Clarity First Newsletter, January 18, 2019


Clarity First

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

I love these deceptively simple suggestions posed by Rumi. What does it mean to support each other in realizing our best selves? What does is it mean to leave our comfort zones with the intent of a shepherd?

What does it mean to you to be good citizen, a good neighbor, a good leader, a good friend, a good unknown stranger? It’s getting intense out here. We need each other. Happy Friday.


Learning, Teaching, Communications Process
“Go out, talk to people, listen to people. And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.”

“When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations — and that most of us don’t converse very well. Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great conversation: Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. In this insightful talk, she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations. ‘Go out, talk to people, listen to people,’ she says. ‘And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.’”
TED Talk: 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation 


Team Building, Personal Development
Creatives, our day has come.

LinkedIn has sifted hundreds of thousands of job postings in order to determine which skills companies say they need most in 2019. They found that employers are looking for workers with both soft skills and hard technical skills. Here are the 5 most in-demand soft skills in 2019:

1. Creativity
2. Persuasion
3. Collaboration
4. Adaptability
5. Time Management

I’m pretty sure that I never heard a guidance councilor utter the words ‘creativity’, or ‘persuasion’, let alone ‘collaboration’. Then again, I never heard an advisor use the phrase ‘soft skills’.
Article: The 10 Most In-Demand Skills of 2019, According to LinkedIn  


Creativity in Business, Organizational Health
It’s official: Creativity drives business results.

The reason that creativity is now in demand by hiring teams is that it is now proven to drive business results. “Productivity and efficiency have been the traditional indicators of business health and performance. But what about Creativity? Does it lead to more business success? In other words, do companies experience a Creative Dividend? Adobe asked Forrester Consulting for help to answer these questions. The study surveyed senior managers from corporations across a diverse set of industries to quantify and qualify how creativity impacts business results.”
Article: What Makes Creative Companies Outperform Their Competitors?


Storytelling, Persuasion
Our brains are hardwired to hear stories, rather than hard facts.

“A great story lures your listeners in and allows them to experience your journey with you in a way that cold hard facts cannot. A compelling narrative, however, needs to have three elements.”
Article: These Are The 3 Components Of A Great Story


Where genius comes from, whether it is dependent on high IQ, and why it is so often accompanied by mental illness.

“As a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who studies creativity, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many gifted and high-profile subjects over the years, but Kurt Vonnegut—dear, funny, eccentric, lovable, tormented Kurt Vonnegut—will always be one of my favorites. Kurt was a faculty member at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the 1960s, and participated in the first big study I did as a member of the university’s psychiatry department. I was examining the anecdotal link between creativity and mental illness, and Kurt was an excellent case study.”
Article: Secrets of the Creative Brain  


Design Process
What are design audits, why you need one, and how to do them

Image via Go Fish Digital

“You have to keep your user experience consistent if you want to build trust. And as your organization grows and you add more and more features and elements to your product, this becomes harder and harder to keep a handle on. Enter the design audit.”
Article: The Ultimate Guide to Design Audits  


Next Economy, Socially Responsible Investing
Put your money where it makes a difference.

“Sustainable and impact investing in the United States continues to grow and to make a difference. Investors now consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors across $12 trillion of professionally managed assets, a 38 percent increase since 2016.

“Asset management firms and institutional investors are addressing a diverse set of environmental, social and governance concerns across a broader span of assets than in 2016. Many of these money managers and institutions, concerned about racial and gender discrimination, gun violence and the federal government’s rollbacks of environmental protections, are using portfolio selection and shareowner engagement to address these important issues.”
Article: Reflections on SRI Investing in 2018


Web Design, Design Trends
Some web trend predictions for 2019

Trend 3: Natural, organic shapes via Baby Talk For Dads

“In some years, design trends have pushed towards rampant creativity—abandoning grids and traditional stock photos for vibrant illustrations, bold color schemes and asymmetrical layouts. Other years, technological advancements have led to websites becoming smarter, with machine learning and subtle interactions, and those shifting paradigms have driven design trends (hamburger menus, anyone?). 2019 web design trends will see these two sides of the coin—aesthetics and technology—come together like never before.”
Article: 10 Innovative Web Design Trends for 2019  



Four years after Johnny Cash performed at Folsom Prison, and one year after Nixon declared the “war on drugs” that began the period of mass incarceration that has reached epidemic proportions today, BB King and Joan Baez played Sing Sing Correctional Institute in Ossining, NY.

“‘I was told that some of you dudes don’t know anything about blues,’ he said from the stage before beginning what he would go on to call one of the greatest shows of his career: ‘So I wanna say this to you: I came to swap some with you. I imagine that quite a few of you dudes have the blues already.’ After a little more friendly banter and an acknowledgment that it is Thanksgiving Day, B.B. King launches into ‘Downhearted’ (or ‘How Blue Can You Get’) in front of his admiring audience of inmates.”
Video: B.B. King Calls This His Best Performance
Article: B.B. King Plays Live at Sing Sing Prison in One of His Greatest Performances (1972)


Image of the Week

The Image of the week is untitled, and was shot by Vivian Maier. “Maier worked as a nanny, and over several decades took many thousands of pictures as an anonymous photographer; showing them to no one.

“Maier’s remarkable talent was discovered by chance just a few years before her passing in 2007, when real estate agent John Maloof came across the contents of her storage locker. Inside, over 100,000 medium format negatives were found, along with undeveloped rolls of film, and thousands of prints. The discovery of Maier’s rare talent rocked the art world, and in 2015, Maloof created ‘Finding Vivian Maier’, a documentary that was nominated for an Academy Award. As a result of this fame, Maier is known posthumously for her considered approach to black and white street photography.

“However at the time of the documentary’s production, Maloof had not yet developed around 700 rolls of Maier’s color photographs, a selection of which is now on show in ‘Vivian Maier: The Color Work’. The exhibition features Maier’s documentation of the happenings of New York and Chicago from the 1950s to the 1980s, presenting a vivid array of images brimming with color and vitality.”
Article: A New York Exhibition Presents Vivian Maier’s Color Photographs For The First Time


What’s Clarity First?

If you’re new to Clarity First, it’s the weekly newsletter by me, Mitch Anthony. I help people use their brand – their purpose, values, and stories – as a tool of transformation. Learn more.

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