An infographic showing the top 15 countries that took part in 2014’s series of clean-ups and highlighting some of the more peculiar items found either adrift at sea or on one of the planet’s many coastlines. Click image to enlarge. (Images: ICC 2015 report)Mathiba MolefeAbout 2 720 cigarette butts, 15 488 food wrappers and just over 71 000 items in total were collected by the South African volunteers during Ocean Conservancy’s series of clean-ups in 2014. Just under 12 000 kilograms of rubbish was collected along 133 kilometres of shoreline – an average of 90.22kg per kilometre.The sheer amount of waste strewn along South Africa’s coastlines and river banks has been cause for alarm for some of the country’s marine and freshwater conservationists and has led to various bodies such as Plastics South Africa and Nampak committing to playing an active role in mitigating the impact of their products on marine biology.Their efforts are compounded by those of Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit environmental advocacy group based in Washington DC.Human rubbish has a devastating effect on ocean ecosystems. Sea birds, for example, often mistake small pieces of floating plastic, such as bottle tops, for food. The indigestible material then accumulates in their stomachs, slowly starving the birds. The result has been graphically documented by photographer Chris Jordan.Watch a short film by photographer Chris Jordan and the MidWay Film team documenting the effect marine pollution has on the delicate balance of nature:Each year for the past 29 years, hundreds of thousands of volunteers all over the world have taken time out of their day-to-day lives to head to the nearest body of water and take part in Ocean Conservancy’s global effort to remove rubbish from the planet’s coastlines and major waterways to root out the sources of the massive amount of debris that finds its way into our oceans every day.According to the conservancy’s 2015 report, in 2014 more than 7 million kilograms or 7 000 metric tons of waste were collected from the beaches and waterways of the 91 countries involved in the clean-up. Leading the pack in terms of the sheer weight of the waste collected was the USA, where volunteers picked up just under 1.9 million kilograms of rubbish from some 29 000 kilometres shoreline. This is an average of 65.5kg per kilometre.A few fascinating insights into the volume of garbage collected – and the scale of the volunteers’ global efforts. Click image for a larger view.The drive to preserve the integrity of the planet’s oceans and waterways received huge buy-in from all over the world in 2014. More than 560 000 volunteers covered a distance equivalent to 2.5 times the total length of the Great Wall of China or 509 marathons.Ocean Conservancy chief executive officer Andreas Merkl said he was thoroughly impressed by the collective effort spanning nearly three decades, making it “the largest of its kind on the planet”.“I am deeply appreciative of the men, women and children who dedicate their time to remove unsightly and dangerous trash from the ocean and the rivers, lakes and streams that flow into it, especially the 150 country and state who delivered more than 5 500 clean-ups in 2014 alone.”He also expressed his gratitude towards all of the governmental agencies, foundations and corporations that provided the funding the organisation needed to “pull off” a global clean-up of this magnitude.Estimated at more than 1.5 million pieces measuring less than 2.5cm, plastic outnumbered any other type of material collected during the year’s efforts. Foam pieces numbered just over 1.25 million and glass about 0.55 million pieces collected globally.In terms of items picked up, cigarette butts were by far the most common, with more than 2.2 million of them collected globally, almost twice as many as the second most common item, food wrappers, which numbered just under 1.4 million.According to a recent study performed by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, between five and twelve metric tons of plastics enter the ocean from inland sources.The top ten items collected globally during 2014, according to Ocean Conservancy’s 2015 report, were:Cigarette butts – 2 248 065Food wrappers – 1 376 133Plastic bottles – 988 965Plastic bottle caps – 811 871Straws and stirrers – 519 911Plastic bags e.g. bread packets – 489 968Grocery bags – 485 204Glass bottles – 396 121Beverage cans – 382 608Plastic crockery – 376 479
Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Selling well now is more difficult than ever. And we in sales aren’t taking the right actions to match this new reality. Instead of doing the work that will lead to improvement, we bounce from one shiny new object to the next shiny object, always believing the next will be “the one.”The next shiny object is no better than the last. It’s wasted time and wasted effort. If you want to improve your sales, you must avoid the new shiny object and focus on improving the salesperson.Magic BulletsThere is a never-ending search for the magic bullet, the one thing that is going to improve sales without requiring the hard work that the task really requires. Something must be broken. And something has got change.So instead of executing the sales process we know works, we buy and install the new sales process, never recognizing that it isn’t the method that needs to be improved. The process is broken because we pay only lip service to the process and its use.Instead of using the existing sales force automation, we install a new system or bolt on some additional functionality that is supposed to make improvements. We can’t be bothered with the fact that our salespeople don’t have real, value-creating relationships with their entries in the sales force automation. I’d call those entries relationships but that would be a serious exaggeration in a lot of cases.The list goes on and on, but all too rarely does our commitment include the one thing that will improve our results. Instead, we search and search for the magic bullet. And while some bullets seem to have magical properties, none of them produces the results that we hoped for. There is no bullet with that much magic.Avoiding the DifficultWe are trying to find ways to prevent the sales force from having to do what is difficult. We are trying to supplement the sales force in ways that will allow the least successful to accomplish the complex and complicated task of professional sales. It doesn’t work. There is no way to save them. They can’t succeed without doing what is both difficult and necessary.And we are letting ourselves off the hook too. It’s difficult to build real salespeople. If you are in sales, it’s difficult to build yourself into what you must become. Instead of doing the work of building a deep competency in the fundamentals, we try to find ways to avoid that work. Instead of teaching salespeople how to create value during their prospecting efforts, we allow them to avoid prospecting and tell them that they can rely on social selling alone, email campaigns, or inbound marketing.Instead of helping them develop the business acumen they need to create value, we offer them marketing material. Instead of teaching them to build consensus, we offer them some new shiny object in hope of ensnaring a client.Too Little Focus on FundamentalsIt’s time to stop searching for shiny new objects. It’s a waste of your time. It’s a waste of the salesperson’s time. More still, it’s a waste of your client’s time.It’s time to stop believing that there is a magic bullet. There isn’t a magic bullet, and no one is coming to rescue you.The time to do the real work of sales is long, long overdue. If you are honest, you know that this is true.Improvement is found in disciplined execution of the fundamentals.The single biggest factor in winning new opportunities is the person sitting across from your dream client. The salesperson and her abilities to create value for the client count for more than any of the new tools, any of the new processes, or any remedy you find printed in some journal. That salesperson’s ability—and willingness—to execute the fundamentals of good salesmanship are the difference between the results you want and the results you are producing right now.And improving and developing the salesperson is the single most difficult task you are charged with, whether you are a front line sales manager, or whether you yourself are that salesperson. That execution is found in coaching salespeople, not in managing salespeople. That improvement is found in teaching, training, and developing salespeople to be effective salespeople.Yes, the new objects are shiny. But that shine is only a distraction from what you really need to do to improve your sales.QuestionsWhy do shiny objects so easily seduce us?Why do we desperately need to believe there are easy answers to difficult tasks?Would you rather be a poor salesperson with great tools or a great salesperson with poor tools? How do you improve yourself?Would you rather have a sales force made up of C-players but well equipped or a poorly equipped sales force made up of A-players and those striving to become A-players?
While maintaining that that there is no scope for “confrontation in a healthy democracy”, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that the Centre is expecting cooperation from the West Bengal government.During his visit to Kolkata, Mr. Singh, who interacted with party workers and journalists, was careful to avoid any direct criticism of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her government.Asked to comment on the law and order situation in the State as highlighted by several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, Mr. Singh said that law and order is a State subject.“The Centre will extend all help to control any kind of violence but it is for the State government to ensure that law and order is maintained,” Mr. Singh said.