English, Please

“English at this table, please,” was a comment that I recalled while attending this early morning meeting consisting of executives and major stockholders.

During this meeting, I had an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter sitting, facing directly me on the other side of the center of the conference table. Before the meeting started, I was having a brief conversation with the ASL interpreter using ASL, with no voice.

With both my hearing aid and cochlear implant turned on, I could sense that overlapping verbal conversations around the table had quickly ceased, while my peripheral vision inputs suggested some of the heads have turned to watch me.

Quickly scanning the table to my right and left confirmed that all eyes were on me. I knew instantly that everyone was starting to use their imagination in figuring out what was conveyed between the interpreter and me.

For example, the guy sitting across me, on the right, averted his eyes away while quickly attempting to fix the stubborn strands of hair standing up on his crown. Apparently he must have thought that both the interpreter and I were discussing this, thus attempting to correct this.

Simultaneously, the woman sitting next to me, slightly averted eyes in a different direction while making feeble attempts to cover the roots of her mane with her slender fingers as an attempt to conceal the discoloration, which indicated a poor dye job.

On one side of my peripheral vision, another guy sitting across from me to the left, quickly readjusted his jacket, which appeared to be small for his body frame.

Subtle behaviors around the table quickly became apparent that everyone was starting to use their imagination and feel conscious that I may be discussing their faults with the interpreter, and were starting to appear annoyed.

Upon quick assessment, an immediate rescue was necessary. That was when I started to use my voice and explained what I was discussing with the interpreter, which was my background.

Even my ASL has its own unique accent since “Olde ASL” was my first language at 6-months old, taught by my CODA (Children of Deaf Adult) mother with deaf parents, both whom attended the deaf school in another state around the beginning of 1900. Also, my sign language included some SEE (Signing Exact English), followed by modern ASL.

Oh. Everyone settled and returned to their normal selves around the table…

Everyone became assured that the conversation between me and the interpreter did not include their individual characteristics. Of course, had we done so, that would be unprofessional of both the interpreter and I, and this would go against the interpreter’s code of ethics. Also, this would go against my stellar reputation.

I noticed that everyone has relaxed, and shifted their thoughts to other things. Since then, I noticed that everyone had opened up to me, become warm towards me and began to trust me.

During another meeting a short while back, the official of that meeting verbally stated, while clearly enunciating the words “English at my table, please.” Everyone laughed when I found myself and the interpreter were the last ones conversing around the table and everyone was watching us. At first, I didn’t think this applied to me since my mode of communication was sign language. Quickly, I was astounded with this high-ranking official, and others around me respected ASL as established lexicon. It seemed like yesterday when ASL was yet acknowledged as a foreign language.

Upon adjournment of that meeting, during our hallway discussions, other professionals brought up a point, that everyone has imaginations which will be used to a certain length, in order to fill in the gaps and satisfy the unknown. Also since then, I’ve learned that I needed to include others within my conversations and allow them the opportunity to participate.

As mentioned within Col. Garrick Mallery’s address in 1881, as published in Science magazine, the richness of the information conveyed, through spoken word, or gestured via sign language has significant value between the conveyer and recipient. This referenced to the sign language among the American Indians.

This address was published within Science magazine in 1881 by Col. Garrick Mallery, who was Chairman of the Anthropology subsection of the A. A. A. S, during the Opening of the Anthropology Subsection within that year.

In summary, in order to have my input highly regarded among professional peers within professional organizations at this date, spoken English has been the most successful language for me to communicate with. Of course, any other language is excellent for establishing specific bonds within individual level while networking.

References:
ADDRESS OF COL. GARRICK MALLERY, U. S. ARMY, Science. 1 October 1881: 470-471. Accessed December 20, 2012 from http://www.sciencemag.org/content/os-2/67/470.full.pdf?sid=71e45a06-6c3e-4ca8-993d-fcf14cf317d4

Smart Management for Intelligent Future

Management can be fun, due to the interaction and leadership duties, albeit challenging at various levels.  An author (James, 2012) suggested asking direct reports three questions: how they expect to be managed, what specifics of management annoy them, and how to assist them with excelling within the workplace.  Based on the various responses and situation, there is no single prescriptive formula for managing direct reports.

In the world of Politics, Smart Power is a combination of both Soft Power and Hard Power.  Typically, Soft Power considers the history, culture, and diplomacy while Hard Power considers coercion and payment.

Smart Power was a term coined by Former Assistant Secretary of Defense, Harvard Professor and former Dean of Kennedy School of Government, Joseph Nye, Jr.  In 2006, Nye stated that combining both hard and soft power with strategy is identified as smart power.  In order to be successful, we must provide what everyone want, but cannot attain without American leadership.  For example, in utilizing Smart Power, the leader must utilize a combination of tools of coercion and persuasion that includes diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal, and cultural, depending on the specific situation (Etheridge, 2012 and Rooney, 2012).

Historically, America has been utilizing hard power within its dealings with foreign governments, which oftentimes lacked strategic visions.  In order to establish and maintain global political and financial stability, strategic visions are important in order to address both current and future challenges, thus incorporating soft and hard power into smart power (CSIS, 2012).

If this Smart Power is applied within levels of management within the industry, as it had been within the government sector, then the corporate environment interacting within today’s global and foreign markets replete with suppliers, distributors, external customers, vendors and other business relationships can be more efficiently utilized.  Also, the internal culture within the corporates can benefit from the application of Smart Power within the upper management levels.

The idea of extrapolating Smart Power into the industry, thus translating into Smart Management stemmed from an article in Science magazine that discussed challenges of Federal laboratories developing business commercialization relationship with the industry sector in regards to technology (Walejko, et al, 2012).  Oftentimes, this inter-sector collaboration faces funding and management challenges due to the variation within the strategic visions of both the industry and Federal lab.

Inter-sector relationships between the industry and government sectors, are observed for other purposes such as business liaison within various governments throughout the world.  For example, within medical device industries, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the government agency for authorizing sales of approved devices within the United States and.  In order to be successful within the industries, professionals learned that it was best for them to strive to maintain positive working relationship with the FDA.  Positive relationships between industries and government sectors within other countries are also valuable.  For example, approved medical devices sold in other countries, Japan are regulated by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) while medical devices within Australia are regulated by Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).  Therefore, professionals can focus on managing the relationships intelligently, with not only the FDA, but with MHLW, TGA, and other foreign regulatory agencies.

In 1979, Harvard Professor, Michael E. Porter first published competitive interactions within the industry that led to workable strategies within various companies, such as Bargaining Power from Suppliers, Buyers, Threats of substitute, Emerging competitors, and rivalry among current competitors (Porter, 2008).  Also, if the competitive forces had become intense, then this would result into the companies investing large sums of resources to attract new customers with an advantage over their competitors, such as healthcare, airlines, and hotels.  In this case, the return on investment would be smaller due to the amount of resources input as compared with the new many companies such as soft drink, toiletries, and software, where an attractive return on investment has been larger.

Within today’s ever-changing and competitive environment, perhaps an addition to the corporate management formula can be a customization of management style through combination of both smart power and leadership, thus augmenting the current list of different Management Styles, such as Consultative, Aristocratic, Democratic, Laissez-Faire, Persuasive, Paternalistic, and Management by Walking Around.  Each of these styles has advantages and some downside, depending on the situation, thus smart management or intelligent management can successfully add portions of prescriptive management through interjection of bits of Smart Power into the mix within the corporate environment.

Perhaps in the future, there would be additional management styles based on the improvement within the human interaction and communication.  Additionally, scientific discoveries that lead to augmented understanding usually translate into enrichment into the human lifestyle, behavior, and interactions within the environment.  The smart management allows us to take the next step in moving forward with the growth in operating within today’s global markets that overlap with various sectors.

References:

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Smart Power Initiative Part of the: Archived ProgramsRetrieved October 28, 2012, from http://csis.org/program/smart-power-initiative

Etheridge, E. How ‘Soft Power’ Got ‘Smart’. New York Times, The Opinion Pages. Published January 14, 2009.  Retrieved October 28, 2012, from http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/14/how-soft-power-got-smart/

James, G. World’s Simplest Management Secret. Published on Inc. on October 24, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2012, from http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/worlds-simplest-management-secret.html

Porter, M. The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy. Harvard Business Review. January 2008 issue. Retrieved October 25, 2012, from http://hbr.org/2008/01/the-five-competitive-forces-that-shape-strategy/ar/1

Rooney, Katie. Clinton Vows to Lead Using “Smart Power” Strategy. Times The Page. Published January 13, 2009. Retrieved October 28, 2012, from http://thepage.time.com/2009/01/13/clinton-confirmation-hearing-set-for-tuesday/

Walejko G & et al.  Federal Laboratory–Business Commercialization Partnerships. Science 14 September 2012: 1297-1298. Retrieved October 9, 2012, from http://www.sciencemag.org/content/337/6100/1297.full.pdf

Passions for Development and Growth from Within Each of Us

Isn’t part of the fun is coming up with ideas and suggestions for new projects or processes within teams? This is one of the many reasons why I love my job. After the initial concept, follows project initiation, which gets more complicated. Later on, verification and validation come in all forms, depending on the project or processes. After a while, depending on the industry, the project or process would either result into one of the three things: (1) evolve into an entirely different project or process; (2) follow the straight path to fruition; or (3) abort project or process. The latter two focus on tough decision-making whether continue or extinguish the project or process.

For example, within the Harvard Business Review Blog Network, Kanter identified 12 critical questions that the entrepreneurs can ask themselves and others within their networks in order to make the tough decisions. For me, it boils down to the passion and whether this passion for the specific product or service that the company focuses on, still exists, or extinguished. Depending on the entrepreneur, if the passion persists, then the project or process can take various turns and end up elsewhere with a different purpose.

In addition to the passion for running a company or project, various strategies play a role in shaping the direction in steering the project/process, which would result into a desirable return on investment, either attractive or unattractive. In 1979, Harvard Professor, Michael E. Porter first published competitive interactions within the industry that leads to various strategies within various companies, such as Bargaining Power from Suppliers, Buyers, Threats of substitute, Emerging competitors, and rivalry among current competitors. Also, if the competitive forces are intense, this would result in the companies investing large sums of resources to attract new customers with an advantage over their competitors, such as healthcare, airlines, and hotels. In this case, the return on investment would be smaller due to the amount of resources input as compared with the new many companies such as soft drink, toiletries, and software, where an attractive return on investment has been larger.

Ultimately, the decision to initiate and move forward with specific projects lies within each of us. For example, recently, a group conversation I was part of lead to conversations of preserving species yet on the U.S. Endangered Species Act. An article in Science magazine (Brosi & Biber, 2012) demonstrated that citizen involvement has been successful in driving the force of placing endangered species on the list, thus formally identifying them as endangered and thus, protected by federal law. This is an excellent example of groups of citizen sharing their pursuit of passion of preserving and conserving the dwindling species.

For me, my passion lies within executive management and leadership within companies, especially the ones that play a significant role within the healthcare and biotech markets. Passion can be identified as a driving force in allowing ourselves to pursue towards specific goals on what we’d like to accomplish, as long these passions do not result in conflict of interest as brought up in another Science magazine article where Marshall (1992) stated that intellectual passion can be viewed as a conflict within the scientist’s personal interest into their own research projects as a personal bias.

I can allow my own intellectual passion within both the sciences and executive management and leadership to drive my efforts throughout the days and use that as a daily strategy. Also, I can allow this strategy to adjust and take form in order to allow me to visualize the future directions and see if these specific goals excite me. My passions for development and growth, thus translating into successful projects are part of my personality, which I enjoy very much and look forward accomplishing each time I walk into the board rooms or conference rooms.

References:

Brosi, B. & Biber, G. Citizen Involvement in the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Science 17 AUGUST 2012 VOL 337: 803-803. Retrieved October 9, 2012, from http://www.sciencemag.org/content/337/6096/802.full.pdf

Kanter, R. 12 Guidelines for Deciding When to Persist, When to Quit. Harvard Business Review Blog Network. Retrieved October 25, 2012, from http://blogs.hbr.org/kanter/2012/10/12-guidelines-for-deciding-whe.html

Porter, M. The Five Competitive Forces that Shape Strategy.  Harvard Business Review.  January 2008 issue.  Retrieved October 25, 2012, from http://hbr.org/2008/01/the-five-competititve-forces-that-shape-strategy/ar/1

Marshall, E. When does intellectual passion become conflict of interest? Science 31 July 1992: 620-623. Retrieved October 25, 2012, from http://www.sciencemag.org/content/257/5070/620.1.full.pdf?sid=ec1972e4-abac-4cad-992b-4111e44a758

Data Mining for Intelligent Management of Personal Health

Data mining is a growing and explosive field, stemming from sudden availability of the massive wealth of data accessible through the internet.

It’d be interesting to have a database compilation of all of my medical history, but this would demand the strictest level of privacy, as compared with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, altogether.

In fact, this idea stemmed from reading Haak’s article from Science magazine where the authors discussed the benefits of mining data in order to make them accessible to other researchers across multiple disciplines and many borders around the globe.  Different countries have their own regulations as to which restrict access to specific data sets in order to maintain privacy and security, which can be challenging, since data can be compared against many different other groups of data for a specific translation of a scientific question.  In determining levels of accessibility, it’s important to involve groups of private and public data within the local and international level.  Although there are prominent databases that store and mine data such as CERIF, the responsibility and authority of maintaining such database infrastructure should be shared among several stakeholders in order to ensure that the balance the availability of data among maintaining privacy on a global scale in order to allow policy-makers ensuring informed decisions within their areas or countries.  In order to do this, an international standardization of data exchange is necessary.

Reading Davenport’s article within the Harvard Business Review discussed the benefits and thrills of surfing the data mine harvested from many on-line profiles and usages, thus structuring the wealth of data in order to capitalize the large data.   The discoveries within the translation of data lead to solid executive decision-making.  In this case, I’m the top executive in my life and always have the need of making informed decisions throughout the day.

Of course, I’d expect complete access into my health data and my ancestor’s health data, while restricted to nearly everyone else in order to research into the gene-related developments that has occurred over the generations and what health issues I can watch for as I age gracefully.  Also this information will be helpful for my future generations.  Lesser restrictive access would afford professional researchers the luxury of investigating my phenotypic information such as hair or eye color for others to research into the correlations of populations, environment, specific family history, and genetic information in order to postulate how I had derived a specific characteristic or trait.  Also, predictive environmental factors such as temperature and pressure within a geographical region, coupled with my health information can predict onset of arthritis within specific times, for example.

A question remains is the expiration date of the restriction of access into families’ health information after they have passed on.  Also, the level of access may vary among specific group of people such as my healthcare providers, which would be different than the insurance companies and employers.  Perhaps the creation of Health Data Scientist education and training can involve creation of specific certification equivalent to doctors and attorneys in which they are expected to maintain strict client or patient confidentiality and only focused on the needs of the clients and patients.  Of course, ethics in sharing personal health data with loved ones or potential mates for  predicting outcomes of interaction will need to be debated considerably.

As with sealing records though the courts, perhaps specific health data can be sealed by the patient while allowing access to other health information with particulars generally already available while allowing certain family members additional access to less generalized health data.

Having a centralized and global database would contribute to the health of my travels such as keeping immunization records current while allowing healthcare providers in other countries access, should I become ill overseas.  In this case it’s possible to harmonize specific access to certain health database among various countries, depending on the control of the database.  It’ll be like a “health passport” whenever I am in the world.  If possible, this could be easily accessible through international apps program on the mobile devices with dual band capability.

Later on, with my current genotypes, it’d be interesting to account the environment within other areas or countries in order to virtually translate the predicted phenotypes such as air quality affecting my exercise routine, while would result in asthmatic symptoms, for example.  Additionally, this daily health monitoring device while accounting for the environmental factors can be managed through a mobile device.

In summary, there is extreme wealth of information for extrapolating correlations and make sold predictions, which can assist with decision making throughout the days and weeks to come.  The whole point is taking the steps in mining data effectively through intelligent management while everyone adheres to the same guidelines for access everywhere.

References:

Davenport, T. and Patil, D.  Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century.  October 2012.  Retrieved October 15, 2012 from http://hbr.org/2012/10/data-scientist-the-sexiest-job-of-the-21st-century/ar/1

Haak, L., Baker, D., Ginther, D., Gordon, G. Probus, M., Kannankutty, N., Weinberg, B. Standards and Infrastructure for Innovation Data Exchange. Science 12 October 2012: 196-197. Retrieved October 16, 2012 from http://www.sciencemag.org/content/338/6104/196.full.pdf