Posts

Showing posts from March, 2022

The Six Box Organizational Model: Knowing When Organizations Should Change

Businesses thrive when they continuously seek new levels of organizational performance. Learning organizations adapt and those that are dying fail to adapt. Sometimes we need a model to help us formalize concepts. Marvin Weisbord (1976 p431) combines "bits of data, theories, research, and hunches into a working tool that anyone can use.". Below you will find the 6 boxes for formulating a conception of a business and where it can improve.  1. Purpose: What business are you in? 2. Structure: How to divide up roles and responsibilities. 3. Rewards: Do activities have incentives. 4. Helpful mechanisms: Are there adequate coordinating technologies 5. Relationships: How the organization handles conflict. 6. Leadership: Does someone keep the other boxes in balance? The model does well simplifying/oversimplify) and considering the wider factors in organizational management. It is provides an opportunity to view the organization from different perspectives to highlight potential issue

Judge and Defense Attorney Receives Death Threats in Gov. Whitmer Case-Yep such things go on and on and on!

There isn't much I can say other than I'm happy we are starting to take extremism seriously. Governor Whitmer is a high profile person and has protections that many of us don't often have. As a well known figure that also makes her a target for some groups. When I read the article FBI raids Michigan home after reported threats to judge, lawyers in Gov. Whitmer kidnapping case I find myself perplexed at the audacity of people! Let me say that I'm a light right Republican and I have seen radicalism on both sides of the perspective. From this article you can't really tell if they are for or against a particular outcome. What I would say is that birds of a feather flock together. We will wait to see who is sending these threats and what their motivations might be (likely once investigators have answers) Its hard for leaders to make the best decisions when they are being targeted by these extremist groups. It makes no difference the ideology or background. They are peop

The Single Ingredient for Small Business Success is Confidence

Image
Small Town America Needs Confidence If you like the picture  Donate to Orphans Confidence counts for a lot in our lives and is substantial to the success of a small business that must continuously overcome challenges. Overconfidence creates undue risk while confidence assesses new information to make accurate assessments of success (or failure). Without confidence you are unlikely to start a business or succeed through the positive and negative aspects of society to maintain your business. Your personality and your business are often intertwined during the initial stages and your belief in yourself is key to longevity. One way to improve on confidence is to think about the different possibilities and the truer likelihood of success or failure within the market. If you aren't sure you certainly can take a blind leap of faith but it is often better to try and find opportunities to narrow those gaps of missing information. That isn't always easy when you lack the self-belief to st

Why We Struggle to Stand for Certain Principles? Institutions Help Countries Thrive During Crisis

Image
In a park representing ancient principles of democracy from  Greek society and our ability to respect wisdom. Kind of a bad picture but if you like  it Donate to Orphans Its makes no difference if you are talking about companies, people, or government there is a right and a wrong way to do things. Sometimes the structures (meaning the formal design) can get in the way and other times it is the leadership of those institutions. People who know people who know people often get the best positions leading to a level of social adherence by those who share similarities in background and ideology. New thoughts often have a hard time moving forward in group think environments..  Let us think about Putin's Russia for example. There is a level of thinking that exists within the highest rankings of society and people know they must say what they are required to say to be consider one of the in-group members (...and all of its benefits.). They may personally disagree but they are not dumb enou

2023 Defense Budget: $130 Billion research in advanced tech, cyber, space and AI. (Cool stuff!)

There are a lot things of interests in our DOD 2023 Defense Budget. You can read more about it within the press release at  The Department of Defense Releases the President's Fiscal Year 2023 Defense Budget . As a quick breakdown you will see some interesting changes in direction occur: $56.5 billion for air power platforms and systems $40.8 billion for sea power, to include nine more battle force ships, $12.6 billion to modernize Army and Marine Corps fighting vehicles.  $130.1 billion for research and development readiness in advanced technology, cyber, space and artificial intelligence. There is more so you will want to read through it. Let me say that creating an advanced military with advanced technologies often means supporting next generation technologies. That technology can come from industry-government-university partnerships or it can come from internal research.  Technology and innovation is increasingly important to the competitive playing field of any nation. Advancin

Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act Signed-Way Way Beyond Due!

I'm happy we signed this bill and unhappy that it took so long. While its not the specifics of the bill that are important to me but the action that hate and lynching is designated by our leaders an unacceptable value in the U.S.(I complain a lot about how short sighted our leadership can be but when they do something right I commend them.) We need a Federal Law because sometimes there is difficulty locally prosecuting and holding people accountable for inappropriate behaviors (Selective values of who is considered local and who is "worthy" of fair treatment.). A hate law allows for more influence on how these cases are handle.  Hate is the devaluing of life ( See Why We Hate ) and we don't need a law to tell us that hate on this level is unacceptable; we are not talking about preference. Whether we call it murder, terrorism, or a hate crime it makes no difference...its the accountability that matters. There should have always be accountability and no person(s) have t

Effective Website Design: That that ranked the highest

Websites are the modern business calling card and are essential for staying competitive in an e-commerce arena. People adjust within the first few seconds and will either stay or leave/”bounce” depending on how they view that site. In today’s world websites are more than just convenience they are essential to modern business. Core elements of strong design are often related to proper navigation, purpose, easy of use, and other important concepts. The key purpose is related to attracting and motivating visitors to take some action such as a purchase. Looking at the study A Literature Review: Website Design and User Engagement we find there are essential elements to strong website designs. The authors reviewed significant literature to compile what they found. navigation (62.86%),  graphical representation (60%),  organization (42.86%),  content utility (37.14%),  purpose (31.43%),  simplicity (31.43%), and  readability (31.43%). As you design your website consider the differences betwee

Gym vs. No Gym Exercise: Maybe a little of both?

Gym versus no gym exercise has been debated for some time. I came across an article Limited Exercise without Equipment Achieves Same Results as Daily Gym Workouts  that discusses how making small choices everyday impacts our overall health. Gym and no gym can certainly work together to enhance your fitness goals.  Recently, I have been work on gym versus no gym exercise and the benefits of both. I had a training session with a woman last week that didn't have a gym membership and was thinking about the different ways in which she can workout at home.  That got me sort of thinking....... Gym is great for high cardio and weights that stress the body while no gym exercises burns calories and is often more sustainable for busy people.  Yes its possible to integrate both. The gym is a great place to put on your schedule and attend every day (or minimum 3X per week) and then augment with no gym exercises throughout the day. One will push your body to adapt and the other will help encoura

Russians Scale Back Offensive and Gives Up Some Demands: A sign of stalled effort!

Image
 Russia has indicated that it will be pulling back some troops, refocusing efforts, and giving up a few demands for peace in upcoming negotiations. This looks like the implementation of Plan B where they seek to get out with a perceived Win. There is significant pressure on Russia that will have long term implications (i.e. losing oil markets, exposing military weaknesses, and lost world credibility).  What does a win or loss look in this situation? If Russia gets out with splitting the nation it will be perceived a Win while neutrality guarantees will be seen as a level of success. However, the attempt to dominate the country has failed and that means a small country can thwart the advances of a large country. The perception of Russian (from the Soviet times) military power has been broken. It can't look like a retreat it has to look like a negotiated withdrawal. The long term implications are significant for Russia despite what happens during the negotiations. Things have just ch

The Values a Person Holds Defines Them: In Business, Service and Life

We live in a complex world where good and bad things happen all the time. People compete with each other to gain ever more prestige, money, or resources. We are a competitive people. Some do things fairly and some cheat the system. It is the values that help them navigate the world in different ways. Those who have self-oriented values can justify just about anything while those who have pro-social values have limitations on their behaviors.  I've seen beautiful things and ugly things during my life. The best and worst of human nature is based on values. Those with prosocial values will do things differently than those without. Its important to ensure our society encourages prosocial values to encourage social learning. On the ugly side I have seen people justify horrendous behaviors and I have had the pleasure of meeting people who have have sacrificed for certain pro-social principles. The later is more important than the former but that isn't how it often works in the world

Post Covid Community: Norton Commons...all neighborhood walking.

Image
I went with a friend to walk around a very nice neighborhood around the corner. Norton Commons near Louisville KY is like a perfectly designed Italian style neighborhood ( I should say Italian, Greco, and American style ). Everything is within walking distance. Covid taught us that walkable neighborhoods have value and when you can get out and enjoy the air and walk/bike down to your local store, bar, restaurant, gym, etc... its makes a difference in your life.  It would be nice if we removed some of the strip malls and put neighborhood stores back in. When designed well it can really make a big difference in livability and aesthetic design. They built this neighborhood but certainly one could refurbish many older neighborhood commercial buildings. 

2023 Whitehouse Budget: Couple Quick Thoughts

I'm took a quick look at the White House 2023 Budget   and found some interesting changes in how we are tackling certain issues. I'm a national development type person so for me infrastructure ( Digital and Physical ), education, national security, justice department, military and pushing for an advanced manufacturing digital age economy is important. Because I believe research in green technologies are likely to be fruitful on multiple fronts I support that as well ( Think if we have one major electric system transformation { i.e. solar paint/metals that turn common things like an electric poles and car/space/plane bodies into a reserve power banks or data storage centers for robotic navigation/system integration. I know its out there but could happen!}  🤓🤖) I can't really say much one way or another because I have to go back and read it in detail. As with all budgets there are likely things we like and things we don't ( I like to help firefighters ). All may be goo

When Laws are Circumvented? (Bigger Values Than "Protect Our Own"). Extremism and Grey Areas

If you have been reading for a while you will be aware that my family and I were targets of a "Get the Muslims" campaign launched by a few individuals and supported by at least one corrupted officer ( Inadvertently exposing up to 3-5 other officers engaged in potential corruption. I can only say potential because an investigation would reveal more or less. ) . That turned into targeting of children, trying to block community engagement, creating unsafe situations ( dangerous situations ) and attempts to damage and ruin reputations. Some of those problems linger on today in subtle forms because once false beliefs of "those people" are embedded into certain social networks and are hard to change and continue to heighten problems. ( You know the subtle rudeness, second guess words, rejection from qualified positions, reactive body language every time someone things Muslim = terrorist, etc... An intentional social network attempt to damage and ostracize through false in

Biden delivers remarks on Ukraine crisis from Warsaw

Image
 A speech of importance that marks greater involvement of Europe in the Ukraine conflict. Less reliance on Russian oil is likely going to change current energy make up of Europe and the U.S. Once other sources are supplied and the infrastructure lines built they will likely stay in place for a long time ( diversity for Europe and income for new suppliers ). Furthermore, as alternative energy technologies develop there could be less reliance overall on oil. Thus, this was a war where Putin may not have calculated or expected the total cost (because of limited diverse perspectives at the top.) People are saying a lot of stuff about the last comment on "This man can't stay in power".  I wouldn't think it would mean active regime change but internal change within Russia. There is internal Russian squabbling going on, an attempt of the Russian military to revert to plan B, and some levels of societal purging/ clamping down. These are signs that there is some pressure on Pu

The Essentials of Business Intelligence

Image
Business Intelligence is becoming increasingly important in today's society. The international world is complex and requires lots of different ways of looking at the same information to discover something new. Raw data in some cases without a matrix for understanding it can be difficult or even impossible for the average executive. However, as we use principles of BI we can explore, define, and create methodologies for dealing with complexity to create better decisions with longer positive outcomes. According to the article Literature Review of Business Intelligence conducted by the authors business intelligence (Heang & Mohan, 2017) there are some key factors that come up in the literature search. 1. Business Intelligence Definition. There Are different definitions but gather, change, and present organized information from various sources are some of the essential. 2. Data, Information, and Knowledge Data: Structured codification of single primary entities and/or transac

Challenges of Team Develop (Business or Government)

I'm a big believer in the power of positive teams whether on a business level or a national level by encouraging people to work together to create a shared sense of purpose. A team that can work well together can accomplish many different things. Teams that lose their sense of purpose dissipate. Teams share certain values and work toward those values.  Teams have some characteristics McGraw Hill put together a pretty solid list in 12 Key Characteristics of an Excellent Team A clear mission. Knowing where your going...a vision. Informal atmosphere. Try and be relaxed and easy going  Lots of discussion. Sharing perspectives Active listening. Listening and learning from each other Trust and openness. Building trust with each other and creating connections. Disagreement is OK. Disagreement is a opportunity to enhance.  Criticism is issue-oriented, never personal. Keep it focused on processes and policies and not people. Consensus is the norm. Try and get everyone on the same page. 

Pictures Video Barrington Reserve Waterfall

Image
 Who doesn't love waterfalls? Hiking on my way down to KY.  I believe this was taken in Barrington Reserve OH If you like the picture Donate to Orphans  

The UP Coast Along Lake MI

Image
 Picture of UP coast along Lake MI.  If you like the picture Donate to Orphans

Full and Half American Syndrome: Why Americans are likely to move to higher human capital development and greater universal principles?

The short answer...we are likely increase our focus on our human capital resources and universal shared sense of purpose because it puts us in our best competitive position with the most options. Our diversity can be a big advantage for national competitiveness when hedging unique strengths within our democratic principles. (i.e. America Wants 3 Things . It is also helpful to think about our diversity as somewhat differentiated when compared to other advanced nations like China or those in Europe or Asia.. Investing in infrastructure (physical and digital) is half the answer while investing in the brilliant minds of those who use such systems are the other half of the solution ( innovation and butterfly effec t).  Without maximizing all of our human capital from cradle to grave we will struggle with staying competitive over the long haul. We are in an age where one creative mind can accomplish something spectacular and many creative minds do things we never thought possible ( i.e. like

Accomplishing the Mission: Bringing New Partners to the Fight to Counter Evolving Threats (Detroit Economic Club)

Image
Everything is evolving and technology is evolving quickly. When we were kids things were simple because you had to taste, touch and use your senses but as technology changes the threats often become more remote (not always but often). We have threats we face from foreign governments, local extremists, domestic terrorists, for profit hackers, and much more. Working in collaboration with companies makes a big difference in coordinating response and protecting data. It is a whole nation affair. Our political leaders should think about how to encourage a first advanced manufacturing digital age society that enhances human capital, creativity, R&D, and manufacturing in a way that surpasses our challengers. We are a society that must learn to overcome our challenges and ensure that our essential philosophical truths as a democracy are held strong. That can be a hard sell to some. Its very sad that people are still attacking officers (This is different than legitimate protest). There is r

Escanaba City Council Meeting 03-17-22: Collaborative Proposals, Stuff and "Marina of Dreams"!!!

Image
Sorry wrong coast but you get the feel. (Picture not from Escanaba)   Lots of interesting things going on here. I'm not going to get into all of it as you can read the agenda March 17th, 2022 Escanaba City Council Agenda . Some potentially helpful developments in terms of a number of businesses thinking about collaborating on a project that includes the multiple sites ( We might also find that possible in other projects with different interested stakeholders; local and out of area ). I would like to see what this business group comes up with in terms of potential designs and their benefits to different sectors of the community; clusters ( i.e. housing, ship industry, hotel/tourism, with marina location expansion. I would add that Escanaba is like a peninsula on the north side and one could almost envision how putting a marina and additional ship works would improve the nautical appeal of the area. Perhaps, opening a few portals to more choices. 🤷) I sort of looked around and I thi

Does Russian Economic Official Anatoly Chubais Indicate a Move Toward Soviet Style Government Reforms?

Key Economic Official of climate and sustainable development Anatoly Chubais resigned his post and left country. Anatoly was a special envoy that lead privatization efforts under Putin and Boris Yeltzin ( People raised during and after the Cold War should remember some of these names. )  It could be something as simple as a major disagreement or it could be an ideological shift for the country. You can gain some background on the envoy in Russian special envoy resigns over Ukraine invasion, reportedly flees country . Rumor has it according to  Russia's Chubais resigns as Putin's special representative due to war - sources  .  A couple of options: 1.) Personal grievance based on arguments, prior competitive and ideological positions.  2.) Shift in Russian economic stance indicating pro Soviet economic-sociological models. 3.) Putin feeling threatened by Oligarchs and and how they obtained their money. 4.) Purging government of varying opinions (Likely to limit new ideas as well

Are Growing Cyberattacks an Escalation of Conflict: Can the U.S. Create a Next Gen Advance Society-Economy?

Image
Interesting article on CNN by Sean Lyngaas ' FBI advised that hackers scanned networks of 5 US energy firms ahead of Biden's Russia cyberattack warning '. We have a growing need to update our digital infrastructure ( including physical infrastructure for redundancy and resilience ) and our military capabilities in handing, thwarting, and responding to hackers. While it seems unimportant it should be remembered that there were attempts to sway public opinions, shut down companies, and connect bits of information to create profiles on important people. Hacking is more than playing around with online security as it delves into espionage and reconnaissance similar to what we have seen in Ukraine. It could also be a precursor to a widening conflict ( For them it was invasion for the U.S. it is likely more escalation of old Cold War grievance/conflict. Something I suspect that Putin wants as he might feel the fall of the Soviet Union and westernization of markets made Russia n

Picture of a Northern Michigan Horse Ranch

Image
The one beautiful thing our country can claim is the wide ranging differences of environments we host within a single nation. From the northern woods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the tropical weather of Hawaii we pretty much have it all. One of the reasons why Delta County Michigan is so special is that you can still buy acres for activities like horse ranches at an affordable price, enjoy outdoor adventures, and still have access to many community amenities without the big city commute. Whether your a business investors, an start-up entrepreneur or a digital nomad looking for hobby/horse farm you will likely find something here for you.  If you like the picture Donate to Orphans

Why You Can't Fix Hate. Rooted Deep in Social Networks

Over the last few years I have seen the dark power of hate and distortion. The ability to say what you want and exploit differences in a way that leads to potential serious harm. In many cases, it doesn't take much to get people to explode out in rage and coordinate efforts to harm a family. It could be based in something as simple as a lie or as dark as undiagnosed mental health disorders. No matter its root these problems brew under the surface and don't seem to have much of a solution. Larger group manipulation indicates the initiators feel they can do no wrong and can exploit their social connections ( They seem to understand how to create a story, share that story, and exploit existing bigotries .) Let me first make a distinction between hate and a mistake. Sometimes people get upset based upon their own personal weaknesses and emotionally lash out. After they are calm they might reach out and apologize ( ok...that is probably very very rare. You would have to be an amazin

Energy Landscape Influence the Michigan Economy

 Energy is important. Our national infrastructure isn't the greatest and the push to move toward greener energies could be an opportunity to update that infrastructure and make it adaptable to multiple types of energy (electric, gas, oil, etc..). Such a system would allow us to start phasing out one kind and put in another kind. A shortage happens in one source (i.e. oil) we can put more in another source. We would also want redundancy of power banks that include local and national so that as one chain is damaged it can be rerouted to other sources allowing for only short disruptions ( Ok...sorry I'm just thinking about energy infrastructure of the future .) Either way you energy is important to business and companies that move into Michigan need viable energy to power their plants. It looks like from the video that companies are really trying to do this and finding ways to get energy their quickly. You will want to read the article ' Why the energy landscape is critical fo

Fed Chair Jerome Powell speaks at the NABE annual conference

Image
Federal Chair Jerome Powell discusses monetary policy. Businesses often review and watch what the Federal Reserve is doing in order to understand how to set their own strategies and policies. If inflation is high it may not be the best time to borrow money, make large purchases, etc...Some of the problem is driven by supply chain issues that have gotten a little worse since the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. It is expected that we will start to return back to normal in the near future (next couple of years). I'm curious if we will start to see a decline in rates in the next few months as new supply networks are created? I don't really have a great logic for it but that I suspect conflict will either subside or get substantially worse ( It could really go either way. ). If there is a dip its not going to be right back to normal because the larger supply chain issues haven't been resolved until companies start operations back in the U.S. ( and develop new supply networks.  Adapt

America Wants Three Things: Police are Part of the Solution

Image
"If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable." Seneca , Stoic Roman Philosopher We have been bombarded with news media and hyper politicians hell bent on driving a wedge between people for self-gain and political power. The voices of reason and logic are often silenced by the chronic finger pointing and shouting that risks splitting our foundations of our society at the seams. The good news is despite political manipulation most Americans want freedom, equality and self-governance as universal American principles ( There are a few more but these seem important. ) At the same time most Americans believe in their police and see the necessity of policing that moves past all that rhetoric. Knowing we believe in certain values and knowing that our police are valued gives us some guidance on how we can improve policing while at the same time reinforcing our essential values as the preferred path forward ( Think about it...its possible to support police

Eastland Complex Wildfire: Fire Whirls on Video

Image
One firefighter has fallen and 45,380 acres destroyed. It is believed this could get worse depending on weather conditions. Firefighting is serious business and people can get hurt. While departments do their very best to protect everything it is inherently a dangerous occupation. If you feel in your heart you want to donate to help firefighters you might want to donate a few dollars to WPI Firefighters Fund , State Firefighter and Fire Marshall Association  or 15 Firs responder Organizations As our temperatures change there will likely be more pressure on firefighters and communities to protect against natural disasters ( That depends on if Global Warming is true and it rears its ugly head on society. Probably better to push for environmental development and new innovative technologies to reduce human's destructive impact on our environment. ) You can see within the video a fire whirl. You can learn about the difference between a f ire whirl and fire tornado .