Mind Your Bizness is an online radio & TV show focusing on "EduTaining" content for entrepreneurs and microbusinesses. Today and tomorrow, September 28-29, you can hear an interview where I discuss some ideas of about developing effective business continuity programs and the importance of understanding corporate culture and adding value through your program You can find the interview at Mind Your Bizness
Ever been at a meeting where some poor soul was put in their place with the comment, "that's a really dumb idea"? Now, I've heard some real winners in my time, it's true, but you might want to be a bit more charitable next time.
Last Thursday was the 150th anniversary of the ascession of Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. A well-respected businessman, Joshua Norton tried to corner the market on imported rice in Gold Rush San Francisco. He went bankrupt when a large shipment arrived unexpectedly and the price of rice plummeted. A few years later in 1859, he walked into the San Francisco Bulletin and gave the editor a notice for publication declaring himself Norton I, Emperor of the United States. It being a slow news day, the editor decided on a whim to print the notice.
The people of San Francisco loved it. For the next 21 years, Norton dined at the finest restaurants without charge, had a box at the opera, and was treated with appropriate respect by the citizens of the City. To support himself, he levied taxes and printed his own currency which was accepted everywhere in the City. When he died, his funeral cortege was 2 miles long. You can read more at the San Francisco Chronicle.
Saturday, September 19th, was another zany anniversary, International Talk Like a Pirate ay. The day started as an inside joke between two friends in 1995 but began to gain traction after the two sent a letter to a humor columnist who - you guessed it - publicized it on a whim. It's now international in scope and making the two guys some cash on books, videos,T-shirts and other memorabilia. It helps that they've got a catchy catchy theme song!
So what's all this got to do with emergency management? Well, it's actual more about ideas. Norton and our two friends admittedly got some free publicity but the more important thing is that their crazy ideas resonated with people. In a speech to the Intenational Association of Emergency Managers conference, Dr. Dennis Mileti discussed why our preparedness messages are not successful and the concept of milling - the tendency of people to reinforce their beliefs through contact with others who hold similar ideas. Maybe it's time to start asking why our messages don't resonate with the public and ask what we can do differently.
And be nice to the next person who brings you a crazy idea!