Photos: Oakland celebrates Warriors with blue, gold lights

first_imgCity Hall, the iconic Tribune Tower and the Alameda Superior Courthouse were festively lit as the Warriors continue their series … See drone views of downtown Oakland Warriors lights.Click here if you’re unable to view the video or photo gallery on your mobile device.Downtown Oakland’s landmark buildings are decked in blue and gold as the Golden State Warriors take on the Toronto Raptors in their fifth straight NBA finals. They have won three of the last five championships so far.last_img read more

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South African Airways makes progress

first_imgPassenger volumes are up at the national carrier, while output is down, according to the acting chief executive.The next step for SAA is to try to get a more rewards-driven performance system in place. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)Brand South Africa reporterThe implementation of the long-term turnaround strategy at South African Airways (SAA) had seen the airline make real progress, acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout said today.“What we’ve seen in the April and May months, despite market demand being soft, was that SAA has grown its passenger volumes by 6%, with output reduced by 2%,” he said, although he was quick to add that “performance and consequence management has not been traditionally strong” at the airline.SAA is continuing to implement network changes, with the cancellation of direct flights to Mumbai and Beijing announced earlier this year having a positive effect on the company’s finances.“We are utilising the seats better and selling available seats. We’re seeing that across our network, including on the international side, where we are no longer suffering the losses we were [before].”New routesSAA has concluded a new code-share agreement with Africa World Airlines, in which four flights a week from Johannesburg will pass through Accra in Ghana and go on to Washington. Consequently, the Johannesburg-Dhaka-Washington route will be reduced to three times a week, with four direct flights a week from Johannesburg to Dhaka.The new Johannesburg-Accra-Washington route would create a R100-million benefit for SAA, Bezuidenhout said.The airline had made capacity adjustments in the domestic market, such as to the Durban-Johannesburg route. These adjustments had freed up capacity that could be used to grow SAA’s African capacity, he said.Destinations such as Harare, Kinshasa and Mauritius had benefited as a result, and the airline was focused on growing its network revenue into Africa. “On the African side, no other changes are expected in the short and medium term.”HeadcountThe airline continued to focus on cost reduction two months into the current fiscal year, he said.“Our costs declined by 14% [which is] in part driven by previous savings on fuel costs. Having said that, fuel costs savings. would have been negatively impacted by the weakening of the rand.“We’ve continued focusing on managing our headcount and we’ve made good progress on re-engineering [it] overall.” This process is about 50% complete, but Bezuidenhout hopes it will be concluded by September.The intention is to achieve this without retrenchments as much as possible, through mechanisms such as early retirement. He said SAA should be able to reduce the headcount by 8% to 10%. “What’s not easy is to tell somebody they no longer have a job. We’ve tried our utmost to not have a negative impact in that way,” he said.“We have continued employing a process of renegotiating existing supply contracts, that range from IT supply to costs of the snacks that you are may be having today [at the news briefing]. All of this is continuing to help us reduce our overall cost bill of 14% for the period.“Beyond that we continued to focus on the governance of the business, from procurement to policy requirements.”In some cases this resulted in disciplinary action but it was a means of getting the business “watertight”. “It’s tough enough to earn a cent in this business and I’m not going to lose it due to underhand practices,” Bezuidenhout said.Performance systemIn his opinion the reason SAA had failed to implement good plans was because “performance and consequence management has not been traditionally strong. From that stand point, personal performance contracts and robust consequence management becomes very important.”The next step for SAA was to try to get a more rewards-driven performance system in place.“At Mango, when I’m there, in a given year I earn more than any CEO in the [local] industry – provided that we reach our target. And if we double our target I will get well paid. However, if we don’t reach our target, I am the worst-paid CEO in the industry,” Bezuidenhout said.“If we can get something similar back into SAA, no matter how we look at things, human beings are motivated by reward systems.”Source: News24WireWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Asian trade mission offers pork market insights

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A recent trade mission to Asia by the National Pork Board International Marketing Committee built lasting relationships with international customers and elevated U.S. pork as the global protein of choice. The Pork Checkoff team toured Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Macau, meeting with pork processors, distributors and retailers, importers and traders, as well as in-country staff responsible for promoting U.S. pork in the region.“Pork is the No. 1 most-consumed protein in the world, and that was obvious on this mission,” said Bill Luckey, a pork producer from Columbus, Nebraska, and chair of the Pork Checkoff’s International Marketing Committee. “As the committee allocates Pork Checkoff dollars to international marketing, it is important to see how these dollars are working today and how we might better target producer resources in emerging markets in the future.”With U.S. pork production again breaking records in 2018, the Pork Checkoff is committed to growing pork demand both domestically and in international markets. Singapore and Vietnam are developing markets for U.S. pork and present huge opportunities for U.S. pork export growth in the coming years. In 2017, U.S. pork exports to Singapore increased almost 20% from 2016, reaching $17 million. Last year, the United States also exported over $11 million of fresh/chilled/frozen bone-in hams and shoulders to Vietnam.“Consumers in Vietnam and Singapore are rapidly increasing pork in their diets, with pork consumption on trend to overtake seafood consumption in both markets as the No. 1 protein,” said Craig Morris, the Pork Checkoff’s vice president of international marketing. “This provides a great opportunity to capture a rapidly increasing market share, but we must first understand the changing consumer and retail landscapes in these countries to meet consumer needs and expectations.”While in Singapore, the committee learned that U.S. pork often is positioned as a premium product, with high-end U.S. pork selling for three to five times more than the price of competitors’ products. Also, pre-prepared and processed foods are becoming popular as consumers seek convenience to meet their increasingly busy, urban lifestyles.“U.S. pork can succeed in Singapore by delivering a high-quality product packaged in small portions and in convenient, ready-to-cook formats,” Morris said.In Vietnam, committee members learned that popular wet markets, where fresh pork is sold on the streets, are declining as consumers seek the modern conveniences of full-service grocery stores. U.S. pork is viewed as a superior product in terms of taste and quality, and it is being marketed as such by U.S. import partners and buyers, Morris noted. U.S. pork is heavily featured in restaurants throughout Vietnam, especially by those with newer, more modern menu offerings.“It’s surprising, but Vietnam is a booming market for American barbecue,” Luckey said. “Many restaurants feature U.S. pork’s reputation for superior quality, which they promote on menus to grow their business.”Hong Kong also remains a strategic partner for U.S. pork. According to Morris, a significant amount of U.S. pork is sold in Hong Kong then shipped to mainland China, Macau, Vietnam and other Asian markets. As a conduit to other regions, Hong Kong is a critical market, with 38% of all of the food the U.S. ships there, in turn, re-exported, according to Morris.“In this challenging trade environment, it is critical that we meet with our colleagues in Hong Kong and express gratitude for their continued partnership. Building face-to-face relationships is especially important in this region,” Morris said. “We met with 40 of the largest importers who play a key role In deciding what will be sold in retail stores, featured on restaurant menus and traded with other countries in Southeast Asia.”The last stop on the international mission was Macau, which is home to some of the world’s largest casinos. As a large tourist destination, the country offers many opportunities for U.S. pork to be showcased to consumers from all around the world.Luckey called the Asian trade mission a great success.“Not only were we able to see the many different ways that pork is being promoted in these countries, but we came back with insights into how to grow our market share,” Luckey said. “The committee members are excited to share these ideas with our partners here in the U.S. and to follow up with customers we met to bring U.S. pork to their shelves and menus.”last_img read more

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What Business Leaders Can Learn from Professional Sports

first_imgHow to Cultivate the Skill of Being a Creative … AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Them While leading a business doesn’t indicate anything about one’s athleticism, both athletes and entrepreneurs draw from a similar set of skills in order to achieve the same end: a cohesive, peak-performance team.Much of what athletes accomplish on the field has more to do with their mindset than bodies. Over the years, I’ve worked with a number of athletes — including members of the Miami Dolphins — to help develop focus, mentally sharpen, and read the lightning-fast signals their bodies send to their brains. Peak performance coaching has become a popular way for pro sports teams to improve their team’s drive — both individually and within groups — before problems crop up.As it turns out, businesses can do the same. There are several ways leaders can approach their teams so their teams are aligned, functioning at their best and accomplishing set goals.  1. Paint a picture that inspires unity.At a time when 80 percent of businesses aren’t tracking their goals and — unsurprisingly — a nearly equal 77 percent haven’t achieved their company visions, it pays to articulate an organization’s goals and keep them at the top of everyone’s mind. Unifying a team around a common goal can be exceedingly difficult, but it’s paramount to success. Whether chasing a Super Bowl ring or a bigger share of the marketplace, it’s a leader’s responsibility to paint a picture of success that’s so compelling that everyone wants to burn rubber to make it happen.While some believe an entire company needs to come to a consensus before rallying behind a particular goal, those in the sports world would disagree. Coaches and players understand that they’re all there to win a championship, but the head coach determines the content of the playbook they follow in order to make that happen.Business leaders can adopt the same mentality, taking feedback when necessary and appropriate, but ultimately leading the team toward a unifying goal and, subsequently, supporting team members in their efforts to reach it. Painting a picture that provides context for why that goal matters goes a long way in helping others visualize their role within the larger team landscape and setting the tone for true collaboration.  2. Make sure every role on the team serves a purpose for the whole.One of the more interesting components to football is just how diverse the individual players are across the team, namely in terms of role and physicality. For example, a wide receiver has a vastly different skill set than a punter — one is relied upon for his agility and remarkably sticky fingers, while the other has a highly specialized ability to keep a ball suspended in air with a tap of his foot. While they have different natural — and trained — abilities to fill that role and, in most cases, never play on the field at the same time, they’re nonetheless unified by the same guiding principles: train hard, play harder, winner takes all. When empowered to play to their strengths within their given role and under a larger unifying goal, magic starts to happen; we start to see a true team form.  Interestingly, Gallup’s “State of the American Workforce” report determined that playing up strengths, rather than trying to shore up weaknesses, made teams nearly 13 percent more productive. Those who use their strengths on a daily basis are six times more likely to be engaged — and retained. It comes as no surprise that in order to gain those same benefits seen on the football field, business leaders must assess their team members’ strengths to determine how they can work in concert with others with the greater mission in view.Unlike in football, however, when it’s often obvious where a player’s strength lies, it’s not always obvious what a team member’s true strength is and how it can be leveraged in a business setting — sometimes, their strengths can actually be best utilized outside the scope of their designated role. For example, a graphic designer might have valuable insights in developing new product designs and packaging traditionally handled by the R&D team, or a data entry specialist with a knack for processes may be able to find a way to streamline an existing process for another team. It’s important to remember that building a successful organization is dependent upon, among other things, a leader’s ability to recognize talent when and wherever she sees it.3. Cultivate a growth mindset among your teammates.I’m a big believer in the growth mindset. People with a fixed mindset believe their skills were given to them at birth, and they have a finite amount of talent: They’re either good at something or they’re not. Growth-oriented people, however, believe that they can hone the skills they already possess as well as acquire and develop new skills and abilities.Similar to the student who never studies for tests because of the “I either know it or I don’t” mindset, many players who are natural-born athletes exhibit similar attitudes. If they’re not good at a certain skill on the first try, they default to their original, seemingly more successful tactics or give up trying the new skill altogether. But as Tom Brady of the New England Patriots has proven, that’s not how players become successful. Well-known for his will-over-skill mindset, he emphasizes his strengths and knows that practice transforms his adequate natural skills into honed, unbeatable  techniques — and, unsurprisingly, it’s brought him more Super Bowl rings than any other quarterback. He isn’t afraid to fail in a relatively safe environment if it means he increases his chances to succeed when and where it matters. A growth mindset encourages people to try new things and risk failure when appropriate. Businesses that focus on perfection automatically inhibit their people from realizing their own, and ultimately the company’s, potential — they’ll never try because they’re afraid to fail. The end result of stifled efforts, of course, is a stagnant company. Rewarding new attempts, regardless of their outcome, develops outlets for innovative thinking and empowers people to take charge, moving their team past a fixed mindset.By developing a strong unit that comes together under a common goal, even when things aren’t easy, leaders and organizations can accomplish just about anything — whether it’s winning a championship or becoming their industry’s top performer. Related Posts How to Meet the Demands of the Socially Conscio… Tags:#growth#Leadership#purpose#Sports Curt Cronin A former Navy SEAL, Curt Cronin is the co-founder and CEO of Ridgeline Partners, where he capitalizes on his combined experiences and lessons from the military, academic, and business worlds to advise numerous organizations, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to niche startups, on how to catalyze an exponential culture of execution and innovation. How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi…last_img read more

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I think India is a world class team: Zaheer Abbas

first_imgAfter Imran Khan dropped out of the Pakistan tour of India this winter for reasons of health, the Pakistani selectors did not have to look very far for a replacement as captain. The man they chose was, of course, star middle order batsman and vice-captain Zaheer Abbas, that elegant scourge,After Imran Khan dropped out of the Pakistan tour of India this winter for reasons of health, the Pakistani selectors did not have to look very far for a replacement as captain. The man they chose was, of course, star middle order batsman and vice-captain Zaheer Abbas, that elegant scourge of Indian bowlers who seems to grow roots whenever he settles down to bat. Abbas, 36, plays for Gloucestershire in the English county cricket league and it is undoubtedly the experience and expertise gained from this most demanding of cricket set-ups that has made him what he is today, the lynchpin of Pakistan’s batting. He is the first Pakistan batsman to score over 4,000 runs in Tests, with 11 hundreds, four of them double hundreds, two against India. He now has 4,073 runs from 56 Tests at an average of over 45 per innings. A devout Muslim, Abbas is married with two children.” We feel that umpires in India make biased decisions in favour of the Indian team and I hope there won’t be any such problem this time.”Abbas is perhaps the first non-controversial captain the Pakistanis have had for a long time. He commands the respect of all the players and it is likely that in his reign there will be little of the petty feuds that have rocked the Pakistan team in the last few years. Asif Iqbal had to contend with the quite vocal criticism of some of his senior players such as Sarfaraz Nawaz. Imran Khan is given to shooting off his mouth: lately he had commented, rather immaturely, that it was more important to beat Australia in Australia than to beat India in India. Abbas, with his low-profile approach, is unlikely to raise the hackles that Imran apparently relishes doing. In effect, he should face few problems both with the team and with his Indian hosts. advertisementLast fortnight, the Pakistan captain spoke to INDIA TODAY Correspondent BONNY MUKHERJEE in London about his team’s prospects on the forthcoming Indian tour. Excerpts:Q. This is your second official tour of India. Are you looking forward to it ?A. I enjoy playing in India but there is always great pressure on Pakistani players when they play in India. Our people expect us to play really well. It is the same for the Indian team when they play in Pakistan. People take the game so seriously.Q. How much difference will the absence of Imran Khan make ?A. We know that without Imran Khan we will not be a strong team. But I will be looking for strong bowlers to make up the team when I go to Pakistan.Q. People are obviously going to make comparisons between you and Imran Khan, both in style and gamesmanship. How do you feel coming in the shadow of such a superb player? A. I am sure people are going to make comparisons but it doesn’t worry me at all.Q. You have made 100 centuries so far but never managed a century while playing India. Can you explain that?A. I don’t really know. Perhaps the conditions have never been right.Q. Whenever the Indians tour Pakistan or the Pakistani team is in India there is always bad feeling about umpires’ decisions.A. Yes, we always have this problem. We feel that umpires in India make biased decisions in favour of the Indian team and I hope there won’t be any such problem this time.Q. How do you feel about the Indian team that won the World Cup ?A. Whoever can win the World Cup is a strong team. I think India is a world class team. They play with tremendous concentration, with full spirit. For myself I can say that I love watching them play.Q. What kind of team do you hope to lead to India ?A. Well, it will not be the best team we can produce because some of the players want to rest so that they can play in Australia later.Q. Why don’t these players want to play in India ?A. I don’t know. Perhaps they feel it’s a better class of cricket in Australia. For me every match is a good game. I take every match seriously.Q. The British sports commentators were not very impressed with the Indian team despite their winning the World Cup; do you think they had good reason ?A. I don’t agree with the British press about that at all. Regarding Kapil Dev I can say that whoever can win the Prudential is best.Q. How do you rate your chances in India ?A. Like in any match the chances are even. But I can tell you this: the Indian crowds are going to love the show our team will put up.advertisementlast_img read more

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