Photo Credit: "Fireworks of the American Flag" by Beverly & Pack
I am looking forward to the New Year as 2016 was not the best of years for the world. The US elections were difficult and left most people angry for one reason or another. If you watch the cable news, it seems the world is heading to hell in a handbasket. The over saturation and exaggerations by the media is depressing.
With that being said, I hope and pray that 2017 will be a better year for us all. The past is behind us, and we can look upon the future in directed anticipation of making it better. Whatever your slice of the world that you wish to address, it is time to get in motion. Take it on and do something new. Success or failure, it is the journey that ultimately matters. Who is with us and the lives we impact is what counts in the end.
I am an optimistic realist and see no value in obsessing over the negativity we will confront. I will try to do something each day to make my slice of the world a little better.
Photo Credit: "second thoughts" (CC BY-NC 2.0) by laurabillings
I feel as if there is a significant volume of works adoring, in a sense, and vilifying the scarcity mentality in our culture. I was fist exposed to these concepts by Brené Brown, and I was challenged by her first TED talk. Personally, I was inspired and motivated for the longest time by the “greed is good” mantra. I felt the constant longing for more was a staircase that drove us to higher levels of personal and professional development. Life is not simple. I learned that it could just as easily be a death spiral that we were riding. Having taken this train ride up and down over my career, I have learned one key element. The lack of satisfaction with what we have or achieved thus far in life is not the panacea of upward growth I once thought when it is anchored in the bias of scarcity. We are consumed with desires for more time, effort, energy, goodwill of others, and building our professional kingdoms (power) while burning ourselves and others out. It will never be enough; there is always another mountain to climb.
Further thought provocation arrived when I was pressured to define scarcity and its possible causes. The conversation began to focus on root causes in our culture and my sub-culture. In Southern California, we, for the most part, do not suffer from any real form of scarcity. So, the best causal idea was to attribute scarcity mindset to a misguided belief of insecurity. Scarcity mindset and fear are interwoven, and I believe they are mutually reinforcing. It might be a fear of loss, of limited attainment, sustainability, achievement itself, or not knowing what is coming next that develops the fear and sense of scarcity. These fears are the life blood of insecurity and lead people to extreme levels of consumption. It is the “more for you is less for me” taken to an aggressive stance. The void we try to fill by over consuming everything can never be filled because of a nagging scarcity fear. It is a zombie-like craving that controls and takes away bits of our humanity and the enjoyment of everyday experiences.
At some point in your career, you arrive at a moment when you start questioning everything. You wonder what will be the next challenge or goal that should be undertaken. I thought a lot about what I had received, and what I am giving back. This was the first step for me. I stopped and began to question my motives, desires, and long-term goals. I bounced ideas off people, sought out feedback, worked with a coach, and took more time to be with my family and friends. I made no significant changes or jumping to a different track of life. I made a few tweaks here and there and had a realization that my thinking had to change. Like everyone else, I am a work in progress, and each day I hope to make a positive contribution to my endeavors. I am more content with what I have achieved, adjust goals and pacing, and finally appreciate how much I enjoy helping others to achieve their aims.
I intentionally did not edit or refine from my first draft…I just felt like writing tonight, and this was what was on my mind.
Photo Credit: freeimages.com/Mark Puplava
Harvard Business Review recently published an article on employee turnover that challenges conventional wisdom. The article is titled Employees Leave Good Bosses Nearly as Often as Bad Ones by Ravi S. Gajendran and Deepak Somaya. The authors write in a thought-provoking approach that leads me to question how as leaders may we stem the loss of our most talented people.
As I posted on LinkedIn, the leaders whom I have worked for invariably encourage me to take on fresh challenges. They consistently work with me to help focus my attention inside and across the company for new prospects of growth and development. In many businesses, there is enough opportunity internally that finding an external position may not be warranted and may arrive from a lack of awareness on behalf of the employee or leader. This was my big take away from the article. As leaders, we need to show our best people how to move internally to achieve the growth and development opportunities they seek, need and deserve. I would rather “lose” a star employee to another department inside of the firm instead of to another company.
We spend a significant time developing our people, and we need to help our team look at all opportunities inside of our walls. This includes actively lobbying on their behalf and working to open those new assignments. We cannot let our best people become our future competitors because we fail to help them explore all of their options before they consider an exit.
Photo Credit: freeimages.com/Cory LaFLamme
The controversy regarding Apple’s resistance to decrypt an iPhone that was utilized by terrorists has created a national conversation about the role of encryption in modern society. This is a tricky topic that has been a long time in the making. Watching the cable news last week has seen political leaders, pundits, talking bobble heads and technical evangelists weighing in on the debate. Now, we have a court issuing its first decision that may influence the outcome of the disagreement between Apple and the FBI.
I deplore what the terrorists did in San Bernardino. There is no justification for their actions or any other person who engages or supports the attacking of civilians. I wish the government to use all legal means to bring any co-conspirators to justice and use their available tools to penetrate these evil networks. …
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Photo Credit: freeimages.com/Javier Ramirez
Google is taking over Macs in schools! Chromebooks and Google Classroom seem to be making some serious inroads in the K-12 education. For every Mac we saw tonight, I saw a technology cart full of Chromebooks. It is fascinating to see the adoption of technology in the classroom. The students seem to love it and enjoy the content. Teachers were more dubious. With all new technologies, some glitches were experienced and some people adapt to new technologies faster than others.
A couple of teachers seemed less than thrilled, but everyone else had positive comments as to the role of the new electronic tools. Many teachers prefer the Chromebooks to Macs for the students. They commented on cost and the benefit of having one for every student. In addition, they liked how students could start on an assignment at school and finish it at home. They days of “I forgot my assignment at home” are gone since all the data is stored in the cloud.
It will be fascinating to see how the technology evolves over the next decade.
Photo Credit: freeimages.com
Today, I was just speaking with a colleague about one of the “victims” of the NSA data “scandal.” It is the cloud providers. All of these cloud-based providers have got to be ‘just thrilled’ with the negative publicity online services are currently receiving with this concern over privacy and government monitoring.
I will be honest; it is made me even a little more cautious about my review and selection of cloud and SaaS providers because I too am concerned about where my data resides and who can access it. I will not just allow corporate or my personal information to go anywhere that I do not know who can gain access to it. Do I have anything to hide? Of course not. However, that does not negate my duty to my company and family to ensure that our privacy is respected.
If I was a cloud service provider, I would feel more than a little uncomfortable in the current situation, and I think the cloud industry will be set back a little by this affair. After all, it is raised the ugly specter of “is my information secure” in the cloud or other online environment. That will take a little while for people to regain their comfort level. On the upside, encryption should be making some nice gains as more companies look to encrypt their cloud environments for added security.
One of my team members has a picture of a rural home that was in for an unlucky day as a funnel cloud heads toward it. The picture is captioned by “The Cloud, it is coming for your data.” Every time I see it, I crack up just a little. We are amidst of a Cloud revolution, and it will change the world as we know it. Web 2.0 is only the beginning.
The online services lead the way, the enterprise is just starting to look, but the software players are actively investing. The software giants’ move slower than the “web guys” but have deep pockets and are the real market makers. So, what am I talking about???
Well, Adobe announced it is moving some of its core software to the Cloud and will sell it as a SaaS product. Microsoft has commented that it will take a cautious strategy by playing both sides of the fence for a while supporting both boxed and cloud software versions. For now at least, Microsoft will keep boxed software and subscription Cloud-based software for a few years.
I don’t buy the Microsoft position. Adobe is leading now, and Microsoft will not be far behind. The SaaS opening makes so much sense for these companies. Let us consider a few wins that SaaS offers…
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