A Social Contract For The Holidays

A Social Contract For The Holidays

Social Capital
A social contract is, by definition, up to all of us. Those of you with kids you know the situation. The daycare is closing, you white knuckle it during rush hour to pick them up (Why does my boss insist on dropping stuff on me late in the day! A 3:00 email about that—really?). You’re not the only working professional struggling to get there on time. You arrive to a line of idling cars, tensions can be high. Think about it from the daycare side for a moment. Late pickups have costs. Overtime for the staff, delayed hours for the janitorial crew, tired staff need to manage hungry, tired kids… it’s an issue. So what would you do if a daycare center came to you and asked to solve the problem of late…
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A one night stand with Ignite Denver

A one night stand with Ignite Denver

Creative Mind, Presenting
The whole Mudra crew was in a funk. Having just wrapped a 6-show run of Gyaan, a major production that dealt with heavy themes that we all put pretty much everything we had into producing and performing, we were down like Charlie Brown. Anyone who's ever performed anything knows what kind of loss the day after the last show is. You might be glad the grind is over but there's a big hole you now have to carry around where purpose, community, and satisfying creative expression used to be. Our hole was deep. It was like being dumped. So when Ignite Denver called with the news that one of their speakers had dropped out sick two days before their event, and would we (could we) do A Rhythm Runs Through…
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Storytelling the Three Over Four Way

Storytelling the Three Over Four Way

Branding, Marketing, Three Over Four Approach
I had a terrific time working with The Colorado Medical Society this past May. The President of the CMS had a great idea to interweave storytelling techniques for leaders throughout the entire conference. His thinking was that we all leave these conferences full of energy, armed with new information to make changes in our society, businesses, or communities. But we’re missing the tools to actually do something about it. So I was brought in to help by way of providing techniques for leaders to tell stories. Storytelling being, of course, one of the more effective way to engage and move people. We did a few things to bring storytelling into the conference. (This is an environment which, incidentally, isn’t exactly the most welcoming place for such a topic. After all,…
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Speaking at CBCA’s Leadership Arts

Speaking at CBCA’s Leadership Arts

Presenting
The Colorado Business Committee for the Arts is a terrific organization in here in Denver. They’re a true advocate for the creative industry as an economic power in our society. They’re the ones that perform and publish the creative industry economic impact study. They run a great six-month leadership program called Leadership Arts. It’s for people interested in serving on arts boards and I’ve been presenting Leading In A Social World at this program for years. It’s the perfect space for me: that intersection of arts and businesses, people with a desire to use their business acumen to make arts organizations stronger. Check out CBCA, and consider joining their Leadership Arts program if you’ve considered serving on an arts board.
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Digital Marketing. Or, Marketing.

Digital Marketing. Or, Marketing.

Marketing, Social web, Three Over Four Approach
A friend, mentor, and professor of mine was a leading voice in southern poetry. He wrote profoundly about many things, most notably about the martyrs of the civil rights movement and white privilege. So it made more than a little sense when the chair of his department asked him to teach a class about multiculturalism in American literature. He refused. And his reason why will stick with me forever. He told me “I told them that the history of American literature is multicultural. The entire damn American narrative is about our multiple cultures. I can’t see how we can teach any American literature course without it dealing with multiculturalism at its core.” At the risk of inflating my self importance (let’s be honest: what I do is to his work…
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Getting over ourselves

Getting over ourselves

Branding, Reputation Management, Social Capital, Three Over Four Approach
Thinking beyond yourself when you're a teenager is as difficult as understanding #talklikeyourbestfriend as an adult. Relationships were limited because we weren't chemically capable of thinking beyond ourselves. There comes a time, of course, when it becomes clear that relationships are more meaningful over the long haul when we put someone else's needs on par or ahead of our own. There are more returns and deeper significance. But it requires us to think beyond ourselves and care for the other person in the relationship in ways that we were (or at least I was) incapable of as a teenager. (And yes, for me now. This is something I don't have to tell most of you—mainly just myself. But it's a working simile, and I'm going with it.) Social capital, by…
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Not the viral you were hoping for

Not the viral you were hoping for

Social Capital, Social web, Three Over Four Approach
Don't you love the surveys like this one that pit congress approval ratings against things like lice and (worse) replacement refs? (Congress looses in a landslide in case you were wondering. You may now thank me for not using the phrase "Spoiler alert.") They're funny because they use the device of surprise. When you say something unexpected or place an element outside its usual context it makes us uncomfortable or jarred, and we laugh. The other response to an unexpected element is revulsion. Like the way a body works to expel a virus. It’s working against the system. It doesn’t fit. Kick up the heat to try to kill it, ‘cause it’s gotta go. This is what's happening to marketing across the social web. So-called social marketing doesn't work. Marketing…
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Practice helps understand influence

Leadership, Three Over Four Approach
To the creative process, practice is critical. I've long been intrigued by the notion that artists (like athletes) spend 95% percent of their time practicing to execute well in the remaining 5% of their time. In business, it’s the opposite. There’s very little practice time in business, and we’re expected to execute all the time. There’s the occasional executive business program, leadership retreat, coaching session, or sabbatical. But those are rare, and some working professionals may never have the chance at any of those perks. There are many ways to practice and many techniques go in to practicing for various outcomes. This post from FastCompany Design got me thinking. Maybe we should talk more concretely about practice. Take a look at more specific examples of how practice helps the artistic…
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