KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Inspiration breeds innovation. Below are resources I've found useful for gaining knowledge, inspiration and ideas. Please feel free to share your insights and add to this list.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
A “Brand” New World: Yesterday is not today. And today is not tomorrow
To deliver future growth, brands will have to behave ethically, with insight and understanding of the new social environment. https://www.greyswanguild.org/post/a-brand-new-world-yesterday-is-not-today-and-today-is-not-tomorrow?fbclid=IwAR1Id99KERQCDXDtHbbtSdBGE7SyZiP3TFRIsVY9cUOAP2nCCQIuaVGPogE
Asking yourself these 2 questions can change your life The more curious you are, the more deeply you can examine what you want, what matters, and what’s holding you back from living a life you’re proud to call your own.https://www.fastcompany.com/90523547/asking-yourself-these-2-questions-can-change-your-life?cid=eem524:524:s00:07/02/2020_fc&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=Compass&utm_campaign=eem524:524:s00:07/02/2020_fc
Advertiser Exodus Snowballs as Facebook Struggles to Ease ConcernsThe ad boycott may ultimately deliver more of a hit to Facebook’s reputation than to its bottom line. The top 100 advertisers on Facebook spent $4.2 billion on ads last year, or roughly 6 percent of the company’s total ad revenue, according to data cited in an investor note from Stifel. More than 70 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue comes from small businesses. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/30/technology/facebook-advertising-boycott.html?campaign_id=158&emc=edit_ot_20200701&instance_id=19914&nl=on-tech-with-shira-ovide®i_id=13126745&segment_id=32338&te=1&user_id=12fe4f6577bc72cbaaaff6e4a498c280
Im a doctor. Here’s how I talk to my patients about COVID-19 conspiracies
Viral misinformation has proliferated during the pandemic, and many of our friends and families have been afflicted. Fortunately, there is a potential cure: healthy doses of active listening, empathy, patience, and respect.
The Facebook ad boycott has to be indefinitely to actually work
Although the financial consequences don’t appear to be dire, the impact of some of the world’s biggest brands standing against Facebook is still a PR problem for the social behemoth. Holding out for the month of July, though, will barely register a blip.
The only thing that will make this boycott more than a corporate feel-good vanity project is to make it indefinite and tie it to a specific list of demands around how the social network polices hate speech and other problematic posts. And brands will need to be vocal about that, too. https://www.fastcompany.com/90522509/the-facebook-ad-boycott-has-to-be-indefinite-to-actually-work
How women will lead us to freedom, justice and peace.
Once the glass ceiling has been broken, it can never be put back together -- however one would try to do that.
Embracing AI Technologies While Harnessing the Power Of The Heart
As we progress and our technological advances mesmerize us, the greatest question of our time will be: What makes us human?
How to support and celebrate living artists
Creativity heals us.
The New ESG=Employees, Society Government
My four decades of experience and years of research for my book Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data indicate that its employees who create the brands, the ideas, the experience that make a company and the only way a company improves and transforms itself is by growing the skills and unleashing the talents of its people.
From Patagonia to Paypal companies that do the right thing have the right results. By focussing on the story of people, society and culture they deliver the results they need for the spreadsheets.
Anger and Transformation
Anger communicates an important message and opportunity for healing.
Unveiling The 2020 Zeno Strength of Purpose Study
The study reveals that when consumers think a brand has a strong Purpose, they are:
The one phrase that can transform your effectiveness at work
When she said, “Tell me what you need,” or “Tell me more about the problem,” she got answers that were wholly from the person’s point of view and gave deeper insight into what they were thinking and what their priorities were, she says.
Outdoor Companies Leave Facebook Out in the Cold
The campaign accuses of Facebook of continuing what it describes as racist practices enabled by the company’s estimated $70 billion in annual revenues from corporations advertising on such platforms as Instagram. Stop Hate for Profit is urging brands to send Facebook’s C-suite a message that “enough is enough” when it comes to the company amplifying messages about voter suppression, the silence of Black voices, and any posts that express hate, bias and discrimination.
Why measuring relevance matters now more than ever before
“They're proactively stirring...they're sharpening their narratives. They're aligning their internal and external stories. They’re hyper focused on getting the right content and tools in front of employees to have them advocate for the company's position externally and amplify it,” explains Alan.
How much power do brands have to change Facebook’s behavior with boycotts?
These brands have decided to play their Chance cards and pull their adspend from the social media platform in an attempt to pressure Facebook into taking greater action on hate speech and misinformation.
Facebook Groups are Destroying America
Let’s not be too distracted by a fear of rumormonger bots on the rampage or divisive ads purchased with Russian rubles. As two of the leading researchers in this field, we’re much more worried about Facebook groups pumping out vast amounts of false information to like-minded members.
In praise of doubt: we should be less sure about everything. Right?
So much for "data is data, facts are facts". Actually data is just data. But facts are facts.
Luvvie Ajayi on Being Generous With Your Work
People wanna feel like you’ve invested in them in some way and then they’ll in turn invest in you.
Porter Novelli Purpose Tracker: The Business Imperitive for Social Justice Today
• 71% of Americans believe companies have more responsibility than ever before to address
social justice issues and
• 56% say companies that don’t talk about social justice issues in their marketing or
communications are out of touch.
The Great Re-Invention
Address Fragility. Sculpt Resilience. Resurrect Now.
Social networks are broken. Here’s the secret to rebuilding trust. We’ve prized the internet for its freedom, and freedom from regulation, but social networks have proved that in a wild west atmosphere, where actions are divorced from identities, the poorer aspects of our character can come out.https://www.fastcompany.com/90513504/social-networks-are-broken-heres-the-secret-to-rebuilding-trust?partner=feedburner&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=feedburner+fastcompany&utm_content=feedburner&utm_medium=email
Proclaiming Allyship Isn’t Enough: The U.S. Workplace Needs a Reset It takes more than a photo op. https://www.triplepundit.com/story/2020/allyship-workplace-needs-reset/120631https://www.triplepundit.com/story/2020/allyship-workplace-needs-reset/120631
Reuters Tomorrow’s News 2020 survey reveals accuracy and impartiality as the ‘defining’ factors of trusted content Those surveyed consider accuracy and impartiality as the leading factors in what makes a news story trustworthy and are largely skeptical of news on social media—with 84% of those agreeing that fake news has made them doubt the reliability of news stories shared on social media.https://www.reuters.com/article/rpb-tomorrowsnews2020/reuters-tomorrows-news-2020-survey-reveals-accuracy-and-impartiality-as-the-defining-factors-of-trusted-content-idUSKBN2342JD
The Secret Life of Social Norms
Balance is a continuum.
3 Secrets to Resilient People
1. Shit happens
2. Carefully focus your attention
3. Helping or harming
To Solve Big Problems, Look for Small Wins
But just the right level of stress, Weick went on, the level of stress generated by the search for small wins, creates a psychological hardiness that allows leaders and their allies to draw on “imagination, knowledge, skill, and choice.”
To fight systemic racism, protest leadership’ – not just leadership
The dehumanization we condemn is not just on us—it is in us, and a large part of the business of leadership itself.
From Nike to Ben & Jerry’s – the brands that are most effectively taking a stand against racism.
As the brand messages continue to roll out, one important job for us is to keep these companies accountable for what they have and plan to do to go beyond mere words.
How to Speak Up When it Matters
Uncertainty breeds inaction. When you’re put on the spot, not knowing what to do is a primary reason for not acting. It’s the difference between thinking “I don’t know what to do” and “I’m prepared for this.”
How to support witnesses to harassment and build healthier workplaces
People take that story with them and that discontent grows as they tell more and more people, and this has the real effect that is almost certainly threatening your ability as an organization to retain and attract diverse and excellent candidates.
For whom Excel(lence) meets Storytelling!
The days of running businesses on hopes, dreams and press releases . . . are over. On the other hand, if one sees companies that succeed, they do more than the spreadsheet and math in that they invest in the story and meaning of the company.
How Marketers Steer Their Brands Forward
Now, collective benefits - or how a brand impacts society and our world - will be especially critical.
The Pandemic Has Exposed the Fallacy of the “Ideal Worker”
If there was ever a time to put to rest the old-fashioned notion of the ideal worker, it’s now. Post-pandemic, let’s re-sculpt workplace ideals so they reflect people’s lives today—not half a century ago. If you are focused on employee engagement, this is the path forward. (If you aren’t, you should be: a recent study found that disengaged employees cost employers 34% of their annual salary.)
Let’s Make the World Wild Again
Are we prepared to do what it takes to change the end of this story?
But if there was ever a moment to awaken to the reality that everything is connected to everything else, it's right now. Every human life is affected by the actions of every other human life around the globe. And the fate of humanity is tied to the health of the planet. We have a common destiny. We can flourish or we can suffer ... But we're going to be doing it together.
Six experts reveal the post-COVID truth about the advertising business [Wieden+Kennedy cofounder Dan] Wieden had a lot of famous sayings. One that I learned when I came to the company, that I think I’ve just now begun to understand, is that chaos is the only thing that honestly wants you to grow. I’m hanging onto that right now. https://www.fastcompany.com/90506224/six-experts-reveal-the-post-covid-truth-about-the-advertising-business
3 Signs Your Brand Isn’t Telling a Winning Story
With quality storytelling, your brand becomes far more relatable and appealing to your target audience. You can make powerful connections that fuel the lasting loyalty needed to build a successful business. By digging deep into your storytelling genes, you can take your brand to the next level.
The carona virus has affected everything from how we work and take care of one another to how we shop, pay, and entertain ourselves.
Beautiful new words to describe obscure emotions
That's the power of words,to make us feel less alone.
The case for student mental health days
“ . . .it is always OK to not be OK, and it is always OK to take a break.”
How History’s Great Leaders Managed Anxiety
First, give people the facts to keep them informed, to help them make sense of the crisis, and to build their trust. Then you tell them what you are doing about the key challenges, what resources you — and they — have at hand to confront the moment, and what their job is in helping to navigate the crisis.
Do you speak this language?
And that's why languages are so important because they give us access to new worlds, not just people. It's not just about seeing or hearing, it's about feeling, experiencing, sharing.
What’s Your Corporate Purpose when COVID-19 is Behind Us?
“ . . . Americans expect companies to do more than check-writing when it comes to their philanthropic and societal roles. They expect them to walk the talk. It's hardly a new insight.”
“Surveys show that companies engaged with their communities—for example, firms that sponsor employee volunteer work—not only build morale but also their retention rates.”
Leading Through Anxiety
How can you lead with authority and strength when you feel anxious? How can you inspire and motivate others when your mind and heart are racing? And if you hide the fear in an attempt to be leaderlike, where does it go?
Why your startup should market content, instead of your product
Own the show instead of interrupting the show. Content(stories) connects, captures attention and builds brands. https://thenextweb.com/growth-quarters/2020/02/21/why-your-startup-should-market-content-instead-of-your-product/
Maximizing Employee Engagement by Leveraging and Organization Social Impact Strategy Employee engagement through cause is a vital means by which to strengthen employee relationships, enhance employee morale and even build critical skill sets and expertise. Plus, employees are hungry for ways to get involved in cause." https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2020/05/07/maximizing-employee-engagement-by-leveraging-an-organizational-social-impact-strategy/#34ca2a185629
The Mental Health Benefits of Storytelling
“At the end of the day, what moves people is stories.”
“If this were a mental health drug, it would be an absolute blockbuster.”
“Communicating with each other with vulnerability, listening with compassion, is, I believe, the absolute best medicine that we have.”
The Cost of Work Stress and How to Reduce It
Now I get it, mindfulness may not be for everyone, but when I think of some of the most successful and impactful people, I see a common trend. Mastery of their mental game. Which includes stress management. It's all about developing awareness, acknowledgment and acceptance of your current thoughts, emotions, environment and physical state. Right? Now I didn't say never facing stress. But the management of that stress – that's the benefit, again, for you and the economy.
“be customer focused, not company focused.”
Leading with Vulnerability, Authenticity and Compassion
“Brands are putting out messages right now to bring people together. And people will become a little more loyal to brands that make them believe it’s all going to be okay.”
Tami Belt's 100 Authors Interview
Purpose serves as a vision and lens for smart decision-making during both good times and bad.
“We have moved to the identity economy.
An identity is a story that we weave as a form of self definition that unfolds in the course of our life and that we are the authors of.” - Esther Perel
Going forward, businesses are going to compete on trust, on responsibility, and on creating and maintaining deep relationships with their stakeholders rooted in shared truths and values. Combining moral imagination with what business does best—innovating at scale—means the eventual aftermath of this terrible crisis could be genuine human progress and prosperity.
He changed the story the people of Britain told themselves about what they were doing and what was to come. This stubborn optimism is a form of applied love. It is both the world we want to create and the way in which we can create that world.
Stories build brands.
“My (Tami Belt) top branding tip for small and medium businesses is stories. Stories build brands.
Launching and running a company is only half the battle. You need to get noticed to attract, retain and entice employees and customers to buy into you. You can rise above the cacophony of noise competing for attention through the stories you share.
We are hard-wired to resonate with, respond to, remember and share stories. There is a hidden treasure trove of stories inside your organization waiting to be excavated, crafted and shared to spark conversations, build relationships and shape your brand.
You see, you don’t own your brand; it’s a perception in someone’s mind. You can, however, shape that perception through the stories you share.
Some of the most overlooked and powerful sources for stories are testimonials or word-of-mouth (people believe people, not ads) and bios. Your bio is not your resume; it is a highlight reel of your life. People do business with people they like, relate to, respect and trust.
Scott Bedbury said, “A great brand is a story that’s never completely told.’ Which stories you tell are as important as how and where you share them. Always be mindful of ensuring the message fits the medium and consistently communicates your brand’s story.”
“Imagination may seem like a frivolous luxury in a crisis, but it is actually a necessity for building future success.”
Treat workers well, pay taxes and accept regulation. The payoff is public support for companies seeking bailouts.
Creative solutions to break through barriers to success and speed up solutions for a wide range of challenges – from equipment to treatments to vaccines to funding to keep American citizens able to pay their bills – are coming from unlikely collaborations.
Permission, community, curiosity: all of these are the things that we will need to breed the confidence that we'll absolutely need to solve our greatest challenges and to build the world we dream, a world where inequity is ended and where justice is real, a world where we can be free on the outside and free on the inside because we know that none of us are free until all of us are free.
How you say it is more important than what you say
With so much news available, many people consume media in an automatic, unconscious state—similar to knowing you drove home but not being able to recall the trip.
What I learned is that data leaks. It's like water. It gets in places you don't want it. Human leaks. Your friends give away information about you. Your family gives away information about you. You go to a party, somebody tags you as having been there. And this is one of the ways in which abusers pick up information about you that you don't otherwise want them to know. It is not uncommon for abusers to go to friends and family and ask for information about their victims under the guise of being concerned about their "mental health."
“When society is hit by a crisis, you can do three things: react, respond or initiate. Reacting means a negative reaction to external input, such as news or medication, for example. Responding means that you respond to an external signal to make it better, and initiating means helping even if nobody asked you to.
This initiative-taking is what we should be doing, and not just when we are facing an apocalyptic virus. At the end of the day, have you only checked emails and read everything you can on Facebook? Or did you make a contribution? Because the money will take care of itself if you are a good citizen.”
Do these companies know that their tools are being used as tools of abuse? Absolutely.
Believe you’re a storyteller. Write down your stories.
Emotional intelligence won’t do a thing for you if you aren’t genuine.
It is often more convenient and comfortable to use text-based communication than to approach someone in-person, but if you overestimate the effectiveness of such media, you may regularly—and unknowingly—choose inferior means of influence.
"People connect through stories . . . We want people to feel like they're a part of something. In order to create an access point, we need to consistently and persistently tell a story."
The way a brand grows is by telling these stories and putting them out into the world. When someone sees themself in that story, they want to experience it too. This is where the growth occurs, then it multiplies.
Plan to FLOW
Trend #3: Marketers Will Rely Less on Data and More on Great Storytelling.
We must learn to recognize the early signs that things may not be working as well and our experience may not be as valid as it was in the past.
The Era of Antisocial Social Media
The legal concept of ownership is when you can possess, use, gift, pass on, destroy or trade it or sell your asset at a price accepted by you. What if we give that same definition to individuals' data, so individuals can use or destroy our data or we trade it at our chosen price?
Increasingly, employees are looking for companies to provide opportunities to enrich their work environment with volunteerism—and when those companies deliver, the result is increased employee engagement and higher levels of employee satisfaction, which leads to stronger outcomes.
Our need for a break flies in the face of our cultural narrative about hustling, in other words, the stories that we as a society tell each other about what success looks like and what it takes to get there. Stories like the American Dream, which is one of our most deeply rooted beliefs.
“My life is my message.” (Tom Peters)
Speeches are peppered with stories stitched together that give off vibes.
Quotes are microstories.
Most important: Inviting society into your story. By giving people a voice, companies can spark a movement greater than their own brand.
Brand building is like pushing a rock up a hill and the moment you stop the rock rolls back down again.
Everyone has their own loneliness story to tell.
Radical Hospitality is transformational connection through welcome.
The time has come for women leaders to embrace our greatness.
The differences between men and women in work and other settings are “not rooted in fixed gender traits. Rather, they stem from organizational structures, company practices and patterns of interaction that position men and women differently, creating systematically different experiences for them.”
Professor Keisha N. Blaine shared that: “What patriarchy has done is convince people that a strong and intelligent woman represents a problem; a disruption to the social order rather than an integral part of it.”
Companies are pragmatically addressing many of today’s social and environmental issues that drive their markets, and in the process are engaging the more than 70% of Americans who work in the private sector.
If we want life to slow down, to make moments memorable and our lives unforgettable, we may want to remember to harness the power of firsts.
How will you own your voice?
Where will you inject love?
When will you start?
But if we're serious about helping more kids from across the board to achieve and make it in this world, we're going to have to realize that our gaps in student outcomes are not so much about achievement as much as they are about opportunity.
"We were kind of isolated out there. As kids we seemed to have hours of empty time. A fantasy could last all afternoon. I don't think I would have become a songwriter if I had not had all of those free days to let my imagination roam." - James Taylor
One conversation can change everything.
Gig work isn’t going anywhere—but there are now more ways to capitalize on creativity.
We have to be vigilant in defending the truth against misinformation. With our technologies, with our policies and, perhaps most importantly, with our own individual responsibilities, decisions, behaviors and actions.
“ . . . winning does not always equal success. All across America and around the world, we have a crisis in the win-at-all-cost cultures that we have created. In our schools, in our businesses, in politics, winning at all cost has become acceptable.”
Detail. Why? Heartbreak. Responsibility.
The web, mobile devices, virtual and augmented reality were re-scripting our nervous systems. And they were literally changing the structure of our brain. The very technologies I had been using to positively influence hearts and minds were actually eroding functions in the brain necessary for empathy and decision-making. In fact, our dependence upon the web and mobile devices might be taking over our cognitive and affective faculties, rendering us socially and emotionally incompetent, and I felt complicit in this dehumanization.
Don't downplay your story.
Just because someone else has a worse story, your story still matters.
It's not just the food industry.
“It’s the story that you’re so reluctant to tell that the audience can feel it in the room. They know, because they have stories they don’t want to tell. I think that when someone does that right, there’s an immediate empathy and the audience is more willing to go to different places, because it’s uncomfortable. I like to think of great storytelling as you’re telling secrets to the audience, because everyone loves secrets.”
“When businesses promote responsible consumerism they create more impact and achieve more success against the triple bottom line of people, the planet and profit”
But we all know that it's the non-rational parts of our minds where we get courage, creativity, inspiration and everything else that sparks passion.
“Let's see if we can create our own recipe for inspiration.”
The more that marketing and communications are plugged in to what’s happening across the business, the more relevant, timely, authentic and consistent the content and messages.
But those cartoons did more than mind-numbingly entertain a generation of children. They also introduced millions of young people to key facets of cultural literacy, particularly in the realm of literature and music.
I grew up with Saturday Morning cartoons. It was fun and I didn't know how much I was learning. Classrooms can be fun and engaging while creating a lasting impression. Think about that before creating something. What’s the Purpose?
We have never needed creative storytellers and designers more than we do now.
The 4 Ps of Brands Taking Stands - Purpose. Plan. Process. Product.
3 Pillars of Corporate Social Responsibility
Since Sesame Street first aired on public television in November 1969, the program has been speaking the language of childhood without relegating children to a separate, sanitized sphere.
When you stand with yourself, even when it’s hard, you’re doing a loving thing for yourself.
“Give me a level playing field. Give me a chance to win.”
It seems there is no such thing as a bottom line anymore. A question—“How do you measure success?”—is taking its place.
Seventy percent of U.S. consumers now say they want to know what brands are doing to address social and environmental issues, according to market research published this month.
Failure to have a Worthy Rival increases the risk that a once-mighty infinite player will gently slide into becoming just another finite player looking to rack up wins.
If robots are all set to take over, can emotional intelligence really save us? Well, before you write off its value, consider these findings from past studies:
“ . . . we are all unreliable narrators of our own lives.”
As advertisers bombard consumers across platforms like Twitch, Facebook, television, billboards and more, consumers are trying to get away, signing up for ad blockers and subscription services.
Grandiose or Vulnerable . . .
They’re selling a story, a narrative. . . we lie to ourselves to fit our narrative.
We have to learn what AI is capable of doing and what it's not, and to understand that, with its tiny little worm brain, AI doesn't really understand what we're trying to ask it to do.
We tend to fixate on what's true or false. But the biggest concern is actually the weaponization of context. Because the most effective disinformation has always been that which has a kernel of truth to it.
American consumers spend, on average, 13 hours per year in calling queue. According to a 2010 study by Mike Desmarais in the journal Cost Management, a third of complaining customers must make two or more calls to resolve their complaint. And that ignores the portion who simply give up out of exasperation after the first call.
Any executive who demands guarantees likely isn’t one who understands how the PR and media process work. Nine times out of 10, working with a client like this will result in spending most of your time defending your work — or trying to educate the executive on how PR works.
Today, organizations need to be more aligned than ever before as consumers, investors and employees are all looking to align their purchases, investments or careers with companies that share the same values.
Producing content that’s designed to game algorithms or convert website visitors might be able to generate a decent amount of views and leads for your team. And as a marketer with goals to meet and bosses to please, it’s tempting to prioritize your team’s own goals over your audience’s needs. But if you truly want to resonate with an audience, create a lasting impression on them, and, in turn, produce real long-term results, storytelling is the best path forward.
People tend to think that what we experience consciously must then be an absolute true reflection of reality.
First, we need to recognize that shareholder interest now includes taking purpose into account. The Milton Friedman-popularized idea of business solely as a vehicle to increase shareholder value and maximize profits is no longer one that holds sway in our current socioeconomic climate.
The new economics must and can insist that the purpose of the corporation is to improve the welfare of all stakeholders: customers, workers, community and shareholders alike.
For too long, we've treated relationships as a soft topic, when relationship skills are one of the most important and hard to build things in life. Not only can understanding unhealthy signs help you avoid the rabbit hole that leads to unhealthy love, but understanding and practicing the art of being healthy can improve nearly every aspect of your life.
Less is more.
If you're depressed, if you're anxious, you're not weak, you're not crazy, you're not, in the main, a machine with broken parts. You're a human being with unmet needs.
If I can convince you of one thing in this book, let it be this: Strangers are not easy.”
In all this world of instant gratification and 24/7, on-demand results, scientists require persistence, vision and patience to rise above all that. They can see that the fork in the road is not always a dilemma or a detour; sometimes, even though we may not know it at the time, the fork is the way home.
"Prioritizing customers and employees is common sense. After all, we have no business if we don’t have customers." Too many companies have forgotten who butters their bread and bow instead to shareholders who hold them back from sustainable profitability.
Psychopaths, I’ve worked with a few . . . . how about you?
“When we share our stories we create community, safe spaces, trust and a kinder, gentler, maybe more empathetic world.”
There is nothing inevitable about our future. The internet is made of people. People make decisions at social media companies. People make hashtags trend or not trend. People make societies progress or regress. When we internalize that fact, we can stop waiting for some inevitable future to arrive and actually get to work now.
Communicating without a plan is risky business. Communicating without a purpose is annoying!
He believes the time has cqome to rein in Big Tech by tackling how platforms make money, which should tell you something about just how bad it’s gotten for American consumers.
Today, the popular idea exists, advanced by psychologists, management experts, or innovators, that boredom is important for the development of qualities such as creativity and brilliant ideas.
Cuban heralded creative and critical thinking as the next most in-demand job skills
Lead with the story—that’s where the gold lies.
With 78% of Americans expecting companies to take a stand on important societal issues, brands are considering purpose as permission to be activists.
But many of them are missing the most important part of activism: Action.
Through narratives that cultivate a sense of shared identity and purpose, one can create that sense of “we.”
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a clearly drawn story is worth a thousand insightful observations.
It’s time we work together to redesign an economic system for the 21st century that prioritizes the long term over the short term and the creation of value for all stakeholders, not just shareholders. Unless we address the systemic context in which CEOs operate, celebrating their latest announcements about purpose will remain more hope than strategy.
Today, 181 CEOs affiliated with Business Roundtable signed a letter agreeing that from now on, company executives need to think about how their companies can benefit all stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers, local communities and shareholders.
There is a moral imperative that we start putting a real dent in the world’s biggest social problems, and the fact they often represent gigantic business opportunities presents a way to use capitalism to tackle them.
While doodling, drawing, or physically writing something down, we’re engaging many of our senses and using multiple parts of our brain to synthesize the information.
With data philanthropy, companies can give back to in a way that reflects their unique core competencies while preserving or expanding value for shareholders.
The right question to ask isn’t, “What do you like and what’s hardest to use about our product?” It is, “What do you like, what’s hardest about your job, and how can we help?”
Maybe you’re concerned about your privacy. Maybe you’re looking for something pretty specific. Maybe you’re just ready to try something new.
A CEO who takes a humanistic stance on a hot-button issue—irrespective of whether that position is shared by the employee—will be seen as an indicator that workers will be treated humanely should they end up working for the company.
The more we let machines think for us, the less we can think for ourselves. The more time doctors spend staring at digital medical records, the less time they spend looking at their patients. The more we use parenting apps, the less we know our kids. The more time we spend with people that we're predicted and programmed to like, the less we can connect with people who are different from ourselves. And the less compassion we need, the less compassion we have.
Loyalty Ladder of Customer Behaviors (Jackie Huba video) Posted on Social Media
Lovesac founder Shawn Nelson wants the company to become the “most loved furniture brand” in the U.S. by 2025. And he’s doing it by telling customers to buy less furniture.
Keeping a company’s online presence true to the essence of its value proposition seems like a no-brainer, but these days it’s not.
"Despair is the state we fall into when our imagination fails. When we have no story that explains the present and describes the future, hope evaporates."
Nothing happens without a sale. Believe it or not, you’re a salesperson — whether you’re convincing your kids to do their homework, putting your best foot forward for a job interview, or running a business
Whether it’s the emotional cues spinning by in a meeting headed for disarray, curiosity that could turn a business-as-usual day into an internal spark reminding you why you got into this darn job in the first place, or the art of making space for conflict resolution that’s going to save us all, here are ten ways to salvage our better selves and keep us from mutating into workplace monsters.
“ . . . storytelling is based on human nature, not corporate logic: we are hard-wired to make sense of things and buy into ideas through stories. Throughout human history all religions, cultures, nations, inventors, conquerors, explorers, and leaders have engaged the masses with one simple tool — storytelling.”
It’s important that we hold on to what makes us human - our stories.
There is no reason to learn how to show you're paying attention if you are in fact paying attention.
More than ever, we actually do have to rely on other people, on their support and collaboration, in order to be successful.
“But as brands, we know philanthropy is about more than doing good in the world. Philanthropy increases brand loyalty when you practice it genuinely. Giving back increases engagement by sharing a mission and purpose with your customer base. “
“Trust is choosing to make something important to you vulnerable to the actions of someone else.” - Charles Feltman
Don’t Silo CSR, Use It As Your North Star
Central to any company’s purpose proposition is its CSR program. Yet too often, CSR is parked in a corner. Given the fact that 66% of Americans would switch from a product they typically buy to a new product from a purpose-driven company, it’s imperative for businesses to establish a unified approach to purpose that’s consistent across departments, especially marketing and operations.
4 Ways to Show Genuine Gratitude
1. Get Personal
2. Share Individual Stories
3. Get Creative
4. Be Donor-Centric
Top 5 Trends from Goodness Matters
1. The power of purpose
2. It's time for a broader definition of impact
3. An army of one is the most powerful army of all
4. The future of Goodness is inclusive
5. Authenticity is key
Learn the creative process behind "America's Finest New Source," and how it can immediately improve the way you brainstorm with groups.
Every company and nonprofit has a hidden treasure trove of stories waiting to be excavated, crafted and shared to build relationships, spark conversations and help shape their brand.
"Oral storytelling is what's known as a human universal. For tens of thousands of years, it has been a key way that parents teach children about values and how to behave."
“74% of working Americans say that volunteering gives them a sense of purpose at their company while almost as many say it improves their overall morale and happiness, according to the most recent Deloitte Volunteerism Survey.”
There’s more to communication than words . . .
“Dignity . . . has two meanings: one is self-worth, and the other is that something is suitable, it's fitting, meaning that you're part of something greater than yourself, and it connects to some broader whole. In other words, that you're needed.”
In a world where data is king, it’s more important than ever to remember that what we measure becomes the thing we’re compelled to act on.
"We're big enough to know about these things because these problems are happening where we live. And we have the right to talk about them because it will be our life in the future."
"What you do next matters."
“Finding my use has helped me to find my voice, my self-worth and my freedom.”
These CSR trends also remind us, as brand communicators, that we have the power to amplify good causes by leveraging our skills in public relations, social media, storytelling and more. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2019/02/21/five-csr-trends-every-company-can-get-behind/#6ed5156e3718
Purpose + Corporate Activism = A Winning Formula
When new employees don’t work out, the reason is rarely incompetence.
“We bring who we are and what we stand for to our work every day.”
Corporate Social Responsibility 2009 vs. 2019
Business is personal and people want to work with and do business with people they admire, can relate to and share similar values. Products and services are common commodities. What’s remarkable is why someone does something and why they do it the way they do.
Marketing is the spreading of ideas. - Jeff Goins
Effective marketing is when you tell your audience a story they are already telling themselves
Public relations shapes brands through stories and builds relationships through community relations.
Consumers want to know a brand’s values because their purchase is a reflection on them. The brand becomes part of their personal story.
Half of American consumers want the companies they patronize to take a stand on social issues and will complain when they don’t.
More than 40 percent will walk away from a brand if it frustrates them. And almost 20 percent will never come back, according to research by the consulting and accounting firm Accenture.
“We’re going to continue to see people choosing business approaches or commercial approaches for what they deem to be important social needs.”
“ . . . I’ve observed the same thing time and time again: how information is communicated to employees during a change matters more than what information is communicated. A lack of audience empathy when conveying news about an organizational transformation can cause it to fail.”
We have to stop using technology to optimize human beings for the market and start optimizing technology for the human future.
Janet Rotter, who is head of school, said, "I think what makes it so special is the idea of curiosity, the idea of questioning, which is really at the heart of education, of humanity, of who we are."
Even seven-year-old Max knows you can only do so much with an iPad. "On the iPad you can't really build something, like with the hands," he said.
From Innovation to Obsolete: A Lesson in Leadership
A pathological inability to accept the status quo, combined with taking action on an impulse to express a desire. - The Unmistakable Creative
In addition to simply dumbing us down, however, automation can also hijack our attention and willpower, because we are often prone to give it more credence than we should.
“Our brain results show that people approach narrative in a strongly character-centered and psychological manner, focused on the mental states of the protagonist of the story.”
Identifying what is unique to a culture is in large part derived from the organization's purpose. Why does the organization exist? Who is it serving?
“It’s great to say you give back, but to attach it to something meaningful, we think that’s what the customer wants to see and hear,” Mr. Perkin said.
"Almost everybody believes some kind of conspiracy theory at some point," said psychologist Rob Brotherton, who asserts human beings are skeptical of coincidence, and think in terms of cause-and-effect.
The millionaire will be but a trustee for the poor. Entrusted for a season with a part of the increased wealth of the community, but administering it for the community
Would you rather watch, write or co-create a story?
“ . . . the way to unleash kindness in your organization is to treat it like a contagion, and to create the conditions under which everybody catches it.”
To benefit from the power of stories, organizations should look for opportunities to build bridges with unexpected allies in the creative community.
Children need to hear words every day and they need to hear not just our day-to-day conversation, they have to hear rare words:those outside the common lexicon we share, of around 10,000.
And if we can't control who has our data and how it is being used, we have lost the control of our lives.
Fearless speaking is the sum of many parts; it’s not just about wrangling the butterflies in your stomach.
The poet’s story has long been one of a double life, split between two urgent duties: making a living and making art.
“Technology, unfortunately, is like a double-edge sword. It has both the power to enhance our lives and also to destroy it. Emails are like Zombies. You keep killing them, they keep coming back.
Many people who choose careers in medicine or at nonprofits are intrinsically motivated to serve others. And yet most of us haven’t received any training to hone our ability to empathize; we just do our best.
If humility is so important, why are so many leaders today, especially our most famous leaders, so arrogant?
It’s important to remember that socially responsible organizations aren’t putting social responsibility before profit, but rather mutually reinforcing purpose and profit.
Good Leadership = Good People of Character who help others be better versions of themselves
In a roboticized world, hacks would not just affect your data but could endanger your property, your life and even national security.
No one will ever pay you what you’re worth. They’ll only ever pay you what they think you’re worth. And you control they’re thinking.
Cheers to Bacardi’s responsible spirit!
A friendly app
Give them something to talk about . . . .
Are you afraid of the work you’re doing or not doing?
The Science of What Makes People Care
Leading with Purpose: The New Business Norm?
Here’s to all the lonely people . . . .
A major reason companies don’t get credit for their good works is they employ a one-size-fits-all strategy to communicating their efforts, while what’s needed are focused messages that matter to each of their four different audiences. So banish your sustainability report and get the right message to the right audience.
Pay attention to your attention.
“Facts are facts. Stories are how we learn.” Alan Webber
“And so, we have some candy, too, but we have lots of broccoli. And you know, if you have the good mix, you get to a healthy diet.”
How should we live together?
When you’re mindful of your inner dialogue, you might notice there’s something familiar about the words, tone or attitude in the self-criticism. Does it remind you of anyone — a parent, sibling, relative, teacher, coach? By listening to yourself, you can hear the dogmatism, harshness and absurdity in much of what the inner critic has to say. Stepping back from the criticism to observe it can stop reinforcing it and help you dis-identify from it: In other words, you may hear it, but you don’t need to be it. This kind of calm witnessing can make the voice of your inner critic less intense and more reasonable.
When we read to our children, they are doing more work than meets the eye. "It's that muscle they're developing bringing the images to life in their minds."
“Given that most people aren’t sociopaths, in my experience, the more common misuses of emotional intelligence are subconscious.”
". . . according to the Americans for the Arts 2016 survey “Americans Speak Out about the Arts (PDF),” 87 percent of respondents said that “arts institutions add value to our communities,” regardless of whether people engage with art or not.
Comic books do not cause juvenile delinquency.
Nearly two-thirds of consumers will do research to see if a company is “authentic” when it takes a stand on an issue.
Being kind can be hard, especially when we’re angry with ourselves, especially when we feel disappointed due to something we did—or didn’t do.
The loss of slowness, of time for reflection and contemplation, of privacy and solitude, of silence, of the ability to sit quietly in a chair for fifteen minutes without external stimulation — all have happened quickly and almost invisibly.
We are scratching the surface in our ability as humans to communicate and invent together, and while the sciences teach us how to build things,it's the humanities that teach us what to build and why to build them. And they're equally as important, and they're just as hard.
“The main culprit appears to be entrenched levels of bureaucracy. “[E]fforts to professionalize our own work through increased policy and procedure and efforts to ensure fiscal accountability through restricted grants have unintended, harmful consequences that we now are seeing.”
I think the piece of advice I’m still trying to learn is to trust your gut. It sounds like such hippie-dippie woo-woo nonsense but every time I have made choices when my gut told me otherwise, it’s always been the wrong choice. So I guess, learning to trust yourself, and have faith in yourself…which just feels like the kind of maturity that comes with time and experience.
Organizations are hoarding data in the hope that they’ll be able to point artificial intelligence agents at it and uncover hitherto undreamed-of insights about their customers. They don’t seem to understand that you can point the same clever algorithm at a sample of a few thousand people and get the same result.
“I'm here to tell you the story of crazy love, a psychological trap disguised as love, one that millions of women and even a few men fall into every year. It may even be your story.”
“Your fury is not something to be afraid of. It holds lifetimes of wisdom. Let it breathe and listen.”
A rock solid position. “ . . . . you've got to win in the mind, and you can only win in the mind with a narrow idea."
Dance can help restore joy and stability in troubled lives and ease the tensions in schools disrupted by violence and bullying.
Danone started thinking about social impact early; in a 1972 speech, the company’s founder said “corporate responsibility doesn’t end at the factory gate or the company door” and industry should be “placed at the service of people.”
"We cannot have a society in which, if two people wish to communicate, the only way that can happen is if it's financed by a third person who wishes to manipulate them," he says.
From burnout to poor storytelling, there are many difficulties in running a successful nonprofit.
I prefer the old-fashioned, hack-proof way.
today, visionary organizations are actively engaging with their communities -- the communities they serve, and the communities in which they operate. Some companies provide their employees with volunteer hours so that they can more easily commit to local programs.
He concludes that what causes these conditions most of all is a lack of what we need to be happy, including the need to belong in a group, the need to be valued by other people, the need to feel like we’re good at something, and the need to feel like our future is secure.
We form beliefs in a haphazard way, believing all sorts of things based just on what we hear out in the world but haven’t researched for ourselves.
For Better Brainstorming, Tell An Embarrassing Story
Why Doing Good is Good for the Do-Gooder
5 Ways Charity: Water Uses Storytelling to Inspire More Giving
Staying Ahead of These 4 Challenges Can Differentiate Your Mission-Driven Brand
4 Foundations to Philanthropy: Listen More to Nonprofits and Speak Less
Who Brands Your Nonprofit? Who Tells Its Story and How?
Why Companies Can't Just Write Checks to Do Good
To Sell themselves to Donors, Nonprofits are Turning to to the Pros
Sure, you have stars but have you found the Moonbow?
Radical wisdom for a company, a school, a life
Lessons in Nonprofit Storytelling From a Live Performance
Stop Stealing Dreams
Don't Tell A Boring Story
Why Weird People Are Often More Creative
What's Going To Make A Company Grow? Being A Purpose-Driven Business
50 Random Things I Have Learned About Social Media Marketing
Delighting Customers with Meaningful Micro-Engagements
The Crossroads of Should and Must
Simon Sinek: Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe
Bill Strickland: Rebuilding a neighborhood with beauty, dignity and hope
Why I write
Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship
Stanford Social Innovation Review
The Conference Board
Fast Company Magazine