23 February 2024

CERT: Make a Difference in this World...

Since the beginning of time, weather has been unpredictable. So has man.

When was the last time you witnessed the aftermath of a natural disaster?

When was the last time you saw the devastation from the Fateh-110 family of short-range ballistic weapons?

The continuous examples of risks to our world could generally be put into two major categories, 1) those we as humans can control and 2) those natural risks that we can’t control and shall have to live with.

Our spectrum of "Operational Risks" across People, Processes, Systems and External Events is vast and endless.

Where do you as a leader in your organization spend most or your time and resources to try and mitigate risks:

  • Natural Disasters and Weather (External Events)
  • People and Processes

Why?

Do you think that you are able to make a difference with those risks that you might be able to control?

Which is it - A) controlling the weather or B) influencing human behavior. Pick one.

What might happen if we devoted more time and resources to “B”.

How might this investment have a risk reduction impact and reduction in annual loss events to your family, organization, community, college or government?

Complacency or ignorance will continue to plague us and will make the world a more dangerous place to work and live.

Just listen to your own local news for a day. What will you learn?

Now, learn what you might do to make proactive difference.

This is one great place to begin: Community Emergency Response Team CERT.

Similar to the Community concept, why not apply this just cause of continuous training and learning to a Corporation, a Church, a Synagogue, a Campus, a Club or a Cinema.

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.” Albert Einstein

17 February 2024

Antares: Innovation from Country Roads to Cislunar...

It was early February 1971 and three High School best friends consistently car pooled to do a little early morning “Country Roading”, in the white Pontiac LeMans on the way to school.

This was just a circuitous route down tree lined roads and around vast farm lands in the Midwest USA.

We were always set to arrive in the school parking lot, just in time to make it to our locker and then to 1st period before the bell rang.

Our dialogue on Capital Avenue SW and West on Beckley Road, quickly turned to the prescience of the Apollo 14 Antares Lunar Lander and it’s planned descent to the Moon in a few days time on February 4th.

Country roading this early morning gave us guys a chance to catch-up, then map and sketch out where we would rendezvous to watch together the Apollo 14 coverage of Commander Alan Shepard, Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa and Lunar Module Pilot Ed Mitchell.

Before we as young teenage students ever knew what true innovation was really all about, we were about to see and read about it in the national news.

And little did we anticipate that when you encounter the “ABORT” signal, you sometimes have to just improvise. Test. Improvise. Test.

“After separating from the command module in lunar orbit, the LM Antares had two serious problems. First, the LM computer began getting an ABORT signal from a faulty switch. NASA believed the computer might be getting erroneous readings like this if a tiny ball of solder had shaken loose and was floating between the switch and the contact, closing the circuit. The immediate solution – tapping on the panel next to the switch – did work briefly, but the circuit soon closed again.”

Software engineering and Software Quality Assurance (SQA) is a continuous cycle of development, testing, errors, changes, testing and deployment. The software teams at MIT knew this first hand.

“A second problem occurred during the powered descent, when the LM landing radar failed to lock automatically onto the Moon's surface, depriving the navigation computer of vital information on the vehicle's altitude and vertical descent speed. After the astronauts cycled the landing radar breaker, the unit successfully acquired a signal near 22,000 feet (6,700 m). Mission rules required an abort if the landing radar was out at 10,000 feet (3,000 m), though Shepard might have tried to land without it. With the landing radar, Shepard steered the LM to a landing which was the closest to the intended target of the six missions that landed on the Moon.”

As our United States continues our next generation of the commercial race to the Moon, we can only anticipate future “ABORT” signals. Prototypes. Testing. Innovation.

After so many years working in global places where Software Quality Assurance was mission critical, you finally will learn as a professional, that it is never finished. It is never perfect.

So what?

Our USA will always be a leader because we have already been there, with humans actually operating on the Moon.

We know what will be challenging and why a hypothesis might end up being changed and adapted.

As our next human race to the Moon continues and our cislunar challenges are encountered, we know that we must continuously improve and innovate.

The same strategy shall also work here for you today on Earth, in your own small town…around your own dinner table each night…

Godspeed!

10 February 2024

Analytic Priorities: Crossing the Digital RubiCON...

The governance of information within the government enterprise or the private sector enterprise remains very much the same. Both are subjected to a myriad of laws to help protect the civil liberties and privacy of U.S. citizens. Yet the data leaks, breaches and lost laptops keep both private sector and government organizations scrambling to cover their mistakes and to keep their adversaries from getting the upper hand. Again, the governance of information is the core capability that must be addressed if we are to have effective homeland security intelligence sharing to defeat the threats to the homeland 100% of the time.

The stakeholders in the information sharing environments will say that they have all the laws they need to not only protect information and also to protect the privacy of and liberties of U.S. citizens. What they may not admit, is that they do not have the assets within the context of their own organizations to deter, detect, defend and document the threats related to too much information being shared or not enough. These assets are a combination of new technologies, new education and situational awareness training and the people to staff these respective duties within the enterprise architecture.

Operational Risk Management is a continuous process in the context of our rapidly expanding corporate environments. What is one example? People traveling to emerging markets to explore new business opportunities or new suppliers that will be connected by high speed Internet connections to the supply chain management system. These boundaries of managing operational risk, have not only expanded, they have become invisible.

Ru·bi·con
1. a river in N Italy flowing E into the Adriatic

2. Rubicon, to take a decisive, irrevocable step

This "Digital Rubicon" before us, to take on a more "Active Defense" in navigating the risk across international waters of e-commerce, privacy and legal jurisdictions will forever shape our future. The decisions made on what constitutes an adversarial attack in the cyber domain, will not be as easy as the dawn of the nuclear age. Policy makers today have to weave the potential implications into a sophisticated decision tree that crosses the complex areas of intelligence, diplomacy, defense, law, commerce, economics and technology.

The new digital "Rule Sets" are currently being defined by not only nation states but the "Non-State" actors who dominate a segment of the global digital domains. The same kinds of schemes, ploys, communication tactics and strategies are playing out online and what has worked in the physical world, may also work even better in the cyber-centric environment. Corporations are increasingly under estimating the magnitude of the risk or the speed that it is approaching their front or back door steps.

The private sector is under tremendous oversight by various regulators, government agencies and corporate risk management. Yet the "public-private" "tug-of-war" over information sharing, leaks to the public press and Wikileaks incidents has everyone on full alert. As the government has outsourced the jobs that will take too long to execute or that the private sector already is an expert, operational risks have begun to soar.

As the private sector tasks morph with the requirements of government you perpetuate the gap for effective risk mitigation and spectacular incidents of failure. Whether it is the failure of people, processes, systems or some other clandestine event doesn't matter. The public-private paradox will continue as long as the two seek some form of symbiosis. The symbiotic relationship between a government entity and a private sector supplier must be managed no differently than any other mission critical resource within an unpredictable environment.

Once an organization has determined the vital combination of assets it requires to operate on a daily basis, then it can begin it's quest for enabling enterprise resiliency. The problem is, most companies still do not understand these complex relationships within the matrix of their business and therefore remain vulnerable. The only path to gaining that resilient outcome, is to finally cross that "Digital Rubicon" and realize that you no longer can control it.

The first step in any remediation program, is first to admit the problem and to accept the fact that it exists. Corporate enterprises and governments across the globe are coming to the realization that the only way forward is to cooperate, coordinate and contemplate a new level of trust.

26 January 2024

Operational Risk: Volatility of Change...

What is volatility and how could this be an operational risk in your particular institution or organization?


The threat of "Volatility" depends on what is being measured. The stock price. The return on capital. The key is that you want to reduce volatility in most cases.


It scares some people. Long term investors, employees and customers.


Volatility is the standard deviation of the change in value of a financial instrument with a specific time horizon. It is often used to quantify the risk of the instrument over that time period.


Who likes volatility?


Volatility is often viewed as a negative in that it represents uncertainty and risk.


However, volatility can be good in that if one shorts on the peaks, and buys on the lows one can make money, with greater money coming with greater volatility.


The possibility for money to be made via volatile markets is how short term market players like day traders make money, and is in contrast to the long term investment view of buy and hold.


So volatility is in the "eye of the beholder". The point is that some people thrive on it and others are better off with that smooth and predictable future.


Risk in a financial institution is defined in terms of earnings volatility. Earnings volatility creates the potential for loss. Losses, in turn, need to be funded, and it is the potential for loss that imposes a need for institutions to hold capital in reserve.


This capital provides a balance sheet cushion to absorb losses, without which an institution subjected to large (negative) earnings swings could become insolvent.


How much capital is allocated to Operational Risk is a measurement issue. The decisions an institution makes in managing Operational Risks is not risk versus return, but risk versus the cost it takes to avoid these threats.


The key determinant of an institutions risk factor against operational failures is not the amount of reserve capital, it is the performance of management.


In fact, in a few spectacular cases of operational failures, incremental capital would have made no difference to the firm's survivability. It comes back to strategy, safety, security and soundness.


How volatile are your earnings? At the end of the day the question is about management controls and measurement.  What if your measurements were not earnings, but the number of workplace accidents and acts of violence?



How effective are they at mitigating operational risks in the areas of the institution that can't be insured?


Look at places where "Change" is happening in huge volumes and at a rapid pace and you will know where to begin.

13 January 2024

Trust Decisions: "Lake Anne to Davos"...

The 2024 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos Switzerland kicks off January 15-19. Are you traveling this weekend on your way to attend?

The 54th event theme this year is “Rebuilding Trust”.

On Jan 18 at 11:00 CET the session titled “Technology in a Turbulent World” will include CEO panelists from OpenAI, Salesforce, Accenture and Pfizer.

Why?

Flashback to Reston, Virginia in the 2012-2015 time frame, one of the most brilliant people on the topic of trust was across the table asking for relevant feedback.

While several meetings over coffee at home or near the plaza on “Lake Anne”, together, we were reading some of the early drafts of his anticipated book- “Achieving Digital Trust: The New Rules for Business at the Speed of Light”, byJeffrey Ritter:

“Despite decades of research on organizational trust, behavioral sociology, marketing, artificial intelligence, user interfaces, and human relationships, the vocabulary and tools needed to build digital trust simply do not exist. So, within these pages, I share with you a new portfolio of tools and resources:” (Page 24 / Achieving Digital Trust by Jeffrey Ritter).

The “War on Trust” of information was already on the way in 2012, and yet it was well over a decade since our organizations algorithms were exploring the digital universe.

Each night, downloading terabytes of World Wide Web content, for clients reporting and analysis.

“From the Board Room to our modern day asymmetric battlefield, Jeffrey Ritter’s Achieving Digital Trust will open eyes. It provides us with a reference model that management and software architects have been seeking. The survival of the Internet as we know it is currently at stake. This book provides a look into the transparency of «Trust Decisions» and how ensuring digital truth will shape our global governance for decades to come.” Peter L. Higgins, Managing Director & Chief Risk Officer, 1SecureAudit

And next week in Davos, the global key topic is “Rebuilding Trust”?

Think about who you have trusted in your life. How did it begin? Why does it last?

You just never forget sitting across the table from someone you actually trust.

Talking together face-to-face about topics of interest or working on a new innovative solution to a problem-set for all mankind.

Picture it. Looking at each other in the eyes and asking them: Why do you believe it?

  • One person is a high IQ, highly educated international lawyer and Oxford professor on the evolution of the Internet.
  • One person is from a small town and a college graduate / athlete, who started in business at the digital dawn, years before the Internet was born.

As we mutually reflect on the past, and imagine the future of our world on Earth as we continue to explore our Moon and beyond, we shall always remember.

At the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos, Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce observed:

“The digital revolution needs a trust revolution. There has been an incredible shift in the technology industry. . . . We’ve gone from systems of record to systems of engagement and now we are about to move into a world of systems of intelligence. But none of these will retain form or have referential integrity unless the customers trust them. Trust is a serious problem. The reality is that we all have to step up and get to another level of openness and transparency.” (Page 32 / Achieving Digital Trust)

Godspeed!

05 January 2024

Global Risk Economy: Follow the Money...

Operational Risk in the global economy is migrating to places that 10 years ago would not have been easily forecasted.

New countries, financial institutions and software technologies have changed the playing field for our risk management executives.

Why is this happening?

One example is the movement of employment to more emerging markets where corporate tax rates are lower and the supply of talented workers with specific skill sets is prevalent.

The simple movement of people and systems to those new countries creates new found risks that may not have been as pervasive in the past for the institution.

Another example is the evolution of new computing platform paradigms such as the emergence of "The Cloud" or “Infrastructure-as-a-Service".

This outsourced IT model not only provides economy of scale in terms of just in time computing power but also the more economical licensing models.

Operational Risk within the confines of the global workplace will continue to follow what countries are attractive and where these people and the systems are now operating from.

Along with this migration of responsibilities of vital corporate processes to other cultures and countries comes the risks associated with potential lack of safeguards, both legally and to the physical protection of key corporate assets.

In the United States, our “True International Economy" explains why there are tens of millions of employees now working for US-based corporations outside the country.

Once you have accepted this fact, your personal risk mindset may also change.

How many U.S. organizations have now moved their Corporate Headquarters to Dublin?

How many American companies now have personnel in foreign countries reviewing online “Social Media” content with the assistance of AI?

"You may have heard the phrase "Follow The Money" in several contexts in the past."

Whether it was Watergate investigations in the 70's or now the 2020’s and the new “Global War in Space”.

The real-time tracking of where money flows, can be a core indicator of where Operational Risk managers need to keep their radar focused and on high alert.

Operational Risk Management (ORM) in the next decade will take on a whole new international meaning and significance than it currently does today.

The risks associated with people, processes, systems and external events will become even more exponential…

15 December 2023

Acknowledgement: Who or What & Why in Your Life...

Approaching the end of another challenging year in your particular life, there are many opportunities for acknowledgments.

The real question is, how many have you given in 2023? How many have you received?

Acknowledgement

1a: the act of acknowledging something or someone.

b: recognition or favorable notice of an act or achievement.

2: a thing done or given in recognition of something received.

As you think about it, who or what do you wish, that they would acknowledge you for your service or contribution?

If your efforts were for another person you know personally very well, that may have even more relevance.

  • Maybe it was a meal. Maybe it was a ride. Maybe it was a financial contribution.
  • Maybe it was a chore or effort around the house or a work project.
  • Maybe it was a prayer.

"Acknowledgement" is more valuable than you may ever know and realize in building and maintaining vital and valued relationships in your life.

Giving a sincere acknowledgement to someone or another entity for their service or the contribution, is vital only if you really care about maintaining and growing this relationship into the future. Or is it?

There are many reasons why you may continuously provide service or contribute something of value for someone or something else.

Are you being selfless or is it true reciprocity?

Is it between two people? Is it between two teams or businesses? Is it between two countries?

How are you personally acknowledging another? With words. With money. With deeds. With a written note. With a smile.

So what?

You see, your acknowledgement matters more than you may ever know or understand.

Is your particular relationship growing more valuable or is it just not reciprocal in nature?

Why?

This is a good time of the year to think more about who and how you will be acknowledging others in your life.

Walk outside or look out the window at the sun rising on the horizon in your neighborhood tomorrow morning.

What or who are you so grateful for and who will you acknowledge this coming year…

Thank you for reading this!

08 December 2023

Homeland Security Intelligence (HSI): The "New" Ecosystem…

It was the late Spring of 2011 in the Northern Virginia suburbs when it was gaining momentum.

Our small non-profit council group would meet almost weekly after our respective daily roles in the NCR.

Our INSA conference room was located off North Stuart Street in Arlington and there together, we would collaborate for a few hours face-to-face.

Depending on what direction you were coming from, the evening commute by Metro or car from Reston and Tysons Corner might be easier than from Springfield or Alexandria in those days.

After all, the roads and rails had all been laid on the former paths of our American natives and early settlers horse trails through the winding woods and across the rivers.

Our "Council Members" goal for these designated three dozen professionals and Subject Matter Experts, was to define “Homeland Security Intelligence” (HSI).

We were in Arlington, VA to produce a thought leaders White Paper publication that would address all of our diverse insights after a perilous decade since 9/11.

Our particular Sub-Team of 7 people was focused on the full integration of the enterprise (The Ecosystem) and it was to become another deep dive into our nations “Lessons Learned” and the new opportunities for future collaboration.

“Homeland Security Intelligence" is information that upon examination is determined to have value in assisting federal, state, local, tribal and private sector decision makers in identifying or mitigating threats residing principally within U.S. borders.” - INSA

As our small “Ecosystem Group” of 7 converged each week over the summer, on the key topics and issues to improve the connections of our intelligence enterprise, a set of new insights were discovered and new lasting personal relationships were born.

These “Community Engagement” concepts, to include those in key geographies of our country along with a “Whole of Nation” approach with properly qualified and trained U.S. public citizens, continues to this very day.

“The system will require unique, and not yet identified, analytic frameworks, knowledge management, collaboration tools, and training that include built-in safeguards for privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties protections for U.S. persons.” Page 11-Intelligence To Protect The Homeland…taking stock ten years later and looking ahead…INSA

A decade plus later in 2023, our own United States has accomplished so much resilience and yet we realize that this remains an infinite challenge going forward.

The “What” and the “How” are incorporated into so many integrated systems to this HSI enterprise today, including:

  • Biometrics.
  • Video Surveillance.
  • License Plate Reader technologies.
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).
  • Open Source Social Media.

And now even AI.

So what?

As human beings our curiosity and our knowledge ecosystem requires that we truly understand the “What” and the “How”.

Unfortunately, this is only the extent that today our “AI” has in its own understanding.

"AI will not accurately grasp the “Why” for some time to come into our future. Go ahead, ask it yourself."

At the time, many of those who were in our conference room in 2011 defining “Homeland Security Intelligence”(HSI), still did not even have a full understanding of the software Internet algorithms, that were then defining the only ten+ year old “Dark Web”.

Today, our community engagement initiatives as “Human Beings” in a room together, around good old fashioned conference tables, looking into each others eyes, shall remain our only chance of staying informed on the trusted continuous reasoning of “Why”…

Godspeed!

02 December 2023

Extraordinary: Always Be Ready...

The G700 private jets were taking off from Winchester Regional Airport (OKV) and they roared just overhead as we approached the small business park off Front Royal Pike & Airport Road.

It was a another glorious Virginia Fall week, with the Maple and Oak trees in full colors.

The next training course was scheduled to begin at 08:00 sharp and you could feel the butterflies in your gut as you pulled into the small tree lined parking lot.

The 72 hour on-site course to achieve a “Personal Protection Specialist” (PPS) Certification (32E) in Virginia was just one facet of a continuous journey to learn more about what the definition of “Extraordinary” really means:

Extraordinary

adjective

1a: going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary.

2: employed for or sent on a special function or service.

Over the next six days we would be in this class room and also out in the local community applying new skill sets in real time. Day and night.

Our key areas of instruction, innovation, mastery and testing included:

  • Personal Protection Orientation.
  • Virginia Code and DCJS Regulations.
  • Assessment of Threat and Protectee Vulnerability.
  • Legal Authority and Civil Law.
  • Protective Detail Operations.
  • Emergency First Aid and CPR.
  • Advances.
  • Surveillance Detection.
  • Defensive Preparedness.

Why?

So our instructors will observe our behavior, coach us in the moment of action in order to improve towards true achievement of “Extraordinary” service.

The mindset and all of the innovative professional skills that are learned this week, shall stay with you forever.

So how does continuous learning and practicing these skills as a "Quiet Professional" over a decade ago, apply to our particular world in 2023?

As just an illustrated example, perhaps you are responsible for transporting your Principal client from a hotel to the airport in an unfamiliar California city at the end of a two day corporate event.

Some may call it pre-planning, and yet it is referred to as the “Advance”.

You have never driven the route before and based upon the amount of orange cones and detour signs already witnessed, you know it could be a challenge. There is no chance for errors.

As you take a first look in Google Maps at your proposed starting point and destination, the route looks unusual. Heading South for a few miles to make a U turn when you know your airport is to the North seems curious?

So to get a local perspective, you then approach the “Hotel Concierge” and ask them for the best route to the airport from their point of view.

They immediately pull out the paper Map of the area and show you the path North along the local North bound detours to provide you on a visual orientation.

Fast forward to check-out. You are now in the vehicle transporting your client with substantial luggage while they continue to deal with the growing barrage of message alerts on their iPhone.

15 miles North and 25 minutes or so later after keeping the visual orientation in mind with your Google Maps talking in the background, you safely arrive on time at this foreign airport.

As a PPS in your particular role of your small team, business organization or agency, just continue to remember this.

You learned and trained to be “Extraordinary”.

“Always Be Ready”…

25 November 2023

Thanksgiving 2023: Anticipate, Listen, Act…

After an airline travel day home after the Thanksgiving Holiday with family, you too may be feeling exhausted.

Yet how will you grow from all that you have learned this past week?

Leadership traits are found across our companies, our agencies, our government and also within our respective families.

In the spirit of the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving this past few days, some may have experienced tragedy and others pure joy.

In reality, “Being a true leader requires the continuous ability to Anticipate, to Listen and to Act in any situation.”

Whether there was missed flights, extraordinary traffic, or relatives with unique personalities at the dinner table, your goal shall always be consistent.

Leadership requires your ability to show bravery in the face of tremendous challenges.

Leadership requires your empathy and simultaneously your own trusted actions to show confidence and to build trust with others.

By the time 5th grade was a reality, memories of our long dining table set for another Thanksgiving day meal in a small midwestern town, was always impressive.

Sitting down with our small family and with "Grand Father Keith" and "Grand Mother Mary" at each end of the table, Keith would always start our meal with a short prayer of thankfulness.

For someone who had survived World War combat in Europe, attended U of M and then started a Midwest U.S. family business and now decades later had 4 Grand Kids, our Grand Father had much to be thankful for in his life.

Yet it was his trusted presence, the words he chose from Bible scriptures and his leadership of our family, that shall aways be remembered.

Who will you rely upon in your family, your organization, your neighborhood or your government to be your Senior Leader?

The lone individual with the life experience to guide you. The consistent leadership traits to make you feel safe, secure and cared for in your particular small team.

Leadership begins across our United States and is displayed at home, around a family Thanksgiving table.

Leadership is continuously demonstrating the actions that others will trust and follow into the future.

At home, in the workplace, on the field or across the Video Teleconference (VTC), we all shall have the opportunity to be Senior Leaders.

Are you alert, are you ready and will you show the real leadership to Anticipate, Listen and Act into the future…

17 November 2023

Entrepreneur Innovation: An Infinite Game...

Our Teams were all selected by their Senior Leader for the Fall Cohort. Each Team of Two Experts were admitted from Sacramento, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Manchester, NH.

Our proven Cohort Learning Objectives were outlined in the Syllabus. Lean Methodologies. SPRINT Process. Mission Model. Problem-set. Prototype Deliverables. True Innovation.

The time frame was the month of October 2023.

As any “Instructional Facilitator” across a spectrum of training based forums may tell you, people must be challenged.

They must be tested. Yet the process journey shall build continuous “Trust” in each other.

Whether it shall be students in a Spring Quarter at Stanford in the Engineering Department or Experts from private-sector industry from across the United States, the methodologies and process is the same.

What is most remarkable to witness over the course of the learning and the utilization of a proven process, are the final outcomes. Some people will excel and others will fail.

Human Factors are at play, whenever challenging and cognitive focused skill-based learning is in action. As a few examples, ask any instructor at BUD/S. Ask any host of the college legal debate. Ask any SCRUM Master.

Some of it is just plain DNA. Some of it is just a willingness to succeed. Yet most of it has all to do with perception of the relevance of the tasks and the delivered outcomes for each person individually.

Once you have confidence in the learning process and the methodologies for implementation of the science, then our own human behavior becomes the real unknowns.

So what?

The outcomes of success will depend on the ability for two people as a “Team” to coordinate, to collaborate and to deliver continuous innovative solutions.

These innovative solutions shall have application to a specific problem-set within a geographical or extraterrestrial area. They shall be applicable to a series of our most important and critical values.

What kind of values? “On-time All-the-time.” “Zero defects.” Pick the value of what will be measured according to the desired outcome of the solution-set.

If the prototype solution delivered is not meeting the desired value required, then the Team must adapt. The Team shall pivot. The Team shall innovate.

Repeat.

How will your “Teams” learn this month? This Semester. This Quarter. This fiscal Annual Year.

What is your particular mission? What is your destination?

Only 2 out of 10 shall meet and exceed your expectations. Those are the “Two” you must invest your time and valuable resources in to reach your vision.

These “Two”, will become your most valued Leaders, Explorers, Innovators and your next Instructional Facilitators.

Remember, this is an “Infinite Game” that shall never have just winners and losers.

Those who are able to stay in the game shall find their mission objective achievement, week-by-week, month-by-month, decade-by-decade…

27 October 2023

November 11: Serving the United States by the Other 99%...

The United States Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery.

Standing there with family and as the son of a U.S. Marine in 2015, the ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans' organizations and remarks from dignitaries.

The ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces. This represents less than 1% of Americans.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them”  -John F. Kennedy-

How many Soldiers will be on active duty around the globe on November 11 working in their current role, task or assignment, to keep America safe and secure?  So those of us who call the United States their home, may exercise their freedoms and the citizens rights that our nations architects designed for us.

How may Airman will be walking the streets in parades remembering their flights over the Pacific, Vietnam, the Atlantic, Europe, South America, North Africa or the Middle East?  What about all those pilots that have flown at such a high altitude; never to be detected over Russia, North Korea or China?

How many Sailors and Marines will be cruising on, over or under our vast oceans to be present and ready, for our next mission to help others?  How many Submariners will never be detected on their 24 x 7 watch; or with SOF waiting patiently below deck for their next clandestine operation, anywhere in the world?

So on Saturday, November 11, what will you be doing, John or Mary Q. Citizen, in Anytown U.S.A.?

For some Veterans who experience this day of recognition, it is not easy.  It could be a day that is simultaneously bitter sweet.  There is certainly great pride, yet some within the 1% who are Veterans, look around the country and wonder why the other 99% are not serving their nation, in their full capacity as a U.S. citizen.

Service to your nation doesn't begin or end with a job in the military.  Service to your nation begins for everybody who becomes an American.  What does that mean?

It means that we stand up and believe in the U.S. Constitution.  We defend and negotiate all that it says and what it enables for us to accomplish for ourselves, our families and our fellow believers.  You see, the freedoms and the opportunity to prosper in the United States is there for anybody to grasp.  For anybody to achieve.

To honor and thank those who have served in the Military on Veterans Day, requires so much more:

  • Will you "sleep in" on your day off or volunteer with the local church or non-profit to teach Veterans how to be more effective in the transition to a civilian private sector job?
  • Will you design and code the next iPhone App to locate other Vets in your local town or city to assist each other and your community?
  • Will you meet with local business owners to plan, raise funds and deploy vital programs for families of Veterans?
  • Will you vote to fund and allocate adequate resources for the operations necessary and requested, by those forward deployed on the front lines, in uniform and also in the shadows?

The opportunities to serve our country and all of our Veterans November 11, requires a continuous cycle of thinking beyond just the Soldier, Airman, Sailor or Marine.

It also requires more proof, that a majority of the other 99%, are also serving their country and all that the United States stands for in the world.

So this November 11, listen to John F. Kennedy...

20 October 2023

Pulpit Rock: "The Right Stuff" and Beyond...

Walking up the path to Pulpit Rock soon after dawn in Colorado Springs just before the “Value of Space Summit” (VOSS) this week, was a time for thinking. It is a time for reflection and where our future human exploration shall take us.

The value of exploration and our innovative curiosity to learn more, is a human trait that will never leave us.

Before an ambitious set of people in the United States made the decision to travel to Earths single Moon, our human exploration was across oceans and mountains.

Imagine a quiet Michigan summer evening July 20th, 1969 sitting in front of a 21” Zenith color television with family watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin from Apollo 11 walk on the Moon. It was truly epic.

After 24 brave and talented people from our nation have traveled to the Moon, our last mission was in 1972.

Why?

Astronaut Eugene Cernan and Astronaut Harrison Schmitt (88), spent 3 days 3 hours on the Moons surface between December 11-14 1972. This Apollo 17 will not be the last manned journey to our Moon.

After a team of dedicated people find their own “Just Cause” and purpose, there is nothing that will stand in their way to achieve it.

After 51 years, we have been taking many steps to perpetuate our journey. 

Humans have been back and forth from our Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Space Station and we have sent the James Webb and other telescopes to explore other stars and planets light years away.

The “Just Cause” of space exploration is still ahead of us and the race is on.

Our human journey to places outside (LEO) will encounter new challenges, new discoveries and even create greater learning.

Before a most favorite movie “The Right Stuff” was released in 1983, all we had were slight views into our “Just Cause”.

Once you see this movie, then you too might understand the mission ahead from a different perspective. At least you will have greater context on our “Why”…

Godspeed!

13 October 2023

Infinite: Game Strategy & Mission...

As our uncertain world becomes more turbulent with hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes, regional wars, asymmetric ransomware hacks and the increased number of horrific crimes or terrorist plots, we must remain resilient.

The “Infinite Game” we are living and operating in each day, truly requires enlightened thinking.

Before you changed, your thoughts about the game were “Finite”. There was a clock counting down or there was only so many innings or golf holes remaining in the round.

The score was not quite tabulated or finished yet to determine the winner and the loser of the game.

Unfortunately for many in that current competition, it is always about the number on the scoreboard. The Wins and Losses. The number of "Followers". The number of locations. The number of employees. The number of dollars in the bank.

As our turbulent environments at home, at work and in our small towns to our major cities become more extreme and less certain, it requires a new mindset.

An “Infinite Mindset” as defined by Simon Sinek or James P. Carse puts your senses on the longevity of staying in the game longer than the others.

Those who live each day always behaving and acting only to win, shall continue their war, perpetuate the competition until they win.

In between losses and defeats they continue to think that they shall win at all cost or else. That this will enhance their well being.

Yet, after you changed your mindset and thinking, the game has now become “Infinite”.

"To stay in the game and to operate longer than others in our so uncertain times, requires you to adapt, to innovate, to change, to always remain RESILIENT."

It does not require you to anxiously and continuously aspire to win. The conversation, the contest, the relationship. By the end of the day, the month, the quarter or the year.

It requires you to continue, to never quit and to think about performing at your best, again tomorrow. How many smiles, how many hugs, how many kind words.

Your new mindset is positive and peaceful, you observe, you listen and you continuously change to adapt to the infinite environment you are now operating in.

Whether your mission is “Winning” or “Operating the Longest” makes a difference in life...

06 October 2023

Large Language Model: Friend or Foe…

Trade Secrets are the Intellectual Property which the owner has taken reasonable measures to protect, and derives independent economic value of keeping it secret.

Since this is a public dataset, therefore it is probable the algorithms will search, digest and store these words for eternity.

Generative, pre-trained or transformer algorithms are a 24 x 7 x 365 operation by millions of entities across the globe. Whether they are operating in the dark Internet or within the public datasets is by the originators design.

It depends on the goal or the mission.

Whether you and your enterprise are enabling conditional access policies or continuously monitoring for anomalous activities does not matter.

“Adversarial or Malicious AI will continue to plague our digital world with weaponized artificial intelligence (AI).”

Whether it is designed with proxy servers for defeating “Multi-Factor Authentication” (MFA) or creating very convincing phishing e-mails is for certain.

Synthetic voice/video generation and cloning are also on the rise to add to the syndicates and certain nation states waging our global asymmetric warfare.

There is a point in every humans journey in life that the technology, the volume of information and the pace of change will seem like it is overcoming you.

At a young persons age, they are taught “Stranger Danger” and other early life lessons about the evil that exists in our world.

In addition, the continuous education of our children about the digital evil that exists must also become a priority.

Every human has a point in their life when an event or incident becomes their wake-up call. A learning point is reached on information received or the live accident is unfolding before your eyes.

Learning new lessons each day is the way we have survived and are still the master species on our Earth.

Whether you are a child learning about something named “Fire” or you are an adult learning about something titled “Large Language Model” (LLM) does not matter.

You must continue to test, damage, fail, learn, test, damage, succeed, learn.

Once you decide as a person that you will strive to not be burned, you will drive defensively and follow the rules, you will always tell the truth and you will protect your loved ones then you are on your way to even more vital learning.

The lesson of “AI Resilience” will always be the mission.

Whether October is “Cybersecurity Awareness” month in the United States or around the globe you shall always remember.

Never Forget.

Be Resilient.