Who hasn’t Been There?

Who hasn't Been There?

So I was teaching a course this week in enterprise architecture, and some of the students asked about EA having a bad rap and brand (i.e. that it seems to not work so well in many organizations) and why is that?

We had a pretty robust discussion around this–why some organizations fail and others succeed with EA.

We discussed the critical success factors that as the CIO or Chief Architect you can impact, and how these can drive planning and implementation for the organization to succeed.

At the same time, we also acknowledged how–to be frank–not everything is in our control.

This was a class full of CIOs and Vice Presidents, and I gave an example and said you are all successful now in your jobs and careers, but raise your hand if you haven’t been there–where you were on the outs and you boss or colleagues just didn’t like you?

This was a class of about 20 people, and out of all these highly achieved folks, only one hand went up–a young kid–with only 3 or 4 years out of school, and still learning the ropes.

Yes, this one person had not yet been on the losing end, but everyone else–all these successful people had been–ALL of them!

The point is not to say that success is just a chance event–it isn’t!

You have to work hard and try your best– but no matter how much you think of yourself–it’s even more important to remember that you don’t control all the factors of your life that determine whether you succeed or fail.

The same people that now had big, successful jobs, were the same people who had in a prior job or time been the person who could do no right at work.

I tell myself to remember that there is personality, chemistry and fit at work; there is timing–and it is everything!–and there is how the stars are aligned.

It helps a lot to be humble and learn, grow, work hard, never give up, have fun–and have faith in a mightier power above.

From what I’ve seen, life is a cycle and today you may be down, but tomorrow you will be up (and the opposite is true too–so don’t kick the person that is down and hurting).

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)–for everything and for everyone. ๐Ÿ˜‰

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Lets Play Chicken

Lets Play Chicken

So probably everyone knows the game of chicken.

They play this game in the movie Footloose–driving these big tractors towards each other waiting to see who flinches, chickens-out first, and veers out of the way before the vehicles collide. The person who moves out of the way first is the “chicken” (although that person is probably pretty darn smart not to risk getting him/herself killed!)

An article in the Wall Street Journal (18 February 2013) on making friends by sharing, but not oversharing, reminded me of this.

Like two vehicles driving towards each other–making friends is about coming together by disclosing who you are and what you are about–finding and enjoying commonalties, respecting each others differences, and being able to interact in a mutually satisfying way.

Driving gradually and carefully, you can get to know someone by mutually sharing and connecting–first a little, and then building on that with some more.

Beware of disclosing too much, too fast–it can make another person uncomfortable–like you’re dumping, desperate, or maybe a little crazy!

At the same time, not being able to open up can make the other person feel that you don’t like or trust them or maybe that you are a little boring, shallow or that you are hiding something.

Of course, the chemistry has to be there and it’s got be reciprocal–both the feeling and the sharing–users and stalkers need not apply.
However, if things aren’t working out between the two people and they are on course for a head-on collision, someone has got to get out of the way–maybe that person is a chicken or perhaps they just know when it’s time to say goodbye.

Anyway, chickens can either end up doing the chicken dance or they can end up as roadkill–it all depends on how they approach the other chicken. ๐Ÿ˜‰

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Paperman, For Dannielle

Valentines Day is next week, but I wanted to share this with someone very special to me, Dannielle.

This wonderful movie short by Disney called Paperman shows the amazing chemistry between two people that draws them to each other.

I love how the man and women laugh on the train platform holding the paper with the lipstick on it and how from his office when he sees her in the skyscraper across the street, he jumps up and down waving trying to get her attention.

The movie reminds me of another favorite, The Red Balloon, where a little boy Pascal at the end is carried off by a cluster of sentient balloons, just as in this movie the man is carried off to his love by the paper airplanes he made to try to connect with her.

While I am usually not one for animation, this one captures it just right! ๐Ÿ˜‰

That’s The Last Straw

Special

Our daughters and granddaughters are special.

They deserve to be protected from sexual predators, such as those that spike drinks and take advantage of their unknowing victims.

I was so pleased to learn about a new Anti-Date Rape Strawto help prevent this.

The straw developed by Israeli inventors tests drinks for common date rape drugs.

If the dangerous drugs are present, then the straw changes colors or becomes cloudy–providing a crucial early warning sign to those who might otherwise be drugged and sexually assaulted.

We now have greater awareness of the prevalence of sexual abuse, especially by people we know and trust–such as dating partners, sports coaches, teachers, and even clergy–so we must remain ever vigilant.

We need to teach our daughters that they are beautiful and special and to protect themselves–and not to think that “it can’t happen to me.”

With these special straws, our daughters can be better prepared, aware, and hopefully safer.

I can see the potential growth and application of this technology to protecting government and private sector leaders, dignitaries, and other VIPs from potentially ingesting–intentionally- or accidentally-tainted food or drink.

With a straw, eating utensil, or even toothpick like device that tests for the presence of dangerous pathogens and contaminants, we can provide a critical safeguard and prevent eating and drinking harmful elements.

Potentially, these types of devices–maybe connected to an smartphone–could be used to provide other important measures and readings of food–such as ingredients, nutrition, and calories–of the actual servings we are about to eat.

This technology has incredible potential to help us not only eat safer, but also healthier.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)