By Ed Avella
Campus Director & Dean of IT Programs

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration website reports that there is an estimated 25 million lightning flashes in the United States each year (http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/science-overview.htm). Nearly all lightning occurs after the creation of a thunderstorm; a result of moisture along with atmospheric instability and motion. Once the thunderstorm becomes charged, it affects the charge of the ground or clouds around it. Lightning is the movement of charge either to or from the thunderstorm to an oppositely charged body.

Inspiration is like lightning. It only occurs amidst some of the most impossibly measured environmental conditions and yet, can occur frequently. As managers, we need to recognize when those things are happening and do the best we can to recreate those conditions.

Especially because we know very well that we alone cannot generate truly powerful results.

According to Williams, one lightning strike can be several hundred million volts! That’s serious power.

The innovative ideas that come from our people can have that same kind of power in our operations, if we harness it. I’ll suggest this: as soon as it starts, it just keeps going and going. The lightning taking form in our organizations passes through conductor after conductor in the form of employees all building off the energy generated from just one small idea; one little strike.

This is chain lightning, and it happens when we “charge” our personnel into thinking beyond their office space.

It’s got the power to move some really BIG things.



Williams, E. R., The Electrification of Thunderstorms, Scientific American Nov 88, p88.


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