Friday, May 25, 2012

No More Computer Generated Dragons In Space

International Space Station Crew Captures SpaceX Dragon...

Fri, 25 May 2012 09:04:33 AM CDT

"The International Space Station Expedition 31 crew successfully captured the SpaceX Dragon capsule with the station's robotic arm at 9:56 AM EDT. The feat came 3 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 23 seconds after the mission's launch. The station was 251 miles over northwest Australia when capture occurred."

So now, instead of clever CGI we can have real photos of a real Dragon.

The More Charitable Review

Of Potential by Bill Whitmore...

Barry Nixon asked to publish my review of Bill Whitmore's new book, but he didn't care for my first impressions of Potential: Workplace Violence Prevention and Your Organizational SuccessHe asked me to try again.  Here is my rewritten review.

Bill Whitmore, the Chairman and CEO of Allied-Barton Security Services, has written a book about leading his company as it grew to become one of the largest manned guarding vendors in the country. Corporate America badly needs a book that demonstrates to the C-suite the value of creating a positive, proactive, and progressive security culture in modern businesses. Bill Whitmore’s story of how he guided the effort to make Allied-Barton an employee-centered learning enterprise that embodies the modern principles of servant leadership and continuous staff development is good and could be better if it were to focus on that story. This makes the title of Whitmore’s book more than a little ironic. Potential is a potentially great book on security leadership that is diluted by its workplace violence theme, which feels added on.

This isn’t a bad book on workplace violence, if you – like most people – take that term to mean homicides perpetrated in your office or factory by clients and customers, co-workers and former co-workers, or estranged husbands and boyfriends. Whitmore chooses to focus primarily on the means by which companies can prevent, detect, and respond to threats and violence perpetrated by co-workers and former co-workers. To his immense credit, Whitmore calls on business executives to create corporate cultures that do not tolerate verbal abuse, bullying, and intimidation. However, he stops of short of admitting what most employees know, that in many companies much of the verbal abuse, bullying, and intimidation is perpetrated by supervisors, managers, and executives. 

Potential is not the book you need if your concerns include protecting police officers or security personnel from violent line-of-duty deaths, or saving retail and service employees from robbery homicides. Whitmore also misses the chance to call out suicide as an under-appreciated menace to American businesses. Whitmore briefly mentions the topic of suicide at work, using a powerful example to do so, but he does not expand upon the impact of this growing trend. Security, safety, and human resources professionals will need to go elsewhere for detailed guidance on these topics, which account for the vast majority of violent deaths at work each year.

There are other issues to resolve as we address the complex and multifaceted problem called workplace violence. Crime prevention for cab drivers, protective equipment and training for security personnel, humane management practices, prohibitions against horseplay, screening for depression, and quality mental health insurance benefits are among the many tools an organization may draw upon to create a workplace violence prevention and response program that meets its specific business needs. Whitmore addresses some of these issues, but not all of them, which causes Potential to fall short.

Despite my misgivings, I sincerely hope that Potential is successful enough to give Whitmore the opportunity to write the book this one might have been, a book that demonstrates to the C-suite the value of creating a positive, proactive, and progressive security program in modern corporations. Security is an under-appreciated contributor to corporate culture and business success, an idea Bill Whitmore clearly understands. Given that your CEO is unlikely to read a book on security leadership, if Potential is the only book he reads about workplace violence you could do worse.

Reviewer Bio:

Michael Brady, MA, CPP, is an account manager, consultant, and trainer for Hannon Security Services, Inc. in Minneapolis, MN. Michael is also an adjunct instructor in the Security Management program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota School of Graduate and Professional Programs. He recently completed his Master of Arts in Human Development during which he focused on issues of leadership, team building, and problem solving. He blogs on critical thinking, ethics, leadership, and other topics at

UPDATE: Allied Barton is now advertising that visitors to  will receive a promo code with which to download an eBook copy of Potential. Wonder if I'm the only person who purchased a copy at retail?