In recent years, defense and aerospace programs have dedicated significant resources toward research in prognostics—developing sensors and measurements that they hope will not only improve system readiness, but also reduce the costs of product sustainment. Designed to identify incipient failures at the lowest levels of the system architecture, prognostic sensors are typically the end result of extremely detailed, yet extremely localized, physics-of-failure analyses.
Moreover, the actual parameters of each prognostic measurement emerge only after extensive laboratory testing. Because prognostic sensors are so difficult to develop and assess, the usefulness of these efforts tends to be evaluated in terms of success or failure, rather than on its relative impact upon system readiness or sustainment decision-making.
When Prognostics Health Management (PHM) is evaluated within an environment that has captured the hierarchical interrelationships of the complex design, the essential prognostics “data points” are then able to be seamlessly integrated with the full system diagnostics. As a result, PHM in eXpress & STAGE Brochure the overall prognostic capability is assessed from a system perspective, giving us insight not only into the overall impact of prognostics, but also the relative value of individual prognostic measurements. Moreover, we can select whether or not prognostics should be taken into consideration when examining the diagnostic capability of the system. Whereas “prognostics-informed diagnostics” might give us a better sense of the expected behavior of the system in the field, the evaluation of diagnostics without prognostics allows us to account for the fact that the performance of fielded prognostics may sometimes differ from laboratory predictions.
So, before implementing prognostic solutions that have been proven to be “successful” under laboratory conditions, we ask ourselves: “What will actually be gained through the implementation of this solution over alternative solutions?”, or “What impact will this solution have upon the overall system readiness and/or sustainment?”, or, “Will the gains reaped from prognostics be worth the cost of their development?”
What is missing from most prognostic development efforts is the ability to determine, up front, the expected behavior of an overall health management solution (including the combined performance of corrective, condition-based and reliability-centered maintenance). The expected benefits of proposed prognostic sensors and measurements must be evaluated as part of a total maintenance “package”, and compared not with one-dimensional maintenance “straw men”, but rather with other viable, multi-faceted maintenance solutions. Moreover, these evaluations had best be performed relatively early in the development life-cycle—well before project resources have been committed to lengthy (and costly) physics-of-failure studies.
The report above lists the cumulative replacement cost for each item, categorized by the reason that the cost was incurred (in this example, the items have been sorted to show those for which the greatest cost was due to diagnostic ambiguity).
With any complex or critical Integrated System (meaning, “fielded product” or capability) where PHM is a consideration, it is implied that a low-level precision-based Failure Prediction technology would target an integral piece of a larger sustainment paradigm. But, in the discovering of the added value of the implementation of the PHM piece (with like precision of the PHM technology itself) we need to procure a manicured assessment starting reference point. As such, the quantifying of any measurable sustainment benefit projected as reported in any system’s level assessment, must first be performed after the establishing of the Diagnostic Integrity “baseline” within the context and constraints of the design of fully fielded Integrated System(s) and while considering its (evolving) maintenance philosophy.
Using an operational health management and support simulation (referred to as, “STAGE”, which provides simulation-based data charts for the analysis of system diagnostics and support), the overall PHM solution can be assessed and optimized through the comparison of different maintenance cocktails. STAGE provides a platform upon which to evaluate the various trade-offs between the development of expensive (and often unproven) prognostic sensors, the use of ineffective (“tight”) or wasteful (“loose”) maintenance schedules, and the addition of space or weight-consuming hardware redundancy. Moreover, because we’ll be (re)using an output from the data developed in our diagnostic design environment, the analytics can be produced, analyzed and acted upon long before project resources have been allocated to endeavors that may not result in the desired system benefits.
The operational simulation is able to simulate the occurrence of failures of components (and based upon their respective diagnostic design impact) in accordance with their assigned failure rates over a selected sustainment horizon (“lifetime”). In this manner, the designs’ inherent diagnostic (e.g. IVHM BIT effectiveness, etc.) architecture becomes exposed.
No one likes a cheater.
Not at poker, not at Little League, not on the SATs, not anywhere.
At an Olympic level, one can only imagine that – given what it takes to be a truly elite competitor – the dislike for someone caught abusing the system is several orders of magnitude greater than what it is for the rest of us. We got a little flavor of that this week and last with the East/West-style conflict between Russia’s Yulia Efimova and the United States’s Lilly King.
Both swimmers, and intense rivals, Efimova and King got into it over Efimova’s previous suspension for testing positive for an anabolic steroid in 2013 and then meldonium in 2016. Efimova claimed she didn’t know her supplement contained a banned substance. King spoke up in Rio, calling Efimova out for being a cheater and saying, “I’m not a fan” (among other interactions).
On its surface, it’s pretty easy to get behind King. After all, we grasp from an early age that cheating is wrong – that any victories that result are essentially hollow and meaningless. If all we knew about the situation was the bare bones elements outlined above, it’d be easy to take to Twitter and weigh in, cloaked in our self-righteous sanctimony. (And we’d be somewhat wrong because, like nearly all stories, turns out there’s a little more to this one than meets the eye).
As others have noted, it’s pretty easy to criticize when you’re breathing the comparatively rarefied air of the United States, a place where the rule of law does generally mean something, where living standards are pretty high, and where opportunities to make a success of yourself – as an athlete or whatever – are very good, even rife. (Even here, an estimated 3 million Americans use performance-enhancing drugs). In contrast, it’s not hard to imagine, given the prevalence of state-sponsored doping, that the pressure to fall in line and conform is intense (or perhaps even non-negotiable) if you want to compete. Adding to the pressure: Russia – and other countries notorious for doping – are also not exactly overflowing with opportunities to make a decently prosperous life for oneself.
But the larger point is this: making one person the poster child for wrongdoing is, simply, wrong. It paints over a situation that’s truly more gray with the harsh judgment of black-and-white perspective. This disproportionately – and likely permanently – impacts Efimova’s reputation; it’s a clear case of failing to shape the punishment to fit the crime. Even if she is clean forever, she’ll never swim fast enough to escape this taint nor the suspicion and hostility that continues to be levied her way. Whatever happened to redemption and second chances?
Most importantly, shining a light on one person casts darkness over those really responsible: governments that unrepentantly execute these programs to the detriment of their own athletes and the integrity of their sports. And the undue attention on one person also gives cover – and relieves pressure – on organizations like the International Olympic Committee that could actually make a difference for all athletes.
That’s the real shame.
The most important commodity at any work environment is the people. Without a motivated, well trained and talented team behind it, even the best technology will falter and fail. Companies such as Google, Facebook and Netflix have pushed the boundaries on working conditions to attract new employees, with impressive catering, unlimited holidays and funky office space, a trend many smaller companies are trying to replicate. Unfortunately however, just by looking at company review websites such as Glassdoor.com, it is evident that companies of all sizes are falling into the same pitfall, one proving to be poisonous to a company’s workforce, culture and eventually, their bottom line.
The meritocracy – being promoted on one’s deeds, rather than the length of time an employee has remained at the company – is used by companies to show fairness and encourage each member of staff to give their all rather than sitting back and waiting for advancements to come to them. Without a doubt, a meritocracy is better than the aforementioned alternative of time-based promotions, but company executives should be thinking of the type of promotion, rather than the method.
Entry level positions become executives, executives become managers, and managers become directors – this is the status quo, and it is a poison slowly killing companies, large and small, in all sectors. Mastering one’s craft must be key to a person’s growth at a company, but the reward should not necessarily be promotion out of that specific skill-set, and especially not to team management. A master programmer should not be elevated to a position where they are no longer programming, but managing others – likewise a master copywriter should not start leading a team at the opportunity cost of writing themselves. Skills must be passed on to new blood, and mentorship programs, peer training, and good, solid teamwork are all constructive mediums to do so, however elevating someone to the position of manager without proper training, experience and the right personality is toxic to a team.
If employees are the lifeblood of an organization, the managers are surely its heart – they are responsible for getting the right person to the right place at the right time. Almost every process in an employee’s lifecycle in a company is depended on their manager, from onboarding to setting goals, achieving targets to reviews, promotions to dismissals – the management is central. Management skills are not something that can be ‘picked up on the job’ and though leadership and management are two skills that can be learned, though it is very difficult to teach. It is an ongoing process rather than a lightbulb moment, and one which the best and brightest say is a skill to be honed and refined every day.
Thought leaders in the field of leadership and management have produced excellent resources for developing one’s skills, such as Simon Sinek (check out his YouTube video Why Leaders Eat Last – also his book of the same title), Andrew Gove’s glorious “High Output Management”, Ben Horowitz’s “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” and of course, Dale Carnegie’s masterpiece “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. Reading and absorbing resources such as these can go a long way to opening a person’s thinking to be more ‘managerial’, but it must be practiced over time.
Glassdoor shows that one of the most common complaints from employees is bad managers. People get over lower pay, fewer office comforts and even longer working hours, but as Victor Lipman puts it, “People Leave Managers, Not Companies”. A trend that starts a downward spiral that is difficult to break out of. One of the biggest struggles for most companies is hiring the best talent, this in-turn helps create the best product or service, which attracts the best or more clients, turning over higher income for the company. When top talent starts to leave, the product suffers as does the customer experience, leading to falling income, this then causes companies to squeeze out some of the staff benefits, causing more staff to leave, and so on.
Big data analytics company Palantir have been experiencing exactly this problem – originally seen as the place to be, it has been receiving lots of bad press and has experienced staff turnover of around 20% in 2016, twice as much as the last three years. According to an article in BuzzFeed, this spike happened at the same time as three major clients have seemingly left – Coca-Cola, American Express, and Nasdaq. Seemingly to stem the exodus of staff the company raised salaries 20% for employees who had been there for over 18 months – but as mentioned earlier, pay isn’t everything. Recent reviews on company evaluation sites have commented that managers just don’t possess the right skills for the job.
Employees want this promotion to management predominantly because they don’t understand it, and because companies have yet to work out how to promote to maintain top talent, without changing the role to management. Employees often see managing others as a badge of pride, not realizing the immense responsibility that comes along with it – managers work harder, have higher pressure and often get less recognition than staff not holding these management roles.
Marketing agencies use a model for their creative teams where salaries are increased, as is flexibility, autonomy and prominence in the company, all as methods for keeping staff happy and loyal. Granted, teams usually operate as silos, separate from other similar teams, however, this model could work for other organizations. With the proper company culture, managers can be “in charge of” people more experienced than them, getting higher quality work done at faster paces, providing that the goal of everyone at the company is pulling towards the same goal.
Until companies can adequately compensate well-performing staff, promote the right candidates with the proper training to management positions and create a culture that supports a clear objective rather than the politics of self-promotion, this poison will continue to spread throughout businesses around the world.
NOTE: I have been fortunate enough to work with some phenomenal managers in the past – people who have been truly formative in building me into the person I am today, investing time and energy into instilling company values, good work practice, and continued professional development. This article is by no means, a comment on my own experience, but rather my take on what I see as an issue with the industry standard today.
TaxiForSure reaches dead end: Almost a year and half after acquiring TaxiForSure for about $200 million, cab-hailing service Ola has shut it down and laid off nearly 1,000 employees. Most of the employees who have been asked to leave worked at the call centres, driver relations and business development units across several cities. The SoftBank-backed company has agreed to pay three months’ salary as compensation to them. It can be seen as a move to cut down on its expenses to take on US-based rival Uber in India. Ola has raised about $1.2 billion from investors and was valued at $5 billion at its last fundraising.
Hike now a unicorn: Messaging app Hike messenger has raised about $175 million and has entered the unicorn list after being valued at $1.4 billion. The investment was led by China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd and Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group, while Tiger Global, Bharti Enterprises and SoftBank Group were also a part of it. Hike is expected to use the money to expand its team and improve the product. The chat and messaging domain in India is largely ruled by Facebook-owned WhatsApp. Tencent’s WeChat – the most-used messaging platform in China – failed to woo Indian users mostly because they prefer the simple interface of WhatsApp. However, we will soon find out if Hike will do what WeChat couldn’t in India – break WhatsApp’s monopoly.
Relief in sight? Although wholesale price index-based inflation touched a 23-month high in July at 3.55 percent, analysts expect the August data to reveal a drop in food inflation. The reason – the wholesale price of pulses has cooled down by 30 percent, and a normal monsoon rainfall led to vegetable costs in some markets halving in the past four weeks. [pic credit: The Economic Times]
Fresh trouble for Mallya: The Enforcement Directorate has decided to register a fresh case against Vijay Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines Ltd to probe whether they laundered loan money too. This would be in addition to the Rs.900 crore IDBI Bank loan default case that is already being investigated.
Bihar gives nod to GST: Bihar became the first non-NDA-ruled state to ratify the Constitution Amendment Bill on GST on Tuesday. All the major parties – JD(U), RJD, Congress and BJP – of the state were in favour of the tax legislation, hence the bill was approved through a voice vote in the House.
For the need of a gas-based economy: BP Group’s India head Sashi Mukundan, who also chairs the hydrocarbon wing of the Confederation of Indian Industry, has said that in a bid to help India become a gas-based economy, oil and gas companies will invest about 2.5 to 3 trillion rupees in the region over the next few years. The aim is to increase gas production by “intensifying exploration, accelerating production from existing fields, enhancing hydrocarbon recovery and forging partnerships.”
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For many of you bravado led you to immediately think ‘nothing’. But if you really think twice about it I bet there is something that scares you. In todays culture of high-achievement, even higher ambition, and thinking the rest of the world is a passenger on your journey, that thing is often failure.
Fear of failure. If you’re honest with yourself, many will find this to be prominent if not most prominent among any fears you might have. In my last piece with Gerard Adams, I discuss the importance of embracing fear, but in order to do so it’s important to understand the roots of it.
Fear itself is natural; in fact it can often help us succeed by ensuring we perform at our best or identifying the area of high growth opportunities. However, there is two very real dangers in fearing failure above all else: how we respond to failure and its invasion into all aspects of our life.
This aversion to failure, underperformance, or negative judgment can be a driver of success but at some point you will inevitably experience some failures. It doesn’t matter who you are, how prominent or obscure, we all have goals and standards that we won’t be able to meet at times. The challenge is in accepting that and not allowing it to cripple you. Stacy London, co-host of What Not to Wear and fashion and style icon puts it simply as “Rejection hurts. Let’s be honest about that.” Stacy’s journey is extraordinary because it truly started with her biggest failure: getting fired from senior fashion editor job at Mademoiselle magazine. Stacy continues “It took me almost a year to get to a better place and reframe that experience for myself.”
Lets focus on the last part of that sentence: “reframe that experience for myself.” It was Stacy’s ability to look at failure as an opportunity or an experience rather than on a judgment on herself that allowed her to eventually become so ‘successful’. I’m not suggesting ‘planning to fail’ but instead accepting failure and using it move forward instead of curling up into a ball. Stacy puts it perfectly:
I don’t believe in the words “success” and “failure” any longer. For me, it’s all experience. The only thing that defines experience is the way you choose to handle it in any given moment.” – Stacy London
All that’s really in your control is what you do next.
The other major issue with fear of failure is that it can become invasive in every part of your life. It won’t just be in the professional world but in your relationships, fitness, how you feel about your body, hobbies, the way you dress, etc. You may not even realize that all this tension exists, or that it stems from your fear of failure but for many it does. From personal experience when you start to look at your exercise and diet as personal successes and failures it can lead you down the wrong path.
This is something Stacy has seen firsthand, “Media wasn’t really part of my plan but growing up with a skin disorder and eating disorders made me want to work in an industry that felt perfect and beautiful. That didn’t last. The opportunity to work in media and promote a more positive sense of self has been a huge confidence builder for me personally.”
I’m by no means an expert on the field but the more pressure we put on ourselves to be ‘perfect’ and define success by ‘perfection’ the more we create a culture that encourages and pushes eating disorders, anxiety, stress paralysis, and extreme burnout.
This culture sets us up for fear. Fortunately, individuals like Stacy have spoken about theses challenges and things are changing, body image is one of those areas: “I think we are making great strides towards body positivity and celebrating all shapes and sizes of bodies. There has been a definite shift and the media is beginning to respond to it.” These cultural shifts are great to see but there’s a long ways to go in how we view failure.
In my mind the danger is when we go from setting and striving for goals to being defined by our goals. All of a sudden every aspect of life personal or professional, becomes life or death and leads us into a negative tailspin. This is what sets us up for failure in the long run even if it might allow us to feel like we are succeeding in the short-run.
Instead take a look at how Stacy has defined her own experiences and outcomes and think about you can do the same.
I was recently introduced to Stacy by Jared Kleinert and immediately knew I had to talk with her. Stacy was kind enough to agree despite her packed scheduled and we were able to connect yesterday. Stacy and I discuss her journey, biggest moments, failure, media, social issues, and more. There’s something here for everyone so check out our full edited excerpt below:
SG: You’re involved in a number of things from fashion to entrepreneurship to media and more. How do you describe what you do?
SL: I alternate between saying I’m a multi-hyphenate and that I’m retired. It just saves time.
SG: What drove you to fashion/media in the first place?
SL: Insecurity, mostly. Media wasn’t really part of my plan but growing up with a skin disorder and eating disorders made me want to work in an industry that felt perfect and beautiful. That didn’t last. The opportunity to work in media and promote a more positive sense of self has been a huge confidence builder for me personally.
SG: I saw your recent video in SheKnowsMedia describing the transformative effective of getting fired at age 30, is there a success that you feel was as impactful in your life and career?
SL: Absolutely. Being hired to co-host on What Not To Wear. That felt like an accomplishment in itself but the success and the 10 years it lasted on air feel even bigger.
SG: A number of people don’t respond well to “failure” what did you do that was different?
SL: It took me almost a year to get to a better place and reframe that experience for myself. Rejection hurts. Let’s be honest about that. But really I don’t believe in the words “success” and “failure” any longer. For me, it’s all experience. The only thing that defines experience is the way you choose to handle it in any given moment.
SG: You’ve constantly reinvented yourself, what’s next? In other words what is “the dream”
SL: A no-kill animal sanctuary in big sky country! But also and probably more realistically: a multi-platform deal to keep the connection between style and confidence at the forefront of women’s minds and to build their autonomy in that area, rather than focus on the belief that fashion is only for the young, thin and rich.
SG: What is the most important media trend that people are ignoring or not paying enough attention too?
SL: I think it’s that older modes of media, namely print and television, can’t cling to their mediums and hope to succeed. Digital has changed the game period. It’s only a question of time until most money media generates will come from digital. Print and TV have started to create digital platforms that refer back to them but eventually, digital will have to be integrated into the mediums themselves or they won’t survive this technological revolution.
SG: What is the biggest lesson or takeaway you’ve had from your career?
SL: Working hard means you earn the privilege to work harder.
SG: What is the number one skill you are working on (personal or professional)?
SL: Knitting. I have a knitting circle with some excellent ladies I attend every week.
SG: What is the largest misperception people have about fashion/style?
SL: That it isn’t for them.
SG: What is the biggest hurdle you face today?
SL: Bad back problems. A few years ago it was my hamstring. Now it’s my spine. Chronic pain is exhausting.
SG: You’ve been very outspoken about eating disorders and other body image challenges; do you think these issues are getting worse? What are changes you’d like to see ?
SL: I think we are making great strides towards body positivity and celebrating all shapes and sizes of bodies. There has been a definite shift and the media is beginning to respond to it. Writers like Kelsey Miller, models like Ashley Graham, bloggers like Gabi Fresh are leading the charge and making history.
It doesn’t matter who you are or how successful you might be, fear and failure is something we all face at times. As Stacy’s story shows its not the ‘success’ or ‘failure’ that matters but how we respond to the experience. It’s our choice as to whether or not we let ourselves be defined by the outcomes. If your biggest fear is failure, it’s time to stop thinking of it as failure and instead as an experience, that you can control and define your response to.
Want to see more of Stacy? Check out her recent video for SheKnowsMedia discussing her biggest failure.
Or check her out on 3 Billion Under 30 where she shares her full story with Jared Kleinert, slated to be released today:
A huge shoutout to Stacy for taking the time to chat with me and for being an inspiration to millions around the world.
Let’s say you forget to buy your weekly bunch of bananas during your most recent grocery run. Those bananas usually cost 30 cents per pound, but when you decide to go to the store by work to grab them you find they charge $1.50 a pound. Yikes! It’s likely you’ll opt to skip the price hike and go back to get the best deal by swinging through the local store tomorrow.
When you know how little you can pay for something you need, it’s human nature to seek out the best price. This same concept has caused employers to subconsciously wage discriminate for years. For women and minorities, this value-driven mindset pays them pennies on the dollar when compared to most Caucasian men.
One of the easiest ways for companies to get away with wage gouging is by asking during the application process how much professionals have made at their current and previous positions. If an employee states she is paid $20,000 less at her current position than the comparable job for which she’s applying, it’s easy to swoop in and give her a raise to make her happy while all the while paying her less than her colleagues.
Gender-based pay discrimination is illegal, but violations are difficult to prove. Women continue to be paid 79 cents for every dollar that men earn, according to the United States Census Bureau. Whether it’s gender, age, ethnicity or another characteristic, wage gaps persist in virtually every industry.
In an effort to eliminate wage discrimination, Massachusetts just passed a law making it illegal for employers to inquire about applicants’ salaries prior to making a job offer. This is the first state to pass this landmark legislation.
“The new law will require hiring managers to state a compensation figure upfront — based on what an applicant’s worth is to the company, rather than on what he or she made in a previous position,” reports The New York Times.
Although this law won’t go into effect until July 2018, it’s a noteworthy effort to kill wage discrimination at the hiring level. Plus, it’s a huge relief to job applicants who perpetually wonder if the salary they were offered could have been more if that intrusive question hadn’t existed on the application.
Not only does this law help ensure equal pay, it will produce other gains. First, it will help employers increase employee engagement and loyalty because they are offering all workers a fair wage. It also could help minimize turnover while increasing workforce diversity.
It should help the economy, too, when it comes to the big picture. The New York Times article points out, “Closing the gender wage gap would lower the poverty rates in every state, according to an analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.”
Other states have laws to help promote equal pay, but none have communicated as clear a message as the new Massachusetts law. Hopefully more states will follow suit in an effort to recognize the importance of equal pay for every worker who makes up the melting pot that is the United States of America.
Ford announced it will produce self-driving cars “in volume” in five years. They won’t have steering wheels, brake or gas pedals and will be dedicated to “ride-hailing or ride-sharing service(s).” In a post on LinkedIn CEO Mark Fields writes that Ford had abandoned “a stepping-stone approach” to developing self-driving cars” and created a dedicated ‘top down’ engineering program.” And, Fields asserts, the advent of autonomous vehicles will have “as big an impact on society as Ford’s moving assembly line did a hundred years ago.”
Gawker has a new home: Univision will pay $135 million to save the bankrupt network in an auction that consisted of only two bidders (ouch). It’s an unfortunate end for Gawker, whose owner had once argued that it was worth $250 million.
Barnes and Noble’s CEO Ronald Boire was fired today “in an unusually blunt press release.” The bookseller has faced declining sales over the years, but this recent firing might be one small piece of a greater comeback plan.
Hain Celestial Group is “on pace for its worst day in history” after the food company a) delayed the release of its 2016 financial results, b) missed guidance and c) announced potential accounting concerns, CNBC reports. The stock tumbled 27% Tuesday, and was downgraded.
Missed the last update? Catch up here.
Intel is merging Hollywood and tech by creating a studio that will allow it to create sports and entertainment VR experiences. You may have already gotten a taste during the NBA Finals, where Intel’s technology could freeze the screen and rotate your view from all angles. It’s not an easy feat: “That takes dozens of cameras and lots of Intel servers to process in near real-time.”
Uber and Lyft are taking on public transportation — this time, as a partner. Both ridesharing companies have partnered with public transport agencies so that the agencies subsidize rides where drivers “effectively become part of the public transportation system.” So far, the “ride-hailing deals are too small to seem threatening,” but there is opportunity for greater impact to larger transit systems — as well as increased tensions, for example, among those who don’t own smartphones.
Fitbit for kids: McDonalds is swapping out toys for “STEP-it” fitness trackers in Happy Meals over the next month to encourage kids to exercise and play(McDonalds is one of the main Olympic sponsors this year). A light on the tracker will blink at different speeds depending on a child’s activity.
Cover Art: Ford announced it will produce self-driving cars in five years.