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Steve Jobs Legacy for me – what’s important to you?

This is a tough blog post for me. Like many folks in the US and around the world I too believe we have lost a genius. From a consumer products perspective Jobs disrupted the animation industry, disrupted the music industry, disrupted the phone industry and disrupted the laptop industry. Disruption for the last  three meant big wins for Apple – big profits and big market share numbers.

We’re all wondering what was planned next and, despite assurances that Apple will continue to produce innovation and that innovation is in safe hands with the existing management, I have a feeling that the ‘Jobs spark’ will be hard to replicate in the future. I do have confidence that someone or ‘ones’ will appear in the future to continue the innovation the US has been famous for.

Steve Jobs  ‘Righting the Ship’ after he takes the Helm. He’s talking about his predecessor’s approach, not his! That’s why Gates etc. are laughing.

As Managing Editor of the Manufacturing Industry Blog I am allowed the occasional ‘Editorial’ only slightly related to the industry (well, that’s what I’ve decided, anyway!). So this blog is tough because I’m not going to address the innovation issue. I’m not going to address the need for improved education or more engineers or more math students (though they are sadly needed).

No, this blog is about priorities in life. I’ve learned, as many of us have, that Jobs allegedly  delayed getting surgery for his pancreatic cancer by three-quarters of a year, or thereabouts. It is reported that the new biography that’s due out on Monday has some of the details. Now I make no judgment on his choices, I’ll leave that to you as reader, but a “60 minutes” interview that airs on Sunday with biographer Walter Isaacson apparently confirms details that had been speculated upon or widely reported, including that Jobs might have been cured of his “slow-growing” cancer had he sought professional treatment sooner, rather than resorting to unconventional means.

Please don’t judge Steve Jobs, or me. But here’s a similar learning from both of us. I passed a certain age a while ago where I should have had my first colonoscopy. I delayed it. Too busy; not high enough priority; low risk factors; you name the excuses. Four years after that time, in 2010, my wife Julie forced me to have it done. We had a 6 year old and she had just given birth to our second child – a beautiful baby girl.

Unfortunately for me, It was bad news…

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Can Broadband Access Fuel Job Creation?

The message from leaders across rural America is clear — they want broadband access to the internet, and they’re hoping that by raising the awareness of their common cause they’ll see some near-term progress towards that goal (helping to fuel new job creation).

Howard’s prior editorial entitled “Can Broadband Reshape Rural Development” seemed to trigger some spirited commentary. But that’s not surprising, when you consider how well organized and vocal the rural stakeholder groups have been in the past.

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Youth: An Economic Disaster or an Economic Asset?

Making Education Relevant is the topic for the next debate in the Cisco-Promethean Education Fast Forward series. Having steered two children through 16 years of the US education system, I can tell you that THAT particular topic sparked a raging debate over the dinner table every night.  It went something like this: “Mom, why do I need to learn quadratic equations?” Or, the ever present simple“Why?”. While I am delighted to hear that academics and practitioners continue to debate education’s relevancy, I can tell you that, as a young mother, I wished someone had armed me with better answers than, “Because you have to.” Read More »

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Cisco Talent Fair: Helping Partners Fill Talent Gaps and Tips for Hiring the Best

IDC predicts a nearly 40% gap between demand and supply of technical networking skills by year 2012.

To help Cisco partners fill growing gaps in their own talent, Cisco partnered with CareerBuilder to set up three Cisco Talent Fairs across the Southern region of the United States.

“Business has grown by 50% over the past year and a half so we are really needing some additional help and resources to add to our staff,” said Lauren Decker, Senior Marketing Specialist at INX (a Cisco Gold and Master Partner).

This trend is true across the board for partners who are, “experiencing unprecedented growth and success in their business right now,” said Eric Thomas, Cisco Manager of Partner Operations. But Eric notes that the growing pains around finding talent is consistent with every partner he talks to.

The first Cisco Talent Fair was held in March in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. As a result of the event, partners who attended have already taken on 12 new hires with roles ranging from Account Managers and Systems Engineers to Project Managers.

More recently, two Cisco Talent Fairs were held in Texas (Houston and Dallas) to help partners find talent to fill Sales, Engineering, Project Management, Inside Sales, and Marketing roles in their companies. Approximately four hundred prospective employees attended the events, and as a result, participating partners now have a large pipeline of candidates.

So, what can partners expect from a Cisco Talent Fair? Check out the video highlights from the Cisco Talent Fair held in Dallas, Texas.

Are you looking to fill the talent gaps in your company? Cisco Channel Systems Engineer Hernan Hernandez shares his top tips on how partners can attract prospective employees. Read More »

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Jobs vs Skills: a conundrum based on myth?

The Economist held its annual conference on Human Potential last week in NYC. It could just as well have been named: ‘Job Acquisition vs. Job Skills: the Great Mis-match of our Generation,’ echoing the title of their special report by Matthew Bishop. For two days, panelists and speakers discussed this dilemma: “The abundance of jobs and the shortage of skilled workers.” Yes, I did say, abundance of jobs. Education took center stage of this conundrum many times, only to be quickly ignored because of the complexity of the solution. Like the Medusa with her head of many snakes, each education challenge begets a new challenge, which, in turn, becomes so intertwined that we run from it, screaming for relief. Read More »

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