First Monday: What's coming up in February

Q: Is it time for the good guys to make a sea change?

A: While there are many smart, dedicated people doing a lot of good, there are two areas of change we could benefit from. First, new and enhanced security technology must be implemented to combat the more sophisticated threats, as was recommended by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) report, "Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency." Second, we need very clear national operational expertise, with a clear decision-making process, to avoid the "who is in charge?" question. That remains a bit gray today.

Q: How can President Obama help?

A: The most important thing any president can do is make this a key priority and a central theme of national policy. President Obama can invite expert dialogue by continuing to highlight this, by appointing advisers with expertise to senior positions, and by listening to the CSIS commission and others that know and care about the topic. Essentially, we need to have an open dialogue about the risks we face, and have industry and government work together in a collaborative way on how to meet these challenges.

WHAT I READ

By Patrice Gaines, Special for USA TODAY

As president and chief executive for the HSC Foundation, Thomas Chapman directs the foundation's subsidiaries: the HSC Pediatric Center (formerly the Hospital for Sick Children) and Health Services for Children with Special Needs Inc. (HSCSN), a care-coordination health plan.

He is the author of Management Learning Experiences of CEOs, which explores the challenges of being top executive.

His three favorite books

Ulysses S. Grant on Leadership: Executive Lessons from the Front Lines by John A. Barnes. It highlights the value of unorthodox talents and skills learned from lifetimes of hard-learned experiences. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It reflects raw courage and keen insight by a presidential leader thought least likely to be elected or to succeed. The Practice of Management by Peter F. Drucker is an oldie but goodie. It presents the fundamental building blocks of management. Published in 1954, it became the conceptual and intellectual foundation of many other management best sellers.

A favorite genre

I find value in fiction and non-fiction works. They are often incredibly similar in value and knowledge. Historical works are especially valuable, since we are always recycling problems and past mistakes. It is valuable to see what worked and failed retrospectively.

Last book given as a gift

Building Better Boards: A Blueprint for Effective Governance by David A. Nadler, Beverly Behan, Mark Nadler and Jay W. Lorsch. It is excellent for rethinking efficient governance in a complex and rapidly changing environment.

Last book received as a gift

Health Care Reform Now! A Prescription for Change by George C. Halvorson. It provides great insight to the segments of our system that need repair or replacement, and is a blueprint for building America's future health system.

Must-read publications for his business

The Economist, BusinessWeek, Modern Healthcare, Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal and Washington Business Journal.

When he reads

Anytime, but a lot on airplanes.

His love for books comes from …

My parents encouraged reading, and my elementary school teachers cultivated my love for books. Early childhood development makes the difference.

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