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How Do You Motivate People? By structuring the organizational environment!

on September 10, 2012 - 11:39am

Column by Elena Yang

The first point that resonated with me in Dan Pink’s TED presentation on motivation,, is that there is a gap between science findings and business practices. 

This is the same point made in Pfeffer & Sutton’s book on “Evidence-Based Management,” which I will review in the future, as well as Ghoshal’s critical assessment of business schools in his essay on “Bad Management Theories,” which was the focus on my first post.

So, the notion isn’t new, but it still hasn’t caught the full attention of the public, and definitely not


Archuleta Responds to Hate Mail

on September 10, 2012 - 11:36am

Editor's note: New Mexico businessman Phil Archuleta reports that he has been receiving hate mail since speaking at the Republican National Convention last month. Here is his response to a letter from a small business owner:

By Phil Archuleta

I’m writing regarding your letter dated Aug. 31, 2012.

First of all, I appreciate the fact that you took the time to write to me, communicating your disappointment about my comments in my speech given during Tuesday night at the convention.

You stated that stories about people who genuinely make it on their own without the backing of government are very

Cornering Moonshine Market Drives 'Lawless'

on September 6, 2012 - 11:10am

Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy in Lawless. Photo By Weinstein Company

Movie Review by Dr. Seva SSS Khalsa,DOM, L.Ac.

Lawless takes place in 1931, Franklin County, Va, when bootlegging, moonshine and prohibition are going strong. (Prohibition ended in 1933.)

Taken from a true story and the book, “The Wettest County in the World” by Matt Bondurant, grandson of the main character, three brothers are going about their business of making their living bootlegging and selling moonshine in a pastorally green Garden of Eden when a nasty businessman/mobster (Guy Pearce) appears from the big city of


Money IQ: Financial Powers of Attorney

on September 5, 2012 - 10:27am
Money IQ
By Dan Monte

Financial Powers of Attorney

Tom is 78. He’s been married to Sarah for 52 years. They have five children, none of whom live nearby. Tom had always been blessed with exceptional health until he suffered a serious stroke on July 15.

Sadly, Tom is looking at a slow and uncertain recovery. Throughout their entire marriage, Tom has taken care of all bill paying, tax returns and investments.

He is now unable to assist in any way. Sarah is committed to being Tom’s primary caregiver and has become responsible for all household financial matters.

Tom and Sarah had talked


Running Technique, Posture and Pain

on September 4, 2012 - 9:14am

Column by Jessica Kisiel

There are no sports beyond our body's capability! When we have pain playing a sport though, it is easy to blame the activity for our pain.

Running, the primary functional movement our body was designed for, has a reputation for being hard on or even bad for the body.

It is often the first sport we are advised not to do if we have any lower extremity pain. If running were the problem then everyone who runs should hurt as a result of participating, right?

The fact is, some people suffer while others are pain free. Why?

The difference lies in the physical body that

Food on the Hill: Apricot Chicken

on September 4, 2012 - 8:20am
"Food on the Hill" by Sue York
This week's recipe...
Apricot Chicken
4 large chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups of cup up apricots
1 package dry onion soup mix
2 cups of Russian Salad dressing (not creamy)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
6 cups of cooked rice
Photo by Sue York/
Slice chicken breasts crosswise about 1/2 inch thick. Heat the oil and butter in a non-stick pan and fry the chicken breast in batches as to not crowd the pan.
Photo by Sue York/
You just need to sear the outside of the chicken, about 2

Win-Win, Win-Lose, Which One Would You Choose?

on September 3, 2012 - 8:37am

Column by Elena Yang

In today’s space, I’d like to go a bit deeper on competition, a sub-heading from the previous summary of The Knowing-Doing Gap. 

This is a concept most Americans embrace without question; it is so taken for granted in this society that most may even consider it as part of human nature. 

But there are many other cultures that emphasize cooperation much more (and therefore feel cooperation is natural), enough so that the notion that competition is part of human nature is suspect. 

Perhaps a more pertinent framework is to understand when and where to promote


Retirement Planning: A Single Point of Failure

on August 29, 2012 - 3:06pm
Money IQ
By John Brunett

Retirement Planning: A Single Point of Failure

A single point of failure is defined as “a potential risk posed by a flaw in the decision, implementation or configuration of a circuit or system in which one fault or malfunction causes an entire system to stop operating.”

In relation to retirement planning, the goal is to minimize the possible effects of a single point of failure (SPOF) by addressing the various expenses, yield and risks of the ideal mix of income producing assets.

A potential SPOF for many retired Americans is the Social Security (SS) system.


Food on the Hill: Bread Pudding

on August 28, 2012 - 7:51am
"Food on the Hill" by Sue York
This week's recipe:
Bread Pudding
Photo by Sue York/
7 large eggs
2 cups milk
2 cups of cream
1 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 cup raisins
2 cups of hot water
2 loafs of Challah bread (found at Whole Foods. It is hard to find, you may need to ask them where it is.)
Photo by Sue York/
***If you can't make it to Whole Foods market, you may want to try the Hawaiian Sweet Bread (2 loafs) sold at Smiths.
Photo by Sue York/
In a small bowl mix the hot water and the raisins,

Quemazon Nature Trail: Aug. 25, 2012

on August 28, 2012 - 7:50am


Column by Nina Thayer

The recent rains have brought a wealth of wildflowers to the Pajarito Plateau including the Quemazon Nature Trail, where I hiked recently.

Quemazon, which is a local Spanish word for “burned", is indeed that. The entire mountainside was consumed with crown fire in the Cerro Grande Wildfire 12 years ago.

The nature trail was completely restored in the years after the fire by more than 250 Mountain School students and reopened by the County in 2004.

The trailhead is located off of Trinity Drive in the Western Area.


Know Your Metabolism

on August 28, 2012 - 7:45am

Column by Kent Pegg

One of the key factors to weight loss and weight management is your metabolism. Metabolism is a term that refers to how your body transforms the calories in the food you eat into energy.

The food is broken down into sugars and amino acids that the body then has available for use as energy. The energy is then either used or it is stored as muscle or fat.

If you want to lose weight and keep the weight off, one important thing to do is to know your metabolic rate. Your metabolic rate is the number of calories your body burns in the course of a day.

To accurately


Acting on Knowledge: Why is it so hard? Part 1

on August 27, 2012 - 4:43am

Column by Elena Yang

Jeffrey Pfeffer & Robert Sutton’s “The Knowing-Doing Gap: How smart companies turn knowledge into action” is an easy-to-read book, like many of their other collaborative works.

This is not a conventional book review but rather my attempt to capture some important points and use them to launch some stories and reflections.

In today’s space, I will delineate three difficulties in acting on knowledge. I will finish the remaining two more obstacles and a few recommendations next week.

As Pfeffer & Sutton point out, given the plethora of business books published every


The PEEC Amateur Naturalist: Photographing Hummingbirds

on August 27, 2012 - 4:33am
PEEC Amateur Naturalist
Column by Robert Dryja, with special thanks to Bob Walker





Male hummingbirds from left, a Black-Chinned, Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds. Photo by Bob Walker

Forty-eight species of hummingbirds have been identified on the North American continent. Of these, at least 17 species have been reported in New Mexico.

Another 28 species are identified as living in Mexico, but New Mexico is adjacent to it. Could some illegal alien species occasionally fly north to Los Alamos?


Is It Really Cheating If You Don't Get Caught?

on August 24, 2012 - 11:17am

Column: On the Mesa Facing North by Greg Kendall

Today, Lance Armstrong threw in the towel in his fight to clear his name in the ongoing Tour De France doping scandals.  Armstrong issued a statement that has been published in an earlier Los Alamos Daily Post story (see link below.)

In his statement, Armstrong discusses how "enough is enough" after dealing with claims that he cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning his seven Tours since 1999.

As I read through his statement, I kept looking for one sentence from Armstrong, "I never used performance enhancing drugs to help me win."

The Charter Review Committee ... How it All Got Started

on August 23, 2012 - 12:17pm
Column by Mike Wismer
County Councilor

With the election on the horizon, most are aware of the fact that there will be four questions on the ballot that relate to potential changes to the Charter for the County of Los Alamos, New Mexico. 

Specifically, the questions for consideration for the November 2012 election deal with the provisions for Initiative, Referendum and Recall. 

I believe it would be helpful to provide a little background on why the Charter Review Committee was formed and outline exactly what the Council tasked the Committee to do. 

In 2009, amid an environment where a variety of

Food on the Hill: Pizza

on August 21, 2012 - 7:06am

"Food on the Hill" by Sue York

This week's recipe...


Photo by Sue York/

Things that are a MUST have for this recipe:

You must have a pizza stone (also called a baking stone) for the inside of the oven. The only way you are going to get a crispy crust and the right pizza taste is if you can put a lot of heat to the crust in a fast way (pizza stone.)

The other thing you must have is parchment paper.


Appreciative Inquiry: Examples at Individual Level

on August 20, 2012 - 11:16am

Column by Elena Yang

We can use Appreciative Inquiry principles for personal encounters.

A group leader’s administrative assistant is a young and competent woman.

But between her various personal needs, grandparents’ and parents’ illnesses, young children’s school delays and days-home, husband’s inability to support, and the organization’s constant demands of this training and that new requirement, she was not reliably at her desk answering phone calls, which made frustrated others trying to collaborate with the group. 

Should the group leader reprimand her? Lecture her?


Seeing and Observing Part 2: A Tale of Two Mesas

on August 17, 2012 - 1:19pm
PEEC Amateur Naturalist
Column by Robert Dryja

Many of us have seen the impact of two forest fires on the Jemez Mountains.

The mountains west of Los Alamos form the rim of the Valles Caldera. 

These mountains have had two forest fires, the Cerro Grande and Las Conchas, pass through them in the past 12 years. 

The general impression given by many news organizations is that total and permanent destruction has occurred.

Indeed, half of the grassland of the Valle Grande was burnt and blackened last year.


Column: 'Suffer Fools'

on August 13, 2012 - 10:24am

Column by Allen Weh

There should never be a time, but particularly now, that Americans should be forced to “Suffer Fools” when it comes to the people who are being paid to serve us.

Yet that is exactly what’s taking place with some currently unidentified staff members in the Obama White House, and their apparently deliberate leaking of classified information for political purposes.

Gratefully, the outcry in Congress has been largely bipartisan ... Chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence Mike Rogers stated “somebody committed a crime against their country,” and Sen.


Appreciative Inquiry: Examples at Organizational Level

on August 13, 2012 - 10:23am

Column by Elena Yang

The critical first step of Appreciative Inquire (AI) lies in framing the initial question/inquiry.  Framing provides the foundation; it sets the tone; it signals the direction. 

Today, I will illustrate a couple of examples at the organizational level; next week, I will lay out two examples at the individual level.

The first organizational example is given in the book, “Appreciative Intelligence: Seeing the mighty oak in the acorn,” by Tojo Thatchenkery & Carol Metzker. 

Delaware Valley Friends School (DVFS) was established in 1986, designed as a college-preparatory


Conscious Aging: How Will You Spend the Rest of Your Life?

on August 10, 2012 - 1:50pm


Column by Ann Shafer

Those of you who have retired recently or those who anticipate a retirement are faced with the same question — how will you spend the rest of your life? 

When you retire, you will probably find yourself even busier than you were at work. But there is one major question — is all that activity you now have actually meaningful to you?

If not, perhaps you need to do some serious thinking about what the activities are that mean a lot to you, or what are your passions.  

To find your passions, first think about what really motivates you. 

If your life were a book,


Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Method to Change an Organization

on August 6, 2012 - 2:51pm

Column by Elena Yang

People always lament that change is very difficult, especially in an organization. 

They usually don’t mean that they themselves would resist all changes, as long as they are reasonable. 

So, what’s reasonable? That, right there, begins the messy process of change. 

In a crude manner, I break organizational change into three categories:

(1) Change for the sake of making changes. It strikes me that a lot of new managers when taking on their new title feel the need to demonstrate that they are doing something different.


Seeing and Observing Part 1: A Tale of Two Trails

on August 5, 2012 - 8:15am
PEEC Amateur Naturalist
Column by Robert Dryja

Sherlock Holmes has a lesson for us. It is taken from the story “A Scandal in Bohemia”: “When I hear you give your reasons,” I remarked, “the thing always appears to me to be so ridiculously simple that I could easily do it myself, though at each successive instance of your reasoning, I am baffled until you explain your process. And yet I believe that my eyes are as good as yours.”

“Quite so,” Holmes answered, throwing himself down into an armchair. “You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.


Column: Knitwit

on August 4, 2012 - 12:07pm

Column by Bonnie J. Gordon


I’m obsessed with knitting. I read piles of knitting books and magazines and have nifty knitting equipment, such as a tape measure shaped like a sheep.

This is not even mentioning my garage full of yarn. The thing is, that even though I’ve been knitting for a while now, I’m a lousy knitter.

I’m barely past knit and purl and only recently learned to make cables. I make endless mistakes that I have to take out or choose to ignore.

I’m probably the least detail-oriented person I know.


Will Our Grandchildren Live as Well in Los Alamos?

on August 3, 2012 - 11:03am

Column by Robert Gibson

Los Alamos is an extraordinary community. Our quality of life is among the very best in the nation. 

A major component of that quality is our economic wealth, also at the top. Why are we so fortunate? Can future generations enjoy a similar, or better, life here?

Los Alamos is a unique combination of world-renowned science, small town atmosphere, and beautiful natural environment. 

That formula is not for everyone, but it works for most of us. 

The root of our good fortune is the concentration of challenging, important, rewarding work at the Laboratory.