Clarity First Newsletter, April 21, 2017

“The first draft of anything is shit.” Ernest Hemingway said that. It’s an important perspective. This business of making better businesses and organizations is iterative. We learn by failing. The secret is to treat failure as input, not a final judgement. I’m ok. You’re ok.

People don’t buy what you do or how you do it, they buy why you do it.

Purpose is on its way to becoming the ultimate differentiator in business. Companies with a strong, defined purpose drive employee engagement, connect deeper with customers, and fuel their bottom line.
Article: Understanding Your Why In Business Through The Eight Purpose Archetypes

Everyone needs a design mindset.

Everyone in your organization designs the product, service, and the user’s experience, not just the people with “design” in their job titles. A CFO makes a pricing decision and changes the product experience. An engineer makes a performance trade-off. A salesperson writes a script for talking to customers. When you accept the reality that design decisions are coming from people without “design” in their job titles, you approach your co-workers differently. Now they’re not just your co-workers — they’re your design team.
Article: Everyone is a Designer. Get Over It.

The most innovative companies in the world share one thing in common. 

They use design as an integrative resource to innovate more efficiently and successfully.
Article: Design-Driven Companies Outperform S&P by 228% Over Ten Years 

Know you voice. Know how to share it.

Tapping into your social media market and communicating with followers is no longer an option – it is a requirement.
Article: How To Leverage Social Media To Build Brand Loyalty

The evidence is in. Want more innovative and productive teams? Start hiring bilinguals.

Article: Brain Science Explains Why Every Company Should Have More Bilingual Employees

Our schools are producing all manner of over-achievers. What they’re not producing anymore are citizens. 

There is a profound loss in modern America of a basic psychological fulfillment—a feeling of group solidarity and a sense of belonging.
Article: A Sense of Belonging

Modern marketing is digital marketing.

What sets contemporary marketing from the past, is that today your audience is looking for you as assiduously as you are looking for them. But, can they find you? Is your promise readily visible, understandable, and searchable? Next week, on Wednesday, Dan Green and I are presenting a one day survey of the skills you need to find and serve your audience in this new day of social communications.
Workshop: DIY Digital Marketing Camp, the Survey Course


The New York Times describes the brilliance of Bill Frisell really well: “It’s hard to find a more fruitful meditation on American music than in the compositions of guitarist Bill Frisell. Mixing rock and country with jazz and blues, he’s found what connects them: improvisation and a sense of play.” I would add one more very important descriptor: courage. The guy will try anything. Here’s just one of his leaps into fearless playfulness, a cover of the Beach Boys’ Surfer Girl.

Images of the week

The photos in the headers are by Taiwanese photographer Arron Hsiao. They’re two of a series in which he documents daily commuters in his home city. Fubiz has more images from the project.

What’s Clarity First?

If you’re new to Clarity First, it’s the weekly newsletter by Clarity, the consultancy that helps mission-driven companies use their brand – their purpose, values, and stories – as powerful tools for transformation.

If you get value from Clarity First, please pass it on. Even better, come to our very first ever in the world DIY Digital Marketing Camp, the Survey Course. Or, if you’re busy that day, think of us when your mind wonders “what if we…”.

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