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
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.
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
Newsle News Feed
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