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Two studies find probiotic therapy ineffective against stomach flu, diarrhoea

first_img Menopause to become the next game-changer in global femtech solutions industry by 2025 By Sanjiv Das on November 23, 2018 Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals releases first “Comprehensive Textbook of COVID-19” Gastroenteritis is a huge problem for young children, especially in poor countries where it is the second leading cause of death worldwide among children under age fiveA widely-used probiotic therapy is ineffective against the diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain of gastroenteritis, two large studies in the US and Canada have concluded. Five days of treatment with a key ingredient in many products, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, was no better at stopping symptoms than placebo among children ages three months to four years.In the Canadian study, a second probiotic added to the mix also showed no benefit.“Taken together, neither of these large, well-done trials provides support for the use of probiotics containing L. rhamnosus to treat moderate-to-severe gastroenteritis in children,” Dr J Thomas LaMont of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston writes in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, where the two studies appear.The human gut is packed with thousands of types of bacteria, many of which are believed to help the intestines do their job. Although doctors are just starting to understand the interplay of those bacteria, probiotics are sold based on the idea that an illness such as gastroenteritis may be cured by introducing more helpful bacteria into the body.Gastroenteritis is a huge problem for young children, especially in poor countries where it is the second leading cause of death worldwide among children under age five. In the US, the illness generates about 1.7 million emergency room visits each year. There is no effective treatment and doctors mostly try to keep the child hydrated and prevent the disease from spreading until the illness runs its course.The results of some small, poorly-controlled trials have convinced many hospitals and some medical societies to embrace probiotic therapy, now a $47 billion industry.“My institution does use probiotics. It’s part of their guidelines on treating diarrhea in kids,” Dr David Schnadower, coauthor of the US study, told Reuters Health. “It will be pretty easy to convince them to stop doing that here” based on the new results.Whether other hospitals will abandon the practice is unclear.“The problem is, it’s a negative study and it’s tough for doctors to stop doing things they’re accustomed to doing. It’s going to be an uphill battle. But the results here are clear,” said Schnadower, Academic Director in the Division of Emergency Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio.In the US test, done at 10 paediatric emergency departments and involving 971 children, the duration of diarrhoea was 49.7 hours with the probiotic formula and 50.9 hours with placebo.The illness spread to another member of the household in 11 per cent of the cases where the probiotic was used, versus 14 per cent when the placebo was given, a difference that wasn’t statistically meaningful.Similarly, in the Canadian study, the duration of diarrhoea and vomiting was the same regardless of treatment for the 886 children, although the number of episodes of vomiting was higher in the probiotic group.It’s not clear if the results will affect the sale of probiotics.Using probiotics for gastroenteritis “has been the number one target of probiotic marketing,” Dr Stephen Freedman, an associate professor of pediatrics at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary who led the Canadian study, told Reuters Health by phone.Both Freedman and Schnadower said the findings don’t mean probiotics are bad – and the new studies uncovered no evidence that they are harmful.Whether probiotics other than L rhamnosus might be effective against infectious diarrhoea in children remains to be seen, LaMont said.But the research shows that such claims of benefit need to be rigorously tested before being embraced.The probiotic used in the US study, made by Culturelle and regarded as a high-quality product, “can cost up to $60 for a five-day treatment,” Schnadower said. But if it doesn’t work, “do you spend $60 on that or $60 on good food for your kids?”“The bad news is, we don’t have a magic pill that will make the diarrhea and vomiting go away sooner,” Freedman said. “The good news is, hopefully consumers are now informed and healthcare professionals can focus on therapies that have evidence of benefit.” Related Posts News Heartfulness group of organisations launches ‘Healthcare by Heartfulness’ COVID care app Read Articlecenter_img The missing informal workers in India’s vaccine story Two studies find probiotic therapy ineffective against stomach flu, diarrhoea Phoenix Business Consulting invests in telehealth platform Healpha WHO tri-regional policy dialogue seeks solutions to challenges facing international mobility of health professionals MaxiVision Eye Hospitals launches “Mucormycosis Early Detection Centre” Sharelast_img read more

The OSCE Academy: MA in Politics & Security and Economic Governance & Development

first_img ← Roma Placement Internship Program at CEU By Soibnazarov Firuz says: on February 10, 2015 at 8:04 am Similar Stories Log in to Reply Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore PhD in Economics and Finance on February 10, 2015 at 8:04 am Deadline: 31 March 2015Open to: university graduates from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Mongolia, but also a limited number from other OSCE member countries can be accepted to the programScholarship: full tuition fee waiver, EUR 180 per month, housing allowance, round trip travel to BishkekDescriptionThe OSCE Academy in Bishkek is a regional centre for post-graduate education, capacity building, research, and dialogue. Its MA Programmes are designed for young people who wish to broaden their education in the areas of politics, security, international relations, conflict prevention, international development, economics and governance.The Master of Arts in Politics and Security Programme is a one and a half year program that offers an interdisciplinary curriculum in areas of politics, comprehensive security and international relations based on international standards of teaching. The programme is designed for young people who wish to broaden their education and gain the knowledge and skills necessary for professional or academic careers in areas of politics, security, international relations, conflict prevention, international development etc.The Master of Arts in Economic Governance and Development is a 15-month programme that offers an interdisciplinary curriculum in economics, governance and development based on international standards of teaching. The programme is designed for students who wish to broaden their education and gain the knowledge and skills necessary for professional or academic careers in the fields of economics, development and governance.EligibilityApplicants must meet the following admission criteria:Successful completion of an academic degree of higher education (BA, MA, MSc, Diploma) in a related academic field;Advanced level of English;Age 32 or younger as of  1 September 2015;Citizenship of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Mongolia. A limited number of students from other OSCE member countries can be accepted for the programme.ScholarshipFull tuition fee waiver;Stipend of 180 euros per month;Housing allowance of 120 euros per month (Bishkek residents are not eligible);Round trip travel to Bishkek;Medical insurance (except for the citizens of Kyrgyzstan);Child allowance of 15 euros per child per month;Funded internship opportunities in Europe for top students.ApplicationTo apply you need to register and complete the online Application form:For MA in Politics and Security here;For MA in Economic Governance and Development hereMore information you can find at the official webpage and in FAQ section Reddit Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment. By Soibnazarov Firuz says: World Bank Robert S. McNamara Fellowship Program (RSMFP) 2021 Tweet LinkedIn 0 I want study master in youre universityplease tell me what I do on February 10, 2015 at 7:58 am +1 Log in to Reply Log in to Reply By Soibnazarov Firuz says: hfcjcjcjcjcjccjcckjckcjcckcncmcckcnxjcxjccjcjjcjckckcjcjccjccjccjccjccjccckckcjcjcjcjxhjcjccckcjcjckckckffjcjjxpxhxhxjxckcckckcvkckcjcjcckckckvkvkvkvkvkckvkjcjcjckcjckfkvkfkcjckfkfkfvkgkvkgk I want to study Asian Development Bank-Japan Scholarship Program (ADB-JSP) 3 thoughts on “The OSCE Academy: MA in Politics & Security and Economic Governance & Development” The OSCE Academy: MA in Politics & Security and Economic Governance & Development Share 0 Pocket Photography Contest: The Photographic Museum of Humanity Grant → February 6, 2015 Published by vladimir last_img read more

Culturalist Challenge! Rank the Top 10 Shondaland Stars Who Should Come to Broadway

first_img The Broadway.com staff is crazy for Culturalist, the website that lets you choose and create your own top 10 lists. Every week, we’re challenging you with a new Broadway-themed topic to rank.Happy Friday, Broadway fans! This weekend is going to be an exciting one: American Son, starring Kerry Washington, officially opens at the Booth Theatre on November 4. Less than a week later, her Scandal co-star Tony Goldwyn will return to Broadway in Network. Scandal’s Katie Lowes and her hubby (and Scandal guest star) Adam Shapiro just concluded their run in Waitress as Dawn and Ogie, respectively. So, we’re wondering which other Shondaland star should head to the Great White Way, be it in a spectacular debut or a triumphant return? You know what to do: grab a big bowl of popcorn, a glass of red wine and rank the stars you want to see on Broadway. Broadway.com Social Media Manager Caitlyn Gallip got this challenge started with her top 10. Now it’s your turn!STEP 1—SELECT: Visit Culturalist to see all of your options. Highlight your 10 favorites.STEP 2—RANK & PUBLISH: Click “rearrange list” to order your selections. Click the “publish” button.Once your list is published, you can see the overall rankings of everyone on the aggregate list.Pick your favorites, then tune in for the results next week on Broadway.com! Alfred Enoch, Sandra Oh & Ellen Pompeo(Photos: Getty Images & Emilio Madrid-Kuser; Composite by Ryan Casey for Broadway.com) View Commentslast_img read more

Rox Split Doubleheader with Eau Claire Friday

first_img Visit Advertiser website GO TO PAGE Skip The St. Cloud Rox (25-27) split a doubleheader wit the visiting Eau Claire Express, losing the first game, then rebounding to win the second.Jack Barrie went 2-4 at the plate and scored a run for the Rox in game one, but St. Cloud lost the opener 9-3. Ryan Davis and Connor Aube each drew two walks in the game. About Connatix V56892 About Connatix V56892 Auto (360p) 720p HDcenter_img 360p Jack Cushing made his final start before his appearance in the 2018 Northwoods League All-Star game next Tuesday in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He tossed two innings and struck out one batter.In the second game Bobby Seymour went 3-3 at the plate for the Rox with an RBI and two runs to help lead St. Cloud to a 9-3 win. Jake Stevenson made his first start of the year and earned the win in 3 2/3 innings. He was relieved by Kyle Richardson, who proceeded to toss the remaining 3 1/3 innings. The two combined for five strikeouts in the win.NEXT: The Rox take on the Willmar Stingers at 7:05 PM tonight at Bill Taunton Stadium in Willmar (Radio: 1390 KXSS).Get the 1390 Granite City Sports NewsletterEnter your email to get the latest on the Vikings, Wild, Twins, Timberwolves, Huskies, Gophers, local high school sports and more!Email*Submit 1/1 1080p HDlast_img read more

Public not so scared of autonomous aircraft

first_imgConcept vehicles for Uber’s flying taxi project. Image: Uber A surprising seven out of 10 travelers would be willing to fly in an autonomous aircraft during their lifetime, a new survey says.But before pilots start looking for a career change, the survey of more than 22,000 people across 11 markets found a much lower proportion — 58 percent —would be willing to board a self-flying plane in the next decade.Aircraft manufacturers are investigating autonomous aircraft but say it will be many years before commercial airline pilots join the endangered list.Likely to be quicker to market are companies such as Uber with piloted and then autonomous small aircraft operating as flying taxis.READ: Uber to conduct air taxi trials in Melbourne.What the ANSYS Global Autonomous Vehicle Study suggests is that people may not be as averse to the flying without a pilot as many assumed.Even so, younger people are more willing to take the risk on the concept than older — and possibly wiser — heads.More than 80 percent of 18-to 24 -year-olds said they were willing to fly autonomously compared to just 45 percent of those aged 65 or older.And there were concerns across all age groups with technology failure (65 percent) and how an autopilot would respond to external conditions such as turbulence (57 percent).Surprisingly, 71 percent of respondents had no fears about a safe take-off without a pilot and 76 percent were unconcerned about an autonomous landing.Less than 10 percent were aware of the extent to which planes are currently flown on autopilot and, when told only the first and last 10 minutes of most recent flight was controlled by a pilot, 36  percent said they would feel safer on an autonomous plane.On the danger of a fully computerized plane being hacked, 39 percent believed it would be harder than compromising bank accounts, smartphones, computers and self-driving cars.Urban commuter options such as a flying taxis were supported by 63 percent of respondents.“Autonomous aircraft are likely to enter service over the next decade, targeting both intra-city and inter-city travel, primarily used in air freight and air taxi business models,’’ said Frost & Sullivan senior research analyst Priyanka Chimakurthi,“Further automation in large commercial jets will be gradual, first starting with single-pilot operations, followed by fully autonomous operations.“Undoubtedly, automation will continue to transform air transport, as it has done over the past few decades. However, it will have to overcome numerous challenges, starting with passenger perception, practical constraints as well as battery and propulsion technologies.”The online survey of 22,041 adults was conducted in the United Kingdom, United States, DACH, France, Italy, Spain, Benelux, Sweden, Japan, China and India between April 26 and May 7, 2019.last_img read more

BlogBridge topic expert on Web 2.0

first_imgPart of my duties as the self-proclaimed Father of Web 2.0 is to help spread the word and get people interested in Web 2.0. BlogBridge has just published a list of some of my favourite Web 2.0-focused blogs. Note that it’s not a directory of all Web 2.0 related feeds, just a selection of feeds I visit regularly.I’m in good company in the BlogBridge topic expert lists. Dan Gillmor has one for journalism and Jeff Clavier has a list of VC blogs – and there are others. BlogBridge is an open source RSS Aggregator that I haven’t talked as much about as I should’ve. It’s a downloadable app, so that’s probably why. I prefer Web-based systems. Still it’s worth checking out if you’re looking for a new RSS Aggregator. Tags:#Blogging#web Related Posts richard macmanus A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

The Search for New Asset Protection Technology Solutions

first_imgBrand Elverson was the director of asset protection systems and analysis with Walmart when this interview first appeared in LP Magazine. He is currently the director of asset protection strategic initiatives at Walmart, and still deeply involved in the search for effective asset protection technology solutions.EDITOR: Tell us about your current role with Walmart.ELVERSTON: My current title is director of asset protection systems and analysis, which is one of the primary support groups for the asset protection division. We have four different functions in our group.- Sponsor – Probably the most visible function is the merchandise protection group that has the responsibility for developing asset protection technology strategies and solutions, such as EAS source tagging, and restrictive or anti-sweeping fixturing; any of the theft-deterrent measures in place in the store. This group not only manages the current merchandise protection strategies for whats in the store today, but looks at what the future asset protection technology footprint should look like in the future.We also have a group of analysts who do all of the mid- and high-level analytics for the leadership group. This group manages and filters the abundance of information and translates it into a useful and relevant executive summary. This is a key service to our leadership group in terms of assisting them in the development of their asset protection technology strategies and decisions.We also have a systems support group, which manages all of the AP store-related systems requests and support of the AP field associates.And finally, we have what we call the operations liaison group, who are project managers that handle various key projects.EDITOR: What does Walmarts overall asset protectionorganization look like?ELVERSTON: There are about 8,000-plus associates who makeup the asset protection group, with the majority in the field.At the store level we have AP associates [APA], who focusprimarily on shoplifting and deterring theft. The next levelis our AP coordinator [APC], who is primarily responsibleto work in tandem with store management in key areassuch as theft deterrent measures, safety, administrative-typeshrinkage, and general controls in the storeThe next layer is our market asset protection manager[MAPM], who oversees a group of stores in a particulararea. Above the MAPM are two levels of regional directors,depending on the complexity of the area, divisionaldirectors, and then three geographic business unit APdirectors who report to a vice president at our home office.EDITOR: You are describing the U.S. structure, correct?ELVERSTON: Thats right. The U.S. stores organizationchanged early in the year moving from five main businessunits to three, with the AP organization following thatalignment. We work closely with our operations team at alllevels to ensure close alignment and clear communications.EDITOR: Youve been in your present role how long?ELVERSTON: Ive been at Walmart fifteen years. Immediatelyafter leaving the Army, I started as a market asset protectionmanager in our New York area stores, and moved to thehome office within the first year to take on a new role, calledthe merchandise systems coordinator at the time. As it isin retail, that role has changed dramatically over the pastfourteen years. That position, which started as a one-personrole, is now a very effective team of several managers withexpanded responsibilities beyond just merchandise protection.EDITOR: Its fairly unusual for a person to remain in a verysimilar role for that length of time. Talk about how yourposition has changed over that timeELVERSTON: When I first came in, the position was mainly a liaison to the merchants to help them with asset protection technology issues, more specifically merchandise protection. For example, when a buyer bought the next version of the TI-59 calculator, I would work with them to suggest, for example, that it be packaged in a clamshell, heat-sealed package to deter pilferage. But considering the large number of buyers, it was a challenge for one person to keep up with the volume of high-theft products.At that time we were just testing EAS in a handful of stores. We were largely reactive at that point. When a problem item was identified on shrinkage reports, I worked to develop potential asset protection technology solutions to reduce the shrinkage liability. At that time we didnt have an internal analysis group or the robust merchandise protection group we are fortunate enough to have today. There was no group of smart people telling us, From this data, these categories or this product is likely going to be a shrinkage liability. Our analytical ability evolved over time as we hired additional staff and as we gained more and more access to our systems and data.So, to answer your question, from my start at the home office as the single merchandise systems coordinator, primarily focused on asset protection technology solutions for merchandise protection to leading a diverse team of very talented associates, its changed a lot in the short fifteen years Ive been with Walmart.EDITOR: When did that strategic change occur?ELVERSTON: Around 2006 the then-named loss prevention division, now called asset protection, underwent a significant reorganization. This change impacted not only the field organization, but the home office support staff as well. In a short period of time, primarily through consolidations, my group expanded in scope and staff from about five associates to more than thirty. It was at this point that we really began focusing on the larger challenges at hand. With this change, my role clearly took on a broader scope beyond merchandise protection to include new areas, such as theft-deterrent asset protection technology development, systems, and analysis. Of all the things that keep me up at night, it is the state of available theft-deterrent asset protection technology in the industry that concerns me the most. This will be a tough road for the industry.EDITOR: What do you mean it will be a tough road forthe industry?ELVERSTON: I believe that for the loss prevention community at large, its been hard for us to effectively explain to suppliers, Heres what we need. We have to expand beyond more traditional solutions, such as EAS or locking fixtures. Sure, we have to take care of todays problems with todays solutions, but whats next after EAS? What solutions do we need two, five years down the road? How do we change the solution set to be more customer friendly, more transparent to the honest customer? The persistent challenge is to seek and implement more customer-friendly solutions. Part of this is going to require the identification and recruitment of nontraditional asset protection technology solutions and suppliers.EDITOR: How do you get vendors to work with you on developing new asset protection technology solutions as opposed to selling what they presently have?ELVERSTON: Currently in our industry when we have abusiness problemlets just say razor blades, cologne,whateversuppliers will likely present some sort of amechanical solution. With the intensity and pressure of theretail environment, theres a sense of urgency that we haveto fix it now. We dont have the luxury of saying Well, letsmap out the problem on the whiteboard and discuss somepotential solutions. Lets meet again in a few months toreview what you recommend.We have to implement something. At that point they arelogically suggesting what is available, and we select fromwhats available for implementation. Our traditional LPvendors are doing what we have asked them to do over yearsand years in the industry, and its workedto this point.What weve been focused on in the last couple of yearsis to completely reverse that cycle. RILA has put togetherwhat is called the Horizons Committee, which consists ofseveral well-known retailers in different segments, includingpharmacy, big box, specialty retail, and do-it-yourself, tocollectively lead this change.EDITOR: How would this work?ELVERSTON: For example, to more effectively identify ourlead shrinkage liabilities, retailers would conduct extensiveprocess reviews from supply chain all the way to the refunddesk in key areas of concern in the store. From there,clear process maps provide visibility to the real points ofvulnerability, allowing a more focused effort on the top10 percent of the most significant liabilities. The final stepwould be to draft the business requirements much like amilitary bidif you want to manufacture a solution for us,here are the specs it has to meet. Its a much more effectiveprocess for both the supplier community and retailerEDITOR: You used the term nontraditional before. What doyou mean by that?ELVERSTON:I believe that therell be two kinds of suppliersin the years to come who will support retail LP. Therell bethe traditional suppliers who we have now, who have done amarvelous job in getting us to the point where we are today.We wouldnt be the effective asset protection organizationswe are today without them. And there will be nontraditionalsuppliers who will introduce an entirely new, more advancedsolution spectrum to retail.The nontraditional supplier, for example, might be that guy in the garage who is working on something for a government agency or someone who is not associated with retail that has a potential solution that with a few tweaks might work in our environment. So we bring these two togetherthe traditional who is interested in developing new asset protection technology and the nontraditional who has some interesting new technology that can add more depth and scope in the R&D cycle of those traditional suppliers.And finally, there will likely be those suppliers who will notengage in this new pursuit and will stick with what theyrecurrently doing. And thats fine; therell probably always beroom for that. I think our challenge is to change the processand lead the development of new, more customer-friendlytheft-deterrent solutions. In many retailers today, the appetitefor mechanical devices and conventional solutions is dryingup, and its going to become less and less tolerable.EDITOR: How do you go about identifying thesenontraditional suppliers?ELVERSTON: As an example, one has to look where theinnovative research is going on and build relationships.Places such as MIT, Silicon Valley, academia. Thereare numerous think tanks and research institutionsworking with government agencies to develop newtechnologies. Think about all the technology that has beencommercialized as a result of the military organizationsand agencies such as NASA and DoD [Department ofDefense]GPS, cell phones. The whole process of taking anobscure idea from concept to product is much more refinedand disciplined in some of our government agencies thanpossibly in the public sector.These relationships will take time to build. This is along-term strategy; not a quick fix. These relationships willhelp the industry grow and will expose us to new solutions,quite possibly even outside the asset protection industry.Its a huge challenge because youre talking about directrelationships and groups who have supported DoD fora long time. They may not understand retail. Its a wholelearning process to explain the problem were trying toimpact and have them suggest technologies that could beapplied in the retail environment.EDITOR: As you look at retail in general, and loss prevention specifically, how well or how poorly are we thinking about asset protection technology and solutions in our stores?ELVERSTON: Frankly, as an industry we are not keepingpace with the larger, more customer-focused parts of thebusiness. Look at any retailer, not just us, and the storesdont look anything like they did ten years ago. Theyvemade great strides in cleaning up the store environmentand making it more customer-friendly. Then look at thetheft-deterrent strategies that LP puts in placetags, locks,cables, alarms, all those conventional things we did ten,fifteen, in some cases twenty-five years ago.Retailers at large spend millions of dollars withconsultants and researching new formats, conductingcustomer insight studies, trying to improve the customersshopping experience. As an industry LP has not done thatand is way behind on that curve. And honestly, at somepoint I think its fair to ask the question of LP, Weve justspent $20 million to get this new store format right, andhere comes AP putting in the same theft-deterrent measureswe used twenty years ago? How is this solution customerfriendly? Surely, this is not the best asset protection hasto offer.EDITOR: In the past its typically been one or two largeretailers who have the resources to push for these types ofchanges. But youre suggesting this needs to be an industryeffort, correct?ELVERSTON: Yes. I believe in order to make it effective, fair,and realistic for the supplier community, in most cases, wehave to erase the face of the specific retailers. Thats wherethe trade organizations come in play. They can be a hugehelp. That also makes it fairer to the smaller retailer who inthe past had to wait for the big guys to push to develop anidea. Now they can play a part from the beginning, becauseits an industry push and not a retail-specific push.EDITOR: Going back to your specific role inside Walmartand the different functions you manage, what are thetypes of backgrounds and experiences you look for inyour direct reports?ELVERSTON: First and foremost is diversity in experience.There are different skill sets required in each of my fourfunctional areas. For example, someone in the analysis groupmay not be the best person for merchandise protectionand vice versa. Weve learned over time that the quality ofdecisions from a diverse group are ten times, a hundred timesmore effective and relevant than decisions made by a room fullof people with the same background. Thats why our recruitinginitiatives look for diverse candidates, such as internal audit,military, information systems, finance, and store operations.EDITOR: Im always intrigued when I hear people using theterm diversity as it relates to thinking and experience asopposed to diversity in skin color or gender.ELVERSTON: By looking for diversity in thinking, inbackground, in experience, you will end up with diversityin other areas. They go hand-in-hand. The military is a goodexample; probably the most diverse organization anywhere byall definitions.When someone applies for a position with active-dutymilitary on their resume, to me it is a significant strengthbecause they have been challenged in ways atypical to mostcivilian careers. After all, retail is not a predictable, methodicalfield. Its in a constant state of change. Its not, Okay, we havethis one project. Well get this done, then move to the nextproject. It can be chaotic. Over the years, I have found thatthose individuals with military experience are very effectiveoperating in chaotic environments. Theyre well suited tofunction and lead in fluid environments.When I left the military and joined the LP organization in1995, it wasnt common practice to have someone without anLP background in the division; certainly not from the military.That experience burned this idea into my mind back then thatit is absolutely the right thing to do to build an organizationwith a diverse range of technical skills and backgrounds.Diversity is just good leadership.EDITOR: Now that you have mentioned your background, tell usmore about your career and how you ended up in Walmart.ELVERSTON: As a youngster, my intent was to become a policeofficer. My parents had other plans in mind with college being firston the list. When I was 18 or 19 years old, I was offered a positionin the local sheriffs department in central Virginia. I was going tocommunity college at the time and thought, I really dont needschool. I have the job I want. After some stern family conversationsand direction, off to the University of Alabama I went. I joinedthe Army ROTC program at the university and found something Ireally liked and was fairly good at. That was a great experience thatturned in to a twelve-year career as an artillery officer.EDITOR: Where were you stationed?ELVERSTON: Ultimately, I ended up in an artillery battalion inGermany. I had the traditional artillery officer jobsfire supportofficer, battery executive officer, and on up through the chain.Finally, I had the opportunity to command an artillery unit. Havingthe opportunity to command soldiers in a combat arms unit is theultimate career experience for an officer. I loved it.After an intense 23 or 24 months in command in troopunits, the Army transitions you into whats called a non-troopassignment, which is away from troops to essentially give youa break. That was Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for me where I was aninstructor in the schools gunnery department.While teaching at Fort Sill, I decided to get an advanced degree.While in grad school we always did case studies on things that hadnothing to do with the military. It made me begin to realize thatthere was a life outside the ArmyEDITOR: What attracted you to Walmart?ELVERSTON: It seems every business case study we did in gradschool involved this company called Walmart. Remember, in 1993,94, it wasnt a big company. So I sent my resume into the logisticsorganization at Walmart primarily because I had been a logisticsofficer while in Germany. It was the only area in which I thoughtI could somewhat apply my professional military experiences atthe time. Somehow my resume wound up in the loss preventiondepartment, luckily on the desk of a former Air Force guy. He readmy resume, called me, and convinced me to interview. The rest ishistory. Were friends to this day.EDITOR: As an industry, retail loss prevention does a poor job ofattracting military people to this discipline. Would you agree?ELVERSTON: Yes.EDITOR: Why do you think that is?ELVERSTON: Honestly, I think its somewhat a lack ofunderstanding of the skills our servicemen and women haveto offer. If youre a person thats been in boots for ten years,you probably know very little about the retail world. Themilitary is a tremendous talent pool for a large variety of skillsets that can contribute to the retail organization. Think aboutsomeone who has served as an officer or senior enlistedperson. Very early in their careers, theyve had a much broaderand different professional experience than they may haveotherwise experienced.EDITOR: How can retailers better recruit ex-military?ELVERSTON: While careful not to compete with military serviceretention, we have engaged points from which men andwomen transition from active military service, as I believe onlyan enterprise with Walmarts corporate footprint can. We havebuilt and fostered relationships with the military academiesand military and veterans associations. We have partnered withthe reserve and guard to offer career opportunities to thosewho continue to serve as citizen-warriors. And, importantly, wehave partnered with the services to offer career opportunitiesto military spouses. We believe those enterprise programswill begin to create top-of-mind awareness of the careeropportunities at Walmart.EDITOR: Is there a difference between officers andenlisted men?ELVERSTON: In terms of what they have to offer, I dont thinkthere is. The noncommissioned officers have as much, if notmore, of a leadership challenge than do the officers; its justa different scope. The transferability of the skill sets are thesame. Leadership is leadership. Youre talking about someonethat might be 24 to 28 years old, commanding hundreds ofsoldiers in very intense environments. You dont get thatexperience anywhere else.EDITOR: Some people think that there is a risk in hiring somebodyfrom the military who doesnt have any LP experience; that theyare going to fail, and thus reflect poorly on them.ELVERSTON: I understand that fear. Someone took a chance onme. But what makes somebody successful in retail is that theyare professional, dedicated, and smart. Its not that you haveto have retail experience. Frankly, we are following a simplepremiseif you bring us a leader, we will teach him or her theretail business.Another objection Ive heard in the past is that hiringex-military is a risk because you get people that areintellectually inflexible. Theyre used to A, B, C, D, and ifit doesnt go that way, theyre not tuned in to be able tohandle that, which is absurd. There is nothing more fluidthan a military environment. Sure, the military has trainingmanuals and strict protocols, but as one of the great leadersof the armed forces, Colin Powell, once said, As soon as youcross that line of departure, all bets are off; its goingto change.EDITOR: You are obviously well read. What books would yourecommend that might influence LP professionals?ELVERSTON: Probably one of the best Ive ever read professionallywas The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman. There is a lot ofapplicable business insight in his ten flattening forces analogy.Another great Friedman book is Hot, Flat, and Crowded, whichtalks about sustainability in a very broad sense, and the risks it hason the world economy. Earlier in my career was Colin Powellsbook, My American Journey, and of course, Sam Waltons book,Made in America.Another great book is Competing on Analytics, by ThomasDavenport and Jeanne Harris, which talks about the challenges ofmoving an organization from basic guess work to more advancedpredictive analytics.Right now Im reading a book called Ghost Wars, whichdiscusses the recent history of conflict in Afghanistan. Maybe its alittle more personal to me because I was recalled to active duty in2003 where I was stationed in the American embassy in Afghanistanunder then Major General Eikenberry. That experience wasprobably the steepest learning curve Ive ever experienced in myentire life. I had all the wrong perceptions of the Afghan culturewhen I first got there. It was the most profound experience Iveever hada very positive experience. This article was first published in 2010 and updated January 2016. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Innovation: Connecting the Dots That can Lead to Positive Transformation Eludes Many Businesses

first_imgBusinesses increasingly feel pressure to speed their responsiveness to customer demands and continually transform and innovate their businesses.  A report from PwC found that “U.S. CEOs are coming to realize that no matter their industry, they must now think like technology companies. How can they–before competitors or new entrants–meet changing customer expectations and reimagine how to deliver a product or service in a new way, at a new price point, or in a new market?”The 2013 Harvey Nash CIO Survey found that innovation was a key priority for CIOs in the next 18 to 24 months.  In particular, the survey found executives interested in investing in mobility and cloud technology to act as “positive disruptors” and to derive innovation.  62 percent of CIO’s think that the cloud can be a positive disruptor and nearly the same number plan to increase their investment in the cloud in hopes of promoting greater innovation.Many businesses are keenly interested in new technologies like the cloud, mobile and big data, but their current IT systems are holding them back.  A survey by Automic found that, on average, 85 percent of IT budgets are being sucked up by costs related to keeping existing operations running smoothly.  And that doesn’t leave much budget for businesses to try to experiment with or to sue to enter into new ways of doing things.  Only 10 percent of business executives say that they’re being able to apply innovative technologies to help their business create competitive advantage.90 percent of the businesses said that innovation comes way too slowly for businesses, especially large ones.  70 percent of business executives said that they’re a bit envious of smaller businesses because they have no legacy systems to deal with.  (Although on the flip side, undoubtedly many small businesses are envious of the huge budgets and resources that large businesses have at their disposal.)  75 percent said that cultural issues are part of the reason that innovation is blocked.last_img read more

Golf: Out-of-form Shiv Kapur eager to bounce back

first_imgMissing four cuts in succession isn’t an ideal situation going into the US Open, and that too when it is being played at a links course. This is the situation confronting Delhi golfer Shiv Kapur, who is in poor form as he heads to Chambers Bay, Washington, for the second Major of the season starting on Thursday.But Kapur takes heart from his feat of qualifying for the championship last month, and feels one ‘good’ round can put him in the right frame of mind.”It’s true that I haven’t been in good form of late but I take encouragement from positives. I missed some cuts in the last one month but in between I made it to the US Open with a second-place finish at the qualifiers in England. That was a high point and I am looking forward to repeating that performance this week,” he told Mail Today from the US.Kapur, who will appear at the US Open for the second year in a row, said: “Last year, I played with a free mind and finished tied 23rd. I am not in a good form now but am not feeling any pressure either. I need just one good round to storm into contention.” The Indian missed cuts at the Asian Tour’s Mauritius Open and European Tour events in England, Dubai and Sweden in the last one-and-a-half months.The conditions at Chambers Bay can’t be taken lightly. A new links course, known for its sloping fairways and greens, tall rough and strong wind, is hosting a PGA Tour event for the first time which is expected to make scoring tougher. Is Kapur prepared for this challenge?advertisement”The US Open is being held on a new course which makes the competition even for all. As far as my preparations are concerned, I have played on two different links course in New York last week. I have played two nine-hole practice rounds at Chambers Bay. I have played on links in Scotland. So, I am prepared well,” he said.”But I need to execute my plans well because a small error in judgment on a sloping surface can take me many yards away from the target. I also have to be more accurate in my putting because greens are also sloping.” Kapur will not be the lone Indian at the US Open and will be accompanied by compatriot Anirban Lahiri. “It’s good to have Anirban here. We share a good camaraderie and have been practicing together here,” he signed off.last_img read more