When It – a Crisis – Hits the Fan

A client recently brought back memories of one of the most difficult moments/crisis in my naval career – I was the Deputy Assistant Supervisor of Shipbuilding in Pearl Harbor, HI and I received two days’ notice that my Contracting Officer was retiring.

Panic can’t describe what I felt at the […]

When You Make Mistakes

We all make mistakes.

Last night, I was making vegetable broth.  After straining out the vegetables, I decided that I would concentrate the broth, so I put the broth back on the stove and turned up the burner.  Then with the arrive of a visiting friend and a good book, […]

Getting Stuff Done

In my company, my job title is Director of Getting Stuff Done.  There’s two primary reasons for this title – (1) We hate the job title inflation that’s common in modern business, i.e., one-person companies having CEOs, etc. and (2) I get stuff done.  I achieve the second reason […]

Conflict is Inevitable, Happy Resolution Isn’t

I’ve been struck by the story of Samson found in the Old Testament Book of Judges, chapters 13-16.  With the gift of unusual strength, he was the spark to freeing the Israelites from Philistine domination.  Be he had a fatal flaw – a rampant narcissism – that lead to […]

Sexual Harassment, Why So Long?

The news is full of another powerful male’s fall from grace for sexual harassment and/or assault.  It’s a brutal and sad commentary – there’s not enough words to describe the revulsion that’s felt at the description of the events or enough tears to salve the hurt to the victims.  […]

Time for Crisis Recovery

I’ve written in the past about how we gauge crises with our 3 x 3 matrix.  As a company, we focus on the long, slow occurring crises (the frogs) and the unforeseen, come-out-of-the-blue crises (the godzillas) as these are the crises that most people don’t, won’t or can’t plan […]

Don’t Attribute to Malice What Can Ascribed to Incompetence

The title of this post is a reference to a quote by General Curtis Lemay about not being about to tell the difference between treason and incompetence – the results were the same.  And results are really what we deal with every day.  Something happens and we immediately start […]

In Disasters, Preparation is Necessary But Luck is Key

I’ve written before about emergency response and preparation here.  But there was one aspect of emergency response and preparation that I neglected to mention – luck.

I bring this up because in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, some Texas politicians are calling for people to NOT donate to the American […]

Where There’s Smoke

We’ve written about sexual harassment before – there’s no secret there.  But I would like to examine the economic benefits and costs associated with harassment today.  This examination is prompted by Bill O’Reilly’s firing by Fox after it was revealed that five women had been paid $13.5 million to […]

Secrets Aren’t Secret

Because I’ve spent a lot of time in the Washington, DC area working in and for the federal government, I’ve been asked frequently about recent news reports coming from the national capital.  Most of the questions are of the type, “Can the President/FBI/CIA/NSA/etc. really do ___________________ and keep it […]

When Things Go Wrong, COMPLAIN!

I generally encourage people to lower their voices and think before they speak – perhaps to not speak at all – it makes for more reasoned communication.  But there is one area that I personally violate that rule – when things go wrong.  And when things go wrong, I […]

Look Ahead

My wife and I go through a ritual most days – I’ll ask her sometime in the morning or early afternoon if she has given any thought to what to have for dinner and does she want me to get something out of the freezer?  Invariably, she’ll say no, […]

2016 in Review

It’s the end of the year and it’s a common feeling to feel that the year wasn’t a good one – we didn’t accomplish much – we’re no better off than we were at the beginning of the year.  It isn’t true but the little devil sitting on our […]

What Samsung can learn from Chicago-Strength Tylenol*

In September 1982, the world was shocked at the cyanide deaths of seven people in the Chicago area.  It was soon followed with the discovery that Tylenol was the common link.  Johnson & Johnson mounted a total recall of Tylenol, halted production and distribution of the product and broadcast […]

You’re Goin’ to Lose – with Harrassment

I still remember the day in 1978 when every male staff member was ordered to the auditorium at the US Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando, FL.  None knew why but the order was specific – every male staff member NOW.

After we all assembled, we came to attention when […]

Emergency Preparedness – Part 5 (Recovery)

Recovery is a state of mind – as well as a physical state of being.  That’s because an emergency always leaves a trail of experiences that never completely is gone.  Ever hear of PTSD – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

First of all, there’s a sense of violation – how could this […]

Emergency Preparedness – Part 4 (Response)

Unless your job is focused on dealing with emergencies – firefighter, police officer, paramedic, emergency room personnel, etc. – the odds are very small that you will deal with an actual emergency.  For example, in the eleven years I lived in Washington state, there have been only two real […]

Emergency Preparedness – Part 2

In part 1, we discussed the five possible actions that either must be done or can be done to minimize the loss from an emergency.  In this post, we are going to examine what is arguably the most important step of all – planning.

There is a lot of information […]

Emergency Preparedness – Part 1

I have been involved with the Boy Scouts since 1978 – I bought a canoe and one of my best friends, who was a scoutmaster, started inviting me to all the camp outs.  One aspect of Scouting was always planning what to do in case of an emergency.  The […]

Optimism is Crazy

In the past ten years I have dealt with over 250 entrepreneurs wanting to start new businesses.  Every single one came in with optimism that his or her idea would be a winner.  And there were plenty of great ideas – ideas that would save lives, improve safety or […]