I was pleased to hear from my friend Austin that he felt inspired (or perhaps compelled is the right word) by a story I told recently, “Miles to Go Before We Sleep”, to write on the subject of diversity and inclusion in the Air Force and defense innovation community. His piece, “Path Before I Rest”, … Continue reading A Few Steps Further
https://youtu.be/btSxtF5nwio Transcript:In the book Design Unbound by Ann Pendleton Jullian and John Seely Brown I was recently introduced to the idea of society existing and evolving on multiple levels of organization, and David Ronfeldt’s TIMn framework. TIMn stands for Tribes, Institutions, Markets, and Networks. In early history, society only existed at the tribal level. Tribes … Continue reading The TIM^n Framework (video + script)
Allow me to be transparent in a way that might make all of us uncomfortable. Over the course of the year that I worked at my last unit, I felt quite unaligned to their strategy and culture. I struggled to pin down who, what, and why we were, consistently coming up short. I was (very generously) handed a job that … Continue reading Alignment: Artifacts and Rituals
I saw a post this morning on LinkedIn which I found really intriguing. It proposed a type of icebreaker for facilitated workshops in which every participant shares a personal "Song of the Day" with the group. My initial response was positive. What a wonderful way to visibly, audibly, emotionally demonstrate the diversity in the room … Continue reading On Reflecting and Being Reflected, Musically
Our 14-year old daughter Rebecca died four months ago, on May 6th, 2020. Her death was a slow trauma- the gradual unwrapping of a horrible gift we were forced to accept shortly after her birth, that we were left no choice but to keep revealing. Her death was a violence in slow-motion, carried out over … Continue reading Grief at Four Months
This is an adaptation of some words I gave at the retirement ceremony of one of my favorite leaders, Chief Master Sergeant Jen Larson. I met Chief Larson at a pretty difficult point in my career. I was fighting an Air Force assignment so I could stay with my family for the end of my … Continue reading CMSgt Larson
Imagine you’ve ventured deep into a mountainous landscape. Picture that in every direction are miles and miles of hills and mountains, varying in elevation from tiny hillocks to majestic alps... Now imagine that your goal is to find the highest peak possible... but visibility is extremely poor. It’s so foggy, you can’t see what’s beyond … Continue reading The Art of Wandering Downhill
In 2007, I was attending the Defense Language Institute’s Mandarin Chinese Basic Course. I was several months in and had a 3.8 GPA, second only in my class to my friend and fellow Airman James Fisher. I won’t say my academic success was because I tried harder than my classmates. I absolutely didn’t. I just … Continue reading It’s Personal
I wish that I could ignore it, but anti-preparedness messaging about COVID-19 that suggests we shouldn't practice social distancing or cancel large gatherings during this pandemic has been bothering me a lot. The impression that I get from people pushing this content is that they have bought into an ideologically aligned narrative and are excited … Continue reading COVID-19: Who Exactly Are You Fighting For?
A culture is not a product. It is the emergent outcome of behaviors and attitudes, driven by underlying values and the processes, structures, systems, and habits that inform and are informed by them. Culture pivots on an axis of norms. It is a fickle, complex system- a climate that churns and is churned by sub-climates … Continue reading A few of the things that culture perhaps is and is not, at times.