Clarity First newsletter, August 19, 2016


A notebook about how we work and learn and love and live.

We are following Austin Kleon’s advice: “write something that you yourself would read.” It’s our hope that Clarity First helps you spend less time swatting away ideas you aren’t interested in and more time exploring ideas you do.

5 tools that are changing how we work

Evernote and share this neat summary of the new tools that are being embraced by many lean start-up companies:
1. The Business Model Canvas
2. The Value Proposition Canvas
3. Lean Startup Methodology + Agile development
4. Design Thinking/Sprints
5. Systems Thinking
These tools help put the innovate in social innovation.

Rules of thumb that make collaborative team work easier

Jonathan Rosenberg leads the Google teams that developed Chrome and Android. When asked to share life experiences with students from his alma mater he compiled this list of rules of thumb. We especially like #1: Be a broken record. “When you think you’ve communicated something too much, you’re probably just beginning to get through, There is no such thing as too much communication.”

Announcing the next Clarity DIY Brand Camp

Branding for the rest of us. Learn how to understand your organization’s story and how to use that story as a powerful tool for strategic transformation. The next camp, and the only Western Mass camp this fall, will gather at the Smith College Conference Center on September 28. Learn more.

Todd Felton joins the Clarity team

Todd has been working with us on a number of projects over the past year, and we’re thrilled he’s joining Clarity. He is a writer, digital strategist, and teacher with deep nonprofit experience.

The Reinventing Organizations Wiki

This wiki is best used as a reference, almost a sort of handbook, for leaders looking to upgrade specific management practices in their organization.”


This week, Mitch has been playing Robert Glasper’s new Everything’s Beautiful. While album credits go to Miles Davis & Robert Glasper, this is clearly a Robert Glasper album. It’s soothing, if sometimes bordering on schmaltzy, and challenging, and finally rewarding. Mmm. Come to think of it, just like a Miles album. The whole record is on YouTube right now.

Image of the week

The photos in the header are two of Arne Svenson’s portraits of his New York neighbors taken through apartment windows.

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