decision to leave UWUniversity of Wisconsin men’s basketball fans, before you read this, I need you to understand — I get it. It Read…With King remaining in the Big Ten, he will face off with Wisconsin again during conference play in the coming seasons. Nebraska Head Coach Fred Hoiberg gains a key player for the coming years despite having the worst-ranked recruiting class in the Big Ten for 2020, according to 247 Sports.Despite King’s departure, the Badgers have been resilient through the month of February — winning their last four games to move into a tie for second place in the Big Ten. Wisconsin will take on Michigan in Ann Arbor Thursday night at 6 p.m.last_img read more

‘I don’t want him’ – Arsenal fans are divided over links to Unai Emery target

first_imgThe first summer transfer window without Arsene Wenger was always going to be an interesting one for Arsenal fans.New boss Unai Emery has already brought in Stephan Lichtsteiner from Juventus and Bernd Leno from Bayer Levekusen. Fallon d’Floor Olivier Giroud confirms N’Golo Kante is the nicest man in football Some supporters are excited about the Argentina midfielder but others aren’t keen on his arrival, especially if it sees a deal for Torreira blocked.It’s provoked some heated debated online with supporters discussing the rumours on Twitter.You can see what they have had to say below. I’m against the Banega signing. Sorry in advance. Money can be spent better elsewhere.— Rudy (@RudyAFC) June 20, 2018 ‘It could have been me’ – Allardyce admits World Cup was tough to watch Good times Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega had a failed spell with Inter Milan in 2016/17. Central midfield options of Torreira, Ramsey, Xhaka, Banega, Elneny and Maitland-Niles is a whole lot better than it’s been in recent years. He’s a short term fix, but I hope we take the punt on Banega for €12 million.— Frankie Hobbs (@Frankie_Hobbs) June 20, 2018 Pure class 2 I dont want Banega.— Arsenal noise (@AFCNoise) June 20, 2018 Banega as Elneny replacement, I’ll be okay with but as Ramsey replacement – no way!— The G (@mr_arsenaI) June 20, 2018 I 100% want us to sign ever banega. he’s a baller! #afc— Ismail Mostafa (@isher92) June 20, 2018 Please make the Banega deal happen sir @UnaiEmery_ 🙌🏾— Sandile (@uDosa_) June 20, 2018talkSPORT will be with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across the talkSPORT network. Latest World Cup news NO JOY Dele Alli reveals pre-match rituals and lucky charms he has before matches Shy guy misery center_img You’re the one Arsenal star Laurent Koscielny admits he didn’t want France to win World Cup Paul Pogba buys France World Cup winners specially designed rings LU BEAUTY Why does Luis Suarez kiss his wrist when he celebrates a goal? Learn the words for England’s catchy Gareth Southgate song Torreira and Banega inCazorla and Wilshere out Massive upgrade.— Dowe Biyere (@Raider_Dowe) June 20, 2018 Would take Banega as well as Torreira. Guys got bags of experience. 3x EL winner too – perfect mentor for our younger CMs. Brings that much needed experience and quality into our midfield.— TheArsenalGoat (@thegoatafc) June 20, 2018 Arsenal target Ever Banega in action for Argentina. SUPERSTITION Southgate makes young England fan’s day by replying to his letter diamond geezer A deal for Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos is reportedly in the pipeline, along with another for Sampdora midfield ace Lucas Torreira.So far so good, right?Well, Gunners have no discovered they may be about to see Emery sign Ever Banega from Sevilla, and it’s completely divided the fanbase. Toreira done!! Ever Banega is next!!! What a time to be an Arsenal fan 💃💃💃💃💃— TTM (@Ghenedinho) June 20, 2018 Pls o @UnaiEmery_ @Arsenal if it’s one more sevilla player we would like nzonzi not banega. Thank you— Mazi Chukwudi (@Chunkyozil) June 20, 2018 A reminder to Liverpool fans about the very comical threat Neymar offers Watch every goal England scored at the 2018 World Cup 2last_img read more

Mobile phone boost to African internet

first_imgKenya’s hugely popular M-Pesa mobile banking system allows low-cost and hassle-free money transfers among people previously without access to financial services. (Image: Scott Mainwaring, Institute for Money, Technology and Social Inclusion) • Ericsson Corporate Communications +46 10 719 69 92 [email protected] • Ericsson Investor Relations +46 10 719 00 00 [email protected] • #BringBackOurGirls shows the power of social media in Africa • Seven reasons to be optimistic about Africa • How Africa tweets • Happy Africa • Student viral campaign tells the world: Africa is not a countryMary AlexanderThe internet is coming to Africa on a handset. According to new research by Swedish telecoms multinational Ericsson, mobile data traffic in sub-Saharan Africa is set to increase 20-fold by 2019 – as opposed to only a two-fold increase in voice traffic – while cellphone subscriptions rise to 930-million.The June edition of the quarterly Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts 635-million cellphone subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2014, increasing to around 930-million by the end of 2019.“Digital technology is fast becoming a part of everyday life in sub-Saharan Africa,” the report says. With a mobile penetration rate of 70% at the end of 2013, sub-Saharan Africa is rapidly closing in on the global penetration rate of 92%.Nigeria and South Africa still have the most mobile subscribers, followed by Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana. Subscription growth in the first quarter of 2014 rose the fastest in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Ghana.Sub-Saharan Africa is a prepaid market. In 2013, the report says, 99% of Nigerian subscriptions were prepaid, as were 98% in Kenya and 83% in South Africa. The overall trend in sub-Saharan Africa’s mobile subscriptions growth, and the countries playing a key role in that growth. (Image: Ericsson Mobility Report)Cheaper smart devices, more dataIn sub-Saharan Africa, phones are used for tasks done on laptops or desktops elsewhere in the world. Consumers use their devices all day, in different locations and for a broad range of activities. A price-sensitive market, Africa is now seeing a rapid rise in ownership of low-cost smartphones and tablets priced under US$100. This will accelerate when smart devices costing less than $50 become available in the next few years.The rise of data phones has made connecting to the internet easier and more affordable across the region. Mobile broadband is now the primary way sub-Saharan Africa accesses the internet: 70% of mobile users in the countries researched browse the web on handheld devices, and only 6% on desktop computers.Mobile data traffic in the region is expected to increase 20-fold between the end of 2013 and the end of 2019, a rate double the 10-fold rise predicted in global mobile data traffic. Mobile data growth and mobile voice growth in sub-Saharan Africa, compared. (Image: Ericsson Mobility Report)The barrier to this growth is the scarcity of spectrum, which causes traffic congestion, delays in network rollout, higher service costs and a generally lower quality of service. According to the research, 47% of sub-Saharan cellphone users believe mobile data is still too expensive, although they also believe it is cheaper and more accessible than fixed-line internet.“Mobile operators and relevant ICT stakeholders, including governments, must drive the development of appropriate infrastructure to handle the growing traffic demand on networks,” the report says.A better society with broadband accessThe low cost of mobiles and the continued drop in prices has made them available to consumers from most income brackets, especially the rising middle class. Digital communication is also growing among lower-class urban consumers, and among the poor in rural areas, where 75% of sub-Saharan Africans live. And it is helping improve social conditions. Click graphic for a larger viewMany people remain unbanked in sub-Saharan Africa – and cellphones may be their only route to financial services. The report says 58% of handset users in the region are interested in using mobile banking in future. Mobile banking is also an example of digital services moving moved beyond the cities. It gives rural people cheaper access to their money, reducing the need to travel and generally cutting the cost of financial services.A new electronic wallet system has helped transform Nigerian agriculture. Farmers are able to get electronic vouchers for subsidised seeds and fertilisers sent directly to their phones, allowing them to pay for farming inputs from local dealers.Kenya-based MedAfrica is a mobile app providing basic information about health and medicine. It can be accessed on all cellphones – not just smartphones. People use the information independently, lowering the burden of care on doctors and reducing the need to travel and queuing.Watch a BBC report on Kenya’s MedAfrica:And as the recent #BringBackOurGirls Twitter campaign to rescue kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls reveals, mobile internet access can help shine much-needed global light on previously ignored political conflict in Africa.“Affordable access to mobile broadband is not a luxury, but a necessity in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa,” the report says.Local content, new businessAs low-cost smartphones and tablets enter the sub-Saharan market, they create demand for locally produced content. Apps are being developed for African entertainment, communication, utility and productivity.In Kenya, Mozambique and Nigeria, smartphone apps are increasingly used to broadcast TV and media services, boosting the production of local content.The smartphone revolution has been a boon to the film industry of Nigeria, one of the top producers of movies in the world. Some Nollywood movies have even played a role in promoting smartphone uptake in the country.Consumers’ increased internet access has boosted new businesses offering value-added apps and services for smart devices, contributing to the growth of many industries in sub-Saharan Africa. In the financial sector, for example, mobile phones have transformed consumers’ banking behaviour and promoted financial inclusion.The rise in sophistication of social networking platforms is also contributing to increased mobile data traffic. According to the report, 74% of sub-Saharan social network users send messages to friends, 62% check their friends’ updates, 46% upload photos and videos, and 15% stream content from these platforms.The social, economic, political and technological gains ICT and broadband offer sub-Saharan Africa are huge. As a result, most countries in the region have national broadband policies in place to deal with this, and the rest are busy developing them.“Sub-Saharan Africa is a dynamic region, with technological advancements becoming a big part of how society functions,” the report says. “Consumers in the region are fast becoming the creators of content and deciders of services provided in the market.”last_img read more

Comparing Green Building Rating Systems: LEED or NGBS?

first_imgOTHERS IN THIS SERIES Part 1: The Journey BeginsPart 2: Energy StarPart 3: EarthCraft Part 4: LEED and NGBSPart 5: Comparing the SystemsRELATED CONTENTGreen Primer:What is Green Certification?GBA Encyclopedia:Green Rating Systems for Home BuildingGBA Encyclopedia:LEED for HomesGBA Encyclopedia:National Green Building StandardGBA Encyclopedia:Green Design and PlanningBlogs:Fraudulent GreenBlogs:More Whining About Green Building Programs Two of the green rating programs we’ve mentioned in this blog series are the LEED for Homes program and the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) developed by NAHB. The intent of these two certification programs is similar.For the most part, the points available in each program are similar. The LEED for Homes checklist and spreadsheets are very user-friendly, and there is a decent amount of information on the Web site. We were very surprised that answers to questions about the LEED program came very slowly – it took a very long time to hear back from USGBC. I also felt that USGBC was very proprietary with their information.center_img The NGBS checklist was done online. The Web site was very easy to navigate; most of our questions were answered in the links as we completed each section. However, it was very cumbersome to get through the first time. I think I spent about four hours going through it. It would have been nice to just go directly to a spreadsheet to fill out.I especially liked the sections in NGBS where it named the approved products. (With the LEED for Homes program, on the other hand, I felt like we were reinventing the wheel each time we tried to use a certain product.) Another nice feature of the NGBS Web site is that it incorporates the Builder’s Challenge into their online tool; it tells you every point that is required so you don’t accidentally overlook something.LEED requires more paperworkThe required inspections were nearly much identical – a pre-drywall inspection and a final inspection. The two certification programs have similar documentation requirements, with one exception: the durability checklist required by the LEED for Homes program. This durability checklist seemed a little unnecessary, considering that the information was already on the plans or specs.Creating all of the accountability forms and getting the subs to sign them was a lot of work; LEED for Homes has more monotonous paperwork.Once we sent off our application, it took several weeks for our LEED for Homes application to get approved. In contrast, the NGBS was approved within a few days, and they even processed the Builder’s Challenge certification for us.I’ll say one thing: the LEED for Homes certificate is the nicest I have seen from any of the programs. It came in a nice folder and was designed to look like it had been mounted and framed (even though it was not). The Builder’s Challenge sticker is pretty nice – they put our company logo on it and it has a color HERS scale on it which could be a great marketing tool when trying to explain a home’s HERS Index to a potential buyer.Comparable stringencyAlthough most people think that the LEED for Homes program is much more stringent than the NGBS program, I did not find that to be the case. That may be true only on the bottom rung of each program — if you compare a LEED for Homes Certified home to a NGBS Bronze level home. One of the flaws in the NGBS program is that Energy Star Homes certification is not a prerequisite.Once you rise up the rungs, the two programs are more in line with each other. The LEED for Homes silver, gold, and platinum levels are comparable to the NGBS gold, silver, and emerald levels.Our Platinum LEED home — nicknamed the Mean Lean Dream Green Platinum Level LEED for Homes house — did not get Emerald certification from NGBS, only Gold. So arguably, the NGBS program is more stringent than LEED, although I’m sure if you move the points around you can prove the opposite as well.A nice thing about the NGBS program: as you moved up each level, there were minimum scores for each division. In contract, the LEED for Homes program does not have minimums for each division — allowing you to be point-heavy in one area and weak in another. I believe that overall, the NGBS program results in a more balanced house.Point chasingAt times I did feel like we were just chasing points, but I guess that is just the nature of these programs. There are a few requirements in these programs that are well-intentioned but may not make much sense, depending on where you are building. For example, we went through a lot of work to use locally made lumber; that meant we had to purchase some of our material from different suppliers. As a result, five different companies sent half-loaded trucks to our site rather than one large tractor trailer with all of our material in one trip. I am not sure if we reduced our carbon footprint in that case.Another item that may not have lessened our carbon footprint: since we were trying to get a point for ceiling joists spaced more than 16 in. on center, we had to increase the depth of the ceiling joists. Sso even though we had fewer joists, we needed 2x12s instead of 2x8s — so I am not sure if we really used fewer board feet of lumber. Some would argue that 2x8s can come out of smaller trees than 2x12s — so I’m not sure how much that point-chasing really helped.To me, green building is really about the performance of the building rather than the materials. So, even though rounding up the materials did require a lot of time and effort, I did not lose too much sleep over that stuff.A good sales toolOverall I have enjoyed my green building journey. I have learned a lot, and I feel our company, Kelly McArdle, is building better houses because of it. I like having a third party inspect our homes; it helps protect us and is also a good sales tool. As I had hoped, green building has really set us apart from other custom builders in our area, and we have gotten several jobs as a result of our knowledge and experience in green building.I am constantly amazed that builders and architects who are leaders in the industry understand so little about green building. They are convinced that it is much more complex than it actually is. This new knowledge and experience has also helped get our foot in the door with some people who would not have considered us a few short years ago.After attending some of the recent conferences, it appears that today’s green home is tomorrow’s code-minimum home. What was formerly something that set us apart is going to be required of every home builder. So as not to remain stagnant, you would be advised to get ready to walk, jog and run on your own journey to green.Personally, I’m thinking about what we need to do to fly!Danny Kelly is a co-owner of Kelly McArdle Construction in Charlotte, North Carolina.last_img read more

Smith game-winner lifts TNT past San Miguel for 1-0 lead

first_imgAmer, Jose, Alas relish chance to don PH colors anew, reunite with pals Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Castro had a near triple-double with 14 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists while Pogoy, who is playing in his first game in the finals, showed no signs of first-time jitters with a team-high 27 points on 5-of-9 3-pointers.The Beermen rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter with Charles Rhodes tying the score at 99 with 1:35 left and Chris Ross knotting the count again at 102 with 7.6 ticks remaining before Smith’s winner.Rhodes got off to a hot start before cooling off the rest of the way. He had 31 points but 21 of which came in the opening period and went scoreless in the middle quarters.Fajardo added 18 points and 13 rebounds while Chris Ross also posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 assists with seven rebounds to boot.Racela expects de Ocampo and Reyes back for Game 2 on Friday night also at the Big Dome.ADVERTISEMENT What ‘missteps’? “It’s good that Joshua had the presence of mind to attack June Mar. They’re actually denying everyone so he really didn’t have a choice but to go in,” said TNT head coach Nash Racela. “He has a big heart.”“It’s always crucial to get the first win. We wanted to get that first win and we did it tonight without Ranidel and Ryan and that’s something that is very important to us.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSmith, who is still listed as day-to-day, finished with 21 points and nine rebounds in just under 27 minutes.TNT missed the services of its key veterans Ranidel de Ocampo (flu) and Ryan Reyes, whom Racela said is dealing with a “minor injury,” but the KaTropa still had their main man Jayson Castro and a fast-rising star in Roger Pogoy to pick up the slack. View comments Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chickencenter_img World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Joshua Smith vs June Mar Fajardo. PBA IMAGESJoshua Smith came up with the game-winning basket despite playing through a foot injury to lift TNT over San Miguel Beer, 104-102, for a 1-0 headstart in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Smith, who was noticeably limping, hit a hook shot over the Beermen’s three-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo with 1.6 seconds left to win it for the KaTropa.ADVERTISEMENT 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire LATEST STORIES WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PHlast_img read more

Lyceum backs up hype, slays San Beda for 2-0 start

first_imgEl Nido residents told to vacate beach homes FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ The Red Lions still had chances to close in on the Pirates, but AC Soberano and Robert Bolick botched point-blank shots in the final 20 seconds.It was Lyceum’s first win over San Beda since NCAA Season 89, still under coach Bonnie Tan.Robert Bolick paced San Beda with 21 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, while Clint Doliguez added 19 markers and seven boards.The Scores:LYCEUM 96 – Perez 24, Nzeusseu 18, Caduyac 16, Jc. Marcelino 14, Baltazar 9, Jv. Marcelino 7, Ayaay 4, Tansingco 2, Liwag 2, Santos 0, Ibanez 0, Pretta 0, Cinco 0.SAN BEDA 91 – Bolick 21, Doliguez 19, Soberano 12, Mocon 10, Noah 9, Presbitero 8, Potts 4, Bahio 4, Adamos 2, Tankoua 2, Carino 0, Tongco 0, Abuda 0.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Reymar Caduyac also fired 16 markers, five of which coming in the last 1:48 to hold off the Red Lions. He also netted seven assists and three boards in the win.“To play against San Beda, it’s gonna take a lot of grit, a lot of perseverance, and never giving up,” said coach Topex Robinson. “But it’s not about me, but it’s about the players. We just kept on playing and we just kept on grinding.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsMike Nzeusseu chipped in a double-double with his 18 points and 13 rebounds, while rookie Jaycee Marcelino nabbed 14 markers, six boards, two dimes, and two steals.Lyceum’s defensive stance in the end game did the trick as it held San Beda without a field goal for the last 2:47 to break off from an 89-all deadlock before Javee Mocon drilled two freebies with 56.7 seconds remaining. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congresscenter_img LATEST STORIES Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netLyceum welcomed the challenge and proved the hype was real, toppling San Beda, 96-91, in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.CJ Perez steered early season shocker, dropping seven of his 24 points in the fourth quarter while registering four rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant Teodoro rises to Meneses challenge after disappointing opener MOST READ Quarters: 24-18, 50-46, 73-75, 96-91.last_img read more

a month agoEverton boss Silva admits he didn’t want to sell Lookman

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Everton boss Silva admits he didn’t want to sell Lookmanby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveEverton boss Marco Silva admits he was reluctant to sell Ademola Lookman.The 21-year-old was entering the final two years of his Goodison contract and with RB Leipzig willing to pay £22.5m for the wantaway winger, Everton agreed to his sale in late July.“He spoke to me at the end of the season about what he wanted to do and what was his desire,” Silva told the Liverpool Echo.“Like you know, at the beginning of last season he spoke to me about his desire to leave the club. I said no, no and no, even if we received a very good offer to sell him, for our structure, no because I saw in him, and I keep seeing in him…(his quality).“If you are asking me about my technical point of view, if I would like to sell him, I will say no.“At the end of last season he came to see me in his office to tell me what he was thinking, about his desire, his future and what he would like to do.“I respect his opinion but I said to him ‘you are in my plans again’.“Then came an offer to the club, and like you know I don’t like to talk about this side of things, but the had just two years left on his contract with us and so then we are talking about many, many things.“It is not just a technical point of view because my opinion about Lookman is the same about as last season. I don’t have doubts. He has all the qualities to have a very good career. The quality is there, he has to change some things, but the quality is there. The most difficult thing, he has – the quality and the talent.“In football you many people with talent who don’t achieve but I believe he will achieve good things in his career.” last_img read more

12 days agoBournomouth boss Eddie Howe: Burnley spell important for me

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Bournomouth boss Eddie Howe: Burnley spell important for meby Paul Vegas12 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBournomouth boss Eddie Howe says he has no regrets over his time with Burnley.Howe remains thankful for his time with the Clarets.“For my development, for my experiences. I don’t think I would be sat here in the Premier League if I hadn’t experienced what I had at Burnley,” he told the Daily Echo.“I think it did me the world of good personally. In some respects, it feels like a continuous journey from the first spell (at Cherries) through – but the spell at Burnley was so important for me.“That feels like quite a short spell away now during the two times at Bournemouth put together.” last_img