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What’s Next For You? How Knowledge Management is Transforming Talent Management in Global Markets

talent acquisition

What’s Next For You? How Knowledge Management is Transforming Talent Management in Global Markets

Knowledge management seeks to apply organizational knowledge in order to satisfy and exceed employee’s expectations. All executives need to be aware of how to better control knowledge management which coincides with talent management and to do this, they should understand the strong correlation between two important factors. The focus of this article is based upon the critical role of knowledge management which allows a rich basis for understanding the mechanisms by which talent management is influenced.

6 Key Practices to Integrate Talent Management and Knowledge Management

Since executives are constantly dealing with employee development, talent management is something they pay a great deal of attention to. Of course, this is not new but worth mentioning. A mistake in this area may be vital to the organizations and executives must choose their practices wisely. This article addresses these knowledge management practices in depth to set the record straight upon the importance of talent management.

1. Prioritize Candidate Experience

Knowledge is a collection of meaningful experiences. The key take-away for executives is that prioritizing candidate experience can enable organizations to solve problems and create value through improved performance and it is this point that will narrow the gaps of success and failure leading to more successful decision-making.

2. Tailor Talent Acquisition Strategy to Business Goals

Executives must determine their business goals for the next three years and develop a talent acquisition strategy that focuses on planning the work and technically supporting newly-hired employees to achieve the business goals. A talent acquisition strategy helps companies to achieve their business goals that reflect excellence and some kind of higher-order effectiveness. This is where executives can attempt to achieve business goals—stemming from a talent acquisition strategy across pivotal areas on the organization.

3. Educate the Hiring Manager

Hiring managers can become familiar with employee recruitment practices through education. Education is more active, broad, flexible, experimental, synthetic, and strategic compared to training. Why is this, you may ask? Because education is a process that leads to acquiring new insights and knowledge, and potentially to correct sub-optimal or ineffective actions and behaviors that cause companies to spiral out of control.

4. Enhance Training Efficiency

Executives must provide work-related training programs for newly-hired employees when beginning onboarding and must be aware of their training efficiency programs. As executive trainers, I agree with Jennifer Rowley who suggests training courses as an effective way to share knowledge. Most importantly, applying knowledge aimed at providing better decision-making and work-related practices and creating new knowledge through innovation. Knowledge has to be measured in some way, many trainers talk about return-on-investment of training which is hard to measure, training satisfaction measurement by participants and their desire to apply it to the workplace is an excellent barometer of learning new skills or building upon old ones. The key point in the training is the knowledge use coupled with testing and re-testing to ensure that the knowledge is actually helping the organization grow professionally for employees and profitably for all stakeholders.

 5. Write No Strict Job Descriptions

When newly-hired employees come on board, they are given job descriptions. But how can executives write no strict job descriptions? The answer to this question lies in an executive’s demonstration to motivate employees to approach organizational problems in a more novel approach. In doing this, executives can inspire employees to rethink problems and challenge their current personal attitudes and values. Most importantly, executives can transform organizations by attempting to change the basic values, beliefs, and attitudes of employees so that they are willing to perform beyond their previous or originally level specified by the organization in their job description.

6. Be More Flexible

Flexibility in the workplace may enable executives to improve departmental and managerial interactions and develop relationships among managers, business units, and departments. Through flexibility in the workplace, executives can also shift the power of decision-making to the lower levels and inspire newly-hired employees to create new ideas and implement them, which can in turn propel interdepartmental communications and improve knowledge exchange.

In Conclusion

This article can offer several implications for practice. First, this article highlights that there is a strong correlation between knowledge management and talent management within organizations. Importantly, this approach advances the current business literature on talent management by offering novel insights into how knowledge management affects talent identification, satisfaction and retention. This article suggests new insights to identify knowledge management as a primary driver of effective talent management for companies. Therefore, I suggest that executives embrace knowledge management. My primary focus is on one factor (talent management) but there are many more important components of the managerial function that can be enhanced when knowledge management is embraced. The key here is that there are positive effects of knowledge management on talent management.

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Rowley, J. (2001). Knowledge management in pursuit of learning: the learning with knowledge cycle. Journal of Information Science, Vol. 27, No. 4, pp. 227-237.

executives

What Executives Can Learn From the Globe’s Best Leaders

Military leaders often provide what is called “Top Cover” flying above their followers to ensure their mission is a success. Submarines travel with pilot ships to guide them. This is what executives need to do. The purpose of this article is to answer the question “What executives can learn from 5 famous American leaders?”

There are various issues and considerations existing in the leadership literature as the core of the criticism in the literature is that organizations of all sorts (corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations) tend to be over-managed (and, in some cases, over-administrated) and under-led. Reading all the books on leadership today will cover the gamut of Shakespeare to Geronimo. Not to say that these authors, leaders, and thinkers do not have anything good to say about leadership. It is just that the plethora of leadership literature has sent mixed signals to executives. The only thing we know is the managers may be doing things right but leaders are doing the right things. If you agree, even slightly, with this concept, then this article is designed, developed, and created for you.

What Executives Can Learn from Eisenhower’s Leadership

In American politics in 2016, a crucial year between the democratic and republican parties, this presidential election has shown that there is a direct connection between politics and CEOs, who at least think they are experienced enough to hold the ultimate leadership position. Political leaders are not any different than organizational businessmen. More and more businessmen and women are becoming political candidates and people are responding positively. The reason being—the two do go together. At the heart of leadership are a large number of followers. Without the support of followers, leaders will fail. The same thing goes with the political candidate that has to win the hearts and minds of the followers to get elected.

There are many more followers than there are leaders and this is more so in the political realm. The question is: Can CEOs see political leaders as the perfect examples for leadership? The answer is a resounding “Yes.” For example, Eisenhower, one of the former presidents of the United States in World War II, effectively led both the American government and the Allied Forces in Europe in defeating Adolf Hitler. Eisenhower’s leadership provides lessons for CEOs in today’s organizational challenges. Eisenhower argued that leaders must care for their people as individuals, always remain optimistic, and place themselves with and for the people, and, most importantly, provide the WHY behind what you ask them to do. For the executive’s corner, executives must be aware that Dwight Eisenhower’s leadership can fundamentally affect the way a company performs its functions.

What Executives Can Learn from 4 Famous American Business Leaders

One example of this comes from CEO Rich Teerlink, who dramatically changed Harley-Davidson in the 1980s, and fundamentally built a different organization that still prospers today. The success of leadership at the Harley-Davidson Corporation has stood the test of time. For example, Harley-Davidson’s leadership created a more effective organization built upon three primary principles, focusing on people, challenging norms, and continuing to fundamentally change. At Harley, every employee can participate in leadership decision-making.

Another example of famous American business leaders in a highly competitive environment is Steve Jobs, former leader of Apple, who built a highly effective organization through taking a change-oriented leadership approach, which highly manifested itself in talent, product, organization, and marketing. As a result, leadership, being the core of management, is crucial to the company’s success—-both from a performance and management level.

The evidence from these examples suggests that leadership is highly demanding at the corporate level. For organizations to achieve a sustained change and eventually a higher degree of efficiency and effectiveness, selecting a great business leader is the key to success. In the absence of leadership, organizations lose their required direction to achieve a high degree of hypercompetitiveness, and cannot implement successful change in order to adapt to today’s global business environment.

As executives attempt to manage people they find that intellectual capital is at the forefront of success—Bill Gates, as an exemplary leader, once mentioned that if he lost his top 50 people that he would not have an organization anymore. Executives develop organizational communications aimed at providing valuable resources for all organizational members. They enhance knowledge sharing among intellectual capital and stipulate knowledge to be shared around the organization.

Sharing the best practices and experiences could positively impact some aspects of non-financial performance such as innovation, providing learning and growth opportunities for employees. Empowered employees can enable organizations to actively respond to environmental changes, which can, in turn, enhance performance in terms of return on assets and return on sales.

The outcome is success which narrows the gap between success and failure and this can be achieved by the commitment of organizational members and facilitated by executives. When executives show concern for the employee’s individual needs, individuals begin to contribute more commitment and they become more inspired them to put extra effort into their work. This extra effort improves customer satisfaction, and impacts shareholder value and improves operational risk management.

Corporate strategy can be also employed by incredibly successful leaders, such as Jeff Bezos, to enhance goal achievement. Prominent scholars that are well known in the Academy of Management, one of the largest leadership and management organizations in the world also say that successful organizations enhance their competitiveness by focusing on corporate strategy. Leaders find that corporate strategy is in the forefront of success. Corporate strategy could be the most important component of success in this ever-changing business environment of today. This, by far, is why some organizations are successful and some are not. The key take-away for executives is that corporate strategy is a resource that enables organizations to solve problems and create value through improved performance and it is this point that will narrow the gaps of success and failure leading to more successful decision-making.

Evidently, executives that implement corporate strategy as an important driving force for business success find their organization to be more competitive and on the cutting edge. Thus, the effectiveness of corporate strategy implementation is determined by a set of critical success factors, one of which is the strategic dimension of leadership. And the burden of success when the implementation of corporate strategy is concerned is heavily dependent on the capabilities of the organization’s leaders. Therefore, the outcome is success which narrows the gap between success and failure and this can be achieved by corporate strategy implementation and facilitated by an executive following Jeff Bezos and acting as a leader.

In Conclusion

Many executives are familiar with leadership surveys developed by scholars and this article is not about measuring aptitude or defining leadership styles. It is about getting the information needed to be successful in the right hands of executives. This article raises a vital question as to how executives can lead by example. I attempt to blend scholarly concepts with real-world application through thoroughly looking at the perfect examples for leadership. Based on this article, executives can now see that famous American leaders can, in fact, make a fundamental change in the processes by which organizations serve their clients. And success can be more effective when leadership is applied to change attitudes and assumptions. Without a grasp on this one tenet executives are bound to fail.

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Mostafa Sayyadi works with senior business leaders to effectively develop innovation in companies and helps companies—from start-ups to the Fortune 100—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders. He is a business book author and a long-time contributor to business publications and his work has been featured in top-flight business publications.  

experiment

5 Tips to Help You Lead & Experiment During Crisis

As a leader, during COVID-19 (or any crisis) it can be hard to find your feet and to feel confident in your path. You may feel inadequate, unsure, and out of your depth. That is to be expected. This is leadership like we have never seen before. So many businesses are closed or trying to find new ways of doing things. I believe almost every organization feels like a start-up right now. Uncertain times need new kinds of leadership. We don’t have the answers, only questions, and still, we are asked to be leaders. Being experimental in your leadership approach will help you try things, learn from them, and figure out your next experiment.

These tips will help you find a new center for yourself as a leader:

You are not responsible. It should go without saying, but this is not your fault. This is a global challenge that doesn’t have clear answers. Your people may want you to have answers, but you won’t and you can’t. They will want certainty about their jobs, their income, and their lives. You can’t promise them the future. Encourage them to do their job today and let them know you have compassion but cannot be the answer to their future. Give up being an all-knowing leader and be human. Practice compassion and be collaborative to help your team makes sense of the crazy.

Get bad news out of the way fast. If you have lay-offs and reorgs to do, do it quickly. Make a plan–even if it is a bad plan and clear this from your “to do” list. You will be a better leader with clarity. Kudos if you can be compassionate while you do it. There are some businesses that will not survive this. Don’t hide your head in the sand like an ostrich. Embrace information and communication even if it is bad news. Work on being a good leader in bad times. Figure out what being a good leader means to you. Kindness goes a long way when you are delivering bad news.

Think about a timeline. What is important 1 week from now? What is important 1 month from now? What is important 1 year from now? Some organizations need to be extending their timeline (How will we emerge from this crisis?) while others are busy changing to meet day to day needs (What do our clients need today?). Make sure to orient your thinking daily and consider multiple time frames. Make time to consider your leadership path before you face a day of decision making and are faced with the feelings and challenges of others. Find your own true north as a leader.

Be kind and firm. Your team members may be spinning and scared. Be empathetic and then ask them to get back to their jobs and produce good work. Having meaningful work is a privilege in these times and you can ask them to be achievers right now….today. You can deliver groundedness and purpose as long as they are working. There can be compassion for the challenges they face (kids at home, new environment, etc) but don’t let them off the hook. They are being paid to provide work. Your insistence on them delivering work is part of the work of leadership right now.

Practice extreme self-care. You are your own strongest asset. Experiment to strengthen your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Reach for the salad and smoothies instead of the martinis and chocolate cake. Exercise. Sleep. Meditate if that works for you. Journal or sit and think. Pause. Ask for help and love from friends. Schedule a virtual happy hour with friends or colleagues. Try and go deeper than you ever have before with your self-care. You have never needed to care for yourself as you do today. Experiment with giving yourself what you need.

You will get through this. You will learn from this. You will do your best and you will do your worst in this. As an experimental leader, it is important that you stay engaged in the struggle of leadership. Try and fail and dust yourself off. Figure out the change you want to see and what the barriers are. Figure out an experiment. Collect data. Figure out what you just learned. Ask, “What is my next experiment?” Go experiment again.

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Melanie Parish is a public speaker, author, and Master Coach. An expert in problem-solving, constraints management, operations, and brand development, Melanie has consulted and coached organizations ranging from the Fortune 50 to IT start-ups. She is the author of The Experimental Leader: Be A New Kind of Boss to Cultivate an Organization of Innovators. For more information, please visit, www.melanieparish.com, and connect with her on Twitter, @melanieparish.

business

The 5 C’s That Can Help Businesses Ride Out Tough Times

With corporate CFOs expressing worries that 2020 could bring a recession, businesses small and large know they need to hope for the best and brace for the worst.

But, as important as business savvy and financial expertise can be in riding out difficult times, other traits also come into play and maybe just as essential, says Marsha Friedman, a successful entrepreneur who still leads a business she launched three decades ago.

“One of those essential traits is courage,” says Friedman, founder and president of News & Experts (www.newsandexperts.com), a national PR firm.

“Thirty years ago when I started my company, I probably would never have said it takes courage to lead a small business, but without it, I assure you, you’ll fail.”

Friedman, who is also the ForbesBooks author of Gaining the Publicity Edge: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Growing Your Brand Through National Media Coverage, understands this first-hand. Her firm, like many businesses, endured tough economic times after the 9/11 attacks. Revenue dropped and bankruptcy loomed as a real possibility.

“I had to figure out how to turn my company around,” she says. “It took courage, endurance, and perseverance, but I knew I could not go back, so I had no choice but to go forward.”

Courage is just one of what Friedman calls the 5 C’s for building and maintaining a successful business.

“They’re the guiding principles I’ve learned through the ups and downs and all the mistakes,” she says.

In addition to courage, Friedman’s other C’s are:

Caring. First, care enough about yourself and your dreams to believe you can achieve success, Friedman says. “Just as important is caring about your staff and creating a positive work environment for them,” she says. “Be supportive when stressful situations arise in their lives.” Finally, a good business leader cares about customers, Friedman says. Be willing to listen to their concerns, take responsibility for mistakes, and correct them.

Confidence. Most people have faced and overcome challenges in life. The confidence that allowed them to prevail over those challenges needs to be brought into play in business, Friedman says. “Believing you can reach for and achieve your short-term and long-term goals is essential to getting you there,” she says.

Competence. It’s critical to stay up on the trends and disruptions in your industry. “But you need to recognize your limitations, and you shouldn’t take on jobs within your company for which you’re not qualified,” Friedman says. “You’ll make yourself miserable and your business will suffer.” So, she says, hire an accountant to handle the financials. Get marketing help if that’s not your thing. Hire competent people who you will trust in their jobs – and then trust them.

Commitment. Stay dedicated to your goals no matter how difficult that becomes. Friedman says there are times when this will be not only difficult but downright painful. That was the case for her during those tough times after the 9/11 attacks. “I had to make drastic cuts, including letting go of beloved employees,” she says. “For more than a year, I ramped up marketing efforts, diversified our services, and took other steps to get the business out of the red. In 2005, I succeeded – and it has been upward and onward ever since.”

“If you’ve recently launched a new business, know that you’ll encounter challenges, but don’t panic,” Friedman says. “When times get tough, if you rely on the C’s as a sort of compass, you can guide the business back to smoother waters.”

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Marsha Friedman, author of Gaining the Publicity Edge: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Growing Your Brand Through National Media Coverage, is a businesswoman and public relations expert with nearly 30 years’ experience developing publicity strategies for celebrities, corporations and professionals in the field of business, health and finance.  Using the proprietary system she created as founder and President of News & Experts (www.newsandexperts.com), an award-winning national public relations agency, she secures thousands of top-tier media placements annually for her clients.  The former senior vice president for marketing at the American Economic Council, Marsha is a sought-after advisor on PR issues and strategies, who shares her knowledge both as a popular speaker around the country and in her Amazon best-selling book, Celebritize Yourself.

military

Looking to Hire a Top-Notch Executive? Think Retired Military.

Anyone responsible for guiding a large corporation should be actively recruiting retired military officers. And here’s why.

Commanders are proven leaders. They’ve typically mastered the interlocking skills of how to resource, equip, and train an increasingly large number of troops for combat. Lieutenants start out guiding a platoon of 40 soldiers. Next comes leadership of a company, equaling four or more platoons. The units keep combining, and the number of troops keeps growing.

At the top, the numbers are staggering. For instance, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1993-97), Gen. John Shalikashvili sat atop all branches of the U.S. military, then totaling 1.7 million active-duty personnel. As SACEUR, the military head of NATO (1992-1993), he directed a mind-boggling 2 million troops, 2,300 tanks and 5,200 warplanes from 16 countries.

What enables leadership at that level? Using Shalikashvili’s career as an example reveals a wide range of skills in high demand at any Fortune 500 company.

For one, military leaders dedicate their careers to learning how to master complexity. For artillery officers like Shalikashvili, this includes keeping track of an eyebrow-raising number of variables—like powder temperature and projectile weight; compensation for tube wear, the effects of nonstandard weather conditions, and even the earth’s rotation; the resupply of ammunition, fuel, and rations; as well as working together in support of other combat units.

Yet leadership requires the ability to simplify complex tasks, which the military often does by setting standards and communicating them clearly to others. These skills are especially prevalent in the Army. As the largest service branch, its core strength lies in putting boots on the ground. It’s also the most diverse—in terms of education level, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity. And on average it has the youngest, and thus least experienced, members.

The gravity of the warfighting trade also engenders the skill of precision. For example, fielding nuclear weapons, Shalikashvili’s focus particularly during his early career, requires constant vigilance, setting rigorous standards, and enforcing strict discipline. One crisis, one accident, or even one failed inspection has typically resulted in commanders all along the chain of command being relieved from duty. “In the field of tactical nuclear weapons,” explained Lieutenant General “Dutch” Shoffner, once the Army’s assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, “when you ask an important question you expect a specific answer. And people trained this way take that attitude into other areas of their professional life.”

The military also often affords officers the opportunity for creative leadership. As the two-star commander of the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis in 1987, Shalikashvili oversaw a “high technology test bed” tasked to integrate three brigades—one heavy armor, one light infantry, and one “experimental mechanized”—into a new type of fighting force. This meant designing a division over 10,000 soldiers, building the actual organization, designing and procuring equipment, and both creating a corresponding doctrine and training soldiers how to fight under it.

And finally, while the Patton leadership style is popularized in movies, it is far from the norm. “You can’t be a designer of confrontation within the U.S. military,” noted Jack Walker, once the youngest general officer in the U.S. Army, “It just won’t work.”

The best officers use their power sparingly. “The strongest people don’t need confrontation or anger—but [instead they] know their stuff, their position, and when necessary will not budge,” notes former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, who worked closely with Shalikashvili in the 90s. “Confrontation leaves scars—which over a long-term relationship can leave scar tissue that gets in the way. Shalikashvili did things in a way that people don’t have to lose. He created goodwill.” Walker agreed: “Shali wouldn’t get too strong … until it was really necessary.”

Putting all these diverse skills together can result in astonishing leadership ability. Take Shalikashvili’s command of Operation Provide Comfort. In the aftermath of Gulf War I, some half a million Kurds became trapped along the deadly mountain border between Iraq and Turkey, with 1,000 refugees dying per day. It was an unprecedented crisis, and it created an unprecedented response: Without any pre-existing agreements to provide institutional structure, over 35,000 soldiers from 13 countries and volunteers from over 50 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) came together—many of whom had never worked together and even had outright distrust of each other.

Under Shalikashvili’s leadership, in a mere 90 days, the task force was able to first stop the dying and then managed to move the Kurds peacefully back into Iraq. No wonder Chief of Staff of the Army General Gordon Sullivan would later liken Shalikashvili to the great jazz improvisational artist Dave Brubeck: highly trained in the classical approach but able to operate successfully, almost magically, in new conceptual territory.

In sum, retired military officers offer a wide array of leadership skills—including, but not limited to, understanding complexity, setting and communicating standards, precision, and creativity. Recruiting among their ranks is a low-risk, high-reward approach to injecting experienced leadership into the upper ranks of any large organization.

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Andrew Marble is author of  Boy on the Bridge: The Story of John Shalikashvili’s American Success (University Press of Kentucky), the first-ever biography of Gen. John Shalikashvili. Marble has a PhD in political science from Brown University, an MA in law and diplomacy from Tufts University’s Fletcher School and a BA in East Asian studies from Middlebury College. Heis outreach editor for the Taiwan Journal of Democracy and a reviewer for the Washington Independent Review of Books. For more information, visit andrewmarble.com.

digital

3 Guiding Principles for Digital Transformation Success

Many companies have adopted digital technology to transform their business. But the transition can be a challenging process, and studies show that digital transformation projects often fail to reach company expectations.
This happens for a variety of reasons, says J. Eduardo Campos, co-founder with his wife, Erica, of Embedded-Knowledge Inc. (www.embedded-knowledge.com) and co-author with her of From Problem Solving to Solution Design: Turning Ideas into Actions.
“It’s often due to ineffective communication between the IT department and business teams,” Campos says. “But overall it really comes down to an inability to problem-solve and a tendency to lose sight of teamwork and the big-picture business plan.
“To have a successful digital transformation depends greatly on employees working together, but too many organizations are siloed, thus hampering the communication and creating obstacles in the process.”
Campos offers three ways company leaders can deal with problems in digital transformation:
Define the essential problem. Campos says digital transformational programs fail when company leaders don’t grasp the root of the problem they hope digital transformation will solve. “Beware of solving the symptoms instead of the problem,” Campos says. “To define the essential problem, you first need to step back, reflect, and clearly define what you are trying to address. Detaching yourself from a problem and trying to see it from a different perspective, you then will have a better view of how things interact with each other. There are often multiple layers to why a problem exists, so ask a series of whys that drill down to the answer.”
Design solutions. Once the problem is identified, setting goals and assessing options come next. ”It’s not unusual to find yourself in a situation where the problems you identified are part of a dynamic environment, affected by constant changes that require you to revisit your goals and options regularly,” Campos says. “This is where technology and software can be very helpful in making sure everything is being tracked appropriately without any information getting lost. in addition to technology, using risk management concepts can be a very effective way to help keep consistency throughout the solution design process.”
Engage stakeholders. Digital transformation often represents a massive change for personnel. Campos says it’s vital for the decision-makers to craft a stakeholder engagement plan that addresses all aspects of a recommended solution. “Clearly identify whom will be impacted by the solution, either positively or negatively, and how to handle stakeholder reactions,” Campos says. “You want them to be willing to commit to your recommendation because they indeed want it, not because you are selling it to them. And when you are influencing the decision-making process, be sure to show your stakeholders your appreciation of varying opinions.”
“Achieving success in digital transformation brings together people, process, and technology,” Campos says. “Many businesses never get far past the launch point of their digital transformation because that triad of people, process and technology isn’t in sync, and problems that could have been solved were not.”
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J. Eduardo Campos is co-author with his wife, Erica, of From Problem Solving to Solution Design: Turning Ideas into Actions. Campos spent 13 years at Microsoft, first as a cybersecurity advisor, then leading innovative projects at the highest levels of government in the U.S. and abroad.  His consulting firm, Embedded Knowledge Inc. (www.embedded-knowledge.com), works with organizations and entrepreneurs developing customized business strategies and forming partnerships focused on designing creative solutions to complex problems.