My Phone Number Is Being Held Hostage

In case you’ve been trying to reach me, my phone number is currently being held hostage by one of the big telcos (and I’m not even sure which one). I was trying to switch service providers, but they missed the install appointment and the change order went through anyway. So now if you call my number, you get a disconnect notice. Yes, I paid my phone bill!

I am not a happy camper. Full story here along with a rant about customer service if you’re interested.

If you’re just trying to reach me and wondering what happened, use my cell phone, 512-486-0701, for now. I’m told it’s going to be something like a week before they get it all back like it’s supposed to be.

Isn’t technology supposed to make our lives easier?

Better Networking, Worse Judgment?

Shocking, but true.

Vickie Elmer at WashingtonPost.com reports on a new Stanford University study which indicates that highly connected individuals may be less able to make the right ethical choices in the workplace. Apparently their well-connectedness makes them overconfident that they know what their colleagues’ thinking will be when it comes to ethical decisions. The phenomenon is known as false consensus bias, and seems to be worse among people with large personal networks.

Why? People discuss "safe subjects in the workplace — sports, kids, current events," the researchers wrote. So "little of the insights that people gain from social ties may apply" to moral dilemmas.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. Just be aware that just because you know a lot of people and have good relationships with them doesn’t mean they think like you do. Be aware of this basic human tendency and you can perhaps avoid it.

On tapping the talents of the unemployed and in transition

Lately, I have been thinking about the unemployed and underemployed as a pool of talent. I’d argue they are one of the most undertapped economic segments.  Of the global working population, 6.3% is unemployed.  In the US, the long-term unemployed are better educated, older, and more likely to be professional workers than the mean unemployed population.  These workers are particularly held back by age discrimination and high wage expectation.

I am reasonably familiar with this market because a key component of the Circle of Experts‘ strategy is to tap the knowledge of people in transition.  Working with this community excites me because the unemployed are people facing significant challenges.  While they are wrestling with finding a job, we are glad to pay them a competitive rate. 

Particularly now as layoffs increase, there are significant entrepreneurial opportunities in creatively tapping the time and talents of the unemployed and underemployed.  The expert
network business
, the fastest growing sector of the investment research industry, is a prime example.  Other successful startups working in this market (broadly defined): Accolo, TheLadders, Notch Partners, and ProfessionaLink. Who else would you add to the list?

CEO Networks

I just spoke today with Andy Lopata, who wrote an interesting piece on CEO networks.