Sunday, November 24, 2019

Are your pants flammable or inflammable?

First of all, flammable and inflammable do not mean the same thing. If your pants are flammable, it means they can be set to fire, such as a piece of wood. However, inflammable means that your pants are capable of bursting into flames without the need for any ignition. The opposite of both words is non-flammable.

Is it ever OK to lie? What about when under oath? What about during wartime?

Most people would say that lying is bad. I remember studying Immanuel Kant while at PURDUE and it was thought that lying is always ALWAYS unacceptable and wrong. Like you should never, ever lie. Period.

So how about:
  1. You lie to your wife or husband, to get them to a location where there shall be a surprise birthday party waiting for them.
  2. A young child was in a terrible accident. Their parents have been killed in the crash, but the child is unaware of this. The child is barely conscious, as they ask about their parents. The attending physician says they are OK - but the physician intends to tell the child the truth once they are stronger and more stable. 
  3. A woman's husband drowned in a car accident when the car plunged off a bridge. It was clear from the physical evidence that the husband desperately tried to get out of the car, and died a terrible death. At the hospital, the wife asks the attending physician what kind of death her husband suffered. The physician says: he died immediately from the impact, he did not suffer.
  4. I am negotiating for a new car. The salesperson asks me what is the maximum I am prepared to pay for the new car. I say $30,000 when I would really pay $35,000.
  5. A woman interviewing for a job she desperately needs is asked if she intends to have children. She knows that such a question is none of their business, and possibly illegal to ask, she lies and says that she does not intend to have a family. 
  6. Rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust, lying to an SS officer.
I could make a longer list. And I am sure that really smart people can give compelling reasons why even with really good reasons - it is never, ever OK to lie. 

Liar Liar is a 1997 comedy film with Jim Carrey who plays a crooked lawyer Fletcher Reede. Through the magic of the movie, Fletcher realizes that he cannot lie - he can ONLY speak the truth at all times, no matter what. Think about a lawyer unable to ask questions if confident of a false response. The movie is funny because the premise of an attorney who CANNOT LIE is so absurd.

Anyone watch the impeachment hearings this week? 

Perjury, the crime of not "telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" is a serious offense because it can derail the basic goal of the justice system - the goal of discovering the truth. Is a lie by omission still a lie? Paltering, or using truth as misdirection is considered to be just as ethically rotten as telling a bald-faced lie. 

Science is based on truth. Medicine is based on truth. Our entire society is based on identifying and defending - the truth. STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math stops working, if we do not defend the truth. 

The video below is going viral on the Internet this week. It is worth watching - try to fit it into your Thanksgiving break. I am not a huge fan of Sacha Baron Cohen the actor, comedian, screenwriter, director and film producer. But I think I would like to shake his hand and buy him a beer. 

As we enter Thanksgiving Week here in the USA, I think we should be truly thankful that we are even allowed to watch this video without living in fear of retribution. I still believe with all my heart that the USA is the greatest country in the world.

But I also believe that we are still a work in progress. We can do better, and we shall do better. We get the leadership we vote for so VOTE! And, we also vote with "our money" when at the store, or online. 

Sacha Baron Cohen accepted the International Leadership Award 
at the Anti-Defamation League’s Never is Now Summit.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Autonomously Yours

An autonomous person makes their own decisions rather than being influenced by someone else. Autonomous individuals are those who follow their own course of action relatively unimpeded by others.

It's hard to believe but around 200 years ago, everything was made by hand. The Flying Shuttle doubled the output a weaver could make, thereby allowing the workforce to be halved. The Spinning Jenny increased wool mills productivity and was considered to be groundbreaking. It was the main driver for the development of the modern factory system.

The Watt Steam Engine, The Cotton Gin, Telegraph, Portland Cement and the invention of concrete. I guess the list of life-changing inventions of the industrial revoltion is a long one.

And now.....

This Tuesday I'll be at NASDAQ MarketSite 4 Times Square for a fireside chat with Knightscope's Chairman and CEO, William Santana Li.

Knightscope is an advanced security technology company based in Silicon Valley. They build fully autonomous security robots that deter, detect and report.

From their website, their long-term ambition is to make the United States the safest country in the world.

Today, Knightscope has four different robot models. Clients are charged $7 per hour for each machine they use - a price designed to compete with the minimum wage in various states. The robots operate on a 24/7 basis, usually with a minimum of two robots per location.

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the U.S. economy, and are a critical component to helping the U.S. win the future. STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators.

STEM jobs pay very well. The median earning for all non-STEM jobs in the country is $19.30/hour. The average median hourly wage for STEM jobs? $38.85. Some quick math says STEM jobs pay $19.55 more than all others. And that's way better than minimum wage.

STEM jobs are also abundant and growing. The thing about STEM is that it never sleeps. It won't reach a point and just stop being important. It won't stop evolving. The umbrella under which all of these STEM jobs falls keeps expanding. AI and Machine Learning. Cybersecurity. These were "things" back in 2013, but they are much (much) bigger now.

Parents, it's never too early to introduce STEM to your child.

200 years seems like a blink of the eye. Antibiotics, Video Games, Television, Airplanes, Cell Phones, Penicillin, Refrigerators, Satellites, Air Conditioning. In less than 200 years we as a nation went from "everything made by hand" to watching the Mars rover live on your smartphone.

I'll be recording an NYDLA Video Podcast with William Santana Li this Friday. According to their website, they are hiring.

Of course they are.

They are hiring STEM workers.

NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Explores Teal Ridge (360 View)

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Doing the Electric Slido

Ever do the "Electric Slide" at a wedding? More on that later.

Slido is a technology company that enhances communication and increases interaction at events and meetings. Live or virtually.

Slido (the product) is an audience interaction platform for meetings and events. It allows meeting and event organizers to crowdsource top questions to drive meaningful conversations, engage participants with live polls and capture valuable event data.

Since 2012, Slido has helped to transform over 320,000 events across more than 130 countries by engaging millions of participants. 

This past week, NYDLA attended an event (live) in NYC with the Slido team and their client Spotify. We learned about how Spotify handles internal communication across multiple global offices. We learned about meeting design techniques, and how to organize and facilitate effective all-hands meetings that have a positive impact on company culture and growth.

Just some of the "tips and tricks" that we covered during our live Slido event:

  1. Crowdsource and discuss your team's highlights
  2. Celebrate your silent heroes
  3. Acknowledge personal triumphs
  4. Review seasonal numbers in a quiz
  5. Share your customer success stories
  6. Don't forget to have fun!
  7. Make sure your AV setup is flawless
  8. Appoint a moderator for the online audience
  9. Include remote presenters
  10. Give a warm welcome and re-engage
  11. Have a remote champion for the Q&A
  12. Share the meeting recordings
  13. Dedicate 25% of the time to Q&A
  14. Start collecting questions in advance
  15. Consider allowing anonymous questions
  16. Review the questions and prepare outputs
  17. Have a moderator lead the conversation
  18. Rehearse before your Q&A
  19. Manage expectations
  20. Crowdsource the questions live
  21. Acknowledge the tough questions
  22. Take questions from the floor
  23. Address any outstanding questions in writing
  24. Start "Ask Me Anything" with the CEO
  25. Ask for feedback directly during the meeting

Like everything in the world, meetings and events need to evolve. 

What will meetings and events (live or virtual) look like in the future? At we believe that meetings and events will be interactive, collaborative, inclusive and transparent. Most of all meetings and events need to be experiences that people look forward to!

Whether your company (or your team, or your school, or your class, or....) is made up of 10 or 10,000+ people, you need to give people a voice. With the mantra "employees are the company's first customers," an all-hands meeting is a space where people have the chance to express themselves and have direct, face-to-face conversation with their leaders. To be able to do that, an all-hands meeting has to provide them with enough opportunities for engagement and personal interaction.

With teams often distributed across different locations and time zones, all-hands meetings are one-of-a-kind opportunities to engage remote colleagues and help them to feel a part of the team. At NYDLA, we know how easy it is for online participants to tune out or feel excluded unless they are compelled to pay attention and contribute.

Using tools like Slido and via using proven techniques perfected by industry experts, you can engage your remote colleagues, make it easier for them to participate, let them be heard and get the most out of each all-hands meeting. 

Now back to the Electric Slide: The dance is a four wall dance set to the hit song "Electric Boogie" which hit the USA in 1976. Today, you cannot attend a wedding, bat mitzvah, school dance or just about anyplace people gather who want to dance and have a good time - without the Electric Slide making an appearance. 

It's easy to learn, it's easy to do, and it's fun.

Members of "Team Buckley" dance to the electric slide during the Air Force Ball