Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For August 21, 2011

Percentage of Americans who agree that getting hooked on good habits starts with making smarter choices in life, according to a survey conducted by ORC International on behalf of Nestle Waters North America Inc.: 97

Percentage who say they find it easier to break a bad habit when they can replace it with a good one: 88

Source: Opinion Research Corp.

Percentage of large organizations that make minimal or no effort to identify high-performing employees, according to a survey of senior managers and executives conducted by AMA Enterprise: 27

Percentage of managers who described their organization's efforts to identify high potentials as mostly informal: 44

Percentage who described them as a combination of informal and systematic: 42

Source: AMA Enterprise.

Percentage of Americans who report having less respect for someone who smokes, according to a Gallup Poll: 25

Percentage who say they have less respect for a person who is overweight: 12

Percentage of U.S. smokers who now agree that smoking is "very harmful" to adults who smoke, tying the highest percentage who have ever said so: 67

Percentage of Americans who agree that secondhand smoke is very harmful: 54

Source: Gallup.

Projected amount of money that families with children in grades K to 12 will spend on clothes, school supplies and electronics compared with $606.40 last year, according to findings from a National Retail Federation survey: $603.63

Percentage of parents who said the economy is forcing them to shop smarter -- that they will be scouring bedroom closets and desks to take stock of what their children already have before making any purchase decisions: 43.7

Estimated amount of money back-to-school and back-to-college sales combined will reach: $68 billion

Source: National Retail Federation.

Although Congress and President Obama have agreed to raise the debt ceiling, percentage of Americans who say that the debt ceiling debate has made them feel less confident in the economy, according to the August RBC Consumer Outlook Index: 54

Percentage who say that it has made them less confident in their own finances and investments: 42

Percentage of Americans who say the U.S. is on the wrong path: 76

Source: Ipsos Public Affairs.

Percentage of young Americans age 18 to 29 who either have delayed or will delay a major life change or purchase due the economic factors, according to a poll by Generation Opportunity: 77

Percentage who will delay buying a home: 44

Percentage who will delay saving for retirement: 28

Source: Generation Opportunity.

Percentage of adults who own a mobile phone, according to research from Experian Simmons: 90

Percentage of teens who own a mobile phone: 70

Percentage of kids who own a mobile phone: 20

Percentage of cellphone owners today who believe their phone will be the primary device for their entertainment needs in the future: 29

Source: Experian Public Relations.

Estimated decline in the number of nonemployer businesses -- those without paid employees; often including real estate agents, beauticians and construction contractors -- between 2008 and 2009, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau: 260,000

Ranks of Texas (8,260), Georgia (3,336), Louisiana (1,871) and the District of Columbia (462) on the list of states that added the most nonemployer firms between 2008 and 2009: 1, 2, 3, 4

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Estimated amount of traditional TV that women watch per month more than men, though men consistently spend more time streaming video online, according to the Nielsen Cross-Platform Report: 16 hours

Rank of Asians on the list of leaders in time spent watching video on the Internet, averaging six-plus hours more per month than whites, and nearly four hours more per month than the next closest ethnic group -- Hispanics: 1

Source: Nielsen/NetRatings.

Number of times more effective that senior leaders who coach, develop and hold others accountable for coaching and development are at producing improved business and talent results, according to research from Bersin and Associates: 3

Percentage of senior leaders who actively coach on a regular basis: 11

Source: Bersin and Associates.

Idle Thought

"It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare." -- Mark Twain, author and humorist

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)bwr.eastlink.ca.)