12 January, 2018

It's been a LOOONG time since I've posted to this blog, and contrary to my last post in 2016, I didn't follow up here with a ton of new content as I had planned, and it turns out there were a lot of good reasons for it.

Firstly, I got sick. I mean really, really sick. Like messed up for months sick.

Then I noticed something about the content I was forcing myself to write for the previous year or two. It wasn't about security. It wasn't about military or global economics, for the most part.

It wasn't about cyber security, except for something that might crop up from time to time.

It wasn't about applied CI for business, except as it pertained to specific cases or insights.

It had devolved into a general business blog. And that's ok, but it's not what The Chris George Report was meant to be primarily focused on. And that wasn't cool. It wasn't right. And I didn't have any great ideas on how to write a security and CI blog without tackling current issues that had a) become so highly politicized by legions of keyboard warriors and b) actually were doing more harm than good by feeding into the frenzy of predict-observe-respond social PTSD that various acts of terror, international security incidents, cyber security incidents, or other issues as they arose.

In short, I could generate traffic on any of the pertinent subjects, but bluntly it wasn't traffic that I wanted to be engaging with my content on these subjects as it only resulted in more victims rather than a more educated and protected audience. As per the issues of the ever over-cherry-picked Drucker, my blog was not achieving its goals. And that was a problem for me, a BIG problem.

So big a problem that I abandoned this blog for the last several years as I really didn't know what to do with it that would help the public, not the bad guys.

I'm not sure that I have the answers figured out yet, at least not in full.

What I can say is that there will definitely be some changes coming to the blog, and of course a bunch of new content on a regular basis. After all, I've had a couple of years of very interesting stuff to discuss for starters. I'm not sure yet how it's all going to play out, but at least I can tell you THIS:

I'm not leaving the blog empty for the next couple of years - you'll be hearing from me again, and again, and again. And hopefully I can get the new content focus for this blog figured out sooner rather than later.

24 March, 2016

Bringing Back The Brain - The Return of The Chris George Report, and The Quiet Economic Revolution.

Two years ago was the last time I posted a new blog to The Chris George Report. A lot has changed since then, and yet, remarkably very little has changed as well.

There are still deplorable acts of terror perpetrated routinely on a global populace that has yet to accept the world we live in as being much less predictable than the world we grew up in.

The attacks in Brussels this week alone demonstrate that no country, no matter how peaceful or civilized they may be, is immune to the cruelty of those who would see the world remade in their dictatorial and conscienceless mold.

As wreckage of what is presumed to be MH370 washes up on the shores of a country an ocean away, an election brews in the US pitting choices between the death of the merchant class, a leadership so prone to corruption and lack of accountability as to set records third world nations would cringe at, or a belligerent tycoon with classless crassness as the foundation of his every decision, or other career politicians who have more skeletons hiding in their closets than the local pioneer cemetery can count, When forced between choosing among only disastrous options, none of whom have a plan that the nation as a general whole can get behind and elevate the nation like a moonshot of eras past were able to do, faced with terror growing both abroad and at home, bounded by vigilante justice warriors like Anonymous, and facing an economic sterility that could well last into the next 2 decades, predicting the future today is murkier than it has been at any time in the last 40 years.

I CAN tell you this, though. The world being run by big companies is an era that is going to be at a crossroads in the very near future.

See with roughly 94 million working aged adults not working in the workforce that used to be included in our employment numbers, there are a lot of people who have formed very different views about what they are prepared to do with their time in order to earn a living, and dying at the office in a cubicle farm simply isn't on that list, especially when their pay is primarily composed of stress and enough to just make ends meet- most of the time.

They are realizing that there is a massive disconnect between what they were told their lives should be like, and what their lives turned out being like.

They were told to go, get an expensive education, so you can go out and get a good job that will provide safety and security for your family.

Only the good jobs didn't happen, and when they did happen, they didn't last. But what they did do was distract generation after generation from their true purpose, in fact the only purpose they should have been concentrating on in the first place. They should have done what their parents were told to do, which is something very different indeed.

What they should have done is gone out and made something of their lives. Left a mark so that history would know they were there. Did something lasting, meaningful, powerful, and that grew our collective ability to shine as a nation, as a population, and as a world. They should have started their own businesses, non-profits, and community initiatives.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 1954, 54.7% of the American public's families made the bulk of their income from either self-employment or business ownership. Today that number is below 6%.

The modern education system has stolen generations of people's capacities to stand on their own two feet and replaced their training and preparation with the skills needed to simply follow instructions, no matter how obtuse, inefficient, or futile those instructions may be.

The result is one of the most unhappy workforces statistically speaking that this country has ever seen, and a nation that has lost its confidence in being able to build their own wealth, their own insurance, and their own security through doing what they believe most in, whatever that may be.

And now that so many have left the workforce, so few have come up through the ranks to effectively replace them, especially in high growth industries, big companies are having to look abroad for talent to fill gaping holes in their structure, while restless populations at home grow tired of political fighting that pits those few who are creating jobs versus those that believe jobs and 'living wages' are simply an entitlement, not a privilege.

But back in their memories, somewhere deep inside, there is a building tension between the dream that a cadre of elite financial wizards will dip into their limitless pockets and magically pay for everything the nation wishes, and the dawning understanding that if they are going to deal with the crippling costs of their aging parents' medical care, their kids schooling, and their out of control cost of living, that somewhere in there, only one person is going to do that for them, no matter how woefully prepared they are. Only one person really has their interests at heart, and that one person is THEMSELVES.

It's a dawning as people start to self-identify as entrepreneurs, business owners, independent experts.

And as they do, they're going to make mistakes. They are going to learn the hard way and they will begrudge the fact that no one taught them this skill set in school and that their kids aren't getting taught it yet.

They are going to get quietly resolved, and they will begin to use their minds to see ways to fix problems, rather than putting up with trolls and blowhards that have the time to spend sitting at a computer opining without any real expertise to back it up.

They are going to look for experts and they will start holding those experts accountable for their advice, and they will move away from talking heads that only exist to try to interpret using a clear bias to shape your understanding of the world.

Oh, you'll see them in the media alright, as they will learn to take over the media, but not through the world of jolts per minute, but through the world of providing meaningful, reliable, quality answers to pragmatic requests and subjects. Their media control will be a quiet revolution like we have never seen in this scale before.

Content is critical for every business, advocate, non-profit, political persuader, and community on the planet. We're seeing the evolution of content distribution now expanding at speeds infinitely faster than any other technology advancement in the last 200 years. This is what will allow the individual to again stand up on their own two feet and deliver uniquely relevant value to local and global communities, and although it's going to be rough around the edges for a few years more, in the coming years it will be much more powerful and effective both at shaping popular opinion and at turning the world economy around.

Now the question you have to ask yourself is how will you carve off your niche, stand stronger on your own two feet, and build on that to build the life you want, deserve, and and can actually achieve?

29 May, 2013

Why Your Business Can't Innovate

Why Your Business Can't Innovate

Recently I saw an article on why innovation isn't working as a solution for the troubles most companies find themselves in these days and there was something about it that struck a chord with me.

I teach about a wide variety of subjects in the business domain, and one of them is about innovation. The first clue I have that innovation isn't an option for a lot of companies is that most companies don't invest in real innovation in the first place, or this would likely be my most popular course by sales. As it is I get rave reviews from the few companies that request it each year, but the phone isn't ringing off the hook from other businesses for that course the way it is for my Advanced Project Management Expert courses or my courses on Marketing Automation, for example. And there's a good reason for that.

Business managers are 'chicken.'

It's ok, and it's entirely understandable. Business managers are usually adults, and like most adults it has been established through repeated studies, they have a greater tendency to fear change. Change often costs people their jobs, change usually involves extra work, breaking routines, changes in your work environment and how you go about your day. Let's face it- change scares the crap out of most people. And the word 'innovate' is just a fancy way of saying that things need to change, right?

So why would any manager willingly thrust training, processes, and changes onto themselves and their staff without any guarantee that the results of the innovation will be a smash hit?

It's a fair question. And here's the honest answer: survival. Without innovation the business will begin to deteriorate naturally as it gets outmaneuvered and outperformed by other businesses that are innovating, or by a marketplace of consumers that move on to something new that obviates the need for that product or service in the first place. In other words, sooner or later the business that stops innovating dies.

That really makes it a clear analogy then- innovation is a fundamental organ of business, one that most businesses abuse badly, mistreat and malnourish, and then have the audacity to wonder why the business is failing.

The clearest symptom to tell you if your business has started its death rattle is to ask yourself these questions: 

  • Has my organization gotten so involved in petty inner politics and empire building that there are any good ideas that are going to waste because they can't get a fair hearing by people who could act on them?
  • Have the ideas we HAVE been implementing gone through the process and come out the other side properly ready to hit the ground running, or have we hit major snags because we were unprepared for something?
  • When was the last time we came up with something WE honestly thought was cool or exciting?
If any of those questions give you a feeling that there is too much inertia to put a good idea forward in your company, then you know your company is doomed and it's just a matter of 'when'. 

Just like the human body, your entire organization needs basic resources and fuel to survive. For us it's air and nutrition; for businesses it's raw materials and human effort. In both cases those resources need to be circulated to every major organ for the organism to live and flourish. Any organ that doesn't get what it needs becomes ill and deteriorates until it fails, causing death.

We all know a poor diet, no exercise, and high stress will lead to an early grave for humans. Suffocating management, no applied resources, and high stress will kill a business in exactly the same way.

Want to know why your business can't innovate, then?

It's the same reason people fail at maintaining their health- a combination of apathy and fear. With more than 60% of Americans registering as having an unhealthy weight, is there much need to study why more than 86.4% of Americans are dissatisfied with their current jobs before we come to the conclusion that people are every bit as scared and disinterested in pushing the envelope of change? Apathy and fear will be found at the root of that study, and I can tell you that without needing to get a government research grant and spending two years in focus group testing to get there.

So if the symptoms are the same, the consequences are the same, and the solutions are very similar too, it may not be algebraic proof, but there is a least strong corollary evidence to show that apathy and fear are getting in the way of getting good ideas to improve businesses across America.

Will your business 'get healthy' through increased innovation or will it wait for the inevitable cardiac arrest some random day in the not so distant future?

06 November, 2012

The Big Reveal

So the last few months you may have noticed but I've been pretty quiet on the posting front. There's been a reason for that.

On Friday, October 19th, 2012 my wife and I were blessed with the birth of our brand new baby girl, a first child for both of us. As we came at this later in life than most, and as we both have needs to make sure our child makes it into this world safe and sound, we took a number of precautions to maintain secrecy about the pregnancy right up until the very last minute. We just wanted to make sure that we kept all of our complications to an absolute minimum so we could focus on having the most wonderful experience we could with our first child.

One of the things that meant was that I would keep my head down and focus on other things than drawing attention through this particular blog... so I started a number of highly successful new media exposures in completely other venues and on other subjects as a way to expand my brand but also as a way to protect my family by not drawing attention on my security blog. (There ARE people that don't like us, after all. I'm even related to some of them.)

Today, my wife and daughter are safe, happy and healthy, and I am more grateful than I can say that they are. We have been able to appreciate the well-wishing and support of our friends and close family members while  keeping those that wish us harm at arm's length, and this is a job that I will continue to happily perform for my family for the rest of my life.

My daughter has joined the world at one of the most opportune and oddly one of the most catastrophic times in human history. Global economic recession/depression combined with the ongoing violence of global terrorism and warfare is usually not an environment that one wishes to bring a child into, and my wife and I talked about that a lot before our daughter was born. We also looked at the phenomenal opportunities that our daughter will have that simply were not even possible during our own childhoods, and the future we see for her has unlimited potential.

Last year when our nephew stayed with us we made a point of sharing a philosophy we have about life in general. Knowing that there are some serious dangers in 'the big city' compared to the more town/country life  he grew up in, we used the following expression to sum up our advice to him: Don't be afraid, just be aware. In Manhattan locals have often used a similar adage - they love Central Park, but only a complete moron went there after dark. (Usually a moron who soon learned what being mugged was all about.)

Our family practices that philosophy - nothing stops us from doing what we want to. Nothing. But we make sure we are very much aware of the circumstances in which we do it and we make sure we're ready to handle anything that might arise.

In business the same philosophy is critical. There really is nothing out there that can stop you from achieving your business goals, but there ARE dangers and risks in anything these days. That shouldn't stop you from doing it, but before you leap head first into that new project, make sure you are aware of what you are really getting into and develop some strategies for handling those risks if and when they come up, and you will find your road to success has a lot fewer potholes in it. And you may also find a bright, shining smiley-face looking up to you with the confidence that they know it will all work out in the end, no matter how chaotic it all may seem to you at the time.

As Red Green puts it, "Keep your stick on the ice. We're all in this together."


16 May, 2012

Is Your Social Media Engagement Strategy Where It Needs To Be? http://ow.ly/aWmFg
Top 10 LinkedIn Success Tips for Non-Zombies. http://ow.ly/aXyil
Brand Management/Social Media Mass Distribution Content Submission Deadline Thursday: If you have placed an order for a social media mass distribution this week, then this is a reminder to have all of your copy, art and images submitted before 5pm AZ time on Thursday. Anything that is to be released starting Monday must be submitted no later than Thursday at 5 pm or the copy will not be run until the Monday of the following week. http://ow.ly/i/D5jA
Have you seen our latest article? http://ow.ly/aWmym
What level is your Social Media Engagement Strategy at? New blog. http://ow.ly/aWmwt

14 May, 2012

Our weekly blog about 5 Social Media Sites YOU should be using http://ow.ly/aSVyo