About Richard Oppenheim
Richard Oppenheim helps individuals and companies get better. His effort is to deliver short term actions that will serve as the foundation for achieving long term goals, such as getting unstuck. He maps what is desired with what can be accomplished and then help create a personal road map for going forward.
As a CPA, Richard was an early innovator of computer based resources. Over the years, his efforts have integrated lots of business processes, personal actions, technology resources and decision making. He has developed computer based professional education courses and co-founded a company providing on-line education courses covering the areas of security, management and control over IT operations.
As an adjunct professor at NYU's Graduate School of Business, Richard served as a Director with NYU's Management Decision Laboratory. He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and did post-graduate work at New York University.
His writing includes books, magazine columns, computer product reviews, feature articles, trade association pamphlets, book editing and ghostwriting.
His journey continues as he endeavors to guide and illuminate the path that others need to take.
Latest Posts by Richard Oppenheim
It is that time of year again. Countless number of turkeys have already lost their heads. Countless more will lose their heads before Christmas time arrives. Shortly after the heads are severed, feathers get plucked and then the poultry is seasoned, stuffed and placed in a hot oven for several hours.
Countless numbers of people like the above sequence of events. Family, friends, strangers gather round a holiday decorated table to share stories while eating turkey and fixings. The even luckier ones get the joy of eating leftovers for one or more days.
Turkeys lose their head and people rejoice. How about you? Are you losing your head, or anything else, because things are not going just the way you want? We may have a few things in common with Turkeys, but the concept of losing your head should never be one of the possibilities.
Are you facing holidays without heat, without a kitchen, without a job, without a family, without hope? Head loss does not make any of these conditions better. When you suffer from any of these conditions, keeping your head attached is complicated, hard and painful. Turkey heads cannot be reattached. When we lose our heads, it takes a long stretch of rehabilitation.
If you have your head attached and do not suffer the above conditions, this is the time to do something to express your thanks. Think about it. You are worth sharing. People can benefit and receive value from what you are able to accomplish when your hand is out and stretched. Someone sure could use it.
Whether your head is firmly attached or hanging too loose, I wish you much joy from sharing this Thanksgiving with family, friends, strangers, people you know, people you never met. It is one more time to get the right heads stuck on top of the right necks. Lift a drumstick and be thankful.
And, remember to thank the Turkey for its involuntary participation in your celebration.
This is the season for turkeys of all sizes and pedigree. Perhaps you are planning to season and baste and cook your own. Perhaps you will eat at someone else’s table. Maybe, like my friend Phil, a vegetarian, to seek out the soy turkey.
What about your life at this time? Are you surrounded by turkeys that do not respond to your emails and phone calls? Do you feel like a turkey that is getting stuffed, cooked and carved? These turkey style feelings do not taste like a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. They provide indigestion that is not the same as eating too much.
Here are a few suggestions to follow at this time of year:
- Do not walk around with feathers on and shouting gobble, gobble.
- Do not lie done in a roasting pan.
- Stay away from ovens, especially hot ones.
- Do not stick your neck out, especially when sharp knives are in the vicinity.
This is not the time to feel like a turkey being led to slaughter. You are not going to be the centerpiece of the holiday dining event. You do have to consider how to keep your spirits high and looking ahead. You can participate and not hide. You can share with family, friends and strangers. Putting yourself in the background at this time of year delivers the wrong message, especially to you.
If you want to stay stuck, act like a turkey and hide.
If you want to get unstuck, eat the turkey with others.
A long, long time ago, when a school student did not go to school just because they wanted a day off, the student would be described as “playing hooky.” Hollywood made “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” about the success of a hooky day. For full disclosure, I did play hooky occasionally, never like Ferris.
This weekend I played hooky and it was better than I remember from my school days. The past year has not been sufficiently profitable so that more work time was needed to replace better rates. My off-time moments were measured in hours, not days. Therefore, my wife and I agreed to take a full day – 24 hours – without telephone, email, text message, web site search interruption or distraction. Mission accomplished.
For many years, I have written about the impact of our increasing access to technology wherever we are. Everywhere technology resources have been embedded inside our lives forever. We all need to know, as I have said for years, that we need to use a key feature of every device – its off switch. It was about time for me to take my own advice.
This weekend, from 5 pm Saturday to 5 pm Sunday, no technology was touched, caressed, or used. And – I am here to write about it.
There was a time when making a local phone call required speaking the number to a switchboard operator. I have lost contact with all of those operators. I have also been at the forefront of lots of technological developments. The available products and the new ones coming out at least monthly will continue to expand how we access and relate with entertainment, business operations and, yes, making phone calls.
- What are you doing with your time?
- Are your Smartphones and laptops used as an asset supporting your life?
- Are your Smartphones and laptops a controlling force, enabled to interrupt whatever it is you are doing?
- Are you making plans to play hooky? (Perhaps I could join you.)
I have been asked to nominate eight examples of mobile content at work for the WSA Mobile Content Awards. WSA-mobile content (http://www.wsa-mobile.org) selects and promotes the world’s best in mobile content and innovative applications. It is based on the expertise, mechanism and network of the World Summit Award (www.wsis-award.org) and is held every two years, with the first Winners’ Gala to take place in Abu Dhabi in December 2010 in cooperation and along with the UN DESA GAID Global Forum. Attached some examples of previous winners and the list of categories is here: http://www.wsa-mobile.org/contest/evaluation-criteria
WSA-mobile emphasizes cultural diversity and identity, the creation of varied information content and the digitalization of educational, scientific and cultural heritage. It aims to make the benefits of the new Information Society accessible and meaningful for all humanity, and in particular, to raise public awareness and give deserved public recognition to the highest quality e-Content, produced all over the world. As of today, around 160 countries actively participate in the initiative.
National pre-selections for the WSA-mobile run through experts in respective countries. The only way to apply for WSA-mobile is to be nominated by the national expert. I have been asked to serve as the USA national expert and am seeking nominations right now. Review the categories (http://www.wsa-mobile.org/contest/evaluation-criteria) and criteria (http://www.wsa-mobile.org/contest/evaluation-criteria), then visit my nomination wiki here to submit your case studies of mobile content making the world a better place. If your company and/or client is US based, submit via my nomination wiki (http://wsamobile.pbworks.com/). If not, you’ll need to reach out to the appropriate national expert. Let’s show the real power of mobile content in action!
Deadline to Submit Ideas to Michelle: SEPTEMBER 1
Things happen – some we want, some we do not want, some we plan for, some are unexpected, some are good, some are bad. Lots of us work very hard for things that we want to happen. The batter wants to hit the ball, the pitcher wants the batter to miss the ball, the student wants to graduate, the teacher wants their students to succeed, the owner wants the company to be profitable and so on.
There are times, however, that we are very lucky when some things do not happen. Some of these things were based on our efforts and some just showed up unexpectedly. Here is my latest example of a happening that could have been a whole lot of bad.
It was about 6 pm on a very hot day. I was doing a little repair on our back patio. My wife was out of town and I was home alone. The task was finished successfully (yeah me). I got up from a sitting position and the unexpected thing started to happen.
Here is what happened: I stumbled. I was unable to stop myself from stumbling to the concrete patio. I did manage to connect with an object on my way down. The object was the wooden fence bordering the small patio area. Sometimes connecting is good – not this time. The part of me that connected with fence was the left side of my face. For the squeamish, please know that all is OK. The end result of the fall was that I was prone on the concrete patio. The fall did not take more than a few microseconds. A few things did happen: my glasses were knocked off and landed on the other side of the fence; the only bleeding was from the bridge of my nose where I had a minor skin scrape; there were 2 bone bruises near the outside of my eye; there was puffiness and a deepening red-purple color surrounding the eye.
Here is what did not happen: I was never unconscious. My glasses did not shatter and push glass into me. My eye was not punctured or gouged by anything. My nose was not broken. My ear was not injured. I have no headaches, dizziness, blurred vision or any other indicator of medical risk. Bottom line analysis shows that I was very fortunate.
The moral of this tale is to recognize that when things happen there are at least two opposing results. Some we want, some we do not want. As I tell my coaching clients – ‘expect the unexpected’ as life continues to happen as much as we try to plan and control it. We need to be able to deal with things that happen along with the things that do not happen. In this way, we can take advantage of really good results that allow us to keep on our journey to explore the things that will impact what we do and who we are.
And you thought this was about mountains. Colorado has lots of them for climbing, for skiing, for just looking at.
This is to encourage folks to watch the game of baseball a few times. This team has just won three (3) games in a row by scoring runs in their very last at bat. Twice in the bottom of the ninth and once in the bottom of the 15th.
This includes overcoming 5 and 6 run deficits going into the late innings. Sports are alive within the state. Denver is one of the very few cities that have all 4 major professional sports teams -
- Baseball – Rockies
- Basketball – Nuggets
- Football – Broncos
- Hockey – Avalanche
There is more to the state that is disected by the continental divide. Check it out.
Getting Unstuck requires actions. These actions are not short sprints, they are long distance running with a start line and a not yet determined finish line. Along the way, there are people and things to see, ideas to absorb and reject, planned and unplanned interruptions, joy and sadness, celebrations and sorrow.
Twitter is NOT: for everyone, for the weak, for the uninvolved.
It is absolutely OK not to tweet. When one uses Twitter, it id best when there is a purpose. The younger folks use twitter as a communication, annotation, declaration for who and where they are. Hey – I am at Mario’s or I just saw the silliest movie or I have no energy now, and so on.
Companies use Twitter for many things, such as marketing, sales, new products and customer support. Individuals use Twitter as a means to alert people about who they are: job seeker, sales person who has products, company spokesperson for sharing information, telling people about good ideas, ranting about things one does not like, expressing opinions, and so much more.
The bottom line for me is that Twitter is all about communicating with the assistance of the web. For me, it is not about telling someone what pizza I am eating, or the line that I am standing in, or my concerns for next week’s weather. Twitter should be used for sending messages that are for the most part – useful, usable, something to ponder, some data to know, and an opinion to share. Why? Because you need to explore ways to deliver messages that can create and sustain contact with customers, employees, prospects, friends and family. And, there is no fee required or stamp to attach.
Twitter is one of the options available as you address what is best for your web presence. Whether individual or company, a web presence is significant. There is a need for more than just one category of web communication – email, website, blog, Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, et al. There is a never-ending supply of messages and noise clamoring for someone’s attention. Getting pushed away with everyone else’s noise, makes it even more difficult to sell the company, the products and you.
PLEASE. This suggestion to Tweet has nothing to do with telling people what you are wearing, eating, seeing the sunrise, etc. Lots of people use Tweets to deliver a daily journal – good for them. Terrible idea when you want to use Twitter for business or something to contemplate.
Look around. Do a search on how to get started with Tweeting. Learning how to write and publish a Tweet takes just a little time, reading other tweets and practice. To reject Twitter just because you do not have the time or do not know what to say is self-defeating and will keep you stuck. Applications like HootSuite and TweetDeck will provide assistance for managing Tweets.
Go to www.twitter.com and create a useful and usable Twitter name. The maximum for a name is 15 characters. So find one that works to describe you, your company or what you are about. My Twitter name is “richinsight.” It is not so cryptic as to be confusing. Do you have a name in mind? Better check quickly because, with the number of people signing up for a Twitter account, possible combinations of letters will dwindle. My blog name and my twitter name are the same and not by coincidence.
Think through how and where Twitter is or is not for you. Make the choice and then proceed to the next item on your to do list.
Actions are a good thing. They will help you Get Unstuck.
Lots of folks show up in the state of Colorado and are amazed. You can be too.
Ski, hike, sightseeing are all good. Of course, everything you do is at altitude. Denver is 5, 280 feet above sea level (which Coloradans cannot see) and the mountains start there and go vertical with a whole bunch over 14,000 feet.
A problem for Colorado is that so much traffic never stops inside the state. Planes go overhead between California ant the East Coast. Even Seattle gets more boots on the ground. Sure i have complaints but in the winter, most days in Denver area are mid 40s temperature. Snow comes – yes. Most of the snow that one reads about are on the ski slopes.
Recognition comes hard. Denver Bronco athletes waited a long time for hall of fame mention. Colorado Rockies players almost never get noticed – they were in the world series in 2007. Avalance have won Stanley Cups. the NBA Nuggets are still trying.
Food is here. Good meat – Cows or Bison/Buffalo – is in endless supply. You want vegetables and fruit – check out the farmer’s markets. There are really good peaches and cherries towards the latter half of summer.
So sign on to any photo site and check out pictures of the mountains in all four seasons. OK there is no seashore and no cruises depart from any Colorado city. On the other hand here are a few-
Buckhorn Exchange – lots of choices for wild and domestic game
Brown Palace Hotel – turn of the 20th Century elegance
Broadmoor Hotel and Spa – 5 star resort
Denver Performing Arts Center – multi-auditorium for musicals, plays, opera, orchestra
Coors Field, Invesco Field at Mile High, Pepsi Center