25 September 2022

Foresight: Circumspection as to Danger or Risk...

As you walk through your business office or around your organizations campus this week, how will you use foresight?

You have always had the ability to foresee and view looking forward, yet how effective have you applied this ability in your current environment?

The act or power of foreseeing is a skill that you can learn and utilize on a daily basis to your advantage. To increase your safety. To insure your security. To expand your prudence.

Are you operating each day in your work or even family activities without ever thinking about the future?

What if?

Do you ever ask yourself this question as you proceed into your day, your week or the next month or are you oblivious to the changing conditions, people, processes and behaviors externally developing around you?

Reactive people who are constantly surprised and organizations that are less than prepared for sudden change events, are ever more present.

Anticipating the future and using real-time sensory data to your advantage is just the baseline towards more effective individual prudence and continuous business foresight.

"The speed of life or the accelerating volumes of data streaming through the digital veins of your organization, just might have you overwhelmed and even distracted."

How might you and your team develop greater foresight and reduce the significant risks in your business future?

As a Team Leader, the answer begins with finding a very scarce commodity these days.

Time.

Let’s just start with 2 hours, across 4 consecutive weeks so 8 blocks of time.

The difference is, these two hours each week with your team shall be devoted to developing greater foresight.

Your skill and good judgement, in the use of resources while you apply this to caution or circumspection of danger or risk, will create a true difference.

Your facilitation of the process and methodology, insures your teams focus on using and applying foresight, in your particular areas of business operations or your teams specific responsibility.

The teams outcomes shall be applied and tested, measured and recorded to determine the true results. For 4 consecutive weeks, your "Business Foresight" and prudence will be rapidly growing. Now repeat in bi-annual sessions.

Your expanding corporate ability to govern and the discipline by the use of team reasoning will ensure a more safe and secure journey into the future…

Onward!

16 September 2022

ORM Tools: So Many Choices...So Little Time

As the software marketplace begins to mature with the newest systems for various facets of Operational Risk, how do you know what software tools are right for your organization?

For starters, there are dozens if not hundreds of specific tools on the market today for helping you manage everything from Risk and Control Self Assessments (RCSA), Supply Chain Risk to documenting processes for SOX 404 compliance. 

"You can benefit from building your structures for processes, business strategy and tests for procedures. This still leaves many choices to evaluate and vendors who will flog you with powerpoints."

There are several key components of the ORM Framework Management that are essential when considering software tools to assist you:  

Policy 

Create security policies, standards and procedures, distribute them online, educate and train employees, and track compliance, exceptions and violations.  

Threat 

Comprehensive and customizable early warning system providing notification of physical and digital threats, vulnerabilities and malicious code to help prevent attacks before they affect the enterprise.  

Assets 

Manage enterprise assets such as buildings, vehicles, inventory, servers, applications or data centers and their relationships to ensure you are protecting your critical assets according to management expectations. 

Risks 

Perform online risk assessments to determine the proper controls to be implemented on specific assets based on their use and risk to the enterprise. 

Incidents 

Report incidents, manage their escalation, track investigations and analyze resolutions.

In evaluating the current information security, regulatory and legal environment, consider these five key flaws with today’s ORM software solution programs:

1. Dependence on inadequate and incomplete technology-based point solutions; 

2. Failure to integrate people, process and systems into an effective operational risk program; 

3. Lack of decision support and an actionable understanding of the threat to the entire spectrum of corporate assets; 

4. Reactive response to perceived problems rather than proactive initiatives based on sound risk management principles; and

5. Cost and shortage of properly skilled IT personnel to suport the programs.

The Gartner Group has identified three major questions that executives and boards of directors need to answer when confronting significant issues: 

  •  Is your policy enforced fairly, consistently and legally across the enterprise.
  •  Would our employees, contractors and partners know if a violation was being committed?
  •  Would they know what to do about it if they did recognize a violation?

If you don't know the answers to these questions then there is much more work to do and much more strategic planning necessary before any software system is implemented for Operational Risk Management...

05 September 2022

Bifurcate: Future Missions of Success...

As you plan your next bold endeavor, your next work project or even your next life adventure how will you approach your process for success?

Some would sit down with their blank sheet of paper and sketch out a drawing first. 

Others might use a tool for project management, a spreadsheet or a CRM to assist them in their approach to planning.

You will use the tools and the process you have been taught and learned to use through out your particular life time so far.

Remember that period of time in your life when the people you were working with, decided to go off and use a different process, a different tool or embark on a singular and selfish goal?

Have you ever found yourself recommending a particular process or tool to others for utilization in their team, that is never adopted by them or just ignored?

Your particular success utilizing a method or a process or tool must be articulated to the team with effective past stories.

You must show or demonstrate previous successful outcomes that are relevant to the current mission.

You see, your teams future performance will be more about your own leadership and how you tell the story of your successful past.

The methods and process you introduce, will have far greater adoption since the team sees and hears the evidence that you have tested and adapted, tested and failed, tested and found the correct tool(s), the best process.

The behavior of humans has been studied for centuries. The study of successful teams has been written about and documented for centuries.

What are you missing?

Mission and project success occurs when you realize that your team now understands why these “People”, what is the true “Objective”, why these “Methods” and what “Tools” are proven?

Now let’s go back to the story. How successful has your current story been working for you?

You know it is finally time to bifurcate when the performance curve is now on the unplanned trajectory.

Definition of bifurcate
transitive verb
: to cause to divide into two branches or parts
bifurcate a beam of light
intransitive verb
: to divide into two branches or parts

Break away soon from the main organization. Create a new course, a new path.  "Y."

Design and implement something "NEW".

Your journey ahead will now look so much brighter. You will become curious again. 

Your teams successful outcomes will now be part of your new story...

Onward!

27 August 2022

Op_Pros: Achieving Singularity...

Our future depends on our ability to create new designs, new prototypes and then quickly deliver these to the end users on the front lines.

Author Peter Thiel in his book “Zero to One” articulates the challenge of our future. His insights are the modern day relevancy we all desperately need.

Stagnation or Singularity. What will be your destiny?

Economic competition and our future trends towards massive global disruptions requires our most vital organizations to find singular ways to improve and to discover “New”.

Our most coveted purpose has always brought us a daily motivation to excel. To think. To create. To test. To learn. To repeat.

A high risk mission that shall bring us so much closer to seeking out the real tasks that are critical to our collective future.

What emerging skills will be continuously required by humans to develop and test our new designs, prototypes and inventions?

How might we develop new tools and system methods to assist us along the challenging journey?

"Your particular group of “Operational Professionals” await the next challenges, new found problem-sets and purposeful tasks towards building our resilient futures."

Your specialized team shall assemble according to subject-matter-expertise that is focused on solving the true problem-set, integrated with specific geography experience where the prototype will be tested.

Over-The-Horizon (OTH) innovation within the walls of the historical institution of origin rarely is successful.

Our story truly begins when your “Operational Professionals” engage together beyond the organizational walls, away from the traditional rule-sets and together using the innovative new methods, real-time strategy and tactics to now move from “Zero to One”.

Your mission success will continuously rely upon the magnitude of your integrated skill-sets and relevant accuracy of the real-time information discovery.

The outcomes from obtaining your objectives and solving the problems identified will accelerate your abilities to find “New”.  To learn together as a unified team. To start the LOOP all over again with new insights and the metrics for future success.

What important truth, do “Very Few” people agree with you on?

Look beyond the near wall and into the far distance to imagine what you will achieve together…

13 August 2022

Mechanisms: For Continuous Risk Monitoring...

One of the systemic problems at large institutions including organizations like your own Fortune 500 Global company is keeping your finger on the pulse of "Risk Indicators".

Unfortunately for SVP's and other executives in the corporate hierarchy, your middle managers are creating the layer that impedes the best "Early Warning System" you may have at your disposal.

When problems surface on the front line or over in the "Cube City" in some Telephone Call or Information center on the other side of the globe, or across your new "Work-From-Home" (WFH) team, the normal agenda is for the employee to go to their direct supervisor to raise the "Red Flag" or disclose the incident. Perhaps the first behavioral response by the Middle Manager is to keep it quiet. Fix it before anyone else finds out. Keep it under wraps until damage control can be implemented.

When you are the Head of Enterprise Risk Management, you need mechanisms to bypass and eradicate the barrier holding your intelligence, incidents and overall hunches for ransom. There is no magic system or process that will solve it all. Yet, the only way to attempt at breaking through this layer of social and organizational dysfunction is to circumvent it.

A continuous risk monitoring system has to be implemented and operating anonymously 24/7 in concert with the Security Operations Center (SOC) if the upper echelons of executive management are ever going to "Feel the Pulse" of risk hotspots in the company.

These hotspots translate into true "Risk Indicators" from the sources themselves, people who know what's going wrong and know the ground truth. An internal Continuous Risk Monitoring System (CRMS) is an automated human feedback and problem identification mechanism for detecting insider risks. It allows leaders of large organizations to quickly identify problems and incidents of all kinds in their company. Call it a sophisticated whistle-blower system or even suggestion box but that is exactly what it is, on steroids.

The ideal CRMS system would emulate communication patterns in small groups which is often a major ingredient in successful teams. It would also run on the existing computers and networks of the organization or from home by logging in via an internal VPN. The soldiers on the front line know what is going on far sooner than the commanders in the Joint Operations Center just as the employee or supplier does and they need a way to communicate the issue, concern or threat in a rapid and efficient manner.

"The system provides the executives with instant or trend based intel that is actionable. It provides the "Insight" as well as the pertinent facts that you need to make more quick effective decisions."

Think about how long it takes for data and information to percolate and bubble up from the places in your organization that are considered "Current Risk Hot Spots". The point is that for far too long we have been playing the old telephone game.

You know, the one that you played as a kid sitting around the kitchen table or on the floor in a circle. One person starts and whispers into the ear of the person to there right. Just a sentence or two. By the time the message gets around to the 3rd or 4th person, now the data is dramatically different than the original. It's been interpreted, edited and sanitized.

Walk down and visit the person who is in charge of the anonymous 800# or “electronic suggestion box” or perhaps the official whistle-blower program at your organization.

Ask them for an activity log. Ask yourself how you could get this mechanism to perform better and then work with your front line to develop something that middle management can't filter, change or delete. That is when you will be well on your way to getting TrustDecisions in real time…

07 August 2022

Skills of Purpose: Active Learning in Life...

As a new dawn sun rises above the horizon across your own neighborhood in America, what is on your agenda today?

Are you living and working in survival mode? Wondering what to do next, as you care for others who are unable or too young or too old?

How much time will you devote to yourself in the next 24 hours or next week? Will you be learning a new skill, practicing a skill learned long ago or teaching your professional skills to someone else who will truly benefit?

skill noun
Definition of skill
1a : the ability to use one's knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance
b : dexterity or coordination especially in the execution of learned physical tasks
2 : a learned power of doing something competently : a developed aptitude or ability

Your ambition to learn a new skill or practice one that you learned long ago is a lost art.

In 2022, many neophytes believe that streaming YouTube or sitting quietly in a classroom, while a person in the front of the room presents their content and opinions to attempt to educate you, is the answer.

Skill building is so very different. It is proactive and the person in the course is actively “Doing” and practicing what is being demonstrated and taught by the instructors.

Skill building requires a professional instructor who not only has many years of “Doing” the same set of skills, yet also has the real ability to transfer those skills to others by utilizing their proven and active methodology.

Think about it. How did you learn your most precious and valuable skills in life? Who was your most favorite instructor? Why?

If you ever found yourself learning your new skills in the first few decades of your life at a professional School, an Institute, an Academy or on the Farm, you truly understand what active learning and true skill building is really all about.

You probably have some visible indicators of how you learned the wrong way to execute your new found skill.

You have now decided to continue to practice your new valuable skills. You will apply them to your work or profession and even will share what you have learned over decades with those others on your team who are now eager to learn.

How might you provide these same life skills to others you truly care about?

This task will not be easy and will require your devoted time and resources to be effective.

"Active learning" is so much more time intensive and requires a methodology that is full of practice, observation and then even more practice.

If you find yourself sitting in the audience, looking at a screen and trying to listen, it could be so different and so much more rewarding.

You could be out there learning new life skills, that you will then quickly apply in the City, the County or the Country of your choice.

To make a real difference and with a true purpose.

On the way there, thank your instructor... Onward!

31 July 2022

Maps: Finding Your Next Destination...

Where you decide to live your life and the geography that surrounds you, will shape who you become in your future.

When you were growing up, did you ever ask your Mom or Dad, why are we living here?

Did you ever have the pure curiosity to look on a map to discover where in your country your hometown was actually located? How far was it to your Nations Capital?

Your story as a young human being and where you started your early years going to a local school and taking a geography class was just your beginning.

What about the neighborhood you lived in and the friends and places around you that shaped many of your thoughts on life forever. That single map you were curious examining, was just a small world view of our entire globe and your opportunity.

In 2022, you now have the satellite imagery resolution and cloud-based services such as ESRI, Maxar or even just Google Maps to quickly explore your next destination.

Explore your next city, state and geography to live or work.

Your parents probably did not have those high tech tools when you were growing up across from the big lake, in just a small Mid-West community in our United States.

Now, how might you utilize a myriad of new technologies and online tools to research your next destination in life?

What questions might you ask yourself to begin to zero-in on a particular Zip Code or a proximity to the ocean, the mountains or the city with tall skyscrapers?

Would you begin with the weather site? Would you begin with ZipRecruiter dot com? Would you begin with Rent dot com? Would you begin with CrimeMapping dot com?

Yes, and unfortunately these days, people must consider all kinds of “Operational Risks” in their own particular community. Why?

We have all heard or experienced first hand the news reports from city names of where significant “Loss Events” have occurred across our America.

The spectrum of risks are wide and so unpredictable. Here are just four such examples:

Where will you find your next place to work and/or raise a family, so that you may truly prosper and your family will be more safe and secure?

Where are the schools you will choose to associate with, that start the day with our “Pledge of Allegiance”? Where you will find “School Protective Resource Officers” are on premise and kindly greeting students as they arrive each day.

Why will you volunteer with your local Citizens Corps Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and/or join your metro area InfraGard Members Alliance (IMA)?

Why will you learn CPR and how to use a tourniquet, organize a search and rescue team, learn self-defense and how to more effectively Understand, Decide and Act, with real-time digital active streams of relevant threat information?

Because of the geography where you grew up and it all began. Because of where you went to College and earned your degree(s). Because you learned and worked more than most in our International world of asymmetric warfare with continuous and invisible Operational Risks.

Because of your growing Christian faith. Because you have been Married once for 35+ years. Because together you and your wife raised a daughter and a son who were only 19 months apart working full-time.

Because your kids both graduated with Bachelor degrees from State Universities. Because they are now building successful careers within a Dow Jones Industrial Fortune 500 and a US Federal Government Agency.

Because you have your first Grandson. :-)

Because your own Mother and Father made the right decisions, on where to live and raise your family, as just another young kid on the YMCA Swim Team in that little Mid-West town.

In our wonderful and only, United States of America…USA!

23 July 2022

Innovation: The Speed of Exploration...

Why does your organization encounter Operational Risk events that have caught you off balance, off guard or created substantial losses to shareholders and major stakeholders?

There are people in your organization right now that are still without the tools, the training or the methodology to solve new significant problem-sets.

More vital, is that your organization is not proactively generating new innovative ideas, new solutions and new answers to your own operational risk issues.

innovation - noun
in· no· va· tion | \ ˌi-nə-ˈvā-shən
Definition of innovation
1: a new idea, method, or device : novelty
2: the introduction of something new

To truly innovate a new product/solution, you must first do your research. Your field study. You must get out of the building and ride in the field.

Show up on the front lines of your business unannounced. This is nothing new, yet it works and it is amazing on what you will learn.

You have the awareness of why this method of discovery is the basis for better understanding the problem-set(s).

So why as the leader in your small business or Fortune 500 Global enterprise do you ignore or delegate the true innovation mechanisms in your company to just a few people.

Why have you loss sight of the mandatory Recruiting, Education, Networking and Sharing metrics by your front line teams?

Discovering, researching, prototyping, practicing, refining your methodology to more rapidly respond to threats, to your competition, to possible opportunities.

You see, you and your organization have become complacent. You have not changed your onboarding experience of new employees or new customers in over a decade.

Why is it true, that most people and organizations don’t focus on innovation and new solutions to a problem, until there is a significant loss event.

An incident that hits the local headlines. A risk event so damaging to the bottom line it could mean closing the business forever.

How might you design the methodology and the system in your enterprise to have continuous problem and threat monitoring, new innovation?

It begins with the right people working on the initial prototype together with the correct tools. It means getting senior management on board with facilitating the process to insure the prototypes are tested in the field or Area of Responsibility (AOR).

Next, those individuals who are in charge, in command, at the field level must have the resources and the authority to test, to learn and to gather new data continuously.

Your organization is slowly decaying right before your eyes. Your adversaries are winning.

It has lost its initial purpose because you have not been continuously innovating on the front lines. In the geography and in the organizations of your own neighborhood.

The next time someone in your organization sends you or presents to you a Powerpoint funding proposal with more than 5 pages, with more than 4 bullets on each page without any true graphical data, you know you have to engage.

Filling in the standard forms in your CRM or your word.docx template on a monthly basis might be OK, if it calls for truth and relevant data from the front lines, yet is it focused on the real problem-sets?

How might you and your team change the way you are working on the front lines of your organization? Soon.

Why will you engage differently, before it is too late. What is the Speed of your Exploration?

16 July 2022

Exceptional: Accelerating to Wisdom…

 Why will you use your ability to discern a course of action that is wise and insightful?

You were born with it and even at the earliest stages of your life, it was soon known that you were exceptional. Rare. Superior.

Over the course of your lifetime, you have possessed the ability to see what others can not. You have the abilities to recall and decide faster with extraordinary accuracy.

How might you utilize your God given talents and the DNA you were born with, to make a real difference here?

Your IQ and your particular part of the spectrum, is an asset that you shall utilize your entire life, in order to benefit others.

The problem-sets you discover in front of your organization, your agency, your business, and your family, are counting on your continuous wisdom.

Even with these abilities and your peer group superiority, you still remain unknown. 

Unpretentious.

Learning more than you already know and applying your deep experience, is still your passion.

What did you read this day, or this week that made you even more curious? 

Who wrote the words that sparked your insightful questions and increased your own appetite for finding out more? Yourself?

"Now you will analyze, you shall create the models and use the tools, to better Understand, Decide and Act."

The vast amount of data and the velocity of the technological innovations before us, will remain our greatest challenge. Our greatest opportunity.

How might you act, to make a difference for the benefit of those you really care about in life?

It begins with your own wisdom. Your own particular talents and your abilities, that will continue to remain exceptional.

Now get out there and make a real difference…

10 July 2022

Trust Decisions 1-to-1: Yes or No…

What is your mindset as you walk down a cognitive path to Explore, to Observe, and to Listen?

How might you learn even more about your own neighborhood, your current work organization or the team you perform with on a regular basis?

Your journey shall be, to take the scheduled time to learn more about all those people, places and behaviors, that will make a significant difference in your life.


What if you planned a venture of Learning this next month or next year?  Where would you go, who would you schedule time to talk or walk with and how will you capture all that you will certainly learn?


This particular path will be far more uncertain and the distance so unpredictable, that a choice is now before you.


The decision is to trust your intuition and to realize that a decision to say “Yes”, or a decision to say “No”, could change your life forever.


In our 2022 world of continuous distractions, overload of asymmetric information warfare and continuous dramatic behavior by our own human race, it is even more of a true life adventure.


Your particular “Trust Decisions” ahead, will certainly determine your course and help you navigate towards a life fulfilled with accomplishment and joy, or degrees of failure and pain.


The choice is your own and your journey venture ahead has so many unknown destinations.


How might learning more about just one person you work with on your team, change your mutual goals or outcomes?


How might learning more about the geography of your county, state or country, change your decision about where to live and work?


How might learning more about the thoughts or opinions of those you care about, change your behavior or the future plans for your life?


Think more about your future plan for Exploration, Observation and Listening.


Do you need to learn even more than you are today?  One-to-One.


You see, you have been living and operating in a “One-to-Many” world for so long, that you have forgotten how valuable it truly is, to learn even more, just 1-to-1.


What new TrustDecisions will you make this day, or this year of 2022?


Will you decide “Yes” or will you decide “No”?  Either one will make a real difference…


Onward!

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…