👓 I don’t want to be a brand. | Cheri Baker

Read I don't want to be a brand. by Cheri BakerCheri Baker (social.cheribaker.com)

I attended a training program on author marketing recently, and while I appreciated most of the advice, and the speaker was excellent, I’m struggling with one piece of it, which I’ll paraphrase here:

“You should write down your brand statement, and then EVERYTHING you communicate online (or around your customers) should be in line with that statement. In short, if it doesn’t advance your brand, don’t share or say it.”

And my heart rose up in revolt and shouted: F@CK THAT SH*T!

Some great sentiment here on just being a person.

📑 I don’t want to be a brand. | Cheri Baker

Annotated I don't want to be a brand. by Cheri BakerCheri Baker (social.cheribaker.com)

“You should write down your brand statement, and then EVERYTHING you communicate online (or around your customers) should be in line with that statement. In short, if it doesn’t advance your brand, don’t share or say it.”

And my heart rose up in revolt and shouted: F@CK THAT SH*T!

Almost as iconic as “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!”

👓 High demand from retirees to live on campus at Arizona State University I InsideHigherEd

Read High demand from retirees to live on campus at Arizona State University (insidehighered.com)
A sold-out housing complex for senior citizens on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus sparks a conversation about whether universities are doing enough to engage with older people.

🔖 Creative Clarity by Jon Kolko

Bookmarked Creative Clarity by Jon Kolko (Brown Bear LLC)

This book is built on a simple premise: Most companies don't know what creativity really is, so they can't benefit from it. They lack creative clarity. 

Creative clarity requires you to do four things:
1. Choreograph a creative strategy, describing a clear future even among the blurry business landscape.
2. Grow teams that include those creative, unpredictable outcasts;  give them the space to produce amazing work; and build a unique form of trust in your company culture.
3. Institutionalize an iterative process of critique, conflict, and ideation.
4. Embrace chaos but manage creative spin and stagnation. 

This book is primarily for people in charge of driving strategic change through an organization. If you are a line manager responsible for exploring a horizon of opportunity, the book will help you establish a culture of creative product development in which your teams can predictably deliver creative results. You'll learn methods to drive trust among your team members to enable you to critique and improve their work. And as an organizational leader, you'll complement your traditional business strategies with the new language and understanding you need to implement creativity in a strategic manner across your company.

In a creative environment, chaos is the backdrop for hidden wonderment and success. In this book, you'll gain clarity in the face of that chaos, so you can build great products, great teams, and a high-performing creative organization.  

hat tip: Human Current

🎧 Episode 082 The Complexity & Chaos of Creativity | Human Current

Listened to Episode 082 The Complexity & Chaos of Creativity from HumanCurrent

How does chaos influence creativity? How can “flow states” help teams manage feedback and achieve creativity?In this episode, Haley interviews designer, educator and author, Jon Kolko. Kolko shares details from his new book Creative Clarity: A Practical Guide for Bringing Creative Thinking into Your Company, which he wrote to help leaders and creative thinkers manage the complexity and chaos of the creative process. During his interview, he explains how elements of complex systems science, including emergence, constraints, feedback and framing, influence the creative process. He also provides many helpful tips for how to foster a culture of creativity within an organization.

Cover art for The Complexity & Chaos Of Creativity featuring Jon Kolko

Quotes from this episode:

“A constraint emerges from the creative exploration itself….these constraints become a freeing way for creative people to start to explore without having rules mandated at them.” - Jon Kolko

“Framing is the way in which the problem is structured and presented and the way that those constraints start to manifest as an opportunity statement.” - Jon Kolko

“The rules around trust need to be articulated.” - Jon Kolko

“Chaos is the backdrop for hidden wonderment and success.” - Jon Kolko

Some interesting thoughts on creativity and management. Definitely worth a second listen.

I’ve seen the sentiment of “thought spaces” several times from bloggers, but this is one of the first times I’ve heard a book author use the idea:

Often when I write, it’s to help me make sense of the world around me.

—Jon Kolko

👓 Silicon Valley pledged to break up the boys’ club of investing in 2018. How did it do? | Recode

Read Silicon Valley pledged to break up the boys’ club of investing in 2018. How did it do? (Recode)
Venture capitalists spent 2018 welcoming women to the fold, but the welcome has been fitful, uneven and, scariest of all, tentative.

Lack of diversity is going to be like the cigarette problem of the early 70’s. We know that it’s bad for us, but in the present it doesn’t seem as significant on a marginal individual basis. But worked on over decades it will make us and our society much healthier and richer for having solved for it.

👓 #MeToo law restricts use of nondisclosure agreements in sexual misconduct cases | LA Times

Read #MeToo law restricts use of nondisclosure agreements in sexual misconduct cases (latimes.com)
Among victims and advocates, an important step in dismantling the pervasive problem of harassment and the system that has kept it under wraps for so long is to void or curb the use of NDAs to settle sexual abuse cases.

The tough part is recreating a better system and predicting the potential future abuses that may continue in such a system. How do we enforce fairness fairly? What unintended consequences might there be?

👓 I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon. | The Atlantic

Read I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon. (The Atlantic)
There’s a certain novelty, after decades at a legacy media company, in playing for the team that’s winning big.
Replied to How Long Should a Podcast Be? by Jeremy CherfasJeremy Cherfas (Jeremy Cherfas)

Podnews has a piece that many podcasters could usefully read. The bit that resonated was this quote from Roman Mars:

If you have 100,000 listeners and you edit out one useless minute you are saving 100,000 wasted minutes in the world. You’re practically a hero.

Not quite a hero, I can at least count myself a mini-hero. 

Definitely some sage advice. I recall The Economist going a step further in their analysis a few years back and providing visuals on a 4 minute video: The hidden cost of Gangnam Style: What humanity could achieve if it weren’t galloping in front of computer screens

The hidden cost of Gangnam Style

👓 Following People or Feeds in the #IndieWeb #mb #DoOO #edtechchat #literacies” | Greg McVerry

Read Following People or Feeds in the #IndieWeb #mb #DoOO #edtechchat #literacies by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (quickthoughts.jgregorymcverry.com)
I am scrolling through history (h/t to Kevin Marks for reminding of the ccurated posts by danah boyd) as we discuss how best to follow people in social readers on the IndieWeb. Tantek Çelik has suggested nobody ever on the history of the web wants to follow feeds. danah seemed  to agree in 2004. T...

👓 Best Answer to “Sell Me This Pen” I Have Ever Seen | LinkedIn

Read Best Answer to “Sell Me This Pen” I Have Ever Seen by Girish AmanapuGirish Amanapu (LinkedIn Pulse)

I personally never thought anyone would actually say, “sell me this pen” in a sales interview. I was wrong. It will happen to you too. And to avoid panic, you should know exactly what to say back.

I am going to give you the right sales framework to respond perfectly every time.

📑 Best Answer to “Sell Me This Pen” I Have Ever Seen | LinkedIn

Annotated Best Answer to “Sell Me This Pen” I Have Ever Seen by Girish AmanapuGirish Amanapu (LinkedIn Pulse)

Here’s the simple sales framework I used to answer “sell me this pen”. Memorize it for yourself.

  1. Find out how they last used a pen (gather info)
  2. Emphasize the importance of the activity they last used a pen (respond to info)
  3. Sell something bigger than a pen, like a state of mind (deliver info)
  4. Ask for the buy (closing)
  

🔖 The Formula: The Universal Laws of Success by Albert-László Barabási

Bookmarked The Formula: The Universal Laws of Success by Albert-László Barabási (Little, Brown and Company)

In the bestselling tradition of Malcom Gladwell, James Gleick, and Nate Silver, prominent professor László Barabási gives us a trailblazing book that promises to transform the very foundations of how our success-obsessed society approaches their professional careers, life pursuits and long-term goals.

Too often, accomplishment does not equal success. We did the work but didn't get the promotion; we played hard but weren't recognized; we had the idea but didn't get the credit. We convince ourselves that talent combined with a strong work ethic is the key to getting ahead, but also realize that combination often fails to yield results, without any deeper understanding as to why. Recognizing this striking disconnect, the author, along with a team of renowned researchers and some of the most advanced data-crunching systems on the planet, dedicated themselves to one goal: uncovering that ever-elusive link between performance and success.

Now, based on years of academic research, The Formula finally unveils the groundbreaking discoveries of their pioneering study, not only highlighting the scientific and mathematic principles that underpin success, but also revolutionizing our understanding of:
Why performance is necessary but not adequate
Why "Experts" are often wrong
How to assemble a creative team primed for success
How to most effectively engage our networks
And much more.

Caught an interesting reference to this in an episode of Human Current, but I’ve also recently finished his prior book Linked. I’ll likely read it, but I’ll probably wish I had read the relevant papers instead.

👓 Engage. Disengage. Repeat. | Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Read Engage. Disengage. Repeat. by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
I believe that I have caught myself just this side of a major case of burnout. If that sentence is an exaggeration, it’s not by much. A few friends who had the dubious pleasure of talking wit…

🎧 ‘The Daily’: The Human Toll of Instant Delivery | New York Times

Listened to 'The Daily': The Human Toll of Instant Delivery from New York Times

With the rise of online retailers like Amazon, consumers’ expectations about the speed of delivery have been transformed. But at what cost?