25 September 2021

Over the Horizon: Playing in the “Infinite Game”…

When you think about your future, what do you foresee? A life full of happiness fulfilled with almost every wonderful human experience?

That is where you should continue your vision and your true ambition. Stay on this course of doing what is right, talking about the good and demonstrating a life full of integrity.

Have faith that in a world trying to distract you and with people you know who are heading off course, you must continuously navigate to the light. Look up and beyond.

Your next opportunity or new acquaintance is just over the horizon. You just can’t see it yet.

Remember what you have been taught. By parents, siblings and even your grandparents. There is wisdom and lessons to be learned from each of them. Both good and bad.

The course you set and navigate now for yourself is your own.

On September 25, 2020, one year ago as these words are written, James P. Carse died. Read his book, “Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility”. When finished, ask yourself what game are you playing in?

If you are an artist playing in an “Infinite Game” then read on.

Infinite players don’t consume time, they generate it. They don’t talk about how much they have accomplished and their latest title, or after all the training they have completed.

Instead, you will talk about how much of your work still remains incomplete.

Your ambition shall be to play the game without ending it and to be even more well-educated. Not just well-trained.

Your boundaries are self-created. Infinite players oppose the boundaries and create a better culture wherever they live. You shall continuously strive for a horizon you will never reach.

Are you still trying to win? Are you bound by all the rules? You are not playing in the “Infinite Game”.

Infinite Game players shall focus on the purpose for playing the game. You find joy in what you do and you don’t want to ever cease the game.

What are you doing to stay in it and continue playing? You are not interested in how others perceive you. You are after deeds that the entire planet may benefit from for entirety.

You understand that surprise is inevitable in the “Infinite Game”. You know that every choice and move you make as a first responder, is toward the horizon.

“Soldiers who die fighting the enemy, receive the nation’s highest reward: They are declared unforgettable. Even unknown soldiers are memorialized—though their names have been lost, their titles will not be.” —James P. Carse

Are you in active pursuit of a higher purpose that will be beneficial for our challenging world…

18 September 2021

Continuity of Operations: Mother Nature or Active Shooter...

Continuity of Operations in the context of business gets on the Board of Directors agenda after every tragedy. Whenever the magnitude of the business disruption involves loss of life, or major property damage the executive management goes into "Crisis Management" mode. Unfortunately for many, this may be the only time the Board and corporate executives have tested or exercised for such an incident.

So what is Continuity of Operations? What does it mean to your business? How pervasive does this Operational Risk strategy have to be? Let's think about a simple process from the time a sales person picks up the phone to schedule an appointment to the time the product or service team has delivered or installed the items that have been sold to the customer.

In the context of university higher education, the process of recruiting, admissions, housing, fund-raising, sports and alumni relations. How many touch points, steps in the process or procedures for manufacturing, integration, sourcing, learning and implementation exist? Now think about your supply chain that provides the necessary resources, energy, infrastructure and people to make it all happen. Does this business issue seem like a trivial matter?

The aftermath of any major incident will require a thorough investigation to determine what happened. Everyone will have their version of what they saw, heard, felt and remember about it. Then the finger pointing, litigation and media frenzy begins. Only then do the Board of Directors and Executive Management wish they had practiced and exercised for the eventual day that has now landed on their front door step.

Such an example is in the news again, more than two years after the tragic day in April 2007 on the campus of Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia. In Lucinda Roy's latest book, "No Right To Remain Silent", her opinions magnify the need for effective continuity of operations planning, exercises, auditing and testing:

After tragedies like this, people clam up. They are warned that it is too dangerous to talk about the specifics of a case when lawyers are chomping at the bit, when the media is lying in wait like a lynch mob. But people also remain silent when they are worried that what they have to say could injure them somehow.

In the days and weeks that followed the tragedy at Virginia Tech I was reminded of how much silence has to say to us if we listen with care.

Sadly, the tragedy at Virginia Tech did not usher in an era of openness on the part of the administration. Questions that related to the specifics of the shootings, to Cho, or to troubled students in general were viewed in the wake of the tragedy as verbal grenades.

Many of you may remember where you were when you heard the news. Just like you will always remember where you were on the morning of September 11, 2001. Yet April 16, 2007 could very well be more significant as the analysis and the investigation continues.

Sadly, we know how this story turned out: On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho shot two people to death in a Virginia Tech dormitory, then chained the doors to a classroom building shut and methodically killed 30 more before committing suicide. It was the worst school shooting in American history.

Who knew what when? The litigation is ongoing and some still are seeking the truth. Proving the truth will require substantial analysis of tens of thousands of documents, e-mail messages, hand written notes, depositions, medical records and school work. Yet when it gets boiled down to the facts and the issues, "Continuity of Operations" protocols, practice and preparedness will be at the core of the matter.

Does your organization have facilities where an all hazards approach is talked about and is continuously aware of the threats to life and property along with the economic implications of any business disruption? If you have people and property in California the answer is yes. Earthquakes, brush fires and now even the lack of government resources are existing risk factors.

If you have people and property in or near symbolic locations such as New York City's Wall Street, Washington, DC's Capitol, or the St. Louis Arch then your organization should have heightened situational awareness and crisis management mechanisms already in place. The whole State of Florida, North & South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas and others who know the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina/Harvey are sensitized to the requirements for effective preparedness.

So what is the difference in an event such as the "Active Shooter" scenario on your campus or the catastrophe sent by "Mother Nature"?

The answer is the accuracy in predicting the event itself. All the preparedness for either event starts with the mind set that it will happen.

Only one can be prevented, preempted or neutralized before it can cause harm...

11 September 2021

11 September 2021: What is True...

When these words found their way from pen to paper seventeen years ago today, the truth of what was written was unknown:


11 September 2004

Third Anniversary of 9/11

As We Mark The Third Anniversary of 9/11 one can imagine how the world will be in the next three years. A globe pock marked by terrorist incidents. Russia, Malaysia are of recent headlines. How soon will the terror strike the US again? Many say before the election and only then will we have what we need to reinforce what work has already been accomplished, and will never be completed.

The people of the free world know in their hearts that the struggles of real estate and religion will continue for decades to come. Only those who are proactive, preventive and aware of the continuously changing threat will survive.

God bless us all.

Posted by Ed at 9/11/2004 10:49:00 AM


Today on this morning of 11 September 2021 at 8:46 AM, as our fellow loved ones gather around our 9/11 Memorial in the World Trade Center plaza of the former Twin Towers, the Pentagon or Shanksville and they read the names of the fallen that day, tears come to our eyes. Once Again.

For those who died that day. And for those who will have died decades afterwards.

And for all of those Americans who roll out of bed each day in our United States and Overseas, to raise our American Flag and to work until the stars are out to defend everything that it stands for.

Who we really are, as Americans, each day as we pray and every day the musical notes of “Taps” plays.

"The Only Thing Necessary For Evil To Triumph Is For Good Men To Do Nothing."
--Edmund Burke

On this 9/11 day as we remember again. Each of us knows where we were, when we heard and saw the news unfolding before our very eyes.

The smoke rising from the WTC in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and the fields near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. What we witnessed on 11 September 2001, was pure “Evil” at work.

"How much do you let what you wish to be true stand in the way of seeing what is really true?"

Today, as these words are written, we know the truth…Never Forget!