Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Dates In My Diary

I am always interested when offered an invitation to a free webinar - they are great because you can dip out easily if it is not interesting but best of all you never have to leave your desk, so if the subject matter is good I try to attend. But when I received an invitation today I had to check the date and make sure it was not an April Fool's prank.

The invitation came via ExecuNet and it sounded good as it is part of the Power Break series and was entitled 'Weathering The Storm: Executive Talent Management In An Economic Downturn'. The sort of subject matter I'm interested in, I was about the accept the invitation when I noticed who the speaker was - a Dr. Anna Tavis who happens to be Global Head of Talent Management and Organizational Development at AIG Investments.

It was at that point that I reached for the calendar and checked the date.

AIG is not exactly the most shining example of best practices in terms of talent management or organizational development for that matter. On around its third or fourth round of Fed bail outs, it has consumed well over $200bn of cash pumped into it and is in state hands. Clearly the 'talent' they have is for building a house of cards in terms of investment and organizationally the company looks virtually defunct.

Still, I expect I will be getting invites to an RBS seminar on 'How to maximise your pension when your company is bust' and an invite from Jaqui Smith on 'How to maximise your expense allowances' in conjunction with Brown, McNulty, Conway and Darling. I am also waiting for tips on 'Knowing when to set up a blind trust when you are not meant to get paid enough to have one' by Lord Mandelson who follows on from his insightful series on 'How to get sacked twice, consort with rich Russians, get a peerage and a handsome pay off', 'How to get a passport pronto', and 'Mortgage loans made simple.'

I am also expecting a seminar invite from Tony Blair simply entitled, 'Timing', while 'The Janet and John guide to quantitative easing' by Yvette Cooper should be good too. The best should be the jointly presented seminar by Gordon Brown and Barack Obama called 'Big Number Theory - how to destroy an awful lot of money and someone else pay for it.'

Cool Facts of The Week For Pub Conversations

Did you know that monkeys show organisational skills? Perhaps AIG should consider using a few but it was found that monkeys at Stockholm Zoo pelted stones at visitors. Studies showed that before the Zoo opened each day, the monkeys would look around for stones, make piles of them behind a bush and then when the visitors came by, they would pelt the stones at them.

In another revelation, it seems that chimpanzees exchange meat for sex, thus proving that prostitution is indeed the oldest profession after all. I wonder many pieces of rump Max Mosely paid for his sessions over the years?

A recent study at John Hopkins University has shown a link between oral sex and some throat cancers. It seems to be all to do with the HPV virus which can cause cancer and it has been suggested that those who have oral sex with more than 6 partners have 9 times greater chance of getting throat cancer - which is a greater risk than from smoking or drinking alcohol. I'm sure there is some witty line to be added here but I shall refrain.

It is good to know that Reality TV is getting to the nub of topical issues. Fox TV in the US is putting together a series called 'Someone's Gotta Go' where employees of small companies decide which one of their colleagues gets laid off.

And finally, a woman in Berlin is to divorce her husband because he cleans too much. There, it's a message to all men not to try too hard - it could ruin your marriage.

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