When You Gotta Go

Toilet.jpeg.jpg

We went hiking the trails yesterday in Maryland along Rock Creek.

And we came across this makeshift toilet in the woods. 

Surprised at all by what you see? 

Apparently, the hole in the tree wasn’t enough for someone.

They took the liberty of literally hauling a toilet seat out to the middle of the woods here and adding it to nature’s wonders. 

I suppose they must’ve really wanted that homey feeling when they take care of their business. 

Who says America’s has lost it’s creative talent?

From the big cities to the wooded suburbs, we are a nation that does our business and does it extremely well. 

Especially during election time when some politicians can be so very full of it and of themselves. 

Can anyone see why we need to reestablish leadership and competitive advantage in this country? 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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When Technology Is Our Superhero

Linux

I liked this Linux Cat Superhero sticker that someone put on the back of the street sign in Washington, D.C. 


There is something great about the promise of technology (with G-d’s help of course) to make our lives better. 


When we get excited about technology, envision it, invest in it, and bring it to market–we are superheros making the world a better place. 


While many technologies may be “pie the sky” invoking more hype than higher purpose, if we can discern the doers from the duds then we can achieve the progress for ourselves and our children that we desperately want. 


Technology should be a superhero and not a villian–when its about the mission and doing what we do better, faster, and cheaper.


While Washington DC is a long way from entreprenurial and innovative Silicon Valley, the nexus between IT and public service has never been greater or more important. 


For example, when it comes to ideological clashes between (the iPhone’s) security/surveillance and privacy or between the proliferation of robots vs. jobs for real human beings, balancing the competing interests is the soul of technology and public policy. 


Every truly useful technology should have it’s superhero to represent and advocate for it, while us mere mortals sort out the implications and make sense of it all for the real world. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

10 Ways To Improve Federal Technology

10 Ways To Improve Federal Technology

While it’s good to improve government services through advances in information technology, we also need to do better with what we have, which is our own valuable IT human capital.

In the Wall Street Journal today, the “health-site woes” are spurring a push for changes to federal technology, including the possibility of a “federal unit dedicated to big tech projects.”

Whether or not we carve our a separate big tech project unit, we can do so much to improve success in all our agencies by valuing our people and motivating them to succeed.

As democracy and capitalism have taught us, we need people to be free to innovate and reward them appropriately.

While the grass may look greener in Silicon Valley, our challenge is to utilize all our resources in whatever part of the country they reside, whether they be government or private sector workers.

Ultimately, like most things, this is a human challenge, and not just a technology issue.

Hence, I developed the above comic strip to demonstrate 10 Ways to Improve Federal Technology, so we can all succeed together. 😉

(Source Cartoon [click here to enlarge]: Andy Blumenthal)

Dress for Success?

Footsies_on_the_train

This picture is from the train home from work this week.

This lady took the opportunity to literally sprawl herself out on the train.

She had a rolling briefcase with the arm fully extended.

To which she casually hung her jacket with the collar sloppily up.

She slumped up in the seat, and then took off her shoe and put her foot up on the briefcase.

Then she began curling her toes–back and forth–while she listened to her iPod or iPhone (not sure which it was).

Later she threw her handbag under her seat behind her shoe.

Must’ve been a tough day for her or is this just her way?

I remember learning from my early days in MBA school that you should always dress at least one level up (or more)–i.e. make yourself look the the part of the job you really want.

If you see yourself in that position and can make others see you in that role too then eventually you’ll be the guy or gal!

I’ve seen people dress up and down in the office–of course, the ones that spend the money and take the time and effort to dress for success, look pretty impressive.

At the same time, the clothing and accessories, while they may help the person look put together–sometimes are nothing more than “lipstick on a pig”–the clothes disguise the true person–and they are not very impressive on the inside.

I’ve heard some successful people in town preach that how you dress is absolutely critical and they chide others for not straightening their belt and shining their shoes.

This past week, I heard the opposite from someone who said he looks at people in the hot summer weather, and if they are dressed in a “coat and tie,” then he writes them off, since they don’t have even the basic common sense to dress for the season.  This guy, while himself a boss, was literally in a t-shirt in the office!

I personally always sort of liked the Silicon Valley–high-tech dress code–like Steve Jobs–a black tee (or turtle–too hot for me) with jeans and maybe a relaxed sports coat–comfortable and freeing yet sort of casually-classy.

While some people say that the dress makes the person, I think that what is inside is what really counts–although talking off your shoes on train is not going to win you any promotions or brownie points, for sure. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)