28 November 2020

Skilled Professional: Who will you Become-II.?

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

How will you become a true “Quiet Professional”?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One more thought.

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


22 November 2020

CyberCom: Real-time Situational Awareness...

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

What is your organizations exposure today?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15 November 2020

Trusted Leadership: Organizational Pulse Risk…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will you do it?

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

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

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

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

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

Investing 3.75 hours this week, could be the answer you have been seeking, as a “Trusted Leader” in your organization or your family…

08 November 2020

Supply Chain Resiliency: Operational Risk Priorities in 2021…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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