“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.” -Earl Nightingale

TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about DADA. This abbreviation is borrowed from the covert playbook of spies and intelligence agents. The idea is to have a blueprint to evaluate, plan and execute in an instant. I commonly refer to DADA as “strategy on the run” because of the ease and rapidity of its use. Whether you are under duress or require a quick plan, here is how you can use DADA – Data, Analysis, Decision and Action – to quickly formulate a strategy.

DATA What information is available to you? Quickly gather all the information possible to best assess the situation. This can be something as simple as taking note of where the exists in a room are to more detailed accounts such as viewpoints of the people you are negotiating with.

ANALYSIS Analyze the information. The benefits of DADA are brevity so you want to make this analysis quickly. If you are under physical danger, you need to determine the likelihood of harm. Another example; if you are negotiating, you need to determine what the highest/lowest price you will go or the best alternative in case you fail to achieve a compromise.

DECISION Make a decision. You have gathered the requisite pertinent information and analyzed the possible outcomes. Decision involves reasoning an outcome you will be content with. With DADA, you are usually looking at short term plans and outcomes so this decision needs to be effective immediately.

ACTION Now, you must act! As I mentioned above, DADA is “strategy on the run”: it’s an excellent framework to quickly develop and execute plans of action around objectives. What is your objective? In situations where you may be in danger, safety is your primary objective; consequently, the decision is either to flee or stay and possibly have an altercation. You need to have made your analysis for the likelihood of each.

Next time you need a quick framework, consider DADA – Data, Analysis, Decision and Action – to formulate a plan. You don’t need to be Jason Bourne to make use of this technique’s effectiveness for situational awareness!


MEDICINE & MACULA: One of my favorite surgeries is retinal detachment repair. Each retinal detachment has subtle differences that make no two exactly alike. I like the fact that you can fix them multiple ways: vitrectomy, scleral buckle, vitrectomy with scleral buckle, air versus gas versus oil tamponade, approach to subretinal fluid drainage, membrane peeling in detached versus attached retina, etc.

Recently, I performed retinal re-attachment surgery on a monocular patient with severe colobomas in both eyes. A coloboma is a structural defect and can involve the iris, retina, optic nerve or choroid. It’s a congenital defect that occurs when the choroid fissure fails to close up completely before a child is born. In the patient’s good eye, they suffered a retinal detachment with vitreous hemorrhage. Here you see me performing vitrectomy.

Note the extensive coloboma present with a sole band of retinal tissue extending through the macula that provides photoreceptors and vision to this patient.

The patient did very well with full return to the vision they had before the retinal detachment!


GRATIS: “A really great talent finds its happiness in execution.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


My best to you,

David Almeida

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