03 April 2021

True Faith: Searching Together...

Who do you “Love and Trust” in your particular life? 

The older you become, the more you realize that these two feelings are the core foundation of so much of our lives.

Remember, it is clearly about “Who” you Love and “Who” you “Trust.”

When you care about someone that you Love and Trust, you will find a way to spend more time with them. In your mind and in your spirit.

You will experience the lessons of learning from your feelings of love or trust and caring for that special other.

"Continue your faith in caring for those you “Love and Trust.”

If you lose one or the other feeling, it will have an impact on you. The ultimate goal is to keep both.

Having “True Faith” in someone, requires both of these to find what you are really in search of together. 

As you navigate the opportunities and the challenges in your relationships within family, friends, working or community-based endeavors, think of where you place your "Faith."

Always remember Easter

27 March 2021

Spectrum of Trust: Life Long Journey…

How long has it been, since you saw that person you really like spending time with? You know, that person who makes you feel excited or makes your heart feel warm… when you finally meet-up again.

Your livelihood and your business is all about growing relationships over the course of your lifetime. What will you do this week or this month to enhance and grow one of your vital relationships? Personally or professionally.

How do you balance those who are new and just starting and the relationships you may have had for years or decades? It requires more discipline than you may realize.

What if you spend 90% of your available time on relationships that have existed for more than ten years? This leaves only 10% of your time working on meeting new people that could make all of the difference in your life.

Yet if you spend 90% of your days connecting with new people who may be new prospects, collaborators or friends, you will not be able to elevate your existing relationships to the next level of Trust.

The “Spectrum of Trust”

> Zero Trust >>> Trust Exists >>> Implicit Trust >

So beware of the fact that you may be spending too much time on one place on the spectrum each day, as this will have direct impacts on your life.

Building and maintaining healthy relationships is hard work. It is not just the time it takes to craft a thoughtful birthday card to a sister-in-law, or a welcome E-Mail letter to a new employee or business prospect.

Perhaps it is just an iPhone or FaceTime call, to have a 20 minute catch-up dialogue to hear each others voice or see each others face.

The far right end of the spectrum is where you do not even think about Trust anymore with your relationship. Maybe it’s someone you have known all of your life, or 30+ years. Trust is now implicit.

With the number of minutes being finite, every day of every hour, how do you allocate time to moving your relationships from Left to Right? How much time do you spend each week in an environment where there is only “Zero Trust”?

You see, humans and perhaps your favorite Dog or Cat exist as a result of the quality of relationships and your particular “Spectrum of Trust”.

Can you think of a time or a special incident that has occurred where this was true?

The ability to text out a quick sentence or two, to someone you care about in a “Direct Message” (DM) is sometimes all it takes. To let them know that you were thinking about them.

Thinking back on your life so far, do you think that you could improve on building better more trusted relationships?

How would you change your strategy on the “Spectrum of Trust”?

Wishing you the best on your life journey!

20 March 2021

Mission Leader: Independent Resilience...

What are you and your organization working on today, to become more independent? 

Definition of independent

(1) : not dependent: such as

   a (1) : not subject to control by others

(2) : not affiliated with a larger controlling unit

   b (1) : not requiring or relying on something else : not contingent

The Continuous Continuity of your endeavors may well be determined by how much you rely on others for your own survival.

When you or your organization becomes “Interdependent” on resources, or vital capabilities that ensure your survival, then you are increasing your exposure to becoming even more vulnerable.

“Continuous Continuity” requires a mind set that is Proactive, is full of awareness and is consistently asking “What if”?

As a leader in your small group, in your business unit or in your local County, what are you doing today to become even more resilient?

You see, it is your symbiosis and the “Interdependencies” with others, that may become your ultimate and true vulnerability to Operational Risk.

“Independent Thought Leadership” requires discipline and once you commit yourself, it means that you will now be on your way to a more resilient state of being, growing within your particular ecosystem of choice.

Where are you operating today? What is your role in the “Continuous Continuity” of your Life, your Family, your Business, your Faith and your Country?

Your future depends upon your ability to become more Resilient. How will you accomplish a strategy to assist others around you, so they also will become more independent?

What will you learn today to make you stronger, smarter or more clear in your mind about how to assist others?

How might you apply this new found skill or knowledge to your life, that will ensure your own longevity and your consistent personal satisfaction?

As an independent “Mission Leader” you too will become one additional resilient component in an environment of future risks. Here is what lies ahead of you:

The 16th edition of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report analyses the risks from societal fractures—manifested through persistent and emerging risks to human health, rising unemployment, widening digital divides, youth disillusionment, and geopolitical fragmentation. Businesses risk a disorderly shakeout which can exclude large cohorts of workers and companies from the markets of the future.

A “Mission Leader” then takes this knowledge onward to teach others. They apply what they have learned and accomplished, to share it with people they care about...

13 March 2021

Intellectual Capital Risk: The Shamrock Organization…

What is the economic value of the Intellectual Capital(IC) in your organization? Where can you find your most valuable IC assets? Are they in the vault? Are they in the database?

Or are they sitting at the MacBook Pro at home or in the office next door? How do you know what assets are the most precious to the continuous continuity of your business?

These questions and more are at the heart of every "Shamrock" organization.

 A Three-Leaf concept originally coined by the author Charles Handy in his classic 1990 book, The Age of Unreason:

The Core
One leaf of the shamrock represents the core. These are the founders and thought leaders of the organization along with the most qualified professionals or technicians. The core is a flat hierarchy compensated purely on the results of the entire entity.

The Contractual Fringe
The second leaf is known as the contractual fringe. This is both individuals and organizations who may have their own shamrocks. These are paid for results, not for time. In fees, not wages. This leaf provides the core with intellectual assets that are essential to the organization yet are independent or even former members of the core.

The Flexible Labor Force
The third leaf of the shamrock is known as the flexible labor force. This is the flexible labor force that the core utilizes in a just-in-time talent or labor basis. Their specialized skills are tied to the intellectual assets these individuals possess to be efficient and effective for a set time period. They are treated by the core as a valuable component but realize that they will never have the commitment or the ambition of the core. They get fair pay for their contract labor.

What is Intellectual Capital?

Now with our 2021 U.S. economy changing and adapting for decades from a production-oriented economy towards a significant software driven knowledge-oriented economy, your intangible assets are becoming more and more digital. To make better products, to deliver better services or to perform better, as a company in general we need to accelerate the origination and analysis of new found knowledge and know-how.

In that perspective, we could say that our new real knowledge originates from our minds into some form of data, that has now become the key predecessor of any physical labor and financial capital.

To make your company relevant and even more valuable, you will not only need the digital data, computers, and production facilities, ...... you will also need the innovation drivers that makes your company evolve beyond your own imagination.

These “Core” innovation drivers are your “People” with their know-how and experience, your designers of internal processes to guide the business flow and also the proactive interaction with your Alliances/Partners and your key customers.

Without these “Innovation Drivers”, your company wouldn't function at all and therefore, they are of tremendous "Capital" importance. This is your real "Intellectual Capital".

The volume and speed of new “Intellectual Capital” production in your organization will determine how you will perform in an accelerating global arena of competition.

It is the difference between our success and our failure.

"No matter how good the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or idea may be, without a consistent flow of new found Intellectual Capital, and the development of new tested prototypes, no outstanding and ground breaking results can be expected."
Now the question remains, how will you measure your organizational Intellectual Capital (IC)?

Without a way to measure it, how are you going to know what IC assets need to be managed and protected for the longevity and continuity of the business?

Where are they located? Which are most valuable? Who is the person or who are the people who own it?

People risk is one of the four major categories of Operational Risk Management.  How are you managing, measuring and protecting “Intellectual Capital” in your organization?

07 March 2021

Perseverance: The Journey Ahead of Us…

 

What raised you out of your “Rapid Eye Movement” (REM) sleep, on this particular day? You know, our time asleep when we experience our most vidid and emotional dreams.

Was it the anticipation of getting out the door into a place that is not only quiet, it is just a beautiful place to be. It is silent. It just takes your breath away, when you just admire the moment.

As human beings, not only do we need this time in our lives, it also inspires you to think and to imagine. Where will you journey today in your endeavors to achieve your dreams?

Why do you believe that the latest NASA mission to Mars, has named their Rover “Perseverance”?

“The rover’s mobility system is not the only thing getting a test drive during this period of initial checkouts. On Feb. 26 2021 – Perseverance’s eighth Martian day, or sol, since landing – mission controllers completed a software update, replacing the computer program that helped land Perseverance with one they will rely on to investigate the planet.” —NASA.gov/press-release

What will you do today, to achieve something of real value even despite difficulties, failure or opposition? Will you persevere today to follow your plan and continue your journey, towards that out of reach destination ahead of you?

Yet the real question is, are you capable of going beyond your dreams during REM?

Some people will stop because it is too hard. Others will give up because it takes too long. Many will never realize what our human happiness is really all about.

Yes, it is silent out here today and the air is very cold. The sun is bright against an azure sky. The only noise is the sound of the new fallen snow, beneath our skis. It is almost heaven.

When you are ready to discover real “Perseverance” in your life, consider a P3 Strategy:

> People

> Place(s)

> Program

The longest and most perilous journeys will require People you can really trust and someone you admire for their knowledge and skills that you do not possess yourself.

The Place you decide to operate together may be a workspace, a city, or even another foreign environment, so much different from your own.

The Program you have now embarked on is going to encounter setbacks. It is likely to feel so difficult at times. It will require your own “Perseverance”.

When will you know you have achieved your destination? You will feel it and even see it, the next time you fall into a very deep sleep…

Onward!

20 February 2021

Incident Response: Lessons Learned Once Again…

If you may be waking up in the U.S. “Lone Star” state this morning, you might realize that we are still working towards a more effective National Incident Management System (NIMS).

It's just another Operational Risk Management (ORM) and National Resiliency wake up call, to remind us how far we have come since the early days after 9/11 and how far we have yet to go, in our United States readiness and preparedness initiatives.

New types of unpredictable emergency disruptions can wreak havoc on any organization, its clients and the public.

As a result, business crisis and continuity management (BCCM) has become a high priority as organizations recognize the importance of responding to an unplanned event, so that employees and personnel remain safe, critical business functions continue, and relevant people are fully informed.

Developed by the Secretary of Homeland Security at the request of the President, the National Incident Management System (NIMS) integrates effective practices in emergency preparedness and response into a comprehensive national framework for incident management.

The NIMS will enable responders at all levels to work together more effectively to manage domestic incidents no matter what the cause, size or complexity.

The benefits of the NIMS system can be significant:

  • Standardized organizational structures, processes and procedures;
  • Standards for planning, training and exercising, and personnel qualification standards;
  • Equipment acquisition and certification standards;
  • Interoperable communications processes, procedures and systems;
  • Information management systems; and
  • Supporting technologies – voice and data communications systems, information systems, data display systems and specialized technologies.
The process of mitigating the risk of hazards/threats before they become disasters, is similar for both natural and human-caused threats; whether you are dealing with hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, a Polar Vortexor acts of conventional or digital terrorism.

Now that threats to business operations of our vital industry sectors are becoming more prevalent, organizations must plan for every type of business disruption from hardware and communication failures, to natural disasters, to internal or external acts of terrorism.

During these times of emergency, where every second counts, NIMS can continue to play a key role in our organization's vital communication system, and their crisis management and business continuity plans.

When was the last time your entire enterprise had an exercise to “Learn More Lessons” about your Incident Response capabilities?

13 February 2021

HVE: Threat Risk from the Inside Out…

“In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” -Eric Hoffer

Always remember...

At 6:30 AM on December 25, 2020 our United States citizens were just starting to celebrate a Christmas Day holiday morning with family and friends.

To everyone’s surprise, there was tragic news on social media and TV upon our awakening on this Christmas morning. It was reminiscent of other tragic days in history, when suicide bombs exploded or even hijacked planes crashed into downtown populated international cities.

What shall we learn from this particular event in Nashville, Tennessee that was so meticulously planned and executed?

“Anthony Quinn Warner detonated a recreational vehicle (RV) bomb in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, United States, killing himself, injuring eight people and damaging dozens of buildings in the surrounding area. It took place at 166 Second Avenue North between Church Street and Commerce Street at 6:30 am, adjacent to an AT&T network hub, resulting in days-long communication service outages.”

Yet this bomber gave warning to the public nearby and Warner also gave them time to evacuate the area. Similar to the Provisional Irish Republican Army’s behavior, as mentioned in the news by Dr. Erroll G. Southers, security expert and author of Homegrown Violent Extremism (HVE).

A significant component of Operational Risk Management (ORM) continues to focus on People, and for good reason. Insider threat risks are in many cases carried out by existing or former employees, or by close friends, partners and even current or former spouses.

So what?

Insider Threat Risk (ITR) programs help organizations Detect, Prevent, and Respond to an insider incident. To be prepared to handle such events in a consistent, timely, and professional manner, an ITR needs to understand:

  • Whom to involve
  • Who has authority

  • Whom to coordinate with
  • 
Whom to report to

  • What actions to take

  • What improvements to make

Does an effective ITR include previous employees who have left the organization for any reason? YES. This Insider Threat Risk plan should include current and former employees, contractors, and business partners.

As Mr. Warner was claimed to be a former employee of AT&T, one might wonder, if he planned the location next to this particular AT&T building, for an "Inside Known" or an "Outside Unknown" reason?

Remember...we shall always implement a formal insider threat incident response plan.

Establish an insider threat oversight body, that includes Senior Executives from the company’s HR, Security, Legal, Privacy, Ethics, Incident Response team, Information Technology, and Public Relations departments.

An effective and comprehensive ITR integrates and analyzes technical and nontechnical indicators, to provide a holistic view of an organization’s insider threat risk, from all individuals identified as potential threats.

Never forget...

06 February 2021

Dialogue: Insight in a World of Risk…

 As you walk out the door this evening, what made you look up? Is there a wonderful sunset in your neighborhood? Were you thinking about the day ahead and saying a silent prayer?

When you enter your next meeting with a co-worker, or a new prospective business partner take a deep breath and really focus on enhancing the relationship.

This simple step could make all the difference in your life. New doors may open or unexpected opportunities shall appear, simply because your own mindset was more aware.

  • How do you ask questions effectively and answer others with genuine interest?
  • Are you displaying your own patience to truly listen, to understand thoroughly?
  • How much of your own empathy is on visible display in your dialogue?

Our world is slowly recovering from a global pandemic disaster and yet there still remains signs of hope and new found signs of human progress.

What will you do today to make a difference? You understand that it won’t cost you anything to smile. It will not be a tremendous burden to demonstrate your interest in really learning from someone else.

Who do you know who: __________________?  So much of our Life is about building valuable relationships, so that you may answer this question with certainty.

Otherwise, how will you solve your next real problem-set? The next crisis in your business or your own personal life without a solid portfolio of trusted people you can count on, people you can call, people you can even iMessage?

Unfortunately, these past 365 days may be full of shallow interactions and distracted interest, in building solid relationships with others. Or perhaps our lives may find hours or days of loneliness and despair.

Yet you have the ability to change this with your next encounter Face-to-Face, or on the phone, or across your encrypted social media platform.

Is it Zoom, Go-to-Meeting, Webex or Wickr? Or are you sitting next to someone you have never met before, on a United 777 over the Pacific Ocean for 6 hours?

Randall Murphy, a founder of Acclivus always taught us this. “Successful dialogue is primarily a process of actively Listening to a persons ideas or information and it is comprised of three components:

  • Active
  • Empathic
  • Insightful

“Active Listening” is understanding what the person is “saying” and why. “Empathic Listening” is understanding what the person is “feeling” and why.

"Real Insight" is gained by combining both, to understand the persons attitude about YOU, your Role and your Organization or what you are truly Advocating.”

Finally, 2021 will be the year we find greater appreciation for things like:

The evening glimmer of sunlight on clean water. The wave from the neighbor who lives next door.

Our faith in what or whomever we believe in. Those who serve, so we can remain free of threats or illness to our loved ones and our own well-being.

The signs that our bodies are healthy. The hope that exists in all of us for finding peace of mind.

In 2021, look with fresh eyes on everyday things…

30 January 2021

Digital Overmatch: Senior Leaders Survival…

“These three qualities of trust decisions—rules-based; fueled by information; mathematical—allow us to embrace an understanding of trust that rejects both instincts and emotions. Instead, trust (or the absence of trust) is and always has been the resulting sum of a rules-based, information-fueled calculation.” —Achieving Digital Trust -Jeffrey Ritter

On the asymmetric battlefield unfolding before us, how will you assess your final outcomes?

The digital velocity of our day-to-day “Trust Decisions” are accelerating past our own cognition. Yet we are now beyond what the sensors are showing us. What is True?

overmatch - verb

over· match | \ ˌō-vər-ˈmach\

overmatched; overmatching; overmatches

Definition of overmatch

transitive verb

1 : to be more than a match for : defeat

2 : to match with a superior opponent

How could a “Software Development Kit” (SDK) in the hands of our contracted outsourced digital engineers, become our greatest vulnerability?

The tens of thousands of organizations utilizing software from SolarWinds now understand, that a supply chain “Back Door” exploit, motivated by pure espionage, is just the first sign of a match with a superior opponent.

How will Sunburst, Sunspot, Teardrop or even Facebook or YouTube, become your greatest adversary in the near future?

The failure of your own Third-Party suppliers “Software Quality Assurance” process, combined with your own organizations business aspirations to more quickly satisfy your Customer, Constituent or Senior Leaders emotions, will be your next “Operational Risk Management” (ORM) challenge. (Read this last sentence again, slowly.)

How might you, as a vital individual in the accelerating digital process to Understand, Decide and Act, make even higher quality “Trust Decisions”?

  • Ask more informed questions with your OPS Risk Subject-Matter-Experts side-by-side.
  • Realize that the speed of your decision, could jeopardize your own organizations livelihood.
  • Know the rules and monitor human behaviors, that can jeopardize intended outcomes.

When software, the Internet and people are combined, your risk exposure expands significantly.

In 2021, the “Quality Assurance” steps you take along your path, will make all the difference. Is the light “On or “Off”? Is the number a “Zero” 0 or is it a “One” 1? What is True?

The outcomes of your future endeavors will continuously rely, on the complexity of the environment you are operating within and the discipline you shall require to survive there…

23 January 2021

Predictive Intelligence: Imagine the Catalyst…

 

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.
— Albert Einstein

When was the last time you found yourself preparing for something that has not happened yet?

Why were you thinking about it? Was it fear?

What did you fear? Was it the potential for a significant loss event? Loss or change of what?

How will you prepare in such a way, that it gives you some assurance that the potential loss event will not occur? Or if it does, the outcomes will not be a total catastrophe:

Definition of catastrophe

  • 1 : a momentous tragic event ranging from extreme misfortune to utter overthrow or ruin.
  • 2 : utter failure.
  • 3a : a violent and sudden change in a feature of the earth.
  • b : a violent usually destructive natural event (such as a supernova).
  • 4 : the final event of the dramatic action especially of a tragedy.

How might you prepare proactively with your Team, to alleviate fear and to provide greater confidence of action?

What particular environment are you thinking about right now?

Is it Land, Sea, Air, Space or Cyberspace? Will the Catalyst for the loss event you fear, begin in plain sight? Will you see it or hear it coming? Or could it be silent and invisible?

How will you know when it has started? What indicators or changes might you measure, to give you some early warning?

Your imagination has not been exercised hard enough or long enough. You will be vulnerable and you shall experience loss at some point.

Can you imagine working along side trusted people or colleagues together to imagine your fears? Will you Understand, Decide and Act? As a team…

How might you devote a few hours per week to the people, processes, systems and external events that you fear?

Your proactive strategy will make a difference. A purposeful journey of imagination each week will increase your “Proactive and Predictive Intelligence”.

Now imagine that a person on your particular team is your Catalyst. How will you make “Trust Decisions” to imagine what they might do or how the person will make a mistake? How could the persons actions become the genesis of a real catastrophe?

Wake up. You are vulnerable today. The proactive time and the degree of effort and resources that you devote to your own Operational Risk Management (ORM) shall make all the difference.

Between a life of trusted possibilities or one full of continuous despair…it is your choice.

Onward!

16 January 2021

SPRINT: Confident Actions of Trust Decisions…

As our view remained certain in Arlington, Virginia in the summer 2020, the nation is now poised to embark on a new and historical SPRINT.

Senior Leaders across America, have much on their minds, before our nation embarks on its next Four-year challenge.

Now it is time to set into action, the “Operational Risk Strategies” that will now be required for these next vital phases of our change.

The question still remains on how much time will pass, in your particular organizational SPRINT. Will it be minutes, hours, days or even a month?

While there will be uncertain future events that will occur, your particular team of OPS Risk professionals shall be there, to effectively brief you on your choices ahead:

0. - Assemble and prepare your team.

Who will you determine is the person to lead the team of 8 to 12? What skills and knowledge shall they possess as Risk Management prerequisites, in order to be of value to leadership, the team and the enterprise? Why will you utilize the tools you have chosen for your mission?

I. - Map your course.

How might you explain your mission and the professionals you have selected? What questions will your expert professionals ask to achieve the desired outcomes?

II. - Sketch the problem-set and research.

Who might your team enter into dialogue with to better understand the terrain. How will they actually determine the real issue that needs to be solved? The problem. Draw, interview, write, edit, interview, write, edit, Draw. Repeat.

III. - Decide.

How might your team make the decision that lies before you? What pictures will you show your Senior Leaders so they understand? Will the Storyboard exemplify the most true version of the problem-set?

IV. - Prototype.

Who might build the answers to your quest for a solution? What tools will they utilize for the fabrication of the prototype? How will they take it on a trial run?

V. - Test.

Where might you find the right environment and people to see how our designed solution performs? 

Who will be the end-users that actually utilize your prototype in the real world? In real-time to capture the solutions brilliance and to document its errors.

Trust Decision

This design process works wonders for Senior Leadership. It informs decision-makers with the context and knowledge they require, to make a confident Trust Decision

09 January 2021

Reengineering: Our Next American Decade Together…

As you stand before the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. on this January 2021 evening, what are your thoughts?

When you walk down the sidewalk towards the AT&T building in downtown Nashville, what comes to your mind?

After you contemplate these two physical building locations, now think about the virtual scale of the digital SolarWinds software hack?

Our greatest adversary in a world full of Evil and continuous “Asymmetric Warfare,” is a Noun:

Definition of complacency - noun

1 : self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies. When it comes to safety, complacency can be dangerous.

2 : an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction.

Operational Risk Management (ORM) has never been more vital, as our next decade opens before us in the United States.

People, Processes, Systems and External Events shall be our focus and our major problem-set in the U.S. Public and Private Sector.

Where does it begin? How will we as Americans unite to overcome complacency? When you wake up tomorrow, start with the thought of another word in the dictionary.

This time, we must counter our adversary “complacency” and be proactive to show a sign of action:

Definition of reengineer - verb

1 : to engineer again or anew : redesign

2 : to reorganize the operations of (an organization) so as to improve.

Our lost values and the speed of our digital world, has incrementally overtaken us. We must now realize, that we have a new opportunity before us.

First, we must Understand. Decide. Act. We must Reengineer. We must demonstrate Integrity.

Second, who do you know in your circle of human relationships that could use a hug or a “Thank You” today.

And how might you together, make your levels of “Trust” grow even greater?  How might you work side-by-side to eliminate any sign of complacency?  To improve the quality of _____?

You see, as Americans, we shall have continuous pride on what we have accomplished so far.

The rest of the globe is counting on our future.  Onward…

02 January 2021

2021: Trusted Wonder & Onward...

The glory of Christmas is behind us and you have experienced its "Trusted Wonder". Yet now we are on the “Doorstep” of a New Year, like none other.

2021 is before us and we now find ourselves planning, organizing and storing away what was the year 2020.

As you reflect back on the last 365 days, what are the most joyous events or memories you shall never forget?

Hold on to these forever.

Our world is resilient and it is only your thoughts and your actions, that will continue to make such a proactive difference.

What choices will you make? Why will you choose certain actions?

You see, your Faith will continuously guide you. Who shall you follow?

Always remember, in the midst of sadness, or hardship or turmoil in your life, there are always those trusted people who will stay beside you, no matter what.

Who is on your left? Who is on your right?

"You still have a long life journey ahead of you. Your unique path will continue to have tremendous moments of joy and also times of extreme challenge."

Yet follow your heart, use your skills and God given talents, to make a continuous difference. You are on a purposeful mission…Onward!

Take the time this weekend to reflect on your reasons and your significant purpose.

Then activate your talents to navigate the obstacles and to discover the wonders of your life destiny.

Look up, 2021 is now before you…

19 December 2020

ITC: Managing Risk for Security Governance...

In our converging world of both Information and Physical Security, there are resilient risk elements for the effective management of Information Technology & Communications (ITC).

Think of it as “Security Governance”.


Security Governance is a discipline, that all of us need to revisit and rededicate ourselves towards. The policies and codes we stand by to protect our critical assets, should not be compromised for any reasons. More importantly, security governance frameworks, must make sure that the management of a business or government entity be held accountable for their respective performance.

The stakeholders must be able to intervene in the operations of management, when these security ethics or policies are violated. Security Governance is the way that corporations or governments are directed and controlled. A significant element that is now being mandated by the Board of Directors, is the role of “Continuous Risk Management” in Security Governance.

ITC Security Governance, like Corporate Governance requires the oversight of key individuals on the Board of Directors. In the public sector, the board of directors may come from a coalition of people from the Executive, Judicial or Legislative branches.

The fundamental responsibility of management, whether in government or the corporate enterprise, is to continuously protect the assets of the organization or entity. Risk and the enterprise are inseparable. Therefore, you need a robust management system approach to continuous Security Governance, not just an annual audit.

If a corporation is to continue to survive and prosper, it must take security risks. A nation is no different. However, when the management systems do not have the correct controls in place to continuously monitor and audit enterprise security risk management, then we are exposing precious assets to the threat actors that seek to undermine, damage or destroy our livelihood.

An organization’s top management must Identify, Assess, Decide, Implement, Audit and Supervise their strategic risks. There shall be a strategic policy at the board level to focus on managing risk for security governance.

The security governance policy should mirror the deeply felt emotions of the organization or nation, to its shareholders and citizens. It should be a positive and trusting culture, capable of making certain that strategic adverse risks are identified, removed, minimized, controlled or transferred.

An enterprise is subject to a category of risk that can’t be foreseen with any degree of certainty. These risks are based upon events that “Might Happen”, but haven’t been considered by the organization. Stakeholders can’t be expected to be told about these risks because there is not enough information to validate or invalidate them.

However, what the stakeholders can demand, is a management system for continuous Security Governance that is comprehensive, proactive and relevant. The management system includes organizational structure, policies, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes, and growing resources.

It is this Security Governance management system that which we all should be concerned and which we seek from our executives, board members and oversight committees to provide. There should be a top management strategic policy to focus on managing risk for continuous security governance.

This risk management system should establish the foundation for ensuring that all strategic risks are identified and effectively managed. The policy should reflect the characteristics of the organization, enterprise or entity; it’s location, assets and purpose. The policy should:

1. Include a framework for governance and objectives
2. Take into account the legal, regulatory and contractual obligations
3. Establish the context for maintenance of the management system
4. Establish the criteria against what risk will be evaluated and risk assessment will   be defined

A process should be established for risk assessment that takes into consideration:

  • Impact, should the risk event be realized
  • Exposure to the risk on a spectrum from rare to continuous
  • Probability based upon the current state of management controls in place
The strategic security risks that the organization encounters will be dynamic. The management system is the mechanism by which the executives identify and assess these risks and the strategy for dealing with them. It is this system which we are concerned about and which we seek to provide in order to achieve our Security Governance.

ITC Security Governance best practices are still rapidly growing and taps the thinking of various standards organizations including OECD, BSI, NIST, ISSA, BSA, ITAA, ASIS and dozens of other bodies of influence and knowledge. However, no matter what best practices an organization attempts to standardize on, beware of the attitudes of the employees and stakeholders.

Unless these stakeholders fully acknowledge what and why, they are being asked to do things, rather than just following the rulebook, the system will fail.

The organization that embraces change and introduces a Security Governance framework that not only manages the foreseen human risks, but also the unforeseen, will have a greater chance of survival.

The role of culture in the risk for security governance, is paramount for several reasons:

1. Any changes in risk management may require changes in the culture
2. The current culture is a dramatic influence on current and future security initiatives

Internal controls can provide reasonable assurance that an organization will meet its intended goals. At the same time, it is the people (Human Factors) who will fail the company in material errors, losses, fraud and breaches of laws and regulations.

This is why the risks the organization is facing are constantly changing and therefore why a management system for continuous security governance is necessary. The management system is there to provide resiliency to the risks it encounters and to control risk accordingly rather than eliminate it forever.

The board of directors will soon realize that managing risk for ITC Security Governance, is just as important to the success and compliance of the organization as Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley.

In fact, without effective ITC Security Governance in place, all of the rules won’t matter and the stakeholders will again be asking themselves after a major technology failure or privacy data or intellectual property breach; how could this happen to us?

13 December 2020

NOEL: Our Future Life of Action…

 It is now Twelve Days to Christmas 2020.  A celebration of the birth of a boy named Jesus, who would change our world forever.

On December 25, how will you be thinking about the true meaning of Christmas?

How will you reflect on what it means to be a person of Faith?  Or not.

As you grow older, you will truly better understand history of our civilizations and how they have evolved over centuries.

You will learn the names, places and the events that occurred here on Earth.  Facilitated by Nature, by Animals or by Humans and Intelligent Machines.

Yet whether these historical events were perpetuated by humans or not, they all have one commonality.  The instinct to survive.

Operational Risks surround each of us on a daily basis.  How well you make Trust Decisions today, will make a difference tomorrow.

  • Will you think about how you may assist someone else today, beside yourself?
  • Will you do a task or deed or donate your time or resources, to a mission to benefit others?
  • Will you act to enhance your own abilities to continuously serve your own family and loved ones?
  • Will you ask for forgiveness for all that you have done that deviates from Ten written Commandments?

This is the path to an everlasting life that will provide you complete and perpetual peace of mind.

No matter when it ends.  Then it will begin.

How might you make a change in your life, these next Twelve days?

What will you DO to demonstrate to others, that you are making a positive difference of the future of our life on this Earth?

NOEL!

05 December 2020

Asymmetric Warfare: Computer Jihad...

A person does not have to spend years analyzing and witnessing the phenomenon of the Internet to understand why the pornography industry has flourished.
 
Like other social and religious facets of our global culture, connected by hyper links, web sites and chat rooms, human beings are able to quickly and efficiently discover what they are looking for. Good and bad.
 
If the Internet is just a mirror of society itself, then of course it will have both the positive and humanitarian aspects along with the negative, criminal and evil elements.

Learning new skills and spreading new ideas via the Internet is nothing new. However, one could predict that the acceleration of threats to our youth, families and nations states has been influenced by the proliferation of Apples, Dells, and Androids across the globe.
 
Whether it's in the kitchen, the library, university dorm room or the corner cyber cafe the ubiquitous ICT 5G access now available has increased our operational risks at home, at work and to our economic well being.

When subjects such as this are discussed at length in the Board Room, NOC or War Room the arguments always come back to the same thing. How many people have been killed as a result of cyber-warfare?
 
Justification of spending dollars and allocating resources is in many cases a factor of the risk management exercise, likelihood vs. impact.
 
After all, the Internet seems to be self-healing and resilient to any long term outage. But those who are well versed in 4th Generation Warfare (4GW) sitting around the table know, that computerized jihad is a tactic of a far more encompassing strategy:

"Reflecting Sun Tzu’s philosophy, many recent Chinese writings have focused on asymmetric warfare as a means of defeating a militarily superior enemy. Asymmetric warfare uses political, economic, informational and military power. Military power is the least emphasized."

The silent war being waged each second of each minute of every hour every day, over every week and month of the year is taking place on a vast digital battlefield. Who will be the victor?

28 November 2020

Skilled Professional: Who will you Become-II.?

 Why will you excel in your life?  What skills will you learn to become an expert?

How will you become a true “Quiet Professional”?

You see, learning new skills that will sustain you, may keep you alive.  Yet the skills you learn to truly collaborate with your competitors, will allow you to excel beyond your dreams.

The time it takes, begins at an early age.  Will your skills be cognitive or physical?  Will the ratio be 80/20 or 50/50?

Who will you become in life, that your colleagues, clients and customers will be able to recommend you to others with real confidence?

At some stage of your chosen work life, you will discover your passion and purpose on this Earth.  This is when you will say to yourself, this is my “Why”.

This will be your professional launch towards improving your skills, practicing your skills, utilizing your skills towards your “Why”.

There will be challenges along the way, those times in your life when you question your chosen path.

Yet this is when it could be time to learn a new set of skills, so that you might navigate to a new and more rewarding destination.

Perhaps you may need a “Trusted Mentor” along the way.  Someone you will seek to assist you with your new journey.  This person already has the skills you seek to learn, or practice.

When you finally achieve that lofty level of expertise, you will know it.  Reaching perfection in anything, is a worthy life exercise.  Yet once you achieve it, you must be aware of the challenges that now lie ahead.

Maintaining your level of skills will be a continuous effort, as others enter the same arena.  How you operate versus others, will now be the real differentiator.

From the first time you meet someone, you are either building trust or eroding trust.

Making “Trust Decisions” in your life, will make the difference and the ultimate success of your mission, of your “Why”.

One more thought.

When you finally become that “Quiet Professional” you shall know it.  You will be able to attract others to join you or follow you because they trust you.

Onward!

22 November 2020

CyberCom: Real-time Situational Awareness...

The Operational Risks to your enterprise that are associated with your digital assets, networks and infrastructure are vast.

What is your organizations exposure today?

The amount of daily "Cyber Intelligence" flowing into the organization is growing exponentially and there are few hours in the day to analyze it. You have invested hundreds of thousands if not millions on cyber security to keep your corporate systems protected and ready for any significant business disruptions.

Electronic Stored Information (ESI) is continuously being discussed at the Board of Directors meetings. Data Breach Notification Laws are being amended and the congressional pipeline for privacy and cyber laws is in full swing in the United States.

The Fortune 500 is already paying for "White Hat" hackers to test their online and data security. The only way to continuously determine the effectiveness of risk management controls, is to continuously test them in a lab or scenario environment.

This "Red Cell" approach to attacking the corporate assets from the "inside out" or the "outside in" provides the intelligence necessary to close the gaps and vulnerabilities. These penetration or vulnerability tests are necessary and the ecosystem of companies of sources and methods is expansive.

A Fortune 500 organization may currently subscribe to annual services that provide the intelligence that gives them an alert of a "Red Flag" in their security landscape.

The company that provides the intelligence is paying a substantial fee to a network of sophisticated professionals to exploit the vulnerabilities in software coding. Namely, the design, configuration or implementation of a complex set of technologies to determine where and how these vulnerabilities may pose a threat to your assets.

The model for Enterprise OPS Risk Management in the most savvy and enlightened critical infrastructure dependent organizations realize that cyber security is not a department or a unit at the company.

It remains a horizontal platform on which all business units and the departments of the organization rest and it's pervasive mechanisms for the security and safety of people, processes, systems and external events must operate 24 X 7 X 365.

Our future is about "Defend Forward" or an "Real-Time Situational Awareness" strategy.

"The “defend forward” concept outlined in the DoD’s 2018 cyber strategy charges Cyber Command to get as close to adversaries in networks outside the United States before they reach the nation. The command uses its authorities to operate in networks abroad to discover malware and enemy tactics that could be used against the American people or election infrastructure.

The command can either share that with relevant partners — such as the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI or private companies — so they can take necessary measures, or the command can unilaterally take action thwart malicious activities before they impact American networks."

The public and the consumer are becoming used to the fact, that the challenge continues to be an iterative process and worthy of some levels of patience. 

"Operational Risk Management (ORM) is not about eliminating all threats to the enterprise. It is about the speed and accuracy of understanding the current levels and threat vectors so you can effectively deter, detect, defend and document."

This "4D" approach to risk management in the rapidly changing, digitally mobile organization of 2020 and beyond is a shift away from pure information security thinking that is housed within the Information Technology Department...

15 November 2020

Trusted Leadership: Organizational Pulse Risk…

Leadership in your particular team, small group, organization or even your family is at “Center Stage” these days. 

How often do you spend time 1-to-1 with each person? As the leader in your tribe, your company or your particular geographic area of responsibility, your presence one-to-one is a risk imperative.

Certainly the hierarchy of your team has what is known as “Direct Reports” in the business environment.

How might you improve and enhance your time 1-to-1 this week, this month and this year?

You may be surprised on what you learn and how your particular relationships with your front line team becomes more cohesive, more empathetic and so much more productive. 

Our own human spirit requires this time especially in our hearts, as much as we require the exchange of information. When you as the Leader are called into action, each one of the people working along side you will be reaching into their cache of the “1-to-1” time you have devoted to them.

They will be continuously asking themselves, shall I trust you and follow?

Think about it, how many examples of your devotion with each of your direct reports on your team will they remember? What evidence is in front of you that shows that your leadership is truly valued?

If you have 5 direct reports, then you shall schedule a baseline of 5 blocks of 45 minutes for each person, weekly. That equals 3.75 hours over the course of your 168 hours next week.

Will you do it?

What questions will you have ready to insert into your dialogue with each person on your team?

Begin with ASK. Then LISTEN. Follow this with a VERIFY statement or a CLARIFY question. Repeat the process.

How much time do you actually spend on step 2, LISTEN? Before you leap into a response?

The process and the role of a “True Leader” requires both practice and patience. One only has to look at the state of your teams current productivity, to better understand how effective you have been in your dialogue, 1-to-1.

Leadership is the lifeblood of your particular “Organizational Pulse”. How would you describe the current state of your teams organizational pulse (OP)?

Positive<>Negative.
Energized<>Lethargic.
Growing<>Inauspicious.
Robust<>Unpromising.
Investing 3.75 hours this week, could be the answer you have been seeking, as a “Trusted Leader” in your organization or your family…

08 November 2020

Supply Chain Resiliency: Operational Risk Priorities in 2021…

Global Senior Executives are evaluating the resilience of their organizations international supply chains and realize the growing Operational Risks.

Why have proactive Enterprise Risk Management teams been on high alert and how are they working the issues for over the past nine months?

These are evident clues in just one one 10-Q example:

“We rely on sole direct and indirect suppliers or a limited number of direct and indirect suppliers for some or all of these components that we do not manufacture... Many of such direct and indirect component suppliers are geographically concentrated, making our supply chain more vulnerable to regional disruptions...we have experienced and continue to experience disruptions in our supply chain due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If our direct and indirect vendors for these components are unable to meet our cost, quality, supply and transportation requirements, continue to remain financially viable or fulfill their contractual commitments and obligations, we could experience disruption in our supply chain, including shortages in supply or increases in production costs, which would materially adversely affect our results of operations.”

Inventory Management, Supply Chain Transparency and Single Source Suppliers are just a piece of a complex mosaic for many multi-million dollar U.S. businesses.

Covid-19 catalyst “Operational Risk Management” (ORM) has been a mainstream focus for months, just as it does after every major catastrophic event.

Yet, when the implications of downstream impacts to our critical infrastructure sectors such as transportation, healthcare and the continuous ICT challenges become even more apparent, the Global Executive suites must go into action.

The concepts of “Supply Chain Resiliency” are well known, yet it is continuously surprising how many organizations in 2020 have been caught off guard or are finding themselves without substantial alternative strategies to remain operational.

This is a result of diminished due diligence and a continuous analysis with your Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers.  Mapping each of your key lines of business with a detailed understanding of Where, How and Who your suppliers do business with, is just the beginning.  What about your own actions on:

  • Increasing Inventory Levels
  • Pursuit of Diversified Suppliers
  • Finding New Suppliers with “Robust Supply Chain Resiliency”
  • Increasing Your Geographic Diversity of Suppliers

In a recent Interos Inc. report (https://www.interos.ai/resource-library/ ) of 450 executives surveyed in the U.S. on their “Biggest Risks”, the following results were found:

  • 76% identified COVID-19 as the biggest ongoing risk, followed by cyber threats at 44%, restricted or sanctioned entities at 36%, natural disasters at 30%, and single supplier or country concentration risks at 28%. Other risks fell below 20%.  
  • This follows roughly the same order for future risks, with 66% identifying COVID-19 as the future risk companies are preparing for, followed by cyber risks at 48%, restricted/sanctioned entities at 34%, and geopolitical events at 32% (this was the largest jump from 20% now to 32% in the future). 

If these results are even close to being a high priority, then your own “Supply Chain Resiliency” shall be a well funded and continuously measured Business Unit within your Enterprise, in 2021 and beyond…

31 October 2020

Life Discipline: Who will you Become-I.?

 As our marvelous Sun sets before us this day, the full Moon was rising in the East.

Our United States citizens are anxious, only days away from our next National elections.

You too as an American, can choose your mind set and your own future destiny.

What have you done today or this week, to learn more about your particular craft, trade skill or subject matter expertise?

How might you use this new learning to help yourself, your family or your particular team or neighborhood congregation prosper?

What will you “DO” this week, that will advance your accomplishment of new found outcomes.  New ideas or solutions to worthy problems.  New rewards, for your time and efforts to succeed?

Who shall you devote more time with in the days and months ahead, to build even higher levels of “Trust,” new areas of collaboration and to increase your mutual returns?

If you may achieve valuable outcomes in your personal or business profession, you may have heard people say, that you have to have a real passion for it.

Yet there is another vital skill you must acquire and utilize each week.

Definition of discipline
1a : control gained by enforcing obedience or order
b : orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior
c : self-control


When you think about where you are in your life right now, discipline has been a major factor.

How do the people you know, describe you to others?  Think about it.

What is certain about your future, is that your own willful discipline, will make a difference.  How will you make a contribution today?

For Yourself.  For your Loved Ones.  For your Country…

25 October 2020

Continuous Continuity (C2): BCCM 24/7...

Corporate Directors charged with Operational Risk Management oversight are ultimately responsible for Continuous Continuity (C2) of the Enterprise.

The modern enterprise that effectively manages the myriad of potential threats to its people, processes, systems and critical infrastructures stands to be better equipped for sustained continuity. A Business Crisis and Continuity Management (BCCM) program is a dynamic change management initiative that requires dedicated resources, funding and auditing. Corporate Directors must scrutinize organizational survivability on a global basis.

Since effective BCCM analysis is a 24/7 operation, it takes a combination of factors across the organization to provide what one might call C2, or "Continuous Continuity". A one-time threat or risk assessment or even an annual look at what has changed across the enterprise is opening the door for a Board of Directors worst nightmare. These nightmares are "Loss Events" that could have been prevented or mitigated all together.

According to the risk management best practices from sources such as the Turnbull Report and specifically Principle 13 of the Basel II Capital Accord, the Board of Directors and corporate management are responsible for the effectiveness of the Business Crisis and Continuity Management of an organization. The following testing techniques must be used to ensure the continuity plan can be executed in a real-life emergency:

  • Table-top testing: Discussing how business recovery arrangements would react by using example interruptions.
  • Simulations: Training individuals by simulating a crisis and rehearsing their post-incident/crisis management roles.
  • Technical recovery testing: Testing to ensure information systems can be restored effectively
  • Testing recovery at an alternate site: Running business processes in parallel with recovery operations at an off-site location.
  • Test of supplier facilities and services: Ensuring externally provided services and products will meet the contract requirements in the case of interruptions.
  • Complete rehearsals: Testing to ensure the organization, employees, equipment, facilities and processes can cope with interruptions.

Many of these best practices talk about a BCCM that will be periodically updated. Periodic is not continuous. Change is the key factor here. What changes take place in your organization between these periodic updates? How could any organization accurately account for all the changes to the organization in between BCCM updates? The fact is that they can’t.

This will change over time as organizations figure out that this is now as vital a business component as supply chain management. The effective BCCM framework will become a core process within the organization if it is not already, dynamically evolving by the minute as new change-based factors take place in the enterprise. As new or terminated employees, suppliers and partners come and go into the BCCM process, the threat profile is updated in real-time. This takes the operational management that much closer to C2 , or "Continuous Continuity".

Having survived several large quakes in Southern California in years past, we are not sure that all of the testing in the world can prepare people for human behaviors that come from within. People literally lose all sense of common sense when you are on the 42nd floor of the 50+ sky scraper and without any warning it physically sways a couple feet to the left and a few more feet to the right. Believe me, the issue is not the testing itself, it’s how to create a real enough scenario that you get similar behaviors out of unsuspecting people. Certainly the largest organizations realize that the external threats are taking on new and different forms than the standard fire, flood, earthquake and twister scenarios.

These historically large catastrophic external loss events have been insured against and the premiums are substantial. What it is less easy to analyze from a threat perspective are the constantly changing landscapes and continuity postures of the internal facets of the organization having to do with people, processes and systems. Corporate Boards of Director’s are now being consistently subjected to regulatory scrutiny across the globe to ensure the continuity and survivability of the enterprise. It is their duty and responsibility to their shareholders to make sure this occurs on a continuous basis. The world can only hope that our Global 500 companies are well on their way to achieving C2 already.

18 October 2020

Organizational Integrity: Leadership of Risk…

As a leader in your organization, how long have you truly demonstrated the actions you desire for those who are following you?

Countless times each day, leaders in the global race to the finish line, ignore or disavow the rules or policies they enforce for their own team.

What are you demonstrating in your organization today and this week to build “Organizational Integrity”?

How are your own behaviors in the midst of your team, showing and reinforcing the actions that will build and activate a model of “Organizational Integrity”?

integrity
noun

in· teg· ri· ty | \ in-ˈte-grə-tē

Definition of integrity

1 : firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility
2 : an unimpaired condition : soundness
3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness
Why have you made the decisions that you are more privileged than the others on your team?

Is it your personal sense of ego or power as a figure of authority, that makes you feel as if the activities and rules for you, do not apply or are different than for those who are on the front lines?

They are not.  In the midst of a legal deposition or worse, the leader who is charged, explains their own behaviors.  This is now beyond the point of no return.

Even when you are behind closed doors of the “Board Room” or the “Ready Room,” are you demonstrating the same behavior and adherence to the processes, that you wish upon all those you are leading?

Leadership of your “Executive” Team or a “Squad of Specialists” in the field, requires people who truly “Walk-the-Talk” and adhere to the same standards or rules set forth for the entire organizational operations.

You already are known as a “Leader” in your area of expertise.

Yet are you known as a leader with “Integrity,” that truly demonstrates this in the middle of your operations each day?

10 October 2020

Life Journey: Exploration of Trust…

 As the morning sun began to rise, the blue Pacific was in a calm mood today.  Dolphins were playing just off shore.  The fog over the 54 foot deck had now evaporated.

What about another journey of exploration and discovery, even after six decades of experience?

A “Leadership Professional” that is always moving ahead, means you are consistently looking for new destinations.

It is imperative that you are working on the growth value of relationships.  Without these key attributes, you will at some point navigate off-course.

Without a continuous focus on exploring new levels of reward and returns, you will soon lose your ambition to persevere.  Without trusted and growing relationships, you will become isolated from the power of Trust.

Your skills that are utilized to gain virtual wealth, shall be leveraged to grow your portfolio of trusted people.  Those who will follow you, shall learn from you and will long to hear and see more of your particular wisdom.

The challenges in your life will be many and each with their own degree of disruption.

Yet it will be the trusted person to your left, or seconds away by that digital device in your hand, that will make all the difference.

How might you make a difference today, to grow the wealth of a valued relationship?

What have you demonstrated as evidence of your abilities or knowledge, to ensure greater levels of Trust?

How might you practice a knew learned skill, to enhance the wealth of your endeavor?

Of your mutual mission.

Now you are well on your way to finding it.  From a relationship with “No Trust,” to the other end of the spectrum, where “Trust” is implicit.

You will not even think about it any longer…

26 September 2020

Cognitive Diversity: Humility in Decision Advantage...

 “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” George S. Patton
Creativity in our fast paced world is even more of an essential element, as we move to working in geographically dispersed locations across the globe.

No longer will you have your leader stopping by your office each day, or leaning over your work station, or across the table at “Peet’s Coffee” to show you how it’s done.

As a leader, you shall encourage the utilization of an individuals own way of solving the problem-set assigned or the persons own process they employ, to reach the expected outcomes.

How else will you discover their new found creative ways and the exploration of innovative and extraordinary solutions?

What if you are an individual working alone in the realm of collecting new found information, that will be applied in the future to prospective targets?

The research skills and knowledge you have learned, is not implemented like a specific manufacturing assembly line.

When you are assigned the role of applying your own cognitive functions in a landscape of continuous change, to arrive at a desired outcome, this requires “Instinct”.

A natural or inherent aptitude, impulse, or capacity to use your own creativity, skills and knowledge, to achieve your assigned outcomes.

As a leader, you shall excel in painting visual pictures, describing what results looks like, sounds like and what indicators will provide you the assurance, you have arrived at the desired outcomes.

How else will your students, your employees, your constituents, your customers know that victory is present?  That you have arrived at your intended destination.  Received the required compensation for your required deliverable.

How much “Cognitive Diversity” do you find in your team?

As a leader, you shall leverage all resources to combine skill sets and mind sets, to gain a “Decision Advantage”.

Think about your “Humility” as a leader.  How will your team describe you, when you are gone…

19 September 2020

Team 34-32: Amalfi Coast Imagined...

 UAL 550 departed LAX at 9:30AM.  As the B738 climbed to 9500 feet and made the turn East over the blue Pacific ocean, the eyes were moist.  What an extraordinary week.

How might we enjoy another week together like this one?  Full of dialogue, exploring and so curious, about the future.

How might we replicate the experience sharing information and our true heart felt emotions?

Our pledge shall be to replicate this more often now.  We have the resilience required to achieve greatness, positive outcomes and proof that we will “Go Far” together on this journey.

What have we learned?

The power of Trust shall not be under estimated.  When you realize that our decisions and questions are not being second guessed, you are well on your way.  That person next to you, or behind you, is looking to your leadership.

Once you realize that as a fellow Leader,  that your Trust Decisions are for the benefit of the team and not only yourself, you are well on your way.

How might you as a leader, assist or encourage a fellow team member on their current mission?

How might you as a team leader actively listen and ask relevant questions to better “Understand”, before you “Decide” and then “Act” with confidence?

Why have you gained Trust in your fellow members of our tribe?

“In calculating trust, each of us also makes mistakes. Sometimes you will fire your engines and make decisions without enough information, or with information that later proves itself to be untrustworthy. You may rely on someone to help you make your decisions or rely on their opinion, only to discover that person was not a good choice.

Through our mistakes, we refine how we calculate trust and update and revise our trust decision process, make new rules, and change what elements to take into account and how to measure them.” - - Jeffrey Ritter - Achieving Digital Trust

This was a valuable week of learning.  Use what we have learned, to be even more Resilient.  

The challenges ahead will not evaporate.  The behaviors will not always meet our predictions.  

Yet one item remains certain.

Our Team Trust is one…

05 September 2020

Perseverance: Achieving Your Destination...

Walking down this path for the first time, it was unfamiliar.  There was no way to know what obstacles and challenges were ahead.

Yet, in your head, the education, learning and training was coming quickly into your conscience endeavor, to achieve your destination.

Looking up, there were all the signs that the direction was correct.  All the indicators and intuition said the journey would just take longer than expected.
perseverance
per· se· ver· ance | \ ˌpər-sə-ˈvir-ən(t)s
\
Definition of perseverance
: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition : the action or condition or an instance of persevering : steadfastness
It was uncertain how or when the intended destination would be in the horizon, yet there was complete faith that whenever that arrival did occur, open arms would be witnessed.

Your future is bright.  You have so much to look forward to.  You must keep persevering.

One item is probably certain.  You will not ever forget your Instructor.  Your Teacher.  Your Wing man.  Your Buddy.  Your Brother or Sister.  Together you learned what your strengths are and how to survive until the next test of life.

So what is over that next hill?  Across the chasm after that?

There is only your Future.  Your Journey.  Thank you for allowing the time to listen.  To learn.  To really know you.

Onward!

29 August 2020

Human Factors: Minds Eye of Risk...

Flashback to 2007.  There seems to be some continuing debate out there about the concept of adopting a strategy of "Protection" vs. "Resilience".

The question is whether to focus your resources and assets on preemptive or adaptive missions.

Whenever organizations adopt the guards gates and guns mentality as a high ratio of deployed assets and presence, it does have a deterrence effect.

Having a high profile, showing your hand and creating a visible barrier to obtaining the desired target(s) can have a positive outcome.  However, it must be in greater balance with the ability to be agile and to adapt to human factors.

Resilience represents a layered approach with multiple contingencies and the mindset that even the highest walls, stealth technology or deepest oceans will not prevent catastrophic failure from a future occurrence.

The topic along with the Critical Infrastructure nexus has been discussed in depth for almost the past decade. Grants, studies and academia have found this "Protection" vs. "Resiliency" debate worth writing about:
"The goal of this working paper series is to point out trajectories of the concept of critical infrastructure resilience in theory, policy, and implementation. On the one hand, “resilience” may just be another policy buzzword; but on the other hand, it might indicate a shift in perception and priority of threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences. Indeed, the Critical Infrastructure Task Force (CITF) has recently recommended to the Homeland Security Advisory Committee (HSAC) to “Promulgate Critical Infrastructure Resilience (CIR) as the top-level strategic objective - the desired outcome - to drive national policy and planning.”

Defined broadly as the ability of a system to withstand to and recover from adversity, resilience is increasingly applied to larger social and technical systems. Stress and adversity are experienced not only by individuals and groups, but also by organizations and institutions. In the context of increasing natural and man-made threats and vulnerabilities of modern societies, the concept seems particularly useful to inform policies that mitigate the consequences of such adverse and potentially catastrophic events."
While each of the authors in the white paper cited above from George Mason University in 2007 have their unique perspectives on the topic being discussed, yet Lewis J. Perelman, Senior Fellow
Homeland Security Policy Institute, in Washington, DC gets the prize:
"The allure of resilience is stoked by the contradictions and thorny tradeoffs inherent in traditional concepts of ‘national security’ in an age of increasing social-technical complexity, transnational ‘globalization,’ and ‘asymmetric’ conflict. Certainly, ‘homeland security’ has realized, since 2001, both political impetus and bureaucratic mass. Nevertheless it has been fraught by a tumultuous and yet unresolved quest to reconcile legitimate but competing social objectives:

• Security against attacks vs. security against natural disasters, disease, accidents, etc.;
• Intelligence operations vs. privacy;
• War-fighting vs. human rights, civil liberties, the rule of law, etc.;
• Needs for secrecy vs. needs for information sharing;
• Federal responsibility vs. state/local/private authority;
• Centralized command and control vs. communal collaboration.
As the debate continues on a hard vs. soft policy perspective Perelman identifies one of the key components of Operational Risk Management. Human Factors.  His suggestion of adding human factors to the equation for risk is critical to the issue:
Risk = HF(Threat x Vulnerability x Consequences)

where HF is a function of the “soft” human factors that translate the “hard,” physical parameters of engineering failure into human perceptions, emotions, and behavior.
Human behavior and the perception of risk continues to be at the center of the overall discussion. Socially, what is more of a threat?

Loss of the use of a half dozen buildings, an entire city or the Internet itself. Is the threat a hurricane, a radiological device or the most deviant virus known to date?

The perception of "Risk" as being in the eye of the beholder is not new here. The policy being shaped across the globe however, is moving rapidly towards a mindset of agility, adaptiveness and endurance.

That alone, should be the clue that "Resilience" will remain a major facet of the risk strategy paradigm of choice again in the next decade...

23 August 2020

Destination Unknown: Explore, Adapt & Learn...

What is your new destination?  How will you get there?

The business climate in your particular industry is adapting to the latest global change upon us in 2020.  What are you implementing now, that will change the processes, business rules and positive outcomes for you in the foreseeable future?

Creative activities to adapt to your particular new approach to customers, clients and followers requires new thinking.  It may achieve your primary destination, yet how long will it take to arrive?

As you “Go-to-Market” in your particular industry sector in 2021, what new innovations and strategies will be in place?  Have you thoroughly prototyped your solutions and discovered their results?  What have you learned?

Was your industry launched in 1903 at Kitty Hawk, NC or Dearborn, MI?  Your business is going to require more than one “Maverick” to achieve your future destination on a timely basis.

You will require exponential unconventional thinking.  People who are “Nonconformist”, “Dissenting” and “Iconoclastic”.

Why?

How many years have you been running your business this way?  In the same cities, with the same labor pools, absent of any new thoughts of creativity.

When was the last time you financed a new product launch with a brand new sales force?

Perhaps you have a tradition of doing business with the same old Legal Counsel, Accounting firm, or hosting systems of Information Technology services.  Are you using the same suppliers for talent acquisition?  Look where you are today.

Are you capable of creating a new “Business Unit,” that will shed the past and test the future of your organization and your industry?  Then do it.

The future of your business and country requires it.  Your particular contributions to our economic livelihood, persistence and longevity, needs your new ingenuity and continuous resilience.
Head out there.
Explore.  Adapt.  Learn.
Onward!

16 August 2020

Our Future Together: Trusted Life Journey...

What does our future hold for us? It will be an outlook that we decide. Every minute, of every day you see and learn more about your particular outcomes, your ability to understand.

Yet it will be your decision to act, at the right moments in your journey, that will make all of the difference.

Success and a joyful life is a mosaic of dedication, purposeful work and tremendous faith.

We have achieved a combination of all of these and we are only about three quarters of the way there, to our final destination.

At the foundation and throughout your memories of the hours, days and years of the past, what do you remember? As the most challenging and as the most rewarding times?

Sitting there in the bright sunshine overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with a slightly cool breeze, thoughts of our journey together so far, were consciously present.

In the reflection of all of those countless thoughts, only one person stood out. You see, your faith in that one person, will make all of the difference in your life.

Who will you Trust as you descend into the depths of the Ocean together?

Who will you Trust as you ascend to the top of the Mountain together?

Once you have found this Trusted companion in your life journey, look up…and never let go!

09 August 2020

Intelligence-led Investigations: DecisionAdvantage...

"Whoever wishs to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results." --Machiavelli

Operational Risk incidents are surrounding us on a global basis. The continuity of operations in the rescue and relief efforts in Beirut. The security of privacy information and Internet politics with Google and 3+ other global companies. A growing threat while Islam converts continuously flock from across the globe, to conflict zones. The economic integrity of global banking with new rule-sets and continuous funds transfer oversight.

All of these Operational Risk Management (ORM) challenges, require the same intelligence-led investigations, to establish the ground truth and then to enable an effective "DecisionAdvantage."

When does information that is collected, become a violation of a persons privacy or legal rights? At the point it is collected from a source or at the point in time when it is analyzed by a human?

Intelligence-led investigations today include the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) automated Internet Bots, to troll the Internet and Open Source content (OSINT) for the collectors to find what they are looking for. This begins with a hypothesis and then the development of an algorithm, to carry out the automated mechanism for collection.

These Intelligence-led investigations also include the use of new forensically sound methods and proven procedures for collection of digital data, from a myriad of technology platforms including laptops, IoT's and cell phones.

These methods have been proven and certified in the forensic sciences for decades and follow many of the legally bound and court tested rules associated with evidence collection, preservation and presentation.

Digital Forensic tools and 21st century capabilities enable global enterprises, law enforcement and governments to not only discover what they are looking for, but to use this in a court of law to verify the truth.

The monitoring and collection of information associated with people begins various intersections with the context, relevance and legality of storing it, analyzing it and when to destroy it. What is at stake?  The ability to do this effectively inside the walls of the global enterprise corporate headquarters, the Regional Fusion Center or buildings off Rt. 123.

"DecisionAdvantage" is a term that promotes the connotation of competition, safety or defeating an adversary, yet only one will apply as you begin to understand the environment and the circumstances under which information is being utilized for one or the other.

If you are making decisions on the most safe and ideal drop points for water, food and medical triage supplies in a Middle East or an African nation, decisions are being made with information collected from satellites, humans, and perhaps the national geological scientists at CalTech.

It isn't until you take all of these elements into context and establish relevancy with human brainpower, that you will make an informed decision to give you an advantage of improved safety and security to achieve your objectives.

Investigators or Analysts are leveraging the use of 21st century software, hardware and telecommunications cloud infrastructure to more efficiently arrive at the answers,.  They utilize the hard hypothesis or questions being asked, and must improve their training, education and awareness to the associated human factors.

Predicting human behavior is difficult if not impossible.

What is more realistic is the utilization of AI systems to assist the human in trying to achieve "DecisionAdvantage".
"History, by appraising...[the students] of the past, will enable them to judge of the future." --Thomas Jefferson

01 August 2020

Cultural Cognition: The Velocity of our Future...

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination” - Albert Einstein

In the culture that you are part of, there are Trust Decisions being made in seconds based upon rules.  Yet your particular culture has evolved over time, also because of the affinity that your culture attracts other people, just like you.

The question is, who do you really aspire to be?

“How do you make trust decisions about people, associations, tools, or their value when the information upon which you will rely is increasingly digital and intangible?
In a global culture in which digital trust is under attack and degrading, how can you build and engender old-fashioned human trust with your customers, business partners, associates, and employees?” -Jeffrey Ritter - Achieving Digital Trust - P. 21
When you enter the realm of a culture that is constantly being recorded, digitized, captured, communicated and transferred, the behaviors and thoughts of people will be studied.  They will be analyzed and they will be judged.

What are you doing today to learn and improve how you operate in a digital world?  How are you making decisions between trust, and pure risk?

Our cultures are rapidly evolving towards “Artificial Intelligence” and tool sets to assist humans in making more informed decisions, faster.  Why?

Quality and Velocity.

What made you decide to learn Mathematics?  How did you decide to become a Software Engineer?

What made you decide to learn the Law?  How did you decide to become a Lawyer?

You like rules don’t you.  You have a hard time living in a world, where the rules are being ignored or broken.

How fast will you be able to adapt to the change in the “Digital Ecosystems” that mankind has created on our Earth?

The truth is, you and your organizational culture is already in the midst of an “S” curve and you must now “Grow or Die”.

To improve and adapt in a world, that is accelerating and whose velocity is reaching light speed requires new tools and mechanisms to assist us in our “Trust Decisions”.

For those cultures and situations where trust is at stake, the utilization of technological inventions will evolve and grow as the standards for evaluating the truth.

We as humans are already at a point where we are trusting digital devices and machines, more than we trust ourselves.

The Safety, Security and Velocity of the evolution of our Digital Future is at stake.

Now is the time for our cultures to recognize, question, learn and improve how we engage with our machines, our software, our Mathematics and our Law.

It is now all about our TrustDecisions

26 July 2020

Outsourcing: New Consideration for Protecting Trade Secrets...

In a dialogue at an industry conference, the topic focused one afternoon on "outsourcing information-based services". The executives were comprised of some of America's largest companies and most valuable brands including Nike, Starbucks, Wells Fargo, Microsoft and Visa.

As the discussion turned to the information security and intellectual property concerns, the mood began to change. Should we be engaging in offshore and outsource contracts with companies who are not based in the United States? What about the rule of law in those countries? And that is when his hand went up. It was more of a comment and less of a question:

"Any US company considering an outsourcing relationship with a foreign counterpart or business entity needs to revisit The Economic Espionage Act of 1996. The theft of trade secrets and corporate espionage is the number two issue at the FBI and for good reason.

Unknown to many; our trade secrets, brands, ideas, formulas, algorithms and software code are being stolen by criminals all over the globe and right under our noses."

The problem begins with a naivety or ignorance of the current definition of Trade Secret:
The definition of the term "trade secret" under the EEA is very broad. As defined at 18 U.S.C. § 1839, it includes, generally, all types of information, however stored or maintained, which the owner has taken reasonable measures to keep secret and which has independent economic value:
(3) the term "trade secret" means all forms and types of financial, business, scientific, technical, economic, or engineering information, including patterns, plans, compilations, program devices, formulas, designs, prototypes, methods, techniques, processes, procedures, programs, or codes, whether tangible or intangible, and whether or how stored, compiled, or memorialized physically, electronically, graphically, photographically, or in writing if --
(A) the owner thereof has taken reasonable measures to keep such information secret; and
(B) the information derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable through proper means by, the public.
The impact on the US economy is staggering:
Economic Espionage is as real a threat as terrorism or global warming. But it is subtle, insidious and stealthy. Even if the United States finds the will to come to grips with the many threats it faces, this silent, invisible hemorrhaging of intellectual know-how and trade secrets could deliver the death blow to our pre-eminent place in the global economic world before we even wake up to the magnitude of the danger.
In the pursuit of saving a few percentage points in profitability, we could actually be losing money. The Board of Directors are looking at results and Wall Street demands that you get a handle on volatility. The group of saavy executives acknowledged that the Operational Risk does soar when vital transaction processing is carried out abroad. However, it is risk accepted for various types of outsourced operations.

The question remains, how many US companies have software code being developed for various applications being deployed across the globe for the benefit of our own economy? In your next meeting with your CISO, CIO or head of Risk Management, read the latest intel on intellectual property theft and discuss it with your General Counsel.

Make sure you have a sound outsourcing plan and the countermeasures to keep your precious zero's and one's safe and secure. It's an issue of National Security as much as it is a strategy to boost the corporate bottom line...

18 July 2020

Decision Advantage: Purposeful Journey to Wonder…

One of these days, you will be looking back on the year 2020 with memories.

The history of your life, is all about what you have learned yesterday, what you have decided to do today and how you are going to act into the future.

One truth is certain.  It is not going to be easy.  It will be a long journey full of Challenges.  Expectations.  Rules.  Wonder.

At some point, you will realize that you are in control of certain aspects of life’s milestones.  Yet the many stages that you will always have a question about, will only be revealed if you believe.

Believe that your journey is purposeful, even on those days you may be in wonder.  What you are understanding in the hours, days, weeks and years ahead, will be vital to you at some point.

What skills are you refining today?  Where are you gathering more information, to put it all into context, when you decide to move forward?  How will you use these skills, combined with the insights to make a real difference.

Guess what?  You don’t have to do this all alone.

There are resources of all types, waiting for you to believe in.  To utilize now, for your own “Decision Advantage”.  Why are you so hesitant?

You will reach a point, where you have an experiential sensory moment, that takes your breath away.  It may take the form of something you see, you feel, hear or even smell.

Yet this is the time to reflect, to learn.  Look up.  It is all part of the blueprint, just for you.

May you have so much Wonder in your life…