Monday Morning Memo
by Alan Weiss, Ph.D., from Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo©
Reprinted with permission. Featured Image from Bentley Quarterly Magazine used with permission.
The Wright Brothers inaugurated powered flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903, covering 120 feet in about 12 seconds. Well within a person’s lifetime, 66 years later, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, an eight-day, 480,000-mile round trip. Theoretically, one person could have witnessed both events if in the right places at the right times.
Yet we can’t change our school systems to provide equal education for all? Or our health system, or our judicial system?
No one was clamoring for powered flight, and some were convinced it was impossible. The Wright Brothers simply did it on their own, as entrepreneurs.
When Sputnik scared the United States government to its foundations, John F. Kennedy proclaimed that a man would walk on the moon within the decade, and amassed huge public, congressional, and financial support. The entire world later watched that first step, transfixed.
Entrepreneurs can achieve some things better and faster than government can, but only government can achieve the massive changes often required in public works and society.
I’m sure entrepreneurs will continue to thrive, just look at Fred Smith, or Elon Musk or Bill Gates. But I’m not so sanguine about government initiatives. An entrepreneur might invent a vaccine for the coronavirus, but the judicial, health, and educational systems are within the government’s purview. I hope this next election, no matter what the outcome, will see such initiatives.
If we can put a person on the moon using 1960s technology, we are eminently able to provide all people with equality in excellent education, health services, and judicial representation in the 2020s. That doesn’t require a trip through space.
Growing through Times of Change
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About Alan Weiss, Ph.D.
His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients such as Merck, Hewlett-Packard, GE, Mercedes-Benz, State Street Corporation, Times Mirror Group, The Federal Reserve, The New York Times Corporation, Toyota, and over 500 other leading organizations. He has served on the boards of directors of the Trinity Repertory Company, a Tony-Award-winning New England regional theater, Festival Ballet, and chaired the Newport International Film Festival.
His speaking typically includes 20 keynotes a year at major conferences, and he has been a visiting faculty member at Case Western Reserve University, Boston College, Tufts, St. John’s, the University of Illinois, the Institute of Management Studies, and the University of Georgia Graduate School of Business. He has held an appointment as adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Business at the University of Rhode Island where he taught courses on advanced management and consulting skills to MBA and PhD candidates. He once held the record for selling out the highest priced workshop (on entrepreneurialism) in the then-21-year history of New York City’s Learning Annex. His Ph.D. is in psychology. He has served on the Board of Governors of Harvard University’s Center for Mental Health and the Media.
He is an inductee into the Professional Speaking Hall of Fame® and the concurrent recipient of the National Speakers Association Council of Peers Award of Excellence, representing the top 1% of professional speakers in the world. He has been named a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants, one of only two people in history holding both those designations.
His prolific publishing includes over 500 articles and 60 books, including his best-seller, Million Dollar Consulting (from McGraw-Hill) now in its 25th year and fifth edition. His newest is Threescore and More: Applying the Assets of Maturity, Wisdom, and Experience for Personal and Professional Success (Routledge, 2018). His books have been on the curricula at Villanova, Temple University, and the Wharton School of Business, and have been translated into 15 languages.
He is interviewed and quoted frequently in the media. His career has taken him to 60 countries and 49 states. (He is afraid to go to North Dakota.) Success Magazine cited him in an editorial devoted to his work as “a worldwide expert in executive education.“ The New York Post called him “one of the most highly regarded independent consultants in America.“ He is the winner of the prestigious Axiem Award for Excellence in Audio Presentation.
He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Press Institute, the first-ever for a non-journalist, and one of only seven awarded in the 65-year history of the association. He holds an annual Thought Leadership Conference which draws world famous experts as speakers. In 2014 his featured speaker was political pundit, best-selling author, and media favorite James Carville, in 2015 Master of Influence Robert Cialdini, and in 2016 Dan Gilbert of Harvard who has over 15 million views of his TED talk on happiness.
He has coached former candidates for Miss Rhode Island/Miss America in interviewing skills. He once appeared on the popular American TV game show Jeopardy, where he lost badly in the first round to a dancing waiter from Iowa.
Alan is married to the lovely Maria for 47 years, and they have two children and twin granddaughters. They reside in East Greenwich, RI with their dogs, Buddy Beagle and Bentley, a white German Shepherd.