Digital Readiness Training for your Company

Based on recent news coming out of Canada’s Largest Bank, RBC  and Amazon’s recent about small business lending growth –  it is clear that Digital Disruption has shaken up the Banking Sector.

Why should You Care?

If you think for one moment that your industry is  immune to digital disruption – you are taking a massive risk.    Maybe you don’t know where to start when it comes to Digital Disruption.   No need to worry.   We offer training that will help you start the process of becoming digital ready.   Best of all,  you could have up to 2/3’s of the training costs covered by Government Grants.

To learn more, contact radcliffe@highereye.com

 

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R.I.P Prince- Truly a Cultural Icon

The world lost cultural icon – Prince.    While millions loved his music, let’s not forget about his efforts to address social and economic justice.

This article was taken from CNN.

http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/21/technology/prince-yeswecode/

Prince wasn’t just a renowned artist. He was also an advocate for a more inclusive tech community.

It was this belief that inspired Prince’s friend Van Jones to start YesWeCode, a nonprofit in Oakland, which is at the forefront of a movement to get more young minorities involved in technology.

The YesWeCode initiative, which is part of Jones’ Rebuild the Dream charity, is on a mission to teach 100,000 low-income youths to write code.
The idea grew out of a conversation Jones had with Prince after the 2012 killing of black teen Trayvon Martin.

“Prince said … ‘A black kid wearing a hoodie might be seen as a thug. A white kid wearing a hoodie might be seen as a Silicon Valley genius,'” recalled political activist Jones in conversation with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday.

“Let’s teach the black kids how to be like Mark Zuckerberg.”

YesWeCode is one of many organizations working to diversify tech. Their goal is to create economic opportunities for kids of color — and help build a generation of tech talent that companies can tap for years to come.

Silicon Valley’s lack of diversity is no secret. It’s apparent in the staff makeup of some big tech companies.

Take Facebook, for instance. Just 1% of its tech workers are black. It’s only slightly better — 3% — in non-technical roles. In 2014, 2.9% of Facebook’s new hires were black, according to its latest EEO filing. It’s a similar story at many other tech companies.
And the problem is also present in the funding pipeline, which helps determine which entrepreneurs get investments.

According to data culled by Richard Kerby at Venrock, 2% of partners at venture capital firms are black. That affects the kinds of entrepreneurs who get funding. “I don’t look like Zuck,” Matt Joseph, a black entrepreneur who spoke out about the issue, tweeted in March.

For black women, things are particularly bleak. A recent report found that black female founders made up just .2% of all venture capital deals from 2012 to 2014.
For all the grim statistics, there are also success stories.

Take Mamadou Diallo, a 17-year-old young man from Harlem who was recently offered a full ride to Stanford.

Diallo was introduced to coding at age 14 through a weekend coding course. He took it because it promised a free laptop — but it exposed him to a world he’d never seen before.

It’s kids like Diallo that Prince wanted to help. Prince used his widespread appeal to promote YesWeCode and other initiatives. He headlined the ESSENCE Festival in 2014, where YesWeCode was launched with a youth-focused hackathon.

But Jones said Prince didn’t boast about the work he did. He helped support Rebuild the Dream and donated to other organizations like Eau Claire Promise Zone in South Carolina, which helps prepare community kids for college.

“He really believed that young people could change the world,” said Jones, who is a CNN commentator.

Prince was a teen when his career got started, one of the reasons why he was so passionate about helping the younger generation find success.

“He believed in the Black Lives Matter kids so much — and he had a dream for them,” Jones said. “He said, ‘I hope that they become an economic force. I hope that they use their genius to start businesses.'”

 

 

The Left and the Right need to get out of their ideological comfort zones

Taken from the Toronto Star...

CCPAOntario has an economic problem, which is leading to great social problems due to financial stress.  And no amount of rhetoric from the left or the right will change this.  What is required is for all stakeholders in our economy from educators, unions, investors, entrepreneurs and politicians to get together and develop practical solutions.

First step, as a service driven economy our education system needs to staffed with educators who have real world experience.   This has to start in high school.  Teachers should be in more intense training or job placements for the subjects they teach whether it be arts, sciences, business and technology.  Our students use smartphones and the interest, they can see through BS quickly – thus our educators must be on prepared with real work knowledge.

Second, the private sector must start telling the truth about the skills shortage.  I know first hand what it is like when you are unemployed and have the skills/experience for 90% of the jobs in your field.  However, it seems as if many companies are posting jobs just to fill their databases with resumes.      Even worse, we often see that a company will post a job, reject all candidates then within 2 months re post the same job again – and continue the cycle over and over again.  We need to stop the hype about skills shortages and ensure that the the shortage is REAL.   Sadly, too many Canadians are spending money on training courses only to remain unemployed. Good for training schools, bad for families.

Third, Ontario has to embrace trade more aggressively.   Recently on The Agenda, there had a a great discussion about foreign markets.   BRICS (Brazil, Russia, Indian, China, South Africa) and MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey).    Lawyer Mark Warner made the key point on the show when he stated “When entering an emerging market, businesses have to be prepared for the unexpected… it won’t be smooth, but the opportunities are there”.   Companies, investors and academic thought leaders have to embrace emerging markets more aggressively.   Export Development Bank of Canada can provide lots of support for companies entering these markets.

Fourth, Ontario has to start investing in the RIGHT sectors.   Yes, the Auto Sector is important to the economy.   However, the attitude of Ford Canada and UNIFOR towards the South Korean Free Trade Agreement is a concern.   While Ford USA embraced the deal, Ford Canada did not.   UNIFOR compared imports/exports of cars between Canada and South Korea as proof of this being a bad deal for Canada.   The focus instead should be about how Ontario plants can 1) Attract more investment from VW, BMW, Audi etc into Canada  2)  making cars that foreign markets would want.

While Ontario continues to invest money in the Auto Sector, even when they don’t want it.    – The information technology, entertainment, logistics and infrastructure sectors do not get enough attention.   Ontario needs to focus more funds on industries that will lead to great exports for our companies.

In Ontario, we are no longer a manufacturing hot bed.  Tim Hudak has a plan however it sounds more rhetorical than practical.  Premier Wynne, speaks in platitudes and Andrea Horvarth doesn’t give us much detail.

The left and the right need to stop sitting in their ideological comfort zones and start focusing on practical solutions to our economic problems.   While both sides continue their rhetoric, way too many Ontario families continue to struggle.   Stop the noise and start getting to work!

blog post by Radcliffe Dockery

 

Facebook to acquire WhatsApp for about $16 billion

whatsapp-logoWOW!!!   WhatsApp the popular cross platform instant messaging application will be purchased by Facebook for $16 Billion!

With Facebook’s ownership position in Instagram and now WhatsApp this could get interesting.  Especially as Facebook continues its push in Mobile revenue streams.  How will this impact BBM?

CNBC broke the story today

 

Apple may have considered buying Tesla, but why?

According to an array of reports today, Apple may have considered buying Telsa.

Interesting to say the least.  Not sure why Apple would even be interested in Telsa.   I could see some joint venture work in the areas of mobile music, data etc.   But this would be way outside of Apple’s core competency.   Instead, I believe it would make more sense for Apple to go after Panasonic or Sony.   It would provide them with more weapons to combat Samsung in the Consumer Electronics space.

What do you think?  Does a marriage between Telsa and Apple make sense?

tesla-model-s-side-small

 

 

blog by Radcliffe Dockery

New Chairman of Microsoft

New Chairman of Microsoft John Thompson, seasoned IT Executive becomes the First African American Chairman of Microsoft

This is a significant development in the Business World.   I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Thompson when I started my career with IBM back in 1999.   He gave me straight forward advice and encouraged me to take risk!   Mr. Thompson is known to be a straight shooter who truly understands customer and shareholder value.

As the former Chairman and CEO of Symantec (makers of Norton Anti-virus) he transformed Symantec into a true Enterprise Security Company.   Now, as Chairman of Microsoft he leads one of with new CEO Satya Nadella – his goal is to ensure that Microsoft leads the continued movement to mobile and cloud services.

What we see with this Microsoft announcement is the combination of experience, innovation and diversity!   We can only hope to see Canadian organizations take the exact same steps in their leadership!

 

 

blog by Radcliffe Dockery

 

Rob Ford vs. VMWARE – What happened to our balance?

Mayor Rob Ford continues to provide great material for late night talk show hosts.   Another video, another rant.  This time the Mayor attempts to invoke my Ancestors by practicing Jamaica Patois.  I just watched the midday news and every second word was “Ford” or “Jamaican”.  While it is fair to cover this story and posts an array of photo memes of Rob Ford, we have to remember that the world keeps on spinning. vmware-large-logoToday, software cloud vendor VMWare announced that they are purchasing mobile security company Airwatch for $1.54B US.   This does have implications as it relates to jobs in Canada – in particular in Southern Ontario.   BlackBerry is beginning the process of transforming itself into a true mobile security cloud vendor.   If BlackBerry succeeds, we may see solid job growth for the company again.  Also note that these are high paying jobs, that will benefit everyone directly or indirectly.  Let’s see how the media applies what seems to be an only a ‘business story’ to its potential impact on our communities.

So what’s my point?

Maybe the debate should be about how a Mayors behaviour impacts the ability of a city or region to attract investment from a firm like VMWare.   And to be honest, we are seeing some of dialogue via social media.

While the Rob Ford story is interesting and does deserve some media attention, we also can not lose focus on the core issues facing many today.   The VMWare could be great news for companies like SOTI – based in Mississauga.

I am not asking for anyone to avoid or downplay the Ford story.   What I am asking is for more of us to maintain balance and remember, the world keeps on turning!   Because end of the day, “A su life gwan”  *Translation – “That is how life may go at times”.  🙂

Blog post by Radcliffe Dockery