Sunday, January 8, 2017

CCM vs. PMP - What do you want to be when you grow up?

 A castle in the clouds design concept by artist Raphael Lacoste.

Recently in my network I have become point person for what I affectionately term: "PMP-iatry." At least once a week colleagues or acquaintances contact me wondering about requirements or the experience of certifying as a PMP.

This past week, a colleague invited me to coffee to asking what is necessary in order to start working on certification requirements. On the way to coffee, I asked him what I always ask at the outset of this conversation: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Requirements Management

Without much prompting, he mentioned his desire to continue the family construction business, and certification would be his key to success. I countered this assertion saying he could easily succeed in business by focusing on processes he already knew and hiring someone with a CCM. The idea that multiple styles of project management certifications exist was foreign to him. So, I began to explain what I learned from having spent the last few years inside a construction PMO, interacting with CCMs, reviewing materials from both exams and passing the PMP.

Both exams share essential parallels. Understandings of the critical project management functions: scope, resources, schedule, risk, contract and stakeholder management all match up. Safety management, for example, is not an implicit PMP requirement. However, these items a PM could - either with a mentorship component or subject matter expert utilization, - absorb quickly along with taking the OSHA training. During training, a crossover PM could easily begin responsibilities in the CM world, and once properly trained and assessed, venture out on their own.

The 'responsible-in-charge' requirement is a frequent point of contention, but profitable management of projects is common between both certifications. Pivoting towards profitability, discovering efficiencies, eliminating wasteful practices, and change management are defined areas of study under the PMP. 

It is also true that, of the nearly 650,000 PMPs compared to 3,400 CCMs, a good chunk are not in RIC roles. Many are though, and have direct responsibility with projects of a scope complexity, scale and budget comparable to construction projects.

Change Management

So what's the point David? 
JFK revamp plans
Rendering of  Governor Cuomo's
proposed JFK renovation

It is the following: Capital dollars spent by all three sectors vary widely annually. If the $1.0 Trillion infrastructure program ever materializes, the project backlog will be outrageous. Just now in New York, Governor Cuomo announced $10 Billion for JFK Airport renovations before the $3.0 Billion LaGuardia renovation is finished. Neither of those amounts take into account the commercial and residential construction that should kick off this year.

When all of those projects go live, there won't just be a labor supply gap. There will be an inescapable vacuum that irrevocably stalls on time and budget project delivery. Surveying industry openings just inside of LinkedIn a deficit of sufficient CCM supply already exists, while a veritable plethora of PMPs is available, many of whom are actively looking for strong opportunities.


This represents a chance for the construction industry to pivot towards profitability. Creating mentorship and talent attraction/retention programs will pay dividends off into the out years. PMI and CMAA should develop inter-agency cooperation, and practitioners from both certifications need to be involved in the cross walk. However, the end product should be a freshly minted Construction PM able to glide seamlessly from one environment to the next and back again. Enough CM firms of sufficient size and heft exist that such a thing ought to easily spontaneously generate, and be standardizable across organizations. Feel free to contact me for some ideas.

So, what do you want to be when you grow up?

The EkranoYacht. A design concept winner from Australia, powered by Hydrogen. What's in your future?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Constructing the Future.

Image from Skanska USA - Planned LaGuardia Airport
Construction is an industry bound to see sustained solid growth in the both the near and distant future. Of course, as a New Yorker working on a $3 Billion public works construction program, you might say my view is skewed. However, sitting inside the industry, and being cognizant of upcoming trends, allow me to elucidate.

A vision of the New New York Bridge,
We are somewhat lucky in New York, and not least of which, the City of New York, where mega projects happen concurrently in a variety of locations. The major LaGuardia Airport renovation recently began spinning up to the tune of $4 Billion. Large swaths of that money is dedicated to be spent on subcontractors and firms capable of taking on smaller pieces of the larger project. At the same time as the LaGuardia project announced its commencement, Governor Cuomo additionally announced $3 Billion dollars for the refurbishment and renovation of New York Penn Station as a world class transportation hub through a public private partnership.

Lastly, another $1 Billion has been announced for added transportation construction of a third rail line on the LIRR. All of this, of course, is aside from the significant housing construction set to start up as developers activated projects before expiration of the 421-a tax credit, and separate from the New Tappan Zee Bridge (also known as The New New York Bridge) already underway with a total project budget of $3.98 Billion.

But that is just New York. The rest of the country is similarly seeing either the need for, or the current stimulation of the construction industry. The World Economic Forum issued a report in May of this year saying: “ The construction industry serves almost all other industries, as all economic value creation occurs within or by means of buildings or other “constructed assets”. As an industry, moreover, it accounts for 6% of global GDP. It is also the largest global consumer of raw materials,...” That total is significant, making “constructed assets” all the more important.

By way of example of projects soon to come through the construction pipeline: The United States New England region - Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts - began leveraging their collective bargaining power as a triumvirate of entities for the purchase of clean energy megaprojects. The largest offshore wind farm recently concluded its construction just off the shore of
The Deepwater Wind project off
Rhode Island's shore in the Long
Island Sound.
Rhode Island and is producing 30 MW of electricity. Not megalithic on any scale, but
Rhode Island is not in need of, for example, the 120 MW necessary for running New York State. Other projects are sure to follow as multistate reforms to our power grids and energy distribution occur. Beyond energy industry refurbishment, nationwide transportation infrastructure currently ranks exceedingly low. An October, 2015 Fortune article cites the Economic Policy Institute finding that roads, bridges, rail, and air transport systems are in direct danger of critical collapse without upgrades and improvements. One plan to utilize $275 Billion in infrastructure banks for seed money to spur infrastructure spending is an idea that promises to grow and sustain the heavy construction industry around the country for years to come. Driving on those upgraded and refurbished roads will be the vehicles of the future, and highly skilled, futuretech constructors will be necessary for either out-of-the-ground development, or wholesale repurposing of existing locations for their production.

These totals and projects are all public institution related and funded. The amounts and directions of projects from the private industry will demonstrate a yawning chasm of difference in their price tags and style. However, the variety and viability of private industry megaprojects will similarly be dependent on transportation, energy distribution, and supply infrastructure meaning that the completion of both have interdependencies. The two things in combination are bound to create a growth opportunity for constructors for years to come.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Millennial Management in a Baby Boomer world.

This is the second in a series on management styles as they pertain to Millennials.

“Change agent” and “work-life blend” have become nomenclature de rigeur regarding a generation of current employees percolating up through the bases of organizational structures in public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Their hallmarks: overabundant utilization of new technologies, a desire for purpose driven work, and breaking down the entrenched hierarchies of business culture.

If you read that opening statement and considered this not the first time you’ve heard a generation fantasize about reforming their work environment to find a higher purpose, improving office protocols and efficiency through space-aged technology, congratulations! These are modalities inherited from their parents. The flower children and Volkswagen van touring generation birthed a new generation just the same. There is even a movement of 20 - 30 somethings to travel in tricked out, wifi enabled late model vans living the digital nomad lifestyle. The new American Dream includes a life of liberty on the open road according to a new Vice article by David Jagneaux.

However, where the whole of writing on the topic has gone completely awry is in the estimation of Generation Y’s taste for hierarchical work structures. Millennials are quite comfortable and entirely amenable to working inside of these sorts of structures - as long as they were the ones who imputed the structure. Such is the idea behind so much of the post-classroom work in which TFA is involved, as well as NLC, StudentsFirstNY, and a variety of other parallel organizations whose prime objectives are fundraising, and pipe-lining their alumni into key positions in the current political and business structures.

This is the hidden curriculum of the next generation 'leadership training' forums presently in vogue. The ideals behind flattening existing organizational structures and eliminating traditional pathways to leadership positions is to leapfrog trained, experienced, well-rounded - and, admittedly, a bit more seasoned, - individuals already in the leadership pipeline, displacing them entirely. But we have seen this insidiousness in prior versions of both world history, and popular fiction: Joffrey Baratheon, Jiao Long; in myths and legends - Phaeton, Patroclus, and in current business arenas.

Augmented reality. Photo courtesy of Design Boom
With the advent of the all-seeing, all-knowing interweb, IoT, Augmented Reality, and literally the power of the universe in the palm of their hands, now more than ever the generation needs guidance on why it is that they are performing the mechanical operations they’ve learned for their junior roles via YouTube channels.

Upending hierarchies
Photo by @dorania_luo
Fast-tracking untrained, inexperienced individuals into leadership positions is not a successful, long term sustainability plan for any of the three sectors. Thoughtful, reflective, purposeful leadership requires experience, learning, training, certification and degrees. It requires having had mentors so that as a leader they can in turn mentor the next generation. It requires a philosophical basis upon which the leader's daily actions and interactions are founded, and not one that is regurgitated in sound bites that make excellent five second Vines or catchy t-shirts devoid of historical context. We have seen this movie before and it always has a bad ending, always requiring the appropriately trained, highly experienced, and usually, a previously selected leadership figure to arrive and rid the kingdom of its ills (Game of Thrones has not yet arrived at this juncture.)

To quote Ryan and Robert Quinn from Harvard Business Review: Change Management and Leadership Development have to Mesh. This is a crucial concept for, as the saying goes amongst Navy SEALS: "Under don't rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training. That's why we train so hard." Millennials, in order to be effective, will have to get the very thing that they lack - experience. Here I should echo the sentiments of a recent Forbes article: “Trying To Manage Millennials? Give Up And Lead Them Instead.” They will need leadership in terms of purpose, leadership in terms of habits of mind, leadership in terms of succession planning, and leadership in terms of critical thought. America will have to come to terms with the idea that the mentoring, instruction, and planning will have to be done by a generation older and more trained than the Millenials. The alternative is that while inexperienced, untrained 'leaders' are busy sinking to their level of training, the whole of the organizations around them will sink as well.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Critical Millennial Thinking

This will be the first in a series of articles on leadership, the Millennial generation, and how it relates to business.

I have been spending quite a bit of time recently reading HR articles. Not that I ever haven't, ever since before participating in the National Urban Fellows program, and especially after successfully obtaining the PMP, I read across the curriculum so to speak in order to get a taste of how potential opportunities might view my particular batch of skills. I read a recent one from The Ladders President Marc Cendella about ageism and the American business community, a few things struck me. To begin, Cendella's article stressed strategies to prove the viability of the more seasoned,
more senior employee's mindset in the face of a fanaticism for hiring youth. To quote "it’s important for you to realize that youth is the symptom, not the cause, of age discrimination."

This is faulty in my view for a variety of reasons. While it is true that the business community hires youth more frequently in the current paradigm than seasoned professionals, it is not solely representative of an underlying, hidden mentality in the plans for an increased profit margin of each organization that employs an age gap in it hiring practices. It is inherently flawed because it has been the experience of more seasoned workers that youth carries with it the entitlement of pre-eminence in the office. Indeed, the generation presents a belief that Snapchats inserted into Prezis, the Uberization of everything, and happiness engineering will answer previously unaswered questions. Additionally, there is a steadfast credence in the idea that they will solve problems better simply because it is the new technology.

This too is faulty because for all of the technological literacy that the Millennial generation carries at its fingertips in the latest and greatest Samsung Edge 7 or iPhone 7 or pick your favorite model...none of that literacy represents actual creativity, but rather the current year's reiteration of processes that already existed. Creative optimization of business processes, innovation of future engineering methodologies, and even communication methodologies or pathways are concepts that have to be trained and experienced before they can be evolved. Moreover, in order to properly create some sort of advanced evolution of the process or pathway, a defined period of critical thinking has to be undertaken. The critical thinking deficiency has been the most salient complaint of employers, post-secondary educators, and large swaths of society coming into direct contact with Millennials far and wide, as evidenced by the quotes below:

"A 2012 report on the metro St. Louis workforce cited a Boeing official as saying, "New hires and younger workers certainly have a positive work ethic; however they often have an immature or impatient approach toward career development/progression. They have an expectation that their career development will somehow be on the fast track, without a full understanding of the commitment it takes beyond the 9-to-5 world. At times they seem to lack an understanding that you need to work until the work is done.""(1)

But the fallacy of being able to create a wholesale correction of the entirety of an organization's problems simply by throwing new technology at it was born out in evidence and scientific measurement presented in Jim Collins' seminal work From Good to Great. Those very same sentiments are echoed in a late 2015 'Entrepeneur' article:

" a digital-first world, where millennials obtain all their answers to problems at the click of a mouse or swipe of a finger, the reliance on technology to solve every question confuses people's perception of their own knowledge and intelligence. And that reliance may well lead to overconfidence and poor decision-making."(2)

Effectively, if your answer to social, procedural, human resources, time management, document control, or loss prevention issues (to name a few) is the introduction of technology to which the organization is largely unaccustomed and untrained without the root cause analysis of why the problems exist in the first place, the problems will persist, they will just persist in the digital space. This is not a problem resolution methodology. It is also not creativity. Creative solutions to problems happen because creativity has to be taught. Raw talent only accounts for so much until verifiable, accountable technique is required.

Technology, especially technology employed by a generation untrained and inexperienced in critical thinking exercises is not a poultice, or a cure all, or a silver bullet (there are no silver bullets.) It is, to use a forward thinking, visioning exercise, benefits mindset analysis - a strategy guaranteeing business non-continuity. American business has to begin understanding the value of paying for training and/or trained individuals. In a head-to-head matchup, the more highly trained, analytical, experienced problem solver [those with the initials PMP or MPA after their name, for example] is the one who will inevitably carry the strategy and benefit of each and every organization farther forward towards greater results or profitability (while figuring out where to most effectively deploy tech-savvy newcomers.) All three sectors are focused implicitly on benefits realization, and recognizing and monetizing opportunity. These are not intrinsic, genetically inherited traits, they are studied and learned capabilities that are the result of hard won knowledge skills.

In the end, Cendella's claim: " appears to me that age discrimination is mindset discrimination first
and foremost..." is indeed true. But if what the American business community seeks is an Agile mindest, there is training, dare I say - a certification for that.

1.) What millennials don't know about the job market, Kelley Holland, 2 May 2014,

2.) Why Technology Is Affecting Critical Thought in the Workplace and How to Fix It, Rony Zarom, September 21, 2015

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Je suis sick of it.

"'Liberte, egalite, fraternite' worked in a country 
with a cultural unity, but with cultural diversity, 
is this triangle still effective?" - Lucy Williamson
(Photo by Getty Images)
Horror, terror, carnage, loss of life, nonsensical. These are adjectives too frequently emblazoned in stark lettering across headlines throughout the plethora of written language media outlets in the plurality of the planet's languages. Long have we wondered aloud have to follow that age old adage: "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," in relation to a multiplicity of violence inducing themes. France, reeling from a series of bloody attacks: Charlie Hebdo, the Bataclan, and now Nice during one of their most cherished holidays, wondered collectively if the Enlightenment Era social experiment of "Liberte, egalite, fraternite" was still a culturally identifiable belief system, or if the country had wandered so far from its Revolutionary principles as to be unrecognizable to the phrase framers' ideals.

But this problem is not unique to France, and encompasses a wide range of cultures and societies whose populations traversed the global empirical expansionism, enlightenment, and industrial/post-industrial mechanization, especially of war and its instruments. Where we have arrive is a notable undeniable regression to a period of bellicose tribalism wherein each major archetypical clan battles each other for financial, military and political dominance. This terrifying finality was engineered a priori by practice and golden fleeced country reconstructionists taking cues from some of history's most ill-reputed social architects.

The resounding questions incessantly repeated is: how do stop this now that it has started? The research thesis itself is erroneous because it's very precept is false. False because the premise whereby our current globally overmilitarized, surveillance saturated, brother-turning-in-brother thought matrix was originated in falsehood. A regime that utilized an inordinate amount of manipulative chicanery to fix and election forced the wholesale invasion of of an entire geographic region based on falsified, inaccurate evidence with no cohesive attack strategy, no exit strategy, and no appropriate estimation of the consequences.

The appropriate thesis for the time, is not how do we prevent a certain ethnicity, or nationality, or religion, or sect from creating large scale slaughter and mayhem. The question is not how do we recognize mentally ill individuals who are more prone to perpetrating unconscionable acts against fellow citizens? The question we must be asking as a collective is what is so endemic to our collective societies that creates radicalization within our associated populations? Given the armed insurgency that has recently erupted throughout the United States, ought not we reassess our preference for hyperbole and the proliferation of small arms?

In the United States right now, the leading box office movie features a roving band of criminal psychotics released from prison and employed by the government to resolve a dispute between the country and a larger enemy. At the same time as the Dallas police massacre was occurring, preview posters for the upcoming release of the purported last installment of the Bourne Identity: Matt Damon's head roughly matching the size of the automatic pistol pointing out to the crowd, blanketed New York City declaring "You know his name." An insinuation that a secretly trained super-weapon to counteract terrorism that evolved into its own terrorist element: an anti-heroic, former sin-eating, now terror inspiring ghost assassin could be a career objective for the young and yet impressionable has psychological consequences.

A popular meme across social media currently.

In the same way that the American Psychological Association irrevocably linked violent video games to violent behavior, so too does our everyday speech: hard-lining against terrorist states, xenophobia, homophobia, economic disparity, racism, sexism, lack of treatment for the mentally ill - all of it funnels down to build a mentality prone to perpetrate abhorrent acts. Therefore we find ourselves at a crossroads: we can continue to grow our arsenals, to become increasingly polarized, to ignore damages to our environment in lieu of 'security', and deepen our fright. We can absolutely abdicate all manner of democratic viability to egregious militarization. Or, as the, video says, if you believe "that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives..." then we ought to start immediately to make alternative choices. For the cause of all this carnage, 'you need only look into a mirror.'

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Call of Duty

Displaying Ideas.jpg
Marketing from Call of Duty:
Advanced Warfare. Art imitates life?
Or the other way around? And if these
games train our youth's minds, for what,
precisely, are they being trained?
Four o'clock in the afternoon is normally a lull in the work day. It's an hour or two before most folks normally walk out of their offices, depending on the organization for which you work, productivity has slowed, and there are minor side bar conversations around happy hours and after work activities.

Yesterday, however, turned all of that on its head.

Three lives in rapid succession have been determined of lesser value than those of uniformed 'law enforcement'. Decisions surrounding the cases of Trayvon Martin, Akai Gurley, Michael Brown, and now Eric Garner are to say the least atrocities, if not something more offensive. The wholesale devaluation of one particular race in our country is one of those frequently untreated conditions of democratic dementia deemed unnecessary to treat. Spin doctors have seen it as a kind of nuisance cough: leave it alone and it will go away.

But this isn't going away. In fact, the metastasis of the invading cancer has so completely infiltrated every corner of our society as to make the host system indistinguishable from the infected one. Selma, The Watts Riots, the original March on Washington, the LA Riots, the recent 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, Ferguson, last night in New York City and the nation... this is not going away.

Oppression does seem inherent to the human condition. Jews in the ancient world/during the ReConquest/the Holocaust, Christians in the Roman era, non-Christians during the Crusades and Inquisition, Natives during the period of Exploration, Slavery... the subjugation and obviation of entire races of people is a continual characteristic in human history. It would be impossible to make a case that war is not already being perpetrated. Community members die in the streets every day, collateral damage is a marginal cost in the accounting process, and manipulation is so rampant we can no longer be called a Democracy, nor can we any longer call New York City the last bastion of liberalism. We have inarguably and unequivocally registered our discontent, we have assembled peacefully and it has brought us neither relief, nor a redress of grievances, and inexorably, the body count ticks up.

Displaying Unite for Justice.jpg
"Unite for Justice" From the
Ferguson Decision rally
11-28-2014. Photo Credit:
 David A. Brezler 

Where, then, is Spartacus? Where is that sorely needed paladin who will unite the clans of the oppressed and lead them forward to shake the very foundations of the oppressor state? History is rife with examples of whole systems that evolved only as a result of the collective, a unity of groups who previously might have been - to say the least - uneasy towards each other banding together to throw off the yokes of oppression. Marching in the streets, chanting inciteful slogans, and waving standard bearing banners is not unimportant. However, it is temporary, and the powerful are not apt to decide for change as long as they can count on paid  security and continue to change the channel.

We must create a much stronger movement, a much more strategic answer, something infinitely stronger than just ‘sea change’. The power structure from bottom to top must be entirely disrupted, and disbanded, from how funding is controlled to how politics is controlled, to how housing, food, and health is controlled. The often quoted "a system cannot protect those it was never designed to serve" could not be more true than at this very moment. Any system that presupposes as a base part of its structure inequities, impoverishment, and the devaluation of human life is not a system built on lasting precepts. We know this from studying the last several times empirical enterprises attempted global control. In fact, we should be asking if these are qualities intrinsic to the economic and political structures we have in place. Just how much of an ideal is this Enlightenment Era experiment before we go exporting it about the globe? 

ALL lives matter. More than simply a new political party to languish by the wayside and eventually be co-opted into the current status quo, we need an entirely new system. We require a system where elitism is not bread as an inherited trait into our culture. That ethos reigns whether the elitism expresses itself in Sports, Wall St., Education, or Community Organizing. Shut it down, shut it all down. Those fanaticisms that transform normally thinking, critical individuals into perpetuators of disparateness and exclusivity cannot persist.

Our only way forward is as a singular, cogent, incisive unit with the survival of Humanity as our central, unifying cause. Let us not be so caught up in the demonstration of our discontent that we forget to forge fruitful new pathways, and become the tomorrow we were meant to see.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Fight the power.

Today I am thankful.

Photo by Daniel Schaefer
Thankful that my brothers and sisters are still with me. Thankful that during the past years, we have engaged in - admittedly at times, - heated debate, but mostly thoughtful discussion, ardent advocacy, and lifelong learning. Thankful that we have found each other in this journey, and managed to stay connected.
Today I am thankful they were not taken from me by a rogue with government authority and a gun, a rookie, or a racist. When George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, the danger of a non-indictment is ‘...not more Trayvon Martins, but more George Zimmermans'. The day after the Ferguson Decision, the same sentence pattern emerged in social media; ‘the danger of a non-indictment is not more Mike Browns, but more Darren Wilsons.’

After the decision of Ferguson’s Grand Jury not to indict, analysis of the documents and the long reaching implications erupted across the internet. Statements and nationwide actions continue in direct conjunction with heartfelt pleas for non-violence.  However, shooting deaths, economic segregation, educational manipulation, brutality against the community, and prisoners of the not war already happening?

There are a number of periods in human history when oppressors were able to act this way towards an entire race. The Crusades, Colonization, Slavery, the Westward Expansion, Genocide, killing of Civil Rights Leaders, killing of Black Community Leaders, killing of young Black men...this seems a repetitive pattern.

Tearing apart cities, however, will prove nothing. Flashes of anger are to be expected, but it is not a means to the necessary end. Only a very generalized reaction in an extremely directed and organized fashion will break the pattern. Black Out Black Friday is a great opening to the 'national dialogue' for which our great thinkers have begun to call. But oppression is systemic and systematic, overt and inter-generational. Descendants of the era of the Conquistadors have been having 'a national dialogue' for more than 500 years. Once the border crossed them it became an international dialogue.

Ask an immigrant from anywhere in the Western Hemisphere that lies South of the political borders of the United States how that dialogue is going. Ask the Native Americans.

Ask Mike Brown's parents. Or Trayvon's, or Kimani's, or Akai's, or Sean's, or Amadou's, or Ramarley's.

Now is an actionable moment and we are, in fact, perfectly positioned as a collective of communities, Black, Latino, Asian, all of us. We manage large swaths of the business sector that are cornerstones of the (inter)national economy. We are professors, we are military, we are elected officials and the staff of elected officials, we are workers, we are men and women, and we matter. We are even in the police force - not in the necessary amounts, but there nonetheless. We need an African American parallel to Univision or Telemundo, with news shows that discuss themes with gravitas and objectivity by educated, well spoken individuals from the community. We have the power and resources to furnish, staff and fund our own candidates, and ensure that sufficient votes carry them into office. We have to take our anger with us through to 2016 and usher in that new wave. Politics is not a spectator sport.

We are no longer the minority. We are the majority, and it is high time we started acting like it. As long as there is unity between our communities, and we have a well codified plan for success we will reach that goal. Amongst the requirements: a newly formed national political party banner under which to march is crucial. Yes, more than a rallying cry to the side of an unresponsive party, but an entirely unique party, not subject to the hegemony of dynastic families and politics as usual traditions. A party that is inclusive, and that will stand primarily to stop the killing and imprisonment of our young people. We have had multiple watershed moments, we have had our Tianamen Square moment. Now we must throw off the colonized mentality, and move boldly forward.