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The Energizer Blog

  • Writer's pictureEileen McDargh

Terrorists Win if We Fail to Talk and Listen to Each Other

Have we learned nothing from the disasters that hallmarked this last decade? Beginning with the horror of 9-11 through the disaster of Katrina right up to the Bernie Madoff madness (despite  a 10-year warning from securities executive, Harry Markopolos).

The information was there all along but the agencies did not share information. Egos got in the way.  Old procedures hammered efforts and too many people wanted to blame others instead of actually create an information system that works. Now we discover that a failure to communicate allowed the Christmas flight of Northwest #253 to almost go down in flames.  God forbid that the CIA and the FBI should share information with each other.  Why learn from the mistakes of 9-11? How foolish it would have been for the US embassy officials to have put alleged terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab  on an immediate No-Fly list.

Of course, it would have done little immediate good as the lists are sent to the airlines by snail mail.  SNAIL MAIL!!!!!  This last piece of information just puts me over the edge. I have zero pull with government leaders but I sure as heck can influence corporate leaders who do not want to see their departments or companies go down in flames. The secret (which is actually NO secret at all): START TALKING!!! (1)    Bring together the heads of every department and have them talk about what information they need to help them do their job better and what is the MOST EFFICIENT way to get that information. (2)    Make heroes of people/departments who pass along information. (3)    Find out what information is no longer necessary and get rid of it (50 page reports are a waste of time if all that is needed is a summary). (4)    Teach everyone the words to Harry the Happy Hoarder (sung to the tune of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer). Harry, the Happy Hoarder Harry the Happy Hoarder had a very shiny case. He never shared his data. He was out to win the race. He kept his people guessing. Just so he could call them wrong. “Policy” was the answer — he thought it made him strong. Then one day he passed away. All just shook their heads. No one knew the full “to do”, now that he was dead. So then the company folded. Went into oblivion. Smart people got the message. Now they share with everyone. P.S. Just hide behind “our policy” and never question why. Ruts will stay. It’s been that way. Who knows? It came from “on high”. And lastly, Consider buying a copy of my small but to-the-point little book "Talk Ain't Cheap".

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