October 12

Surprising impact of more sleep, programs that increases bullying, and using literature to understand others


Curated Catalyst for October 12, 2013

The conversations I engaged in this week continue to surface the challenge – and importance – of taking the time to distill our value and work to effectively communicate with others.

I’m heading to Boston next week to deliver two keynotes on precisely that topic. I’m working on additional related resources to invest in our relationship and contribute to the community. Shortly I’ll seek some help reviewing the initial work.

It’s a good time to take stock of current activities (what I wrote about as a tactical pause) to make sure we finish the year strong while setting the stage for a prioritized and successful 2014.

Three selected articles

Here are three articles selected to stimulate some thinking — and discussion — on how we might draw on other fields to improve our approach to the practice of security, our careers, and the way we interact with others.

How much can an extra hour’s sleep change you?

The information in the article shares some fascinating insights on the impact of less sleep on our body, including changes at the genetic level that impact our inflammation responses, ability to handle stress, and immune response.

Worse, a lack of sleep can contribute to a host of potential diseases and ailments.

Aside from the reduced ability to process stress, what stood out what the role in sleep to consolidate memories and process emotions — and the importance of the timing.

We work in complex, stressful environments. We also (often) pride ourselves on working long, hard hours and consuming lots of energy drinks to mask our tired nature.

Bottom line: if we want to be better at recalling the day, solving problems, and effectively handling the stress, we need to make the investment in ourselves. If only 1 more hour a day of sleep.

Are Anti-Bullying Programs Having An Opposite Effect?

Bullying is a problem. By current accounts, it appears to be getting worse. As a result, schools focus on putting anti-bullying programs in place.

When someone actually stepped in to research it, they were shocked to find that the bullying programs INCREASED the behavior they attempted to reduce. The opposite was evidenced, too: schools without anti-bullying programs had less incidence.

Beyond an interesting point for parents, this holds implications for security, too. Some of the perceived problems our controls and solutions are designed to address may actually be contributing to an increase in the undesired behavior.

It stresses the importance of understanding the problem and including the capability to measure what matters [link].

Reading literary (but not pop) fiction, boosts our understanding of other people’s minds

A key to success in security is the need to understand situations from the perspective of others. The better we do, the more effective our solutions.

The research on the positive impact of reading literary fiction suggests this is a good investment of time and energy. Perhaps it’s time to form a book club? I’m serious about that. However, it could be an interesting team building exercise in your organization. The key is the literary fiction component.

What’s your favorite book?

From idea to action

Take a few minutes to read, reflect, and advance. Engage with me by commenting below, on twitter, or by email. Or discuss with your team and colleagues.

I find success by picking one idea and testing it. Consider which of the above resonated the most with you. How will you implement the idea in the coming week?

Weekly Summary of Published Articles

These are the articles published this week:

From Translating Security Value:

From the Security Catalyst Blog:

Where to find and engage with me

This coming week, I’m keynoting two conferences. The topic is based on Embrace the Value Imperative – and cast as Communicating the Value Imperative of Security. I’ll be working with a team of exceptional CISOs on Tuesday, and remarkable CIOs on Wednesday.

I’m also keynoting a CISO Summit in Washington, DC in November.

I also have some private keynote engagements coming up. As they get closer, I’ll figure out if I have time to connect in those cities.

I am developing an enhanced keynote program for enterprises and organizations that want to include some focused breakout sessions. A full day of activities designed to build on the essential concepts of the keynote. I have a few openings left for 2013. If you’d like to explore adding the Security Catalyst to finish the year strong and position a great 2014, contact me and we’ll talk.

About the Curated Catalyst

Three articles curated to provoke thinking, create conversation, and purposefully cross-pollinate diverse solutions in the field of information security.

Posted on weekends, the goal is to narrow in on the topics of effective communication, innovation, value, measurement, leadership, and how to prioritize & justify efforts. Sometimes I’ll share other ideas and articles that push the bounds of our thinking.

Selecting an article isn’t necessarily an endorsement. The purpose is to purposefully cross-pollinate ideas, offer out ideas for consideration, and stimulate some conversation.

Have some outside thinking that others would benefit from? Send it to me — and tell me what you took away from it.



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