Grant Peters the Man We Should’ve Known

 

‘Twas like any other first day of the first semester of the academic year at Malcolm X Community College.  They called them Community Colleges back in those days. They were places where the needfulness of a good education found one.  But truth beknown, for a meager tuition that education was superior. Location was its only challenge.

Bordered by less than perfect neighborhoods then Malcolm X College is situated on the southwest side of Chicago.

In a predominantly African American community college on the first day of Letha Robinson’s new Nephrology Technology homeroom class, sat a very white small guy named Grant Peters. Aside from a few staff and faculty Grant was the only white man outside Cook County Medical Center on the opposite side of the Douglas Expressway.

Grant Peters may have presented as a small framed white male that looked far too frail to be in a westside Chicago neighborhood.

But his self-assured attitude and look of confidence soon dominated the small class. Grant wore an angry determined look that silently said, “leave me alone because I already know more than you” or “please come be my friend cause I’m alone and brave”. I embraced the later and that was an excellent choice.

As our friendship grew we learnt a lot about each other.

Grant was from a small suburb of Pittsburgh, I grew up on Chicago’s southside. Comfortable with my pedigree I was always amazed with how Grant managed to gain respect outside of that nurturing bubble of doting older parents left behind in Pittsburgh. I remembered thinking that was why he was so brave. His parents were fearless enough to love their only child with open arms.

Our class soon came to understand that Grant Peters was the finest reasons of why we were there. His challenge to us was to become just as smart about his disease to become its greatest advocates… like him.

His challenges were never outwardly visible.

To the contrary, he rarely talked of his three times weekly dialysis, or the fact that for the first time in his life strangers not his nurse mom, were administering to his needs as an outpatient at Northwestern Memorial satellite dialysis unit.

In those days there were few schools equipped to teach that discipline and the science of renal dialysis was new. But my buddy managed to keep his 4-point average and complete the curriculum to move on to study first at University of Illinois Chicago Campus and later return to Pittsburgh to complete his undergraduate and become part of a research team.

Years, life, and different states separated us for a time.

But one day during one of our heated phone discussions about End Stage Renal Disease Grant expressed the need to challenge the current treatment choices – or lack of. You see he acquired a new kidney – a successful transplant that added quality to his life. Grant felt that choice should be part of treatment offerings for all End Stage Patients. He felt it was their right to have the choice of adjusting daily routines around machines or have the chance of an improved quality of life with transplantation.  So I dared him to do something about this idea and he did.

First he composed An Argument for the Clinical and Economical Efficacy, on the Utilization of Kidney Transplantation Over Long-term Dialysis in ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) , framed as a proposition.

On April 30, 2015, we began work on his idea of attending a John Hopkins post graduate program. On May 22, 2015 we completed the edits and submitted to Johns Hopkins University Advanced Academic Master’s Program in Biotechnology Enterprise and Entrepreneurship.

I don’t think I could be prouder then in that moment when he called to tell me was accepted. But then moments of silly pride took me again in the years that followed when he called to complain that he set the grade curve yet again.

 He thought it awful that his fellow students were not committed enough.

You see this was the point of his life. This was the legacy gifted to him from parents, family and friends, the drive to improve life…. never give up on making things better.

Beneath the gruff exterior of an unyielding man challenged in telling his truths in soothing language, beat the heart of a warrior. He didn’t rise at dawn to advantage a wonderful physique. He rose to make brain muscles in order to know how to make his life and others’ lives better.

The Grant Peters that I knew was brave, strong, sometimes funny, and a loyal friend. Most of all he was the smartest man I will ever know.

Grant passed today, January 24, 2018. Didn’t want to cry today, but the tears come anyways.

 

Curving the Arc of European Politics and Yanis Varoufakis by Barbara Cerda #politics #Varoufakis, #EU

Something awesome happened during the period of the Greek economic crisis. Through the angst of monetary collapse, the nascent politics of FM Yanis Varoufakis’ came to be. It was a quiet emergence from a womb of bitter contention. Everyone understood that the Greeks were getting a raw deal. It was a matter of signing on the dotted line for that balloon payment that came due far to quickly. Fairness be damned, what creditors agree to renegotiate in the favor  debtors?

An unnoticed uprising found its voice in the oft time boisterous but very handsome Yanis Varoufakis. Compelling because he’s smart and a rebel.

Compelling because he’s the elegant eloquent professor of a new Greece… the conscripted soldier of an economic over throw. His army is growing in the face of another upstart or …. a reawakened conservative movement. They are an opposing force, bound to collide.  I think the outcomes will shape global economic futures. The BRICS will have to rethink trading agreements. FANG will become toothless in its formation of trading partners. And why you say? The monetary influencers, regulators, will focus on the biggest economic engine gaining steam, a politically mature and stable EU.

Led by Angela Merkel, the EU is growing in governmental and economic power. Even immersed in partisanship, the Germany collective mind is centric and owns sovereign pride. And it’s the leader of a block of countries that are economically united. Pinching one… the group yells ouch.

There’s a growing need within the populace of Europe to resist embracing the idiocies of the singularity in religions and the politics of “the other”. Neither mindset serves the greater purpose to increase power by way of sound economics and GDP growth.

This type mindset is heresy and is slowly eating at the economic marrow of the current global influencer, the United States. While Americans have allowed the corrosive politics to consume its confidence and economy, Europe is coming into its own. Professor Varoufakis gets this. And has preached this for over a decade. Now the young and liberal are excruciatingly slowly growing into a new European state.

The oligarchs of corrupted wealth are gazing nervously in their rearview mirrors.

Whether intentional, intuitive, or just the product of a financial upheaval, Varoufakis has become the leading nemesis of passé’ oligarchs. The Greek socio-economists has become the emerging leader in a world facing melting borders and monetary shifts.

Coupled with America and the UK’s tumble down the rabbit hole of sectarianism, the EU culture gains control. It’s becoming the stronger influencer of financial exchanges and sovereign border agreements.

DIEM24 is his love child.

Genuine politics is a powerful art. The owner of that talent wields global outcomes. In my opinion, a reconfiguration of global wealth can be anticipated… it’s a given. And history will note that SYRIZA versus Varoufakis was its impetus.

 

 

Supply Side Content Management

A Doji Candle chart is an indispensable tool in a day trader’s toolbox.

Whether they’re watching the markets for future’s trading opportunities or contemplating longer-term investments. Consideration of the supply side policies of a product/service is an important part of becoming a predictor of ROI outcomes.

It’s important to understand that outcomes, by its definition, are stories of past performances.  What’s being communicated is what is already influencing millions of global businesses, the fundamentals of change are already set in place.

What fundamentals drive change?

At the end of a trading day those charts are mere indications of how much is won or loss…. or whether you correctly understood the economic environment. The default indicator is the cost of doing business. Changes to the cost of supplies of goods and services, drives the fundamentals and the end of year balance sheets. It defines ROI.

Did you get a great ROI or just good?

Charting is to brokerage what content management is to communication…. it’s a big part of business storytelling.  Producing quality and volume of content comes second to understanding your market supply side environment. Here’s where your best content becomes re-purposeful and an important asset. It’s a precise snapshot in time an accurate relating of events.  Great copy remains agile and smart over time and proves measurable in relevancy and value.

Valued re-purposed copy is a source of SEO rich long or short form to social media commentaries and well placed YouTube videos.   A well-organized curated library can be useful to future content strategies.  This is good stuff writing that remains renewable and adaptable. Valued re-purposed copy is an indication of an author’s understanding of business and the environment that it thrives in

The one stable dynamic on earth is the need to communicate.

What’s true in business today was not the truth yesterday. Content management must be agile enough to communicate immediate changes occurring in supply chain behavioral economics and growth. Change comes in the wink of an eye.

Content must own and hone agility.

This skill places you in the lead of anticipating customer needs before the customer.

Understanding the supply side dynamics that shift the costs not only influences your bottom line but those businesses that your products or services serve.

Not every content maker can track your supply side costs and produce clever creatives to explain it to stakeholders.

BCScontent.com is the solution to content intention.

Elon Musk and Tesla Branding by Barbara Cerda

 

If you’ve been blessed to attend an Elon Musk interview you realize that people come away with their own interpretations of his newest concept explanations.

Most folks that are inherently geeky always enjoy the content. Because Mr. Musk has the innate ability to speak to the nerd in all of us. I like to think of him as the “What if guy” or the “Genius solution provider”, ‘cause that’s what he does best.

Thinkers and wish takers always find value in his bells and whistles that create his amazing new toys, problem solvers and drawing board concepts that become fodder for the next Sci-Fi novel.  But most of all – the world wants to know what makes him different and how can they become the next universal “problem solving genius”.

What I’ve noticed most is that he spends an inordinate amount of his talent and resources on the following;

  • Innovation that serves the masses.
  • Concepts that improve communication
  • Simple solutions that address complex challenges.

And then I wonder what features make his branding so sexy and compelling? And my take on this is the following;

  • He manages to make geeky a valuable and sexy commodity
  • He addresses his audiences in simple English
  • There’s a sense of honesty in his body language, gestures and manner of speaking
  • Most important he’s persistent. These are traits everyone values… persistence produces stability.

In composing content, I take in consideration a few of these observations.

Storylines created about the maker of a product or service should be compelling and attractive, drawing on the readers imagination.

The language should speak to the audience in plain simple words. The content, whether visual or articles, should convey a sense of unforced honesty.

The marketing strategy must be consistent and constantly innovative.

 

 

 

 

 

Scrum Ways that Led to 3G iPhones

One spring day in the year 2002 Chicago’s AWS (AT&T Wireless Services) FSA One’s, OMC (Operations Management Center) was tasked to lead in the data migration project from the outdated reporting software to new.  Failure of the project would result in regional disruption of service for three states. This data dump to its upgrade followed the implementation of the 3G roll out in the prior year

The OMC quant data reports detail the activities of field operations. This includes its personnel, fleet information, switch and cell site locations and tower and cell site leasing agreements, RF Engineering data, and their relationship for three states. And most important the system transmits alerts to field operatives and management of potential issues. There’s a prescribed time limit to respond.  It was understood this regional updating would also be impactful to the NOC (National Operations Center) in Washington State.

Not only were we tasked with being the lead in this rollout, we had two weeks to formalize and test our work within the new untested software environments. With the help of NOC personnel and as project lead my focus and project description was to gather and migrate as much operational data as possible, into the new reporting system. I decided on a dry run deliverable within five days, understanding that predictable good outcomes were problematic.

This was post 9/11 and the new 3G footprint implementation environment. All these intended and unintended upheavals and company wide tensions high.

After four days of data migration, checking rechecking reports I left the Chicago OMC offices after initiating the new monitoring system.  We had six days before expected completion and I was fully prepared for fall out.

I was project lead… and had confidence in the hands of kind strangers…. the NOC techs.  They were the first to monitor for notification of any out of the ordinary alarms from cell sites or switches and the first line before escalation.

The wait was not long.

Two hours later found me shopping for a new personal phone when my AWS iPhone began to beep, that familiar tone that says a switch is having a hard time reading incoming data and we’re escalating in a few minutes.

Speeding down a busy Kennedy going north, night time highway lights flashing by and I’m taking agitated call after agitated call. The fixes resulted in late nights for all concerned. The morning reveal was this.

The solutions turned out to be small and fixable, simple manual data entry of omissions of contact data for a few field operatives…. contractors for cell site maintenance.

The early software runs had little or no impact on consumer service. Cell and switch alarm protocols set in place worked to suppress exposure to failure. The new reporting software captured the outer tendrils of the spider web of data.

By the morning of the great reveal we were eager to lean forward during the conference calls.  We participated in lively and productive coast to coast conversations centered around how the system worked, its flaws, and what to look forward to in the series of national rollouts to come.

Shorten timelines on deliverables helped to benchmark potential failures that included reports detailing the problems and subsequent fixes. The final rollout ran as smooth as glass.

Although the process was at times stressful, especially in moments of alarms and the confusion of gathering missing data. Protocols mimicking Scrum helped in ferreting out hidden worries and risks while offering ample opportunity to apply solutions.

And the NOC had full disclosure for production of procedural manuals in how and what to anticipate in future rollouts of reporting systems.

I look back on the days of pre-Scrum and now appreciate its principles. I wonder why it took so long to formalize these concepts into something coherent and usable across all industries. The Scrum process is important to building trust within lean project teams while developing confidence in reporting systems. Both are vital tools of Project Management.

My experiences during this project made living with 3G much more comfortable.