Clarity First Newsletter, January 26, 2018

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

“You have to know what you want. And if it seems to take you off the track, don’t hold back, because perhaps that is instinctively where you want to be. And if you hold back and try to be always where you have been before, you will go dry.”  – Gertrude Stein

Learning to listen

Hey Senate, there are a lot more great tools where this one comes from.
Article: A ‘Talking Stick’ Reportedly Broke the Stalemate Over the Government Shutdown by Preventing Senators From Shouting Over Each Other During Discussions.

Hank Newsome, head of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, last year. He was cheered in October at a rally in Washington organized by Trump supporters. Credit Rex Features, via Associated Press

“Whether they disagree or agree with your message is irrelevant. It’s the fact that you have the right to have the message.”

People are more hostile to others in the abstract than when they meet them in person.
Article: Empathize With Your Political Foe.

It doesn’t cost a lot to build employee morale, loyalty and commitment.

“One of my favorite ways to strengthen our corporate culture is to have fun together. When you are able to share a laugh and a good time you are also able to collaborate and solve problems together…”.
Article: Company Culture: How To Build It On A Budget

New skills for new challenges

The skills we need to answer our current and emerging challenges are rooted in social intelligence, adaptive mindsets and interdisciplinary thinking.
Article: Skills For Future Success in a Disruptive World of Work

The idea is more important than ever.

2017 was a milestone year, For the first time ever advertisers spent more on online advertising than they did on broadcast ads. Unfortunately, along with the decline of broadcast there is an accompanying erosion of the understanding that producing great creative is a challenging discipline worthy of focused investment. And that’s a problem, because it’s no easier today to come up with a great idea then it was 20 years ago.
Article: Broadcast Advertising Is No Longer King as Ideas Are More Important Than Ever.

Whether they like it or not, brands are increasingly political, and their marketing efforts increasingly will be seen through a political lens.

“Add in social media–where everything is fair game–and, boom, a company’s decisions now belong to everyone.” Here are three lessons to help companies take an activist stance–without making a mess of it.
Article: Social-Impact Branding Isn’t Going Anywhere This Year–And Neither Are The Gaffes

You cannot fulfill a purpose; it’s like a guiding star on the horizon – forever pursued but never reached.

‘Brand purpose’ that goes no further than the marketing department is so yesterday. But a purpose that extends across a whole company is a key component of that company’s good health.
Article: In Defense of Brand Purpose


The first time I heard St. Paul and the Broken Bones I was sure that it was a soul band from the 60s that I had missed. But this six piece combo from Birmingham, Alabama, led by a white guy who looks like the bank teller he once was, is very much a soul band from today. Here’s the group performing their song Call Me in the lobby of an abandoned theater. The sound of the room itself adds a layer of aching authenticity. And, for a taste of the spirit that moves them, here’s the band covering Otis Redding’s I’ve Been Loving You Too Long. Sweet, sweet soul music.

Images of the week

The smaller of the two images of the week is named Glial cells of the cerebral cortex of a child. The larger is Purkinje neurons from the human cerebellum. Both are pen and ink drawings by Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934). The Spanish neuroanatomist is considered the father of modern neuroscience. He is also known as one of the world’s greatest scientific illustrators. He drew what he saw through his microscope, using shifting combinations of ink and pencil. The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal is the first U.S. museum exhibition to present the work of this extraordinary artist. It’s hung at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery until March 31st.
Article: A Deep Dive Into the Brain, Hand-Drawn by the Father of Neuroscience

Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Self-portrait, taken by Cajal in his laboratory in Valencia when he was in his early thirties, c. 1885. Cajal Institute (CSIC), Madrid

What’s Clarity First?

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

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  1. Michael Vereen says

    My first read: literally, I’m blown away! The universal thinking; objective mindset;practical push for excelling. Refreshing and encouraging to connect with Clarity! I’ll be here for a season.

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