Category Archives: Uncategorized

Will Electronic Voting Improve or Hamper an Already Fragile Process?

Tablets, phones, and mobile devices are everywhere. We use them to read, take notes, and even place orders at restaurants. Their portability and ease-of-use have helped them become a vital part of everyday processes in the private sector. And while the public sector has traditionally been slower to implement new technologies, the convenience of mobile devices has spurred government agencies into readily adopting them. The corresponding increase in efficiency and transparency has even led to public agencies incorporating mobile technology into council, board, and committee meetings; making it easier to record minutes, disperse agendas, and share information. But could the same technology be used for voting? Read more >

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The Problem of Advanced Artificial Intelligence

The concept of artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for decades with people pondering its philosophical implications the entire time. From the stories of Isaac Asimov in the 50s to modern television series like Westworld, humanity seems obsessed with both the potential and danger associated with sentient technology. And, unlike the prospect of flying cars, the discussion over AI is now more relevant than ever.

There are two primary camps in the debate over AI: the pessimists and optimists, which can be represented by folks like former presidential candidate Andrew Yang or MIT research scientist Lex Fridman respectively. Yang recently brought the idea of automation displacing American workers in the trucking industry into the national spotlight. Read more >

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Stand Up for Your Heart

Things we know for certain: One, February is National Heart Month; and two, most of our clients do a lot of sitting at their desks; so it makes sense to take a break from our list of blog stories about technology, accounting, and government management and instead focus on the two things that will affect all our clients at some point—their hearts and health.

The baby boomer generation is the first generation of workers who will likely spend most of their day sitting. As we moved from an industrial era to a technological one, many laborious jobs were replaced by desk jobs, putting many workers in front of a typewriter, or computer for most of their working career. Read more >

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Signs of a High-Efficiency Worker

If doing the right things is considered to be effectiveness, then doing things right is essentially being efficient. To be efficient at your job is different than being effective at your job. They do go hand in hand—efficiency can lead to effectiveness—but effectiveness alone cannot create efficiency.

Retaining a sustainable job means being able to perform both efficiently and effectively; an employee who is just one or neither is more expendable than an employee who is both. Because
high-efficiency workers are able to effectively complete tasks in the most efficient way possible, upping your efficiency factor to increase your overall effectiveness is a great place to put focus and become an invaluable team member. Read more >

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Goal Setting by Month for a Better and Balanced Work Year

How was 2018 for you? Did you accomplish all you wanted to accomplish? Did you do everything you hoped you would do? Were you able to strike a balance between work and relaxation?

How the previous year went plays a large role in determining how we execute our goals and resolutions for the year to come. If portions of your work life left you feeling the need for a little more organization and fun in 2019, here are a few monthly suggestions to spark some enthusiasm in your goal planning for the New Year.

Month-By-Month Goal Setting for a Better and Balanced Work Year

January
Set work and personal goals for the New Year. When it’s cold outside, and you’re hunkered inside, new goals can create a great positive diversion to the weather. Read more >

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8 Signs You Are Close to Retirement

There is a rapidly aging demographic in the workforce, and city clerks are no exception. In fact, when we surveyed the 700 City Clerk Café members in 2013 to find out more about them, a staggering 80 percent were over the age of 40.

With retirement looming for many city clerks, and retirement planning for the future on the minds of the remaining city clerks, it seems relevant and timely to discuss what being “ready” for retirement actually means. So, we’ve put together a list of eight signs that could mean your days basking in the sun under a palm tree are nearing. Read more >

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Five Fall-Inspired Alternatives to Drip Coffee

It’s the season of change and while we often don’t think twice before changing out our sandals for boots, or sunglasses for gloves, we don’t often think about changing up our in-office routine for something a bit more festive.

The proof is in the pudding (or at least, in your coffee cup)! Think about it…how often do you make a run for that same pot of office coffee without even thinking about sprucing up your caffeine routine for something a little tastier?

So, if your tongue is begging for a seasonal update to that black cup of Joe, consider these fall alternatives to your drip coffee—no trip to Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte required! Read more >

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Small Town Story: West Fargo, ND

Black Mountain Software is proud to have been working with the city of West Fargo since October of 2003, and we are all amazed that in the last fifteen years it has become one of the fastest growing and vibrant areas in all of North Dakota. While it’s easy to write off the state as nothing but icy winters, farmland, and the occasional woodchipper, West Fargo (and the greater Fargo-Moorehead metropolitan area for that matter) prove that North Dakota is not only a great place to visit, but also call home.

While just about every town has a historical district, West Fargo’s Bonanzaville hosts a pioneer village and Cass County Museum on twelve sprawling acres with dozens of historic buildings and thousands of artifacts that capture the spirit and charm of Red River Valley and Cass County at large. Read more >

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Some of The Best Places in Montana to Visit

Anyone that knows Black Mountain Software knows we are pretty darn proud of where we come from! Heck, even our name was inspired by our Montana surroundings!

With an office in Polson and handfuls of clients who also share this great state, we thought we’d take a moment to talk about some of our favorite places in Montana. So, if you are lucky enough to live here, maybe we will spark an idea for an adventure. If not, maybe we’ll give you a reason to come visit. And if you do, don’t hesitate to stop by our “mansion on the hill” in Polson; a local landmark in itself. Read more >

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Five Reasons Work Breaks Are Important

John Lubbock, author of The Use of Life said, “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

Did he perhaps know something we do not?

As workdays grow longer, and the lines between work and home life continue to blur, the need for midday “me time” seems to be ignored. Taking a lunch is sometimes unheard of, so why would anyone take breaks?

While some may frown upon the 15 or 20 minute break from work, many believe breaks are key to continued concentration, focus, brain function, energy, calmness and creativity—all of which are essential to a productive and happy work environment. Read more >

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