What…What is the right thing to do?

I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of weeks. The question that plagues me, has plagued me for that time period is a question of ethics. A question of right and wrong. First off I worry about gray areas in life often. It isn’t nice to ride in the HOV lane when you only have one person in the car. It also is expensive if you get caught. So there is a risk/reward concept that you have to be careful of. If you are willing to take the risk (one person in the HOV lane) than the reward is while tainted (you get there faster) it isn’t an ethical issue. Moral maybe, but ethical, no.

Sorting and placing issues into the various buckets they exist in is difficult. In part because sometimes you have to consider other factors. The impact of ethical decisions has to include the impact on other people you care about. The right thing to do is always the path but you have to be careful that in choosing the right thing you don’t effectively bulldoze someone else into the ground. That colors the ethical decision considerably.

I don’t know why, after nearly 30 years in my profession that I still struggle with the various ethical concerns that surround me. I wrote a number of ethical blogs on the IASAGlobal web site a couple of years back. I argued and discussed a number of ethical dilemmas focused on the ownership of solutions and when does ownership truly end. If you design something when is it no longer your design? What level of modification takes the original software architect out of a solution?

Honestly I debate the ethical reality in my head my head often. I chase my own metaphorical tail or tale around and around. I spin myself into the ground. I push myself up and down a flag pole spinning around the reality of where I am and what is going on around me. What is the ethical question that does this? Any ethical question at times.

I am not unique in this. I’ve talked to many people over the years who struggle with this issue. Do the right thing is the mantra we grow up with. But the right thing isn’t always the simple thing. It isn’t always clearly marked. A glowing neon path in front of us, lit up for the world to see. This way, this way is the right way to go. The ethical path is as much within us as it is clearly laid out. The right thing to do may not be the right ethical answer. IT may be a modification. What is the right thing?

So I struggle, I ponder. I argue with myself. I seek advice. I seek counsel from those smarter than I am. Sadly I love a great sounding board two years ago when my father died. I lost my first sounding board 20 years ago when my grandfather died. I still have a great sounding board in my partner but you can’t overwhelm your primary sounding board with ethical questions. So I reach out to my network of friends and seek answers from them.

What is the right thing to do?

It plagues us that question as if in a great tragedy, we standing on the parapet soaked with the rain asking whom the bell tolling for? Wither tis nobler or pondering the questions that tear us apart and leave us ranting in the darkness. A path to light lost. We are, as Milton said, all parts of the continent, not islands, rocks rolling to the sea. Swirling in the fog that surrounds us, we seek the answer to the question what is the right thing to do?

Sometimes the answer isn’t what we want. IT isn’t what we wanted to do. It is in the end what we have to do. To take upon our own shoulders the path. To find within ourselves the strength to open the door and in opening the door accepting what comes through after. We cannot hold ourselves separate but we cannot be a part of what wasn’t right in the first place. So that balancing act becomes less of us and more of the quandary that drives the decisions we have to make.

What is the right thing to do?


ethical wanderer

Remembering those who served, gave their lives and built this nation.

On this day let us begin with a memory. To all the members of my family (and there are many) that served the country over the many years thank you and you are remembered. You are the reason we are here and we remember and thank you.

I would also personally like to remember those whose sweat and dreams built this country where I am fortunate to live and breathe. Thank you to those whose labors built the railroads, the highways and the cities we live in. You as well are remembered this day. Without the labors to make this nation great there would be no nation.

`. My grandfather, Henry Oliver Andersen served in World War 1. My Grandfather Raymond Johnston served on the home front during World War II. He was not in the military but in the Civil Defense. My father served in the military during the Korean War, He was never deployed overseas and mustered out at the end of his term. My father-in-law Leslie Otto Andersen served in the big war. He was in the Navy during WWII and served in Southeast Asia. He was a signal officer on an landing craft.

They are the heroes of this day. Along with all the many others who gave their lives.



John Boyd designed OODA Loops to help make decisions good, fast and iterative. We need to apply the concepts of ODOA loops to inter-generational Knowledge Transfer….

Wearable technology. Deployable drones. Internet of Things or Cyber Physical Systems. Mountains of data, information flowing into our devices. Sensors everywhere. Track it. Find it. Control it. It is everywhere and nowhere. It is the future. It is the Things connected to the Internet. We don’t even realize how many there are. What I find curious today and have found curious for a while now is the reality of the data we are producing.

Cars that warn you that you are too close to another car and stop automatically. Or don’t allow you to move into a lane already occupied by another vehicle. Devices that offer you a safer more secure driving experience. Producing massive amounts of data about how you drive, where you drive, what you do (listening) while driving. The data pattern of commuting becomes an interesting one. How can I as a marketing organization target commuters? Easy, I take all the data collected and I analyze it to find the common pattern. Then I build marketing information focused on the pattern.

Information is the key. Information is also the problem. We create, generate and evaluate information on a daily basis. But the value of any one piece of information is hard to capture. The reality of the information is that it is there if we use it, and there if we don’t. The old line “that would have been good to know, about 4 minutes ago.” Applies as much now as it ever has.

That flow of information is both limiting and freeing. If we have the capability to tap into the information it is critical. If we don’t then it can be crippling. Getting information to the right person at the right time becomes the concept, process and ultimately the failing point of a system. I have talked, probably too much, about continuation where you have or start a process on device and it automatically switches to another. I have talked (again probably far too much) about the concept of the SCRaaS, where you can consume screens to present information you are gathering. Both of these concepts are part of the information collection, management, evaluation and analysis processes we all undergo. Do you want to reroute based on traffic information?

So why care? Well because we are generating IoT/CPS data at an enormous rate. But we are letting intelligence leave the workforce even faster. If you don’t remember history, you are doomed to repeat it. While there is a reality of information, there is also a reality of who has the information and what they do with that information. The concept of knowledge capital is one I have chased for years. The reality of knowledge capital is depending upon where you stand you may or may not care. Thomas Edison tried 450 iterations of light bulbs before he found the most stable version. He captured the experiments and remembered the failure point for each. As we let the older generation of workers slide out of the workforce we are forgetting 450 ways not to build lightbulbs.

The reality is, we ignore the younger generation and their ideas far too much. This allows the younger generation to dismiss those who were there before easily. We need to build a system that accepts new ideas. Compares new ideas against old ideas. Pairs a young innovator with someone that innovated before. Not to tell that person stop this is stupid, but to guide them, help them succeed in their mission. The path from here to there is never a straight line. However, if you engage the person that laid out the goals of the original path, the person who built the path and the young innovator with a better way for that path into a unit that communicates you open a door.

Listen to the smart people of all ages. Find those who built what is there, combine them with those who are seeing new ways of doing things. Make it easier for both. The reality of inter-generational knowledge capital capture is we save ourselves reinventing the wheel. We create a framework where there is value both in those that built the existing system and those that seek to change it for the better. Why is age such a barrier? Gray hair is experience. Experience tells us where failures will occur, but based on John Boyd’s OODA Loops, experience changes the orientation and therefore the observation. Capturing both the new orientation and the old orientation allows us to get to better decisions faster. The smartest person in any room, is the combined orientation of both youth, experience and leadership. That combination, that inter-generational information capital sharing is ultimately the path to a brighter future.

So I was asked, what are your top 10 Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects all time. Here you go!

On Thursday May 27, I posted my current Indiegogo and Kickstarter backed projects. A long time reader E-mailed me and said you’ve on your two blogs posted the projects you were backing for a long time. On occasion you’ve also posted reviews of the ones that you use all the time. The reader asked me “what are your top 10 crowd funding projects so far.” Now that got me thinking. There was a time when this reader was my mentee. I think the student has far surpassed the teacher now. What a great question.

My top 10 all-time crowd funding projects.

I am listing them in reverse order of impact. 10 being awesome, and 1 being game changing.

10. 360 Cam from Giroptic: The camera is easily connected to your smart phone and takes amazing 360 degree photos. I love the ability of the camera to also take time lapse photos and ease of switching between video and still pictures. The software is easily understood and used.

9. Smartpoint GT (Model 500): a motion aware mouse that is small, rechargeable and really well done. I love both the software and the gestures you can use with your mouse. It is also a very precise and very small mouse. I use it almost every day!

8. Meeper Bots: I love IoT devices (well technically I love CPS devices they are easier to manage) and Meeper gives you a controllable device that you can build, manage and play with Lego’s as well. I’ve backed both their projects and love the Meepers. It is a great introduction for kids to robotics but frankly it is really simple to build and understand. So it really works well with adults also, not as threatening and intimidating as Arduino and others can be.

7. DOS Owls projector: It is first off an android device. It includes a projector and a battery. Portable and flexible, much smaller than the previous portable projectors and you can connect a keyboard to the system and consume content directly from the Internet (includes Wi-Fi!) or you can connect your computer or other device to the projector and project the traditional way. The device is really small and the projector is pretty good. It is a wonderful easy to use product!

6. Keecker: The only reason Keecker is number 6 is it hasn’t shipped yet. It is however and remains the core of my SCRaaS concept. A portable projector that knows where you are and rolls to you. They call it the world’s first home pod. I call it the first SCRaaS device on the market that adds the capability of follow you. Using an iPad in the kitchen is nice, but having that iPad screen projected in front of you even when you move, priceless. I am super excited about this product and it hasn’t even shipped yet!

5. Bubl Cam: The first 360 camera I backed and just a little bit better than the 360 cam. It has a standard tripod mount and the software is amazing. The image quality of the device is breathtaking and I love taking pictures of my messy office. It doesn’t help me or motivate me to clean it, just fun to have pictures of the mess!

4. Breathometer: software and device attached to your phone that tells you when you’ve had too much to drink. A great idea and one of those got to have devices in your bag. You never know when you are out with friends just how much you had. Now, you can, plug, blow and call a cab!

3. Structure: 3d scanner that connects to your IPad or IPhone. This is an amazing scanner. I use it all the time in evaluating objects. Capturing what they look like on a dimensions makes it easier to evaluate the unit or object without having it in your hands. I use this all the time connected to my iPad. I actually find with the iPad Pro; the structure sensor does better than the hand held 3d scanner from Cubex. More power, more flexible easier to use!

2. Spike from Ike: Laser measurement for your iPhone. Simple and easy to use, this allows you to measure objects near or far using laser measurement. I find myself using this all the time in rearranging the things in my office trying to optimize desk space. I also use it when measuring things for putting in the garage and on the boat. It is a great easy to use tool and the software rocks!

1. Pebble: Don’t care which one you pick. I’ve just backed my third Pebble Campaign. I love my Pebble Time (color) and the functionality the smart watch brings to me. The world of SCRaaS was doubled when the first Pebble shipped. I don’t even consider the Apple Watch or the Samsung in the same category. The Pebble offers so much more, sits proudly on my wrist and is my constant companion. I love being able to change my color watch face whenever the mood strikes me.

So there it is, my list. The top 10 crowd funding products for me. Only 1 (number 6) hasn’t shipped yet. The rest are ones that I use at least weekly if not more often. High impact devices that range from amazing to game changers.


My top 10 Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects!

Of dreams, dreamers and ethics. The 3 E’s of enabling, empowering and embracing the dreams of those you are helping!

I have long dreamed about doing some things that I keep, well putting off. Not discarding the dream of doing them, just saying I will get to that activity, later. In some cases, later is 30 years now. A couple of the dreams I have discarded. I once thought I wanted to learn how to fly, but I’ve realized that my love is water so flying doesn’t really mesh. I do want to learn how to be a better boater, so I am taking lessons and learning. I consider that dream to have morphed over time rather than me throwing one away and starting over.

Now, why bring this up? Am I, an epic failure because I have unrealized dreams? No. I have many dreams I have realized, exceeded even expanded radically and still exceeded. All of us have dreams and in those dreams are the seeds of where we want to be. That is why ethical dilemmas make me uncomfortable. I don’t want to ever compromise my dreams just because the option or choice pushes me into an ethical conundrum.

Ethics are critical. I had the opportunity to work for two gentlemen when I first moved to DC that both represent simply amazing levels of ethics. Their adherence to, almost devotion to ethics was simply amazing. I learned so much from them. One of the things they taught me was about dream enablement. There are ways as a leader to enable dreams. There are ways as a manager you can squash those dreams.

Accidental dream killing happens all the time. It isn’t meant to be anything other than an accident when it happens and sadly it does happen. Intentional dream squashing is a different manner and borders on an ethical issue. If, you enable someone to pursue their dream you are bound to that dream as well. If they fail, it is also on you. So the ethical responsibility is to enable, support and help that dream come to fruition.

That means when you open the door, you have to leave that door open and help the person figure out how they can get through the door. Enable, empower, embrace. The 3 e’s of ethics. If I enable your dream, I need to embrace your dream and empower you to succeed. Say my dream is to be a manager. I want to lead a team. How do you enable that? Well simple right, give me a team. That seems pretty easy. How do you empower me as a manager? You give me projects for myself and my team to accomplish. First time manager, let’s create a white space management role. Except the reality is, there is a reason why white space is white space. So I have to embrace the new manager and extend their abilities by empowering them with knowledge.

Ethics is a teaching situation. All of us spend our lives learning the vagaries of ethics. In order to hit the three e’s, we have to embrace the person’s current skills. We have to empower their dream, and enable the skills they need to succeed.

Repeating the same things over and over, doesn’t in the end create the right environment for success. When you enable a dream to fail it’s on you not the dreamer. Help that person by the 3 E’s and you will empower them to help the next person along. There is a great meme, you are not a leader until you have produced a leader that produced another leader. You also have to empower, embrace and enable the dreams of the people for you. If you yell at them, be sure clear why you are yelling. If they do a good job tell them. If they don’t understand it is your job to teach them. By the way great leaders notice when people don’t understand. Nodding your head and trying, means the leader inspires you. Failing, despite your best efforts often means you don’t understand. A leader steps in and says “there are other ways to solve that problem let me show you.”

You see ethics binds you to what you do. The 3 E’s are a model to apply your ethics to tomorrow. Helping others, help others is the most effective leadership tool ever.

My current Crowdfunding projects…

So moving into the world of customer service for just a minute, this company does a great job. Blog2Print is the organization and frankly the name tells you their end game. They take your blog (here or anywhere) and make it into a physical book. I have now printed 4 books total and 4 PDF books. All of them are of amazing quality. My only complaint? If you have blogged for a long time (11 years for me) and have thousands of blogs (5400 so far) they don’t really have a good system that supports printing multiple books easily. You have to break it into ranges and print each book. It takes too long for me so I haven’t done it.

I haven’t done my Kickstarter and Indiegogo project blog in a while. I kind of drifted away from those in the past few months. So, without further ado I shall return to them.


1. Pebble Time 2 ok, so this is the third Pebble project I have backed. I backed the very first one (and still have that Pebble on display). I also back them original Time (color!!!!) and now backing the time 2. What can I say about thus team? Great products, well built and I just love the functionality of the smart watch. Smart watches are a huge market now, and Pebble is one of the first (and in my opinion still the best by far!)

2. How do you know that a market exists? When an aftermarket is born. Pal Strap is a great new campaign that extends the functionality of your Pebble. Adding a wrist based GPS and extended battery. It makes the Pebble even more effective as a tool and is my second Kickstarter project I am focused on right now. This one makes the Pebble better and also shows that the market for both the smart watch and the Pebble are growing!!!!!


1. There have been dozens of Universal Translators that have come to the crowdfunding world and most of them have failed to deliver. Pilot is the first I’ve backed in a while (still licking my wounds from the long promised never delivered others). They have a very intriguing concept, use cases and delivery concept. An ear piece that does your translation on the fly. I also like the fact that they included a couple of use cases focused around tourism. If you think about a market rife for improvement it is the world of international travel. I am super excited for this one.

2. The last campaign is a testing device. Qualmeter. It is interesting idea and one I wish I had access to right now, or at the least had access to for say the past 10 years. Know what your cables are outputting and if they are actually functioning as needed. There are so many USB cables on the market and so many of them are crap. It’s frustrating to plug your device into a USB hub that produces 1.5 amps only to find that your cable doesn’t support the required voltage. Or worse only supplies half a charge. Instead of starting your day ready to roll you start the day ready to roll over and scream. I can’t wait to test my cables. Also it allows to test your devices to make sure the cables you have are maximizing your charge time.

My rules are simple; I have to back the projects I review. For me that means that have to catch my eye, to find something and share it, that I am missing. So far of all the campaigns I have listed here on my blog only two haven’t delivered. One went dark almost a year ago, so I am going to write that one off. But of the other roughly 50 campaigns I have shared, 48 have or are in final stages of delivery. There is a risk in Crowdfunding. I have another 14 campaigns I never advertised that frankly haven’t delivered in more than two years. So you do have to accept that there is a risk. But the risk is often well less than the reward!


IoT/CPS guy and Crowdfunded

Once more into the SCRaaS breech!

The concept of IoT/CPS and layered integration. There are a number of interesting IoT/CPS solutions out there today. Yesterday I talked about the mobile worker and two products that will change the cellular device. It is about input and it is about screens. I talked about for the 100th time about my concept SCRaaS or the Screen as a Service. Where the screen is an available and consumable service like any cloud service provider is today. You simply connect and if there is a usage change it is per use not per ability to connect.

I also talked a little bit about the changes that people don’t always consider when evaluating the SCRaaS potential. You can actually modify the way you interact with your devices radically. For example you can create notification systems that take advantage of where you are and what device you have. Get a text while driving, ask Siri, Cortana or Google to read it to you. You can even respond via voice and NEVER pick up the cell phone. Yesterday in our neighborhood a young lady literally almost hit as as we were walking, she was busy talking on the cell phone and driving. What about software that tracks how fast you are moving and the activity of the phone, and forces your phone to be off. It is scary to me when you consider danger. As I said, if not for quick thinking and reactions one of my sons and a dog would have been hit.

So a notification system using the SCRaaS devices. Information you reference four or five times a day goes on the 2nd screen (PopSlate). Information that is critical or impacts you right now goes on the smart watch screen. Your cell phone screen locks when the phone is in motion above 9 mph. It isn’t safe to run and text, it also isn’t safe to drive a bike or car, motorcycle or boat and text. But the rest of the time allow the user to interact with email etc on their cellular phone. Push larger display items to a larger display (Nexdock) or Chromecast.

My device, my message and ultimately my delivery. The concept of SCRaaS offers flexibility beyond anyone device. Your smart watch becomes your instant notification system. For example texts. Today I have all my texts go to my Pebble. In the future I would probably reconsider that and reduce the messages to urgent ones. Family always, work only during certain hours and so on. If it isn’t family then put it on the 2nd screen on my phone (PopSlate). The use cases are simple here. Reduce the clutter in front of me. Increase the velocity of some information critical to me. Decrease the rate of information that isn’t as critical to me. Use the 2nd screen to reduce the clutter of my phone when I power on the actual phone. Make it

When the information requires interaction but is larger than is effective on my cellular screen, push it to the Nexdock or other large screen as a service devices. You could using network connected projectors quickly provide screen services in virtually any setting. If you were concerned about the security of anyone grabbing a screen you could add security to the connected screens or force additional login information on the device. Seeing someone hack the giant screens around Times Square, cool once but annoying if every tourist in N.Y.C. posts their pictures to Times Square.

What we gain here is a structured notification system. An ability to interact with devices in a number of structured and managed ways. We begin to reduce the clutter of information that blows up our days. We decide what is screen worthy and what screen it is worthy of.

SCRaaS take control of the screens around you. Take control of the information flow to you. Never miss that important message again, and always know what the weather is when you step outside. Once we move to the reality of SCRaaS, the next step is VR. Imagine for a moment you are on a business trip in another country. Sitting alone in the morning in Japan with your family 12,000 miles away. Connecting your phone to the VR service, you can be there with your family as they wake up for the day. Connected and present while you are far away. A reality that isn’t beyond the horizon.


SCRaaS and VR dreamer

Expanding the SCRaaS concept…

Innovation is something to cherish. It is a unique or even a simple way of looking at a problem and finding a better way to solve the problem. It is a safety feature like an air bag or a seatbelt. It is lights that turn on in your house when you open your garage door at night. It is automation, it is simplification and presentation.

Recently there have been a number of interesting innovations on Kickstarter and Indiegogo that intrigue me. The products include the Nexdock, and PopSlate. Both are extensions of the concept that you only carry your cellular device and not a computer or tablet. Interesting in that they make interacting with your cellular phone easier. PopSlate is a detachable screen you add to the cellular device while Nexdock is an interest screen. Over time using the software of the systems they will enable USB and other devices so that you will have more memory, and additional capabilities.

360 degree cameras are available. I use the BUBL camera all the time. I love seeing what a room looks like from every angle possible. Its integration with the cloud (for image processing) and the cellular phone make for an impressive presentation. That market continues to grow and expand. This explosion of innovative ideas in part because of the IoT/CPS reality. In part because the reality of tech savvy users and that tech base of users has increased. The integration of your cellular device to the IoT/CPS potential is amazing. There are already great points of integration being the smart watch, and the two new products I’ve mentioned Nexdock and PopSlate. These devices extend your cell phone to a Screen as a Service device (SCRaaS). There are more of these devices coming. Keecker is one that presents interesting potential changes. Keecker is a SCRaaS that adds flexibility to your devices. Because it is also a system running its own OS, it can also operate independently of the cellular device. This comes back to something a very smart person told me a long time ago, while the Swiss Army knife is a great tool, you wouldn’t use it to cut down a tree.

New solar backpacks are emerging. These include the ability to increase the solar panel size when you are stopped, at the same time doing a trickle charge while you are walking. It extends and expands the concept of a micro grid to create the new concept of a personal grid, a home grid and a neighborhood together creating a micro grid. Where within the micro grid you have power production and power distribution that never leaves the micro grid. As more and more houses in a neighborhood add solar power the reality of shared power becomes greater. Of course the reality of multiple solar providers creates a different problem but that one is economic not technology limited. How do you manage the distributed production if you have four solar companies producing the energy? IE WHO GETS PAID!

So I can ask the what’s next question. I won’t but I could. Its why I think Shark Tank whiffed on PopSlate. They didn’t understand the SCRaaS concept fully. I have a smart watch. I have ordered a PopSlate. My intention is not to stop wearing the smart watch. It is gives me direct information that is short. For example, if you get a text that says meet me outside, you wisely check your watch (see text) and then you do what? I look at the weather personally. That is simply taking the phone out of the pocket and seeing what the weather is, always displayed on the PopSlate SCRaaS. Simple, reduces the number of times I have to unlock my phone considerably. Any information that is critical to you can be a notification on a smart watch and further information on the PopSlate system. I wouldn’t however use either to reply to a detailed email. That would be when I would grab the Keecker system or I would grab the Nexdock. Within the concept of SCRaaS is the concept of functionality. The more screen RealEstate you have for complex tasks the better. The smaller the message is, the smaller the SCRaaS can be. Smart watch = quick small information consumption. PopSlate (slightly larger screen) = information I consume frequently but not as small as would present on the Smart Watch and then Nexdock for information I need to see, evaluate and respond to. My favorite that I have used for years is the reality of an Excel spreadsheet or a web meeting. In both those cases you don’t use your cellular phone screen, your smart watch but instead you use Keecker or Nexdock as your SCRaaS.

The screens are coming. The data is already there. It is now surfaced in a way that will make us smarter!

The context of what you say is as important as….

One of the things I have long believed is that everyone should have to spend a year as a public school teacher. I have in recent years amended that to everyone should serve in one of the following roles at least once in their career. Police/Fire or first responders of any form, Military in any form or being a public school teacher. Why?

Each of those professions teaches you to approach people differently. To access quickly the situation and respond in a measured and effective manner. Don’t walk from the problems that impact you right now, because they are going to get worse if left untended. Problems don’t improve with age. They simmer and bubble and eventually create the caldron of hate.

It isn’t feasible, my belief. There aren’t enough jobs in the professions listed for everyone to be in them. But it would help solve a number of communication and interaction problems we have in our world. It is about building, maintaining and improving structure and order. People are really hard to build order around. They like the many facets of the world they are a part of and consume.

Communication is such an integral part of how we enter this world. Things that impact us as people are so often wound around communication. The conversation where the person dismisses your feelings ends up spinning you into a deeply negative thought process. Why? You think. Why you ponder? Why you ask over and over and over and over. Until you realize that the why isn’t anything to do with you. The why of communication is always one of two things. Something between the two of you, or something between the two of you.

Ok so it’s really one thing. Between the two of you. Communication is about the connection of two people. Even one to many communication is still a connection. It either resonates with you or it doesn’t. That resonation is the connection. That connection or lack of connection changes the communication. Sometimes we listen to a speaker and we wonder if they speaking to us. Sometimes we begin formulating arguments against what they are saying, because they are speaking near us but not with us. Communication is such a fragile framework.

That’s why I believe everyone should have a balance of teaching and first responder/military training. It gives you the ability to build and understand teams. In building a team to expand that team and make it stronger. It gives you a framework for the communication you are driving and delivering.

I won’t argue the need for ethics. I believe ethics are a given. Organizations that have systemic ethics issues have many other issues as well. Ethics drives so many communication processes and interactions that you can’t hide that behind false communication. That one to many, when I don’t trust or believe you is nearly impossible to bridge. It becomes a gap and that gap is ethics.

Back to my beginning theme, for me there is a missing piece that impacts people. That quick ability to access a situation and respond with that situation. That’s why I believe teachers, first responders and military trained professionals are successful beyond their original professions. They are trained to calmly access the situation and quickly get to the root cause. Clear, concise communication with the intent of sharing and solving quickly.

My final conclusion, having grown up in an educator’s home (the inquiry method) and having learned the OODA Loop modeling later, there are many points of intersection. OODA Loops are designed to improve decision making. The inquiry model is designed to get students interested, involved, engaged and learning. Both end up with the same result, connected communication.


communications dreamer

Failure isn’t a one way street.

What are we responsible for as human beings? What level of interaction is wholly our responsibility? Is there one? Do we as humans have responsibility (solely) for any one specific interaction in our lives? Probably not, right? We are always engaged and involved, and own a portion of every interaction but frankly the reality is we aren’t the sole owner. If a relationship fails it is because of both sides. There are cases where one side is wholly responsible but those are the ones that are outside the realm of normal like Domestic Violence and murder. In those cases, the perpetrator is responsible for what happened.

In the course of normal human interaction there are varying degrees but in all cases a joint responsibility. Both sides own the interaction and therefore any failures that occur. But if one side never owns up to their responsibility what happens next?

My father introduced to the Novel Flatlands many years ago. I spent hours reading that book (he reminded me of the book when he gave me a copy much later on). All things are lines and therefore relationships fit within physical space. Simple point to point connections that result between people have shared responsibility.

I have mentored many people over the years and one of the hardest things to learn as a professional is that reality. We all want to spend our time blaming someone else for what happens around us. We want to place the negative view of that relationship wholly on them. As long as it is not an abusive or bullying situation that just isn’t the case. People are always responsible for ½ the bad connections.

A good friend of mine is an Electrical Engineer. One of the things he always talks about is the quality of the connection. If power doesn’t make it to both sides, the connection is bad. The same is true for interpersonal connections. Both sides have to be engaged and wired properly.

Another good friend is a phenomenal public speaker. I love going to his DC area talks. He is simply riveting. He always says the path to miscommunication starts with two people. One message, one discussion, two people and a disagreement. Both parties own what happens next. Interestingly one party will always blame the other party for the failure. Why? We don’t want to accept responsibility for failure.

I fail all the time. I often publish my blogs with early morning grammatical errors. I try to remove most of them but frankly I fail. I fail in communication all the time. Things hat I think are clearly said sometimes aren’t. I accept that about myself and I work to get better. I am responsible for this problem. Yes, there are times I wish I could blame someone else. But when I start blaming instead of taking responsibility I ultimately lose. There is genius in other’s. I sometimes realize this. That the ideas of others are so much better than my own ideas. That I need to change my thinking. I need to be responsible for my communication and change that because someone else is right. I accept. I own. I change. Maturity tells us that the path to understanding is the wisdom of age. Reality tells us that sometimes people don’t mature. They continue to be angry. It continues to be the fault of others. Blame isn’t just a path it is a way of life.

I choose to accept that I fail. I am failing now. I have failed in the past. I will fail again. My goal is to put myself in a place where all the failures will add to success. That I can succeed as a person, as a parent as most important as a human being.

I am wrong. I do fail. I do fall. But it doesn’t matter how far you fall, or how many times you fail it only matters how high you bounce.

I love this failure is an event not a person. When we fail, it is just that event that fails. Not the entire person. When you close a person out because they failed once you really aren’t doing them any good.

No learns unless they are told where they failed. But reality is that some failures (HR or Domestic Abuse) can’t be accepted. You move on from those failures. In the case of Domestic Violence or HR type issues it is ok to blame the other person and move away. Self-preservation dictates that we never accept that kind of treatment.

Failure is an event in everybody’s life.

It is something we all do.

Forgiving failures is what makes us human.


Trying to be a human being