Good Things from Bad People

I learned two valuable lessons when I asked to be released from a position where I was dealing with an abusive superior.  The first was a question I was asked, “Have you learned anything from this experience?”  My reply, “Yes, how not to act in the position of the […]

Learning is the Ultimate Skill

Long ago, I realized that my only hope to move ahead in this world was to learn something – anything.  In grade school, the only skill that enabled me to stand out was being able to catch the ball in dodge ball better than others.  But dodge ball has […]

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 […]

Tactical Thinking vs. Strategic Thinking

Last week I wrote about the need to look ahead.  Today, I thought I would amplify my thoughts considering recent news reports without mentioning the specific actions but looking at the difference between tactical thinking and strategic thinking.

Tactical thinking is focused on the here and now or what’s close.  […]

Workers Will Arise!

I would like to take you back to 1900. Imagine that you are a blue collar worker*:

Your odds of dying on the job are more than 2500% higher than today.
You likely don’t have heating in the winter or cooling in the summer – unless your job involves heat or […]

Today’s Problems = Yesterday’s Solutions

Have you ever stopped to consider where your problems come from? Normally, we are too busy solving problems to even consider where they came from. But something or someone caused them. And while it would be convenient to blame someone else, most problems we cause ourselves because we were […]

It’s the Event – Not!

Remember your wedding day – or are you still dreaming about it?  It’s the EVENT for many people.  They plan for months, spend horrible amounts of money, resources and time, all for that one perfect day and happy ever after.  I recently returned from the wedding of a brother-in-law […]

“I am my position”

In my wife’s family, there was one phrase that would end all discussion on any topic, “My name is Father and…” His position as father allowed him the ultimate disposition on any topic.
Now, my father-in-law usually used this phrase to end those discussions where everyone has had their say […]

What’s Relevant?

We live in a world that is profoundly complex, both in detail and dynamics. Because of the resulting data overload, we have to constantly ask ourselves, “What’s relevant?” In order to simply operate, we have to learn how to filter out most of the inputs and information that’s presented […]

Success and Failure (Part 3)

On this date in 1846 the Donner Party was preparing to set out for the last stretch to California the next day. At this point they had suffered more privation than most pioneers had. Unfortunately, the sufferings would only get worse as the party was trapped in the Sierra […]

Success and Failure

What is the difference between success and failure? Your answer may differ from mine because you have to start with a definition of what is success and what is failure. To some, success requires that you meet whatever was your goal, but to others, the mere attempt is success. […]

Have You Considered You Might Be Wrong?

I read a short story once about a king that got down in his cup and wrongly took exception to something that the court jester said. He ordered the court jester beheaded and, the king’s word being law, the sentence was swiftly carried out.

End of story? Not quite, because […]

Business & Nietzsche: How Radical Questioning Can Help Your Business

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was born on this date in 1844. A favorite target of Christians because of his statement “God is Dead” (which is usually followed with “Nietzsche is dead – God”),
Nietzsche actually performed a valuable service for all believers in God by challenging his/her/their existence and his influence […]

5 Business Lessons I Learned in the US Navy

October 13th is the official birthday of the United States Navy. 239 years old as of today, the US Navy is the crucible that many persons have learned important lessons in leadership and life. While I rarely make a point of being a retired naval officer, today I want […]

Ask a Stupid Question Day

September 28th is Ask a Stupid Question Day – it’s also Drink Beer Day. Perhaps because if you drink enough beer you will ask stupid questions? Just another silly “holiday,” right?

Actually, it was created by teachers in the 1980’s in a serious attempt to get students to ask more […]

The OODA Loop & Business: When the Emperor has No Clothes

I’m a retired naval officer who specialized in the care and feeding of submarines. I have studied submarines literally from the inside out and from the earliest concepts to the latest developments. They are unsurpassed in capabilities to survey, hunt and destroy the enemy.

But in warfare, the battle is […]

Cold Doesn’t Hurt: What My Auto-Immune Disorder Taught Me About Business

When my husband told me “Cold doesn’t hurt,” my entire life changed. In this video, I  explain how an extreme form of Raynaud’s Disease taught me that you can’t solve problems unless you challenge your assumptions.

Spokane Ask Me Anything and #SpokaneAMA Question: YouTube Strikes

By Frank Hutchison
We held the very first (but not last) Spokane Ask Me Anything (#SpokaneAMA) at ITT Technological Institute on April 16th.  We had a blast and all the attendees said they wanted another one!  Well, you will!  We’ll announce the date, time and place when we have […]

What does Experience look like?

When Meredith attended the Defense Language Institute, there would be times she would eat at the DFAC – a cafeteria for the military.  Seating at a table there would frequently be the newbie soldier sprouting off about snipers, Special Ops, Airborne or whatever because they had an uncle […]

Escaping Buzzwurgatory: Part III – What to Ditch and What to Keep

The company I used to work for did this “Annual Tour” where bigwig executives got us together at night, paid for a catered dinner, and gave these long winded presentations about the company. We played a drinking game – one sip for each use of the word “synergy”. 

Nobody made […]