Friday, March 04, 2011

Friday... one more day to go before the weekend!

Yes, we have class on Saturday. Two case studies and then a historical walking tour of Lexington and Concord. Why you ask? We're in the modules where we're learning about the framing of the government. We spent time this afternoon in discussions of the Federalist Papers after a morning of organization building and a case study on navigating Fed politics. The lunch speaker today was Shelly Metzanbaum -the Associate Director of OPM's Performance Management program. Interesting stuff.

It was a good day. Dinner was to be in the Penthouse dining room with a guy dressed as James Madison, talking about the papers and framing of the Constitution. I bagged out. I ended up with a massive sinus headache about 2, so I figured I'd try and kick it before the walking tour and dinner out tomorrow. I held out until after the final class before dinner, then headed back.

Tomorrow should be another great day. Going to head to bed early and try and kick this headache.


Harvard Cyber Security Symposium

Broadcast live today from 12-6:30. I'll be in class, but an interesting roundup of panelists.

"The future of the Internet" (lunchtime debate) Jonathan Zittrain, Stewart Baker

Privacy concerns in cyberspace: Kevin Bankston (EFF), Dr. Joel Bremmer (former NCIX), David Hoffman (Intel), Susan Landau (Harvard)

Defense and Deterrence in Cybersecurity and Cyber Warfare: Steven Chabinski (FBI), Duncan Hollis (Temple Univ), Martin Libicki (RAND), Noah Shactman (Wired Mag), Eric Rosenbach (Harvard)

Keynote: Steven Bradbury (DA Atty Gen, DoJ)


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Harvard.. Thursday week 2

Almost half way through the program. Today was a little shorter, but even with the shorter day I ended up a little late this morning. We had a light reading day, so I spent the morning sitting at the kitchen table in the dorm reading forward. Coffee and case studies; the breakfast of champions! About 8:30 I realized I hadn't showered, was engrossed in a case about revamping the MTA, and it was time to go. By 9:00, I was FROZEN from the walk (14 deg F plus a heavy wind) to school (maybe just under a mile??).. headed straight for Dunkin Donuts and then in my seat by 9:10.. not bad, but still, I want every minute I can get out of these people and the program!

Today was a fun treat. I met with the Sr. Researcher for the Minerva project. Minerva is a DoD funded collaborative project between Harvard Kennedy School and MIT's computer science program. The program topics have a familiar ring, except for one very interesting piece (at least through my lense!). They're focusing on cyber in the horizontal as it relates to International Relations. What a concept! A DoD funded cyber project that actually considers international relations issues! I've been asked to present. Likely going to talk about challenges in the heterogeneous global corporate environment --all unclas and should add value. From my perspective, it's also a two slide talk that will last about 45 minutes, so it should be perfect. One benefit here is they use very little in the way of PowerPoint. I'm finding more value in the blackboard discussions than being preached at through PowerPoint. I'll likely do the same thing.. two slides, two sets of graphics; no text.

The day, again, was AMAZING. I can easily declare Gary Orren is by far the best professor I've ever had. I can declare that without even thinking. Gary teaches persuasion. It's a baseline program before heading into negotiation next week, but just the fact that I've now been through six sessions of the mechanics behind good, persuasive communications is something I've never had. Gary gave me new tools, and believe me, I've already started practicing in some of my emails. 

Tomorrow is another lunchtime speaker. It's on the agenda as 'special guest'. Not sure what that means, but it seems to mean that HKS doesn't want to advertise the fact that high profile guests will join us at lunch. So more tomorrow. I'm looking forward to the surprise!

Ok, time for bed. I took about thirty minutes tonight to watch some mindless television and do some reading for pleasure. I took care of tomorrow's readings this morning ;)


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

It's been a hell of a week...

It's just after 10PM. I had a bourbon and cigar on my porch with my roommate (a retired Navy P3 pilot/Commander) and we just found out a classmate was selected for AF Brig General! What a night. What a day.. all of them, just packed.

Anyway, Breakfast at 7, study group from 8-9, and classes every 90, minutes until finishing with dinner and a movie that will be the subject of tomorrow's first class. Reading more case studies than I've ever read before. For tomorrow, it's a civil war case on dealing with communications/persuasion of a mutinous unit.

I've been trying hard to network as best possible with the limited free time, so tomorrow it's the Minerva project --a joint Harvard/MIT program on cyber in international relations. Additionally, have a speech on increasing the tax on cigarettes designed to practice our new persuasive speech frameworks.

This is a great education.. a once in a lifetime experience.

Ok, off to bed. I'm exhausted and have to be up and in by 8:30 tomorrow. Getting a break.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday night.. heading into week 2!

Just left Spangler. What a great place. It's the main building for Harvard Business School. The Kennedy School folks share the facility for food since the graduate dorms (apartments) are all on the HBS campus on Soldiers Field Road.

Anyway, tonight was preparing for a role playing exercise to take place on Thursday morning. I'd mentioned a class on persuasion last week. This is by far, the best class to date.. and I've only been here a week! This is probably the class I needed most, but there are more coming. This week is three more sessions on persuasive comms this week, plus (as if there needed to be a plus!) we start on negotiation! I"m telling you, these guys give us nuts and bolts 'how to' lessons to actually do better communications, and anyone who knows me will tell you it's an area I could do better. I'm filling my toolkit with everything these guys will give me!

So, favorites? Gary Orren on persuasion. Ron Ferguson taught us how to tear apart ANY statistical analysis with fool proof tips to looking at stats with a critical eye. Pete Zimmerman talks of strategy and planning, and although I see myself as a pretty savvy strategist, this guy makes me look like a rank amateur. Steve Keller is on for tomorrow for our second session on building solid performance management plans. Bottom line, this place is cool as hell!

Re the forum? Last week it was Eric Cantor and William Perry. This week we're told it's a 'special guest'. I'm told they only book three days in advance, but it's well worth sitting in seats obviously engineered for college students before the experience the middle aged spread, but it's totally worth it.

Ok all. More to come. This is a once in a lifetime experience and I've got work to do to make sure I make the most of it... although tonight did include bourbon and cigars with my new friend from the UN. He's a political analyst for the the Secretary, and is a terrific conversationist. Does this mean I've been worked over? Probably. It's a good thing I only know about broubon and cigars!