Data points.

You've probably been spending at least part of the holidays checking out forecasts for 2023. But, even if they're interesting, there's not much point in the exercise - because it is driven by the calendar. The planet takes 365 days to circle the sun, and it's understandable that a year is an important unit for many of us. But it's not clear that anyone should care much about exactly what will happen between January 1 and December 31. They're arbitrary dates. Even if you're correct in your predictions for 12 months hence, you might still be very wrong. For example, an energy analyst who predicted a rather dull and flat year for the oil market, with prices ending the year much where they began, would have been right. Except that this only worked out because the massive and largely unforeseen shocks of Russia's invasion of Ukraine invasion and China's draconian Covid-Zero lockdowns largely cancelled each other out. Both seemed unlikely as the year began.

(Adapted from 'Be Careful, Here Come the Predictions for 2023,' by John Authers, published on December 7 2022, Bloomberg)

Failing to deliver on worker advancement

Everyone benefits from an upwardly mobile workforce. But a recent study of 3m workers at Fortune 250 companies showed that even top-ranked firms fail to deliver consistently on worker advancement. The study identified six key ways companies are falling short when it comes to worker development. 1) They don't train properly, leading careers to stall. 2) Their workers don't advance internally or even after they leave for a new company. 3) They have high turnover because they fail to give employees much more than a paycheck, such as learning opportunities. 4) Advancement varies widely, with some employees getting promoted quickly and some stalled for years. 5) Their workers in jobs that don't require a degree fare far worse than employees whose jobs do. 6) Their applicants are attracted to the corporate brand, thinking it will be a great place to work - but there isn't substance behind that reputation.

(Adapted from the article, '6 Ways Companies Fail to Help Workers Grow,' by Joseph Fuller et al, published by the Harvard Business Review)

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