NIMBY, Email Makes You Stupid, and Answer Your Frikkin' Phone!

An article (paraphrased below) from Eric Effron in The Week made a nice comparison on a topic that you may be dealing with.

Until (fairly) recently, many New Yorkers, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, were relishing the opportunity to bring self-described 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-defendants to justice near the scene of their monstrous crime. But Bloomberg has now urged the Obama administration to find a more suitable locale, citing the security risk and the enormous police tab. His remarks echoed the growing opposition to the trial from businesses that fear a drop-off in customers and from residents worried about being blocked from using neighborhoods streets. New Yorkers may pride themselves on being tough, but they have succumbed to NIMBY – the “not in my backyard” lament that’s heard whenever local sensibilities clash with broader public purpose.

It’s a widespread syndrome. We understand the need for homeless shelters, prisons, and hazardous waste sites – we just don’t understand why they have to be plopped down in our towns. Who doesn’t favor development of alternative energy to reduce our debilitating addiction to foreign oil? But please, put those unsightly solar-power transmission lines and wind turbines someplace else. When President Obama pledged to close the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, the legal complications of transferring the prisoners to the U.S. were the least of his obstacles. “You think Yucca Mountain is a NIMBY problem?” warned Sen. John McCain. “Wait ’till you see this one.” He was referring to the Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste repository in Nevada, which was established by Congress in 1987, cost billions to build, and has not (and will not) received a single barrel of spent fuel.

Never underestimate the power of NIMBY.


Moving People from Rage to Reason

A new two-day class that deals with managing an outraged public (there’s plenty of that to go around these days) is being offered in D.C. on April 8/9, Vancouver on April 22/23, and in Chicago on October 27/28. We’re also bringing this class in-house to agencies and companies dealing with these challenges. Student reviews are excellent and classes fill fast. Please contact me for more information.

E-mail is Making Us All Stupid

I get the irony of sending out these newsletters and then criticizing e-mail — believe me, I do. But the fact is that we need to understand the consequences of how we’re communicating these days. As we deal with information overload and constant interruptions, something’s happening in our brains: An erosion of an area called effortful control which regulates attention. The more you check your CrackBerry or iPhone, the more you need to check it. So check this story:

Nine More Reasons That Obama’s Health Summit Failed

If you ever spend time hosting, facilitating or attending meetings I suggest you consider this from The Wall Street Journal:

Tips for Nailing Your Next Presentation or Speech

This is a twofer – two different links (one from Harvard Business Review) with slightly differing takes on the subject. Briefly – get closer, listen, and think about how you want your audience to feel. You can write these on your hand along with your speaker notes.

Dealing with Real Human Beings

We’re now all “a-twitter” about social media, and there’s no question that we’re witnessing a revolution in communication, but before you hire somebody to manage your Facebook page maybe you should consider hiring somebody to answer your freakin’ phone!

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