Digital Marketing. Or, Marketing.

Digital Marketing. Or, Marketing.

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…
Not the viral you were hoping for

Not the viral you were hoping for

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…

Practice helps understand influence

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…

Director of Social Capital and other cool stuff

I nursed a cold in front of the TV Friday night. Given the election season in Colorado, this was an exercise for the mute button. I wonder how it would feel knowing you’ve achieved something in your life by primarily bringing down the competition instead of proving your own worth? Would you consider that an achievement? This, even more than the general nastiness of the ads, was depressing. Due to the onslaught of negativity, I’m feeling a strange urge to contribute something positive to the morass. My part to counter the vibe as it were. After all, there so many…

A few ways to stop intellectual load shedding

There are many places in the world that have regular “load shedding,” or rolling blackouts. It’s a fact of daily life. When I travel with my wife and in-laws to India, we stay in a small townhouse in Nashik, Maharashtra. Load shedding is as much a part of our daily planning as what we need to get at market. It effects shower schedules (water is heated by an individual, portable “geyser” that runs on electricity), which cascades into breakfast schedules, which cascades into when we can leave the house, which cascades into when we’ll be able to meet with a…

Stop the Annoying Client Rants

Not that anyone who knows me or reads this blog (both of you) needs another rant about people who rant about the stupid and irritating client. I’ve done that before. But I was recently face-to-face with a few consultants and business owners who’ve motivated to write a bit more about this. I not sure why this is still in my craw, but here it is. If your client isn’t doing something that is painfully obvious to you, it’s a sign that your client has a leadership maturity to be admired. That you know about their stupid actions or doltish inactions…

A small wins strategy: The social web as liner notes

I’ll say it: Effective participation in the social web is hard. Damn hard. It requires strategic acumen more akin to leadership (valuing social capital and investing in the necessary competencies to build and leverage it) and execution skills more akin to in-person networking (add value to those you want to reach and do it all the time) than any kind of marketing and communications discipline. It isn’t free. It isn’t fast. And the worst time to build your social web presence is at the beginning of a campaign, a crisis, or any other time when you want to broadcast and…