Sunday, January 23, 2022

Wonder: Leadership in Action…

Leadership of “Small Teams” to accomplish extraordinary and challenging tasks or milestones has been written about for centuries.

The Leader of your team has certain assets and capabilities for creating the team "Wonder" that others see as worthy of following. The Leader has something the team members admire or, by joining the team, they know they will gain new knowledge or wealth of life experience.

So what is it about this Leader and this particular Team, that has created your ambition to try and join its ranks?

Why will you pursue the hard work and learning the skills to be known by your Leader and your fellow team mates, as a valuable addition to the team?

How does this “Team Leader” recognize those who will perform to baseline expectations and those who will make a valuable contribution to the overall mission?

Are they too tall or too short? Are they too young or too old? Are they too light or too heavy? Are they too sharp or dull? Are they too this or too that.

True Leaders realize from their own experience and continuous Recruiting, Educating, Networking and Sharing information (RENS) with new potential team members that it takes time.

How much time?

“Leadership of Teams” who have seen hundreds if not thousands of potential additions to a team, they will tell you this. "You can never judge anyone on your first impression."

It is not until each one of the new people for this particular team endeavor are provided with a proper orientation, skills testing, extensive training and actual opportunities to perform, that you will learn about them.

Will this particular person be worthy of becoming a long term and valuable team mate and continuously performing with excellence?

We shall find out and see what they are truly capable of in their knowledge, skills and their own ambitions to perform as fellow team members.

How long will you test and train them before you realize that your potential team player is not worthy of the continued time and resources with your team?

Days. Weeks. Months. Years?

You know as a True Leader, that you must finally make an informed decision. You must continue to invest your valuable resources in this individual or you must ask them to leave the team. This brave decision will benefit both of you.

Leadership of “Small Teams” of professionals will continuously have those who think they have found something new. Some new insight or formula that will change everything.

Do you ever experience "Wonder"...

The second, the minute, the hour or the day is ahead of you, when you too will finally realize that you will achieve your objective milestone. Or you might be unable to achieve it.

Whether it is the game or race, or the professional team working relationship, you must make a decision.

Yet never forget, that the wonder of learning will only make you Stronger, more Wise, more Knowledgeable and even more future Resilient...

Onward!

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Madison Ave to Llewellyne Ave: Digital Warfare on our Doorsteps…

Complex Irregular Warfare, whether "Asymmetric or Hybrid" will be exponential into the next decade and shall consume our Earth and beyond.

John Q. Citizen who is walking down the street in Syria or Europe, Africa, Asia, South America or Kyiv already is more aware of this fact.

“Hybridity ... is characterized by the interpenetration of a wide range of non-state actors including any combination of insurgent or terrorist networks; organized crime groups; social groups such as clans, tribes or ethnic groups; and ideologically or religiously motivated organizations; all of which may be backed covertly or overtly by states and/or legitimate businesses.” 
Schroefl and Kaufman,
“Hybrid Actors,” pp. 862, 867.

This is still about our digital modern warfare, not focused or about the next variant of a biological weapon.

Asymmetric and hybrid warfare is not new and it has been operating on Main Street USA for a decade or more, yet most people are apathetic or complacent as they walk down the sidewalk starring at their latest digital communicator.

Who knows more about you as a person? The people on Madison Avenue or on Amphitheatre Parkway. These forces working together to better understand you as a behavioral thinking machine and to Win, are beyond your typical John Q. Citizens comprehension.

Now take this Asymmetric or Hybrid foundation and apply this to our next 24 hours and to the next 12 months. What you read and what you hear and what you see on an LCD screen, is the modern digital battlefield. In the USA. In Ukraine. In China. In North Korea. In Iran. In the UK.

The corporate and business battlefield has now spread across our other 16+ Critical Infrastructures, such as energy pipelines and beyond to hospitals, schools and universities, water and electric utilities, local government municipalities and vital federal government agencies.

The attack surface has now spread to our homes, apartments and where ever you may connect your little LCD screen to the Internet, for your Work From Home (WFH) strategy.

You see, that little black or white or blue communications box sitting there on your desk, credenza or table in the storage room, with little blinking lights is actually part of this digital global battlefield. You as a citizen soldier now need to do your part.

The Router/modem/Cable box sitting inside your own domicile or business, is the entry point for our modern global adversaries. It is your Duty of Care and your mission to defend your Family, your Community and your Country.

You can realize your own vulnerabilities in order to respond. To increase your resiliency. To upgrade or update your own digital hardware and software, in order to Deter, Detect and Defend, all those we care for in our daily lives.

The so called “Critical Infrastructure” is in your hand, in your business, in your home, and you and your own family are part of this hybrid warfare. Wake up!

From Madison Avenue, New York City NY to Llewellyn Avenue, Fort Meade MD, to the deepest, darkest parts of the World Wide Internet, a continuous Digital Global War is being waged 86,400 seconds per day…

Saturday, January 08, 2022

Fearless: Over Your Horizon...

How will you be changing your focus in the coming year and over your horizon? Will you make a concerted effort to change some aspect of your life?

Many people declare some kind of resolution after the New Year begins January 1, so others will see them in a different light. What is yours?

What if you continued your life with more courage and a tenacity in following a faith that has lasted thousands of years?

People who together work towards living and demonstrating the life that exhibits what being a follower of Christianity truly means.

Some will make a resolution to lose weight and stop eating beef. Others will say they will stop something else, that they know and realize is so harmful in their life.

"What if you just did a 180 degree turn and instead of being so focused on “Stopping” the bad habit in your life, you became devoted to “Starting” a new behavior."

A new discipline. Starting to “DO” something that you know will be good for you.

In 2022 how might you start a new course, a new habit or a new process to improve your mindset and your outlook on life?

You can start this without declaring it out loud to your family, friends and neighbors.

How about reading or listening about it with your headphones on, for a 15-30 minute time, on a regular basis. On the Metro, on the plane or by yourself early in the morning, or with trusted others in the evening together.

There will be some significant outcomes from your focus and your new discipline. You just might be in wonder at what they are, as they begin to reveal themselves to you.

The first part of this is to declare that you will set aside your time on a regular basis. Will it be certain days of the week at a certain time frame of the day, in your daily schedule of life? The second part is to repeat and never give up.

Recently, a trusted woman who was working on a mutual project years ago with us came back into our life view. She had just written a book about her faith and her new discipline. It was now on Amazon and we exchanged a few quick e-mails.

The book arrived soon thereafter and I started reading it. As each page was turned, it is clear to me that Jennifer is truly someone that we shall learn from. How to be a real “DOER." How to have even more discipline in our prayer, as we go to work and care for our loved ones each day of our lives.

Beyond being a single mother and a professional in her entrepreneurial career, she has made enlightened decisions and started actions in her life over four years ago. This has taken her on a rewarding new spiritual and experiential journey.

In 2022, how might you start your new discipline? Whatever you may choose, Do it with devotion and be Fearless.

Friday, December 31, 2021

Disaster at 5280: Contingency Planning & Relief in 2022...

As our 737-900 descended over the Rockies into DEN yesterday, there was a clear view of the front range and the Boulder Flatirons in the distance. Snow storms were only 48 hours away, and yet as the extreme winds buffeted our plane we admired the city at 5280 ft.

Only a few hours later as we drove around NW Denver, the smoke started to became apparent. Little did we know that communities just North of us, were on the verge of an unpredictable local catastrophic disaster.

The winds had picked up and now you could sense something was very wrong with the wall of dark smoke blowing East at 75+ miles an hour.

Then we saw the local news about Superior, and the immediate evacuations as the roaring fire headed due East from Rt. 93 and the foothills just West of Superior and Louisville.

24+ hours later, it is still not quite over and we have witnessed 500-1000 homes and a hotel along with some other local businesses incinerated, as fire crews worked through the night to save lives and get people to safe havens.

Once you as a human, come so very close to pure disaster and witness the shear power of mother nature and her ability to devastate everything in her path, of the fire, and the wind or the water…you realize you are never going to be totally prepared.

In 2022, let us all agree, that we can only devote more time to understand, making more informed decisions and acting quickly to our respective rapidly changing events, incidents, threats and inevitable crisis.

Through every disaster across America, there are valuable “Lessons Learned” and for us as humans to respond in productive and heart felt outcomes.

Here are a few quick ideas that may be worthy of consideration with your family:

  1. How might you and yours set up a digital “Cloud” account in Box or Amazon or Google or Protonmail, to upload and place copies of your most vital personal .pdf or scanned documents, home insurance, tax records and even business/financial information?
  2. How might you place a fireproof lockbox/safe within your house to place physical documents, Passports, Birth Certificates and other unreplaceables (jewelry, medals, keys) or legal information that may take weeks or months to replace?
  3. How might you and your spouse/partner practice with other family members, in other cities across the country, on contingencies and family actions, just in case Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Floods or Wild Fires and even Earthquakes occur without warning?
  4. What types of insurance coverages have you added to your policies to include certain types of disaster scenarios, that have a likelihood of occurring in your particular geography?
  5. Once you have established the baseline for 1-4, how might you improve your planning by exchanging the plans with your other trusted family members and asking each other important remaining questions?

As the local “Denver News” helicopter flew over the remains of these neighborhoods this morning, one could only wonder why some houses were spared and others next door were completely gone with only a chimney remaining?

“Our First Responders and local businesses are still in the first 72 hours of this disaster and yet you can see the sorrow and the emotions on everyones faces.”

Colorado and other NGOs across America will assist in the days ahead and we will grow stronger and more prepared for our next crisis as the snow showers and storms finally arrive here…

Godspeed Colorado in 2022!

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Seasons Greetings and 2022...

We have learned a tremendous amount of new Operational Risk knowledge in 2021. As we celebrate this holiday season and move into 2022, it is imperative that we reflect on what we have learned.

We must take this new found knowledge and use it to mitigate the ever changing threats to our family, friends, institutions, organizations and business units.  To become even more Resilient.

We are reminded of the great book by Stan Davis and Jim Botkin titled The Monster Under the Bed. They talk about how Knowledge is information put to productive use.

And they talk about getting from Knowledge to Wisdom:
Wisdom: The ability to judge soundly and deal sagaciously with facts, especially as they relate to life and conduct; knowledge, with the capacity to make due use of it; perception of the best ends and the best means; discernment and judgment...
Operational Risk Management is about true knowledge management and so much more. It is about Learning, with the goal of gaining and retaining Wisdom.

It is about using advanced methods and technologies to detect threats far in advance, so that the proper risk mitigation strategies can be put in place.

Operational Risk Management remains an evolving discipline in our corporate institutions only because we have not yet decided on the exact taxonomy and definitions, for each facet of its breadth and rapidly changing depth.

Once we accomplish greater discipline, it will become more pervasive across most aspects of our business foundations.

From the Board Room to your Third-party risk management (TPRM), we will see Operational Risk Management (ORM) having a real impact on our collective “Wisdom".

Seasons Greetings and in 2022, we must all look for ways to gain more wisdom and to further develop the methods and systems for keeping our most precious assets safe and secure…

Saturday, December 11, 2021

R3: Team Leaders On The Front Lines…

Now that you and your team have finished the mission strategy planning for 2022, how might you simplify this for those on the front line who work outside the building?

When you really understand what the product/solution does and you truly believe the benefit of someone using it, now what?

Your team may know the strategy and the “Why now”, yet will you still be wondering where all of the budget allocations have gone, after the first six months of your budget cycle?

What if you focused on a small part of your team, who you might name your company “Operators”. 

You know, the people who are eager to get out the door everyday to go see and solve problems for themselves. The people that will be responsible for the implementation of the product, the tool, and the solution on the customers premises in their environment.

"The team of “Operators” in your organization who are actually accountable for the final results."

Hopefully your organization has at least a 3:1 ratio of “Operators” to “Bean Counters”.

3-Operators to 1-Bean Counter, just might give you a chance of making your mission strategy work.

In our global world of business these days, the relationships are your Ground Zero.

Without effective relationships that exist and are continuously building rapidly across your intended target zones, you will have a much longer wait for your positive and smiley face of EBITDA.

Developing and growing “Relationships” is perhaps one of your greatest Operational Risks ahead of you, as the Leader of your particular team.

Having learned a simple yet “Never Forget” acronym from a few very wise business instructors (Randy & Wendy) many years ago, consider this:

R3 = Relationships >>> Results >>> Revenue.

Guess what? It is something the “Operators” will actually understand and since you have 3 times more of these people on your front line team, they must have their own business strategy acronym that they will be able to remember and execute on:

  1. Operators that are developing meaningful and effective Relationships are your way to mission accomplishment.
  2. Operators who realize how to produce tangible Results that can be measured are your way to mission accomplishment with end users, customers and clients.
  3. Operators will see Revenue if #1 and #2 are successful.

R3 is your execution layer on top of the “Bean Counters” PEST, STEER, SWOT or any other planning acronym they might use in the “God Pod” upstairs or down a long corridor of the outside view offices in the E-ring.

In order for you as the field Team Leader, to truly better understand how to improve the “Revenue” and mitigate the Operational Risks in your business entity, you have got to get out on the front lines with your Operators.

To see and experience the real “Relationships” and the actual “Results”.

Where will your next “Senior Leader” tour of duty take you in the field of your Area of Responsibility (AOR)…

Sunday, December 05, 2021

Managing Operational Risks: On the Wall at 100 Ft...

After days taking in the magnificent sights at 100+ feet below the surface off Grand Cayman Island, we were reminded how Operational Risk Management is prevalent in even remote places like this.

Take for example the mandate for using dive computers, as a guest of Wall to Wall Diving. For those not initiated with Scuba Diving, you might not realize that "sensors" are utilized in measuring potential threats to your life from something called "The Bends", or decompression sickness.

Giles Charlton-Jones and his wife Deanna from Wall to Wall Diving use a combination of proven Operational Risk Management processes and tools to reduce the risks to their clients. They do this because their small business is no different than that of a Fortune 500 company. As the owners and primary shareholders of any organization, it is the law in most cases to provide Duty of Care.

Decompression sickness, (DCS), diver's disease, the bends, or caisson disease is the name given to a variety of symptoms suffered by a person exposed to a reduction in the pressure surrounding their body. It is a type of diving hazard.

Dive computers perform a continuous calculation of the partial pressure of gases in the body based on the actual dive profile. As the dive computer automatically measures depth and time, it reduces the need for the diver to carry a separate watch and depth gauge and is able to warn of excessive ascent rates and missed decompression stops.

Many dive computers also provide additional information to the diver, for example, the water temperature, or the pressure of the remaining breathing gas in the diving cylinder.

The key point is, that these sensors attached to each diver, help Deter and Detect potential threats associated with decompression sickness. This even includes a calculation when it is safe again to fly on an airplane.

Like other manufacturers in the high technology systems sector, SCUBA (Self-contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) has it's own champions of companies who focus on the latest tools and solutions to help you manage risks. Who plan for future threat scenarios based upon collected intelligence over years of experience.

Suunto is just one example of a Finnish company, who have been developing instruments for measurement and sensors for various outdoor pursuits. Whether it be on the mountain at 20,000 ft. or underwater at 125 ft..

Weather and our Earths environment will always play a part in the daily risks mountaineers and divers face and who are proactive with the use of the correct tools, so they can operate in a more safe and secure manner.

Yet without the investment with “True Professionals” who have years of the relevant training, decades of experience and brilliant intuition, all the best tools will never be quite enough.

“How often do you encounter situations where the new threat intelligence collected and the automatic warning alerts have not been enough, to keep you out of harms way?”

As a global Fortune 500 company, the Board of Directors represents the interests of shareholders, as oversight owners of the company, in optimizing value by overseeing management performance on the shareholders' behalf.

The Board of Directors responsibilities in performing this oversight function include a Duty of Care and a Duty of Loyalty.

A Director's Duty of Care, refers to the responsibility to exercise appropriate due diligence in overseeing the management of the company, while continuously making OPS Risk decisions and performing other vital mitigation actions.

It remains refreshing to witness that even on a small island in the British West Indies, that the owners/operators are true professionals who are applying the practice of “Operational Risk Management” (ORM) in their own small employee-owned business.

First, they utilize it each day because they are Professionals. Second, they do it instinctively, because they know that it can mean the difference between life and death or predictive harm in an organizations daily operations.

As we near the end of another year of growing risks in 2021, we say congratulations to all of you who have found the science of “Operational Risk Management”.

Thank you to all of you, who have applied your own professional services “Art”, to make our world, more safe and secure in 2022! Godspeed!

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Grateful: Appreciate, Reflect and Communicate...

Now that you have had a few days and been challenged to reflect on what and who you are grateful for in your life, how will you change?

The “Thanksgiving” holiday brings out some of the most interesting behaviors in people. It is now a time to reflect on what you have learned about the others in your clan, your community or your own household.

How might you take the words you acknowledged while talking to people about your“Gratefulness” and now putting those sentences into something more positive?

Rewarding outcomes for others and for yourself.

If you said you were grateful for your work/job as an example, how might you enhance the work you are doing each day to use your job as a platform.

A work platform for increased quality to create, design and deliver better solutions that provide an even more valuable result, for someone or some entity.

Is your work just one step in a multi-step process? How might you make the process more efficient, more effective or even more reliable?

If you said you were grateful for your family, how might you improve the relationships you have with your siblings, your cousins and even your Mother or Father?

What is just one way you could show your family member, that you trust them, love them and appreciate their continuous contributions?

Will you change your behavior going forward, based upon all that you have learned this past week?

Will you acknowledge your own thoughts and feelings about others, yet make the changes necessary to improve your important and vital relationships?

These two words “Thank You” are far more powerful, than you may ever realize.

These words are the beginning of a dialogue about something that is important or so vital to you.

Acknowledge it in a way, that the other person truly knows you are grateful.

Grateful adjective
grate· ful | \ ˈgrāt-fəl
Definition of grateful
1a : appreciative of benefits received
b : expressing gratitude grateful thanks
2a : affording pleasure or contentment : pleasing
b : pleasing by reason of comfort supplied or discomfort alleviated

Look them right in the eyes when you say it, or even with an appropriate emoji. If you have been successful, you will know it. Hopefully, they will acknowledge your kind words in some way.

Our personal and work environments are moving so rapidly and the ability to slow down just enough to actually Appreciate, Reflect and to Communicate effectively, is such a continuous challenge. Yet worth every minute of focus.

“Thank you” for all that you are doing, to make this place more effective, more livable, more comfortable, more enjoyable, more laughable, more loving, more faithful and more peaceful. You know who you are…

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Metadata: Guardians on the Front Lines...

Continuous Continuity (C2) in your particular enterprise is a priority you shall not just focus upon during our U.S. Infrastructure Security Month.

Last week here, we reviewed Ten Steps your organization can practice on a regular basis to enhance your focus on Continuous Continuity and simultaneously your overall Operational Risk Management (ORM).

Let’s circle back to a few vital areas to emphasize as we increase our production and consumption of corporate or organizational “Data”.

Of Metadata. “Data that provides information about other data”.

The details on the creation date, time and application generating these words as they were originally written, is just one small example. What about the actual platform and the browser that was used:

User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.15; rv:94.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/94.0
Screen Resolution: 1680 x 1050 (pixels)
Browser Dimensions: 1005 x 853 (pixels)
Cookie Status: Enabled

You understand that the data you can’t see on your screen and the data you may not even care about, is present, and that the metadata is being collected by some entity somewhere.

The amount of data and the speed of data is now overwhelming our global digital world we live in the year 2021 and beyond. The question remains, So What?

If you are a seasoned General Counsel (GC) today with a Fortune 1000 organization doing business on a global basis, your Blackberry :) must be "buzzing" every few minutes. Just the legal risk alone being encountered will always be a factor of the number of deals, the number of employees and the growing number of countries you are operational.

As a corporate GC of a global enterprise, you have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the enterprise from all adversaries, such as the rogue employee, the government regulator, competitors, digital hackers, nation states and all of the plaintiff class actions.

The Rule of Law in your organization is in your hands. How you transfer the "Talking Points" on ethics, compliance and legal messages to your employees, partners, suppliers and adversaries is ever more critical.

The true effectiveness of your relationship with internal partners such as your CEO, CFO, CSO, CISO and Internal/External First Responder leadership could mean the survival of the company itself.

When was the last time you as a GC took the “Ethics," “Compliance” and "Rule of Law" program directly to your employees in face-to-face sessions?

How might you provide your employees, partners or 3rd-Party suppliers with the first hand opportunity to meet, greet and engage with the General Counsel of your particular enterprise?

By doing this, you are directly engaging with the people on the front lines, to be our "Guardians" for your company and to build trusted relationships with all of them.
Get out There.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

(C2) to Secure your Enterprise: Here are ten steps to Practice Continuous Continuity...

Here are ten steps to Practice Continuous Continuity (C2) to Secure your Enterprise: 

1. Develop and practice a contingency plan that includes a succession plan for your executive team. 

2. Train backup employees to perform emergency tasks. The employees you count on to lead in an emergency won't always be available. 

3. Consider creating offsite crisis meeting places for top executives and operational teams. 

4. Make sure employees—as well as executives—are involved in the exercises so that they get practice in responding to an emergency and following orders in potential chaos. 

5. Make exercises realistic enough to tap into employees' emotions so that you can see how they'll react when the situation gets stressful. 

6. Practice crisis communication with employees, customers and the outside world. 

7. Invest in an alternate means of communication in case the phone networks go down, including wireless devices. 

8. Form partnerships with local emergency response groups—firefighters, police and EMTs—to establish a good working relationship. Let them become familiar with your company and site. 

9. Evaluate your company's performance during each test, and make changes to ensure constant improvement. Continuity plans should reveal weaknesses. 

10. Regularly test your continuity plan to reveal and accommodate changes. technology, personnel and facilities are in a constant state of change at any company.

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Organizational Design: Transition Speed into Action...

How would you change the design of your organization in order to accelerate your transition speed into action?

Now that you have just completed the phase of creative solution development that has produced five new designed prototypes, what is next?

How fast will you be able to put these into action with others on the front lines?

When might you and your organization deploy a cadre of people who have a single mission?

The “Mission Leaders Team” shall take the new designs and will be putting them into the air, onto the cloud server or in the hands of the true operators, who are in the game each hour of each day.

You see, your problem is not the pace of your innovation within your organization. It is the ability to more rapidly apply what you have learned, from all of your failed experiments in the field. It is the current design of your organization that requires new change.

Your ability to get the new tangible answers into operation with your most talented and able people is your next summit. Your next finish line. Your next destination. Who are these people?

The five new prototypes shall be demonstrated and documented with quiet care, so that you might expand the testing, the experiments in new environments. Why?

To learn faster than your adversary. To achieve market dominance before your competition. To deliver solutions to those in need just-in-time.

As the "Mission Leader" in your organization, you shall design the methodology and the process for others to view in real-time.

Allow each other to see, feel and witness the outcomes of the idea, the invention or the intended solution.

So what?

The transition phase is now before you. Take it and deploy it across the organization to those geographic locations that will allow you to learn faster. To decide with new insights gaining speed with the correct operators in the field.

Understand. Decide. Act.

Repeat.

Let us know what you learn and when you learn it. We might just be able to take this and apply it to our own team, in our own Area of Responsibility.

Now get out there…Onward!

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Presence: In Operational Risk Encounters...

“It is in the process of being worshipped that God communicates his presence to men.”

 --C. S. Lewis

What is on your mind this Sunday?

It is in the journey and the life of Clive Staples Lewis that many of us could identify with these days. Growing up and baptized in the Church of Ireland, he lost his faith in his adolescence.

As a close friend of J.R.R. Tolkien and fellow author, C.S. found his way back to Christianity in his mid thirties just as World War descended on England and Europe.

As you encounter the daily "Operational Risks" of our respective lives as they unfold before us each day, is there a presence? Will it be a phone call, an e-mail or text message or even a voice across the news channel that suddenly impacts us?

The information sent to you will change your mood, change your behavior and affects your soul. Yet how will you respond?

Quiet the voice in your conscious mind and seek His presence in us, for our real answers. 

Have you ever been introduced to someone who you met and spent some time with, that made you wonder why, you were so hopeful to spend more time with them? Why?

What was so different about their presence with you?

You see, what you feel and you are experiencing, is the journey towards hope and true belief.

When C.S. Lewis entered Oxford in 1917, it was only within months that he was commissioned into the British Army and was headed into the First World War.

Even through 2 World Wars, Lewis was an accomplished writer with 30 books and also worked 30 years with Magdalen College, Oxford. He died at the age of 64.

Now as we approach our “Thanksgiving” in the month of November and we are around our families and all the friends we cherish with our thoughts, come before His presence.

As Natalie Grant sings the lyrics in her song, at the “Sound of Your Great Name:"

“Every fear, has no place, at the sound of Your great name.”
“The enemy, he has to leave, at the sound of Your great name.”

Thanksgiving and this Christmas as days on the calendar, are far more, than a single annual holiday in America.

It is a continuous feeling, you shall experience, by encountering His presence…

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Onward: Inspire. Connect. Empower...

When you walk into a room full of trusted colleagues or are announced on the stage before a group you call your “Tribe” how do you feel?

Is it a positive experience or a negative experience?

Building a culture with people who will truly interact and collaborate in short time frames is vital to our survival.

Creating, designing and delivering solutions at speed, to identified problem-sets, is our “Mission Leaders” greatest endeavor in 2021 and beyond.

Whether the words -Werx, -Hack, or innovation are in the dialogue is less relevant than the delivery of the correct mindset for leadership, to evolve the movement.

Our world is seeing the revolution of societies reaction to governance, whether effective or ineffective.

We see the outcomes of the right or the wrong governance behavior in words that invoke thoughts of threat or of opportunity.

Hypersonic. Quantum. Over-the-Horizon. Directed Energy. Digital. Blockchain.

How might your group, team, cohort or organization better understand the effects of governance on human behavior?

How might your team accelerate the discovery process to the delivery of valid prototypes, to solve our greatest challenges ahead on our Earth and beyond?

What is possible for humans is inherently different than other biological systems that have evolved here over time. Remember the word “Amygdala” as we proceed through our evolution.

Yet the opportunity for leadership, is to sense the change and not fear the uneasiness or the forthcoming change coming their direction.

Leadership shall embrace the difference, the culture that will evolve over time to ask more questions about the “Weak Signals” being detected and whether fear is present.

Listen to your heart. Feel what your true mentors are writing and telling you about the change ahead. Understand that our level of trust will mean everything.

Get out there! Explore. Ask questions. Design solutions for you that will lower your fear of the future.

Inspire. Connect. Empower.

Onward!

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Mission Resilience: Our Digital Trust in 2050...

“If we are to prevail as a civil, global society, designing and achieving digital trust is now a necessity. We must find the courage to move beyond what seems to work today but actually is crumbling. We must move beyond merely shoring up our defenses with stronger, more robust spending. Instead, we must begin anew, replacing what is with what needs to be—a robust, dynamic, interconnected, digital space through which we can communicate and live as a global society. In doing so, we can improve our confidence in our decisions and the decisions of our leaders.”—Jeffrey Ritter-Achieving Digital Trust

Our organizations across Corporate and Major Metropolitan areas of the world are at the epicenter of our trust.

It is Cybersecurity Awareness month in the United States in October again and the number of Ransomware incidents is rising on a daily basis. Cryptocurrency is being used on the “Dark Web” to complete transactions that go well beyond the purchase of digital keys, to unlock stolen and encrypted data from those digitally frozen municipalities, hospitals, and other vital corporate Critical Infrastructure entities.

The CIA finally has a “China Mission Center” dedicated to the continuous analysis and proactive geopolitical actions to protect the invisible, yet ever more present digital influence operations across the Internet.

How will the challenges of our "Digital Domains" change from their foundations of open communications and collaboration to major systems disruption and loss of trust?

How might we proceed community-by-community both online and face-to-face, to raise the level of integrity and confidence in our accelerating digital age?

Our future for a trusted and civil global economy will depend upon our respective confidence in the digital world we all have created this past two decades.

The algorithms and the software code have largely been written by humans, who are still so capable of making errors.

The opportunity for us all, is to increase the quality of our digital world and to better manage the forensic initiatives that will still lie ahead of us.

In the Board Room, the GSOC Center and every desktop where humans type on keyboards in a protected building, located off Chain Bridge Road near Georgetown Pike, the challenges will continue to rise.

Writing the descriptive words for an all-source PDB or coding in the syntax and semantic language known as Python, our technology tools remain open to exploit.

Our digital trust relies on the people with decades of hands on experience and the people who will design the software to run our growing infrastructure of tomorrow.

Mission continuity and operational resilience is the next digital wave of innovation required to build trust across our cities and across continents. 

Critical Infrastructure Protection must remain pervasive, engineered into all that we design and deliver with Confidence, Integrity and Assurance

Saturday, October 02, 2021

Innovation: Entrepreneurial SPRINT…

Are you ready to embark on a new endeavor in your particular work or volunteer organization? Then how might you utilize an “Entrepreneurial SPRINT” methodology to more effectively accomplish your desired outcomes in National Security?

If you even develop a multi-step process to take you down an agreed upon series of collaborative actions, you will be well on your way to a more valued set of results.

Consider a focus on solving a unique problem-set that exists in your own specific Domain, Industry or Organization.

Work alongside a team partner or small group to experience the empirical evidence of answers to your questions, hypotheses and the information discovered and collected as you proceed.

Create a design SPRINT that accomplishes your agreed upon steps in a specified time frame, 4 or five days in-a-row, or 4 consecutive weeks within a month.

Utilize a proven and open-source hybrid methodology from intellectual thought leaders in the realm of innovation such as Jake Knapp or Steve Blank with Strategyzer AG. All have published a multitude of information on tools, systems, process and models to consider.

Here is an example for just one reference:

  1. Map/Target
  2. Sketch/Solution
  3. Decide
  4. Prototype

The process steps are the key to your unique journey of innovation. Two people or a small team learning together, as you interview likely beneficiaries of your proposed solution. 

Learning the potential end-users real opinions and comments is vital. What the “real problem” is, that is keeping them focused and that they are eager to solve.

How might you incorporate this type of “Entrepreneurial SPRINT” into your own organization, so that you can capture the true essence of what the customer seeks?

Your Team is going to learn together the Who, What, How, and Where your design for a solution to a more well defined problem-set, that will make a real difference.

What is vital to remember in your place of work or within your organization, is that the methodology is proven. It works for students in college, employees in Fortune 500 companies and volunteers in non-profit organizations.

“The ambition and the hope for all of us, shall be to increase our skills, our knowledge and share relevant National Security learning and information”…Onward!

Saturday, September 25, 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…

Saturday, September 18, 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...

Saturday, September 11, 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!

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Never Forget: The Prescience of our Risks…

Historical facts and real time data will remain an empirical reminder of our mistakes in the past, of our “Lessons Learned”. Those who study the why and the how from only our past 20 years of history, will be able to adapt, can proactively improve outcomes and will over time increase our respective levels of resiliency.

“The 19 men who hijacked and crashed the four planes were all trained by al Qaeda. Three of the suspected pilots—Mohamed Atta, Marwan Al-Shehhi, and Ziad Jarrah—were part of an al Qaeda cell based in Hamburg, Germany. All four pilots took flying lessons in the United States.

Fifteen of the hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates, one from Egypt, and one from Lebanon. The oldest was 33; the rest were between 20 and 29. The group also included two sets of brothers: Wail and Waleed Al-Shehri on American Flight 11, and Nawaf and Salem Al-Hazmi on American Flight 77. The hijackers began entering the United States in January 2000 to advance the plot. All 19 were in the country by early July 2001.”

Yet are we simply repeating the same behavior and forgotten our lessons of the true data?

A proactive set of activities are continuously required to sense the unforeseen. We shall continue to devote our time, new resources and growing intelligence towards the heartbeat of our emotions.

The hope is, that we do not lose sight of the foundations and the continuous requirements for our Operational Risk Management.

The prescience of our risks, are based upon the past and the history already laid down before us. The continuous ability for you to become even more reliable, more consistent and to hedge against significant loss is in your own hands.

How might you become more resilient to the change events that still lie ahead of us:

Operational risk is defined as the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed processes, people, and systems or from external events. These risks are further defined as follows:
* Process risk – breakdown in established processes, failure to follow processes or inadequate process mapping within business lines.
* People risk – management failure, organizational structure or other human failures, which may be exacerbated by poor training, inadequate controls, poor staffing resources, or other factors.
* Systems risk – disruption and outright system failures in both internal and outsourced operations.
* External event risk – natural disasters, terrorism, and vandalism.

The definition includes Legal risk, which is the risk of loss resulting from failure to comply with laws as well as prudent ethical standards and contractual obligations. It also includes the exposure to litigation from all aspects of an institution’s activities.

How might we gain the foresight required in an evolving physical and virtual environment with:

  • More Threats.
  • More Data.
  • More Speed.
  • More Decision Makers.
  • More Competition.

We shall “Never Forget”…

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Always Remember: Continuous Insight After Two Decades…

After 9/11, Business Continuity got plenty of attention, yet to this day many companies remain ill-prepared for disaster. This CFO article in 2003 reinforces the reality of this fact.

Even if you have tested your Business Continuity Plan (BCP), it doesn't mean that your own organizations suppliers and partners have:

Source: Scott Leibs, CFO Magazine September 01, 2003 "In the weeks following September 11, 2001, the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT) was praised, in these pages and elsewhere, for having invested in a disaster recovery plan that proved nearly priceless. The commodities exchange had been spending $300,000 annually for a backup facility that sat idle for years, an expense that had been questioned but that paid off: the exchange not only used the site in the days after 9/11 but continues to use the site as its de facto headquarters as it transitions to a new one in lower Manhattan this month.

That was the kind of success story that was supposed to galvanize the business-continuity market, highlighting as it did the vulnerability not only of computer systems but also of phone, power, and transportation grids. What had been seen as an issue affecting primarily a company's data center was now framed as a strategic imperative affecting every aspect of infrastructure."

Here are ten steps for consideration to Practice Continuous Continuity (C2) for Enterprise Resilience:

  1. Develop and practice a contingency plan that includes a succession plan for your executive team.
  2. Train backup employees to perform emergency tasks. The employees you count on to lead in an emergency won't always be available.
  3. Consider creating offsite crisis meeting places for top executives and operational teams.
  4. Make sure employees—as well as executives—are involved in the exercises so that they get practice in responding to an emergency and following orders in potential chaos.
  5. Make exercises realistic enough to tap into employees' emotions so that you can see how they'll react when the situation gets stressful.
  6. Practice crisis communication with employees, customers and the outside world.
  7. Invest in an alternate means of communication in case the phone networks go down, including wireless devices.
  8. Form partnerships with local emergency response groups—firefighters, police and EMTs—to establish a good working relationship. Let them become familiar with your company and site.
  9. Evaluate your company's performance during each test, and make changes to ensure constant improvement. Continuity plans should reveal weaknesses.
  10. Regularly test your continuity plan to reveal and accommodate changes. technology, personnel and facilities as they are in a constant state of change at any organization.

As part of the audit of your Continuous Continuity (C2), include the check up on your most vital 3rd party suppliers. They must be as prepared and resilient as you are. You may require that they be included in all of your scenario exercises, to make sure that you know their level of readiness...

 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Unknown Destination: Rewarding Life Journey…

What will you devote your energy and resources to when you have an extra hour or two this weekend?

How might you utilize and grow your skills, knowledge, resources and your relationships network to make a true difference?

For your Country, your Community, or your Church, your Family, and most importantly Yourself.

You see, if you don’t invest in yourself first, to learn new valuable skills, increase your ecosystem knowledge-base and build new lasting personal relationships with others across your network; how will you continuously contribute and make a positive difference in your life and with the people around you?

Your family, your whole community and your country are counting on you.

Yet you must realize, that the internal dialogue you have with “Self-Talk” on a regular basis. You know, that internal and private dialogue you have with yourself each day, will be a continuous challenge in your life.

The word “Volunteer” is worth defining here:  To contribute. To donate. To give. To give away. Freewill. Uncoerced. Volitional. Willing.

Definition of volunteer
1 : a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service:

How might you contribute a few hours this week devoted to learning new skills, new knowledge and increasing your network of valuable relationships?

When will these new assets make a difference in your life?  That is yet to be determined.

One truth is, that your journey will be challenging. Yes and your destination will be simultaneously unknown, where and when you will realize the glorious outcomes of all of your time and efforts!

We look forward to seeing you out there…somewhere using your God given talent and leveraging the new skills and knowledge you have gained in your life.  Onward!

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Infinite Pursuit: Courage to Lead…

How will you be accelerating towards your “Just Cause” in the next year?

What is it, that you and your most Trusted Team of Leaders have agreed upon, as your desired and inclusive service-oriented endeavor?

Why are you operating in this particular and unique “Infinite Game”?

How will your “Just Cause” make a difference with so many others? Will you endure the journey long enough and with sustained resiliency to see the results to advance?

You know you are in this Infinite Game when you finally realize that no one will ever become the winner.

The change that you and your team will endure over time will be significant. Yet the purpose and the drive to see what is over-the-horizon next, is your ultimate pursuit.

When you finally comprehend and rationalize that your “Just Cause” is truly unachievable, that is your true sign of courage.

The courage to persevere is not attainable with everyone. Yet it is something that can be learned. Will you?

It is Infinite and therefore you will only master a few key elements of the journey that will make the difference in your lifetime.

Go outside on a partly cloudy yet sunny day about 4 hours before Sunset. Walk. Run. Bike. Or just Play. In a favorite place with others you enjoy being with. People you trust and will collaborate with on your infinite quest.

Now as our Sun sets on the Western horizon in your particular part of our Earth, look up. What do you see and how do you feel?

Is your “Just Cause” in your mind? Do you wonder if you will ever see or feel that accomplishment you so much desire?

If the answer is Yes, you are on the right and true course towards something that is bold and ultimately always beyond reach.

Yet it will be so empirical when you know, you are almost courageously there…

Saturday, July 17, 2021

All Hazards Continuity: From the C-Suite to the Frontline...

"Planning for Continuity of Business" has been shifting from pure disaster recovery to an "All Hazards" point-of-view on the frontline of your institution.

Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Critical Infrastructure industries realized that no business is immune from catastrophic events.

Even the severity of the last several years of hurricane seasons, however, taught our national institutions that disaster recovery programs alone cannot protect their businesses, forcing all 16 Critical Infrastructure domains to reevaluate the strength of their backup plans.

With the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina and others still largely visible, industry sector leaders have renewed their focus on preparedness as they rethink their risk management strategies and bolster their business continuity plans.

Hurricane Harvey (2017)
“One of the costliest tropical cyclones in United States History, let alone the Houston area, Hurricane Harvey caused more than $120 billion in damage and killed 68 people. 300,000 structures were flooded, and structures around the city were destroyed due to 130 mph winds. A category 4 storm, Harvey even produced upwards of 60 separate tornadoes during its 5 days of destruction.”

Rather than rely on disaster recovery plans to pick up the pieces after a business disruption, companies and municipalities are shifting their activity to Proactive and Continuous focused business continuity plans to keep operations running throughout a major disaster.

An "All Hazards" perspective changes the way you Deter, Detect, Defend and Document (4D) the existing and future operational risks to your enterprise.

In many institutions, disaster recovery was the responsibility of a specific group in the company, many times found in the IT department. Not any longer.

Moving the corporate mentality to an "All Hazards" point-of-view takes the specialties of disaster recovery and spreads it across the whole organization.

A standards-based process could be:

  • Identify
  • Assess
  • Decide
  • Implement
  • Audit
  • Supervise

If just this six-step process is incorporated into the daily planning and continuous monitoring of corporate missions, then it's possible to quickly move from a reactive mode to a more proactive mode for managing all hazards risk.

You eliminate the thinking that a single department or person is in charge of Business Continuity or Disaster Management.

In our daily work schedule there must be time allocated to use this simple process when new missions are created or existing missions are reexamined.

The COO, CFO, CIO, CSO and CxO along with their direct reports all perform their own process within their own subject matter domain.

This puts the expertise for risk mitigation in the hands of the most knowledgeable person for that particular process, system or external event.

It includes the idea that hazards include much more than the typical thinking of hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes.

Even if the catalyst is not Mother Nature and just another salvo of “Ransomware,” from a renamed criminal group that is supported by a Nation State.

By implementing an "All Hazards" process for risk management that is utilized by every team and business unit, you create a true “Culture of Continuous Continuity”...

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Trust Decisions: Latent Outcomes in Accelerating Conditions…

 “Trust is the affirmative output of a disciplined, analytical decision process that measures and scores the suitability of the next actions taken by you, your team, your business, or your community.

Trust is the calculation of the probability of outcomes. In every interaction with the world, you are identifying, measuring, and figuring out the likelihoods. When the results are positive, you move ahead, from here to there.

When the results are negative, you rarely move ahead; you stay put or you find an alternate path.” Achieving Digital Trust -Page 49- Jeffrey Ritter

Why do you make a decision to utilize the capabilities of a specific tool, a talented person or to take action to invest in your own resources of time, money and cognition?

Trust exists.

Yet when the results of your trust remains negative beyond a defined time based rule-set, you must pivot and navigate to an alternative course, that has a higher likelihood of a positive set of outcomes.

This is the point in time, that a real-time awareness of your operating environment becomes absolutely vital.

Are your first indicators of negative outcomes latent, at the point when you make your next “Trust Decision” or to pivot?

To pivot and to navigate in your particular environment or Area of Responsibility (AOR), that will more rapidly increase the positive outcomes you seek.

How much time will pass, until you or your organization realizes, that the course you are on, has not produced the consistency of favorable results your allies require?

  • Seconds.
  • Minutes.
  • Hours.
  • Days.
  • Weeks.
  • Months.
  • Years.
  • Decades.

How forgiving is the environment you are operating in?

Will your operating environment allow for continuous negative results, for more than a few seconds or even minutes? Or will you allow it, for a few weeks, months or longer?

Success and the “Trust Decisions” process is fueled by information. Continuous information. It is a rules-based exercise.

What are the rules on your Playing Field, Air Field, Battle Field or within your “Silicon and Software”operating environment?

The tolerance of “how much time you will allow to pass,” is vital to your continuous positive achievement and your creation of new found wealth.

The “Trust Decision” is Rules-based. It is Fueled by information. If the information about the target does not conform or is ignored, then a trusted environment will not be attained.

“Instead, trust (or the absence of trust) is and always has been the resulting sum of a rules-based, information-fueled calculation.” Achieving Digital Trust -Page 52- Jeffrey Ritter

Saturday, July 03, 2021

USA: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…

As the United States celebrates our July 4th weekend, 245 years of what it means to be a true American is ever more present.

Our nation’s Flag, which shows 50 White stars on a Blue background and 13 Red & White stripes, is a symbolic reminder of what America stands for and where our journey began almost two and a half centuries ago.

How might we continuously improve and defend our Nation, as new global opportunities emerge and new challenges are understood?

What is certain, are the words written in our Declaration of Independence in 1776. As the world views and listens to the “United States of America”, what does it see and hear?

If you asked ten people at a 4th of July parade in “Anytown, USA” on Sunday:

What is Independence Day and what does it mean? How many people asked would know the correct answer?

When the author of the Declaration of Independence became our third President, he knew the country was in for tremendous challenges ahead. What was his name?

Did you get the question correct?

Thomas Jefferson, was a Lawyer and a Christian. He was just 33 year old and our Revolutionary War had just started, when his famous words were written for a formal declaration of independence.

Our U.S. Constitution was not signed until 11 years later in 1787.

As you celebrate this unique American Holiday, think deeply about our history

Think about all those Americans who have died, in their allegiance to our Flag and the Constitution of the United States.

Americans who have died so you too, could truly experience freedom…

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Velocity of Knowledge: An Experts Growth of Discernment…

Knowledge Engineering is no longer an “Over-The-Horizon” dialogue, in the corridors of our corporate headquarters. We have accelerated far beyond the many facets of expert systems since the beginning.

Certainly the volume and velocity of the data, has now provided us with the substantial National Security questions and opportunities, to provide even more effective “Predictive Intelligence”.

Building specific knowledge to solve new found problem-sets that answer the questions we deem to be timely and relevant, is our vital mandate. The path to true knowledge and the sound “Trust Decisions” required, is now our greatest challenge.

How might you learn faster? How will you Understand, Decide and Act with more clarity of validated purpose?

Replication of our own cognition by silicon-based thinkers or getting a prognosis on a specific set of digital data to determine a course of action, is our real ambition.

We have been automating labor and tasks associated with knowledge management for 3 or 4 decades.

So what?

Now is the time to capitalize on our inventions and our vast storage of timely data, to really make a difference in our daily lives.

Our business opportunities and the ability to consistently peer into the future, will provide us with the cognitive insights we have only imagined.

Yet are we at a point of new reflection? Have we reached the advanced stages of knowledge to finally act upon the moral and economic decisions of the ethos of our human actions.

What is True?

The questions asked in 2021 are far different than the questions asked in 1985. The human factors and environmental change of our world has produced new considerations.

When. Where. Who. Why.

New data to analyze and exponential volumes of real-time knowledge to consume, before ethical decisions will be made in minutes. Not hours or days.

Who is typing these words to make you think? Why does this topic of Knowledge Engineering fascinate the author?

What else have they ever written that will provide you deeper perception, on who they are and what is their discernment…

So much has been written already, and yet never completely read. Nor understood.

What if there was a way to gain new velocity of knowledge. Yes and, increased quality of insight. Of timing. Of location. Of motivation.

How would you use it to your “Decision Advantage” and to make our world a continuously better place…

Onward!

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Fathers Day 2021: Who Will You Become…

As we approach the observance of Fathers Day in the U.S. on Sunday, June 20th, think about all of the “First Time New Fathers,” who now have their first Son or Daughter to care for, in a world of uncertain change.

The past 365 days of tremendous challenge, full of so much emotion and of anticipated joy.

If you have endured having your first child during a Global Pandemic and National Presidential election year, then you might be even more prepared for the next two decades and beyond.

Now that you have this new responsibility of being a Father, you are now on a journey together with your Wife and Son/Daughter, that will be so joyous and yet so full of new found opportunities.

Opportunities to assist your Wife, in ways you never imagined. Opportunities to teach your child new life skills, new valuable knowledge on being polite, respectful, helpful and the valuable experiences to learn for themselves.

To lead by example, may perhaps be one of the most visible ways a new Father can teach their child. Are you present?  Do you show your kindness and speak kindly in soothing tones about others?

Remember, that you are only going to have a decade long time window to establish the foundations on who you would aspire your child to become in life.

Then you will encounter your real first challenges with your new Son or Daughter. The day you see him or her replicating something they learned watching or listening to you.

The old “Do as I Say, Not as I Do” saying, will never truly resonate with your new child.

You have only a single opportunity to be their only Father. What model of a Father will you become?

Your future Fatherhood challenges will span across a spectrum of new life opportunities to make a difference.

Will they be the same as they were with your own Father? Or different.

When you have that moment on your Childs second birthday to sing, look at them and say to yourself, “I’ve only got about 15 years left”.

"Who your child will become is still unknown, yet you as a Father will have already set the course for their own destiny."

Will your child have the skills and the foundations in life to succeed on their own?

Will they have the “Mores” and “Folkways” that a young adult will need, in a universe of accelerating change.

Will your work as a model Father, in concert with your Wife and Childs Mother, provide us with another Daughter or Son that we shall all be proud of?

As a Father, you will have no other, more challenging role in life.

How well you succeed, is going to rely upon your ability to be like your own Father. Or perhaps, the opposite in certain ways.

Happy Fathers Day…

Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day 2021: We the People...

On this Memorial Day weekend 2021, we remember those who have given us their Military service, their dedication and their time, and their own life. To help ensure our U.S. citizens, with a lifetime of “Liberty”.

Definition of liberty

1 : the quality or state of being free:

The men and women of the United States, who are buried in Arlington Memorial Cemetery or some other place in America, today we thank you again.

“From Sea to Shining Sea, this land we fight to preserve and the actions we take to “Protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States” is in our hearts, and in our minds every day.”

So it is the true dedication, discipline and the real work of these great Americans, that we recognize, on holidays such as this annual Memorial Day.

Who will you remember today? What is their name? How did you know them? When did they serve? Where did they serve? Why were they so dedicated to their mission?

You see, beneath every headstone there is a person, who has their own personal reasons and their particular story.

On this day we shall also recognize all those “First Responders” with courage, who uphold and defend our chosen way of life in America.

Never forget those “Quiet Professionals” who run towards danger, or who devote their time to truly Understand, Decide and Act.

Yet what shall you “Do” today to make a difference in America?

How about if we all start with a prayer in our our own place of worship, the day before Memorial Day?

A prayer for our fellow “American Citizens” to be kind. To pray that Mothers and Fathers here, will teach our children about our history and why so many have died.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Enterprise Security Risk Convergence: The Wave of the Future...

Savvy CIO's and CSO's recognize that new threats and soaring costs are two factors driving the convergence or integration of traditional and information security functions in a growing number of global companies.

Business desire for security professionals who can examine and assess the risks that organizations face as a whole, is one of the driving forces behind the convergence phenomenon.

Operational Risks span the continuum from the physical to the digital environment in our enterprise ecosystems.

The focus on security from an enterprise perspective has led to innovative approaches that emphasize integration; specifically, the integration of the risk side of business into the strategic planning side in a consistent and holistic manner.

Strategic Convergence & Change Management solutions ensures that integrated functions within the organization work together. This growing need enables the organization to effectively deter, detect, defend and document both physical disruptions and information security incidents.

Enterprise Security Risk Convergence initiatives are underway in many global organizations today and for good reason. For too long, the silo's of information in the physical guards, gates and guns world were not on an IP network. Those days are over.

The Siemens, Tyco's and Honeywells along with other physical security juggernauts, have figured out that they need the information security software and hardware to provide totally "converged" solutions for their clients.

Integration of information-based assets in embedded systems combined with the data bases of the INFOSEC operations can now provide that holistic view of risk that the enterprise has been thirsty for. Yet, this battle is only starting to heat up.

Prepare your organization for the day when the efficiencies and the effectiveness of having redundant safety and security responsibilities becomes a new agenda topic at the next executive retreat.

Strategic Security Convergence is the "Operational Risk Management" wave of the future.

How these converged entities are forming and how they will arrive at a single focal point is based on what they both have in common. Information-based assets.

And when it comes to establishing a single risk management system focused on information, there is only one recognized International Standard.

ISO 27001 is that set of controls and guidance that will assist in the rapid convergence of these seemingly different security domains.

Once the physical security management realizes that their budgets are going to be combined with the information security budgets, the feathers and fur will begin to fly in the halls of the corporate headquarters around the globe.
In the end, the winners will be those organizations who realized that all the guards, gates, firewalls and intrusion prevention systems are nothing more than tools.
What they support, are the successful implementation of a Risk Management System focused on collecting the most timely and relevant information.

The single asset that both security organizations have in common, are the indicators of compromise.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

SPRINT: "Thought Doership"​...

What are you doing this week, this month or this quarter to make a difference with the people you care about?

How might you and your small team “Do” something to collect, analyze, synthesize and publish vital information that could save lives?

“Thought Doership” is what your organization is thirsty for and if you don’t do something soon, you may miss the window of opportunity or the chance of your own survival.

The adversary exists along a wide spectrum of severity and various degrees of likelihood. Is it human-powered, a silicon-powered “Bot”, a weather pattern, or even invisible Directed Energy.

Over the course of the next 4 weeks X 2 hours X 8 Highly-Trained and knowledgeable people, you will follow the methodology:

Definition of methodology

1 : a body of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline : a particular procedure or set of procedures .

2 : the analysis of the principles or procedures of inquiry in a particular field

Once you have determined your rendezvous point and the cadence for your team to engage in “Thought Doership” you must utilize your design.

Your team will embark on your journey together as scheduled:

  • Week 1 – Map / Target
  • Week 2 – Sketch / Solution
  • Week 3 – Decide
  • Week 4 – Prototype

Now it is time to get into the geographic place you planned to operate, so your product/solution can truly experience the real world of your teams “Thought Doership”.

How might you and your small team learn and collect data, from the prototype you have designed, implemented and measured?

This will become part of the mosaic that you and your team are working towards, fighting for, and will soon be a key component of your designed purpose.

You might call yourself a thought leader, yet what are you doing to SPRINT…

Sunday, May 02, 2021

SCRM: ICT Supply Chain Risk Management...

What is your private sector enterprise doing today to improve your ICT Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM)?  Cyber-espionage campaigns have been operating for years across the ICT domains and are exposed every year in the trade press to John Q. Citizen, soon after "Black Hat" and "Defcon".  Once again, the origins of these sophisticated and viable adversaries are located inside nation states.

The beltway has been talking about the need for more effective legislation to modify behavior on the Supply Chains of Critical Infrastructure.  For many who remain committed to the silent war and the warriors who are fighting it each day on a 24 x 7 basis, they know the operational risks associated with this modern day battlefield.

Do you know where your information is today?  No, not your "Personal Identifiable Information" (PII), but the crown jewels of your latest Research and Development project.  Or the details on the "Merger and Acquisition" (M&A) activity associated with your cash cow law firm client.  Guess again, because you may not be the only one who now has copies of these trade secrets or confidential and proprietary information.
 
The Information Communications Technology (ICT) supply chain is at risk and the days are numbered until our final realization even after SolarWinds, that this issue is far past the policy makers control.  Is this an operational risk that we have done all we can do, to mitigate the impact on our U.S. national security?  Everyone should know the answer to this question.

The complexity and the complacency of the problem continues to plague those who are working so diligently to fend off the daily attacks or counterfeit micro-components.  The strategy is now morphing as we speak, from defense to offense and the stage is being set for our next generations reality of global cyber conflicts and ICT due diligence.  Richard Clarke and others are beyond the ability to say much more than they already have so far.

So where are the solutions?  Where are the answers?  They can be found very much in the same way organizations, companies and nation states realized what was necessary to deter, detect, defend and document operational risks to their institutions for the past several decades.  The science has changed rapidly but the foundational solutions remain much the same using these six factors:
  • Identify
  • Assess
  • Decide
  • Implement
  • Audit
  • Supervise
These six factors of your respective "Operational Risk Management Enterprise Architecture," is the framework for these solutions.  The ability for these to continuously operate within your enterprise will determine how effective you are in surviving what others have predicted for over a decade...

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Digital Velocity: Integrity of our Trust Decisions...

“In the foreseeable future, we will not function as a global society without the Net and the immense digital resources and information assets of our society.

The addiction is established—commerce, government, education, and our neighbors offer no option other than to require that we rely upon digital information in making decisions.

But we will not function successfully if the war for control of those assets is lost.

The battlefield, however, is the one on which trust is to be gained or lost—trust in the information we use, trust in the infrastructures that support us, and trust in the decisions we make in a digital world.

If we are to turn the tide in the war for control, and prevail in maintaining a digital infrastructure through which we can sustain societies and a functional, global economy, we must design and achieve trust in the digital information we use, trust in the infrastructure of the Net through which we live, and trust in the decisions we make in a digital world”… 
- Achieving Digital Trust - Page 19 by Jeffrey Ritter

As you read these words on the screen before you, think about their origin.

Think about the many paths these words traveled from the keyboard, to digital encrypted storage, to WiFi, to WireGuard Internet Protocol, to LAN, to WAN, to Data Center, to ISP, to CDN, to ISP and finally to your screen, wherever you may find yourself on Earth.

“Digital Trust” in our next decade of human progress, will be a vital imperative. Even more of a challenge, will be the integrity of our growing “Trust Decisions”.

“Trust Decisions” that are essential to your personal and work livelihood, require all of the elements of creating “Digital Trust”.

"What is most critical in all of our future infrastructures, is a more sound and trustworthy foundation. A level of integrity, that shall be our greatest aspiration."

The origin of data is already being created by the software code we have written and it is autonomously being processed, not by neurons but with just the digital code processed by billions of semiconductors and Virtual Machines.

The integrity of the mathematics and the integrity of the data itself is now evermore at stake. The forensics on data has been evolving and the science of forensics of data is gaining velocity.

How fast will you be able to verify that these words were written from neurons and from the cognitive functions of a human? Or could it be Watson?

The velocity of our “TrustDecisions” before us in 2021 and our digital future will continuously rely on our ability to ensure the integrity of the origin and the journey of the data we consume by the Terabyte each day…

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Supply Chain Risk: Study the Past...

Mitigating “Information and Communications Technology” (ICT) Supply Chain Risks has been evolving for over three decades. How might you consider your maturity or effectiveness in 2021?

  • Supply Chain Security

  • Physical Security
  • Cyber Security
  • Personnel Security (inclusive of Company Leadership)
  • Supply Chain Integrity
  • Hardware Integrity
  •  Software Integrity
  • Supply Chain Resilience
  • Supply Chain Quality
  • Supply Chain Management and Supplier Governance

What has your organization done in the past 3 years to raise the level of trusted supply chains to ensure the Security, Integrity and Resilience for products and services?

Unfortunately, organizations during 2020 encountered significant set backs in achieving higher levels of trust in security, integrity and resilience due to the entire “Work-From-Home” (WFH) reality.

The better news is that the levels of adoption of new processes for working remote have been established and refined in the past 14 months.

Now ICT Leadership shall move more rapidly to raise the assurance and the trustworthiness of the suppliers and products they have adopted for our "4th Industrial Revolution".

As "5G" emerges into our next generation of the “Internet-of-Things” (IOT) and the increasing integration with “Operational Technology” to the Internet and race back to the Moon expands, our supply chain risks will be more exponential.

A recent Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis Reference Aid (RA) April 16 2021, captured data from the US Department of Justice National Security Division:

Analysts identified 94 individuals from a single country arrested over the past 3 years involved in “Espionage Activity”. This includes:

  • Proprietary US Intellectual Property
  • Academic Research
  • Private Sector Sensitive Information

So what?

As the leader of your small innovative business, or the CxO of a Fortune 500 company or the VP of Information Technology at a private mid-size organization, you should increase your “Supply Chain” focus now.

Industry 4.0 is on our near horizon and you will never have all of your employees or suppliers inside your own four walls or virtual perimeter.

The United States is entering a new era of progress and simultaneously another compliance / governance set of rules, laws and mandates.

Business leaders focus on “Operational Risk Management” (ORM) and Critical Infrastructure Protection will be rising again in 2021, just as the last 2008-2009 financial sector risks became a reality.

What can you do next?

“Information and Communications Technology” (ICT) Supply Chain Risks start from the inside and remain your greatest vulnerability. Perhaps the best way forward next, is for us to study the past. Read this one page synopsis of just one event in 2009 here