Copyright Gerla Brakkee, Alkmaar, NH

Copyright Gerla Brakkee, Alkmaar, NH

Have you heard of the 3S method? In the West where wolves are a very polarizing subject – either you are for wolves or against wolves – it’s not uncommon for some people want to “eliminate” wolves. But shooting wolves is illegal except when you have a permit. So some have come up with the 3S method – Shoot it, Shovel it, and Shut up. It’s the same method that the Mafia uses.

But this method does illustrate one important aspect when doing something that you really don’t want others to know about – keeping quiet.

I bring this up because I recently read an article about an email exchange between Takata employees in Japan and the United States. Tanaka has been in the center of a crisis over air bags – they have been linked to deaths and injuries.

The email exchange discloses that the employees knew that there were problems – in fact, they were deliberately misrepresenting test results. To quote from the International New York Times of January 6, 2016:

”Happy Manipulating!!!” an airbag engineer, Bob Schubert, wrote in one email dated July 6, 2006, in a reference to results of airbag tests. In another, he wrote of changing the colors or lines in a graphic ”to divert attention” from the test results and ”to try to dress it up.”

I am constantly amazed that people think that their communications are and will remain private.

IMPORTANT RECOMMENDATION – Assume that everything you say or write is going to appear on the front page of the Washington Post (See Winning, Failure, and the Washington Post Test).

If you don’t want it to appear in the news, don’t do it!

A physicist by trade, author by choice, a born teacher, a retired veteran, and an adamant problem solver, Frank has helped the White House, federal agencies, military offices, historical museums, manufacturers, and over 250 technology startups get stuff done, communicate effectively, and find practical solutions that work for them. In his spare time, he makes sawdust and watches Godzilla movies.