Archive for August, 2010

Let’s Get To Work!

Over the past few months, it has become increasingly easy to predict continued high unemployment as the result of leglislative mistep upon mistep. For a change, I can predict that there is a glimmer of hope with Florida holding the key to this economic salvation with a simple 4 word slogan.

LET’S GET TO WORK!

Simplistic, yet catchy. It describes not only what we need to do, but what we must do to right the wrongs that have led us to the brink of an economic abyss. It’s a slogan that describes not only gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott’s life, but a repositioning of the electorate to finally kick the growing tenacles of government that have prevented job growth to the curb.

LET’S GET TO WORK!

Over the course of the next few days, we will be re-emphasizing steps that Americans can take to identify new opportunities. We will be redefining the new economy in light of increasingly troubling economic news. Most of all, we will be leading the way to helping Americans find their way out of survival mode where fear of hope and change has paralyzed consumer confidence and small business.

LET’S GET TO WORK!

As we enter the final 70 days until the midterm elections the mudslinging will only increase, with class warfare and demagoguery used as weapons to divide the masses. The candidates who can lead us beyond the economic minefield created by Washington are the ones who understand business. They recognize that the reason that jobs aren’t being created is because the businesses that create them are scared to death, making it impossible for our nation to get to work.

LET’S GET TO WORK!

We can recover, and we will once the path has been cleared for recovery. There are certain elementary steps that must be taken immediately; namely preservation of tax cuts for all Americans, in particular the small business owners who create two thirds of all new jobs.

LET’S GET TO WORK!

Like many Americans, I am sick and tired of the working class being under appreciated and manipulated for political gain, which is precisely how career politicians wield their power. A critical key to our recovery are political outsiders who are business insiders that can reform government’s conquer and control mentality to one of limited scope with accountability for results. Those who have not sat in a board room, managed rank and file or met payroll simply lack the ability to achieve such results.

By reforming government from greedy powerbroker to accountable business, all Americans will benefit. Those who hold the key to our future success understand the need to cut spending, eliminate waste and getting rid of non-essential bureaucrats.

LET’S GET TO WORK!

Americans need jobs and any politician stating that this is being done is not only disingenuous but has no place in the political arena. The people are tired of the rhetoric and want action. Jobs happen when businesses grow. Business grow when there is a need for products. Products are bought when consumers have confidence. None of the above is occuring because people and businesses are equally scared about a future that has been hijacked by politicians beholden to special interests whose interests are radically different than ours.

LET’S GET TO WORK!

Rick Scott is just one political candidate of many who have taken steps to bring our economy back to some semblence of normalcy. His plan for Florida will create several hundred thousand new jobs. It will work because he has demonstrated entrepreneurial expertise in building successful and profitable enterprises that continually created jobs. As a successful business man, he understands what it will take to get us on the road to recovery and get Americans back to work. So, the rest is up to us.

LET’S GET TO WORK!

Christopher Tidball is the author of Kicked to the Curb: 20 Essential Rules For Coming Out On Top When Your Life Has Been Turned Upside Down. He has been featured on Yahoo Finance, Career Builder, MSNBC and numerous other media outlets where he provides innovative solutions to finding jobs, career development and increasing business revenue. To learn more, please visit http://www.christidball.com or email chris@christidball.com.

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August 25, 2010 at 6:43 am Leave a comment

We Won’t Get Fooled Again

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
And I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again

– Pete Townsend

It’s primary day in Florida, which very well may be the highlight of what is most certainly becoming the summer of disappointment for the millions of Americans kicked to the curb as a result of the ongoing recession. 

As summer draws to a close and the kids return to school, it is time for the rest of us to pay attention to what the candidates have to say and put aside partisan differences to hear the diversity of messages; some the key to success, others the epitome of failure.  The former, who have very specific plans to fix what has been broken are the very people who need a chance at local, state and federal levels; while the latter need to be cast aside. 

Most certainly there are economic fixes, although none is likely to bring prosperity back overnight.   Cutting taxes, extending existing tax cuts and creating incentives for small business to hire are three simple steps that can be taken and one that every viable candidate for office is talking about. 

While there are a lot of talking points, the one that is critical to the electorate is jobs.   Yes, we need to do more about illegal immigration, which is precisely why 22 state legislatures are looking to emulate Arizona’s common sense solution.  Yes, we need to repeal the unconstitutional healthcare mandate which is why 19 states (and counting) have filed lawsuits to do just that.   No, we don’t need a mosque a stone’s throw from ground zero where Islamic terrorists killed 3000 of our fellow Americans.  

Polling shows that these are all important issues among productive Americans, but there is one issue that trumps them all; jobs.   We have got to put our nation back to work and end the policies that have caused unemployment to double in the last two years.   This can be done, but only with candidates that have the business knowhow to fix all that government has broken.  

Just as we have seen bad economic news snowball as the result of legislative missteps and incompetence, it can reverse course with a slight modification.    Just as we wouldn’t attempt to fly an airplane without a core competency in aviation, elected leaders lacking a core competency in economics shouldn’t be charged with economic policymaking.   By fixing this singular issue we have taken a giant leap to getting the train back on the tracks.  

But that is just step one, as undoing the very unpinning of the current economic disaster will take a monumental effort on the part of the next Congress, who without the votes to override presidential vetoes, will likely not be able to accomplish much.  But, it is a step in the right direction to at least stall the free fall into the abyss. 

Step two is to ensure that local and state government can implement appropriate policies to fend of the continued federal assault on states’ rights and sovereignty as we are witnessing in Arizona.  

Step three will be to pass legislation with enough popular support that it will force the administration to act; either support the will of the people or succumb to radical special interests.   At least what tranpires will become transparent so that informed Americans can make informed decisions.  

While we won’t be out of the woods, at least economically competent leaders will be able to present sound fiscal policy on a broad range of issues that will restore American values. 

Of course the final step is for Americans is to continue their engagement in the political process.   If there is any positive as the result of the great recession it is that the people are finally taking the time to turn on the news and learn the facts so that they won’t get fooled again. 

 ____________

Christopher Tidball is the author of Kicked to the Curb: 20 Essential Rules For Coming Out On Top When Your Life Has Been Turned Upside Down.  He provides businesses with innovative bottom line solutions to increase revenue with no new money required.  Learn more at www.christidball.com.

August 24, 2010 at 8:11 am Leave a comment

The Silver Lining of the Great Recession

Is anyone really surprised that unemployment claims have jumped to their highest level in 9 months?  After all, what steps have been taken by the government to instill a sense of confidence in the private sector?   With a half million new claims for initial unemployment benefits filed last week it is clear that we remain in the midst of the greatest recession since the great depression for the near future. 

To put today’s economy in perspective, consider the following:   

1-      Steps taken by the government have not averted a recession, nor limited unemployment to 8% as promised during the push for a stimulus package. 

2-      Our national debt has risen precipitously and has our economy poised to fall into the abyss.

3-      Consumer confidence continues to decline.

4-      New mandates and regulations passed by the current congress have not only resulted in massive layoffs, but WILL continue to cause further unemployment as businesses seek shelter in off shore havens to avoid not only taxes and frivolous litigation, but costs associated with healthcare and financial reform. 

5-      Should the tax cuts expire at the end of December, the probability of a prolonged recession and cross generational double digit unemployment rises exponentially. 

This isn’t designed to scare people, but rather enlighten them of the facts.   In my interview with Kiplinger’s yesterday, I shared some of these concerns but also a vision and a path for both economic and personal recovery. 

It is virtually unheard of to meet a person not impacted by the recession.   If not you or your spouse, then certainly a relative, friend or neighbor.   The first thing that everyone needs to recognize is that things will get better.   

The key to individual recovery during these trying times is to understand exactly how the recession has impacted you and develop a plan for personal salvation.   While the recession has impacted everyone, it has impacted them in different ways. 

Retirees living on a fixed income have seen investments decline, thus they have stopped spending.   The unemployed are seeking jobs, but often for naught as businesses continue to downsize.   Working Americans have seen pay decrease despite increasingly responsibility.   The underemployed work menial jobs for a paycheck that may never get them out from under water. 

So what is your predicament? 

                                       What is your goal? 

                                                           What is your plan to achieve that goal?

The silver lining of the recession is that it is forcing us back to our roots of self reliance and rugged individualism.   Many who were dependent on a steady paycheck are realizing that perhaps they got far too complacent and comfy in their corporate lifestyle as they became less and less engaged in the world around them. 

For the first time in a generation there is an increase in people taking interest in the evening news.   While newspaper circulation is declining, internet news sights are realizing record traffic.   People are getting involved in civic and political causes in record numbers!

As discussed in Kicked to the Curb, there are a number of steps that people can take to pull themselves out of this economic rut.   Much of it takes creativity and ingenuity.   It requires the ability to think outside the box and recognize future potential, even amidst today’s adversity.  Most of all it takes courage, perseverance and faith, all of which will play a pivotal role in achieving success. 

We are not out of the woods yet, nor will we be in the near future.  However, there is a glimmer of hope that a more educated and informed society will learn from the trials and tribulations of today to bring our nation back from the abyss in coming months.  

 _______________

Christopher Tidball is the author of Kicked to the Curb: 20 Essential Rules For Coming Out On Top When Your Life Has Been Turned Upside Down.   He provides businesses and individuals with innovative solutions to identify new revenue streams.  He can be reached at chris@christidball.com.  To learn more please visit www.christidball.com.  

August 19, 2010 at 10:44 am Leave a comment

Moving Beyond Traditional Benchmarking to Identify Your Full Potential

Benchmarking…metrics…production goals…these are all familiar terms, but what do they all boil down to?  While every successful company has goals, does every company ensure that they are meaningful?

In several recent meetings, I have had business leaders inquire about the effectiveness of their metrics on bottom line subrogation recoveries and revenue cycle management.   The reality is that a metric is only as good as the process that is in place to achieve a certain outcome.  

Consider the insurer that focuses on year to year improvement in subrogation recovery dollars but has not implemented a solution for identifying missed recovery opportunities.   While the former may be a proper benchmark to measure improvement, it fails to incorporate true potential.

When considering benchmarks, there are time bound and results oriented metrics which all have an impact on an organizational bottom line.  In the insurance industry, some commonly used benchmarking includes the original Ward studies measures Total Dollars of Net Subrogation Recoveries as a % of Total Indemnity Paid Losses for Personal Auto Collision

In the years since those early studies, there has been some focus by carriers on improving their subrogation process which has led to an increase in recovered dollars.   According to a recent NASP study, net recoveries to total paid collision is 27% for standard carriers and 14.5% for non standard carriers.  Again, a good study when benchmarking results for identified subrogation, but what of the 15% of files closed with a missed subrogation opportunity that could dramatically alter these outcomes?

The same holds true in the healthcare field, where insurers and hospitals often leave substantial amounts of money on the table as the result of inadequate processes.    In several recent process and workflow reviews for both a large health insurer and a large network of hospitals, several gaps were identified, specifically related to missed third party and workers’ compensation liability insurance.  

By utilizing tools to identify missed subrogation opportunities or gaps in the revenue management cycle, stakeholders gain an immediate competitive edge in the marketplace, which couldn’t come at a more opportune time.

As many are tightening purse strings amidst the down economy, those repositioning themselves as industry leaders are recognizing opportunity areas and reaching out to business partners with proven solutions that can improve results by as much as 15% with no new money required. 

While traditional benchmarking has provided sufficient improvement in years past, this is changing as innovative new technology is being introduced to not only improve on current processes, but being deployed to identify emerging opportunities that will have a profound impact on end users.  

“The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination.” – John Schaar

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Learn how you can improve your existing processes and identify new revenue streams, often with NO NEW MONEY REQUIRED! 

Contact Chris Tidball at (904) 742-9031 or visit www.christidball.com

August 18, 2010 at 8:44 am Leave a comment

New Norms of Jobless Recovery Send Unemployment Claims Back Up…Again

Of no surprise, claims for unemployment have hit their highest level since February.    Back in May, amidst the media hype and Congressional glee of falling claims, I predicted that the worst was yet to come with rising unemployment by summer.  

So what does this mean for those who have been kicked to the curb?  In simplest terms, it means a lot of hurdles and tough times until Congress and the administration abandon their tax and spend agenda.  

To truly enter a phase of economic recovery we must recognize that the recession is being prolonged by legislative misstep after misstep resulting in sagging private sector confidence.    Exacerbating matters is the fact that the majority of the current Congress and administration lack the business savvy necessary to understand how to navigate through difficult economic times.   To put it bluntly, those who have never had to meet a payroll or balance a budget lack the skills necessary to bring about economic prosperity. 

Business owners understand this and are justifiably concerned, which is translating into a sluggish job market resulting in record low consumer confidence.   Despite this, a bevy of unpopular legislative mandates have been forced upon these very people resulting in more operations being downsized, outsourced or shipped overseas.   This trend will continue until policymakers alter their course.

So what does this mean for those who have been kicked to the curb?

  • Unemployment will rise before it falls, due in large part to the temporary census contracts coming to an end.
  • If tax cuts set to expire in December aren’t renewed, look for a severe prolonging of the recession, resulting in even fewer job opportunities.
  • Be wary of a lame duck Congress after the midterm elections that may use their final days to pass massive anti-business legislation such as card check or cap and trade which will force even higher unemployment as companies push more and more of their service, manufacturing and operations overseas. 

None of this is meant to scare people, but to awaken them to the realities of the “new economy” where any recovery will likely be jobless for the near future.    That said, there are opportunities to reinvent yourself with a change in paradigm that sets you apart from the status quo.

As discussed in Kicked to the Curb, there are twenty essential rules that can get a person’s career back on track, even in these dismal economic times.   Often it requires a shift in paradigm and most certainly it requires new found creativity to reinvent yourself to the new norms of today’s market where full time employment is rapidly becoming in a thing of the past, but opportunities abound for those who understand the future.

_____________

Christopher Tidball is the author of Kicked to the Curb: Twenty Essential Rules For Coming Out on Top When Your Life Has Been Turned Upside Down.  He provides businesses with innovative solutions to improving their bottom line with no new money required.   To learn more visit www.christidball.com or email chris@christidball.com.

August 13, 2010 at 8:16 am Leave a comment

Attitude is a Little Thing Makes a Big Difference

There is no question that being positive in the face of today’s government inducted recession can be difficult.   Yet, it is positive thought that is a pillar of any economic recovery.   Just how do you maintain positive thought as your company loses money, bonuses become a thing of the past and jobs go by the wayside?   We hear about record numbers of foreclosures, increasing personal and national and a housing market debacle.  Despite all of this, deep down we know that things will get better.

I have said time and again that much of our success is rooted in the fact that we are Americans, the most resilient culture on earth.   We take our lumps and get right back up and continue the fight.   Our resiliency comes from the very fabric of self reliance and rugged individualism that made our nation great.   It is this fabric that defines Old Glory; the red, white and blue; a patchwork of cultures that have become great not because of governmen but in spite of it.   Even in the face of this necessary evil that has become intolerable, we will find a way to persevere and rise above the fray.

As I discuss in Kicked to the Curb: 20 Essential Rules for Coming out on Top When Your World Has Been Turned Upside Down, negativity can easily manifest itself in when times get tough. In the face of economic challenges, in particular a constricting labor market, it is easy to let negativity thoughts become your greatest impediment to success.  After all, negative thoughts result in negative behavior which in turn have a negative impact on your life.  

Negativity begets more negativity.  The reality is that there are winners and there are whiners in all aspects of our life.  Perhaps nowhere is this more obvious than at your office.   Think of who congregates together to complain?  Who congregates to share the highlights of the latest quarter, stock prices or new marketplace innovations?   It is the latter who seek light while the former seek dark and it is your challenge when negativity has the potential to manifest itself to overcome this in search of the light. 

In order to arrive on the plane of positive thinking you must adhere to the following ten rules: 

  1. Believe in the power of positive thought.
  2. Beware of those people who do not share positive thought.
  3. Be objective when analyzing your current situation.
  4. Be mindful of living a healthy life.
  5. Be a facilitator of change if negativity enters your sphere of being.
  6. Be patient with those who also seek the power of positive thought.
  7. Be kind to those seeking the power.
  8. Be aware of a greater power to whom you are serving.
  9. Become a better person.
  10. Be the light when entering a room. 

As Winston Churchill once said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”  It is your attitude that will define your path of your life’s journey.

Chris Tidball is the author of Kicked to the Curb, a book that combines the spiritual journey of The Secret and The Power of Positive Thinking with the insight gained during his twenty years as an executive for multiple Fortune 100 companies.  Using his concepts, the author assists many individuals and businesses in finding new revenue streams in today’s difficult economic times.  For more information please visit www.christidball.com or email the author at chris@christidball.com.

August 10, 2010 at 7:08 am Leave a comment

Opportunities Abound With A Simple Change In Paradigm

In a word, dismal pretty much sums up the July jobs report.   While unemployment remained steady at 9.5%, peeling back the onion gives rise for much greater concern.  

Back in April, amidst much hoopla of an improving economy, I warned that things would get worse before they get better, largely due to the masking of the unemployment problem with temporary census workers.   Now that those workers are being let go, unemployment is likely to rise.  

Perhaps the greatest concern is that while the government was exaggerating the recovery, the private sector never once fell for it with small business owners becoming ever more leery of new mandates that all but precluded them from expanding employment opportunities. 

In July, this critical segment of the economy accounted for a mere 71,000 new jobs which is far less than the 125,000 required for any economic growth.   This was offset by more than 202,000 layoffs of government workers, including 143,000 temporary census workers.  

Arguably the true unemployment rate is somewhere around 16%,  much higher than what the government is reporting, as they do not factor in the large number of people who have simply stopped looking for work.  

In the meantime, the suffering continues for the millions who have been kicked to the curb.  Just last week Timothy Geithner suggested that things will get worse before they get better.   While it is encouraging that someone in the administration is echoing what I have been saying for months, the question is what will they do about it? 

The stage has been set for cross generational, double digit unemployment unless bold new measures are taken immediately.   A good start would be tax cuts, in particular those set to expire at the end of 2010.   Failure to take that simple step ensures that we will see a further contraction in the marketplace.  

This is not meant to scare people, but rather level set them in the reality of what has been created over the past eighteen months by leaders lacking the business savvy and economic knowledge to restore hope and bring about change.  

For those who have been kicked to the curb, now is not the time to rely on government.  Rather, it is the time to take bold steps to reinvent yourself, even against overwhelming odds.   It is time to adopt a new paradigm with the knowledge that the job market has forever changed.   While the odds of going out and finding a traditional job have grown exponentially more difficult,  the ability to create your own opportunity have improved.

In my book, Kicked to the Curb, I outline 20 proven rules that will get people back to work.  By changing your paradigm and looking at your own household as a business, you can devise new revenue opportunities by harnessing skills that make you unique.  

Essentially, you become a problem solver for small businesses.   While they have no intention of hiring a full time employee, that doesn’t mean there aren’t jobs to be done.  After all, businesses have to grow and profit in order to be successful.  

Freelance work, independent contracting and odd jobs are the wave of the future.   They enable businesses to avoid many of the governmental constraints that have prolonged the recession while allowing individuals to rekindle the entrepreneurial spirit that made our nation great.   

By adopting the rules set forth in Kicked to the Curb, you will be able to create your own opportunities.   Overcoming fear and turning obstacles into alliances, it becomes possible to create multiple streams of income, even in the midst of recession.   With a simple change in paradigm, you can overcome fear, leverage your skills and network your way to great success.    

_____________ 

Christopher Tidball is the author of Kicked to the Curb: Twenty Essential Rules For Coming Out On Top When Your Life Has Been Turned Upside Down.   He provides innovative solutions and strategies to businesses and individuals to identify new revenue streams with no new money required.   To learn more visit www.christidball.com or email chris@christidball.com.

August 9, 2010 at 6:58 am Leave a comment

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Chris Tidball is a claims and revenue management consultant and author of the "20 Essential Rules" series of self and organizational improvement books. You can ask him a question at chris@christidball.com

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