Great blog–7 things successful people don’t say
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I read a great blog – the 7 things successful people never say. Interestingly they are things you would assume people would in fact fully embrace, but its often managed out of their vocabulary.

7 Things Successful People Don’t Say by Ilya Pozin

For example, its not my job. Sometimes when you work on a helpdesk or in a customer service role the person you are helping needs more than your organization provides. Management often dictates that you don’t go beyond the edges of your job to help the person. Regardless of their overall need, you stop at the edges of your companies reality. It hurts the first time you do that, but by the 100th time you don’t worry about it, in fact it never comes to mind again. You’ve been trained to stop doing more than you should (per company policy).

The next three that caught my eye are as interesting but to me seem almost common sense. Its not my fault, it can’t be done and its not fair are all standard responses people have to failure. We don’t like to fail or for that matter to be perceived as failing. In my other blog I talk about the concept of a Brittle Organization, these three fit that concept perfectly. Shark cultures struggle with these three because in that type of organization dynamic you can never admit any mistake. Therefore it can never be your fault, no one ever did anything like that before and it isn’t a fair approach.

Finally the last few stick with me. I’ve seen them over and over. From companies driven by core principles, to organizations that are striving to stay relevant the aspects of these statements ring true over and over. The last three of the seven listed may be the hardest to deal with and in the end the ones that cause the most impact. This will just take a minute, That is the way things have always been done and I don’t need any help. All three are warning signs. I have talked to hundreds of companies over the years and those three demotivates will drive an organization to ruin.

That is the way things have always been done. I’ve talked about that one for years. It is the way things are, is the way things are syndrome. Nothing changes because it has never been done that way. In the end doing things the same way over and over impact the organization each time with greater force. There are other ways. There are new ways. There are other options. Not allowing for other ways to do things is simply repeating the failures of the past over and over.

This will only take a minute is a delaying tactic that is at best dishonest. It never takes a minute and if you don’t feel like its ok for things to take time, you won’t be able to be successful. It takes time to build something. It takes more time to build something right the first time. Allow the time to be take so that your organization can grow.

Finally the last one, I don’t need any help. More so than an unwillingness to change is the reality of not being able to accept help. There are two reasons that people don’t accept help. The first being that the organization doesn’t support or offer help. The second being that if you do accept help that is seen as a sign of weakness. Either way it’s a really bad thing.

The really sad thing about these 7 things is your can say them 100,000,000 different ways. They permeate a culture. Certainly many companies hide behind the reality of their culture. We do it this way – its different than everyone else but it is the way we do it. In the end really? Do you change the process? Do you make things better or improve them? Or do you just continue being different because that is the way you are?

There are 7 things successful people don’t say (or more likely 7 raised to the 7,000,000th power). Its more critical to adopt the things should say.

Good: “We haven’t looked at it that way before. Let’s see what we can do.”

Bad: “We are looking for people who are better than the people we’ve already hired (then why did you hire them in the first place?)


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Who is really winning in the healthcare debate?
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There are two things that concern me in the current debate about healthcare in this country. First in a free market economy you have to be willing to pay a premium for higher quality goods. It’s the way free market’s work. I can get cheap, I can get fast, or I can get good. Any two combinations are possible although fast and good are often juxtaposed with each other. (IE Fast and GOOD are the most expensive combination, cheap and good are the slowest).

Today we have the most expensive healthcare system in the world and we frankly don’t even appear to be in the top two or three overall healthcare systems. So we are paying for the best and in the end not getting the best.

Which brings me back to something my grandfather always told me. When there is a political debate in America, follow the money. Well he didn’t say it that way, but the point was look to see who is ACTUALLY funding both sides.

Who wins in the healthcare debate of today? Who, as my grandfather actually used to say, benefits the most from either side. We have an expensive healthcare system that has exceptional care on the top end (the richest people in the world come here for treatments) and on the low end its middle of the pack – but still expensive.

Insurance Companies?

Not sure where to in the end place the moving target. It feels like the Tea Party isn’t paying attention to reality. But on the other side the affordable care act only opens the door, there is so much reform that has to happen before its even relevant its scary. You don’t need a broom and a dustpan you need a vacuum with a bag the size of the US.

So who is benefiting from this battle? It isn’t the president. This was his dream and its being used as a political anvil tied around his neck. The tea party isn’t really gaining either as they have hit historic lows for voter confidence. Who in the end is really driving this debate?


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow?

Another shameless review– iPhone 5s
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The name of my review column is simple. I only review things that are terrible (like Noah’s Properties of Gaithersburg MD’s customer service or at the time the customer service of Vonage) or things I really like. I normally like to get the item and then spend a month or so getting used to it and review it.

The iPhone 5s was an upgrade for me only because I needed the better graphics, and frankly I am a geek.  I got the new space gray which is like the old black iPhones but a much cooler name.

What I really like:

  • iOS 7 right off the bat is a great upgrade for the overall family of products.
  • Camera improvements – very nice SLO MO pictures are frankly very cool.
  • Applications load much faster now
  • Upgrade process was painless, 7.0.2 and 7.0.3 were released after I got my new phone.
  • I love the fingerprint reader
  • Upgrade from iPhone 5 to iPhone 5s took 12 hours. Why? I have a lot of stuff in my iTunes library and had to pick and choose what to install. Copying anything over USB connections always takes longer than you would like.

What I am missing

  • MORE MEMORY 64 gig doesn’t cut it anymore. Either work with Seagate and let them become an iTunes secure storage location or add memory to the device. I don’t care which, but one, please. Current iTunes library – 101 gig.
  • Better integration with the lightening and 30 pin connections. You can add a converter but frankly it doesn’t work as well for video and well I have a few video’s I like to play.

Based on using the iPhone 5s but also lately based on my forays into Kickstarter and Indiegogo I’ve started compiling a device happiness quotient. This numerical evaluation of a solution overall or hardware overall speaks to both my use, ability to use and functional value of a device as well my personal overall satisfaction. It does not mean an endorsement of the device for anyone else rather how it fits for me.

The scale is from 1 to 100. No device so far has reached 100, but the iPhone 5s comes in a 91. If you use devices like I use devices I highly recommend it. If you don’t keep looking, but hopefully this review helps a bit.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

(all items posted on this blog are Copyright Scott Andersen)

So long, ps thanks for the fishes
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3 things that make me sad.

  • So the overall outcome of the debate made me sad. Why? Not because there were winners or losers. But because neither man really talked about a plan that will help our country. Sad.
  • Traffic in the DC area makes me sad. Its really frustrating that you have to dodge and plan around traffic.
  • Missing walks with Dylan makes me sad.

Funny thing happened to me yesterday. I realized that I wasn’t wrong about something I had hoped I was wrong about. It kind of took me by surprise but in the end I realized my cynical brain had tried to warn me. You have the optimist and the cynical brain inside your head. You have to make sure you listen to both. I tried to blindly accept the optimist’s view. Oh well.

Lesson Learned.

Trust is always earned never freely given.

Communication is a two way street even if the conversation is difficult.

Reflection for today:

The infinite stretches out before us and reveals itself in small imperfections. Finding those imperfections are what make us laugh (or cry). If we spend our time seeking only perfection we will in the end be less for it.



Where oh where has my little dog gone?

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Sometimes my mind just wanders. I focus usually on a specific set of potential things and then my mind is off an running. I don’t really solve any problems just come up with lots of variables.

Today I was half listening to CNN as I thought about this blog. I was listening as the Arizona debate came up as the news story of the moment. I listened partially to the attack dogs realizing that it scares me what American politics has come to.

I started thinking about a world without politics.

First off in a non-political world the skills and attributes of any one person would be the determining factor in their value to any one solution.  It wouldn’t matter what their fiscal ideology was, only what they actually accomplished.

Which leads me to the following random political thoughts:

  • When did we lose the concept of of the people, by the people, for the people?
  • Can someone with more than 2 houses represent me?
  • Can anyone who pays a tax rate of less than 25% represent me?
  • What is the modern American dream? Horatio Alger created the original rags to riches dream. Is that still the American dream or have we moved past that to a more egalitarian – let’s take care of everyone first, then allow some to exceed.
  • Is it a dream if it wakes you up at night?

Just my current state with the political mess we seem to be in right now.


Death of a business card salesman, sorry WIlly…

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What does your business card say about you? I wonder…

First thing would be that you are on the verge of being out of date business cards are something that we had a lot of 10 years ago, fewer 5 years ago and even fewer still now. Although the ritualistic meeting start of passing out business cards continues, now not everyone in the room has a card to share. Not that everyone always did in the past, but that percentage of not having cards has decreased.

What does a business card mean? It means you can call me or email me. When I had it to you it is the first step towards conversation and communication. It isn’t however an invitation to leverage me for your gain.

So why are they dying?

First you can use Linkedin or Facebook (linkedin is the more professionally focused network) to share your contact information. The cellular phone has become the business tool of choice so there is of course the need rather than giving a business card to actually give that information in a way the cellular phone can consumer it. Sure you can scan business cards, but that takes time. If you simply connect via email you don’t have that issue. In fact if you communicate via email it’s a simple drag the email, drop it on your contacts and well you have  anew contact.

I used to have a number of different logo’s and things on my card. Now I simply have, phone and email. It is intriguing, and I wonder what will ultimately replace the business card. Will it be the “bump” of a cellular device to another cellular device? Or will we have a Bluetooth app that broadcasts our card data while we are walking around. That would be hackers paradise, simply sit in the hall and collect the contact information of thousands of people. Many of whom probably have their password set to their last name or their birthday. Which means you would have to have a level of security on the Bluetooth application so that you only shared the things you wanted to share. You would also have to be aware of the automated CRM systems that could then generate massive spam mail lists from a single event.

In the end the card is dying.

What comes next?


On this day of infamy

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On this day in 1941 the world changed. An insular nation after WWI recovering from the economic shock of the great depression was pulled back into world politics for the last time.

To the 2400 + that died this day 70 years ago thank you for the ultimate sacrifice.

My father-in-law served in the pacific during the war so a huge thank you to him as well (he is no longer with us but his spirit is listening I hope). The world is changing around us as fast as people can board the what-ever irks them bus.

The tension is so high that people aren’t effectively able to deal with the world around themselves. Great change brings even great turmoil.