en-US Freshmen Representatives Review Time In Office Under President Trump NPR's Audie Cornish talks to freshmen Reps. Val Demings and Paul Mitchell about their first few months in office under President Donald Trump. Thu, 02 2017 21:35:15 GMT Revolutionize the FDA using Software Methods Drug discovery is like the worst imaginable, old-style software development process, guaranteed to take forever, cost endless amounts of money, and far under-achieve its potential. There are methods that the most advanced software people use to build effective software that works in the real world, quickly and inexpensively. These small groups invent all the new things in software, and then get bought by the big companies. Can these fast, agile, effective methods be applied to invent and test new, life-saving drugs and get them to the patients who are dying without them? Yes. The obstacles are the usual ones: the giant regulatory bureaucracies and the incumbents who would be disrupted. Yes, the very people who claim to keep you healthy and cure your ills are the very ones standing between us and speedy drug discovery. Drug Discovery and Software While I'm not an expert in drug discovery, I've learned more than I wish to know about the regulations through the software providers to the industry. And like many other people, I've learned from being a patient with a disease that could be addressed by drugs that I am not allowed to take, because they are deep in the labyrinth of the years-long approval process. I've explained elsewhere how a revolution in medical device innovation could be enabled by transforming the applicable regulations from complex, old-style software prescriptions to simple, goal-oriented ones. A similar concept can be applied to the process of drug discovery itself. Old-style Software is Like the FDA's New Drug Regulations The classic software development process is a long, expensive agony. It's an agony that sometimes ends in failure, and sometimes ends in disaster. It most resembles carefully constructing Frankenstein's monster. It starts with requirements and goes on to various levels of design, planning and estimation. Finally the build takes place. But wait -- we can't "release" the software until we know that its quality is top-notch. And that it meets all the requirements. It's gotta work! So let's make absolutely sure that it's up to snuff before inflicting it on the innocent users. Here are details. Yes, those innocent users -- who are, by the way, chomping at the bit to get at the long-awaited new software whose requirements they signed off on years ago, and that they actually need to get their jobs done. So is software development like drug discovery? Let's see. Development that's a long, expensive agony. Check. Don't release it until its adequacy is PROVEN. Check. People who are just dying to use it. Check. But here's the difference: for software, usually one company both builds it and decides whether and when to release it. That means the business leaders of the company can balance the tension between adequacy and getting it out there. In the case of drugs, it is adversarial: the FDA declares how each step of drug discovery and testing has to be done, and has armies of people to impose its will on the companies that do the work. The FDA Nightmare The FDA nightmare has two main parts. The first nightmare assures that development and testing is performed in what is claimed to be the "safest" way possible -- it's all about protecting patient health! In fact, this means incredibly slow and incredibly expensive. The overhead is far more burdensome than the work itself, which really tells you something. There is a multi-billion company, Documentum, that got started with and still is the leading provider of software to the pharmaceutical industry for handling the documents required by the FDA. Right away, this expense and overhead burden assures that no group of brilliant people will create a start-up and create a new cure for a disease. The second nightmare is that the process is incredibly high risk. The FDA can kill your new drug at any time, including near the end, after all the time and money is gone. This again reduces the number of groups performing new drug development to a tiny number of rich, giant, risk-averse corporations. This is like big-corporate software development -- only far worse. Wartime Methods for Drug Discovery I've written a lot about wartime software development. A good way to understand it is to look at bridges in peace and war. In wartime, we build effective bridges while under fire in a tiny fraction of the time needed in peace. And the bridges work. The methods translate well to software. They are practical. They work. They are in regular use by groups that are driven to innovate and get stuff done. There are details in my book on the subject, with lots of examples and supporting material in my other books. It's very clear that the methods also apply to the FDA's regulation of software. Here is an example. There is no reason other than the usual obstacles to innovation that the principles couldn't be applied to drug discovery in general. Wartime Drug Development What we should try is Wartime Software Development morphed into Wartime Drug Development. Here are the principles: Grow the baby. Instead of going through a whole long process and supposedly coming out with perfection at the end, you start with something that sort of works, try it (on volunteers), see how it goes, make changes and iterate. Principles of e-commerce and social media When you think of buying a product, do you just walk into a store and trust the salesperson? If so, you're probably in your 100's and hope to get a computer someday. Everyone else goes on-line, checks reviews, and above all checks comments from real users. The sheer number of comments tells you how popular something is. Of course, you don't blindly believe everyone, and of course you translate what people say to your own situation. There could be awful risks and side effects, but if it sometimes works and your alternative is misery shortly followed by death, you might decide it's worth the risk. It's a decision that should be in your hands, informed by full sharing and disclosure, not decided on your behalf by a bunch of bureaucrats sitting in offices. Open source and full disclosure. Of the top million servers on the internet, over 95% run linux, an open source operating system. Linux was created by an interesting nerd, and developed by an evolving band of distributed volunteers. It is superior to any commercial operating system. And operating systems are complex; linux contains more than 12 million lines of code! Why shouldn't we make drug discovery open to a similar process? With open source, everything about a drug and its results so far would be open and available for anyone, including patients, to see. Patients and researchers would all be active participants in the open discussions. Continuous release The most advanced sites first bring up their software in extremely limited, volunteer-only releases. Everything is tracked. If things go well, more people can be invited in. Incredible tracking, lots of feedback, explicit and implicit. As software goes into wider release, a new version of it may be made available to a combination of new and existing users. Its use may be expanded, or it may be withdrawn. The process is continuous and iterative. It's called continuous improvement. We use it in lots of domains, ever since its use was formalized by W Edwards Deming in car manufacturing. It's not exactly weird or marginal. We simply refuse to apply its proven principles to drug discovery. Conclusion The FDA says its mission is to keep us safe. The gigantic bureaucratic monolith in practice assures that new drug development is performed by a tiny number of elite corporations at great expense, and rarely. Let's at least try a better way of doing things! -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. Wed, 18 2017 14:58:37 GMT New Members Of Congress Adjust To Working On Capitol Hill As Congress comes into session, many new members are adjusting to working on Capitol Hill. NPR's Audie Cornish talks to two new members, Republican Rep. Paul Mitchell of Michigan and Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida. Fri, 06 2017 21:36:46 GMT 9 Types of People Who Never Succeed At Work Experience and knowledge are rapidly losing their relevance to success in the workplace. Harvard economist David Deming studied workplace tasks from 1980 to the present day and found that those that emphasize social skills grew by a whopping 24%, while tasks requiring technical know-how and intelligence experienced little growth. Deming also found that salaries increased the most for jobs that place extra emphasis on social skills. With the increasing emphasis on social skills, those who lack them stand out like a zebra in a field of horses. We all know the types: the person who won't stop talking when you're trying to meet a deadline, the one who blatantly takes credit for your ideas, or the one who callously leaves you to pull an all-nighter to fix their mistake. The list goes on. There are a lot of otherwise intelligent people out there who can't stop shooting themselves in the foot. Sadly, their lack of self-awareness and social skills are massive detriments to their careers. Social skills and self-awareness are matters of emotional intelligence (EQ), and TalentSmart's research with over a million people has shown that emotional intelligence is responsible for 58% of job performance. Those who lack emotional intelligence are at a significant disadvantage. "Failure isn't fatal, but failure to change might be" - John Wooden There are certain types of people whose lack of emotional intelligence harms their careers more than others. By studying them, you can avoid becoming one of them, and, if your reading experience is anything like my writing experience, you'll see bits of yourself in some of these profiles. Use that knowledge to build your self-awareness, make adjustments, and grow as a person. 1. The coward. Fear is an extremely powerful motivator. This is why presidential candidates tell people that their opponent will "destroy the economy" and advertisements warn that "smoking kills." In the workplace, people overcome by fear resort to irrational and damaging behavior. Cowardly colleagues are quick to blame others and to cover up important mistakes, and they fail to stand up for what is right. 2. The Dementor. In J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, Dementors are evil creatures that suck people's souls out of their bodies, leaving them merely as shells of humans. Whenever a Dementor enters the room, it goes dark and cold and people begin to recall their worst memories. Rowling said that she developed the concept for Dementors based on highly negative people--the kind of people who have the ability to walk into a room and instantly suck the life out of it. Dementors suck the life out of the room by imposing their negativity and pessimism upon everyone they encounter. Their viewpoints are always glass half empty, and they can inject fear and concern into even the most benign situations. 3. The arrogant. Arrogant people are a waste of your time because they see everything you do as a personal challenge. Arrogance is false confidence, and it always masks major insecurities. A University of Akron study found that arrogance is correlated with a slew of problems in the workplace. Arrogant people tend to be lower performers and more disagreeable and to have more cognitive problems than the average person. 4. The group-thinker. Group-thinkers choose the path of least resistance and are famous for propagating the "this is how we've always done it" mentality. If you find yourself getting brainwashed with what everyone else believes, be careful; the status quo never leads to greatness. 5. The short-changed. The short-changed are quick to blame their lack of accomplishment on a lack of opportunity. While a lucky break may put a little wind in a successful person's sails, they got where they are through hard work. What the short-changed don't realize is that their attitude is what's short-changing them, not their circumstances. 6. The temperamental. Some people have absolutely no control over their emotions. They will lash out at you and project their feelings onto you, all the while thinking that you're the one causing their malaise. Temperamental people perform poorly because their emotions cloud their judgment and their lack of self-control destroys their relationships. Be wary of temperamental people; when push comes to shove they will use you as their emotional toilet. 7. The victim. Victims are tough to identify because you initially empathize with their problems. But, as time passes, you begin to realize that their "time of need" is all the time. Victims actively push away any personal responsibility by making every speed bump they encounter into an uncrossable mountain. They don't see tough times as opportunities to learn and grow from; instead, they see them as an out. 8. The gullible. You can't help but feel sorry for the gullible type. They're the ones who find themselves babysitting the boss's kids the morning after pulling a late night of work . . . on a Sunday! For whatever reason, gullible people (often newbies) go with the flow until the gentle river becomes a tumultuous ocean. It's okay to negotiate your salary, it's okay to say no, and it's okay to question the way things are done. You'll earn a lot more respect if you stand up for yourself when the time is right. 9. The apologizer. For every person out there who owes an apology, there's another who apologizes too often. People who lack confidence are always apologizing for their ideas and actions. They fear failure and believe that apologizing will act as a safety net. Instead, unnecessary apologies cheapen their ideas and make them less likely to stick. It's important that your tone of voice and body language reflect the importance of your ideas. Stating an idea or opinion as a question is just as bad as apologizing. If you really believe something is worth sharing, then own it and share it with confidence. Bringing It All Together None of these behaviors are a career death sentence because they can be eradicated through improved emotional intelligence. All it takes is a little self-awareness and a strong desire to change. What other types of people belong on this list? Please share in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. Mon, 14 2016 01:06:09 GMT Democrat Val Demings wins House seat for Florida#039;s redrawn 10th district Orlando Police Chief Val Demings has given the Democrats their first victory Tuesday in the House of Representatives, winning election to the congressional seat for Florida's 10th district. Both The Associated Press and Fox News have called the race for Demings, who ran unsuccessfully for election to the House in 2012. Florida's 10th congressional district was redrawn for the 2016 election, giving Democrats an edge; Demings defeated Republican Thuy Lowe for the seat. Wed, 09 2016 00:52:00 GMT I Blame Blame . . . For creating toxic workplace cultures. Sadly, there is plenty of blame to go around for blaming. Here is my case against blame. Let's assume that something goes wrong. In a perfect world, nothing ever goes wrong but in an uncertain, complex, fast-paced and subject-to-the-influence-of-humans world, sometimes something goes wrong. If, when something goes wrong, we blame someone, that person focuses on either defending themselves or shifting blame to someone or something else. With the focus now on defense or blame-shifting, we do not focus on finding and fixing the process issues that really created the problem. And processes are the cause of the vast majority of all problems. W. Edward Deming (one of the early pioneers of process quality and improvement) defined his 85 / 15 rule. According to Deming, 85% of problems come from the process, not the people (the other 15% of the problems come from people). So, if there is a problem and we blame the people, we will be wrong 85% of the time. I don't know about you but I prefer to be right at least 85% of the time. This leads to one of the mottos I use, try to model and teach my teams: When there is a problem, we blame and fix processes, not people. Besides, what kind of culture do we create when we, by blaming people, assume that people come to work each day bound and determined to make mistakes? If we believe that people are to blame, it seems we tend to micro-manage (lest those troublesome people have the latitude to make mistakes) and take away ownership. I don't know about you but I prefer cultures based on trust, not suspicion. If you, with me, want to blame blame, what do we do? First of all, we can and should, in our micro-cultures, blame and fix processes, not people. In practice, this means that when something goes wrong, we use tools like Value Stream Mapping and 5 Why Analysis to find and resolve the process root cause that created the problem. We never ask "who" acted because we assume that the people followed the process and the process that is not yet properly error-proofed. Now this approach might initially shock our teams but if we are consistent, over time, we will enjoy the power and benefits of a great workplace culture and processes that continuously improve. What do we do to protect our no-blame culture when it exists in a world of blame? Protection is part of our job as leaders. How do we do that? By taking the blame ourselves. Let me share an example. Some years ago, I inherited a team that had spent years in a culture of blame. As you might expect, the team's results were not that great, the team was pretty well beaten down and the team members lacked both credibility and confidence. I worked hard to change this culture and made significant progress within the team but still had to deal with the organization's strong culture of blame. When something went wrong the company CEO wanted to know who had messed up. For example, when one of my teams was doing the planning for a critical new product, they decided to place their bet on a new technology. If the new technology worked, they would not only deliver the new product but would also put in place a technology that would be the foundation for our future. Unfortunately, the new technology did not pan out and we missed - by a long way - the planned launched date and the team had to go back and replace that new technology with one that was more proven. As you might expect news of the delayed product launch found its way to the company president. He came storming into my office and wanted to know the reason for the delayed launch. I explained, at a high level, about the bad technology bet (at least as it had been explained to me by my team). Rather than calm down the CEO this amped up his effort to blame. Who, he demanded to know, had made such a bad technology decision? Now, when the team made this decision they made the decision all by themselves - in a culture of trust you have to trust teams to make decisions - and I had no knowledge of the decision they had made until we had to delay the product launch. How then did I respond to the CEO? I lied and told him that I had made the decision to try out this new technology. I explained (by adlibbing) that this product seemed a perfect opportunity to try out a technology that, if it worked, would set us up for the future. In other words, I took the blame for something I did not do. Why did I do this? To protect my team from blame. Why did this matter to me? Because a blame-free culture creates a great place to work and thrive. I certainly did not like enduring the CEO's withering blame and so knew how debilitating blame can be. As I absorbed his blame blows I renewed my vow to purge blame from my life and every time I am tempted to blame, I remember, this experience and my conviction that blame is toxic. And so I ask you to join me in blaming only blame and, in so doing, empowering teams to use their talents, passion and energy to advance our organization's cause. Niel Nickolaisen is the Chief Technology Officer at OC Tanner. Niel is the author of "The Agile Culture" and "Stand Back and Deliver." Niel is passionate about helping leaders deliver in three areas: enable strategy, achieve operational excellence and create great workplace cultures - cultures based on trust and ownership. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. Tue, 27 2016 17:43:57 GMT Kmart is closing 64 stores and laying off thousands of employees — see if your local store is on the list Kmart is closing 64 stores across 28 states. Sears Holdings, which owns Sears and Kmart, informed Kmart employees of the closures on Friday, according to local news reports and employees who spoke to Business Insider. The stores that are closing will begin liquidation sales on September 22, and close by mid December, employees said. Sears did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.  Separately on Friday, Seritage Growth Properties, a real-estate-investment trust that owns 235 Sears and Kmart stores, revealed in a filing that Sears had decided to terminate leases on 17 stores, meaning it would close those stores. According to RBC Capital Markets analysts, all 17 closures are Kmart stores and they will close by January.Km The new wave of closures follows Sears' decision to shut down nearly 80 stores — most of which were Kmart stores — in July. Moody's analysts warned last week that Kmart doesn't have enough cash or access to cash to stay in business. Kmart has about 870 stores today, down from about 1,300 in 2012. Here's a full list of stores that will close in December, according to employees:  Kmart #3044: Lawton, OK Kmart #3180: Merrillville, IN Kmart #3241: Springfield, IL Kmart #3320: Houma, LA Kmart #3328: New Lenox, IL Kmart #3355: Panama City, FL Kmart #3359: Gardendale, AL Kmart #3521: Binghamton, NY Kmart #3556: Elkhart, IN Kmart #3594: Chicago, IL Kmart #3644: Nashville, TN Kmart #3695: Sierra Vista, AZ Kmart #3706: Wytheville, VA Kmart #3754: Martinsville, VA Kmart #3814: Kearney, NE Kmart #4066: Jackson, MI Kmart #4095: Joliet, IL Kmart #4135: Augusta, GA Kmart #4162: Salt Lake City, UT Kmart #4175: Canton, OH Kmart #4176: Cheektowaga, NY Kmart #4439: Yakima, WA Kmart #4700: Fenton, MI Kmart #4717: Oak Ridge, TN Kmart #4739: Clarksville, TN Kmart #4772: Burnham, PA Kmart #4781: Macomb, IL Kmart #4837: Riverton, WY Kmart #4845: Manistee, MI Kmart #4851: Byron Center, MI Kmart #4910: Mentor, OH Kmart #4917: Thornton, CO Kmart #4961: Burlington, NC Kmart #4970: Memphis, TN Kmart #4972: Lubbock, TX Kmart #4984: Tinley Park, IL Kmart #7024: Scottsbluff, NE Kmart #7061: New Iberia, LA Kmart #7077: Harlingen, TX Kmart #7174: Pikeville, KY Kmart #7205: Grand Rapids, MI Kmart #7216: Moorhead, MN Kmart #7306: Sioux Falls, SD Kmart #7356: Jonesboro, AR Kmart #7412: West Valley City, UT Kmart #7478: Waipahu, HI Kmart #7551: Indio, CA Kmart #7560: Craig, CO Kmart #7587: Fontana, CA Kmart #7625: Los Angeles, CA Kmart #7642: Natchez, MS Kmart #7718: Hixson, TN Kmart #7733: Alpena, MI Kmart #7755: Deming, NM Kmart #7775: Lafayette, IN Kmart #7795: Abilene, TX Kmart #9129: Mount Airy, NC Kmart #9146: Great Barrington, MA Kmart #9397: West Saint Paul, MN Kmart #9571: Cullman, AL Kmart #9586: Sault Saint Marie, MI Kmart #9623: Springdale, AR Kmart #9728: Smyrna, TN Kmart #9751: Cody, WY Do you work at a Kmart store that is closing? 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