Plus: A Critical Business Question, Surge in “Made in America” Products, Tier 2 Auto Suppliers, Jazzy Workplace Lessons, Student Loan Problems and Paul Ryan’s Small Business Stance.
Sometimes the Internet seems like it’s gotten too big. To help navigate this sea of information, Industry Market Trends’ weekly Worth a Look feature spotlights some of the more interesting, informative and amusing resources that might have slipped under your radar — all in bite-sized chunks.
- The Most Important Question in Business | Everyone is working hard these days, but amid our hectic daily schedules, a key idea often goes unvoiced: “What do you think?” CBS MoneyWatch explores the value of asking this simple but frequently ignored question, explaining how it can open up new business opportunities, help break a deadlocked negotiation, improve teamwork, strengthen customer relations and salvage a floundering job interview.
- “Made in America” on the Rise | As more companies move offshore operations back to the United States and consumers grow more concerned about where the products they buy are manufactured, “Made in the U.S.A.” is making a powerful comeback. Average wages in China have spiked by 10 to 25 percent a year, making the U.S. a more competitive country for manufacturing goods, while customers have begun demanding U.S.-made goods, leading many firms to shift factory work to domestic locations.
- Are Tier 2 Suppliers the Auto Industry’s Bottleneck? | The U.S. auto industry is booming this year, with vehicles sales expected to surpass 14 million units, but some analysts are concerned that the upswing may cause tier 2 automotive suppliers to become overwhelmed by the rising demand. To address the issue, experts advise OEMs to conduct layered audits of smaller suppliers and find better ways to collaborate and build stronger relationships.
- Workplace Lessons from Miles Davis | Creativity, spontaneity and the ability to improvise are important skills in the modern work environment. The leadership approach taken by jazz legend Miles Davis can be helpful in cultivating these traits in the workplace. When a jazz band improvises and self-directs, it shows how practice and automatic habits can transform into problem-solving and innovation.
- Student Loans a Drag on the U.S. Economy | Severe problems in the U.S. student loan market are hindering the country’s economy and should draw more attention from policymakers, according to the Financial Times. With approximately $150 billion in private student loan debt and an average interest rate of 8-10 percent, many graduates are unable to find suitable refinancing options and this, in turn, is preventing them from buying homes, which is having a negative impact on the still-struggling housing market.
- What Paul Ryan Means for Small Business | Mitt Romney’s recent selection of Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate has generated a great deal of discussion on both sides of the aisle, but how would Ryan’s policies affect entrepreneurs and small businesses? Inc.com explains that although Ryan advocates stripping away regulatory measures that impede new business creation, he also voted against the Small Business Jobs Act. He plans to lower corporate tax rates and capital gains taxes, while making sweeping budget cuts, but it remains unclear which “loopholes” he plans to close to make up for the losses.
- The Leadership Disconnect | You can’t always get what you want, and that’s especially true in the workplace. New survey findings highlight the differences between what managers and employers expect to get from their work life versus what they actually experience. Only 43 percent of workers worldwide say their workplace reflects the management style they prefer the most and the countries where employees are least satisfied with work leadership include Italy, South Africa, Germany, Poland and Denmark.