Lessons of Petraeus Case Are Far From Clear

first_imgThere are some lessons that HR professionals can draw from the saga of Gen. David Petraeus, who resigned as head of the CIA after an FBI investigation found that he had an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. The importance of choosing leaders with integrity–and the realization that there is virtually no privacy when it comes to electronic communications–jump out as key takeaways for HR. However, how HR staffs can apply these principles in their day-to-day work isn’t cut and dried. And the scandal illuminates aspects of human nature that will challenge HR professionals for decades, researchers warn. Once being discussed as a potential presidential candidate, Petraeus managed military battles, his career and the news media astutely. Some have labeled him a narcissist, particularly in light of the Broadwell affair. Did Broadwell’s intense interest in Petraeus blind the general to his duties—his duties to his country, to his family, and even to his own best interests? Only he can answer. His departure from public service is unfortunate, given his talent. His damage to his family, and Broadwell’s damage to hers, are more significant and more lasting, I suspect. Had Petraeus worked for the private sector, and had the investigation begun with a tip to HR instead of a call to the FBI, how would the situation have played out? A lot differently, I believe. Broadwell wasn’t working for Petraeus or his organization, though she was an Army Reserve officer. All indications are that it was a consensual relationship free from harassment. When the affair was discovered, according to news reports, neither party denied it or tried to cover it up. This is not a Penn State or Catholic Church scandal. Reportedly, by leaving personal messages in the drafts folder of a Gmail account, the pair thought that their communications would remain anonymous. They didn’t. Even if Petraeus used a government computer to access the drafts folder, it’s not the most massive violation of HR rules—unless evidence shows that he revealed classified information. If you were the HR chief dealing with these discoveries in the private sector, what would you do? Fire Petraeus? For showing poor moral judgment? That might be a decision for the Board of Directors. For misusing e-mail? You’d probably give him a warning or make him take more training. The paramount takeaway for HR is that we need to understand a leader’s character before we hire him or her. Unfortunately, we often overlook character flaws because they can be embedded in otherwise desirable skill sets. Some of the most effective leaders in terms of business performance are narcissists—narcissists who often get themselves and their organizations into trouble, according to researchers Arijit Chatterjee and Donald Hambrick. They found that narcissism in CEOs is correlated with “strategic dynamism.” Two more researchers, Joris Lammers and Adam Galinsky, came up with another disturbing finding about power seekers: People with power break rules not just because they think that they can get away with doing so, but also because they believe that they are entitled to do so. Finally, researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia assessed more than 100 graduate students and concluded that the level of narcissism in the United States is increasing. Taken together, these studies suggest that preventing situations such as that of Petraeus and Broadwell won’t be easy. Men and women are going to cheat. They’re going to try to hide their affairs. The only “bright” side is that they’re going to find it ever more difficult to conceal the electronic evidence. How effectively HR manages situations such as the Petraeus affair will help demonstrate just how strategic the profession has become. Steve Bates is a freelance journalist and former writer and editor for SHRM. Any investigation of his e-mails would reveal many pages of discussion of baseball, gardening and troublesome editors. [Links to research noted above:]http://www.economist.com/node/15328544http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1112461751/expensive-egos-narcissism/http://archive.sciencewatch.com/dr/fmf/2011/11julfmf/11julfmfChatET/last_img read more

Moorestown: Much more than an iPhone killer

first_imgFirst let me say I’m not on the inside track with Moorestown. I’m an outside observer with my own perspective on this product, but I have to say… I think this will be HUGE. Lot’s of talk about the Moorestown platform at IDF this year and I’ve heard many refer to this as the iPhone killer, or next generation iPhone. The game changer is size, the processing power, and WiMax capabilities. This is much more than anything in the market now. It can be almost anything you want it to be, and what you want it to do might be more about what devices it talks to. Here’s my personal speculation on potential uses for Moorestown.Harmony Remote Killer: This one is easy. Unlike the iphone with this kind of device you should be able to add and download applications and be configure to do pretty much what you want it to do. It’s the size of a remote. It has bluetooth and WiMax. It should be able to talk to all of your AV stuff and replace your most advanced universal remotes.GameBoy/PSP Killer: This be will run on Intel’s next generation 45nm chips. It should far exceed anything any hand held game system can do today. You could host games on the fly with people near you or host over the Internet. I actually believe this could be an XBox Killer. It will have the horsepower, it will be ultimately connected. It just needs peripherals like a dock or wireless connectivity to a large display and keyboard. Drop it on your coffee table, turn on your wall mounted LCD, pick up a wireless controller and you are gaming.Desktop Killer: Yes, a desktop killer. Again it should have the horsepower. It will have highspeed connections and a full blown browser. More and more apps are moving to the web. There’s a lot of talk about the death of the application, as applications can be run in the browser. Drop it on your desk, have it detect and synch with your wireless keyboard, mouse and monitor and you are working. Also more IT shops are starting to see the value of OS and application streaming technology where you can pull down the apps you need when you need them. Edit a spreadsheet, crop a photo, do a CAD Design, all apps come from the network when you need them, wherever you are.Storage may only an issue for the few things you need locally. With WiMax, songs, videos, applications could all be available at your finger tips whether you have them stored on your PC, DVR, or from a service provider. You could ultimately have any data or any application on a powerful mobile device on your hip, in your pocket or in your purse. My perspective is Moorestown is shaping up to be the ubiquitous everything device. I discussed this idea 2 years ago with an Intel engineer, during a school fundraiser. I claimed if Intel could create the device the size of cell phone with the processing power of a PC, you would not need any other device other than peripherals. I was new, I was in marketing and he thought I was nuts. And he pretty much told me so, citing that he didn’t see how Intel would profit from it. A couple of weeks later I saw him again and he was anxious to tell me he just saw a presentation that discussed exactly what I was talking about. I’d like to think this is Moorestown… and personally I can’t wait!!last_img read more

Did a Swedish researcher eat the first CRISPR meal ever served?

first_imgIn what Swedish plant scientist Stefan Jansson declares “maybe” a historic event, he cultivated, grew, and ate a plant that had its genome edited with CRISPR-Cas9. Umeå University, where Jansson studies how trees know it’s autumn and how proteins allow plants to harvest light, released a 5 September press release about his meal, a pasta dish that included 300 grams of cabbage he grew from seeds that had been genetically modified with CRISPR-Cas9. The revolutionary technology vastly simplifies the editing of genes, and has triggered many debates about whether its plant products should be considered a genetically modified organism (GMO) and subject to regulation.As noted by Science Daily and other media outlets, Jansson enjoyed the lunch with Gustaf Klarin, host of a Radio Sweden gardening show, which broadcast it earlier this week (in Swedish). “To our delight—and to some extent to my surprise—the meal turned out really nice,” Jannson wrote in a blog entry on 16 August, the actual day that history might have been made. “Both of us ate with great relish. Gustaf even thought the cabbage was the best tasting vegetable on the plate. And I agreed.” Jansson’s lab did not create the seed, but he told ScienceInsider he received it from a colleague “in another country” who wants to remain unidentified. As Jansson notes, the European Union has yet to determine whether CRISPR-Cas9 modification that eliminates a gene should be classified as a GMO and thus illegal to grow. But he received approval from the Swedish Board of Agriculture to grow a similar CRISPR-Cas9 seed that his lab had engineered, which the authorities determined was not a GMO as long as it didn’t contain foreign DNA. Jansson told Science that because the plant they ate was by definition not a GMO, “we do of course not need to ask for a permit or even inform them.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Jansson writes on his blog that he attempted to find out whether eating a CRISPR-edited plant was “a world première,” and no one he knew could think of a precedent.In April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture told Yinong Yang of Pennsylvania State University, University Park, that his CRISPR-tweaked mushroom was not subject to its regulations. Yang told Science he has eaten mushrooms from his lab, but they may have been the unmodified controls in his CRISPR experiment and, anyway, mushrooms are fungi, not plants.“In some countries, I wouldn’t be surprised if people kept it [eating CRISPR plants] a secret,” writes Jansson on his blog. “One thing is clear: it’s the first time ever this is done publicly (and legally).”  For more CRISPR news and research check out our CRISPR topic page.last_img read more