Corporate ethics has been a hot topic among many political, business and financial leaders over the last few years. However, is it possible to be a corporation and ethical? This episode asks exactly that. Bringing together a strong panel of leaders, host, Dennis McCuisiton is joined by:

Join us as we listen in on this topic that directly or indirectly, affects us all.

Talking about things that matter… with people who care.

Flash Foresight: Seven Radical Principles that Will Change Your Life aired this weekend. Our special guest panelist Daniel Burrus joins the McCuistion Program to continue part two of this two part series and talks about how to see invisible opportunities and solutions to seemingly impossible problems.

Some of the key points from his book, Flash Foresight: How To See the Invisible And Do The Impossible, include:

  • The key to doing something that seems impossible is to see invisible solutions.
  • Take your biggest problems and skip them. You’ll often find that if there is a recurring problem, that isn’t the real problem you have to solve.
  • Opposites work better.
  • Anticipate by solving tomorrow’s problems before they happen.
  • Direct your future or someone else will. Take charge of it.

Daniel Burrus is considered, one of the top three gurus in the country on the future. In the 90’s he wrote the best seller Technotrends and many of his key points have become fact.

You can view part one by following this link: Flash Foresight – Part One.

Tune in and hear more of these incredible insights, as we talk about things that matter with people who care…

Dan Burrus, one of the top three futurists in the country, author of Flash Foresight: How To See the Invisible And Do The Impossible, asks, “wouldn’t it be amazing if you could predict the future and be right?”

He claims you can… if we leave out the parts we could be wrong about! According to Burrus, “the amazing thing is, when you know where to look, there’s more than enough you can be right about to make all the difference”. As he reminds us- flash foresight has gone from useful to being an imperative, in a world were technology and innovation is ever  more complex and almost beyond our ability to accurately comprehend.

His rapid fire, engaging dialogue and common sense solutions to many of the quirks of life and business challenges we all share will leave you saying, “Now why didn’t I think of that?”

For more information from the original airing date, visit Flash Foresight.

TED is taking over the world!

TED, which stands for, Technology, Entertainment and Design has changed how we view the world. TED talks are watched globally – with an average of 17 new

Left to Right: Dennis McCuistion, Jeremy Gregg, Heather Hankamer, Niki McCuistion and Jim Young

page views per minute. In the fall of 2012 TED celebrated its one billionth video views. Today over 1,700 talks are available online. TED has become so popular that more and more, presenters  are emulating and using the TED model in their own presentations.

Started in 1984, as the idea of Richard Saul Wurman, the topics revolve around technology, entertainment and design. The concept  didn’t work as planned and it was some six years later before its founders resurrected it. This time, people were ready and the then invitation-only event attracted influential and curious audiences. Today TED is no longer just an invitation-only event; it’s become for many a key intellectual and emotional highlight of the year. TED has grown to include TEDActive, TED-Ed, the TED Radio Hour, and TEDx.

Joining McCuistion are seasoned TED folks:

Jim Young: TEDxSMU Steering Committee. We first heard of TED Talks from Jim Young, a seasoned TEDSTER.

Jim is passionate about TED and the stories and ideas it inspires. He gives us the inside story of how TED, Technology, Entertainment and Design started in 1984 as a fantasy dinner party centered on these 3 areas, with some friends talking and some listening. It grew from a simple, local concept to a global, complex one. From its initial start, 6 years later attendees paid $475 to attend. Today TED attendees eagerly pay 20 times that amount.

Heather Hankamer: Director of TEDxSMU and TEDxSMU Kids and
Jeremy Gregg: Chief Development Officer, Prison Entrepreneurship Program.
 Jeremy’s 2012,  thought provoking TEDxSMU (Southern Methodist University) raised the interest in the more than 7 million people incarcerated in our jails. He stated that a child who has a parent in prison increases their own odds of going to prison by 70%. Financially the burden costs us $74 billion in corrections. It got participants  attention.
Left to Right: Jeremy Gregg & Jim Young
Heather talks about TEDxSMU and the TEDx phenomenon,

“a radical opening up of the TED format to local, independently organized events”.

On any given day there are 7-8 TEDx events somewhere in the world. Heather is particularly passionate about TEDx Kids which is gaining in popularity. Kids get to hear from adult TED speakers who value the audience and do not dumb down the content.

Tune in and learn more about how TED has influenced how we view the world and our fellow global citizens.

Thanks for watching as we talk about things that matter- with people like you- who really care.

Niki Nicastro McCuistion
Executive Producer/Producer

Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Corporate Culture Change Consultant and Problem Solver
Google+ Profile


Free press is an American right, granted by the First Amendment… “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of free speech, or of the Press…” In fact, the First Amendment has been interpreted by the Supreme Court as applying to the entire federal government (even though it is only expressly applicable to Congress). Since its origin the core purpose of the American press is that of “bulwark of liberty”, and as watchdog for the public interests, guarding against the very abuses of power it is being subjected to by the current administration. It is dangerous enough that the press is increasingly limited by economic and other challenges, but to put its voice further in jeopardy is disturbing.

The Society of Professional Journalists and several other journalism groups believe our government is guilty of “politically driven suppression of the news”. Where there is power, there is also a need for accountability and the public’s right to know cannot be deliberately eroded.

We discussed this issue on the Freedom of Information Act TV program recently and how the Press is continually challenged when it needs timely information in order to do its work. Shawn Paul Wood, a Dallas blogger, says, “Some argue that controlling media access is needed to ensure information going out is correct. But when journalists cannot interview agency staff, or can only do so under surveillance, it undermines public understanding of, and trust in, government. This is not a “press vs. government” issue. This is about fostering a strong democracy where people have the information they need to self-govern and trust in its governmental institutions”.

Read the rest of Paul’s thought provoking blog found here: Journalism Groups to President Obama: ‘Let Us Do Our Jobs!’ by Shawn Paul Wood.

Thank you Paul.

Niki Nicastro McCuistion
Press Club of Dallas

Peter F. Drucker, hailed by Business Week, as “the man who invented management,” influenced countless leaders through his writing, teaching and consulting. The author of 39 books, Drucker’s work inspired leaders and managers across all industries in both the public and private sector. Drucker was driven by an insatiable curiosity of the world around him and a deep desire to make the world a better place. In 2002, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

The organization and practice of management today is derived largely from the thinking of Peter Drucker. “He taught generations of managers the importance of picking the best people, of focusing on opportunities and not problems, of getting on the same side of the desk as your customer, of the need to understand your competitive advantages, and to continue to refine them. He believed that talented people were the essential ingredient of every successful enterprise”. – Business Week

Peter Drucker was also one of Corporate America’s most important critics. He became disenchanted with capitalism and its rewarding greed rather than solid performance, and he increasingly turned toward work and writing for the nonprofit sector.

“My job,” he once lectured a consulting client, “is to ask questions. It’s your job to provide answers.” And question he did, which is partly why he influenced so many.

Joining McCuistion are guests who knew him well, hired him as their consultant, and highly respected and admired him as a friend and colleague:

  • Zachary First, PhD: Senior Managing Director, The Drucker Institute
  • Bob Buford: Founding chair of the Drucker Institute, author of Drucker & Me, and Halftime, and
  • Myron E. (Mike) Ullman III: CEO of J.C. Penney, (Chair of Federal Reserve Dallas and on the board of Starbucks).

Each talk about the influence Peter Drucker had on their work and life…

Bob Buford offers personal insights from when he first met Peter Drucker, who became his consultant, mentor and friend. He says, “He’s the person that I most admired on earth”. Drucker taught him, “go big or go home”. In his book, Drucker & Me, a testimony to a long and heartfelt friendship, Buford inspires us to remember that “when we respond to our own calling in work, family and friendship, we leave a legacy that changes lives forever”.

Zachary First reminds us of a Harvard Business Review article by Drucker, now a classic, What Business Can Learn from Nonprofits. Drucker’s point, he says, “is that nonprofits have figured out how talented individuals give their time, talent and treasure to a cause, for no monetary reward… The future of business belongs to organizations who can learn from that”.

Mike Ullman says, “People want to be part of something bigger than them. Peter was all about understanding the customer and understanding people. My career has been invested in managing what the customer’s expectation is and what kind of trust can you build so that people want to be part of what you want to accomplish”.

This inspiring episode is one you don’t want to miss.

Visit the Drucker Institute’s website ( and your favorite book store for copies of Drucker & Me by Bob Buford and Drucker classics, Management Challenges for the 21st Century; Managing the Nonprofit Organization and The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization -at the very least.

As you can tell Peter Drucker was one of my heroes and role models. So please join us, as we continue talking about things that matter with people who care.

In case you’re out of town, here’s the link to the McCuistion TV episode, The Legacy of Peter Drucker: The Father of Modern Management.



2126 – 07.20.14

The student debt crisis has affected many Americans. Though the rise in college student debt is often blamed on higher tuition costs, a radical shift in student financial aid–from a system relying primarily on need-based grants to one now dominated by loans–has been a major contributor to the challenge.
Left to Right:

Thomas Keefe, Dennis McCuistion and Michael Sorrell
The student debt crisis has become a significant problem in the United States. Student loans have quadrupled in the last 8 years. Delinquency rates are high and millions of American students are facing massive debt and liability. The student debt crisis is hurting the American economy and in some cases forcing students to drop out of school because of excessive debt. Host, Dennis McCuistion, asks, “Is college even affordable for most, if at graduation future salaries will not compensate for the cost incurred?”Joining McCuistion to talk about the student debt crisis, why the right college is an investment, how a first class education can be affordable, and why a college education matters are:
Niki and Paul Quinn College guests

Higher education today is critical for most job opportunities. A college graduate will make a million dollars more in their lifetime than a high school graduate. The 3 major kinds of universities; public comprehensive, for profit universities and liberal arts can each be cost effective in its own way. Yet, too often students and their families are not adept at shopping for the right school. Many individuals are either unaware of safe lending options, or are taken advantage of by profit-seeking companies. Students need to become more aware of their options, the federal and private lending available to students and the many free or subsidized options that can reduce overall debt and still provide a good education.

Debt may not be an issue for those who can afford it- but many others have no choice. Join us to learn the truth behind the student debt crisis.



As always we continue talking about things that matter with people who care.

Thanks for joining us…


Niki Nicastro McCuistion

Executive Producer/Producer

Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Corporate Culture Change Consultant and Problem Solver

Google+ Profile

Income inequality is growing and it is one of the most debated public policy, social-political challenges today. Yet, economists are divided as to whether income inequality is negative or positive and what the actual implications of such disparity are.

The share of national income going to the richest 1% of Americans has doubled since 1980, from 10% to 20%, roughly where it was a century ago. Even more striking, the share going to the top 0.01%-some 16,000 families with an average income of $24m-has quadrupled, from just over 1% to almost 5%. That is a bigger slice of the national pie than the top 0.01% received 100 years ago. – Income Inequality from

Left to Right: Dennis McCuistion, Robert Lawson, Niki McCuistion, Pamela Villarreal and Richard Scotch
Millions of Americans have been hurt by the recession. Many workers have dropped out of the workforce, since they can’t find an adequate job and there is a growing disparity between the “haves” and those who can barely get by.

By a 60% to 36% margin, most Americans feel the economic system unfairly favors the wealthy. Ironically, America’s middle class is no longer the world’s most affluent, even though America’s rich still make more than other countries rich. Most Americans also believe that the opportunity to get ahead financially exists for those who make the effort (Income Inequality information from

The majority of Americans believe our government can and should do at least something to reduce poverty and the gap between the rich and everyone else. The raising or lowering of taxes, raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment benefits are all debates for how to resolve the income inequality gap.

There is truth on both sides. Income inequality has causes; are there solutions?

Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, to discuss all sides of this issue are:

  • Robert Lawson, PhD: Fullinwider Centennial Chair in Economic Freedom at Southern Methodist University
  • Richard Scotch, PhD: Professor of Political and Policy Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Pamela Villarreal: Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis.

It’s been suggested that income inequality can lead to negative economic, social and political problems. Is this issue just an American phenomenon? What is the truth behind the income inequality concern?

Join our experts as we continue talking about things that matter with people who care.

Niki Nicastro McCuistion
Executive Producer/Producer
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Corporate Culture Change Consultant and Problem Solver
Google+ Profile

2201 – 07.16.14

Dallas ISD has agreed to explore the possibility of allowing home-rule. At the recent U.S. Conference of Mayors, held in Dallas, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, a staunch supporter of education said, “education is not a partisan issue. It is an issue for all of America”. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings supports an effort “to transform our school systems’ governance into a home-rule district, which would allow us greater flexibility to implement policies that will help our school districts”.

Left to Right: Jeronimo Valdez, Niki McCuistion and Rena Honea

The proposed home-rule initiative appears to be moving forward. Dallas ISD trustees recently approved the appointment of a 15-member home-rule charter commission, which gave the commission up to one year to write a charter that would determine how the district operates and is governed. A majority of voters would have to approve the charter in an election with at least a 25 percent turnout (source: Dallas News).

Dallas ISD has approximately 160, 000 students, 85% of them are minority students, some of whom are low income. While some schools perform very well and there is an improvement in test scores, many believe there is still much to be done to improve the system. Opponents of home-rule say there are better solutions to improving the city’s public schools.


Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, are guests on both sides of the controversy:   

Mr. Valdez says, “one of the issues is chronically low performance at DISD. While there are tremendous pockets of excellence and many great teachers, there is considerable disparity between the really good schools and those that are suffering. We examined the situation and asked what can we do to systematically give the trustees, teachers, parents and students, the ability to really improve?”

School districts are different from one location to another and have different needs. The home-rule concept was created in 1995 by the Texas Legislature ( Texas’ Education Act, Chapter 12, home-rule portion says, if you meet certain requirements, you can free yourself from most of the state mandates and have local control over your school district, with local autonomy.

According to Ms. Honea, “when the law was written it was to create vouchers and charter schools. The vouchers were not passed by the legislature. Some of the things safeguarded in the law could be totally ignored if our district becomes a home-rule charter district, such as class size limits among others”. One of the concerns some educators have is the tenure and security of their jobs.

To date not one community in Texas has adopted home-rule. Dallas may well be the first to create such a home-rule district (see Chapter 12 of the Texas Education Code). Chapter 12 of the TEA code outlines the full process and the steps that need to be taken to take the home-rule charter to acceptance (, chapter 12 charter). Keep informed on this issue as it impacts many in our community- students as well as the businesses they would be employed by. Dallas is a vibrant and growing economic force and its citizens need a good education to be productive contributors and members of the community.

Thank you for joining us as we continue talking about things that matter.


Niki Nicastro McCuistion

Executive Producer/Producer
Aligning Purpose, Performance and People
Corporate Culture Change Consultant and Problem Solver
Google+ Profile


06.29.14 – 2125

Net Neutrality

Left to Right: Dennis McCuistion, Tom Giovanetti, Niki McCuistion and Peter Vogel

What happens with net neutrality may well impact you directly – personally and economically. The controversy over Net Neutrality is in the news on a daily basis. As a result of a Verizon lawsuit, (January of 2014), the DC District Court struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) net neutrality rules. The Court made it clear that the FCC has authority over Internet access generally; still it found that the open Internet rules specifically were built on a flawed legal foundation. The decision left it open for the FCC to decide what to do next to reestablish net neutrality. At the FCC’s Open Meeting in May 2014, the Commission introduced their proposal for net neutrality rules, which discuss the problems that occur when Internet Service Providers (ISPs) get to choose winners and losers online, but still allow for fast lanes and slow lanes online, and do not go far enough to establish meaningful net neutrality (credit Public Knowledge).

Net neutrality rules were established by the FCC in their 2010 Open Internet Order. These rules prevent ISPs like Verizon, AT&T and others from blocking or discriminating against certain online services. The 2010 order served to prevent large telecommunications firms from stifling competition and innovation online. It stated that the net neutrality rules were intended to “preserve the Internet as an open platform enabling consumer choice, freedom of expression, end-user control, competition, and the freedom to innovate without permission.” Ed Whittaker, former CEO of AT&T, said, “my pipes are being used for free and I’m not going to let them”.

Yet, without net neutrality rules in place, ISPs can prevent users from visiting some websites, provide slower speeds for services like Netflix and Hulu, or even redirect users from one website to a competing website. Net neutrality rules prevent this by requiring ISPs to connect users to all lawful content on the Internet equally, without giving preferential treatment to certain sites or services. In the absence of net neutrality, companies can buy priority access to ISP customers. Larger, wealthier companies like Google or Facebook can pay ISPs to provide faster, more reliable access to their websites than to potential competitors. This could deter innovative start-up services that are unable to purchase priority access from the ISPs. Also, if ISPs can charge online services to connect to consumers, consumers would ultimately bear these additional costs (for example, on their monthly Netflix bill or in the cost of products from a local online store).

The question of who pays for what is still open to debate. The decision is still out on who pays for what and when, and whose Internet access is more important. There is a lot of argument, smoke and hand waving to try to get parties to pay even more, but can you really control user choice?

Join host, Dennis McCuistion, and our well informed experts:

  • Vinton Cerf, PhD: One of the “fathers of the Internet”; Co-inventor of the Internet Protocol;

Joining us by telephone is:

  • Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel/ Policy Advisor
    American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Washington Legislative Office

… and in the studio:

Thank you for joining us as we continue talking about things that matter.