Doing Business in a World with Fake News and Alternative Facts

  5/3/17    Posted in Business Consulting IT Consulting News
VALiNTRY's VALUES combat dishonesty and build trust

As America rewrites its political playbook, we are alternately bemused and alarmed by the way in which phrases like Fake News and Alternative Facts have jumped into our jargon. And by the widespread acceptance they are gaining,

Savvy business leaders have long noted that the idea of telling the same mistaken story over and over will make it so or manipulating facts to fit a particular position aren’t confined to the political arena.

Bernie Madoff peddled fake news.  Brian Williams altered facts as he wrote and spoke about his journalistic exploits.  Their transgressions were high profile and captured national attention, but represent only the tip of the fact-fudging iceberg that drifts through the corporate environment, mostly relating to the educational accomplishments of individuals.  Consider these examples:

  • Sandra Baldwin, former president and chairman of the U. S. Olympic Committee. According to a New York Times report she claimed for years to hold a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado and a doctorate from Arizona State. When a student was assigned to interview her for an alumni publication, it turned out her bachelor’s came from Arizona State after she had studied only three years at Colorado, and she never got around to finishing her doctoral dissertation.
  • One of Yahoo’s past CEOs, Scott Thompson, provided a resume when appointed in January, 2012 that showed degrees in accounting and computer science from Stonehill College. A hedge fund shareholder investigated Thompson’s background and found he had a degree only in accounting – not computer science.  By May, 2012, Thompson was gone.
  • In 2007, 28 years after MIT had appointed Marilee Jones its dean of admissions, the venerable institution discovered that not only had she not earned the undergraduate or master’s degrees she had claimed, but never received any college degree at all. Jones admitted the deception and resigned, explaining that she “did not have the courage” to correct her resume when she applied for the job she held for nearly three decades.

The business world takes very seriously false claims of educational achievement, even though there seems to be little evidence, as is the case of Marilee Jones, that lack of any degree is an automatic deterrent to success.  Rather, the instances uncovered suggested, as the hedge fund manager who blew the whistle on Yahoo’s CEO Scott wrote Yahoo’s Board, that claiming credentials relevant to one’s position “1) undermines his credibility as a technology expert and 2) reflects poorly on the character of the CEO who has been tasked with leading Yahoo! at this critical juncture.”

Each incident of this kind requires thought and action from the employee involved and from the management structure – from Board member to immediate supervisors – as to the resolution that best serves the individual and the organization.  The literature is replete with instances where a management or Board decided to keep a key employee even after word of resume inflation had become public. Jeffery Papows, for example, president of IBM’s Lotus, fibbed about his academic and military background.  He claimed to have been a military pilot but was actually an air traffic controller. He said he was a Captain in the Marines when military records showed he was a Second Lieutenant. He cited a doctorate from Pepperdine that had really been issued by an unaccredited correspondence school, according to reporting by ZDNet.  He kept his job, though later resigned after being named in a sexual discrimination complaint.  Other CEOs and key employees have remained in their positions successfully, with some foregoing bonuses or making payments to the employer as punishment.

Like MIT, which took 28 years to verify resume claims, time is challenge for businesses of all types in assuring prospective employees are who and what they claim.  A CareerBuilder survey of 2,188 human resource professionals found that more and more people are lying on their resumes today. It’s not hard to identify some of the exaggerations, like the candidate who claimed 25 years’ experience at age 32 or who filed two applications for the same position, listing different work histories on each.  But other, especially older claims, are hard to verify and chew up large blocks of time, which is why some errors and more inflations slip through.

VALiNTRY Values

This is where the inverted organization structure of VALiNTRY – putting others before ourselves – becomes important.  Our goal is to be counted among those companies that put their customers first by empowering their front-line employees to deliver extraordinary service and unparalleled experience.  It may be why, because we are focused on your field, there may be both financial and security value in drawing from employment or staffing candidates whose aspirations and experience we can match closely with your current needs and longer range plans.

People service ranks high among VALiNTRY’s Values – we don’t deal in cookie cutters or cattle calls – we are dedicated to enriching and serving our clients, our employees and one another.  We were founded in 2013 by staffing industry veterans to provide consulting services throughout the United States.  VALiNTRY’s 100% U. S. based recruitment team is changing the game in IT, Healthcare, Marketing, Finance/Accounting and CPA contracting and consulting.   We’ve been living our dedication in a way that has led to our growth to three offices, in Orlando, Nashville and Dallas, staffed by members of a single team sharing the same values, vision, and real life experience.

Here is how we state our core values, each preceded by the typographical sign that reflects our commitment to placing our clients and consultants/contractors before ourselves, with management at the bottom of the priority list:

 

  • People Service – enriching and serving our clients, our employees and one another.
  • Accountability – being accountable and responsible to commitments and results.
  • Teamwork – working together to support our team for the greater good.
  • Honesty and Integrity – doing the right things the right way.
  • Innovation — pushing beyond our comfort zones to seek new solutions for ourselves/clients.
  • Transparency – always sharing the “why” and the ”outcomes” of things we do.

 

If our VALUES align with yours, we’d like to talk to you. Call VALiNTRY now at 800-360-1407 or contact us here.

Mapping the Internet

  2/26/16    Posted in News
Map of the Internet by the Opte Project and Barrett Lyon - Used by permission

Today, everyone takes the Internet for granted. It has been a part of our culture since the late 1950s, although it didn’t truly become widely used until the 1980s. Now, it’s become rather mundane to most people, although if we look carefully at the structure of the Internet it’s anything but simple.

Beginning with ARPNET in 1959, the concept of digitally communicating quickly grew. In the late 1980s, the Internet as we know it today was made commercially available. While looking back at dial-up networks evokes memories of long waits for information to be transmitted, the groundwork was in place, and improved methodologies quickly made the movement of vast quantities of information more convenient.

Networks Grew to Cover the Planet

As the Internet became increasingly accessible to more and more people, rapid communications between anyone located virtually anywhere in the world became possible. That ability to communicate and collaborate with others systemically altered our environment. Today, businesses, governments, various organizations, and individuals have access to sources and quantities of information that would have seemed impossible in the 1970s. But, how does that system really work?

It’s Difficult to Visualize the Internet

The vastness of the Internet as we know it today is hard to describe and even harder to visualize for most people. That’s where Barrett Lyon and the Opte Project enter the picture. The name is derived from the Greek word opt(ós), meaning seen or visible. Lyon sought to develop a visual representation of the Internet to assist others in their quests to understand what the Internet represents and how it has grown and changed.

While the Opte Project began in 2003, the principles involved are still relevant. Even though Internet usage has expanded exponentially since the project began, the nature of the map makes it possible to see how Internet usage is evolving.

Mapping the Internet is Relevant Today and Will Be in the Future

Lyon’s mapping idea provides a wealth of information that is useful as we seek ways to better understand not only the Internet, but our world as well. In addition to being a work of art, a map of the Internet provides a great deal of useful information for scholars, governments, and even aid organizations.

Any map of the Internet is, by its very nature, fluid. As the Internet’s use expands, it’s relatively easy to follow the changes. Networks expand as more people around the globe gain the ability to connect. The brightest area of the map, of course, represent areas where use is the heaviest today. Of course, the map changes dramatically as once-isolated people gain access. As use in any area grows, the network map makes it possible for viewers to see the patterns develop.

Conversely, any negative changes in use will also be relatively simple to visualize. That means, for example, when Internet use is curtailed due to wars, the results are quickly seen. The conflict in Syria, for example, would be visible as network infrastructure is damaged and Internet access is limited.

When natural disasters hit, it’s also easy to see the consequences as the map’s configuration will quickly be altered to reflect the loss of communication after a disaster. As a region recovers and communication capabilities are restored, the network map will reflect those changes as well.

On another level, Lyon’s creation is a constantly evolving work of art. The colors, patterns, and ever-changing content mean the map of the Internet is an amazing artistic creation that continues to enchant people who monitor it.

There are other interesting aspects of the map as well. Since the map represents the growth of the Internet and allows viewers to actually picture how the network works, it’s interesting to point out a metaphor the map also represents.

Today, We are One

When we look carefully at how intertwined our relationships with the world have changed, the importance of relationships becomes apparent.  We don’t live in isolation anymore. Events that impact one region are quickly felt around the world. The intricacies of the Internet demonstrate how closely we are related to everyone, no matter where they are located.

While an individual line included in the map may appear inconsequential, a closer examination will demonstrate that line is, indeed, connected to other lines, eventually reaching any location in the network. We are not alone. Indeed, the small bright spot representing our point on the map is connected to all the other points, whether they be small pinpoints of light or one of those omnipresent bright areas. That means we all have the ability to collaborate and make the world a better place.

Working Together, We Can Achieve More

With the vast resources available online, we can find ways to affect positive changes in the world around us. Working together, we can find better ways to improve healthcare around the world, but also in our own backyards.

Businesses can, and should, take advantage of the opportunities presented by Lyon’s map. Doing so can not only make them more successful, it provides a path to understanding how we fit into the big picture and how our efforts benefit the whole.

We’re all part of the big picture, and how we choose to see ourselves in that big picture shows the rest of the world what our true priorities are. Just like Lyon’s map of the Internet, we’re part of something much larger, and we have the ability to enhance our networks.

 

At VALINTRY, we understand that collectively we are stronger than if we choose to operate alone. We value our relationships and are always seeking ways to improve how our team interacts with those impacted by our organization. Collaborating to find better ways to solve problems allows us and our clients to take advantage of more of those pinpoints of light that may well hold the solutions we need to make the world a better place.

Lyon’s work dramatically presents us with a map of the Internet, but it also demonstrates how we’re all interconnected in other ways as well. When we recognize the importance of relationships, we’re all better able to achieve higher goals that positively impact those around us.

Staffing & Consulting Firm Valintry Named a Best Place to Work

  7/17/15    Posted in News
Orlando Business Journal Valintry Best Places to Work 2015

Orlando Business Journal’s Best Places to Work awards for small-business category highlight Valintry’s innovative, supportive organizational structure and work environment.

Valintry, a top IT, Finance & Accounting Staffing and Consulting company, was named one of the Orlando Business Journal’s top 5 “Best Places to Work” in the small business category. Drawing on over 8000 anonymous responses to an online survey administered by independent research firm Quantum Workplace, the awards committee looked into 37 different measures of employee engagement, satisfaction, and career development. The youngest business of all to feature in the final list, Valintry beat out thousands of other Central Florida employers with between 10 and 49 employees, compiling an impressive overall performance score of 97.59% that landed it in the top five.

“We’re truly proud of our inverted organizational structure that frees our amazing employees to do great work while the leadership team provides support,” Valintry President Joe Parris stated, “We think the success of this model is evident in the Orlando Business Journal’s best small companies to work for top 5 placement. We’re excited to be recognized as such a great place for talented people to thrive, and are deeply committed to further cultivation, growth and expansion of this unique work environment.”

Established by a team of longtime technology, staffing, and marketing experts in 2013, Valintry has grown at an extraordinary rate of speed on its way to becoming one of the nation’s top finance and IT Staffing firms. With an ever-growing, industry-leading, relevant database of highly qualified candidates and a focus on finding people solutions for the most challenging finance, accounting, and IT Jobs, Valintry has become an invaluable partner for organizations around the country.

The reason for the company’s success has been an innovative organizational structure that focuses on empowering expert employees to best to support Valintry clients. Deeply aware of the problems associated with ridged and frequently inflexible, top-heavy competitors who generally share the staffing and consulting space, the company’s founders insisted on an alternative arrangement that has contributed greatly to its success and rapid growth.

Compiled through the hard work of Orlando Business Journal Research Center Director Denise Hicks, the 2015 Small Business Best Places to Work awards reflect the most intensive study into the employment environment in this important region of the country, Central Florida. As a top Orlando IT Consulting and staffing company, Valintry is proud to be able to offer such a rewarding work environment for area employees.

About Valintry
Leveraging the industry’s most extensive database to offer up the best candidates for the most demanding IT, finance, and accounting openings nationwide, Valintry puts its clients and consultants first, leading to more responsive and effective staff augmentation service that anticipates the evolving needs of customers.

Database of Technology Consultants Exceeds 100k

  3/7/15    Posted in News

(Winter Park, FL) – As employers search for more flexible solutions for completing their Information technology projects on-time and on budget, they have turned to outside consultants and contract labor. Valintry Services has positioned itself to be an industry leader. “In fact, we are proud to announce our database of technology consultants to source talent has exceeded 100,000 professionals in less than six months,” said Brent Healy, Vice President of Valintry Services, based in Winter Park, FL. Read More