02 July 2022

4 July 2022: "Indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all"​...

 When was the last time you recited these Patriotic words? In the United States we have our “Pledge of Allegiance”.

You may remember when you first learned these verses in America. As a young student in elementary school or even on the ball field with your team starting a game.

Maybe it was a ceremony when you were in scouting or actually became a U.S. naturalized citizen.

Were you with a small group of like minded volunteers, beginning a meeting or training session to improve your skills and gain new knowledge?  Destined to really make a difference somewhere and somehow in your particular area of responsibility (AOR).

What about you? When you say this pledge does it make your heart beat just a little faster?  

Do you notice a small tear in your eye, as you see our magnificent flag of the United States?

As you gaze at 50 stars and 13 stripes of Red, White, and Blue in the wind, you know why. 

No alt text provided for this image

You know deep in your heart, what it really means to have the privilege of growing up in our America.

On our July 4th Day of Independence, we celebrate the beginning of our journey as a republic nation.

America as the land of the free, started on the battlefield. We gained valuable rights and agreed on the laws of the land, we call the home of the brave.

To make a difference each day to protect, to preserve, to innovate as we grow and prosper as a nation of our 50 United States?

Your story begins by raising your hand. To volunteer your time, your skills, your knowledge or your labor to improve our country and to sustain all that we believe in as U.S. Americans.

You see, the real story of the 4th of July in America is all about: 

“One Nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all”…

26 June 2022

Innovation: Prescient Challenge...

As our sun sets on a glorious Sunday near the Pacific Ocean, the air is cool and still. How will you spend your valuable minutes tomorrow, to devote your talents and intellectual gifts to others?

The innovation journey you are on this next dawn of summer 2022 is about “Doing”. It will encompass your greatest gifts and certainly challenge your mental and physical weaknesses as a human.

If you have been thinking lately, how you will receive something, or get handed a gift or wondering who will tell you what to do next, this message is not for you.

How might you discover a single “Prescient Challenge” or hurdle, that your direct leadership is anticipating in your community or organization? How will you research all of the facets of this problem-set they perceive to be worth solving?

It begins with you “Doing” what so many others in your neighborhood, your community or your organization are not accomplishing on a regular schedule.

Asking the curious questions, with the correct people, who have direct knowledge or experience with your particular problem-set.

This journey is for people who are courageous, proactive and willing to donate the time and individual effort to make a real difference with others.

There have been many best selling books about “Givers” and “Takers” and even the quiz to determine which kind of person you are in life. Yet this is all about who you are in your own heart.

"Doing the right activities with the correct people to solve the problem without some tangible reward, is a true first step in your long journey ahead."

Before you learned the insight and the skills to become a “Doer” in your life, you were constantly worried about survival. What others were going to provide you?

Now that you have learned the new skills and knowledge to Map & Target, Sketch a Solution, Decide & Prototype, you are well on your way to new foresights of real innovation.

You see, your future as a leader in life begins with being a Volunteer. Donating your valuable time and the intellectual or physical initiative to make a difference on worthwhile solutions.

These are the "Solutions" that solves the real risk problem, essential at the moment, in order to flourish and in many cases to actually survive.

Your own “Resilience” as a person, a neighborhood, an organization in your community is the true outcome. Who will you become…

11 June 2022

Banks: Balance Security and Customer Convenience...

Flashback to June 2004.  Always remember.

Banks Balance Security and Customer Convenience: Institutions need strategies to maintain integrity and reliability without compromising experience. by Jason Compton

"Deloitte & Touche LLP has released the results of its 2004 Global Security Survey of the financial services industry, revealing that the number of outside infiltrations of banking systems has more than doubled over a one-year period.

Although banks believe they have policies and procedures in place to manage those threats, they will increasingly be squeezed to maintain an open, accessible relationship with customers, while preserving necessary security.

Deloitte surveyed 64 of the world's largest banks, financial institutions, and insurers, 81 percent of which have annual revenues in excess of $1 billion. A total of 83 percent admitted a security compromise, 40 percent of which resulted in measurable financial damage.

Firms in the EMEA region--about half the respondent pool--were given the highest marks for their overall security readiness. U.S. institutions outspent their global peers, but lagged in clear documentation and delineation of security tasks, and showed a net loss in security positions over a one-year period."

18 years later, what have we learned?

Quiz Question:  What is more secure, sending a six digit Two-Factor authentication code to a customer by 1) SMS or by 2) E-mail.

Why?

27 May 2022

Memorial Day: A Prosperous Journey…

On this Memorial Day 2022 in the United States, we mourn all those brave and patriotic American men and women who have served our country and are now on watch in heaven.

Raising our Red, White and Blue American flag today brings tears to our eyes. It reminds us of all that have raised their hand to volunteer and all those who we have lost, to insure our flag is a beacon to the rest of the world.

If you have ever attended a funeral in Arlington National Cemetery...you know what feeling comes over you.

Standing there, when you read the birth dates in Section 60 and you realize how young they were and all those before them. 

Defending our own country and all those others who are unable to defend themselves, from perpetual evil forces.

You see, only people who have served and perhaps even their own close family members, truly understand.

Standing there, on a glorious sunny afternoon in Virginia, watching a tearful Mother as she is handed the U.S. Flag carefully folded into a triangle, is an image one shall never forget.

You see, until you have been there, how could you understand what our Memorial Day is truly about.

The Dedication. The Service. The Sweat and Tears. The Courage. The Pride. The Ultimate Sacrifice.

Godspeed…
Noun: a prosperous journey

21 May 2022

Rapport: Risk of Relationships...

 As you travel the world on business or around your particular county neighborhood, do you ever experience true “Rapport”?

You know it when you hear it, see it or you feel it.

When you encounter an employee working at the desk of your favorite airline, at your grocery store and your local banking branch, do you ever experience true rapport?

rapport
Noun rap· port | \ ra-ˈpȯr
Definition of rapport
: a friendly, harmonious relationship
especially : a relationship characterized by agreement, mutual understanding, or empathy that makes communication possible or easy

Is it the persons own words, their actions or their behavior that this particular person caught your attention?  One might find themselves wanting to revisit this establishment, business or professional service instead of one of the competition.

Brand loyalty or repeat business or the ability to get one customer or client to tell someone else about that customer encounter is what rapport is really all about.

It is all about building long lasting relationships. It is about using true rapport.

How excellent are you as a Senior Leader in your organization at using rapport with employees or new potential clients?

You may have heard some of the classic lines utilized in the past, depending on the business. If you heard: “What brings you in here today?” You might think you just walked into a Ford dealer.

If you heard: “Did you find everything you were looking for”? You might think you were in the aisle at a Gelson’s market.

If you heard: "How might we exceed your expectations today"? You might think you were working with someone who really cares about your needs, your individual requirements.

The entire brand experience with you and your organization from the first phone call, the first web site visit or E-mail inquiry or the first in-person meeting is at stake.

Building rapport shall begin on the first encounter with another person and it shall continue throughout the entire lifecycle of the relationship.

How might you start any initial meeting with another person to give them that feeling of rapport on your 2nd visit, a 3rd encounter, or every encounter by phone, e-mail or in person going forward?

The shareholder, stakeholders or owners of your organization are counting on your Senior Leaders in the business enterprise, to build the brand and grow the numbers.

The 20% at the top of your organization are most likely to be excellent at the Art and Science of rapport. Leadership really is about making everyone else better.

Remember, "Operational Risks" in your business or organization includes People, Processes, Systems and External events.

What are you doing to utilize the 20% of your people to reduce risk in your business, as your next generation of "Senior Leaders" model the true power of Rapport

14 May 2022

Metadata: What, Who, Correlate...

As you scrolled through your digital feed today on your favorite Social Media App, what did your finger stop and pause upon?

Was it a particular person you were connected with, who was posting a question Poll?  Why this person?

Was it a specific topic of political interest with a headline that caught your attention? Why this topic?

Was it a picture of your favorite place in the city you live in?  Why this picture?

Maybe it was a combination of all, so you then took the time to do some more research, some background, to try to satisfy a curious state of mind that took over your thinking.

What questions did you seek answers to, in your journey to satisfy your own curiosity?

You are exactly the kind of person the state or private entity is watching and measuring.

Cookies and metadata are their tools:


 

Metadata means "data about data". Although the "meta" prefix means "after" or "beyond", it is used to mean "about" in epistemology. Metadata is defined as the data providing information about one or more aspects of the data; it is used to summarize basic information about data that can make tracking and working with specific data easier.

So what?

The person on this web page or in this rental vehicle, or this retail store has this “name associated” with the user name or mobile device they have carried within 5 feet of the digital sensor:  John Doe’s iPhone 11.

Whether he is on the browser visiting the web page or has the small radio frequency (RF) device in his pocket, it is being measured.  It is being correlated.  It is being shared.

You see, John/Jane Q. Public for the most part does not care.  He does not think about it.  She is unaware of the implications of the ip, location or metadata they are sharing in their own home, in public locations, or the workplace.

With whom?  The answer to this question depends…

07 May 2022

Mother’s Day: Our Journey Together…

As a toddler child, the 2nd Sunday morning of May in the United States you could always find us as kids, starting our Mother’s Day celebration at St. Thomas Episcopal Church.

It was a wonderful day of celebrating our faith and family gatherings to honor our Mothers.

Once as a young First Grader, you know you certainly appreciated your Mother for all kinds of tasks in daily life. Helping you get dressed for school, making your breakfast, packing a lunch in a brown paper bag and taking you or walking with you to the bus stop, a quarter mile away.

At this stage of your own youth, there is little thought about all the challenges your own parents endured, now that you alone are growing up so fast, since the day you were born.

Decades later, after you are married and you have become a parent, your own “Mother’s Day” celebration takes on a whole new perspective.

As young parents with our own elementary age kids, our Mother's Day always started at McLean Bible Church and then perhaps a picnic afterwards at our local Great Falls Park, along the Potomac River with all the Spring wild flowers in bloom.

Reflecting back, when you achieve the parental milestone of your own personal 2nd or 3rd Mother’s Day holiday, you discover you are now much more focused on your child, through a whole different “Mother’s Day” cognitive lens.

You think, how will I teach them? When will I have the means and ability to prepare them for all of the challenges of life on their own?

Their own first losing soccer match or striking out in the little league baseball game. Their 3rd Grade report card. Their own first romantic crush and break up.  The future “Sorry to Inform You” letter(s) from an anticipated college or service application.

"Who will they become? Now as a parent, you will ask yourself this question many times, as a Mother and/or Father in your lifetime."

As you grow older yourself in life as a parent with teenagers, you begin to reflect back on your own life and what your Mom and Dad experienced, as you grew up as their Son or Daughter.

Mother’s Day is about the endless journey of life, being a responsible parent. It is not a flat and easy trail to navigate.

The parenting experience will be long and full of challenging ascents, curves and also so many exciting descents.

As a Parent and a Mother, you know all about responsibility. Pure Joy. Faith. Dedication. Sleepless nights. Fear. Courage. And most of all, “Love” no matter what…

01 May 2022

Character: Professional Experience Metrics...

What does having professional experience mean to you? At what point do you go from being someone without experience, to a person that has professional experience?

The category or area of profession has all to do with making the rules and setting the bar higher or lower for people to say they are experienced.

Some work professions simply ask you to take a long examination and achieve a passing score in order to say you have professional experience.

Other professionals realize that no matter how many tests you take, it will never prepare you for all of the challenges you will encounter ahead.

Yes, first you may have to go to some kind of skills building and educational courses to gain the fundamentals. Yet it is the hours and days of time in the actual performance of the work that is measured in many professions:

  • What about a Pilot? How do they measure their experience?
  • What about a Fireman? How do they measure their experience?
  • What about a Surgeon? How do they measure their experience?
  • What about an Investment Advisor? How do they measure their experience?
  • What about an Instructor? How do they measure their experience?
  • What about a Baseball player? How do they measure their experience?

Every category of industry, work professions and individuals placed in charge of the production responsibility, the successful outcomes, and the safety and security of others is especially measured on their levels of professional experience.

How many Hours or how many Incidents or how many Encounters or closed Deals or Games Played?

You see, experience is really about how many hours and other metrics you have practiced and tested your own abilities in the actual work. Good days and bad days. Yet there is so much more.

It is also about the Positive outcomes of the work performed. It is also about the Negative outcomes of the work performed.

Being experienced in a profession means exactly what is widely measured in that particular role or position.

So how do you make a decision on who to select as your next (name a position or role in an organization or group)?

A persons “Character” is also a key factor and measurement on total professional experience. The noun, not the adjective or verb.

CHARACTER noun
: one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual.
: the complex of mental and ethical traits marking and often individualizing a person, group, or nation.

What is most complex about humans working in so many different professions, is the Experience to Character ratio.

How much Operational Risk will you accept, with the Experience:Character ratio in your organization or team? E100:C100.  E75:C50.  E100:C0?

How will you perform in your professional life? Who will you Trust?

23 April 2022

Life Long Learning: 86 Seconds & Beyond...

As history unfolds before our eyes in April of 2022, what is on your mind about your future?

If you knew you only had about “86 seconds” or less, before a nuclear ICBM hit your metropolitan city in the USA, what would you think about? Would you say a prayer?

“WASHINGTON, April 20 (Reuters) - Russia properly notified the United States ahead of its test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, adding it saw the test as routine and not a threat to the United States.

Russia said earlier on Wednesday it had conducted a first test launch of its Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, a new addition to its nuclear arsenal which President Vladimir Putin said would give Moscow's enemies something to think about.”

How you act and what you say to others will make a difference in your life. What will your particular ideology be and why?

Definition of ideology

  • 1a : a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture
  • b : the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program
  • c : a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture
  • 2 : visionary theorizing

"How you think and perform, to accomplish relevant and important tasks in your family, your career and your community is always in your control."

  1. Take a step back in your particular time line. Open another tab in your browser and navigate to Google Maps. Look up the address of the house you grew up in.
  2. Go to the imagery view and the photos from Maxar Technologies satellites and the Google photos and then you can actually travel along your old road. Pivot around. See what your old neighborhood looks like these days or in years past.

Remember? When you used to climb that tree in your front yard or ride your big red "Schwinn Typhoon" bicycle down that rough dirt road you lived on for so many years?

This is where your ideology and you're thinking about life began. Where you fell and scraped your knees and you learned to swim in the lakes with your best friends.

“Where and how far have you traveled, since those early days of your life? Who have you been influenced by and where and how did you learn what integrity really means?”

Your particular human history so far in April of 2022 is not the end. There is still so much to see and so much to know in your life, while you still have time.

How will you continue to learn and who will you spend time with in the days and years ahead?

What will you “DO” to make some difference with a stranger or even to just buy food for others you might care about?

You see, each second, each minute and each day is yours to make your own "Trust Decisions."  Who will you become…

15 April 2022

Holy Friday: Rising Grace...

On this “Holy Friday” we pause to reflect and to remember. To read about our history and to observe all of our actions.

“Coming before the crowd one last time, Pilate declared Jesus innocent and washed his own hands in water to show he had no part in this condemnation. Nevertheless, Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified in order to forestall a riot.”

What will you do today to think and decide about your life?

How will you try to make a difference while you have time with others, who are so curious and eager to learn?

Our world is at War on the surface and so visible to all. It is simultaneously fighting in continuous Digital Asymmetric Warfare across our globe almost invisible at the speed of light.

Why?

Our families, our neighborhoods, our small groups, are still searching for the true “Grace”.

This kind of “Grace” does not come from our Treasury. It does not come from our manufacturing or service companies. It does not come from our Governments.

Definition of grace
1a : unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification
b : a virtue coming from God
c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance

This form of “Grace” has its origin in our own hearts and in our minds. It comes to us in the form of thinking and doing.

Who or What do you care about this “Holy Friday” that will have divine assistance?

Does it come from your mind and heart?

Does it focus on someone or something other than yourself?

Stop.

If you in your words or your actions are creating hurt, harm, distress or fear, just Stop.

Your next thoughts shall be to create “Grace.” How will you accomplish this today and your time ahead?

Who will you care for today? Who will you feed today? Who will you protect today? Who will you say kind words and thank you to today?

Pause your life for a few hours today. To Read. To Learn. To Feel Safe

09 April 2022

Relate: Trust Decisions in Action...

On a cloudless afternoon overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Catalina Island seemed within an arms length in the distance yet at least 30+ miles away.

Dophins were swimming in the distance. A few people were exercising their dogs over the narrow trails. The temperature was almost 80 degrees and there was a kind breeze.

As we walked together on another short journey towards the cliffs along the shoreline, a real wave of happiness came over me. She was wearing her flip flops and I smiled...

Life is interesting and every stage of it has new learning, new challenges and new opportunites that we could not ever have imagined.

When you begin a dialogue with someone you have never met, or known for decades, verbally or written, how do you begin it? To enhance the potential relationship.

As a leader in your organization, who requires a team mate to take on a new set of initiatives or tasks, how do you approach them?

Human Factors are in play when ever you are building a brand new relationship or approaching a new acquaintance or referral to potentially take on a new project.

Building long-term and successful relationships personally and professionally over the course of a lifetime, is both "Art and Science". It takes years of training, learning and practice.

"When you think about building any new relationship personally or in your organization, think about the “Relate.”

What will be your approach? What words will you use to gain that persons attention and to start to build your own bridge of trustworthiness?

Whenever you want to begin a new relationship personally or professionally, take the time and build your effective strategy. You probably only have one smart chance. Maybe only seconds.

Designing and delivering the ideal “Relate” to another human being has to have relevance. It must be thoughtful and it is even slightly obvious that you have done your careful research.

The dialogue you enter into with another person has two opportunities:

  1. It has the ability to enhance trust and build the relationship.
  2. It has the ability to erode trust and decay the relationship.

If you spend enough time around someone who is a “Master,” you shall see and hear the art and the science of graceful dialogue.

It builds trustworthiness and it provides an enduring foundation for the long-term relationship.

Practice using a well thought out “Relate” and study its abilities to influence a new acquaintance, a new partner or a new stranger on the airplane or in your work ecosystem.

You just might change your life to use more valuable “Trust Decisions” and truly enable yourself with long-term relationships…

02 April 2022

bon voyage: Web3 Generation Security...

Software developers must have a few thoughts in 2022 and beyond, about the design of public web sites or internal corporate systems.

Many of them are taught these software architectures over the course of a long career in information technology. Or a few hours watching YouTube.

When you setup your particular login account with an online site for the first time, do you ever ask yourself how they decided on this particular process step-by-step for your login credentials?

For example, is the sign-in page to your account requesting an E-mail address for your user name? Or your phone number?

Why?

OR is the sign-in page to your account requesting that you create a unique User Name that is “NOT” your E-Mail address?

Why?

In either case, most login info is validated, before you get to see the box to type in your password. Or Maybe not.

So what about the login page that has your E-mail Address and your Password fields both on the same page? One underneath the other.

You see, software developers have designed their site a particular way for a reason. Is it standardized rules in the company, city, state, or GDPR country?

Or is it something else. :)

Now, we all should have something called Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) enabled ON for your login as well. If your site does not have it or does not require it, you have to ask yourself.

Why?

Perhaps some of you carry around a little device on your key ring (or not allowed) that has a PIN number to open it, then a little LCD window that shows a 6 or 7 digit number that is constantly changing. You know who you are. “I am not using an Authenticator that is on my phone, designed by the same people who created the web site.”

"And then there is this: You'll receive only one verification code each time you request two-step identity verification by text. See Privacy Policy and Mobile Terms and Conditions for more information. Message and data rates may apply."

Some of you have given up. Enough is enough.

Why not just let the computer USE MY FACE as a way to open up the use of this device or this web site? After all, my ears sticking out, are actually very unique and the FACE ID software will not ever be confused.

Are you winning or losing in Web3?

Godspeed!

26 March 2022

Human Behavior: Witnessing Salvation…

When you accelerated through the career ranks of your organization and you achieved all of the goals and challenges in front of you for a year or two, what typically happened?

You were promoted.

Now, when you were given this new title or rank this usually included new responsibilities, new relationships to be managed and in some cases a feeling of additional power within the organization.

Then what happened to your self-esteem?

This confidence and satisfaction in oneself is a valuable topic for dialogue in developing great leaders. Especially when together we witness a leader whose behavior is unjustified and abuses their given power.

Human behavior will not ever stop surprising us, even after we think that we have seen it all:

  1. Just when we think we have witnessed all of the good in life, we see an act of kindness and good will that we never saw before. We stand there in amazement as we watch salvation in real-time.
  2. Then there is the daily news. You read a story about an act of pure evil and you ask yourself, how could another human being actually do something like that?

Whether the truth is on the front page of the Washington Post or from a witness who tells the story from their first hand experience in the room, or on the front lines, how will you act? More of #1 or #2.

The self-choice of actions you take next and the demonstrated evidence of your own behavior is an indicator of your true character. Of who you really are as a human being, operating in your organization.

Over the course of your tenure with that logo on your business card or the patch on your shoulder, never forget your true character.

You have the opportunity to continuously perform and who your colleagues will follow, that your organization is proud of each day for all of your excellent actions.

“As you build your own “Self-Esteem” and confidence and satisfaction with oneself, remember #1.”

Your team or organization as a whole, will rise together to acknowledge your kindness, empathy and yet your faithful ability to accomplish so many important milestones.

Thank you for being #1. Onward!

19 March 2022

Transparency of Actions: Building Organizational Trust…

Is paranoia and the secrecy of strategic actions by a senior management leader a major vulnerability in your organization?

The Operational Risks associated with your paranoid “Need-to-Know” culture, could lead to the failure of key management initiatives or even the latest offensive launched on your competition.

Whether you are a leader of the largest country in our world by area of land mass, or you are the Chief Executive Officer of a growing enterprise, your future success leading the organization truly lies in the hearts of people.

Have you recently launched a new policy or company strategy that has taken much of those on the front lines by surprise?

Are you invoking a new “Go-to-Market” strategy in the field without the majority of your Board of Directors to support your new ideas and actions?

The failures of People, Processes, Systems and the risks of certain External Events will eventually lead to your Operational demise. The destruction of a home for so many. It could take weeks, months or possibly years.

While your authoritative and brute force tactics from the Top begin to unfold, your employees and followers are losing faith in you. They are beginning their own plans to exit the organization and escape your toxic paranoid attitude.

Unfortunately, your own ego and the fog of your imagined legacy is ultimately what will lead to your organizations slow and painful failure.

"How might you change this and keep your upward trajectory in the marketplace and across the globe before it is too late?"

It begins with mending and growing relationships that you have ignored. Relationships that over the years have stood next to you and behind you waving your flag.

Time is running out. As a leader, the admission that you have taken the wrong course and made paranoid decisions without collaboration of other key leaders is a starting point.

You and your Board of Directors need to Understand, Decide and Act. Very soon.

How might a “Backwards-from-Perfect” approach in consultation and consensus with your strategic partners make a difference in the hours and days ahead?

The historic legacy you leave in Wikipedia and in all the hearts of the people in your particular tribe of followers, is now before you.

It is now time to become more transparent, generate a series of active “Trust Decisions” and to deliver the actions to save the heart and soul of all that they believe in…

10 March 2022

Acceleration: Discovering Velocity...

 Acceleration is a factor of physics and the rate of change of velocity with respect to time. 

The act or process of moving faster has several factors in play for the vital safety and security of attaining the planned mission.

How might you apply the correct control of your velocity in the next few seconds in order to avoid a crash and your forward momentum?

Once you have accelerated to your initial destination, what shall you do to achieve a successful journey as you navigate the challenges ahead of you?

How will you turn and adjust your velocity just at the correct time, to avoid the obstacle just seconds ahead of your intended path?

What you will learn over your hours, days, weeks and years of experience, is that you will fall and you will crash.

The question then remains, what have you learned and how quickly will you recover?

Even after decades of accelerating and reaching the greatest milestones in your life, there is a reason why you are still alive.

You are continuously in pursuit of the correct velocity in order to learn, to compete and to truly complete your intended mission here:

  • There are millions of words written in important books that are centuries old and yet you have not read all of them.
  • There are thousands of wonderful mountain peaks around our globe and yet you have not ascended to the summit of all of them.
  • There are hundreds of beautiful coral reefs below one of Earths oceans and yet you have not descended to the depth to see all of them.

You still have so much to accomplish in your particular process at the correct velocity, in order to achieve the safety and security of your mission:

MAP >> SKETCH >> DECIDE >> PROTOTYPE >> TEST

Each one of these methodical steps, in a continuous process of accelerating at the right moment in time, will see that you witness your intended destination.

Repeat this often and discover your own Velocity…Onward!

27 February 2022

Insider Threat: Web 3.0 Wild West...

The Insider Threat is an Operational Risk that will never go away. It is without a doubt going to be a continuous issue for the Board of Directors, Corporate Management and shareholders for years to come. 

Fortunately, justice has recently sent a clear message about the continuous threats of Intellectual Property Theft and more. Whether you have an unknown system admin working against you because they didn't get a raise last year or the corporate espionage ring selling secrets or identities it will continue to increase over time.

"Economic espionage is the act of stealing company trade secrets with the intent or knowledge that doing so “will benefit any foreign government, foreign instrumentality, or foreign agent.” 18 U.S.C. 1831(a)(1). The Act also prohibits attempts to steal trade secrets with the intent or knowledge that doing so will benefit a foreign government. 18 U.S.C. §1831(a)(4). Typically, economic espionage is directed or sponsored by a foreign power seeking to secure sensitive trade secrets or business information from U.S. based persons or entities."

This has to do with the new generation of new employees who have grown up using the Internet and downloading Apps or open source software. It's still the digital wild wild West and the policies and ethics workshops are nothing more than a compliance officers single strategy of justifying their existence. 

The Web 3.0 is changing these employees attitudes about sharing everything. Many of them come to the organization with a profile on Facebook and don't have any qualms about sharing their own private information. The leaks to the press on major M & A deals should be enough evidence that even good old fashioned ethics are in jeopardy.

The Insider Threat in a Web 3.0 world is not only here to stay. It is just getting started...

20 February 2022

Fortitude: Presidents to U.S. First Responders...

On the 3rd Monday of February in the United States, our country takes a day to reflect. To remember, and acknowledge and to honor our American Presidents.

It is a federal holiday specifically honoring George Washington, who led the Continental Army to victory in the American Revolutionary War, presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and was the first president of the United States.

Teachers in schools may focus on student projects around our US Presidents and the dawn of our Republic. A form of government in which “supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives”.

This day of pause, celebration or study of history shall also include a tribute to all of our “First Responders” across our great nation. Those men and women on the front lines of our democracy that are always on watch. Those who are in action each day, to defend our freedom and our Republic from disasters and evil.

As the pace of the economy across the globe includes new inventions, new technology and new laws; our governments must work in synchronized step with all of our First Responders.

Those individuals who are consistently scanning the horizon, analyzing dashboards of continuous streams of new sensor data, researching the changes in our respective environments and Areas of Responsibility (AOR) to better understand.

Yet these individuals require more. The First Responders who 24 hours x 365 days are continuously Understanding, Making Decisions and Acting in order to address the continuous integrity and constant peace of our great nation, require more.

"Our U.S. First Responders require a continuous set of resources, innovative new tools and training to apply the leading solutions for the United States security, response and resilience. From Liberty Crossing to NORAD. From Pennsylvania Ave to Pacific Coast Highway.
How might a small group of First Responders gather in a particular geographic area of our country to research, develop and deliver new valuable innovations to protect our Republic?"

How might we include industry and academia in an acceleration of information exchange and testing of new prototypes?

One good example is the Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) that is again taking place primarily in Southern California over the next six months. Activities will focus on the examination of capabilities by public and private sector stakeholders in the following areas:

  • 
Critical infrastructure security, threat mitigation, and incident response
  • 
In-service engineering, maintenance, and sustainment of surface fleet and expeditionary combat systems
  • Port and maritime domain awareness, data fusion, and decision support
  • 
Augmented and virtual reality modeling, simulation, and digital engineering
  • 
Unmanned systems applications, implementation, and countermeasures

Yet whether we are creating new learning environments for our First Responders on Land, Sea, Space and Cyber domains, we shall always remember.

On this Presidents Day 2022, Americans who are true First Responders will continuously seek out new opportunities to learn more.

They will collaborate to test and innovate their own new ideas and inventions to preserve our Republic. To make their own neighborhood even more safe and secure.

They will act with bravery and their own fortitude, just as George Washington did and all those who have followed him…

12 February 2022

Curious: A Desire to Learn...

On a scale of 1-to-10, how curious are you as a person? Before you quickly answer this vital question, let’s look at the definition:

curious

adjective

cu· ri· ous | \ ˈkyu̇r-ē-əs

Essential Meaning of curious

1 : having a desire to learn or know more about something or someone

curious, a neutral term, basically connotes an active desire to learn or to know.

When you think back on your latest encounter with another person at the corporate event, meeting or Zoom, the latest social gathering, who was the dominate orator? How many open-ended questions did they ask? How about you?

Or if you think back on the total clock of minutes during the conversations, how much was one or two people dominating the time talking, yet never asked any questions of the others present?

Having a curious dialogue with another human is an art, coupled with some science.

It is vital to ask yourself about your own curiosity. Why?

Is your own self-desire to be heard, getting in your way of being more curious and learning?

Is your own ego and self-centered focus on your agenda, an obstacle to your ability to learn or to truly know more about, what the individual you are in dialogue with believes or knows about a particular subject or topic?

You see, your own lack of curiosity may be the reason you are so frustrated. So lonely.

The true “Art” of being more Curious takes time to perfect. So that you do not become annoying to the others you are talking with at the next corporate or social gathering.

“The key word in the definition is “Desire”. If you lack the active desire to learn, then you are still a long way from getting to a place where you are truly more curious.”

At the same time, your own lack of transparency will also create questions by your colleagues of your reliability factor. Of your trustworthiness.

"How might you become more curious and simultaneously more transparent, so that others you are in dialogue with, will trust you and want to reciprocate with their own valuable information?"

One-to-one dialogue with another person will have different challenges, than a leader who is talking with their own team. You will need to practice these on a regular basis so that your curious behavior doesn’t create negative results.

Your total Human-to-Human experience practice, can be done with pure strangers in just minutes. Yet maybe with people you see or encounter on a regular basis and who are not really friends or your real work colleagues.

What about the person at your local market, who you choose to check-out with and so you can chat for a minute or two? Maybe it’s your favorite teller at your bank. Perhaps it is your lobby door person or security guard?

Start the dialogue with: “It is great to see you again.”

Ask a relevant “Open-ended” question: What, How, When, Where…

Become a better listener : "Developing influence requires effective communication, and effective communication begins with listening.

Listening is command central for effective communication. No other skill is as powerful or as necessary for developing understanding− and for communicating a desire to understand.

Perhaps the most common block to effective communication is impatience. So whatever your objective or agenda is, suspend it long enough to focus on what the other individual is saying and feeling. And display patience."

End the dialogue with: “It was great to talk with you again.”

Be interested. Be interesting. Be Curious!

Now you are well on your way to a life of “Continuous Learning” as a true leader…

29 January 2022

Cyber Reality: Quest for the Digital Castle...

On this Saturday morning the prayers are silent. For family, friends and also for the subject matter experts in business and the U.S. government.

They have been waking us up again to the reality of the Operational Risks we now face, to our ubiquitous digital-based economic infrastructure.

The message is clear to those insiders, who have been trying to defend our "Digital Castles" against tremendous odds of these seemingly invisible threats. Is it really, game over?

The short answer is yes. The current mindset should be, that every major business of valuable interest in the eyes of the enemy has already been compromised or soon to be. It is already too late. The stealth digital code is currently waiting in the shadows of your organizations hundreds or thousands of digital assets.

Whether it is the aging Dell Tower Desk Tops still running on Windows XP somewhere or the latest Android PDA/Apple IOS devices tethered to the corporate network does not matter. Your adversary has control of when and where to begin the attack on you and your organization.

So if this is the reality of the global state-of-play, in both the business world and also to government, what should the risk management strategy consist of going forward? How could we ever get to a point of advantage over those who seek to do us harm?

So internally, the prudent corporate business strategy should be for your General Counsel and the CIO of your organization to be already preparing themselves for the day that they will step before the press conference microphone to disclose the material breach of the companies intellectual capital or theft of assets.

They should already know, that it is just a matter time and not a denial that it will ever happen on their watch. If you are a Board Director and you still have not had "The Talk" with management about this stark reality, then you too are complicit in the scheme to present your stockholders and stakeholders with a false sense of confidence that you are safe and secure.

The new normal for forward thinking organizations is already being implemented for adverse events. The Crisis Management Team has already exercised the "Data Breach" scenario numerous times.

Your General Counsel and Chief Information Officer have rehearsed and practiced their testimony before opposing and adversarial questioning of your organizations information security processes.

The company subject matter experts are more than prepared to submit evidence of their best practices, industry standards compliance and previous tests of due diligence. The stage is set for the court room battles ahead:

The quest for the "Digital Castle" has been going on for years. Are you awake now or still living in a dream of denial on your state of achieving a Defensible Standard of Care…

23 January 2022

Wonder: Leadership in Action…

Leadership of “Small Teams” to accomplish extraordinary and challenging tasks or milestones has been written about for centuries.

The Leader of your team has certain assets and capabilities for creating the team "Wonder" that others see as worthy of following. The Leader has something the team members admire or, by joining the team, they know they will gain new knowledge or wealth of life experience.

So what is it about this Leader and this particular Team, that has created your ambition to try and join its ranks?

Why will you pursue the hard work and learning the skills to be known by your Leader and your fellow team mates, as a valuable addition to the team?

How does this “Team Leader” recognize those who will perform to baseline expectations and those who will make a valuable contribution to the overall mission?

Are they too tall or too short? Are they too young or too old? Are they too light or too heavy? Are they too sharp or dull? Are they too this or too that.

True Leaders realize from their own experience and continuous Recruiting, Educating, Networking and Sharing information (RENS) with new potential team members that it takes time.

How much time?

“Leadership of Teams” who have seen hundreds if not thousands of potential additions to a team, they will tell you this. "You can never judge anyone on your first impression."

It is not until each one of the new people for this particular team endeavor are provided with a proper orientation, skills testing, extensive training and actual opportunities to perform, that you will learn about them.

Will this particular person be worthy of becoming a long term and valuable team mate and continuously performing with excellence?

We shall find out and see what they are truly capable of in their knowledge, skills and their own ambitions to perform as fellow team members.

How long will you test and train them before you realize that your potential team player is not worthy of the continued time and resources with your team?

Days. Weeks. Months. Years?

You know as a True Leader, that you must finally make an informed decision. You must continue to invest your valuable resources in this individual or you must ask them to leave the team. This brave decision will benefit both of you.

Leadership of “Small Teams” of professionals will continuously have those who think they have found something new. Some new insight or formula that will change everything.

Do you ever experience "Wonder"...

The second, the minute, the hour or the day is ahead of you, when you too will finally realize that you will achieve your objective milestone. Or you might be unable to achieve it.

Whether it is the game or race, or the professional team working relationship, you must make a decision.

Yet never forget, that the wonder of learning will only make you Stronger, more Wise, more Knowledgeable and even more future Resilient...

Onward!

15 January 2022

Madison Ave to Llewellyne Ave: Digital Warfare on our Doorsteps…

Complex Irregular Warfare, whether "Asymmetric or Hybrid" will be exponential into the next decade and shall consume our Earth and beyond.

John Q. Citizen who is walking down the street in Syria or Europe, Africa, Asia, South America or Kyiv already is more aware of this fact.

“Hybridity ... is characterized by the interpenetration of a wide range of non-state actors including any combination of insurgent or terrorist networks; organized crime groups; social groups such as clans, tribes or ethnic groups; and ideologically or religiously motivated organizations; all of which may be backed covertly or overtly by states and/or legitimate businesses.” 
Schroefl and Kaufman,
“Hybrid Actors,” pp. 862, 867.

This is still about our digital modern warfare, not focused or about the next variant of a biological weapon.

Asymmetric and hybrid warfare is not new and it has been operating on Main Street USA for a decade or more, yet most people are apathetic or complacent as they walk down the sidewalk starring at their latest digital communicator.

Who knows more about you as a person? The people on Madison Avenue or on Amphitheatre Parkway. These forces working together to better understand you as a behavioral thinking machine and to Win, are beyond your typical John Q. Citizens comprehension.

Now take this Asymmetric or Hybrid foundation and apply this to our next 24 hours and to the next 12 months. What you read and what you hear and what you see on an LCD screen, is the modern digital battlefield. In the USA. In Ukraine. In China. In North Korea. In Iran. In the UK.

The corporate and business battlefield has now spread across our other 16+ Critical Infrastructures, such as energy pipelines and beyond to hospitals, schools and universities, water and electric utilities, local government municipalities and vital federal government agencies.

The attack surface has now spread to our homes, apartments and where ever you may connect your little LCD screen to the Internet, for your Work From Home (WFH) strategy.

You see, that little black or white or blue communications box sitting there on your desk, credenza or table in the storage room, with little blinking lights is actually part of this digital global battlefield. You as a citizen soldier now need to do your part.

The Router/modem/Cable box sitting inside your own domicile or business, is the entry point for our modern global adversaries. It is your Duty of Care and your mission to defend your Family, your Community and your Country.

You can realize your own vulnerabilities in order to respond. To increase your resiliency. To upgrade or update your own digital hardware and software, in order to Deter, Detect and Defend, all those we care for in our daily lives.

The so called “Critical Infrastructure” is in your hand, in your business, in your home, and you and your own family are part of this hybrid warfare. Wake up!

From Madison Avenue, New York City NY to Llewellyn Avenue, Fort Meade MD, to the deepest, darkest parts of the World Wide Internet, a continuous Digital Global War is being waged 86,400 seconds per day…

08 January 2022

Fearless: Over Your Horizon...

How will you be changing your focus in the coming year and over your horizon? Will you make a concerted effort to change some aspect of your life?

Many people declare some kind of resolution after the New Year begins January 1, so others will see them in a different light. What is yours?

What if you continued your life with more courage and a tenacity in following a faith that has lasted thousands of years?

People who together work towards living and demonstrating the life that exhibits what being a follower of Christianity truly means.

Some will make a resolution to lose weight and stop eating beef. Others will say they will stop something else, that they know and realize is so harmful in their life.

"What if you just did a 180 degree turn and instead of being so focused on “Stopping” the bad habit in your life, you became devoted to “Starting” a new behavior."

A new discipline. Starting to “DO” something that you know will be good for you.

In 2022 how might you start a new course, a new habit or a new process to improve your mindset and your outlook on life?

You can start this without declaring it out loud to your family, friends and neighbors.

How about reading or listening about it with your headphones on, for a 15-30 minute time, on a regular basis. On the Metro, on the plane or by yourself early in the morning, or with trusted others in the evening together.

There will be some significant outcomes from your focus and your new discipline. You just might be in wonder at what they are, as they begin to reveal themselves to you.

The first part of this is to declare that you will set aside your time on a regular basis. Will it be certain days of the week at a certain time frame of the day, in your daily schedule of life? The second part is to repeat and never give up.

Recently, a trusted woman who was working on a mutual project years ago with us came back into our life view. She had just written a book about her faith and her new discipline. It was now on Amazon and we exchanged a few quick e-mails.

The book arrived soon thereafter and I started reading it. As each page was turned, it is clear to me that Jennifer is truly someone that we shall learn from. How to be a real “DOER." How to have even more discipline in our prayer, as we go to work and care for our loved ones each day of our lives.

Beyond being a single mother and a professional in her entrepreneurial career, she has made enlightened decisions and started actions in her life over four years ago. This has taken her on a rewarding new spiritual and experiential journey.

In 2022, how might you start your new discipline? Whatever you may choose, Do it with devotion and be Fearless.

31 December 2021

Disaster at 5280: Contingency Planning & Relief in 2022...

As our 737-900 descended over the Rockies into DEN yesterday, there was a clear view of the front range and the Boulder Flatirons in the distance. Snow storms were only 48 hours away, and yet as the extreme winds buffeted our plane we admired the city at 5280 ft.

Only a few hours later as we drove around NW Denver, the smoke started to became apparent. Little did we know that communities just North of us, were on the verge of an unpredictable local catastrophic disaster.

The winds had picked up and now you could sense something was very wrong with the wall of dark smoke blowing East at 75+ miles an hour.

Then we saw the local news about Superior, and the immediate evacuations as the roaring fire headed due East from Rt. 93 and the foothills just West of Superior and Louisville.

24+ hours later, it is still not quite over and we have witnessed 500-1000 homes and a hotel along with some other local businesses incinerated, as fire crews worked through the night to save lives and get people to safe havens.

Once you as a human, come so very close to pure disaster and witness the shear power of mother nature and her ability to devastate everything in her path, of the fire, and the wind or the water…you realize you are never going to be totally prepared.

In 2022, let us all agree, that we can only devote more time to understand, making more informed decisions and acting quickly to our respective rapidly changing events, incidents, threats and inevitable crisis.

Through every disaster across America, there are valuable “Lessons Learned” and for us as humans to respond in productive and heart felt outcomes.

Here are a few quick ideas that may be worthy of consideration with your family:

  1. How might you and yours set up a digital “Cloud” account in Box or Amazon or Google or Protonmail, to upload and place copies of your most vital personal .pdf or scanned documents, home insurance, tax records and even business/financial information?
  2. How might you place a fireproof lockbox/safe within your house to place physical documents, Passports, Birth Certificates and other unreplaceables (jewelry, medals, keys) or legal information that may take weeks or months to replace?
  3. How might you and your spouse/partner practice with other family members, in other cities across the country, on contingencies and family actions, just in case Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Floods or Wild Fires and even Earthquakes occur without warning?
  4. What types of insurance coverages have you added to your policies to include certain types of disaster scenarios, that have a likelihood of occurring in your particular geography?
  5. Once you have established the baseline for 1-4, how might you improve your planning by exchanging the plans with your other trusted family members and asking each other important remaining questions?

As the local “Denver News” helicopter flew over the remains of these neighborhoods this morning, one could only wonder why some houses were spared and others next door were completely gone with only a chimney remaining?

“Our First Responders and local businesses are still in the first 72 hours of this disaster and yet you can see the sorrow and the emotions on everyones faces.”

Colorado and other NGOs across America will assist in the days ahead and we will grow stronger and more prepared for our next crisis as the snow showers and storms finally arrive here…

Godspeed Colorado in 2022!

18 December 2021

Seasons Greetings and 2022...

We have learned a tremendous amount of new Operational Risk knowledge in 2021. As we celebrate this holiday season and move into 2022, it is imperative that we reflect on what we have learned.

We must take this new found knowledge and use it to mitigate the ever changing threats to our family, friends, institutions, organizations and business units.  To become even more Resilient.

We are reminded of the great book by Stan Davis and Jim Botkin titled The Monster Under the Bed. They talk about how Knowledge is information put to productive use.

And they talk about getting from Knowledge to Wisdom:
Wisdom: The ability to judge soundly and deal sagaciously with facts, especially as they relate to life and conduct; knowledge, with the capacity to make due use of it; perception of the best ends and the best means; discernment and judgment...
Operational Risk Management is about true knowledge management and so much more. It is about Learning, with the goal of gaining and retaining Wisdom.

It is about using advanced methods and technologies to detect threats far in advance, so that the proper risk mitigation strategies can be put in place.

Operational Risk Management remains an evolving discipline in our corporate institutions only because we have not yet decided on the exact taxonomy and definitions, for each facet of its breadth and rapidly changing depth.

Once we accomplish greater discipline, it will become more pervasive across most aspects of our business foundations.

From the Board Room to your Third-party risk management (TPRM), we will see Operational Risk Management (ORM) having a real impact on our collective “Wisdom".

Seasons Greetings and in 2022, we must all look for ways to gain more wisdom and to further develop the methods and systems for keeping our most precious assets safe and secure…

11 December 2021

R3: Team Leaders On The Front Lines…

Now that you and your team have finished the mission strategy planning for 2022, how might you simplify this for those on the front line who work outside the building?

When you really understand what the product/solution does and you truly believe the benefit of someone using it, now what?

Your team may know the strategy and the “Why now”, yet will you still be wondering where all of the budget allocations have gone, after the first six months of your budget cycle?

What if you focused on a small part of your team, who you might name your company “Operators”. 

You know, the people who are eager to get out the door everyday to go see and solve problems for themselves. The people that will be responsible for the implementation of the product, the tool, and the solution on the customers premises in their environment.

"The team of “Operators” in your organization who are actually accountable for the final results."

Hopefully your organization has at least a 3:1 ratio of “Operators” to “Bean Counters”.

3-Operators to 1-Bean Counter, just might give you a chance of making your mission strategy work.

In our global world of business these days, the relationships are your Ground Zero.

Without effective relationships that exist and are continuously building rapidly across your intended target zones, you will have a much longer wait for your positive and smiley face of EBITDA.

Developing and growing “Relationships” is perhaps one of your greatest Operational Risks ahead of you, as the Leader of your particular team.

Having learned a simple yet “Never Forget” acronym from a few very wise business instructors (Randy & Wendy) many years ago, consider this:

R3 = Relationships >>> Results >>> Revenue.

Guess what? It is something the “Operators” will actually understand and since you have 3 times more of these people on your front line team, they must have their own business strategy acronym that they will be able to remember and execute on:

  1. Operators that are developing meaningful and effective Relationships are your way to mission accomplishment.
  2. Operators who realize how to produce tangible Results that can be measured are your way to mission accomplishment with end users, customers and clients.
  3. Operators will see Revenue if #1 and #2 are successful.

R3 is your execution layer on top of the “Bean Counters” PEST, STEER, SWOT or any other planning acronym they might use in the “God Pod” upstairs or down a long corridor of the outside view offices in the E-ring.

In order for you as the field Team Leader, to truly better understand how to improve the “Revenue” and mitigate the Operational Risks in your business entity, you have got to get out on the front lines with your Operators.

To see and experience the real “Relationships” and the actual “Results”.

Where will your next “Senior Leader” tour of duty take you in the field of your Area of Responsibility (AOR)…