The majority of Americans will never experience the true requirements of service. But we are surrounded by those who do in our day-to-day lives. Today, we say thank you.
Our office is closed today for Veterans Day. We’d like to share something one of our team members, Jennifer Davis, shared last week reminding our team about today.
“On November 11th, our company will observe Veterans Day. First and foremost, if you are a Veteran, we here at Trility want to thank you for your service. For those of us who haven’t served, we can never fully understand the sacrifices you’ve made for our country, our safety, and our freedoms.
Almost all of my life, I’ve lived a few minutes from the world’s biggest naval base, Naval Station Norfolk, and close to U.S. Navy master jet base, Naval Air Station Oceana. I get to see and hear jets fly over regularly. I can watch the Blue Angels and still get excited every year for their powerful display at the Oceana Air Show. From the beach, I’ve watched massive aircraft carriers leaving for or coming home from deployment. With my toes in the sand along the Chesapeake Bay, I’ve seen hovercraft vessels practicing for missions.
Growing up and into my adult life, these sights and sounds have had a great impact on me. But I’ve only watched from the sidelines. My exposure has been limited to the displays of the awesome power of our Nation’s military. What I haven’t seen are the true requirements of the service itself. As we look forward to Monday, I want to celebrate and honor those who have served. I want to be reminded of what it takes to serve others. I want to be thankful for the freedoms I get to enjoy because of those who have served. And I want to encourage you to do the same.”
Years ago when I began diving, I had originally viewed diving as blue water with whales, dolphins and gorgeous coral reef. I quickly learned how diverse diving could really be.
I was trained in cold, brown water. Like all forms of diving, cold, brown water diving requires special attention to detail. Gear for staying warm, tools for extricating myself from unplanned situations such as fishing line, vines, branches and roots, multiple lights for seeing in the dark, murky waters and very good compass navigation skills.
As I expanded my learning and experience portfolio, I came to realize the preparation and skills necessary for warm, cold, caving, cavern, blue-water, brown-water, ocean, quarry, lake and river diving may seem the same, but each and every one of them have unique requirements within themselves. What I knew yesterday helped with today, but there was always more to learn. I realized a pattern of behaviors always required: plan, execute to plan, situational awareness and prepare for adversity, always. In all cases, be disciplined before, during, after and between dives.
I enjoyed compass-diving in brown water with 0-12 inches of visibility where many times I couldn’t see my hand when fully outstretched. I loved every minute of it because I never knew for sure what was coming and I needed to be ready for anything, at any time. Blue-water diving in the ocean offered infinite views in all directions. Nothing below, beside or above me other than sunlight coming down through the water – just blue infinity. Night diving meant that sometimes, were it not for my equipment, I could easily be upside down at 100 feet thinking I was right-side-up at 35. Like all forms of diving, all three of these experiences require many of the same skills.
And like all forms of diving, in all three of these experiences, one could become disoriented and make the decision to continue doing what you’re doing, make incremental and adaptive changes, or make poor, reactive and over-corrective decisions, which make things worse immediately. Over and over again diving – and living – came down to education, experience, discipline, planning, situational awareness and the need to make informed, responsive, level-headed decisions.
As I gained more experience, I made more diverse decisions increasing risk, complexity and potential return on decisions. Which then required more experience and more on-going education. To amplify learning diversity, I began to study how divers die and sought to understand how these deaths could have been prevented.
Reasons Divers Die (listed, not rank ordered):
- Failure to plan
- Failure to maintain and improve equipment
- Failure to maintain personal health and fitness
- Failure to keep themselves in check (emotions, ego, risk-taking)
- Failure to practice/improve/increase skills and knowledge
Diving is fun, adventurous, character-building and educational. It does not have to be deadly. The National Center for Biotechnology Information and the Diver’s Alert Network reported 59 diving-related deaths in the United States in 2016. That is a small number. Yet it is 59 too many. I encourage you to explore snorkeling and scuba diving for yourself. Get educated. Be disciplined. Have fun.
Why do you believe leaders and companies fail? It would seem that companies and diving have nothing in common until we compare the lists.
Reasons Leaders and Companies Fail (listed, not rank ordered):
- Failure to plan and adapt
- Failure to maintain and improve themselves, teams and systems
- Failure to maintain and improve personal health and fitness
- Failure to keep themselves and others in check (emotions, ego, risk)
- Failure to improve skills, knowledge and experience
How would you rank this list as it relates to you? Your boss? Your company?
Like diving, leading companies and teams require continuous data and decision-making. And in order to have continuous data that enables decision-making, there needs to exist a plan, situational awareness, a data feed, a pre-meditated, cool-headed ability to make decisions and the willingness to adapt.
Plan Your Dive or Plan For Failure
- Have a plan. Continually evaluate the plan. Be prepared to change.
- Know where you are in relation to the plan. Be prepared to change.
- Continue to purposefully improve yourself, your teams and your company.
- Practice being thoughtfully responsive versus thoughtlessly reactive.
When you’re the only diver in the water, you are welcome to make any and all bad decisions available to you. You may (or may not) be the only one that will suffer from your mistakes.
However, when you’re in the water with others who rely upon your plan, your ability to see, hear, realize and adapt to incoming data, and they trust that you are capable of making the hard decisions in hard circumstances – your preparation, emotional maturity, adaptability and decisions matter.
Early on in my journey, an old, crusty diver made a dark comment to me that stuck with me permanently and heavily influenced my preparation, maintenance and overall discipline:
“When you’re down there doing what you do and you’ve failed to plan, failed to maintain your equipment, didn’t pay attention to the information in front of you or just plain didn’t keep a cool head, just remember, at 200 feet below the surface, no one can hear you scream.”
His point? Be disciplined. Plan. Be aware. Be adaptive. Keep your head screwed on correctly. Make context-driven decisions. Live to dive again. Make sure others with you have a good experience, learn and live to dive again.
The teams at Trility regularly help people create, modify and implement plans for successful dives, gain access to data in real-time so they can adapt, as well as, equip people with the solutions they need to keep cool heads at 200 feet.
Authors Note: We’re not really going to help you plan your dives. In fact, we may never dive together. You might be crazy. I just wanted to keep the analogy going. If you want to dive, join the military, attend a commercial diving school or reach out to diver training organizations like PADI.
If you want to learn how to digitally transform your company, influence your leaders, train your teams, plan and deliver some of the dirtiest, nastiest, most complex projects from the bottom of the deepest, darkest ocean that no one else wants to do – then do call or email us.
Companies have data in many places. And many companies do not know what data they have, where it is stored, who and what has access to it, the trustworthiness of the data or how to organize it in a timely manner into decision criteria for leadership teams.
The easiest way to know if what I’m saying is truth is to ask someone on your technical staff to provide you an asset and access inventory. Ask them the following:
- All software applications used in the company
- All places data is stored in the company
- All hardware used in the company to host, edit and manage both
- Who/what has access to these things and with what levels of power
- How the data is secured in transit and at rest
Give them one business day. Their reaction will reveal your truth.
Running a company minimally requires two things: knowing where you want to go and having access to timely, trustworthy data that will guide your journey. This article discusses the data aspect only.
And as you may already hope, suspect or know, addressing unsecured, unmanaged, disparate applications, data and permissions is a solvable problem. Accessing one view into your company is also solvable. Let’s look at the plan.
1. Find Your Data
Inventory all software applications and data repositories inside and outside your company, as well as, anything interacting with or exchanging data with your applications and repositories.
2. Determine The State of Your Data
What is the technology collecting, managing, editing your data? Where is it hosted? By whom? Is it good, questionable or corrupt data? Who and what has access to it? What are they doing to the data? Who is managing the security and sanctity of the data? How do you know you can trust the data? Is the data current and with what frequency?
3. Secure your data
Is the data managed via role-based permissions or is it wide-open for too many people and systems to manipulate, extract and exploit? Is it direct-connect? Copy-paste? Batch-uploads? API-accessible? Is it secured while at rest? Is it secured while in transit?
Think your company not likely to be attacked, corrupted, ransomed or otherwise exploited? Consider your brand value, consumers, privacy laws and bad company press. Do people trust your brand today? Will they after a breach?
4. Establish a Common Data Format
When data originates from multiple data sources, the structure of the data is usually non-uniform. The first step is to understand the current structure and state of all data at the origination point.
The second step is to determine to what Common Data Format (CDF) all data will be funneled and/or otherwise re-organized. In other words, if your company’s growth strategy has been through Mergers and Acquisitions, you likely have many data stores with similar types of data, but with different states of sanity. If you want one view across all of these data stores, words must have the same meaning for all instances of all data. Establishing the same meaning for all similar instances is “normalization” or “establishing a Common Data Format”.
Many to one.
Only after there exists a common data format are you able to see, understand and make decisions that confidently and consistently take into consideration all parts of the company.
5. Extract, Normalize and Put
When you understand all places from which data originates and have a CDF, your teams are then able to write predictable, repeatable and auditable methods of extracting, normalizing and putting data into your new, single source of truth.
To be clear, the methods of extracting data, normalizing data and putting data must be predictable, repeatable and auditable. And the structure into which all data is put is itself the CDF. Anything less and you will simply be creating a new mess that must be managed on top of your existing ecosystem — whatever the state.
6. Pull Data Predictably
Now that you’ve made the effort to ensure all data, from all locations, is secured and normalized, protect it. This means there must exist a predictable, repeatable and auditable manner by which applications, systems and companies access your data. Notice I didn’t say people.
To access data from the single source of truth, there must exist predictable, repeatable and auditable set of actors, permissions and activities. If there is variability in actors, permissions and activities, it will no longer be a single source of truth.
Require anyone or thing that wants access to your data to follow your rules. Non-negotiable. This includes people in Mensa, people with twenty years of tenure who have been there since the company started, the CEO’s nephew and your mom.
Your single source of truth is special. No one who wants access to the data is special. Despite what their mom told them when they were young.
7. Use Your Data to Inform Your Decisions Dynamically
Now you can trust that your data has integrity. You can trust it is secure. You can trust your data is predictable, repeatable and auditable. You can trust your company has one message.
And you can trust that you know all applications, repositories, data management and security behaviors, actors, hosting solutions and reports are something upon which you can bank your company’s reputation.
If you would like to take control of your data, secure it and make it dynamically meaningful to everyone in your company, the teams at Trility help companies solve these challenges with a focus on predictable, repeatable and auditable behaviors. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is not how I drew it up; it’s not how I planned it. I’m type A. I like to be in control… and this wasn’t my original Google Maps route.
I have joined Trility Consulting as Chief Strategy Officer, and I couldn’t be more jazzed about it!
“You just started a business 5 years ago, didn’t you?” Some might ask. “Why would you want to work for someone else?” they’ll say. “Why not start another company?”
I did start a company 5 years ago, yes. A technology recruiting and staff augmentation company called Dynamo. It became profitable within 12 months, grew every year (became an Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Company), supported a bunch of great customers, and built a great brand with a great group of people.
I was honored to help lead that company, from its initial twinkle-in-the-eye to becoming a growing and recognized brand.
It just wasn’t the right organizational arrangement at the right time. I eventually came to the realization that it would be healthier if we restructured the company, and that led to me exiting. It was hard, yes. It was emotional, very much so. But it was the right decision.
Since my exit, I’ve listened to a bunch of people and considered numerous ideas for my next road to travel. Over the years, I’ve been lucky to grow a network of great contacts, gained know-how, and have a number of potential customers to pursue if I were to start another recruiting and staff augmentation business. It’s a compelling opportunity to consider, and I’ve given it a lot of thought. So why not do it?
Trility is a collection of incredibly bright, value-driven, people-first advisors, technologists, and business people who have critical skills and experience to help clients win in the modern digital economy. They are a business and technology consultancy that delivers results, predictably and repeatedly. They solve complex problems, help guide clients down roads they’ve never ventured, and offer solutions in areas like Cloud, IoT, Cybersecurity, Strategy and Roadmapping, Operational Modernization, and Data/Analytics. They bring products and services to the table that are helping lead enterprise companies (I mean huge Fortune 100 companies) through transformational efforts. And they do it all with security top of mind, all of the time.
I’m also ready for a new challenge. I’ve spent the last 14 years of my career in the recruiting and staff augmentation space. I learned a lot in the industry, and it provided a great foundation. This next chapter comes with different challenges, a different business model, and a bigger opportunity to impact the customers we serve. And Trility does it better, with a more human-centered approach, with more satisfied customers than its competition (think 7-star service, on a 5-star scale).
My personal roadmap has often been in a state of “recalculating” over the years. Heck, I went to Creighton University as an exercise science and business major, and I thought I was going to become a Physical Therapist and start a PT practice. A few unexpected reroutes since then, and I certainly haven’t arrived at that destination. And that’s okay. I’ve learned to adjust my outlook and path, based upon passions, priorities, and opportunities.
I’m blessed to have worked with a ton of great people in my career. I’ve learned so much, from so many. I only hope to give back a sliver of wisdom, inspiration, and know-how that I’ve gleaned from colleagues, consultants, clients, mentors, students, and contacts along the way.
It’s time to get started down the next road. In my role, I will be helping the Trility team expand its markets, customers, offerings, partnerships, impact, and growth. I’ll be looking to help the team promote and reinforce the innovative, always-improving, and team-first culture that already exists. We will be growing, we will be hiring, and we will be ready to partner with companies looking to defend or extend their market share in the digital economy of today. If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out.
My new route is set. I’m not sure what surprises are in store on this road, but I’m sure there will be plenty and I’m looking forward to each of them.
VIDEO | This video breaks down the business problem CCPA presents and outlines a solution approach to comply with the privacy law.
How to Comply with CCPA Requirements
In this video, you’ll gain a high-level understanding of how your organization can comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) using a solution-based approach.
1:00-3:29 Minutes | Defining the Business Problem
You’ll gain a basic understanding of the business problem CCPA presents to organizations by looking at it from two perspectives: The consumer making a request and an internal employee who is tasked with responding to the consumer request.
Demonstration of a Solution Approach to CCPA
3:30-5:42 | Consumer Request
You’ll walk through how a consumer would make a CCPA request from your website. CCPA requires organizations provide a Do Not Sell My Personal Information link on their websites that allows the consumer to make that request, as well as a request to delete their personal information or have their personal information shown to them.
5:42-10:00 | Internal Process
This section of the video shows how an internal team member can review and respond to a consumer requesting to have their information shown to them. This solution approach also allows for a manual review process that can be integrated with an automated one.
Not sure if CCPA applies to you?
Take a free assessment to determine if this privacy law impacts your business.
Leverage the Internet of Things (IoT) to make the ever-growing network of devices talk to existing services or new products.
Companies are looking to use Internet of Things (IoT) to connect, modernize, or invent services and products. Extremely large volumes of sensitive data come out of IoT ecosystems. Preparing for how you plan to use and secure the data are essential conversations to have from the start.
See how Trility helped three clients build new products and services, expand solutions, and invent new ways to create efficiencies and experiences to their customer’s delight.
When we needed a team that could come in with practical solutions to our aggressive goals, we went with Trility because they offer predictable, repeatable software development processes that can scale to our needs.
Cloud adoption requires adopting a new mindset to provide a return on investment.
The Bottom Line // Moving to the cloud requires a new way of thinking and managing services. Cloud adoption requires adopting a new mindset to provide a return on investment. Start with a clear goal, preferably a specific application or service, as you take your company to the cloud to minimize the cost of acquisition while your teams learn and grow in the new environment.
Download our handout and read the four things you can do to ensure the cost of acquisition is minimized and the return on investment is maximized.
Companies can leverage a centralized, easy-to-understand tool to align with compliance standards.
July 12, 2019, DES MOINES, IA – Trility® Consulting has launched two new features to the IronBench Compliance Navigator™ product built to enable centralized management and reporting of your organization’s alignment to standards. The Trility team originally set out to simplify how their own teams understand, implement, manage and audit today’s information security/regulatory compliance requirements while building solutions for their clients. The result of this effort rendered a number of new software products including IronBench Compliance Navigator.
“Our IronBench Compliance Navigator product targets organizations that want a simple, light-weight and centralized method of managing their organization’s compliance efforts without the complexity and cost many folks experience today. People want the flexibility to handle multiple standards, audits, projects and teams at the same time, understand at a glance where risk exposures exist and to know that as people come and go, data and history will not be lost because a spreadsheet left with the last exiting team member,” says Matthew Edwards, CEO of Trility.
…data and history will not be lost because a spreadsheet left with the last exiting team member.
“We’ve seen the plight of the information security folks who get left behind learning about projects, risks and issues in arrears. We’ve seen amazing people doing amazing things to keep up and ensure their organization is prepared for the next audit or attack. We think it should be easier. That’s why we built IronBench Compliance Navigator.”
What’s does IronBench Compliance Navigator offer?
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) module shows companies what is required of them to meet California’s new consumer protection law and provides an intuitive, centralized method of managing and reporting your company’s status against this law today and into the future. Take a 1-minute, free assessment to determine if this law impacts your company. If it does, the CCPA module within IronBench Compliance Navigator helps you manage your ongoing compliance requirements in a simple, easy-to-understand manner today and into the future.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) moduleshows companies what is required of them to meet today’s payment card industry requirements in an intuitive, centralized method of management and reporting. If your company accepts credit cards as a form of payment, you are expected to evidence compliance regularly. This module helps companies understand what is required, as well as helps manage your organization’s on-going compliance status in a low-friction, easy-to-use experience year after year.
The NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NIST CSF) module shows, in everyday language and concepts, private sector companies what is recommended in order to prevent, detect and respond to cyber incidents in today’s critical technology infrastructure. If you are looking for a centralized, easy-to-understand and use method of aligning your organization to the NIST-CSF, this module will guide you through the material and enables you to manage your organization’s alignment as your company, your industry and as the standard itself changes through the years.
To get started, you can also take a free Maturity Assessment to understand where your organization is along the path to alignment with the NIST CSF.
IronBench Compliance Navigator guides you through the process of identifying which standards apply to you, where your organization is strong and where it needs work, as well as helps you identify possible solutions to increase your preparedness along the way. Customer benefits include:
Track all compliance requirements, risks and responses in one secure location that’s accessible to all of your teams anytime, anywhere
Track your organization against multiple standards at the same time, in the same tool, year after year – change history included
Stay on top of new regulatory compliance standards in the marketplace, as well as changes to existing standards against which you currently manage your organization Delegate responsibility to others to acquire answers instead of having to personally perform each and every step manually
Create a free account to view the available tools in the IronBench Cybersecurity Suite and purchase only the ones relevant to your organization. If you’re interested in a white-label solution or an enterprise version of this tool that meets your specific needs, contact us.
The IronBench Cybersecurity Suite of tools, as well as all associated patents and trademarks, are wholly-owned by IronBench LLC. IronBench and Trility Consulting, as well as all associated patents and trademarks, are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Trility Group Holdings, Inc. Trility provides strategic management consulting, digital transformation expertise and advanced technical solutions for forward-thinking global businesses.
The “fail fast, fail often” mantra may NOT lead to a win in the world of digital transformation. Just like in soccer, your company must focus on the desired outcome (scoring goals) to win.
The mantra “fail fast, fail often” is a rallying cry for technologists pushing organizations to become more Agile, more Lean, and to push teams to deliver faster. What is being delivered and how valuable it is long term, however, tends to get lost in the shuffle and “fail fast, fail often” can lead to a big fail when there isn’t a clear goal in mind.
The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup was held in France and if you’ve watched any of the games, one of the statistics talked about is time of possession. During the course of a game, teams will drive forward to test an opposing defense, then pull back, sometimes all the way to the goalkeeper, and try again. However, as soon as the defense has adjusted and passing lanes are open the offensive side is on the attack again working towards the desired outcome: Score a goal.
In April 2018 Sunnie Giles, a Forbes.com Contributor, posted an article: How To Fail Faster – And Why You Should. She states, “In today’s complex business environment, where things are changing constantly, speed of execution is a lot more important than perfect execution.” She points to a concept of iterations creating positive autocatalytic feedback loops which eventually leads to radical innovation. This is a pretty common view from many leadership teams on how they want to push their organizations forward.
The words “radical innovation” stuck out when I read the article. I have had the privilege to work with a number of organizations throughout my career. In some cases, the leadership inside the organization coveted innovation and spent a significant amount of time and money building up innovation teams. The opportunity to drive the business into adjacent markets, new markets entirely, or to refine their existing market offerings to expand the organizations hold on a market. More often than not, the “radical innovation” introduced by leadership was either cut off from the rest of the organization or was actively under attack by more established parts of the organization and in the end, not effective in achieving the original business objectives.
Teams get locked into playing possession and lose focus on moving down the field and scoring a goal.
Why? Executives jockeying for power, friction between “the way we’ve always done it” vs. “the new way we want to do it now,” shrinking budgets, changes in priority to shore up existing market share. A large number of different factors all branching from a common thread: a lack of focus on the desired outcome. Teams get locked into playing possession and lose focus on moving down the field and scoring a goal.
Four Steps to Fail Fast AND Achieve the Desired Outcome
How do you prevent getting locked into playing possession? At Trility, we break the process down into four distinct stages:
Each stage in the process has a clearly defined outcome to help ensure stakeholders can see the value along the way. Often companies are eager to jump straight to the Implementation stage and the “fail fast, fail often” mindset can achieve the discover and define stages – thus the desired outcome along the journey. However, unless you know where the goal is your team is just playing possession.
Trility Consulting hires Rhonda O’Connor as Director of Marketing.
Trility Consulting, a Trility Group Holdings company, is proud to announce Rhonda O’Connor has joined the Trility Consulting team as Director of Marketing. In this role, Rhonda is responsible for leading and executing marketing strategies to align and meet Trility Group Holdings’ core business objectives. But if you ask her, her role is to keep everyone busy with new opportunities that will become repeat customers.
Rhonda O’Connor Director of Marketing
Rhonda is a strategic marketer with decades of experience formulating and executing strategies. Her most recent experiences in the tech space will assist in scaling Trility’s existing success.
“Rhonda brings a history of solving problems with strategies that deliver optimal results. Her experience in the technology space brings a deep understanding of the marketing and sales process and will help create measurable results and efficiencies in those areas,” said Peder Malchow, Chief Revenue Officer for Trility Group Holdings. “Her ability to clearly communicate the value and benefits of services and products will help our team continue to deliver positive outcomes.”
Trility Consulting is a leading provider of measurable outcomes for C-Suite executives. Trility provides strategic management consulting, digital transformation expertise, and advanced technical solutions for forward thinking global businesses.
For more information, contact Rhonda at email@example.com or 515-321-4829.