Career Development

SkillRadio: Tune in for tools to fight the maintenance crisis

New information tools, used to fight the maintenance crisis, will be posted on in a new section titled SkillRadio.

By Joel Leonard, contributing editor

A close friend, who loves raising children, says when you go from having two kids to three kids, it can be a tough adjustment. However, going from having three kids to four or three to five is an easy transition because once you’re in a state of constant chaos; the degree of change isn’t as noticeable. You just learn to cope and hang on tight for a fun ride on the roller coaster of parental ups and downs. He says it’s an exhilarating way to live.

Exhilaration is a powerful elixir. Last month we announced the release of SkillTV. As we were building the infrastructure and resources to offer interesting videos, we learned that producing interesting audio programs to shed light on the maintenance crisis is easy to record and offer to you as well. This month we thought, why not go ahead and release SkillRadio on the Internet. Especially since WQMG radio in Greensboro, N.C., has offered its station equipment and radio time for us to create podcasts.

In addition, many of the worldwide experts we want to feature on SkillTV won’t be able to attend future video tapings. However, we want to make sure you gain their valuable insights, so SkillRadio will provide that capacity via recorded telephone interviews.

These new information tools, used to fight the maintenance crisis, will be posted on in a new section titled SkillRadio. So feel free to visit and hear our current inventory of SkillRadio information, designed to be informative yet entertaining.

Our inventory of audio content includes:

  • Several past NPR interviews about the Maintenance Crisis, recorded as I strived to alert the world about the impending crisis, are downloadable.
  • A career development interview I recorded last year on WQMG about how to get a job and how to get a raise. This session offers some powerful approaches and techniques to thrive in a volatile economy.
  • DeferredMaintenaXe: This mp3 spoof commercial touting the benefits of deferred maintenance has been very popular at industry conferences worldwide, and numerous engineers have played it to warn top executives about the dangers of not investing in maintenance resources.

Naturally, the genres of the increasingly popular Maintenance Crisis Songs - from bluegrass to hip-hop to operatic to even a gospel version, will be available as well. Because everyone is affected by the degradation of maintenance performance, everyone, regardless of musical taste, needs to be alerted. We estimate that more than 70,000 copies of these songs have been downloaded and continue to be played at engineering, workforce and economic development conferences worldwide.

More song news: A gourmet version of the Maintenance Crisis Song is on the way. While keynoting the PEMAC Canadian Engineering Conference, I met Kathryn McNea, a talented musician who owns a recording studio. She offered to develop a French version of the Maintenance Crisis Song. We hope to release it before April 1 so that I can share it with the estimated 3,000 attendees at the upcoming EuroMaint Conference in Belgium during my keynote address. Check for more information on this unique event.

We’re in the process of developing a target list of future interviews, including Richard Florida, best-selling author of the book, “The Rise of the Creative Class,” Dr. Edward E. Gordon, author of “The 2010 Meltdown: Solving the Impending Jobs Crisis,” and numerous other talented experts. If you’d like to contribute or have suggestions, please let me know. We hope to offer chats and live discussions as well.

I hope that by now you’ve had a chance to view SkillTV. We’ll be releasing uploads frequently, so visit regularly or capture the RSS feeds to be alerted to the additions.

Also, I hope you’ve enjoyed the new video role-playing on SKILL TV that my mentor Pete Little and I performed to help inspire more confidence in our profession, and urge you to not just roll over when future headcount reductions are ordered. Maintenance is a profit contributor and not a cost center, and we have to continually inform those who are ignorant of that critical business fact.

Once SkillTV content is viewed by more academic and business leaders, perhaps MBA programs will add courses to their curriculua that educate future leaders about the true value that maintenance can provide. Until then, you must arm yourself with tools to defend against indiscriminate, short-term-focused cuts that inhibit sustainable business performance.

Yes, these new innovations are definitely exhilarating for us and, more importantly, we hope these tools are valuable for you. Your feedback and suggestions for future content are most appreciated.

E-mail Contributing Editor Joel Leonard at

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