Sex & the Workplace: Deitch

For Search Engines: Tune-Up Strategies

World Wide Freebies: Sol Libes

For Eastwind, New Destinations

Corporate Angels

Donate Please

Waterfront Networking

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Teena Chandy and Melinda Sherwood were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on July 14,

1999. All rights reserved.

Consultants’ Niche: IMC

Corporate downsizing may be bad for American workers,

but it’s been good for the corps of consultants who do the mop-up.

Robert E. Sabath, who runs his own consulting firm in Chicago,

has been in the business long enough to see big firms like Arthur

Anderson become house-hold names, and to see a market for small consulting

firms like his own emerge. "It’s the kind of consulting that most

professional consultants enjoy doing the most," he says. "Rather

than being an administrator running minions of junior staff, this

kind of consulting involves being a confidante or executive counsel,

someone who adds thought, originality, creativity, and experience

to the client’s process."

Sabath introduces consultants and management teams to what he calls

"The Five Billion-Dollar Niche: Opportunities for Small Consulting

Firms," on Monday, July 19, at 6 p.m. at the Doral Forrestal Hotel.

Call the Institute of Management Consultants: 908-233-6265. Cost $50.

Sabath started a career in consulting at 15, when he reorganized his

father’s warehouse of restaurant supplies in Chicago. "I was always

coming up with ideas for how they could do things better and I realized

I loved to do project type work that made improvements," he says.

Today he specializes in supply chain consulting with Integrated Strategies

Inc. He earned a BS in industrial engineering from Purdue University,

Class of 1965, and received his MBA in marketing and computers from

the University of Chicago in 1967. Until just a year ago, he was one

of the "minions," working for large consulting firms like

AT Kearney, Mercer Management Consulting, and Lesser B. Knight and

Associates. "During those 30 years I have seen a transition in

the arrangements that consultants have with clients," he says.

"When I started I was counsel to senior executives; in the ’90s

consultants have become more systems integrators, basically putting

things into place to change companies. The consultants’ role there

is almost like replacing those heads that were cut in the ’80s."

Y2K anxiety and other issues of the Digital Age justify the need for

"implementation" consultancy — the kind that large firms

do best — but smaller firms, says Sabath, have the kind of senior

consultants needed to escort management teams through major technology

transitions. "Small consulting firms can be much more concentrated

with senior people and can give advice in marketing, supply chain,

strategic executive counsel," he says. "It’s not in the economic

interests of the large consulting firm to offer those kinds of services."

Small consulting firms also make sense in a business environment where

"knowledge management" and "competitive intelligence"

are the buzz words. Small firms are made up of veterans, the specialists,

the "one of five people in the country that knows the most,"

says Sabath. "If you need it, you need that person, if you don’t,

you’d never need it at all."

Family-run businesses and IBM-sized operations both benefit from small

consulting firms. To select the firm that best understands your company’s

unique problems and needs, Sabath suggests the following:

Understand the specific experience of the consultants

within the environment being discussed. Don’t just look at the organization;

investigate the background of each of the senior-level consultants

to be sure they demonstrate experience in the appropriate area.

Use several consultants, assigned to different tasks or

departments within the company. "I know of some small consulting

firms that actually help their clients make decisions on hiring consultants,"

he says. "Most of the clients would be using more than one consulting

firm. The issue really is that there’s a range of services that is

not offered by the larger firms because it’s not financially viable

for them."

Use the Institute of Management Consultants directory

to find a complete list of small, specialty firms, as well as large

firms.

If you have considered starting your own consulting operation,

the time has never been better. Consulting firms now make up a $150

to $250 billion profession, says Sabath, but large ones only account

for about $100 billion. "What is left over is this little market

niche of traditional high quality senior professional consulting,

which still has a high degree of value to clients, but isn’t promoted

by larger consulting firms. It’s just there for the taking."

— Teena Chandy

Top Of Page
Sex & the Workplace: Deitch

No business is immune to the potential upheaval caused

by sexual harassment in the workplace, but until now courts had been

doling out punishment at an average cost to companies of $200,000,

in the most expedient manner: the employer is legally responsible,

period.

Several recent Supreme Court cases (Faragher vs. Boca Raton and Ellerth

vs. Burlington Industries) may have taken the onus off employers somewhat,

says Angela Deitch, who runs her own consulting firm in West

Trenton (609-883-6327) with numerous management training programs.

"In both of these cases," says Deitch, "the Supreme Court

said that the employer could claim an affirmative defense," if

they could prove action was taken to prevent the harassment. "Before

this employers were subject to liability whether or not they even

knew their supervisors were committing sexual harassment. It’s a victory

for employers if they take the precautions."

Among those precautions: a written and verbal policy against harassment

that is well-known throughout the company. Deitch is offering training

suggestions at the Princeton Council’s networking meeting on Thursday,

July 15, at 8 a.m. at the Hyatt. The Princeton Council, a networking

group, currently has membership openings for a law firm, insurance

agency, accounting firm, advertising agency, travel agency, computer

services, and heating/air conditioning company. Call 732-615-9096.

Attendance is free by reservation.

Prior to starting her own firm, Deitch worked several years on a program

for the prevention of sexual harassment for the State of New Jersey’s

70,000 employees. A graduate of Rutgers University with a masters

in education, Deitch currently leads several training programs for

companies that cover a wide spectrum that includes team leadership,

communication, and conflict management.

Deitch also writes articles on realistic and usable policies for the

prevention of sexual harassment at Primeseason.com (http://www.primeseason.com).

"The way I come at sexual harassment is by looking at what is

appropriate behavior in the workplace," she says. "People

say `we can’t even be friendly.’ I say that’s not the case, but you

have to remember that you’re involved in business for business reasons,

and we’ve got such a diverse population that you can’t assume that

what is appropriate from your perspective is going to be appropriate

for others."

Quid pro quo harassment ("this for that") is much easier to

identify, and much less frequent, says Deitch. It’s "hostile environment

sexual harassment," in which an employee feels discriminated against

sexually or abused, uncomfortable, or demeaned, that constitutes the

majority of complaints.

The exact definition of harassment may still be murky, but the legal

responsibilities of employers are crystal clear. "You can’t just

put up a policy," says Deitch. "You have to have a policy

and a procedure, and whenever there is a problem, you take appropriate

action immediately. If the employee fails to use the policy and procedure

in place then the employer may be less liable."

Even small businesses should follow the following guidelines, says

Deitch:

Circulate a formal written document to everyone that explains

the company’s policy against sexual harassment. You do not need a

lawyer to draft it, says Deitch, but you should submit it to an attorney

who is a specialist in employment law. Samples of sexual harassment

policies are available from the Society of Human Resource Management’s

website (http://www.sherm.com), and at several college

and university websites.

Offer training from a management training consultant who

is up-to-date on what’s happening in the law. Newmedialearning.com

(http://www.newmedialearning) has several samples of training

programs.

Select a person in upper management with some experience

who can make sure an investigation is conducted properly.

Act quickly to investigate suspicion of sexual harassment.

Not only is it difficult to get evidence, but a quick response to

alleged reports will be weighed in the event that a separate incident

goes to court later. "If you didn’t have a sexual harassment policy

five years ago, and you instituted one two years ago, the court might

look differently at you than if you had no policy or you had been

ignoring it all the time," says Deitch. "The best thing a

company can do is treat it seriously and establish a culture that

this is a respectful place where people treat each other with respect

a lot of the situations don’t occur."

Top Of Page
For Search Engines: Tune-Up Strategies

Ever had the sneaky feeling that your search engine

wasn’t running on all cylinders? A new study just confirmed your worse

suspicions. Steve Lawrence and C. Lee Giles, two scientists

at NEC Research Institute (http://www.neci.nj.nec.com/)

on 4 Independence Way, recently returned from a year-long trip to

the outer limits of cyberspace and published their findings in the

July 8 issue of Nature magazine (http://www.nature.com). What

they discovered: the Web is comprised of over 800 million indexable

pages, but only 16 percent of that information appears in the results

of any given query.

If you use the Web for business or research, it’s important to note

two other discoveries in the study: websites that appear first in

the results of a query are "popular" (having many links to

other websites), and the best way to scour the web is to use multiple

search engines when conducting a query.

Technologically speaking, says Lawrence, an Australian-born researcher,

it’s not impossible for search engines to scour the Web more thoroughly;

it just happens to be impractical. "There are diminishing returns

for indexing the Web," he says. "Many of the searches made

are relatively simple and can be satisfied well with a small database."

It can takes months to index new pages on the Web, he says. "They

(search engines) probably have a trade off between indexing more the

web, and diverting the resources elsewhere; they may be better served

by advertising."

When Lawrence and Giles conducted the first study of the Web back

in December, 1997, it created a massive media stir. The two scientists

were getting calls from the New York Times, Associated Press, and

National Public Radio, among others. The best search engine then only

scoured approximately 34 percent of the Web, which was only half the

size that it is now.

For the February, 1999, study, the two scientists hammered out a new

methodology: after tracking IP addresses, they calculated the number

of public (non-Intranet) webservers: 2.8 million. Then they crawled

all the pages on a random sampling of servers, estimated the number

of pages per server, and multiplied that by the number of servers.

At the same time the scientists were coming up with a figure for its

size, a portrait of the Web began to emerge. They noticed that approximately

85 percent of the Web is devoted to commercial use; 6 percent to scientific/educational

materials; 3 percent to health; the remainder to community and government-related

materials.

Then the scientists queried the major search engines: AltaVista, EuroSeek,

Excite, Google, HotBot, Infoseek, Lycos, Microsoft, Northern Light,

Snap, and Yahoo. An important point: they only counted documents that

included the exact terms of the query, not "morphological"

or related terms. To do otherwise, says Lawrence would prevent an

accurate comparison, as "relevance" is very subjective.

As the results came in, Lee and Giles discovered that search engines

are inherently biased towards sites that have more links, "popular"

sites; this automatically excludes both new material and the bulk

of scientific and educational material. At 16 percent coverage, Northern

Light (http://www.northernlight.com) emerged as the most thorough

search engine, having substantially increased its coverage since 1997.

Infoseek (http://www.infoseek.com), however, indexed more random

sites, indicating perhaps that it indexed the Web more broadly: more

sites, not just more pages per site.

Given the limitations of search engines, Lawrence offers the following

tips for getting the best results to a query:

For well-known information, says Lawrence, Google and

DirectHit are useful. "They use popularity information in their

ranking," he says, so pages with more links will get higher ranking.

For harder to find or relatively new information, Lawrence

recommends engines like Northern Light, Snap, Altavista, and HotBot.

Repeat the search on different engines or use a multiple

search engine such as MetaCrawler. Since there is relatively little

overlap between engines, a search that employs several engines scours

roughly 40 percent of the Web.

Use more specific queries: keywords within the title or

URL, documents from a certain date range or geographic area, documents

with specific phrases rather than single terms, etc. Excite uses concept-based

clustering and Infoseek uses morphology; both will return documents

with related words.

In spite of all the hype, the Web may be one of the worst places

to turn for serious research. As Lawrence and Giles proved, a disproportionately

low number of scientific and educational material is retrieved by

search engines. If the promise of the Web depends on the equal availability

of information, then it has failed, say Lawrence and Giles: delayed

indexing of research could lead to the duplication of work and a skewed

information that impacts how social and political decisions are made.

There is no doubt that the Web is changing society; but is it enlightening

us?

Top Of Page
World Wide Freebies: Sol Libes

It is still possible to stake a flag on your own piece

of cyber-territory for free, says Sol Libes of the Princeton

PC Users Group. He is currently putting together a list of webservers,

community groups, and E-mail services that are free on the Web, and

will introduce amateur Web-users to secrets for "Creating a Personal

Web Page" on Monday, July 19, at 6:30 p.m. at the Lawrenceville

Library. The seminar is free. Call 908-281-3107.

In the meantime, Libes hand-picked some bargain Internet services

for U.S. 1 readers:

Free Web Servers: Geocities is still the most popular

web server, with 2.1 million users, but Homestead (http://www.homestead.com)

was rated best by PC magazine. It has an extensive image library,

and offers templates, an editor and a Wizard.

Libes suggests using a server that has extensions for PageMill and

Microsoft Frontpage, such as Tripod (http:/www.tripod.com).

This allows you to create forms on your site without having to write

script.

Free On-line Club/Community Servers: Deja Communities

(http:www.dejanews.com/clist.xp) offers a discussion area, news,

whiteboard, and your own URL; eGroups (http://www.egroups.com)

allows you to build a personal and group calendar and link to messages;

Excite Communities (http://www.excite.com/communities/directory)

has a photo book, contact list, forum, shared calendar, chatroom,

and file sharing.

Free Internet Access and Free E-mail: Net Zero (http://www.netzero.com)

works with any browser (i.e. Netscape) and any E-mail software (i.e.

Eudora), whereas Juno (http://www.juno.com), which offers

free basic E-mail with Internet services ($19.95 per month) requires

the use of proprietary software. Freeweb (http://www.freeweb.com)

provides full Internet access for a one-time charge of $119.

— Melinda Sherwood

Top Of Page
For Eastwind, New Destinations

To a handful of low-cost flights, airlines at Trenton-Mercer

Airport have added two destinations — St. Petersburg/Clearwater,

Florida, and Norfolk, Virginia.

Eastwind Airlines has added a daily roundtrip to St. Petersburg/Clearwater

Florida to its Florida destinations, and ShuttleAmerica has started

going to Norfolk.

An Eastwind Boeing 737 leaves Trenton-Mercer Airport at 7:05 a.m.

and stops in Greensboro, North Carolina, and Orlando, Florida, before

landing in St. Petersburg at 1:15 p.m. St. Petersburg is near Tampa.

The return trip leaves Florida at 1:45 a.m. and lands in Ewing at

7:15 p.m. One-way fares are as low as $59 and $79 with advance purchase.

Eastwind also has kept one flight to Boston, leaving Ewing at 7:50

a.m., arriving at 9 a.m.. It returns at 6:15 p.m., arriving in Trenton

at 7:25 p.m.

ShuttleAmerica was scheduled to start Norfolk flights on Tuesday,

July 13, leaving at 11:30 a.m. and arriving at 12:40 p.m. The return

is at 1:05 p.m.

Shuttle America’s Buffalo destination is apparently going well; it

now has three flights on weekdays, two on weekends. Weekday planes

to Buffalo now leave at 7:15 a.m., 2:35 p.m., and 6:10 p.m. for the

75-minute trip. Return trips are at 9:55 a.m. and 3:45 and 7:45 p.m.

Mostly for the benefit of those transferring from Boston or Buffalo,

ShuttleAmerica also has added a daily flight from Trenton to Wilmington,

Delaware. It leaves at 9:15 a.m. with returns at 6:30 a.m. and 5:20

p.m.

For Eastwind, call 800-644-3592 (http://www.eastwindairlines.com).

For Shuttle America, call 860-386-4200 or http://www.shuttleamerica.com.

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

<B>J. Seward Johnson Sr. Charitable Trust has made

a $20,000 donation to HiTOPS (Health Interested Teens’ Own Program

on Sexuality) for its core program, educational outreach and clinical

care for teenagers.

Comcast’s New Jersey cable systems was awarded the 1999

Media Award by the New Jersey affiliate of the Literacy Volunteers

of America (LVA). Over the past year, Comcast’s New Jersey cable systems

have contributed more than $12,000 in grants to LVA’s community affiliates

around the state.

The Princeton Regional Scholarship Foundation has announced

first year college scholarship awards to 16 graduates of Princeton

Regional High School for study at 14 colleges this fall. The foundation

funds its awards from current contributions through an annual direct

mail campaign and from limited endowment income.

The 1998-’99 campaign, the most successful in more than a decade and

augmented by generous local foundation and corporate gifts, marked

the first step in the Foundation’s attempt to endow a larger number

of scholarships. Individuals or institutions interested in working

with or contributing to the foundation may contact Judy Leopold

at 609-924-7398.

Top Of Page
Donate Please

Calling all paving contractors, calling nearly everybody

else in the construction business. The New Jersey Alliance for Action,

the 25-year-old statewide nonpartisan nonprofit that concerns itself

with infrastructure and economic development, solicits ads for the

program book for its 25th anniversary celebration. It will be Wednesday,

October 20, at 5:30 p.m. at the New Brunswick Hyatt. The ads range

from $400 to $700, and the dinner costs $200. Call 732-225-1180.

The alliance seeks to help local organizations find state and federal

financing, permitting, and regulatory approvals for various projects.

The list of alliance members tells the story: contractors of all kinds,

engineers, materials dealers, trades, and various chambers of commerce.

For instance, everyone connected with roads is a member, from the

asphalt pavers and the crushed stone association to the mixed concrete

association and the American Concrete Institute.

All those who attend the dinner will get a copy of a history of the

alliance written by Muriel Smith and see an NJN documentary

on the group.

The New Jersey Builders Association (NJBA) is seeking

sponsors for door prizes for its 12th annual golf outing on Monday,

July 26. The event at Forsgate Country Club is almost sold out with

golfers registered from many of the leading building industry companies

in New Jersey.

"Restaurant dinners, sets of golf clubs, golf foursomes, and vacation

getaways are some of the items we would like for door prizes,"

says Bill Stapleton of the Cranbury-based Matrix Development

Group, one of the golf committee co-chairs. To donate, call Maritza

McGhee at 609-587-5577.

Top Of Page
Waterfront Networking

Bring a company T-shirt or product to the door of the

Trenton Thunder Networking Dinner, scheduled for Tuesday, July 27,

at 6 p.m, and your company will be eligible for promotional consideration

by New Jersey’s Communication and Marketing Association (CAMA). Donate

a door prize, and your business will be entered into a drawing. There

are still plenty of tickets available through CAMA for the Trenton

Thunder vs. Binghamton Mets game. Contact Heidi Rossi at 609-734-5050.

Cost: $45.


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