The beginning of the new bottom line

Can we agree that there’s a category of enterprises that needs more concise branding? Call it social entrepreneurship, call it social impact, call it sustainable development. That yet-to-be defined category (even beyond L3C) of enterprises that care less about its status as Profit or Non-Profit and more about the contribution it makes to our world. (more…)

Inspiration is for amateurs

Mos Def gave an interview at the end of a performance with K’Naan on Austin City Limits not long ago. Apparently this was the first hip hop episode for the venerable country-cum-Americana-jam/hippy-band show. It was also the first time I heard such a genuinely honest response by a creative mind to the all-too-common question of inspiration. You could see Mos Def hesitate at first. A self-censored moment where he wondered if a transparent answer would somehow mitigate the fantasy we put around artists in the entertainment industry – the necessary fantasy for him and those like him to sell records…

Now that we’re all marketers, we might also be spammers. Are you?

Spending time with a Hindu or two has helped me question a few things. Our society’s surface-notion of Karma is a big one. I don’t know what Karma is, probably never will. But I’m beginning to understand a bit about what Karma is not. Karma is not a bank where you deposit good actions so you can make withdraws during times of selfishness. There’s also no parking Karma. And a tip jar is not a place to work on your Karma. Most importantly, Karma does not operate independently: it’s connected with many other ways of approaching life that I’ll likely…

Sliver of doubt? Then don’t do it. Really. Just don’t.

When’s there’s doubt, just don’t. They said it was well intentioned and I’m willing to give them that. Maybe I’m naïve, but looking at this with a light most favorable here’s how I imagine this went down. Cafeteria Director: I have an idea. I’d like to do my part to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a special menu. Principal: Great. What do you have in mind? And please don’t bring up Freedom Fries again. We’ve been through what that means to people. Cafeteria director: No, I want to create an entirely new menu altogether. Principal: I thought you…

Five thoughts for managing the in-house creative process

The in-house creative environment is a unique one. Unlike an ad agency, client-side creative teams are typically surrounded by more left-brain directed thinkers than right-brainers. There's not a lot of refuge for the creative mind in a non-agency business. They've always reminded me of Hank Morgan in Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Strangers indeed, operating with a sort of disorientation: The rest of the joint is kind of a sad lot... quaint, and wrapped up in all the wrong stuff. It isn't unusual for the people managing the creative process on the client side to come from…

What short’ll getcha

What short’ll getcha You’re supposed to keep these blog posts short. Cut ‘em down, keep ‘em succinct. I recognize there are those who’ve refuted it. But as someone who scans online content like a Labrador scarfs a snausage, I appreciate brevity. But I’m sitting on posts that seem incomplete - even disingenuous - because I’m trying to keep them brief and have left some of the context stuff out*. And I’m concerned that the context stuff that gets cut in service of brevity might hurt my brand. I’ve decided to create a post to act almost as a standing disclaimer…

The trade thing

I had a conversation this morning with an up-and-coming consultant who I’m sure will set the world on fire once she finds her stride. It was a conversation about bad things happening to a good someone with even better intentions. She was burned as bad as I’ve heard someone getting burned with a trade agreement. It was a harsh learning experience for her, the kind of pill anyone who’s a free agent has been forced to swallow at one time or another. She asked for my perspective and since I had never articulated my guiding principles for this kind of…