A New Way of Thinking

In 1949 Saab Motor Company changed the way automobile designers thought about cars. It was at that time that their engineers began to think about the safety from a “big picture perspective” and their Saab 92 was the first car built with a full body safety cage modeled after how airplanes were constructed. For sure, safety was on engineer’s minds before and after then, but incremental improvements that included such items as padded dashboards, safety glass and head rests didn’t create a mindset of safety. American car companies got on board in 1966 after the US Department of Transportation was established with the mission of creating safer automobiles. No one obviously thought about the importance of safety enough to escalate Read More

Out of the Shadows

A weekend trip to New York City had us staying at hotel within sight of the World Trade Center. A walk over to that hallowed grounds brought me for the third time face to face with the 9/11 Memorial Pools and our collective memory of that tragic day. The modern day resilience movement began that evening. How have we done from a resilience perspective over these past 16 years? From an economic point of view (we are staying in the financial district!) there is no doubt that the country has recovered. The stock market is at an all time high, the unemployment rate is at an all time low and technology and health care are leading us down new paths Read More

How A Company Can Promote Resiliency

Richard stresses how important communication is from the leaders in the organization. He shares a story of a company using the “open-book” model so that everyone was aware of how the business was or was not growing. … Continue reading

Overconfidence or Optimism?

An article in this past weekend’s Wall Street Journal pointed out that most recreational golfers are overconfident of their abilities. The research, based on studies of over 6 million tracked golf shots indicated that most of these players overestimate their ability (not me of course). Specifically, the investigators found that if a golfer needs to hit a shot 150 yards to reach a green, he or she will select a club that requires them to hit the shot perfectly to achieve that objective. Unfortunately, the research shows that they will only achieve that goal 37% of the time. Most of the time their shot falls short. The study’s authors point out that this tendency is referred to as the “overconfidence Read More

How Much Risk Can You Handle?

Managing risk is critical to business and personal success. We saw it in how Wells Fargo’s business practices resulted in fines and loss of customers. Fox News has seen its franchise diminish because it failed to consider the impact of not addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. Hospitals, insurers and providers are in a state of panic thinking about another major change in health care models. Risk tolerance is not just for business, however. It is also for individuals. Our ability to take risks is directly tied to resilience in that we may be fearful of taking on certain challenges or wanting to avoid danger because we are afraid that we may not be able to bounce back (or forward) Read More

A Veteran Tale

This past weekend I had to the opportunity to co-facilitate a workshop for the 4th Community Leadership Course for Veterans, which is a program of Leadership Pittsburgh. This experience provides a group of post 9/11 veterans, from every branch of military services, the opportunity to participate in a six-month course that helps them become engaged community leaders. One of their activities was a low rope course in which they work as a team to climb a big wall, balance their entire team on a big octagonal teeter-totter, and navigate their way across 3 stations and over an “alligator pit.” After each exercise, we had a chance to debrief and discuss their individual and team learnings. Putting aside their physical capacity Read More