Wednesday, December 29, 2010
In HBR, Corkindale summarizes, "leadership speaks more of duty and privilege than recognition and reward." http://blogs.hbr.org/corkindale/2010/12/2010_when_leadership_hit_the_r.html
Performance metrics for public companies were intended to drive quarterly results. Leaders were selected based on an ability to deliver these quarterly results quarter after quarter, year after year. Certainly, anyone caught in an integrity shortfall became a corporate casualty, but organizations are challenged to find a way to identify and reward an ability to understand future needs and drive activity for that future.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Raise your right hand and repeat after me: "I swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America...." Although Soldiers relinquish some rights to uphold your's, the traditions of military service the USA inherited from a long history gives significant authorities to commanding officers. Some due process accorded a US Citizen isn't efficient enough for the rough and tumble of combat.
These are a few expectations that you would consider a right, which become priviledges. At risk of life and limb, we sign on for a period of years, some until retirement. We do not always agree with policy and frequently have strong opinions because we live that policy on the front lines or around the world.
Integrity is our watchword, and that typically means obeying the orders, executing missions and communicating loyalty to our leadership from squad leader to President of the United States. Ask and we can do. In an increasingly complicated world, we evolve and respond. Although you can legitimately claim "there is nothing new under the sun," the words we say and way we approach problems do change.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
The new START treaty with Russia inspires thinking about guiding foreign and defense policy. It will also inspire thoughts on what it is to live and serve in a Democracy, thoughts about clear thinking and integrity (but more on those later).
A raging debate in our legislature regards whether to approve new START (and allow the President to put that on his re-election resume). Evidently U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemueller has been working on this for several years and the three-star general responsible for missile defense says approval is a good idea... Presidents Obama and Medvedev signed the document in April.
Proposed ammendments address strategic ballistic missiles, number of nuclear warheads on both sides and evidently missile defense developments (although many, including President Obama, claim there are no restrictions on missile defense).
If the President signed it after extensive State Department work, Secretary Gates and the Joint Chiefs say it's a good idea, why wouldn't we sign it? Why weren't prominent legislators involved earlier in the process? We might also ask about the other nuclear capable countries (China, India, France, etc.): why just Russia? There are easy answers to these questions, but finding the right steps toward policy improvements aren't easy and finding consensus domestically is never easy... never mind forging consensus within an international community.
The Wikileaks developments, along with addressing cyber investigations, illustrate the importance of an international legal consensus where laws have long been outdated. The Administration absolutely MUST be able to fashion legislation, treaty language and consensus to be effective. In comparison to other challenges we face, new START should be easy...
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Layoffs at Nokia and Yahoo are a commentary on brand loyalty today. An increasingly competitive global marketplace and lowering barriers to product substitution lead consumers to ask: "What have you done for me today?"
An era where we purchase the brand of car we always did (and our parents did) appears behind us ... while consumer electronics and web tools appear to have the half-life of a year or two. Facebook presents today's "Man of the Year," but we wonder... who's next?
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Julian Assange announced from Wandsworth Prison in London that he is "remaining true to the ideals" expressed. A couple weeks ago the "Operation Payback" hackers shifted from denial of service attacks on groups preventing illegal downloads of movies, music and games ... to attacks on Mastercard, Visa, PayPal and Assange's Swiss Bank, because these firms are refusing to process payments to Wikileaks, Assange's company.
"Operation Payback" presence on Facebook and Twitter are closed and cited firms have websites working again. The first battle in this cyberwar appears over, but this new world order is emerging... very real actions and significant consequences.