Clarity First Newsletter, February 10, 2017


Recently the climate change activist Kathleen Dean Moore was asked, “but what can just one person do?”. Her simple answer: “Stop being just one person. Join a group.” It’s time to come together.

Kumbaya is the future, because it’s how we’re wired. 

When it comes to social media, you know you’re on the right track when you put your audience first, and you spend more time listening than talking.

Article: We’re Social Monkeys. We’ll Form a Community Given the Least Excuse to Do So.

It is time to tinker, experiment, fail, learn, and tinker some more.

The organizations that distinguish themselves will be the ones that listen best and that know how to interpret what they are hearing.

Article: Step 1 for Effective Advocacy in the Age of Trump: Learn to Listen Better

Learning to reconnect with our compassionate longings, our hearts.

All of us who act as helpers, either professionally or in the ordinary relationships of our lives, will encounter situations in which it is very challenging to keep our hearts open to another person.

Exercise: The “Difficult Person” Exercise

Free online business innovation toolkit

Fans of Business Model Generation rejoice. That book introduced the concept of blank canvases that allow you to see and understand the foundational components of your business model. Now that book’s producer, Patrick van der Pijl, and his team go broader and deeper with a new book called Design a Better Business: New Tools, Skills, and Mindset for Strategy and Innovation. It includes 20 strategic tools on how to launch and sustain innovation as a discipline in any organization. Even better, they make them all available online for free.

Website: Design a Better Business Toolbox.

Predicting the major branding trends of 2017

The would-be authoritarian regime that has taken over the White House, combined with powerful new technologies, is having deep impact way beyond just the political sphere.

Article: The Radical Future of Branding

Belonging, purpose, storytelling, transcendence

Crunch the numbers, the truth is surprising. Happiness and unhappiness do not predict suicide. The variable that does is meaning — or, more precisely, the lack of it.

Article: 4 Ways to Bring More Meaning Into Your Life

Ready to find the your organization’s meaning?

Speaking of belonging and purpose, clarity about why your company exists, who you serve, and how you help provides the foundation for natural team building, effective communications and meaningful strategic planning. That’s how the Clarity Core Sample workshop helps. I can help you find that clarity in one day.

Article: Everybody on the Same Page

It’s getting late, but there’s still room for you.

Next Wednesday, with the Northampton Chamber of Commerce, I will present a one-day workshop on communicating impact for non-profits. The session will be from 9 – 4 at the Smith College Conference Center. Twenty leaders from organizations big and small are already registered. There’s still room for you.
Workshop: Communicating Impact with Brand Clarity


I’m starting a campaign to rename Alabama Shakes. I think they should be called Brittany Howard and Her Alabama Shakes. I get the collective power of a true band, and the Shakes are a remarkably true band, but when someone with as unique and powerful a talent as she shows up, all bow. To see what I mean check out this Austin City Limits broadcast of her song Hold On. Then Google her. Her’s is an inspiring story.

Images of the week

The paintings in the headers are by my friend, colleague and long-time collaborator Gayle Kabaker. (She, Laura Radwell and I co-created Art for Obama back in a more innocent time.)  The larger is cropped from the cover of RESIST!, a publication that was distributed for free on Inauguration Day in Washington D.C. You can see more of her always inspiring work at her site.

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.

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