30 September 2018

The Social Network: "Speed of Trust"...

Corporate Executives have for years understood the power of building trust.  What are a few of the foundations for creating sustainable credibility, in a world fueled by digital social networks?

This begins with reading the Stephen Covey bestseller, "The Speed of Trust."

The one thing that changes everything, as the cover reads is a real understatement. As a CxO in your organization, you have to examine the degree to which your people, processes and systems possess the "4 Cores of Credibility":
  • "Integrity - is deep honesty and truthfulness. It is who we really are. It includes congruence, humility and courage. To increase your integrity, make and keep commitments to yourself. Stand for something and then live by it. Be open. Do you seriously consider other viewpoints?
  • Intent - is your fundamental motive or agenda and the behavior that follows. It includes motive, agenda and behavior. To improve your intent, examine your motives. Are everyone's interests being served? Share the "why" behind the "what" wherever possible.
  • Capabilities - is our capacity to produce and accomplish tasks: talents, attitudes, skills, knowledge and style. To build your capabilities run with your strengths. Match your strengths to unique high-value opportunities. Know where you are going and keep the vision in front of you.
  • Results - is your track record. People evaluate you on three key indicators of performance. Past, current and anticipated. To improve your results take responsibility and adopt a "results" mind-set. Expect to win and create a climate of high expectations. Finish strong and avoid the "victim mentality."
Trustworthiness in a relationship and an environment of trust in the economy, national security or the stock market makes all the difference. The behaviors that you exhibit in public and behind closed doors with your stakeholders, will set the tone for everyone inside and outside the organization.

Can you think of any companies or people over the past two years, that you have lost trust in?

Stephen Covey goes on to explore the 13 behaviors that we all need to be more aware of in the way people perceive us and our companies. These are all important items that we have all heard before, yet are worth the time to explore again and more deeply at this stage of our evolving digital social networks.

Everything we do should be looked upon from and through a "Trust Lens," so that we take the time to ascertain how a particular behavior may have an impact on someones perception of you or your organization.

It does not matter where or what is going on in the news, the perceptions are being formed on the fly in our respective human mind views. Depending on how the headline reads or the iPhone video reveals, could influence even whether you decide to read an entire news article or watch a news segment that is unfolding before you.

Operational Risk Management (ORM), that is effective in the enterprise begins with building trust and integrity. If you are a private company, do you even have an "Ethics" 800 number, that allows employees to report anonymous tips on infractions on company policy or observations of security violations and/or malfeasance?

If you do, this could be the first sign that the "Tone at the Top" means business when it comes to "Walking the Talk" on trust and integrity.  And when you have reached these milestones, then it may be time for "Achieving Digital Trust:  The New Rules for Business at the Speed of Light"...

21 September 2018

Calm Before The Storm: Time to Dare and Endure...

"This is no time for ease and comfort.  It is time to dare and endure."
  --Winston Churchill

Have you ever felt the calm before the storm?  Literally, you can feel it.  Yet this is exactly the time you should not be complacent.  It is a time to Think, to Plan and to Act.

Almost each day the headlines from our global news feeds tells the story.  Countries, Corporations, Communities and Chief Executive Officers seemingly caught off guard.  Surprised by the threat of the cyclone, the ransomware, the drought, or the economic volatility.

Over-The-Horizon (OTH) thinking requires a mindset, that anticipates change.  It embraces the calm before the storm.  Yet it is the uncertainty of an unpredictable world, that should motivate you.  You have seen it before, as the environment you operate in reaches a place and feeling of calm.

Your focus should be on better understanding the indicators.  What are the indicators in your particular environment, that signals the warning?  How will you know when it is time to act and to be more proactive, in your situational awareness?  When will you engage in purposeful thinking and planning to increase your readiness to act?

History has recorded incidents of economic downturn that have caught some investors and corporations off guard.  There have been communities suddenly consumed by fire, tornadoes or cyclones.  How many places of work and worship, are now the crime scenes of active shooters and/or terrorist bombers?  When was the last time a key leader or linchpin at your company was diagnosed with cancer?

Operational Risk Management (ORM) is a discipline that never sleeps.  It is your mechanism and systems for continuously thinking, planning and then executing in anticipation of change.  When was the last time your team actually had a dialogue about the vital topic of your organizational "Business Continuity?"

You see, complacency is one of our greatest threats.  It is the thought that it will never happen to us.  It is the thought that you are invincible.  Guess what?  You are only seconds away from catastrophic change.  To your country, corporation, community or your most vital personnel.

It is time to dare and endure.  You have the power to begin right now.

Tap the icon for your calendar and look at the next 60 days.  Certainly there are at least one week where you have 2 days you could devote to leading your team.  Gathering them together, away from the distractions of your enterprise.

The strategy to challenge your leaders, to ask them to think, to engage in spirited dialogue and the outcomes you seek, will produce organizational endurance.  What are you waiting for?

16 September 2018

Crowdsourced Risk: Situational Awareness in Mass Emergency...

Real-time information and raw intelligence via mobile devices, has changed the risk management dialogue from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to the corporate board room.

Operational Risk Management (ORM) professionals are leveraging this information in combination with crowdsourced mapping applications, GPS, video feeds and live reporting.

Intelligence Analysts have leveraged Big Data and Digital Analytics to extract the relevance of key questions asked by their constituents.  These same ORM professionals also realize the raw data feeds from John Q. Citizen is exactly that.

Fact checking, vetting and data verification, is still the task of journalistic and intelligence experts.

Whether you are talking about risk incidents that involve whistle blowers on Wall Street, severe weather events, natural disasters, the Arab Spring or an active shooter in a Denver, CO suburb; social media is there.

Corporate Chief Information Officers are in the middle of "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) policy development, while National Public Radio (NPR) is using Twitter as a news room approach to reporting in the Middle East. Errors, Omissions and the operational risks associated with this "New Normal" is upon us, with the crowdsourced future of news and intelligence:

In just a single flash back to 6 years ago, we were writing about how users of Twitter and Reddit used those networks to tell a compelling story about a mass shooting in Toronto, and how the same phenomenon was playing out in real-time during another horrific incident: a shooting at a movie theater in Colorado, that had killed at least a dozen people and wounded more than 50.

Although local TV news channels and CNN had been all over the story since it broke, some of the best fact-based information gathering had been taking place on Reddit and other open source curation tools.

The information posted on Facebook, Reddit or the organizational blog is at stake. Crowdsourcing and Crowdmapping with the correct tools and trusted rule-sets, is just the beginning.

From innovation to Revolution, Patrick Meier and his blog captures even more on the vital crowdsourcing topics. For a good foundation, also be sure to visit Sarah Vieweg's dissertation on situational analysis:

Situational Awareness in Mass Emergency: A Behavioral and Linguistic Analysis of Microblogged Communications (2012)

"In times of mass emergency, users of Twitter often communicate information about the event, some of which contributes to situational awareness. Situational awareness refers to a state of understanding the “big picture” in time- and safety-critical situations. The more situational awareness people have, the better equipped they are to make informed decisions. Given that hundreds of millions of Twitter communications (known as “tweets”) are sent every day and emergency events regularly occur, automated methods are needed to identify those tweets that contain actionable, tactical information."

Welcome to Dataminr...

In each of these news worthy events, we can see how a new form of journalism and situational intelligence — one that blends traditional reporting and crowdsourced reports — has evolved.

When an era of these applications and zettabytes of pictures and videos are available to the public, the journalist/analyst has a tremendous volume of sources. This now includes the evolution of Body-Worn-Cameras (BWC).  And with those sources, comes a renewed responsibility to the integrity of the real mission before us. The truth.

What is actually the truth? What happened to whom and when?

The private sector has been leveraging Big Data Analytics for decades, including little known companies such as Acxiom, to collect and verify information on people, for the purpose of marketing. This indeed is a mature and established sector of the consumer retail industry and financial institutions for the purpose of operational risk management:
The ideal combination of vetted and proven data sources from private sector companies such as Acxiom in the U.S., along with the raw reporting of information from the social media sources is already the future of journalistic trade craft.
When journalism from trusted sources or intelligence reports from trusted analysts misuse or error in their use of these tools, the operational risk factors are magnified. This can damage reputations and even jeopardize human lives.  The mobile social media revolution has the potential to be a Pandora's Box.

Operational Risk Management discipline provides the framework and the proven methodologies to mitigate the rising likelihood, of a "Decision Disadvantage."

Whether you are the editor of a major publication or the watch commander at the local police department does not matter. Whether you are the CISO at a major corporate enterprise or the head of a government intelligence agency does not matter.

It begins long before Journalism school or high school English class. The ethics and integrity of information is at stake and it begins the first time you hand a pre-teen, their first mobile digital device.

09 September 2018

9/11: Seventeen Years of Resilience...

Flying over the rolling mountains of Virginia, on the final approach to IAD for the 17th year ceremonies since September, 11 2001, there are so many thoughts and memories of that tragic day in U.S. history.

Being in the Washington, DC area on that morning, is forever etched in visions of chaos, uncertainty and fear. Yet remembering each 9/11 anniversary, is important on several fronts.

The process of analyzing that day and all that we have learned since then, assists us with the healing and the ability to become more resilient. It answers the question of "Why," for some of the reasons we continuously send our military training assistance to foreign nations.

Watching footage of the Twin Towers, Shanksville, PA or the Pentagon with rising smoke that morning, brings tears so easily, just as the memory of any trauma in your life will do. A smell, a picture, a sound. It makes you remember a point in your life, that brought tremendous emotions.

Are you as a person more resilient some 17 years later? Is your family? What about your business? What have you done to be even more ready, able and substantially more resilient since 9/11/2001?

So what?

If you are government DoD, IC, DHS or a First Responder, you are training all the time. It is almost a constant state of readiness, preparedness and Operational Risk Management (ORM). You are anticipating the next incident, the next attack or the next emergency. You understand. Thank you!

When was the last time you were certified in advanced first aide, how to use a tourniquet or a defibrillator? How have you been training to notify your employees of a major incident and what plan to execute? Do you even know about your local CERT and how it can save lives?

Whether on the home front, in a strange city or country, or back at your place of work, the focus on increasing resilience never ends.

Never Forget.  Be more Resilient...

01 September 2018

Trusted Leaders: This I Believe...

In 2018 our global challenges are in many ways, no different than years or centuries past.  Leadership across nation states and even now our private sector companies, that have revenues larger than some countries, are in conflict.

People across our world, now have the technological ability in the palm of their hands, to express their thoughts to millions, almost instantaneously.

During John McCain's celebration of life service today in Washington, D.C., there were many gathered to pay tribute to one of our countries greatest leaders.  Remembering his life and his military journey through a life of leadership, these words from his own "This I Believe Essay" and today's experience shall stay with us forever:
"Years later, I saw an example of honor in the most surprising of places. As a scared American prisoner of war in Vietnam, I was tied in torture ropes by my tormentors and left alone in an empty room to suffer through the night. Later in the evening, a guard I had never spoken to entered the room and silently loosened the ropes to relieve my suffering. Just before morning, that same guard came back and re-tightened the ropes before his less humanitarian comrades returned. He never said a word to me.
Some months later on a Christmas morning, as I stood alone in the prison courtyard, that same guard walked up to me and stood next to me for a few moments. Then with his sandal, the guard drew a cross in the dirt. We stood wordlessly there for a minute or two, venerating the cross, until the guard rubbed it out and walked away."
What do you believe in?  Is it possible that your ability to be a leader in life, has much to do with your own belief system?

Many leaders would say that their beacon in life, is burning bright and it is so obvious what direction to follow.  Others are lost, without a way to find the path to leadership, as their tools for navigation become broken or outdated.

The truth is, that John McCain never lost sight of what leadership is really all about.  He maintained his skills around how to navigate a path in life, that would always make a difference to others.  You see, a true leader never loses faith, or the continuous pursuit of what they really believe in.

You have met people in your life who you would call a leader.  Maybe they had some of the same traits and a belief system, that you could identify with.  Maybe the first time you met them in person, you walked away saying to yourself, "Wow__that is someone that I could follow or I wish we had more time to get to know each other."

Our world if full of potential leaders, who shall never find their entire ability to make a difference in life.  Why?

The debate might start with a discussion about a person's upbringing, where they were born or how their parent(s) nurtured them.  Yet science and research has studied this for decades if not more and it will be continued, for the foreseeable future.  Why one person becomes a leader and another does not, is an interesting dialogue to have with someone, you trust.

When you make a decision to trust, remarkable results are possible.  "TrustDecisions" are a purposeful act, to engage in the very rules you have adopted in your life.  To stand by those rights, wrongs and the spirit of your life beliefs, that have guided you during your trust decisions.  And more.

Leadership and John McCain are synonymous, alike in meaning or significance.  What if?

What if our children, now were asked to study the life of John McCain, as history has asked them to study others?  Our United States founding fathers or other leaders across the world, who are now in our history books.

Just as John McCain, your life journey begins with "This I Believe."  Your decisions to trust will follow from there.  Godspeed Senator McCain!