Clarity First Newsletter, July 7, 2017

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

It’s up to us to choose utopia or oblivion. Bucky Fuller suggested this in 1969. Whichever we choose is largely a matter of how well we understand the systems in which we live.

The biggest crisis of our time is a crisis of perception.

“A systems view of life is critical today for all professions, because the major problems of our time are systemic problems — all interconnected and interdependent — and they need corresponding systemic solutions. The systems view of life provides the conceptual framework for such systemic solutions.” – Fritjof Capra
Interview: Systems Thinking: Life-Enhancing Business Through Leadership

We need more creative solutions to embrace sustainable transformation.

This year’s Cannes Lions advertising awards show featured more “Goodvertsing” than ever. But are agencies and marketers treating the biggest issues of our time as just another new trend, as if doing good is simply the ‘new black’?
Article: Cannes Lions: Worst Year Ever Was Best Year Yet for Goodvertising

Company culture before work

Give new hires a chance to connect with the founders and hear about their vision for the company. Help new hires to feel comfortable from the get-go asking questions about where the company is heading.
Article: Why MailChimp Doesn’t Let New Hires Work For Their First Week On The Job.

We all want to jump ship and/or to work in tech.

Article: This is the Current State of the American Workplace.

Nonprofits should be very concerned.

A recent poll suggests that public trust in the nation’s institutions and the perceived civility of the nation’s public dialogue are decreasing rapidly under President Trump. There are many reasons nonprofits should be concerned about these poll numbers. As frequent partners with government in delivering services, building communities, and protecting democracy, nonprofits could end up being guilty by association.
Article: Nonprofits Must Care that the Public is Losing Trust in Institutions of Democracy.

No one wants to be on the receiving end of continual, impersonal communications.

When you target a specific segment of customers with smaller campaigns, the cumulative revenue is much greater than that of a “spray and pray” blast email campaign. And the more you cater to increasingly refined segments, the average uplift you gain from your total customer base grows—as does the average uplift from each individual customer.
Article: Eight Steps to Leave Blast Emails Behind and Launch Intelligent Communications Instead

So far we can’t automate smart.

To get the most out of marketing technology, you need to hire the right people who can help you use it to its fullest.
Article: People-Based Marketing Requires Good People.

“I think digital literacy is closer to looking both ways before you cross the street.” 

“…It’s a warning to think about what you’re seeing, what you’re hearing, what you’re doing, and thinking critically about what to accept and reject…Because in the absence of this kind of critical thinking, it’s easy to see how the phenomena that we’re just now labeling fake news, alternative facts can come about. These problems are showing up, and they’re reinforced in social media.” – Vint Cerf
Article: The Internet’s Future Is More Fragile Than Ever, Says One Of Its Inventors.


Tom Waits is on my very shortest of Desert Island play lists. He hasn’t made a record that I don’t totally love from front to back. So I was thrilled this week when Austin Kleon, one of my favorite newsletter writers, pointed toward this article in which Waits discusses 20 of his own favorite albums. In it he says “I like my music with the rinds and the seeds and pulp left in”. There’s a lot of really good whole fruit here.
Article: Tom Waits, It’s Perfect Madness

Images of the week

In the late 50s the U.S. Office of Civilian Defense and Mobilization (OCDM), as well as similar state and local agencies, offered plans and checklists for basement fallout shelters that would increase citizens’ odds of surviving a nuclear blast. Some young couples even honeymooned in theirs. As a part of their always enlightening Planet of Peril series HiLoBrow has posted a (fun?) article on the then popular trend.
Article: Operation Hideaway

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. Learn more.

If you get value from Clarity First, please pass it on, or, better yet, think of us when your organization needs to understand and tell its story.

Leave a Comment