Labour NEC paves way for potential leftwing leadership candidates

Jeremy Corbyn has secured a significant victory after Labour’s ruling body agreed to proposed changes that will make it easier for a leftwing candidate to run for the party leadership.

The national executive committee accepted a compromise deal on the so-called McDonnell amendment, named after the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, who is in favour of reducing the number of MPs needed to nominate a leadership candidate.

In a further strengthening of the left’s position, the party has also increased the number of NEC delegates from members and unions and authorised a further review of party rules to be conducted by Corbyn’s allies.

The proposed changes have been described as “tectonic” by some commentators because they mean that the parliamentary party will find it harder to stop a leftwing successor to 68-year-old Corbyn.

It could postpone indefinitely moves by some MPs who want to return Labour to policies pursued by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

The proposed changes went through at an NEC meeting in the party’s headquarters in central London that lasted more than four hours. They will be voted upon at the party’s annual conference in Brighton, which will open on Sunday.

Committee members approved a reduction of the threshold from 15% of MPs and MEPs to 10% in order to select candidates to be placed on a ballot for members, sources said. It does not go as far as the 5% demanded by some activists.

McDonnell tried to stand for the leadership in 2007 when he was a backbencher but was thwarted by a lack of nominations from parliamentary colleagues.

When Corbyn stood for the party leadership in 2015 he struggled to secure enough nominations, and only made it through to the membership ballot because some MPs said they would second him even though they disagreed with his views.

Sources said that the NEC agreed to add an additional three delegates to the current six to represent the party’s 600,000 members. Unions will be given an extra delegate.

The committee is currently finely balanced between pro- and anti-Corbyn delegates.

Key figures who have previously been seen as potential obstacles to reform by the leadership, such as the party’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, and Corbyn-sceptic unions, did not block the changes.

Some so-called moderates have been persuaded that the unexpectedly strong showing in the general election has given Corbyn the right to make changes to the party.

The committee has also authorised a review of the party’s structures that will open the way for further changes, such as to how the party selects MPs and forms policy.

The former Labour MP Katy Clark, an ally of Corbyn who is now the Labour leader’s political secretary, will lead a “party democracy review” to make the case for major changes to how the party elects leaders, selects MPs and forms policy. Clark’s review will report directly to Corbyn and the party chair, Ian Lavery.

The NEC also voted in favour of strengthening the party’s position on antisemitism, following claims that the party turned a blind eye to prejudices.

Some on the left will be disappointed that the party has held back from pushing for mandatory re-selection, which could have forced MPs to reapply for their positions before an election.

With the NEC’s backing, the changes are highly likely to pass a vote on the conference floor.

Commenting on the changes, Emma Rees, Momentum’s national organiser, said: “We welcome the review, which is a promising first step towards a 21st-century Labour party that empowers its members and is able to win elections.

“We’re glad that all wings of the party are finally recognising their invaluable contribution, and understand that it’s both right and strategic for members to have more of a say.”


Posted in Business, Entrepreneurship, Leadership | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where To Find Gas In The Boca Raton Area: Hurricane Irma Evacuation

Gas is scarce. Here’s where to find it.

Tens of thousands of Floridians fleeing homes in the path of Hurricane Irma have packed their cars and taken to the roads only to find a huge problem with their getaway plans: they can’t find gas to fill their tanks for the drive to safety.

By 5 p.m. Thursday, from 30 percent to more than 40 percent of gas stations were without fuel in West Palm Beach, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Naples, Gainesville and Tampa/St. Pete. (For more hurricane news and other local information, click here to sign up for real-time news alerts and newsletters from Boca Raton Patch. If you have an iPhone, click here to get the free Patch iPhone app.)

State officials have encouraged motorists to use the website and app to locate stations that still have gas, which has proved useful for motorists across Florida

Getting the information from the website requires a bit of navigation to find the map that shows which stations have gas and which ones don’t. You can click here, though, to take you directly to the information about which stations in our area and throughout Florida still have gas.

If you want to use gasbuddy on the road, click here to get a link sent to your cell phone to download the app. When you drive while monitoring the app, a map of the surrounding areas will provide the latest available information on where to find fuel nearby.

As more gas arrives at Port Tampa Bay and other facilities, tankers are being filled and dispatched to stations around the state, delivering it with Florida Highway Patrol escorts.


Posted in Business, Entrepreneurship, Leadership | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What new concept will take over Boca Raton deli?

Park Place shopping center in Boca Raton

Goodbye, pastrami. Hello, pasta.

Rappy’s Deli closed in May after just five months at the new Park Place shopping center in Boca Raton. The space subsequently reopened as a lower-priced deli,Park Place Deli.

Now the prime location at 5560 N. Military Trail will be turned into a different concept: An Italian restaurant, according to restaurateur Burt Rapoport.

The Italian theme is one the veteran restaurant operator knows well.

Back in 1989, Rapoport and another venerable restaurateur, Dennis Max, opened Prezzo on Glades Road.

The casual Italian joint that was a smash hit among area diners.

Rapoport said Prezzo, which operated for 10 years, was the first place in South Florida to have a wood-burning pizza oven.

And soon the Park Place space will have a wood-burning pizza oven, too, as well as other casual, “approachable” Italian dishes, Rapoport said.

An Italian restaurant is a concept Rapoport is confident will have greater success than Rappy’s did.

Rapoport said delis with an upscale tilt are springing up around the country, and that’s what his goal was with Rappy’s: Classic deli items with a modern twist.

“But it turns out this is the worse place in the country to do that,” he said.

Diners have a fairly set concept of what they expect in a deli, and creativity isn’t on the menu, Rapoport said.

“I knew the first week when we were serving this good-quality French mustard, and everyone said, ‘Where’s your deli mustard? How can you have a deli without deli mustard?’ ” he said.

“When people hear deli, the old-school deli comes to mind and that’s what everybody wanted, in terms of price and quality.

“I just totally misread the demand for the marketplace,” Rapoport said.

In addition, people tend to think of delis as breakfast and lunch places, he said. So dinner at Rappy’s wasn’t robust.

Now Rapoport is turning to everyone’s favorite food, Italian, which also tends to do well at dinner.

Of course, there are plenty of Italian restaurants in downtown Delray Beach, and several in east Boca Raton, including the newest one, Louie Bossi.

But Rapoport said there are few Italian eateries west of Interstate 95 in Boca Raton, with the exception of some chain eateries.

So he thinks there’s demand for a casual Italian eatery in the area.

Plans are to open the as-yet unnamed Italian restaurant at Park Place in October or November.


Posted in Business, Entrepreneurship, Leadership | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

POST TIME: 50 years ago, tragedy spurred creation of Boca hospital

The fatal poisoning of Debbie and Randall Drummond led to the establishment of Boca Raton Community Hospital in 1967. A painting of the four Drummond children — Debbie (from left), Bobby, Randall, and Robin — hangs in the hospital’s lobby. Palm Beach Post file photo

Readers: Half a century ago, Boca Raton didn’t have a hospital. When it finally got one, the moment honored two children who might have been saved. Here’s more from an Oct. 18, 2012 column.

In September 1962, 351 Boca Raton-area residents formed the Debbie-Rand Memorial Service League. Their goal: to raise money to build a hospital. Debbie and Rand were Debra Ann Drummond, 9, and her brother James Randall Drummond, 3.

The youngsters were victims of one of Palm Beach County’s most disturbing crimes: Their 11-year-old neighbor confessed to disguising poison as milk and sneaking it into their refrigerator.

It was 1962 and Boca Raton had only about 10,000 residents. The nearest hospital was Bethesda Memorial, 15 miles away in Boynton Beach.

The children’s parents — their father was developer Robert Drummond — said having a hospital closer probably wouldn’t have made a difference, but the deaths spotlighted the need for one in Boca Raton.

Critics said a hospital there was unnecessary and would never happen. But the town rallied — a history of the hospital says one of every three city residents donated — and within five years, on July 17, 1967, Boca Raton Community Hospital opened its doors. Fiercely possessive residents call it “the miracle on Meadows Road.”

In the ensuing half century, the league’s efforts have helped contribute more than $30 million to the hospital and nearly eight million hours of combined service. Its ranks have swelled to nearly 1,200, making it one of the nation’s largest hospital-based volunteer organizations.

Robert Drummond died at 58 in 1989, in the hospital his family’s tragedy inspired. Gloria Drummond remained active with the hospital until her death in December 2011.

In 1996, many of the same people who’d supported the hospital over the years rose in protest when managers considered selling it for $187 million to a consortium of not-for-profit hospitals. Residents said that might be a good thing, but feared the hospital would lose its role as a community treasure. In the end, the deal was called off.

In August 2010, the facility changed its name to Boca Raton Regional Hospital.And in October 2010, local businesswoman and philanthropist Christine E. Lynn presented Gloria Drummond with a $10 million donation.

The hospital held an internal celebration of its birthday on Monday.

Posted in Business, Entrepreneurship, Leadership | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Want To Be Successful? Learn These Three Skills

Source : Forbes

Natalia Nastaskin, Head of of US Music Operations at United Talent Agency

When you love music, but your mother tells you that you need to be a lawyer or doctor, what do you do? For Natalia Nastaskin, who moved to America from the Soviet Union when she was a shy eight-year-old kid, her solution wasn’t predictable: she graduated from law school and started her own entertainment law practice. It was crazy hard work and some may have said it was just crazy, but that didn’t stop her. Today she’s the Head of US Music Operations at United Talent Agency, a powerhouse agency for big name artists including Guns N’ Roses and Paramore. And she’s won a lot of awards: T.J. Martell Foundation Women of Influence, Billboard Women in Music, Billboard Power 100 and Variety Women’s Impact list.

How did she do it? Here are three of her Mentoring Moments, that she shares on this week’s Mentoring Moments podcast (condensed and edited):

When I was first starting out, I was scared to death. I was young, working by myself and I was competing with some of the biggest attorneys in the world. I had to be extremely professional and extremely on. There are things that I absorbed or was told by executives that I admired that have stuck with me. Here are three of them:

You’re Not A $20 Bill—Not Everyone’s Going To Love You

“You’re not a $20 bill—not everyone’s going to love you.” I was an extremely shy eight-year-old kid when I moved to America from the Soviet Union. I came here wanting to be liked, wanting to lose the accent, wanting to lose the extra pounds and wanting to have brilliant white teeth like all the American kids.

I was so concerned about: “Do people like me? Will they talk to me? Will they be my friends? Will they recognize that I have an accent? Will they be okay that I am from the Soviet Union?”

When that plagues you for the majority of your young adult life, it can impact your professional life. It took me a long time to get over needing to be liked. As an attorney, I’m in adversarial situations negotiating deals and I need to represent my clients to the best of my ability. I need to be a zealous counsel, advisor and guide to my clients. That means that sometimes I have to take unpopular positions—and that means that some people won’t like me.

Step Into Traffic

You have to step into traffic. If you don’t step into traffic, nothing will ever happen. ” As a young attorney hearing that, I thought, “What traffic? What does that mean?” As an entrepreneur, what I ultimately realized is that this means you need to get out of your comfort zone—network, meet people and collaborate. It wasn’t easy for me to put myself out there. But I did—I joined every possible bar association, the copyright society and I was a volunteer lawyer for the arts. I did everything to facilitate my network and I stepped into the traffic that was the entertainment business and absorbed things from experienced attorneys who were practicing in this space. I talked to lawyers who had business inquiries that were too small for them, but I could take them on.

If you don’t step into that proverbial traffic, you’ll get stuck in your own little world and you don’t learn. If you don’t step out of your comfort zone, you won’t create connections that can take you to the next level in your professional career.

Return Every Phone Call

A very important executive at William Morris Agency—it was called WMA at the time—told me: “ I want to give you a piece of advice. I promise it’s going to help your entire practice. Return every phone call.

I thought, “Okay. It’s reasonably simple, but when you’re inundated with calls as you’re growing, developing and nurturing your business, do you really have to return every call?” The reality is that you do because as he said to me, “You never know what’s on the other side of that line.”

A lot of the great things that happened to me in my practice were not planned. A lot of the clients I have worked with over the years—clients that I could have never imagined I would be representing—started with a call from somebody who knew somebody who left a voice mail on my phone and said: “I was sent to you by so and so. Maybe you have a few minutes to take my call and I can tell you a little bit about what I’m working on.”

Often times we’re so busy, it seems easier to delete a message from a person you don’t really know. But some of the most exciting deals and clients that I have worked with came from those voice mail messages that I could have very easily deleted. Yes, you do have to return every phone call.

Posted in Business, Entrepreneurship, Leadership | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Can Your Organization Do To Become More Innovative?

Source : Forbes

U.S. executives are increasingly embracing innovation as a tool to drive their business forward, yet many of them have unrealistic goals and fail to generate the expected returns, according to a survey by Accenture. To be effective, business owners need to have different approaches to innovation, learn from their past mistakes and set reasonable goals, the study showed.

While 63% of companies are hiring chief innovation officers (CIOs) and more than 90% are using new technologies to support the innovation process, many still struggle to create and encourage a truly innovative culture across the board. Whether it’s by engaging your entire organization, learning how to celebrate failure, or looking for inspiration in other industries, there are multiple ways your business can become more innovative and change the way employees work together.

Here are 12 steps any business can take to bring a breath of fresh air to its ranks, as recommended by leading members of Forbes Coaches Council.

Members of Forbes Coaches Council discuss what organizations can do to boost their innovation efforts.

1. Create A Culture Of Innovation

Innovation is such a buzzword these days. What truly creates an innovative culture is open-mindedness to allow for new ideas, failure, and learning from the process. As the book Mindset by Carol Dweck states, people can have a fixed mindset (closed, not open to change) or a growth mindset. Teach your employees a growth mindset and allow for innovation to thrive. – Monica Thakrar, MTI

2. Celebrate Failure

To be innovative, you need to be creative. Nothing kills creativity like fear of being wrong. Create environments where failing and being wrong is celebrated. One social media consultancy has a “Church of Fail” that applauds people for sharing how they failed and what they learned from it. By celebrating mistakes and failure, you are allowing people to be more creative and thus more innovative. – Julia M. Winston, Brave Communication

3. Maximize Who You Already Have On Your Team

If your team has hit a wall where innovation isn’t the norm, it may be time to shake things up — not by hiring a new person but by adjusting the position of who you currently have. Give a project that is outside of their normal job description. This forces them to forget what they know and to create a new thing. Everything you need is often right in front of you. – Maleeka T. Hollaway, The Official Maleeka Group, LLC.

4. Stop Focusing On Products And Services

Any company can hinder innovation when it defines itself in terms of its products and services. Think instead of your assets and strategic skills, and build those into your core competencies. By defining yourself in terms of your assets, you allow your employees the freedom to utilize their skills to provide solutions rather than boxing them into a fixed format. – Lianne Lyne, PLP Coaching, LLC

5. Get Outside

It’s easy to get caught up in doing things the way they’ve always been done. Break the cycle by getting away from the desk and out of the typical environment. Enjoy summer! Have an innovation session in which you get outside. Have a meeting in a park or an open space and encourage free thinking. Keep it productive by leading a group exercise that results in actionable steps once back in the office. – Barbara OMalley, Exec Advance LLC

6. Look To Other Areas Of The Marketplace

Organizations frequently turn to the other companies within their industry to brainstorm or emulate. Instead, seek out insight and ideas in the places where you’d least expect to turn. Conduct due diligence on the companies that are thriving in other sectors. Find the innovative ways they engage their employees, the new apps their customers use, and the different processes that create efficiencies. – Loren Margolis, Training & Leadership Success LLC

7. Re-Humanize The Work

Innovation is born of creativity and vulnerability. People need to feel safe to fail in order to be both creative and vulnerable. Therefore, ensure all leadership, including the CIO, keeps humanity at the center of the work. Build trust intentionally, prioritize learning, create inclusive development space, and model behavior that illuminates the humanity of risk and failure. – Tonyalynne Wildhaber, Coaching & Consulting By Tonyalynne

8. Create Employee Personas

Truly bringing out employees’ creative juices starts with finding out more about what their unique needs are to unleash innovation company-wide. Borrowing from marketing that uses buyer personas — think employee personas. Creating employee personas gets companies to understand the unique needs of distinct employee segments so as to uncover practical insights on what employees need to innovate. – Alexandra Salamis, Integral Leadership Design

9. Invest In Knowledge Management

Often, the challenge is not having innovative people or ideas, but rather identifying the people and the ideas. Many of the best innovations percolate from the bottom to the top of organizations. Hence, organizations can best foster innovation and collaboration by having a culture of knowledge sharing. Investing in a robust knowledge management infrastructure provides the necessary mechanisms. – Eddie Turner, Eddie Turner LLC

10. Solicit Feedback And Spy On Workarounds

Encourage employees to rave and rant about processes and policies. Then ask them for suggestions. Also, spy on the loopholes, shortcuts, and workarounds they already employ to get around bureaucratic, stifling, inhibiting processes. They are implementing great ideas, albeit unauthorized. Praise their initiative, and see how it can be adopted/adapted company/team-wide. – Vikram Rajan,

 11. Get Everyone Off Their “Buts”

The simple semantic shift from “yeah, but” to “yes, and” creates a culture of innovation! “Yes, and” encourages whimsy and rewards high ideaphoria (rate of flow of ideas). “Yes, and” eliminates in-the-box thinking. Make it an organizational game to intentionally respond and reward all ideas, comments and solution-seeking conversations with a powerful “yes, and” instead of a discouraging “yeah, but.” – Terri Babers, Positive Changes Coaching & Training

12. Invest In Training, Redefine Incentives

Equip your existing employees with tools, technology and time to collaborate and innovate. Schedule this time. Invest in innovation workshops and training. Don’t just talk about it and carry innovation culture as a slogan, and don’t appoint one person to wear the innovation culture hat alone. Then back that culture with metrics, incentives and bonuses that correspond. Want a great idea? Invest in your people! – John O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.

Posted in Business, Entrepreneurship, Leadership | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Coca-cola’s new CEO needs to think bigger for the company to succeed

“A ham sandwich could run Coca-Cola” — Warren Buffett to Bill Gates.

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett may be as famous for his aphorisms as he is for his love of Coca-Cola. CHRIS SALAMONE

He jokes that he’s “one quarter Coca-Cola,” referring to his anatomy, not his holdings, as he drinks at least five cans of Coke or Cherry Coke a day.

A man drinks a Coca-Cola at a store in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

A man drinks a Coca-Cola at a store in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, December 5, 2016. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

Buffett is big backer of the stock as well, as Berkshire owns more 9% of the company and counts Coke as its second-biggest holding after Wells Fargo. Buffett’s son, Howard, even sat on its board before announcing his retirement recently. In many ways, Coca-Cola is a classic Buffett stock. The company has a huge brand that, along with its distribution network, gives it an economic moat, and its business is focused on recurring small purchases that happen in an up or down economy.

Though Coke made many early investors rich — it was one of the best-performing stocks of the 20th century — the stock’s reputation his taken a hit in recent years. As the chart below shows, it has significantly underperformed the S&P 500 and Berkshire Hathaway over the last five years.

Buffett’s quote above looks especially relevant today. Coke is set the hand the reins to a new CEO as COO James Quincey replaces Muhtar Kent at the helm on May 1, 2017.

Quincey’s anointment is no surprise, as Coke had signaled that he would replace Kent when Kent retired. Quincey has led the company in various regions, including Europe and Mexico, and became COO last year, but his job running Coke’s iconic portfolio of brands may be more difficult than that of his predecessors. Coca-Cola today faces several challenges that won’t be easy to overcome.

Declining soda consumption

It’s no secret that Americans are drinking less soda. Volume sales of the fizzy beverages have fallen every year since 2004, dropping 1.2% last year as per capita consumption reached a 30-year low. As health concerns have mounted, Americans have flocked away from excess sugar in drinks like Coca-Cola, and sales of diet soda have fallen even faster — trends towards organic and natural foods seem to be worse for artificial sweeteners and drinks like Diet Coke, which are perceived to be loaded with chemicals.

The Coca-Cola logo appears above the post where it trades on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. AP Photo/Richard Drew

The Coca-Cola logo appears above the post where it trades on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. AP Photo/Richard Drew

Coke brags that it has gained market share for 26 straight quarters in North America in the Non Alcoholic Ready To Drink market, but that figure ignores the fact that many consumers have moved on to coffee drinks available at Starbucks and other chains. Starbucks has seen U.S. comparable sales growth of 4% or better for more than 20 quarters in a row.

To counter sluggish growth, Coca-Cola has adopted a few key strategies. It’s begun selling smaller-volume drinks at a higher price-per-ounce, borrowing a page from tobacco companies, which have also raised prices to counter falling consumption. That strategy has helped pad the bottom line and given consumers lower-calorie options, but its potential is limited.

The company has also gone on a shopping spree in the hopes of diversifying away from its core soda brands. In recent years it’s purchased alternative beverage brands like Zico coconut water, Gold Peak tea, and Suja Life juice. It also took stakes in Keurig Green Mountain, which was bought out, and Monster Beverage. Coke now has more than 500 brands and derives 36% of sales from still beverages. However, the company may have missed an opportunity to diversify into food as its rival Pepsico has done well with brands like Frito-Lay and Quaker. As a result, Pepsico has outperformed Coke in recent years.

A turning tide

Coke’s organic revenue is still growing, up 4% so far this year, but a strengthening dollar has weighed on financial results, as have structural changes. Return on Invested Capital plummeted all the way from 21% in 2008 to 9% last year as the company spent on acquisitions while earnings remained stubbornly slow to grow.

As per-capita consumption has fallen in key markets, the company has also been confronted with an increasing number of soda taxes. Four cities in the U.S., including San Francisco and Boulder, Colo., passed soda surcharges on Election Day, and Philadelphia did so earlier this year. A number of countries, including Mexico and several in Europe, have also moved to tax sugary beverages. It’s an idea that’s gaining currency and is likely to present continued headaches for Coke, as the company has already mounted significant lobbying efforts against such measures. With the lobbying push, big soda, unsurprisingly, has often drawn comparisons to big tobacco.

A Coca-Cola delivery truck drives past an office tower under construction at Manhattan West, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016 in New York. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

A Coca-Cola delivery truck drives past an office tower under construction at Manhattan West, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016 in New York. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Can Quincey cut the mustard?

James Quincey is stepping into a morass of regulatory battles, changing tastes, and slumping returns. There may be no one more qualified for the job, but the status quo will not be enough to revive Coca-Cola’s stock. In recent years, the company has acted incrementally — cutting, costs, making acquisitions, launching new marketing campaigns — but it hasn’t been enough to reinvigorate its core brands.

Coke may need to think bigger. For instance, scientists are working to make a calorie-free soda that tastes like the real thing, using sugar substitutes like stevia. Such a beverage could capture consumers who have been ditching sodas because of calories or artificial flavors. Pulling off such a feat won’t be easy, but an innovative push like that is more likely to generate long-term growth than Coca-Cola’s current strategy.

Investing in food is another such option. Though management has resisted it in the past, the company recently considered taking a stake in yogurt-maker Chobani before backing out.

It’s clear what Warren Buffett meant by his “ham sandwich” comment — Coke’s brands are so powerful and its business is so simple that the company is essentially a profit machine.

But that logic only applies to a market when soda sales have organic long-term growth ahead, not one in which public sentiment is turning against beverage-makers.  As Buffett may already know, today’s consumers don’t want any old ham sandwich. They want organic, grass-fed porchetta on a fresh-baked ciabatta with garlic aioli and house-made pepperoncini.

Today’s Coca-Cola requires a strategy beyond the stewardship of a perpetual profit machine. If Quincey is going to deliver for investors, he needs to aim for a higher standard than an ordinary ham sandwich.


Posted in Business, Entrepreneurship, Leadership | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment