Lasting Decisions

So it’s a funny thing about decisions…


Decisions are supposed to represent the conclusion of a process involving the following steps:


– Research of the problem

– Decide on the scope

– Discover the requirements

– Determine viable alternatives

– Evaluate costs, benefits, and risks 

– Do some soul-searching

– And then resolve and commit on a way-ahead


While these steps are typically formalized in a work-setting, they may be done informally in our personal lives. 


But even after all this, we need to remain adaptive to changes in the environment that would cause us to reevaluate the decision and alter course. 

So a decision is a decision until we revisit the decision. 


The problem is that in some highly complex, unstable/turbulent environments, or ones where there are a lot of disagreements among stakeholders (such that there was perhaps not a consensus on the original decision to begin with) then “decisions” may be short-lived.


In this case, decisions may be half-baked, not even last until the ink is dried, and certainly not have a chance in hell to be executed on or seen through to determine whether they actually would’ve worked. 


In a way a decision that is so temporal is not even really a decision, but sticking your toe out to feel the temperature of the water, and any commitment of resources can and probably will be a complete throw-away.  


We’ve got to do the investment in the upfront work, really make a good data-driven (and inspired) decision, and give it an opportunity to blossom. 


Yes, we need to remain agile and change as we sincerely need to, but too much change and for the wrong reasons leads to going nowhere fast.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

@Tree Top Park, Davie, Florida

It’s funny that just as I am expressing gratitude for the peace, mindfulness, and zen good feelings, a plane is loudly flying overhead in this Florida park.  


No winning even in nature anymore! 😉


(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Sometimes We Get Surprised

Sometimes we get surprised in life. 

Now of course, the surprise can be good or not so good. 

One person told me this funny story about how they were in the bathroom and they reached for the toothpaste.

They put it on their toothbrush and proceeded to brush their teeth.

All of a sudden though, they realized that something didn’t taste quite right.

Lo and behold, they see that they had accidentally put Desitin (diaper rash ointment) on their toothbrush.

Yikes, that was nasty indeed (at least no mouth sores after that)!

But surprises, even when not so good, can be a wake up call. 

In this case, you better be more careful what the heck in put in your mouth.

And more generally-speaking, we need to pay attention to what we’re doing–be deliberate, plan, and adjust accordingly. 

I remember early in my career, one supervisor telling me, “I don’t like surprises!”

Yeah, unless it’s winning the Powerball lottery jackpot or something like that, what surprises are usually all that great anyway? 

Sure, I like a my share of adventure, novelty, fun, and challenge in life, but also I’ll take a mouthful of tranquility mixed with some incremental progressive learning and growth over Desitin on my toothbrush any day of the week. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Begone With Daylight Savings Time

Daylight saving time is one of those ideas that should be relegated to the dustbin of history. 


It serves no functional purpose and is actually a negative for society overall. 


Originally devised to have longer daylight in the Summer months by moving the clock forward an hour, it was also thought to save electricity by having more daylight.


However, research on the energy savings have had at best mixed results and the extra hour of sunlight in the evening in Summer with sunset extending to after 9 pm is necessary why???


Let’s face it…it is stupid to move the clocks twice a year “springing forward” in the Spring and “falling back” in the Fall. 


Aside from the nonsense of actually having to move the clocks, it is disruptive and unhealthy to our sleep and other bodily patterns–was anyone else up too early for work this morning and hanging around until it was actually time to go in?


And it’s not only people’s bodily cycle that gets messed up, but animals too. One of my colleagues complained this morning about their dog needing to go out for their walk early this morning–apparently, the dog didn’t get the message about daylight savings time. 


Time is not something to mess with–it should be stable like the other natural cycles of good ‘ol Mother Nature–that we depend on as the “Laws of Nature!”


We don’t change the number of days in December from 31 to 32 (taking it from perhaps October, which we can easily cut back on to 30 or 29 days) to extend the joyous holiday and  the shopping season which is good for economy.


We also don’t mess with the number of days of the week–perhaps, for example, we should shorten the week from 7 to 6 days, so that we can have a more frequent rest cycle and rejuvenate our bodies and minds more frequently. Who wouldn’t vote to get rid of Mondays and just start the week with Tuesday instead. 


Change is a good thing when it actually has a net benefit to society and it is more than negligible, but continuing to move around the dials on the clock, just because someone woke up one day with another cockeyed idea is not something to keep repeating.


It’s time to recognize the bad idea for daylight savings time for what it is and restore stable time like a tick-tock that we can all set our watches consistently to. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Women Want From Men

What Women Want.jpeg

So I was talking to this nice gentleman.


He was telling me that he lost his wife of over 27 years to cancer–this happened over 15 years ago. 


And since then, he had a girlfriend who recently broke his heart and married someone else. 


I felt really bad and sorry for this nice man–who is always so friendly and intelligent.  


He says to me:

“Over the years, I’ve learned what women want from men.”


I ask him inquiringly:

“And what is that?”


He’s obviously glad that I asked, and he proceeds to tell me:

“Women want two things: curiosity and security.”


Not understanding what he means by the first one, I ask:

“What do you mean curiosity?”


He looks intently at me and says:

“Women want to talk, and they want to know what’s going on.”


He explains to me that if you talk and be a good listener to women and provide (your part) materially in a stable relationship with them–they will be happy and you will be happy. 


This is sort of the “Happy wife, happy life” idea that I’ve heard before. 


Listen, even at this stage in my life, with a wife and two lovely daughters, I can still learn something about what makes women happy…teach me the pearls of wisdom and I will learn it well. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Balancing Change and Stability

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So new leaders frequently want to come into town like a knight in shining armor riding speedily on their white stallions to “save the day.” 


Being new and needing to prove themselves, change and quick results are the imperative.


The problem is that fast, quick wins can be mistakenly and superficially achieved while sacrificing longer-term organization success.  


We push people to hard, too fast, and without the underlying care and emotional feeding to duly support the rainbow in the sky changes being sought. 


People are human beings that need to be brought along in a unified manner and with a solid infrastructure and not plowed over for the sake of some short-term gains.


You can push for change so hard–you can crack the whip and you can demand what you want when you want–but rest-assured that you are leaving a great pile of destruction in your wake. 


Performance results are built by maintaining a sane balance between change and stability–pushing others to do more with less has to be replaced instead with getting out front yourself and pulling the organizational weight at a measured pace so that workers aren’t trampled by the raw, unbridled ambition of the leadership. 


You may have a great scorecard of accomplishments, but they may be the tip of what is otherwise an iceberg of discontent and disaster beneath. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What Terror Attack?

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Haven’t we all heard it before…


Another terrorist attack, and there is an appeal for calm.


Radical Islam, no way…we can’t even say the words.


I’m sure we’ll hear the typical…that it was just a lone crazed gunman.


Forget that he avowed allegiance to ISIS.


And that he had previously been investigated by the FBI.


Also, that it is just 3 days since ISIS threatened to attack Florida.


We need the public to think there is stability and safety, especially right before the election.


DON’T ROCK THE POLITICAL BOAT!


The public is perceived as stupid.


Part of the echo chamber with the media. 


Feed them some crap about this being gun violence and attack the 2nd Amendment and call it a day.


The sheep will go back to their slumber and still vote for who the elites tell them to.


Over 50 DEAD.


Over another 50 wounded, many (or most) in CRITICAL CONDITION.


The WORST mass shooting in US history.


We’re tough on terrorism…keep repeating that.


Don’t flinch when the cameras are on you.


Make a remark that it’s because the enemy is angry about GITMO or Palestine or whatever.


In other words, it’s justified–we deserve it!


Close GITMO and resolve the Palestinian issue and all will be well in the world and there won’t be any more of this terrorist, murderous, violence against civilians, women, children, people at worship or at weddings or at funerals, or going to work in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, or on a bus or train, or sitting in a cafe or pizzeria or club.


Let’s stop more sanctions and release more money to Iran, the world #1 sponsor of terrorism.  


Let’s leave Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and more…all will be well.


Blood shed, treasure spent. 


Time to go home.


The enemy is not coming here.


Everyone rest assured. 


The unity rally after the attacks in Paris…we’re a no show. 


The attack in Tel Aviv last week…tell them to show some restraint. 


Orlando…forget about it, really–it’s over.


Let’s focus on the election now.


Tell them about glass ceilings and redistributing the wealth–they’ll eat that up.


Power, 4 years…maybe 8.


Citizens, sleep well…the Ambien is being carefully administered to each and every one.  Zzzzzz.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)