U.S. Naval Ship Collisions & Hearing Loss at U.S. Embassies in Cuba – Coincidences…?

Hmmm, a quick take on our U.S. Navy ships involved in collisions with fatalities as well as auditory damage (hearing loss) of U.S. and Canadian Embassy personnel from some kind of sonic sources.

We need more brain power on this because there may be something here.  Maybe.

Are both of these spheres of damage, covert intentional attacks, with intelligence and/or military aspects, on U.S. personnel and property? SpecOps…. Because if either of the following are occuring:

  • manipulating a naval ship’s computer systems or
  • aiming some kind of sonic weapon at someone from another country – well, these approaches are a definite attack.

Are all the naval collisions in that region, in this year, all coincidental due to “incompetence” and “poor leadership”?  I’m finding that rather difficult to swallow.  Who in the world aboard any ship is not able to spot large tankers at a distance and not be able to avoid contact in time…?

Are these growing instances of U.S. and Canadian embassy personnel losing their hearing stemming from some kind of natural phenomena that no one has seen or heard of (no pun) prior to now?  I also find this very hard to believe.

Are the sources possible Russian or Chinese covert agents?

Agents from Russia in order to cause destabilizing effects on U.S. personnel? To get back at the U.S. because of the:

  • U.S. and U.N. sanctions placed on Russia? 
  • U.S. Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian activities related to the current individual in the White House?

Are the sources from China to cause destabilization of U.S. forces in the South China Sea and to grow Chinese naval influence in that hemisphere?

More to follow as I chew on this more to produce somewhat more analytical thoughts.

 

The bit about the coincidence of naval ship incidents, I gleaned that from Medium where Omaid F. has posited that possibly the Chinese are testing their capabilities.  Because of my background, it also struck a nerve as a high possibility.  It seems highly plausible that the Chinese OR Russians could be doing just that.

(Omaid’s article on Medium: https://medium.com/@omaidfaizyar/did-china-hack-the-seventh-fleet-483f3f03d51b points to another article: https://rntfnd.org/2016/09/26/china-jamming-us-forces-gps/)

 

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Kaiser Permanente’s website inaccuracies (BAD!) – Agree To Our Terms – Take It Or Not Use It…

Your only remedy if you are dissatisfied with the Kaiser Permanente site is to stop using it.

How crazy bad is that…???   Yes, that is what is listed, as of Jun 17, 2017, on a Health Care organizations’ web site, Kaiser Permanente…. I wanted to post this on the Facebook page of Kaiser Permanente but they make it somewhat difficult to post on their own facebook page.

Recently I signed in to Kaiser and saw they had a new set of:

Agree to our Terms and Conditions

Summary of our Terms and Conditions

So, I scanned through that one and a half page of content to see what was up. Towards the end, I was completely shocked to see that very first line of the post above. Here is what popped out at me:

THE SITE IS OFFERED “AS IS.” THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES OF THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE INFORMATION OR SERVICES PROVIDED ON THE SITE. Kaiser Permanente is not responsible for:

  • any damages you may incur
  • errors on this website
  • the content, security, or privacy of third-party websites that are accessed from this website

You use this site at your own risk and assume all responsibility for doing so. Your only remedy if you are dissatisfied with the site is to stop using it.

Right now, Kaiser is stating if there are inaccuracies –too bad.”  And if it results in loss of money, I’m sorry, I meant ‘damages’ – too bad.”

In order to see anything else of your medical content, you “have” to click on “I Agree” or else you will need to take your body down to the nearest Kaiser facility to get any info. And in doing so, you incur the time for:

  • travel to & from,
  • waiting on service and then 
  • waiting on record retrieval, pharmacy prescriptions, etc

Kaiser believes they have us all over a barrel because of this agreement – that is incorrect!!!

I’m not sure about other folks but soon as I change jobs, I will be choosing a different health care organization that “DOES” care about the website content and any inaccuracies that may appear, for the members using the site.

I am not aware of what other health care sites state but I’m gonna have to take my chances by denying any further monies leaving my bank account and going to Kaiser.

Yes, the organization wants to take care of its members, but the organization should also be very concerned about inaccuracies and security in members using their web site… It is a simple matter of due diligence.

I am highly surprised the Permanente lawyers and medical ethicists allowed this to go forward as is…

 

 

Part 2 – Donald Trump: Taking America Backwards & Laughing Stock…. Very Sad

Continued from Part 1 @ https://patrick642nu.wordpress.com/2017/06/04/part-1-donald-trump-taking-america-backwards-laughing-stock-very-sad/

 

Medical Care – Universal Health Care[1]

For decades, there have been individuals who wanted to put something like Universal Health Care (UHC) into play, people such as; Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt (1901-1909), FDR (1935 & 1939), Harry S. Truman in 1949 as part of the Fair Deal to our last president (Obama). You can also check Wikipedia[2] if you wish but do your own reading and thoughtful introspection.

So, what’s the big deal about UHC, our future – that is what is at stake? At stake is a future of healthier individuals, across the country. It is a future where costs will actually be lower because early care will preclude major medical disasters later and there will be no monstrous medical bills to be picked up by the families involved and tax payers due to an escalation of emergency room visits…

My thoughts on what these past presidents and current UHC (or Affordable Care) leaders thinking is that we need to cover everyone to bring down emergency room visits; to bring down the costs of catastrophic medical situations so that down the road, we Americans, will not have such significant numbers of people across the country without coverage. We would have in the future, a greatly reduced number of Americans without serious medical problems because the medical problems would have been caught very early in life and prevented. And the problems would have been prevented at a significantly fraction of the cost, instead of letting it go festering on for decades, with each year seeing more of that families (and tax payers – think emergency rooms) money going down the drain when it could have been prevented due to long-term thinkers who have been trying to get UHC instilled into the American psyche.

Just imagine more people:

  • With healthy looking teeth so they can go and gain better jobs instead of being automatically assigned as a person of low income and low intellect and passed over for someone else who simply looks better
  • Walking around on healthy legs or prostheses instead of a stump and a crutch(es) or obsolete decrepit wheel chair
  • With the ability to see rather than being blinded due to malnutrition or bad school lunch plans and more

Do you not believe UHC would better everyone? Okay, think about an event occurring where you lose your high paying job and you were the primary bread winner with a great insurance plan. Well, your plan is gone and you suddenly find yourself in a medical catastrophic situation and it is going to be hugely expensive. What are you going to do? Bemoan the fact that you have UHC at that point.

Grow up people, stop thinking about yourselves because you have a better life – think about others out there who are not as fortunate as you.

Wouldn’t you want to see:

  • Every American in this country reaping the benefits of great health care 10 years from now? {That 10 year number is only an educated guess as to we could start seeing better health care efficacy…}
  • A dramatic reduction of emergency room visits 10 years from now, while at the same time – a significant reduction of tax payers paying for so many unnecessary ER visits?
  • No more prohibitively expensive and labor sapping hospital visits 10 years from now because preventive UHC took care of problems before they exploded into the problems they are today?

We can do that!!!! But we have to agree to do this now, as a country. We cannot just provide UHC for the elite and better paid Americans and continue arguing and kicking this can down the road, EVERY SINGLE BLOODY YEAR as we are doing now!!!! We can change that paradigm!

 

Laughing Stock?

Back to the U.S. becoming the laughing stock country. Is that true, what do you think? Remember, do your own research and analysis; do not rely solely on news folks (TV or radio), or talk shows, or conspiracy theorists and only your inner circle – expand your horizons.

Why can’t the U.S. spend more money, evenly, on all levels of education to ratchet up the education and knowledge of American students? Why can’t the U.S. be like Canada, Great Britain and Germany[3]? Education goes a long way in making for a better citizenry… And we, the U.S., we need to do better if we want to be ‘the’ world leader – we need better education to get there. Check out a Pew article[4] for some info on where we stand.

 

What about international diplomacy? You too must think this is a laughing stock situation, right? Look at the current secretary of state, Tillerson – a person who does not grant interviews and press conferences. He wants to do mostly behind the scene affairs. Do you believe that is an open and transparent way to handle diplomacy, not sharing information with the country he represents?

Oh wait-a-minute that does not really matter. Our president and OMB person (Mick Mulvaney) want to cut the budget for State Department and USAID because we do not require or need this kind of effort around the world. Surely you believe this is laughable too… Right?

 

What about cleaner air, well, no? Apparently we not require or need this either. Our latest president and EPA head seem to believe their own knowledge on climate change and disregard what scientists who have been studying this for years. We should let companies dump waste in rivers and pollute the air, sure why not…? That is quite laughable, the president and EPA head that is, oh and include Bannon in that lot.

 

What about all the extraordinarily significant amount of time the U.S. is spending on the current president, his family, inner circle of administration officials and business cronies staying at Mar-a-Lago and at Trump Tower? Do you not believe this is laughable enough? Why yes, it is. The U.S. is spending far too much time on illicit activities, ummm – excuse me, alleged illicit activities. And we are spending far too much money on all of this as a result.

And the end result is that, most of the other hard stuff is not getting accomplished. Here are some of the things not getting done like; infrastructure (roads, bridges, dams, levees, power grid, water, etc.) across the country, all of which need attention. Then there is the tax reform; there is equality in the work place which needs more attention.

Take a look at the rampant, vitriolic, unvarnished display of outright racism being displayed across this once great nation. This is worse than when the last president was in office. And remember, that last president did not spew nonsense and idiotic content such as “knock ‘em out,” or “grab ‘em by the p_ _ _ y” or even using 7th grade language for that matter – sometimes, just sometimes, using ‘plain spoken language’ can mean talking down to someone and insult that person’s intelligence….

What is going on? What is happening to this once great country? Why are so many people willing to condone this current president? Why condone someone who continues to willingly lie to the country, to the world – on multiple topics? And many people were (and are still) willing to continue listening to and believe in this individual even though what this current president promised will never happen again (think coal and massive manual manufacturing)…

More people in this country need to start thinking of each other, no matter their race, religion, age, gender, sexual preferences or what part of the country they live in. We are all here together, right now.  Look at each other, deeply look at each other and consider the travels and hardship they may have endured to get to where they are now (of course I’m talking about honest, hard work and legal efforts). And remember that no matter whom you see in front of you, or whether they live 2,500 miles away, that other person may be smarter than you and have better cognitive skills than you. These are people who are walking around right now – with or without:

  • a college degree (that other person who ‘looks’ unintelligent may hold several degrees including a doctorate for all that you are aware)
  • a family trust fund
  • the best looks
  • the best smile or
  • the best speech abilities / speaking mannerisms.

So take note, that other person just may be a better person than you – rich or poor though they may be…

 

[1] “A Brief History: Universal Health Care Efforts in the US,” 1999, www.pnhp.org/facts/a-brief-history-universal-health-care-efforts-in-the-us

[2] “History of health care reform in the U.S.,” retrieved June 3, 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_health_care_reform_in_the_United_States

[3] “Best Countries for Education,” March 7, 2017, https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/best-education

[4] “U.S. students’ academic achievement still lags that of their peers in many other countries,” February 15, 2017, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/02/15/u-s-students-internationally-math-science/

Successful Corporate CEOs & Presidents… of the Future, 2016 and Beyond

 

UP FRONT

SUCCESS Through Employees

Disaffected Employees & Losses

Productive Employees & Investments

Disabled Employees

SUCCESS Through Yourself

Yourself

Vision, Creativity, Ethics

Knowledge

Communication

Connections

Conclusion                                                             

 

 

UP FRONT

This writing is for those individuals who aspire to become Successful corporate CEOs and Presidents down the road as I stated, in 2016 and beyond.

And if you really do want to achieve these prominent positions of responsibility, you must really want to and you have to be the type of person who can successfully thrive in those positions.

Success is not just about working hard for 70 – 80 hours a week (or more) in perpetuity; it is about working SMART and HARD in productive, efficient and success steps. And doing so means learning to delegate instead of micro-managing everything.

Many of you know that micro-managing does not work well in the long run and it sure does not help your staff and employees grow or your business. Nor is working 70 hours or more hours a week a permanent and sustainable solution, your health will give in whether you are successful or not. And you can bet, in nearly every situation, the family life will be a shambles.

Take care in being successful. There are three areas where you must tread with great and sincere care, you must be a willing:

  1. Champion / Sponsor to multiple ideas, some brilliant, some exotic and some seemingly crazy (not meant in a bad way) but exceptional while other crazy ideas are complete duds – this is the price for innovation and creativity
  2. Collaborator with great people as well as with highly odious people – you must bridge that gap and act professionally, not just for your sake but for the corporation as well
  3. Risk taker, not just an ordinary risk taker but an intelligent and calculated risk taker, one who listens with eyes, ears and brain wide open – then to be truly successful, you must do YOUR OWN due diligence in finding out the facts, truths, positives and negatives behind each risk for today, tomorrow and in the future – you cannot just take the words of others without information (that is what Big Data and Analytics can help with) – you have a fiduciary duty and obligation to all

And one area, due to today’s digital arenas, where you have got to be explicitly aware of – Information & Cyber security risks to:

  • Your employee’s Personally Identifiable Information (health, financial records)
  • Corporate financials
  • Corporate Intellectual Property (business processes, partnerships, R & D efforts and product secrets)

You need to be cognizant of the massively numerous digital risks as well as having on staff a CIO and CISO who are not only aware of those risks but are up to date as to what has to be done to protect the corporation. This means detecting, defending, deterring, mitigating and performing root cause analysis of what happened, why it happened and how prevent the breach from occurring again).

 

SUCCESS Through Employees

Do not worry, I will come back to other topics but this one prominent thought springs to mind time and time again. And yes, there will be some disagreement on this point. You absolutely have to take care of your employees first and foremost! Why? Because if you do not care for them, these unhappy employees can and will sink your company faster than a Mark VI torpedo striking an adversarial target of opportunity…

You must realize that caring for, nurturing and growing your corporate staff means your company can continue to flourish and thrive in tight economic times.

Employees should come first. Why would this be the case? It is the case because employees are the people who make your company hum. They are the ones who make customers happy and WANT to come back, continuing to do business with your firm. Employees are the face to the world and you most definitely want the best face facing out to the world. You want staff that is happy, satisfied and eager to do more. So care for them. 

Disaffected Employees & Losses

This paper is not to dwell on the negative aspects of employees, only to point out several items.

Unhappy, disgruntled, disappointed and unchallenged employees will make your firm drown in morass. This will manifest itself in myriad manners. Sure, you will see these individuals energetically working – while you are present but what about when you or other senior leaders are not visible?

These same unhappy individuals will revert to what they normally do, such as:

  • Sluggish or haphazard anemic work efforts, getting only the most pressing or urgent tasks completed and not at blazing speeds either nor at a sufficient level of competency either
  • Performing inaccurate work that is not as thorough or complete as it should be
  • High rates of absenteeism for any number of reasons but mainly to not show up to work
  • Spending more time searching the web for things that have absolutely nothing to do with work, just to pass the time
  • Low levels of morale
  • High levels of adversarial teamwork, combativeness, insubordination
  • Disgruntled employees could also walk out with your most highly prized Intellectual Property (IP) before you realize it
  • On, and on, and on – the list is long

And for any senior leaders, who do happen to have the time and inclination to read this, tell other readers the truth, “Do you by chance manage to catch employees in these various states of mind and attitude?” 

Productive Employees & Investments

For any new CEO and President, it does not take a rocket scientist or a brilliant psychologist to see that there are many things that can make employees ever more satisfied and productive at your firm. And all the while with investments that do not have to be super-significantly expensive. The investments will pay off in spades in the short term and in the long term, making your ROI a number you can trot out time and time again to your investors and customers.

Some of these employee investments can be minor for things such as:

  • Better noise abatement and cubicle designs to give workers some satisfaction of privacy from other nosy AND noisy neighbors
  • Computer Based Training (CBT) and online courses to improve the employee knowledge base or to stretch their skills to go to the next level
  • Communication, “honest,” communication from the top in a more frequent manner – even just managing by walking around to see what the current state of affairs is like throughout the organization – unannounced walkabouts, not to catch staff doing things wrong but to say ‘hello’ and see what can be improved – having open and honest dialogue with junior staff, with middle management and with other senior executives

Then there are employee investments which can be major but worthwhile:

  • Better lighting, brighter and full spectrum lighting – LED – to move away from the harsh or dull old style lighting still used in many organizations – it has been shown time after time that brighter and better lighting, which also mimics natural sunlight, cuts on depression boosting productivity – the better lighting rejuvenates people on an healthier, unconscious level – causing a lasting spring in their steps (and in their work)
  • Better and brighter paint schemes – too many organizations have dull, drab and even worn paint schemes throughout their buildings, who wants to be around that…
  • Windows – add more windows if possible, replace old inefficient and well, crappy looking windows/frames to allow more sunlight in and a view out to the world
  • Plants – bring in plants, “real” plants to bring color AND oxygen as well as absorbing some of the soul killing dead air
  • Skylights
  • Have privacy rooms for those who need to make short private phone calls without their cube mates hearing everything – or else, the employee who needs to make a call will go out to their car, taking off time from work
  • Have power nap rooms for those who need them, with strict policies – these can revitalize those who really want to work but could use a nap
  • Ergonomic chairs – these should not just be relegated to the senior and executive staff, comfortable workers are more productive workers

Lastly, there are significant corporate investments that benefit the corporation for the long term as well as the employees:

A faster network:

  • Yes, this will entail laying new cable, something like Cat 7 (category 7) or fiber optic to break up congestion and latency, specifically for those high peak times (employee work/customer access) – we will continue to see larger datasets moving across the network
  • Faster and more powerful – routers, switches, firewalls and wireless access points
  • Full or Hybrid Cloud infrastructure to complement your current data center (or to replace it) so you can scale up to as many resources as you require when you need them – including faster network bandwidth, faster CPUs for the computing devices and faster storage devices to store / retrieve data (solid state versus hard disk) – it may also cut down on your Capital Expenses
  • Better computers, tablets and servers that can function with a flow allowing employees to keep working, productively

Yes, it will mean replacing many corporate devices but it will ensure your network can handle heavier load over time. It will also mean that you do not hear about or see many, many, many of your employees sitting and watching a spinning hour glass or circle nearly every time they perform a print, retrieve or save task (not every single time but you get the point).

All of these instances across the firm will add up to wasted, unproductive time and significant revenue loss to operating expenses year over year that wind up being opportunity costs lost. By this last statement, I mean that employees could be more productive if they did not have to constantly wait for their computer system or network to respond. 

Disabled Employees

You should also be looking at the ranks of disabled employees; such as the blind who can help your company by listening to products you may produce that have an audio aspect to them. To hear how pleasing or unpleasant the product(s) may sound.

Look at deaf employees; they could help with the visual aspects of products and see things in a different manner to make those products more successful. The deaf could look for things such as color, layout and appeal to help make various products winners.

There are the individuals confined to wheel-chairs who may be mentally brilliant but are overlooked only because they are in a wheel-chair.

 

SUCCESS Through Yourself

Yourself

Now, as one who wants to be a successful leader, there are many tools you should have in your arsenal, ready to pull out and wield. Some of these tools will be tangible, while others are intangible.

You are who you are by the dint of all that you have done over the course of your life. 

Vision, Creativity, Ethics

It is necessary to be a person who is capable of having vision to look forward in time, through the hard times, to bring success to the firm. It is also a necessity in making connections where others do not see it, such as dual use for a product when the product was not originally designed for anything but what it is selling for.

You should strive to be able to see trends coming that you and your company can take advantage of to continue being successful. 

You need to have creativity, even to a small degree, to see, hear and understand what your staff is telling or presenting to you for any viable product that may come to market. This is not say you must be a marketing genius but you should be able to tie your vision to your creative juices to move forward with a product or product line.

It is also mandatory to have the ethics, strong ethics, to not bamboozle anyone – employees, customers, shareholders, no matter how dire the situation has or will become. You must be strong enough to be bold and upfront about everything. Dishonesty and deceit will never, in the long run, win you any awards. This principle of right and wrong, integrity, must be imprinted onto your DNA so that it is, well, just second nature.

Everyone fails at some point; you must be able to show your resolve and your ethics to be bigger than others when the time comes and move forward. 

Knowledge

Yes, you must be knowledgeable about EPS, ROI, Cash Reserves, 10K and 10Q statements, CapEx, OpEx – these are all a given. What is not a specific given is that you need to have other kinds of knowledge as well.

You should be curious, all the time and willing to learn more – when you make the time, which you need to pencil in. You have to be adept in picking up and learning new things and being adaptable, another requirement, to multiple instances you find yourself in and to new kinds of knowledge.

You, yourself, do not have to be the smartest and most intelligent person in the room but you do have to smart enough to know when to have the smartest and most intelligent people around. You should not be shrinking away from these smarter people; you should be embracing them and learning from them. To be successful, you must pick up knowledge in many unlikely places, not just the known and predictable places.

If you continue to try to be the smartest person in the room, it will show and many people will be repelled by it.

You should have gained, and continue to gain, your knowledge in a multitude of places, from school, in the streets (commonsense) to the many places you have been employed. You should also strive to continue learning to be better at whatever you do. 

Your knowledge, especially if it is broad based knowledge (or what can be called cognitive diversity) will continue to pay dividends for you as long as you live. Because of that broad background of knowledge and experience, you will have the tools you need in continuing to be successful.

Take for instance your school based education. Suppose you learned to play in a concert/marching band; that you played in one or more sports; you learned at least several hard sciences (advanced math, physics, areas of medicine, chemistry – male or female); you learned home economics (not to be minimized in the least); geography; languages (one or two); political science; technology based courses (male and female); history and English (if you are in the U.S.).

Then suppose you continued to learn more about these topics at least through college. With this multitude of learnings, you will have a foundation of knowledge that will last you a lifetime. You will be able to discourse on any number of topics in any setting with just about anyone who is willing to honestly hold a conversation with you and you with them. 

Communication

You should be a good to great communicator to get your point across or attempt to. The honesty of trying will win out every time in highlighting your sincerity. If you attempt to put on a choreographed, scripted performance that is not true or heart-felt, everyone will see it and make note that your brand, your reputation is not as sterling as it should be.

Your brand and reputation, after your ethics and integrity, is what defines you as a person. It is what defines you as a leader. You should bend over backwards in proving how solid your brand and reputation are, not only to yourself, but to everyone else. Those who are paying attention and looking beyond their own nose and selfish needs will see the truisms you have and will respond to accordingly. 

You are the kind of communicator that listens intently, respectfully and honestly to those talking to you. You must be acutely, but not painfully, sensitive to the needs of others. You must show some level of empathy to the people you deal with, no matter if it is on an occasional or irregular basis.

No matter the situation, in being successful, you must be an active listener. Sometimes, that is all some people really need or want, even if it does not require any action on your part, other than listening. 

You must be open and honest, as much as possible in whatever situation you are in. You must be affable at times because many people actually do like that, as long as you do not go overboard with it AND you do not make it a gimmick. But you must also be serious at the times when you need to and it should explicitly come across that you are serious and not wishy-washy to use a ‘highly’ technical term…  

One ultimate item of interest is that you have got to be a person who is willing to engage and very capable of collaborating with others, no matter who the other is.

The other could come from any walk of life, they could be a:

  • Woman/Man – just because the other is a woman or man should make no difference whatsoever (I’m not talking about lifting strength here)
  • Different age – this is meaningless because that person could be a better, smarter person than you, you will not know until you give them a chance
  • Race – now this, this is just a no-brainer – the color of the other should not matter in the least, it is what in the character and the heart of that person that should matter to you
  • Religion – well, this is a touchy one for which I will not get into much because there those where religion is not an albatross upsetting any engagement – then there are those where religion is a complete and intractable roadblock where they will not compromise no matter what you compromise on – so be careful in working with this latter group of people, it can be rather difficult.

The bottom line in regards to others is that you be respectful of who they are and what they represent. If you are respectful to them that is a big head start. 

Connections

To be successful, you have to be something more than average, you have to be not just a thinker but you also have to be a lateral thinker [1]. You have to be able to think in a multitude of directions, vertical, horizontal and diagonal in order to see things in a different perspective or through different rose colored glasses. You should work at and continue being a multi-spatial thinker. Do not look at just that one single tree (micro) but instead, look at that tree AND the forest (macro) for a holistic picture. This is a far better imagery to have instead of looking at a single tree, after single tree, after….. 

You will need to understand the multiple connections and axes of the organization and industry you are in. You need to understand the interrelationships between marketing and research, between research and operations, between business and technology and between technology and people – only to name a few here.

You must see those connections and see where there are possible pitfalls and negative entanglements. You must be able to strategize where there are possible successes in any number of those connections. This where predictive analytics, prescriptive analytics and even visual analytics comes in handy – all these tools can assist you with doing ‘what-if’ and ‘what-about’ scenarios to fine tune various strategies.

 

Conclusion

Again, employees should come first because if you do treat them better, rather than as a resource to bring profits to the bottom line, they will reciprocate as they should by being better workers and not using as many sick days or excuses for not coming in to work, a place they loathe.

Look for good people, whether they are handicapped or not. Look for people who different than you because many of them could be or will be smarter than you. Surround yourself with smart or smarter people, they can help you and your company be more successful.

Continue being creative and if possible, try to be innovative to make disruptive and revolutionary changes, not just incremental and evolutionary growth. Try to combine the best of all worlds; the best of the best business practices; the best technological tools that can be used for best results and certainly not least; People and what they individually and collectively can offer. 

Ultimately, to be successful, you must continue to learn, strive in growing and engaging with others and at various points, others who have altruistic intents rather than vested selfish interests will help you succeed. You in turn, can help others be / become successful. 

And that is the crux of it all, if you help others succeed, you too will be successful. If you help your company succeed, you will be successful. It is a wickedly nice circle to be in…

 

Definitions

Cognitive Diversity – He (Scott Page) suggests that cognitive diversity has four dimensions: perspectives, interpretations, heuristics, predictive models.

  • Diverse perspectives: people have different ways of representing situations and problems; they who see or envision the set of possibilities confronting them differently.
  • Diverse interpretations: people put things into different categories and classifications. To some people, I might be someone who worked at the World Bank. To others, I might be an leadership storyteller. To others, I might be an author about radical management. All are true. They are different interpretations of the world.
  • Diverse heuristics: People have different ways of generating solutions to problems. Some people like to talk through their thinking about problems; others prefer to write out his solutions first and then talk
  • Diverse predictive models: Some people analyze the situation. Others may look for the story)

(Cognitive Diversity boils down to the broad base of experience/knowledge that an individual has collected throughout their lives and the differences in what others have learned – making the collective whole that much better)

Predictive analytics – Practice of extracting information from existing data sets in order to determine patterns and predict future outcomes and trends. Predictive analytics does not tell you what will happen in the future

Prescriptive analytics – A type of business analytics that focuses on finding the best course of action for a given situation

Visual analytics – A form of analytics in which interactive graphical displays of data are used to generate analytical results and insights – it can attack certain problems whose size, complexity, and need for closely coupled human and machine analysis may make them otherwise intractable

 

References

[1] – Dr. Edward DeBono – multiple books on Lateral Thinking

[2] – Scott Page – The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies, (Princeton, 2007)

No Net Neutrality is “Kinda Like Discrimination”

BB

Well, let’s clearly state up front that if we do not have net neutrality in place that it is Kinda Like Discrimination!If there is inequality in how individuals and firms use the ‘Net, there will be discriminatory impacts as a result.

Also, this paper is not focused on entertainment value of the ‘Net but the power of the educational component of using the ‘Net and improving individual lives.

 

Now, let’s also be clear, corporations and companies should make a profit, there is no doubt about that. But when the profits come in the form of gains due to people here and there and companies here and there having to pay for a faster speed to get a leg up on their competitors, well, that could be problematic.

In the first place, aren’t the major (and minor) ISPs, Telco’s and exchanges (LECs/IXC’s), supposed to be improving their communication pipes with their own investments (culled from the profits made off of customers) in order to attract and retain current and future customers?

 

If lower income people around the world do not have a fair and equitable manner of accessing the ‘Net, in comparison to the more wealthier middle/upper income earners – these lower income folks cannot play ball at the same level. The less fortunate will either have to make trips to the local library or suffer from a much slower ‘Net.

Who wants to suffer in watching an hour-glass or spinning wheel on the PCs’ monitor? Who wants to wait for a connection that might well die and disconnect and reconnect and start all over again for what was originally wanted.

If you have a student in your home and they are watching an educational video, the value of that learning time plummets when the learner/viewer cannot have a solid, good and fast connection. The learning is drastically disrupted due to the vagaries of having to deal with the many network errors (sync errors, drops, slowness, etc.). And many, many of us have put up those kinds of problems in the early days of BBSs’ and the early years of the ‘Net. NONE of us enjoyed that at all.

 

We, the global citizens of the world, have put up far too many forms of discrimination in our time on earth. And whether you count time on earth in BC/AD or BCE/CE, it does not matter, we have seen discrimination in its many forms for centuries and many of which are still here today (sadly and pathetically so).

Do we need yet another form of discrimination? Should major ISPs, telcos, LECs and IXCs have the power to dictate pricing on the ‘Nets of the world, the U.S. at any rate and make those who cannot afford it, scrimp, beg and borrow money to pay for equal access to the ‘Net?

 

As it stands, there are many jurisdictions in the U.S. where any new company AND even the local municipality are banned from competing with the major broadband. This ban is due to those major telcos and their lobbyists spending gobs of money and getting laws enacted to end up in the favor of the telco/broadband carrier.

It also does not hurt these major providers – ISPs & Telcos – have congressional representation (i.e. Blackburn – see the references below) aiding them in blocking municipalities from competing, it is all well and good for the major providers but not so good for the rest of the country.

 

How can this be fair? Sure, again, all companies should make a profit. But when companies lobby to get other companies/municipalities banned from competing that just paints an unflattering picture for those major providers as bad corporate citizens.

Why wouldn’t these major providers allow competition? Is it to retain monopoly and duopoly control on a vital service? Profit, well, yeah….

When municipalities are blocked from building their own fast networks in their own cities/towns that flat out kills the spirit of competition. These municipalities have the interests of their constituents at heart and want to do better for them and by them.

 

But as long as the courts and some certain members of congress continue to allow major providers to have their way in controlling the communication pipes of the country and stifling competition, we will continue to see discrimination. Only, this form of discrimination comes in the form of access to a better (reliability and speed) network that may or not be as available to all as it really should.

 

Already, we, the U.S., are at #27* in the world, behind Estonia, as far as ‘Net speeds go AND paying a significantly more for OUR slow speeds. Either way, the U.S. is not looking so hot…

* The speeds, however, vary depending on who you go to and when you check them out:

— Akamai has the U.S. at #11 at 10.5 Mbps in 2014

— One writer, Sept. 4, 2014, wrote that the U.S. is listed at #30 with download speeds of ~20Mbps, http://www.dailydot.com/politics/us-broadband-speed-cost-infographic/

— Ookla has the U.S. listed with download speeds of 33.3 Mbps right now, Mar 1, 2015, http://www.netindex.com/download/2,1/United-States/

 

References

Municipal Broadband Roadblocks, Jul 18, 2014, http://broadbandnow.com/report/municipal-broadband-roadblocks/

FCC overturns state laws that protect ISPs from local competition, Feb 26, 2015 , http://arstechnica.com/business/2015/02/fcc-overturns-state-laws-that-protect-isps-from-local-competition/

 

Definitions

‘NET    Internet (what this writer has been using for years)

BBS     Bulletin Board System / Service (of the 80s & early 90s)

FCC     Federal Communication Commission

ISP      Internet Service Provider

IXC      IntereXhange Carrier commonly called a long-distance telephone company

LEC     Local Exchange Carrier

Mbps   Mega-bits per second

MBps   Mega-bytes per second (8 bits/byte)

TELCO Telephone Company

 

 

OL & TtT for Leadership & Strategic Success: Observe, Listen & Think, then Talk

 *** Very obvious strategic aspects to success for those who really do care about having an organization full of employees who provide value added efforts…

In my past learnings in the business world, the talk was (and still is) of Manage by Observing, Manage by Objective and the less used – Manage by Walking Around. And I am pretty sure, many of you executives out there have heard all of these bandied about at some point in your career/schooling.

All three of these techniques are useful and come in handy at different points in time.

Management by:

  • Observing: This one comes in handy at any time, in meetings, at brainstorming sessions, etc. The point here is to take in what you see, unfiltered and let your brain, your subconscious soak it up.
  • Objective: Going by whatever goals, or objectives that have been previously put in place to reach relevant milestones.
  • Walking Around: This one is a good favorite of mine. You walk around with a purpose, not with a stick to beat or scare staff but with the goal of seeing what is actually happening, who is doing what effectively, what team is performing activities in an inefficient manner, who are the most productive performers AND why, who are the happiest employees AND why, etc., etc.

In the end though, you are observing what is going on. Then take what you’ve observed and process it.

In taking what I’ve titled this paper, OL & TtT, I see this as a strategic process for success for all of us.

Observing: Covered above but as you observe;

  • Do you see your team/employees working with a purpose or is the work being performed with a listless “when will it be 5 o’clock” type activity?
  • Is the work being performed listless and dragging, could it be due to the awfully bad, buzzing, flickering fluorescent overhead lights, which should be replaced with full spectrum lighting (to mimic the light of the sun)? Better lighting permits a much better work atmosphere. And better health for everyone…
  • Is the air quality just bad? What about windows, do you have windows that at least will allow the employees to have a moment from time to time seeing some greenery and sunshine?
  • What about noise, is it so noisy due to bad cubicle arrangements allowing for loud noise to pass along the entire side of a floor – causing loss of train of thought for those who need to concentrate? Are there any quiet areas where members can go to recharge?
  • Is there any privacy allowed for those who do not like being watched, overheard all day long?

Listening: Now, as you observe, you should also be listening. You should be listening to the activity taking place around you.

  • Is this activity a peppery and snappy pattern or is it a dull, plodding to closing time pattern?
  • Listen to the voices, are they proactive and happy as the team(s) do their work or are they dull, negative and massively sarcastic? In meetings, are people generating seriously valuable ideas that get attention but are they also generating creative, somewhat outlandish ideas that should also be considered for forward thinking that some peers and senior leader’s poo-poo as being unrealistic? Are the loudest voices just talkers, with no real value and are drowning out the quieter employees who “do” have significant contributions to make? Are people afraid to bring up ideas because they perceive you as a non-listener or even worse, are afraid of being open and bringing up ideas?

Thinking: After you have observed and listened (neither of which never really stops), now is the time to stew on what you’ve seen and heard.

  • You must consciously put in time to think, “really” think – either long and hard in a quiet environment, if at all possible, or quick/fast and hard if time is of the essence. But, you must take some time to think.
  • Let your brain cogitate on what has transpired. Let your subconscious have some time to dwell on the observations and conversations because your subconscious (your gut) may come up with something wonderful due to what you may have observed and/or learned and/or actually done in the past.

Give your brain a chance to kick in and have a go before you take the next step…

Talking: Now, the gold nugget of the OL & TtT strategic process, you can talk! But you should have gone through the previous steps first, even if it is an abbreviated manner due to time constraints. After you’ve gone through those steps, you (we) should have something cogent to say. You should have something formed in your mind on what to talk about, either briefly or longer.

You (we) should endeavor to never just barge into a conversation without having something constructive to add, just because you want to be heard. Being heard without adding value is just a waste of your time and the people that have to listen to you.

Conclusion

Take the time to observe, listen, think and then talk, no matter what the settings – this should help you (us) be more successful.

All of the ills / negatives mentioned above can be fixed and should be fixed – and surprise, most of the fixes are inexpensive. For those that are more expensive, you WILL recoup the cost in more productivity and less sick time being taken. In the end, for your bottom line and ROI, you will have more employees who “want” to come to work and be ‘more’ productive.

 

White House and Air borne threats: Drones & Secret Service response

Okay, here is a shorter piece this time.

It looks as if it might be time for the Secret Service (USSS) to make some additions to the White House roof (to cover 360 degrees) and other sensitive buildings in the federal space.

— Something like a roof top laser weapon system to respond to small to large drones. i.e. drones carrying cameras or weapons – chemical, biological, radiological or kinetic (nuclear, bullets, missiles).

Since no one wants a uniformed/plain clothes secret service agent taking shots (no matter how good they believe they are) at a drone with the bullets falling to ground, likely killing someone by mistake.

And the roof top missile system may be too bulky to deal with drones of most sizes…

The laser system would be one that has:

a) A computer automated radar tracking system – since human aim/shooting at night, in the dark, may not be good enough or fast enough

b) A radar powerful and fast enough to track & target in milliseconds (if not microseconds)

c) Low power to fry the drone’s circuitry and bring it down, likely with a range for under 1/2 a mile or something like that – we don’t want the laser blinding someone a mile away

d) Power enough to destroy it if the drone is weaponized (why we need it computerized, to detect weapons – of multiple varieties)

e) Or, what about a microwave weapon on the White House, with a limited range, specifically for drones

f) Or at the very least, a frequency jammer that kicks in for any object that crosses specified borders/fence layouts

— DARPA might have something up their sleeves to help with this – a place I would give my left AND right arms to work at doing creative work…

And as to a target being too small, all they would need to do is tune or ensure they have radar capable of a small aperture to target and acquire the very small targets – hard plastic or metallic. We have the tech to target small items in a rapid fashion and take it down.

Then too, this is the one we know about. What about the ones we do not know about…

At any rate, who in the un-privileged world knows who else was playing around with drones, around the White House, where it is illegal to fly drones anyway – it would not be publically announced…

And who in their right mind ‘tests’ drones, at night, at 3am – around the White House? A simpleton? A foreign adversary? In doing some critical thinking, as far as I can determine, either way, we have a choice of:

  1. Stupid or
  2. Spy…

That is enough food for thought for now… Besides, would the Secret Service deign to listen to any of us in the public sphere (even if some of us do work in Intelligence) unless we are a security threat to the President that is!  And you would have to be off your rocker to make threats of any kind publically, in the age of digital technology, such as datamining…