STUDY FINDS HEALTH COVERAGE GROWS UNDER AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

affordable care act

Insurance coverage has increased across all types of insurance since the major provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act took effect, with a total of 16.9 million people becoming newly enrolled through February 2015, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Researchers estimate that from September 2013 to February 2015, 22.8 million Americans became newly insured and 5.9 million lost coverage, for a net of 16.9 million newly insured Americans.

Among those newly gaining coverage, 9.6 million people enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans, followed by Medicaid (6.5 million), the individual marketplaces (4.1 million), nonmarketplace individual plans (1.2 million) and other insurance sources (1.5 million).

The study also estimates that 125.2 million Americans -- about 80 percent of the nonelderly population that had insurance in September 2013 -- experienced no change in the source of insurance during the period, according to findings published online by the journal Health Affairs.

To read the rest of the story, click on "Big Times Magazine" and open up the May/June issue.

DOES YOUR CULTURE REWARD THE LAZY BRAIN? FIVE WAYS TO OVERRIDE THIS NATURAL HUMAN TENDENCY—AND SAVE YOUR COMPANY IN THE PROCESS

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In today's globally competitive environment, successful organizations must constantly learn, adapt, and innovate—but that's easier said than done when the human brain prefers operating in low gear. Here is how to snuff out "lazy thinking" so that your people can begin generating and implementing new ideas.

Humans are lazy thinkers. Although the brain comprises only about 2.5 percent of our body weight, it generally uses 20 percent of the body's energy. That's why the human learning machine prefers to operate in a low gear—on autopilot—as much as possible: It's a conservation thing. As Nobel laureate and behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman puts it, "Laziness is built deep into our nature." So (your slothful brain is probably thinking) what's wrong with that? Well, the big problem is that business has taken the "laziness model"—aka operational excellence—as far as it can go.

In my book “Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization” I say "the lazy brain is why the operational excellence model—in which companies fight for dominance by being faster, better, and cheaper—rose to dominance in the first place. We take what we already know, replicate it, improve it, and repeat. It is much easier than thinking innovatively.” Unfortunately, many of the jobs this model creates can now be done by machines. Today, the only real competitive advantage is an ability to learn and innovate. That's it. And if your business is set up on the old model, it just doesn't lend itself to learning and innovating.

To read more, click "BIG Times Magazine" on the BIG website (www.biginsusa.com" and read the May/June issue.

OUR BIG FAMILY

Shaking-Hands

Adam Meyerson did another stellar job as Master of Ceremonies at the 2015 BIG Convention. As our General Session began and we welcomed Keynote Speaker Mike Stromsoe, Meyerson began with an eloquent, heartfelt speech about what an association stands for and it means to be part of a group. For those of you unable to attend this year’s convention or the general session, we thought you might like to read the words yourself:

“According to the Webster’s dictionary, the word “community” is defined as “a group of individuals associated by common interests or heritage.” In our case, our common heritage is our industry. Some of us have been in this industry for quite some time, and while others, who have just joined our illustrious clan, I bid you welcome.

“Our community is a tightly knit blanket comprised of threads of all different colors, shapes, & sizes, and it’s those threads that have made this community so unbelievably unique. It is a very scary world we live in. With earthquakes overseas & riots in our own backyard, the only way for any community to survive, is for it to stick together, and fight for its survival. Sometimes, one person yelling at the top of their lungs is no louder than a single water droplet falling in middle of a giant lake, but multiply that droplet by a thousand, ten thousand, or one-million, and things start to change drastically & dramatically.

To read the rest of this outstanding tribute, check the May/June issue of BIG Times Magazine on the BIG website (www.biginsusa.com).

CRACKING THE CODE TO INNOVATION: 7 STEPS THAT GUARANTEE SUCCESS

innovationEveryone says they want innovation in their organization, but when an ambitious employee offers it to a CEO, for example, the idea is often shot down. Senior leaders often miss the value-creating potential of a new concept because they either don’t take the time to really listen and delve into it, or the innovating employee presents it in the wrong way

Innovation should be presented as opportunities, not ideas. Opportunities have gravitas while ideas do not!

Here is a template for innovation that works:

Intention: Once the “why” is answered, leaders have the beginnings of a legitimate roadmap to innovation’s fruition. This is no small task and requires some soul searching.

To read the rest of this article by Neal Thornberry, Ph.D., faculty director for innovation initiatives at the Naval Postgraduate School in California, click on "BIG Times Magazine" on the BIG website (www.biginsusa.com) and open the latest issue.

TEN CONVERSATIONS THAT ARE UNDERMINING YOUR STRATEGY AND KILLING PERFORMANCE

People talkingDid you know that the business world, in general, is a vast network of interrelated conversations? It's true. And your company is a microcosm of that network. What this means, says Daniel F. Prosser, is that the conversations that take place between your team members are incredibly important. In fact, they're everything.

"Words are far more powerful than most people realize," says Prosser, author of THIRTEENERS: Why Only 13 Percent of Companies Successfully Execute Their Strategy—and How Yours Can Be One of Them. "Unbelievable outcomes happen when you say how it's going to be and then take the actions to have it be that way. Change your language and you change your perspective, which changes what's possible in your future."

But suppose you, the leader, are declaring bold possibilities full of fire and optimism, but your employees are engaging in other kinds of conversations? Bitter complaints. Criticisms. Cynical rants full of victim-y self-pity and anger. All of these conversations create a sense of unconscious disconnection in the workplace and create disempowerment among the workforce.

For more of this article, click "BIG Times Magazine" on the BIG website at www.biginsusa.org and read the April 2015 issue.