Emotional Business in Employee Engagement

qua·le ˈkwälē/  noun a quality or property as perceived or experienced by a person.Link

We are physically blind in each of our eyes, we have a blind spot.


There’s a way to find your blind spot. Cover your left eye and look at the dot on the left in this image. Be aware of the cross on the right, but don’t look at it – just keep your eye on the dot. Move your face closer to the monitor, and farther away. At some point, you should see the cross disappear. Stay at that point and close your right eye. Stare at the cross, and you should see that the dot has disappeared

Our world is what we perceive it to be but not what it is.

We can demonstrate over and again that things aren’t always what they seem.  We can identify sense gaps and find ways to augment them but it is difficult to identify the emotional gaps and find ways to engage.  If it is dark, I can use a light.  If it is hard to hear, I can use an amplifier.   If I can’t smell something, I can add a smell to it (for detection) like garlic added to acetylene.  When asked in an employee engagement survey a question or a statement it may read.. “On a scale of 1-10, my employer values how I feel.”  No matter what number leadership reads there will be a challenge on how to deal with the results.  Are they a reflection of some common reality or common blindness?  If it is dark for everyone and I turn on a light, everyone can see, but if I take an action to deal with emotions.. results will vary.

How does this translate to business?

In a very literal sense, we are enamored with technology because we can see, feel, hear, touch, smell a change.  We can all share in this idea that together we went from someplace to somewhere using something.

This is one of the reasons why today we have more challenges in human interaction and success in employee engagement.  It impacts everything in business.

Emotional continuity in business is part of business continuity and operational agility. Leaders try to address it with tools.  

…  Company X has a problem transferring knowledge from older workers to incoming 20 somethings.   Company X reduced benefits to cut costs, decreased pay to cut costs, cut jobs, gave all of their senior staff a pay increase, and started to make strategic investments and acquisitions.

Company X created a new internal business capability for communications called “JAM” and they asked all of their employees to use it.   The organization spent $3m dollars on the product in licensing and services, hired the best consultants in the world to advise them on the technology and built a marketing campaign around the capability that included a “Jamboree”

It was new and innovative, built on the best technology that anyone could offer, had the best analytic engine in the business to get all sorts of communication, relationship and sentiment analysis.  It could handle all sorts of communications traffic and it could even make predictions.

Brain Drain

Company X started to look at JAM to see how it was being used and what the adoption rate looked like.   As they got closer to the screen the cross disappeared <— look up at the top if you forgot about the cross.  They are looking at the world with one eye shut.

Due to the new healthcare laws, the cost of working actually went up for the older folks. (Read this for more).  “The costs are going up, the benefits are going down and now you are asking me to train young folks that came into the world with the book knowledge of a billion lives at the tip of their fingers.”    It’s like a reverse shark tank.. they are out.

They didn’t join JAM and they won’t, in fact, they plan on leaving but they are just in the process of questioning themselves on when.

Emotional Business

If you want to reach a person, they must have some trust in what you say.  It isn’t simply that you are a person they like or that you have a great scope of influence, you have to speak with both actions and words.  People will give you a chance to back your words with action but if you fail to do what you say you are going to do, they will leave you.  They will leave you first in emotion and you will be blind to that and they will leave you physically and that you will be aware of because of your focus on the circle.

Leaders wonder why that we have “Crew Change” problems in every industry and every market but there should be very little to wonder.  They are looking to solve the wrong problems with great precision with both good and not- so good intentions.   When you believe your organization would sell your organs to make a buck on you in order for them to spend that same dollar on a bottle of the best rot gut they can find, you will lose your emotional inclination to be loyal to them.


When someone in your family is hurt, you engage them. You talk with them and not at them.  You find ways to communicate with them.  If your son is hurt, buying him a watch won’t change his pain.   It is the same thing in an organization.  There are choices made by multiple parties.   People choose to work for the organization and the organization chooses to have these people work for them.   You have to take the blinder off and look through both eyes and at the same time, use all of your emotional understanding as well.  At the end of the day, communities are families of people who are working together for common goals.  If leadership in a community separates itself from the community and creates an (us and them) situation, the community will respond in kind.   If you want to build the best organization to work for, you have to start with building trust.   Trust is not a slippery business word or consultant speak, it is a real thing that is not something we can touch but certainly something we can feel.

KM Strategy: Does Maturity Matter?


KM Strategy: Does Maturity Matter?

Maturity is linear. When something reaches its full potential through development.

There is great value in using measures, indicators and criteria to diagnose an organization in their current state through an assessment. I don’t think that a maturity model within itself is the right tool or terminology to use.

Would you rather be mature or fit? How about fit and mature? That doesn’t make a lot of sense. An organization is a body. It is healthy, unhealthy, it grows and it shrinks and it can be sick. It is impacted by internal and external events. In a sense, it lives. It doesn’t make sense to state a living composed entity is mature or immature when it comes to sharing knowledge.

It does make sense to understand what changes are taking place and if these changes are having a positive or negative impact. Is the organization healthy? What can we do to make it better? Small efforts? Large efforts? What kind of change could we tolerate as an organization?

Is Knowledge Management part of Change Management?

Sitting in a room with leadership of a large oil and gas company, one of the senior members said “emphatically no, and for this to be brought up in this forum (KM context) is not relevant to the discussion. “ ♪Times…. they are a changin..♪

Knowledge Management Strategy

A KM Strategy is multidimensional. This means that steps and process exist but there are elements of the approach that occur in parallel or through overlapping operations.

1) Understand the current state (You want to know your organizational state regardless.)

2) Define where you want to be as an organization (The organization requires Vision driving Purpose)

3) Know the history of an organization. You can tell where you want to go from where you are but you also need to know where you came from. It is a story that spans the lineage of the organization.

4) It also must look at who the people are as a body (demographics) and what the culture is. What kind of organizational change can the employees tolerate?

5) Is the organization healthy? What will it take to get us there and maintain good health?

Lots of other things to consider in a KM strategy but consider business strategies for a moment.

Knowledge Management is related to Organizational Health

It doesn’t matter if you 8, 18 or 80, the good doctor is going to tell you to eat right, get some exercise and pay attention to some indicators to keep fit. You can’t control outside events or catastrophes but you can maintain your ability to be Antifragile (thanks Nassim Taleb).

If you let yourself go by eating unhealthy or ignoring your responsibilities to yourself, it will have an adverse impact on you and others. We are all part of a system of systems.

Just had a thought..

In a KM engagement, someone asks “How do we fix our search problems?” Well, first you need a Knowledge Maturity Model and then you need to invest more in SharePoint.


Same question on health, “How do I lose weight and get healthier?” First, you need a Health Maturity Model, and then you need to buy a gym membership.

That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

It is solving the wrong problems with great precision (also known as a Type III error).

Instead, we have to consider the whole body of the organization and what steps we need to take that can become part of our culture and that we can form habits around.

Well Established Knowledge Management Practices

In blog post dated September 2011http://billives.typepad.com/portals_and_km/2011/09/creating-global-knowledge-sharing-networks-at-conocophillips.html Bill Ives discussed a talk by Dan Ranta Former Director of Knowledge Sharing at Conoco Phillips.

Two things that we can take notice of

  • Measured savings / gains of estimated 9 Billion.
  • Conoco Phillips has been previously recognized as one of the best organizations practicing Knowledge Management.

Where is Conoco Philips now in terms of Knowledge Management?

… If they are doing it well today, they are missing the voice of Dan Ranta. In other words, we don’t know about it. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t “performing well” but I am guessing that Knowledge Management isn’t today what it was just a year or two ago at Conoco.

What about BP?

“BP has long been recognized as a leader in the upstream oil and gas industry in terms of knowledge management. However, since the disaster, there are those who have speculated that issues with knowledge management could have contributed to the incident” http://www.oilandgasiq.com/strategy-management-and-information/articles/knowledge-and-information-management-for-the-oil-a/

BP has been known for the best knowledge practices in the business.http://www.kmbestpractices.com/bp.html

What happened to at BP?

… There have been many instances of discussion on BP and their knowledge sharing failures since the gulf crisis. Most energy companies have a top knowledge sharing capability when it comes to safety. This was a serious blow to BP.

And all that Jazz

Louis Armstrong stated “If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, the critics know it. And if I don’t practice for three days, the public knows it.”

Not Evolutionary or Revolutionary

If Google uses a Knowledge Maturity Model, I haven’t seen any evidence of it. For that matter Apple and others in high collaboration tech companies don’t seem to need it. It is sort of akin in my mind to going to the gym and seeing the difference between someone who goes every day and someone who goes once a quarter or more.

This is about practice. If an organization as a body takes the 21 day challenge (culturally) and makes Knowledge Management a habit. It will still need health indicators and diagnostics for the purpose of tracking and tuning change relative to conditions (like Change Management).

Maturity Model Indicator Components

I was listening to Nick Milton talk about what he termed “Discontinuous Change” which by business definition means Non-incremental, sudden change that threatens existing or traditional authority or power structure, because it drastically alters the way things are currently done or have been done for years. http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/discontinuous-change.html#ixzz3Gu7dG2q7

He also mentioned once change is over-

  • Measure compliance with KM expectations.
  • KM activity levels.
  • KM Value delivered.

He is saying that KM is not linear and doesn’t essentially become mature. He identified indicators of health (from my perspective) to measure KM.

It seems that if you look at the indicators, measures, capabilities and gaps through a KM diagnostic (what is known today as a Maturity Model) and further leverage concepts around the expectation of non-linear change, a healthy knowledge sharing organization can be achieved and maintained.

Practice your KM everyday, exercise your collaboration, communication and cooperation, learn, use tools to enable success, and keep an eye on the heartbeat of your organization.

Come back in a year for a check up, I promise no rubber gloves.

Other Reference



Maturity Models Description: http://www.tlainc.com/articl263.htm

“Maturity models describe the development of an entity over time. The entity can be anything of interest. It can be a human being, an organization, a technology, a product, a process etc. Maturity model gives a path to improvement. Maturity Model can also be used as a basis for comparison (Klimko, 2001). Maturity models are driven by the necessity to have a clear cut road map for any organization that is embarking on knowledge management implementation. It provides the clear vision with a description of the path ahead. Knowledge Management Maturity Model (KMMM) can be considered as an application of structured approach to knowledge management implementation. In other words development of a KMMM is nothing but engineering of KM. IEEE Standard 610.12 define ‘software engineering’ as the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation and maintenance of software- that is the application of engineering to software(IEEE, 1990). In consistent with this definition we can define Knowledge Management Maturity Model as the “application of systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach- that is an engineering approach to development, implementation and successive progression to attain maturity in knowledge management”. Maturity model can also provide a common understanding of the terminologies involved in knowledge management implementation to various stakeholders. Maturity models have the following properties (Klimko,2001,Weerdmeester et al., 2003).

The development of a single entity is simplified and described with a limited number of maturity levels (usually four to six):

Ø Levels are characterized by certain requirements which the entity has to achieve on that level.

Ø Levels are sequentially ordered, from an initial level to a final level of perfection.

Ø During development, the entity progresses forward from one level to the next. No levels can be skipped.

Maturity models are basically application of life cycle approach. The entity develops through the levels, until the highest level, which is the level of perfection.”

Helping Toxic Co-Workers (Aesop Twist on The Scorpion and The Frog)


Toxic Behavior

I have a great friend and teammate named Kim who was lamenting about the behavior of some people in the workplace. Kim raises some very good points in that people can be incredibly selfish and self centered.  Of course no one is perfect but sometimes their toxic behavior impacts our own behaviors.  If someone hurts you repeatedly, do you still help them?   How do you engage employees that have intent on hurting you to better their own position?  How do you deal with direct reports or even leadership who may be jealous?  How do maintain yourself and be consistent as the person you are choosing to be?

When you are a passionate worker that cares about the work and the outcome of your activities, it is easy to be mistaken for someone who wants to LEAD that work and those activities.   Just because you care doesn’t automatically mean that you want to be in charge.   That being said,  people who are passionate and involved happen to be productive.  Productivity leads to recognition and a so on.   You can easily find yourself in a leadership role that was thrust upon you without your desire to have that role.

The key factor is that you don’t have to be a leader in title to be a leader in practice.   You can always lead from where you are.

While serving active duty in the Navy as a Damage Controlman, I walked the decks as a watch stander looking for dangers to the crew and ship.   In one occasion, the ship was being worked on by welding and pipe-fitting teams which strung toxic gas hoses all through the ship.  As I walked up the ladder way from a lower deck, I quickly realized a faint garlic odor.  That was a sign of danger (they add the odor).   I ran down to my shop and grabbed a gas detecting device to determine how much gas was in the air.  I knew it had to be more than allowed because the odor was so powerful and I could start to feel dizzy.   Once I found that the numbers were high, I immediately yelled for everyone to get out of the closed spaces and get outside.    I ran to the Officer of the deck whom has direct responsibility for the safety of the ship and told him of my concerns.   I said “sir, clear the decks, it is an emergency.”  In that very moment, he looked at me a young Petty Officer many ranks below him and said to watch stander, “do as he says, clear the decks.”    The shipyard workers found the broken and damaged hoses but at that very moment, I was assuming a role by context and nature to protect my ship and crew and to lead from where I was.   Any of my shipmates in my position from my perspective should have done the same.  Most people that noticed the odor while in their spaces and passageway ignored it.   It was later found that if we all ignored the issue, anyone in the immediate area of exposure would have been unconscious within 5-7 minutes.

None of this meant at any point that I wanted the job of the Officer of the deck.  

Changing You

I don’t want to get hurt.  I don’t understand why someone would want to hurt me.  It doesn’t make a lot of sense.  The fact is that it doesn’t make sense because it isn’t logical, it is emotional.

In Aesops Fable The Scorpion and the Frog

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the
scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The
frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion
says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,
the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of
paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,
but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”

Replies the scorpion: “Its my nature…”


Can people change? If someone hurts you over and again by attacking your credibility or backstabbing you by playing office politics or ignoring you, what do you do?  Do you change yourself?

The Frog is Satisfied

This is the part we really need to focus on.  The frog heard the answer from the scorpion and took the chance knowing that the scorpion has a long history of doing scorpion things, like stinging stuff.     The point is that the frog had options other than just accepting the scorpions answer and taking him for a ride.

What if we were to introduce some other characters?   Helping someone doesn’t always mean that you are the actual helper.  You could take that leadership position and lead from where you are and recognize that .. well …you know, over the course of history, the scorpion by its very nature will strike, because that is what they do.   What can I do to help the scorpion get to the other side but not get hurt?

I will save you.. Mr. Scorpion.. !

Introduce another opportunity to help.  I would rather carry the world through the power of the crowd than pretend I could bear the burdens of Atlas.   That is how we get crushed.

If the frog would have simply recognized that he doesn’t himself have the ability to help the scorpion and protect himself, he could have phoned a friend.

Toxic Coworkers

After school, I am gonna find you and beat you up.- 10 year old JayBee, Bronx, NY

We have been dealing with people all of our lives that put pressure on us or create a perception of crises.  These people could be dysfunctional or maybe dysfunctional is normal.  Regardless, we have to make a choice on how we respond and who we want to be as people.  It is our choice to be kind.  Being kind doesn’t mean that we have to be vulnerable.  If you want to feed a shark, you can throw some meat over the side of the ship, you aren’t obligated to jump in the water.

Advice from Dr Paul White  (http://www.drpaulwhite.com/how-to-deal-with-dysfunctional-people-and-not-go-crazy-yourself/)

1) Realize that the current “crisis” is probably not a crisis (you could see it coming a long time ago) and they will be able to live through it.

2) Remember that if you “help them out” this time, you will be expected to help them out again (because the issue is really their misbeliefs about life and the resulting poor choices they make, and they will continue to do so.)

3) Do not accept false guilt from the dysfunctional person. The whole problem is not your fault and it is not your responsibility to fix the problem or rescue them.

4) Talk with and get support from others whom you believe are functional. You need affirmation that you are thinking clearly and responding appropriately to the situation.  Otherwise, you will start to second-guess yourself and may “give in”, thinking “just this once won’t hurt.”

Now all of this can sound rather hopeless — can’t people change?  Yes, they can.  But they have to decide they want to change.  And often, individuals with severely unhealthy patterns have to “hit the wall” of reality — that their beliefs about life and their way of living doesn’t really work because they don’t match the way the world really works.  Continuing to “help them out” only prolongs their dysfuctional patterns because they are not experiencing the true (and usually hard) consequences of their approach to life.  So the best way to help them is to not “help” them.

At the end of the day, if you want to help and you can’t see a clear path on how to do it and you are feeling as if it is bringing you down, be who you are but call a turtle!

Lesson Learned in Knowledge Management (EBOLA)


Ignorance = Death

Last year, I wrote about a lack of KM in the medical industry.https://cohenovate.com/2013/12/30/knowledge-management-and-healthcare/   It was a sad commentary then and it is even more frightening now.  Some of you may be aware that errors in healthcare account for a significant number of deaths in America.

In 2010, the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services said that bad hospital care contributed to the deaths of 180,000 patients in Medicare alone in a given year.

Now comes a study in the current issue of the Journal of Patient Safety that says the numbers may be much higher — between210,000 and 440,000 patients each year who go to the hospital for care suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death, the study says.

That would make medical errors the third-leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease, which is the first, and cancer, which is second. (http://www.propublica.org/article/how-many-die-from-medical-mistakes-in-us-hospitals)


Lack of Awareness

Texas nurses said that there were no protocols. (http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/15/health/texas-ebola-nurses-union-claims/index.html?hpt=hp_t1)  Maybe they had the guidelines on their Sharepoint instance?  Maybe they had their process on Jive? Maybe they had their instructions on Yammer or Podio or…  

What they don’t have is effective Knowledge Management.  This is the truth.

Let me state this for the record, as I have mentioned this in past postings.  Knowledge Management is about getting, presenting, raising awareness, sharing, identifying, bringing to light.. the RIGHT INFORMATION AT THE RIGHT TIME.

If you think for a moment that I am using this tragic situation to get the message out on Knowledge Management, I will tell you in fact that I am.   We can go through the history of knowledge management failures and find the critical element that is missing and that is the human element.  These failures result in death.

Doctors and nurses need access to real time information that INFORMS them of what they need to do and what precautions they have to take.   In fact, think about this folks.. WE CARE MORE ABOUT CYBER SECURITY THAN PEOPLE.

Everything when it comes to medicine seems to be approached from an academic perspective.  If you look at the agencies that do care about healthcare they are not considered or looked at in the same way as cyber communities.   For example, are hospitals going to the WHO or USAID for daily updates and coordination?   I highly doubt it and I think the results of the situation from a global perspective is telling.  The CDC doesn’t want us to worry because they don’t want a panicdemic.  (yep, I made that up).  We are facing an enemy that doesn’t care about boundaries or what side you are on.  We are facing an enemy that doesn’t look at right or wrong.  It just has intent of killing the system.  That is it.  We can’t afford to be ignorant.  We can’t afford to make mistakes that are easily correctable.

What is needed?

  • A quick turn incidence response and disaster response operational check up for every medical organization in the US.
  • A safety and contagion knowledge plan that addresses known and new issues and concerns through every turnover, handoff, meeting or organization interaction.
  • A strategic outreach and communication plan for healthcare providers, practitioners and patients.
  • A KM plan that seeks to elevate and prioritize content for communication in the organization.
  • An “as you learn.. share” plan.  (If you know information that will save a life, share it)
  • Researchers that have worked on attacking ebola need to share their failures and their success.  (YES FAIL) We need to pick up where others left off and share information, not hold information so that we can be the trophy winner.
  • We need leaders in the KM space to step up and share best practices, lessons learned and how to’s for knowledge transfer and elicitation.


Ebola virus can be used for terrorism.. Think about that for a moment. 

Links to Ebola sites

European Links

Links to Ebola sites


DG SANCO:    http://ec.europa.eu/health/ebola/index_en.htm

DG ECHO:       http://ec.europa.eu/echo/en/news/ebola-outbreak-west-africa-additional-funding-brings-eu-aid-%E2%82%AC39-million

European External Action Services (EEAS)



HQ:                  https://extranet.who.int/ebola/

EURO:             http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/emergencies/pages/ebola-outbreak-in-west-africa


 http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/healthtopics/ebola_marburg_fevers/pages/index.a http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/emergencies/pages/ebola-outbreak-in-west-africa

Member States


Ministry of Health


Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Czech Republic

Ministry of Health  http://www.mzcr.cz/dokumenty/upozorneni-pro-zahranicni-studenty-po-prijezdu-z-oblasti-vyskytu-horecky-zpusobe_9579_1.html  http://www.mzcr.cz/Verejne/dokumenty/ebola-v-africe-aktualizace-ministerstva-zdravotnictvi-ke-dni-19zari-2014_9602_5.html

Ministry of Industry and Trade  http://www.mpo.cz/dokument153462.html

Ministry of Foreign Affairs  http://www.mzv.cz/jnp/cz/cestujeme/ebola/obecne_informace.html



Ministry of Social Affairs and Health



All information and guidance for health professionals  http://www.sante.gouv.fr/maladie-a-virus-ebola-informations-a-destination-des-professionnels-de-sante.html

National Surveillance Case Definitions for Ebola  http://www.sante.gouv.fr/maladie-a-virus-ebola-informations-a-destination-des-professionnels-de-sante.html


Public Health Management of Cases and Contacts of Human Illness Associated with Ebola Virus Disease  http://www.hcsp.fr/explore.cgi/avisrapportsdomaine?clefr=414  http://www.sante.gouv.fr/maladie-a-virus-ebola-informations-a-destination-des-professionnels-de-sante.html

List of hospitals allowed to take care of Ebola patients  http://www.sante.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/2014_08_25_ListingESR_MAJ_modifIDFertA_DEF.pdf

Guidance on transportation of Ebola patient from abroad to France  http://www.sante.gouv.fr/fichiers/bo/2012/12-06/ste_20120006_0100_0052.pdf


KEEL:               Webpage on Ebola outbreak

Bulletin for travelers





Ministry of Health


Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Robert Koch Institute



Bernhard-Nocht-Institute – Hamburg



Ministry of Human Capacities  http://www.kormany.hu/en/ministry-of-human-resources (English)

 http://www.kormany.hu/hu/emberi-eroforrasok-miniszteriuma/egeszsegugyert-felelos-allamtitkarsag (Hungarian)  National Public Health and Chief Medical Office

https://www.antsz.hu/  Guide for leadership of higher education

https://www.antsz.hu/portal/hir1/20140826-ebola-felsooktatasi-hallgatok.html?transactionid=-6254197871553193403  Guide for travellers



Ministry of Health of Lithuania (web banner on the top of the page)  http://www.sam.lt

Centre of Communicable Disease and AIDS under the Ministry of Health  http://www.ulac.lt/lt/ebola-hemoragine-karstlige

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania  http://urm.lt/default/lt/naujienos/del-ebolos-viruso-protrukio-urm-grieztina-kelioniu-rekomendacijas-i-vakaru-afrikos-valstybes-1


Ministry of Health



Dutch Government


National Institute for Public Health and the Environment – in Dutch


National Institute for Public Health and the Environment – in English



National Institute of Public Health


Slovak Republic

Public Health Authority

Information about Ebola for travellers (translated ECDC leaflet) – in Slovak  http://www.uvzsr.sk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2378:virusove-ochorenie-ebola-informacie-pre-cestovateov&catid=68:epidemiolog

Information about the measurements taken by the Public Health Authority of SR – in Slovak  http://www.uvzsr.sk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2368:opatrenia-uradu-verejneho-zdravotnictva-sr-tykajuce-sa-virusoveho-ochoreni

Leaflet on Ebola for citizens – in Slovak  http://www.uvzsr.sk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2383:hemoragicka-horuka-ebola&catid=68:epidemiologia&Itemid=76

Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs

Travel advice for Slovak citizens – in Slovak http://www.foreign.gov.sk/servlet/content?MT=/App/WCM/main.nsf/vw_ByID/ID_DD6F67735A1B6F80C12576350033486B_SK&OpenDocument=Y&LANG

Information on financial humanitarian aid of the Slovak Republic – in English http://www.foreign.gov.sk/servlet/content?MT=/App/WCM/main.nsf/vw_ByID/ministry&NCH=Y&OpenDocument=Y&LANG=EN&TG=BlankMaster&URL=/


National institute of public health


Ministry of Health



Ministry of health  http://www.msssi.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/ebola/home.htm

Foreign Affairs



Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (“Socialstyrelsen”):  http://www.socialstyrelsen.se/nyheter/2014september/ebolakraverokadvaksamhetivarden

Fact sheet/leaflet:  http://www.socialstyrelsen.se/SiteCollectionDocuments/infoblad-ebola-2014-08-28.pdf

Public Health Agency of Sweden (“Folkhälsomyndigheten”):  http://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/amnesomraden/beredskap/utbrott/ebola-vastafrika-2014/

Foreign Ministry of Sweden:  http://www.regeringen.se/sb/d/18334/a/245352


Federal Office of Public Health







United Kingdom


Articles in which International SOS has been quoted or referenced

  • “Ebola Sends Employers Wake-Up Call” – Human Resource Executive– 7 October
  • “These countries are tightening their borders over Ebola fears — against expert advice” – Washington Post– 2 October
  • “Companies Step Up Pressure on Ebola: We Need Action Now” – NBC News– 11 September
  • “Amid Ebola crisis, is something worse around corner?” – CNBC– 4 September
  • “First Briton With Ebola Virus Begins Treatment” – Sky News– 25 August
  • “WA miners in West Africa prepare workforce for escalation of Ebola virus” –  ABC News– 23 August
  • “Ebola, war or disaster: how and when global service groups decide to flee” – National Catholic Reporter– 21 August
  • “World confronting the largest Ebola outbreak since 1976” – China Daily– 18 August
  • “Multinationals in Africa keep a wary eye on Ebola” – Wall Street Journal, 6 August
  • “Ebola strains fragile W African economies” – Reuters, 6 August
  • “Ebola threatens West African economies” – Yahoo UK/AFP, 6 August
  • “Ebola virus: now the threat is real” – Punch Nigeria, 5 August
  • “International SOS has seen another rise in the number of requests for advice on Ebola in recent weeks” –Business Wire India, 4 August
  • “Evaluating risk: Do travellers need medical evacuation insurance” – NBC News, 2 August
  • “Ebola patient arrives in the US” – Today NBC, 2 August
  • “Americans mostly safe from Ebola, despite rapid spread” – Risk & Insurance, 1 August
  • “Employers should be prepared as Ebola outbreak grows” – Society for Human Resource Management, 1 August
  • “US$100m Ebola emergency response plan unveiled by WHO’s Margaret Chan” – South China Morning Post, 1 August
  • “WA miners issue ebola alerts” – The West Australian, 1 August
  • “Ebola: A Disease out of control?” – Al Jazeera, 31 July
  • “WHO, CDC see $100 million surge for Africa Ebola battle” – Bloomberg, 31 July
  • “Health experts say Ebola virus poses little risk to UAE” – The National UAE, 31 July
  • “Can West Africa’s deadliest Ebola outbreak be contained?” – Al Jazeera America, 29 July
  • “Ebola: Is the western world at risk?” – ReLocate Magazine, 28 July
  • “Ebola outbreak poses threat to African economies” – Financial Times, 25 July (subscription required)
  • International SOS’ Dr Robert Quigley discusses Ebola – Al Jazeera English TV channel, 23  July
  • “West Africa Ebola Outbreaks Spur Rising International SOS Inquiries” – Voice of America, 16 July
  • International SOS Medical Director Doug Quarry discusses Ebola in the Al Jazeera report, 28 March 2014
  • “Ebola Outbreak is West Africa” – Relocate Magazine, 26 March
  • “Guinea says has contained Ebola outbreak, death toll rises” – Reuters,  26 March

1 Simple Idea For Employee Engagement


One Thing with 52 Parts


My team was put together virtually as a result of organizational changes.   All of us had experienced some form of “disaster fatigue” due to operational and economic concerns.   All of us were working on different client sites located across multiple geographic regions and we were experiencing rapid change.  On any given Monday, I received word that I had “people” and that I should engage them.  I realized that due to the conditions of 50+ hour work weeks, geographic dispersion, depression about economic conditions and future outlook and a lack of cohesiveness in the team, this would be a difficult challenge.


Leadership as most know is about communication.  It is about communication of intent, purpose, clarity, consistency, understanding, faith, trust, vision, strategy and value.  My goal was to quickly pull our team together under the best conditions and give them the ability to execute and trust up front but offer them tools and my time to enable them for success.  The result of this idea manifested itself in the form of a letter to my team.

I would like to try something different with you all. This is part of the work I am performing in Knowledge Management and I would like to see how you respond to my request. Outside of normal conversations or concerns, I would like you to send me an email / text / IM once a week preferably in the beginning of the week that is simply a number 1-5. The number 1 represents that you are doing great and that you don’t need anything and 5 being the other end of the scale. This will give me a gauge on how you are doing at a high level and provide me an opportunity to help you better if you tell me that you are a 4 /5. I would leave you without a response if I got a 1 or 2 and I would start to question if you are ok at 3. I am well aware that I am asking you to do something out of the ordinary and that it is one more thing to do BUT think of it this way… I am asking about you and I care about your well-being! This is not a firm directed action or activity and you do not have to participate if you choose not to. I am asking you as your Career Manager to help me help you (1-5) that is all I need!



For the reader here, I left the letter as it was written. It wasn’t perfectly written in hind site but everyone responded.  The next Monday morning,  I had emails from each team member that had an RE: with a number.    At first I created a folder in email and kept track of the numbers that way.  After a few weeks, I created a simple sheet to keep track of the numbers.  I also altered the system a bit.  If I received a number 1, I did very little except respond with a smile emoticon or note to have a good week.   If I received a 2, I would send a note to see “what’s up.”   If I got a 3, they would get an email and a phone call.  If I got a 4 or 5, they would get an email, a phone call and a calendar request to meet in person if possible or the phone as practical.


Our team started communicating more often than just weekly notes.  We all realized benefits from the conversations and found strength and commonality in our conversations even though we had different clients and different types of engagements.  I could also see patterns and trends with my team both as individual performers and team members.  They knew that if they sent a simple number 1 – 5 on any day at any time, that I would respond to them.  The number was a primer but once we had trust, the flood gates of communication opened.

When you care.. you engage and when you engage, others care and as a result, we all learn, grow and benefit.  

Being a Premier KM Organization (Preparing for a Marathon)

Being a premier KM organization doesn’t mean that you are THE premier KM organization.   What this means is that we must consider bench-marking ourselves vs. ourselves.

I have a friend who just ran an ultramarathon. If you don’t know what an ultramarathon is, it is basically a very long run with common distances of 50 miles to 100 miles and beyond.   When I heard he was running 50 miles I thought to myself that he is absolutely amazing.  How did he condition himself to be able to perform like this?  It is almost super human!

Thinking back a little, my friend and teammate has run the full marathon around 26 miles and of course my wife who has run the half marathon around 13 miles or so.

One evening I got up and proclaimed that I would get up every morning and start running.  The next morning, I got up early and I ran almost a mile.  I was exhausted and I really did wonder how come I couldn’t just get up and run.

It is said … The modern use of the word “Marathon” dates back to Philippides the dispatch-runner. Bringing the news of Marathon, he found the archons seated, in suspense regarding the issue of the battle. ‘Joy, we win!’ he said, and died upon his message, breathing his last in the word Joy … – Lucian Pro lapsu inter salutandum (translated by F.G. and H.W. Fowler, 1905)[4]

Being able to run the distance in KM…

You aren’t going to wake up at 6:00 am and run 50 miles.   No one can do that for you and from an organizational perspective if you try to run 50 miles on Day One you may find yourself in the same position as Philippides.

What you can do is get up at 6:00 am with the expectation of running 1 mile today and 1.2 miles tomorrow.  When I learned that I was tired on the first day after almost a mile, I had my baseline that I knew that I could perform as a minimum and I had an idea of where I wanted to be.

It doesn’t matter that my friend could run 50 miles or that my wife could run circles around me at 13 because I know and understand that no matter what I do today it will be at least a few tomorrows before I can catch up.

Organizations today want KM at the 100 mile mark.  They have a desire to be the best!

Getting to the 5th mile

When I asked my wife Erin about her running the race, she told me that she doesn’t run for or against anyone but herself.   She runs to better herself and not to be better than others.   When I look at high performing collaboration teams and organizations that perform outstanding knowledge management, it is very clear that they are performing well because they know themselves well.  They are also performing well because they want to better themselves rather than beating someone else.  They have a sense of teaming and culture that is pervasive, inclusive, and builds on trust.   In a lot of cases, KM works well when people run in packs (We can talk about that another time.).

The Technology

After running a certain amount of time and miles, some folks start to really commit to this running thing.  This commitment means that they could benefit from technology in some way.   Maybe get a new pair of shoes from the running store or some new headphones that don’t fall out when you run.   The key is that technology helps make you better but does not replace the hard work that you are doing.  It is used to augment not replace.   If we take this into consideration in KM, some organizations see clarity in a technological approach.   That is kind of like saying I want to make it 100 miles as opposed to run 100 miles.   There is a difference.

If you want to run 100 miles, you practice every day.  You get up and get dressed with intent and vision.  You know that you won’t run 100 miles today but you know that you will run 100 miles soon.  You will get the technology you need to support your run at the level of capability you are running today.

If you want to make it 100 miles, you buy a car.   It will get you there much faster and your performance will appear extraordinary.  The only problem is that as a body or organization, you are still only truly capable of running a mile.

The Journey

If you understand that becoming a premier top tier knowledge management organization is more about the run every day, it will help you set reasonable and realistic organizational goals that are very achievable.  You will also benchmark, measure, audit and qualify but all of these will be done to simply test where you are relative to where you want to be in accordance with your vision, goals and objectives.

Good Luck and don’t forget to hydrate..