Steel in the Street

As February winds down, a deadline may be passing for the Central Corridor LRT line in Saint Paul.  It’s unclear if earlier statements that the lawsuits this plan has generated still have to be settled in order to proceed to final design now that the Federal Government has given the project $45 million through a back door.  What we can be sure is that the project is in some trouble. This, along with the Legislative bonding session, has generated some new cheerleading to advance the project.  Some of it is far more enlightening than the writers intended.

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Blog Series

The blog, as we know it, is a deeply flawed platform for discussing complex ideas.  It emphasizes quick bites of text and an obsession with newness.  With a little modification, however, I happen to believe that a blogger can create works of great relevance if they carefully pay attention to the organization of what they are trying to say.   One method for accomplishing this is the simple device that I call a “Blog Series”.

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The Living Lincoln

Heroes come and go in a nation as large and diverse as the USofA.  The ones that stand out are the ones that keep coming back to us in times of trouble, re-evaluated and reclaimed for a new generation.  None of our heroes has the ability to comfort us in difficult times like Abraham Lincoln, and his resurgence recently is a wonderful mirror through which we can see where we stand with a strong clarity and resolve.  As great as he was, his presence as a myth is even more powerful than the man himself.

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Disconnect

It’s been a terrible week for casual violence.  There was a shooting at a university and then a plane crashed into an IRS office.  Nooze crews then searched through the wreckage of the lives to try to find out just what went wrong.

They probably won’t come up with anything, at least not before the next similar episode occurs.  There won’t be much of a follow-up because another event will overtake the scene of carnage.  These two episodes are just more disconnected events in a string of people who use whatever implements are at hand to lash out.  It is that disconnect that they, and all acts of violence, have in common.

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Walk and Talk

Organizations that thrive in a changing world all have one thing in common – a strong strategic focus.  They know their objectives and strategy very well and communicate them effectively.  What is less obvious is that a good strategic plan comes from individual people.  It takes a lot of skill and a little planning to work it up into a real plan, but there is never any substitute for the old “walk and talk” – getting to know the clients, customers, employees, citizens, or any other way you want to define the people of an operation.

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