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Envisioning solutions to our nation’s most complex challenges

BELIEVE.

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ACHIEVE.

Delivering results that showcase great government in action

We feel like jumping up and down. Over and over again. The following announcement is courtesy of Bloomberg and outline the game plan for January release. For those of us who have waited it out rather then jump ship from Verizon, this is like an early Christmas present. Except that we have to wait of course. Who out there is excited? Have you been waiting too?

via Bloomberg: Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. mobile-phone company, will start selling Apple Inc.’s iPhone next year, ending AT&T Inc.’s exclusive hold on the smartphone in the U.S., two people familiar with the plans said.

The device will be available to customers in January, according to the people, who declined to be named because the information isn’t public. Natalie Kerris, an Apple spokeswoman, and Jeffrey Nelson, a Verizon Wireless spokesman, declined to comment.

The iPhone, which has been the sole domain of rival AT&T in the U.S. since June 2007, will give Verizon a boost in its competition for smartphone customers, UBS AG analyst John Hodulik said in an interview. Verizon customers, who numbered 92.8 million at the end of the first quarter, may buy 3 million iPhones a quarter, he estimates.

“Apple is going to dramatically increase the number of devices it sells in the U.S. when exclusivity at AT&T ends,” said Hodulik, who is based in New York and rates Verizon shares “neutral.” “It’s hard to ignore the quality issues that AT&T has faced.”

Verizon Wireless, which is building a high-speed fourth- generation network, plans to unveil several devices that will run on the new technology in January at the Consumer Electronics Show, Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam has said.

John  Moore’s recent article (The Social Ecosystem) is of great interest to all of us at The Periscope Group. Is a concept such as a “social ecosystem”  ready for prime time? In our opinion the answer is yes. Here’s an excerpt from John’s article:

“Organizations of all types have struggled to come to grips with terms like Government 2.0, Social Business, Social Media, and a long list of others that are floating around book stores, universities, and blogs.

I have spent a lot of time speaking with businesses and government agencies, exploring what is working, what is failing, and seeking to understand where confusion and hype are preventing these organizations from achieving full value from their efforts. The Social Ecosystem is the result of these efforts and is meant to reduce confusion and offer guidance for organizations across the world.

Lofty goals? Perhaps, but the Social Ecosystem is not being defined in a vacuum, it will fully leverage many ideas that are already available and will evolve, as needed, as we continue to learn more.

For this post I will discuss, at a high level, the major components of the Social Ecosystem as well as some key definitions. Over time I plan to create a table of contents, a section for terms, and break this down into a book-like format. Please be patient as it will take time and we’ll all work through this together.”  Read More

John, thank you for getting the conversation rolling. We very much like the “social ecosystem” concept and the 3 key components. Over the last 2 years we’ve talked to a lot of leaders in private and public sectors. To a person they have asked for clarification and some sort of threaded language to wrap their heads (and strategies and budgets) around. Trying to explain things in an unthreaded system was and continues to be very difficult. It steals cycles that need to be focused on development. A “social ecosystem” would have made a huge difference in achieving clarity of purpose, alignment of strategies and ultimately allocation of resources. We’re looking forward to the evolution of these conversations and the “social ecosystem.” We will bring several people who are building a “system of management” into this conversation as well. Ultimately, that system and this ecosystem will be closely tied together.

via The Social Ecosystem

These two videos of Sir Ken Robinson speak volumes to our need to look at education completely different. Separated by 3 years, he continues to tell his story with humor and wisdom. It matters not if your perspective is that of being a parent, a hiring manager or purely academic. Change is essential. Who knows, maybe a new Social Standard will come along and help us move forward. Time will tell. Meanwhile, what do you think?

Ok … sometimes we need to take the larger view of things. That includes our planet. As the Space Shuttle era comes to an end, there are many new projects that will come to be. Some will look way out into the past (as in looking at the light from almost the time of the big bang) in order to understand the universe. Others will look at earth to better understand how we should manage our lives. Take a look at this first in a series of NASA features. It truly is about growth.

Every once in awhile we need a little reminder to fight off the bad news on housing. Here’s a quick one.

The housing market continues to do battle with strong headwinds. Unemployment hovering at the double digit levels, disruptive appraisal requirements, more challenging loan underwriting and in many areas, foreclosure or distress sales exerting their negative influence. On the bright side, for buyers, lower prices combined with historically low interest rates has pushed true affordability to record levels. Here are a few other points to consider:

1. While falling values predominate across the country, there are only six states where values fell by more than 10% over the last year.

2. Unlike other investments, housing puts a roof over your head. That has always been its primary function. Yet, along with that benefit it is still an investment and in comparison to most others, it has compared favorably. Over the last 5 years, the vast majority of states still show positive appreciation with half even showing double digits. The same can not be said for the stock markets.

3. Over time, home prices across all states have risen at average annual appreciation rates ranging from the high 3′s to over 7.5%.

Every so often we will publish something special featuring our friends and families. This time it’s a “horse story.” I know … you are so surprised!

Skylar, our 3-year old granddaughter went to her first horse show this weekend. She rode a wonderful pony named Claire and won a blue ribbon 1st place in her Leadline Class. They even showed in the BIG ring at Bridle Trails equestrian center. Of course, Vanessa (mom) was very excited as she lead Skylar through the class. Meanwhile, sister Madison (1 year old) looked on and seemed very interested too. All in all, a truly proud moment for all.

Don’t forget to tell us about your proud moments too!

“Google’s stock has taken a beating this year, falling more than 20% since January. There’s a bunch of small reasons for Google’s stock to be dinged, including the failure of the Nexus Onepulling out of China, and the weaker Euro posing some problems. The big picture for Google is that it hasn’t found a second leg of business to dazzle investors. Android is poised to become a monster, but Google has yet to prove it will make much money because of it. Until a second business is formed, and takes off, Google’s stock could be stuck in the mud.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-google-sp-500-nasdaq-2010-6?utm_source=Triggermail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=SAI_COTD_061410#ixzz0qriU8ASh

Take a look at this interview with Jim Cramer. Like the song, “How High the Moon”, we all wonder how high Apple will go. Of course, the title made us think of a great arrangement sung by Ella Fitzgerald and The Manhattan Transfer. Have fun with these videos and let us know “how high Apple will go!”

OK … Normally I don’t like laughing at a disaster but this time it helps reinforce the stupid management decisions we are now living with in the Gulf. Hopefully you will agree. In any case, watch this video and give us your thoughts.