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 […]
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 told me you don’t have the budget or time for that kind of thing. Remember when I asked you to […]
I’ve blogged a few times about how rare practicing is in business. In the context of social media, and in the public relations domain. Exactly opposite of athletes and musicians, working professionals spend 99% of their time executing and 1% of their time practicing. It’s hard to find places in business to practice. So when you do, you have to take advantage of them. It’s not surprising to see Tiger Woods recognize the need to get out in front of stories during a crises. He’s a smart guy. He proves it in this article, where he comments aabout Michael Vick back in 2007: If you made that big a mistake, you got to come out and just be contrite, be honest, […]
My father wasn’t much of an arts and entertainment kind of guy and he had but a few jokes at his disposal. One of them was a Bill Cosby take on doing drugs. Goes something like this: “People say that drugs enhance your personality. Yes, but… what if you’re an asshole?” So to be discovered on Google I should be consistent. Be a one-note blogger. Write myopic web copy. Yes, but… what if I’m multitudinous? What if the value I add to clients and the world is an ability to connect and align seemingly disparate data points into a cohesive and effective strategy that uncovers efficiencies and new ideas? What if I see branding as much about leadership as marketing? […]
Ed Stein, EdSteinInk.com, reprinted with permission If the current dialog about health care reform can teach us anything, it highlights the importance of figuring out our values. We all know the importance of inside-out strategic planning (and brand development, for those who consider them separate). The enterprise values, vision, and mission (brand) should be a collective exercise. Involve as many people as possible. Hold retreats, perform exercises, play games, put the words of participants on giant sticky notes. Transform the more insightful quotes into pictures on the graphical strategy map. Include verbatims in the final deliverable. Stage-gate the process by communicating back to the larger enterprise during development. And we’ve all seen the process devolve and the gears grind. Collaboration […]
I connect things. I’m wired to. Sometimes it’s powerful, and sometimes it unnecessarily complicates. It can make for good integrated plans, but it can also result in tangled communications. The past few weeks have been powerful. I’ve reconnected with two long-lost friends. One’s a guitarist I met while attending Berklee College of Music, the other a magazine editor I worked with for a short stint in my career. The guitarist moved back to Israel, the editor moved a few blocks away from me. The guitarist I found on Facebook, the editor I found at the neighborhood frozen custard shop. International, hyperlocal. The reach of social media, the power of sugar and cream. Two very different people with whom I shared […]
It’s like a unknown, unmapped compound straight out the X Files. Newmont has built a community in the middle of Ghanaian nowhere for its western expat employees at Ahafo. A pristine suburbia with driveways, lawns, playgrounds, sidewalks, concrete curbs. Flower pots on porches. And a community center in the middle of it. The gathering place for middle management to vent frustrations of Denver senior leadership, share stories of near mishaps, talk about home. It was here, drinking beer and eating bar-b-queue, when a concept that’s been bouncing around in my head finally settled.
When you’re anxious to go on a tour of an African mine site, sitting in a florescent lit room listening to presentations makes you a little jumpy and inattentive. Even so, when Jay Bastian started talking about the mowing operations at his mine, my ears perked up.