Try To Remain Calm, I Want To See How Sick You Are

CVS, as have many pharmacies, has a blood pressure machine to provide an easy way for customers to check their own blood pressure. But it ain’t what it seems. The store logistics experts have placed the machine well out of the way—in a corner. The person inserting an arm is staring at two walls in very tight quarters. Around the contraption, people are agitatedly waiting for their prescriptions, complaining about the cost of drugs, and asking indelicate questions about bodily …


The Power of the Shore

The garage door opens to a temperature of 70 degrees at 7 am, a briny air, a crisp stillness. A cat wanders by, its night’s work completed, seeking some sleep. I drive through deserted streets, obeying the obsessive traffic lights with no traffic in sight. Mechanics are adjusting rides powered up with invisible riders on the boardwalk. City workers empty meters guarded by an armed officer, but they take time out to spread the food they brought with them for …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 7/13/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: We’ve made our annual pilgrimage to the Jersey Shore. There are thousands of people here in the water, on the sand, walking the boardwalk, enjoying their families. Fishing boats and dolphins make early morning forays for fish, gulls make continual raids on unprotected food, barkers call to you for games that are hard to win and prizes that are silly if you do. This is the American middle class vacation, and a wonderful thing it is. …


Modern Times

Comedian Louis C.K. asks why we complain about airline service when we’re able to sit in a chair and ride in the sky. I’ve heard people complain that their cell phone call to London, while walking down a street in New York in the rain, has poor reception. I’m at the Jersey Shore, and there’s always traffic on the Garden State Parkway. Yet today we have air conditioning, zillions of music choices, iPads to occupy the kids, and GPS if …



How To Be In The Way

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition)   I notice that Bentley will eschew a dog bed to lie on the hard floor of the hallways, particularly at intersections. At first I thought this was just to be a nuisance, or part of a game, or some kind of alpha dog behavior.   But then I remembered …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 7/6/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: When I worked in Princeton for a consulting firm early in my career, I found myself in many corporate classrooms teaching the details of decision making in business. I was in my 20s, and pointed out to a group one day, logically I thought, that you can’t make a decision based on investing more resources than you had available. “What would you call that phenomenon?” asked a participant. “Bankruptcy,” I said, without thinking. That’s what’s happening …



The Frisbee Rule

Bentley and I try to get some Frisbee in every day. It’s easy for me, I stand in one spot at the top of the yard and he races downhill after the disk (for the analytic among you, in excess of 32 MPH), and then returns it to me. When I’m done exercising my wrist muscles, I call, “Bring it in,” and he heads for the back door and a biscuit (as does Buddy Beagle, knowing if Bentley gets a …


Preventive vs Contingent

After a month, hundreds of law enforcement people finally killed and captured the two escaped convicts from the Clinton Correctional Facility at a cost of tens of millions. I don’t think anyone could fault the diligence and organization of the pursuit. However, the pursuit was necessary because preventive actions failed. The inmates received tools, developed relationships with prison civilian workers, used dummies to avoid an apparently not-too-rigid bed check. Contingent actions can be highly effective, yet no matter how well …