Don’t Defeat ISIS

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Why are we trying to defeat ISIS?


Yesterday, they gave Axis of Evil Iran some payback. 


Iran, the #1 global sponsor of terrorism, got terrorized.


In a brazen attack on Iran’s parliament and shrine, ISIS attacked these hardened targets.


Now, while all terrorism is terrible and should be condemned, isn’t there an old saying:


“Fight fire with fire.”


In this case, sadly but maybe the truth is the only way to fully defeat terrorism is by:


The only way to win the war on terror is to let terror fight terror!


No, we should not resort to such barbarism!


But as the world allegedly did in the Iran-Iraq war (and so many other conflicts), we armed both sides and let them go at it.


Similarly here, let ISIS and Iran’s terrorists duke it out until they are both gone for good or hopefully they come to their senses and stop the madness once and for all!


Civilians are innocent and should never be targets, but the terrorists killing the terrorists is fair game.


Sure, carrots are preferable to a stick, but have any of the carrots worked at all or are we not at a global terrorism all time high after 16 years fighting the war on terror since 9/11.


Why wait until ISIS and/or Iran hits us again and again with terror wave after terror wave or eventually with unfathomable weapons of mass destruction?


Devil kill devil–and let peace and sanity reign supreme for the rest of the civilized world. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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North Korea and Iran–No Time For Nuke Time

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We are at a unbelievably critical moment in history. 


North Korea and Iran have nuclear weapons capability and are threatening and maniacal enough to use them. 


Negotiations, incentives, and phony deals have led to nothing but advancing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction with our enemies and their continued vows to kill us. 


As Iran vows to annihilate Israel and chants:

“Death to America”


North Korea vows a nuclear attack saying Washington will be:


“Engulfed in a sea of fire.”


The Talmud (Sanhedrin 72a) teaches the principle of self-defense:

“If someone rises up to kill you, kill him first.”


Preemption is justifiable if the threat is real and imminent. 


North Korea and Iranian threats are very real and getting ever more imminent as their capabilities increase–and if anything, they have been underestimated and underreported.


They have continued to build and test nukes and the missiles to deliver them to the U.S. and our allies, despite pleas as well as carrots and sticks to cease their menacing actions.


The prior administration’s position of “strategic patience” has meant nothing but indecision and a do nothing approach as things get worse and not better.


Now, we have the opportunity to destroy the deadly nuke sites before these despotic regimes hit us and our population of nearly 320 million people with a nuke first strategy!


We are a peaceful nation that believes deeply in freedom and human rights, but we cannot live under constant threat of nuclear attack on our cities and allies. 


A preemptive strike is a very, very serious decision, but we cannot wait indefinitely and let ourselves become victims of the most horrific weapons and their destructive capabilities and aftermath. 


What do we do if North Korea and Iran refuse their endless pursuit weapons of mass destruction and their threats to use them on us?


Perhaps, this is soon to be a rhetorical question if not the most dire of all decisions to make and the time to make them. 


May G-d have mercy  on us–if ever their was a time, now is the time to pray and mean it.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

>Beyond The Stick

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Over a number of years, I’ve seen different management strategies for engaging employees. At their essence, they typically amount to nothing more than the proverbial “carrot and stick” approach: Do what you’re supposed to do and you get rewarded, and don’t do what your superiors want and you get punished.

Recently, the greater demands on organizational outputs and outcomes by shareholders and other stakeholders in a highly competitive global environment and souring economy has put added pressure on management that has resulted in

the rewards drying up and the stick being more widely and liberally used.

Numerous management strategists have picked up on this trend:

For example, in the book, No Fear Management: Rebuilding Trust, Performance, and Commitment in the New American Workplace, Chambers and Craft argue that abusive management styles destroy company morale and profitability and should be replaced by empowerment, communication, training, recognition, and reward.

In another book, Driving Fear Out of the Workplace: Creating the High Trust, High Performance Organization, Ryan and Oestreich confront how “fear permeates today’s organizations” and is creating a pandemic of mistrust that undermines employee motivation and commitment.

I can’t help but reflect that the whole concept of managing employees by the carrot and stick approach is an immature and infantile approach that mimics how we “manage” children in pre-school who for example, get an extra snack for cleaning up their toys or get a demerit for pulling on little Suzy’s hair.

As leaders, I believe we can and must do better in maturing our engagement styles with our people.

Regular people coming to work to support themselves and their families and contribute to their organizations and society don’t need to be “scared straight.” They need to be led and inspired!

Monday’s don’t have to be blue and TGIF doesn’t have to be the mantra week after week.

People are naturally full of energy and innovation and productivity. And I believe that they want to be busy and contribute. In fact, this is one of life’s greatest joys!

Leaders can change the organizational culture and put an end to management by fear. They can elevate good over evil, win the hearts and minds of their people, and put organizations back on track to winning performance.

>You Can Lead a Horse to Water

>When we architect change, we have to build in the transition plan for how to get from point A to point B. The problem with most enterprise architectures though is that they begin and end with the equivalent of “Thou Shalt” and never does the architecture deal with the behavioral elements of how to actually motivate people and organizations to change the way we plan/want them to.

Maybe that’s one reason why architectures so often remain shelfware and never actually get implemented.

This is reminiscent of the adage, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” or can you?

With the Obama administration elected on a platform of change and major problems facing our nation in terms of the economy, healthcare, the environment, and so on, we are seeing the government confront the dilemma of how do we get the change we promised?

Time Magazine, 2 April 2009 has an interesting article “How Obama is using the Science of Change.”

The administration is using it [behavioral science] to try to transform the country. Because when you know what makes people tick, it’s a lot easier to help them change.”

Similarly, this knowledge can help enterprise architects effect change in their organizations. It’s not enough to just put a plan to paper—that’s a long way from effecting meaningful and lasting change.

So here are some tips that I adapted from the article:

  • Bottom-up or Top Down: We can mandate change from the top or we can grow change from grass-roots. If we can do both, the change is swifter and more likely to succeed.
  • Carrot and Stick: Change is not easy and usually will not happen without a nudge—we need help. We need to motivate desired change and disincentive obstinate clinging to failed status quo behaviors that are hurting the mission and long term success of the organization.
  • Make change clear and simple: Explain to people why a change is important and necessary. “In general, we’re ignorant, shortsighted, and biased toward the status quo…we procrastinate. Our impulsive ids overwhelm our logical superegos.” So change has got to be clearly articulated, easy to understand, and simple for people to act on. “Cheap is alluring; easy can be irresistible.”
  • Accept that change is painful: We need to keep our eye on the goal, and then accept that we have to work hard to achieve it. President Obama “urges us to snap out of denial, to accept that we’re in for some prolonged discomfort but not to wallow in it, to focus on our values.”
  • The way of the herd: When implementing change initiatives, we need to build community “creating a sense that we’re all in this together.” “We’re a herdlike species….when we think we’re out of step with our peers, the part of our brain that registers pain shifts into overdrive.”
  • Keep the focus on long-term success: Weight the benefits of long-term planning and change to short term status quo and gratification; constantly remind people that most worthwhile organizational goals are a marathon and not a sprint. But together, we can support each other and achieve anything.

With behavioral science principles like these, we can make enterprise architecture transition plans truly actionable by the organization.