Clarity First Newsletter, June 23, 2017

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

This week all three of my adult kids were in the house. Life doesn’t get sweeter than just hanging out with the whole family together. Tonight, in the last rays of this longer day, hold someone(s) you love. We are stardust, and we have consciousness. We can use it or lose it. Happy Solstice.

Haiku about how we work

This is fun. For a couple of years Robert Pol has been reducing what he knows about project management to haiku at his enormously entertaining blog. Here’s ten to give you a flavor.
Blog Post: 10 Haiku for Project Managers

We’re not packaged. And when we are packaged, we are ineffective and inauthentic.

It might be time for a change in how we speak about personal branding.
Article: Sheryl Sandberg Isn’t a Fan of the Personal Brand.

Simply feeling like they’re part of a team makes people more motivated to take on challenges.

People who are primed to act collaboratively stick at their task 64% longer than their solitary peers, while also reporting higher engagement levels, lower fatigue levels and a higher success rate. The effect is long lasting too.
Article: New Study Finds That Collaboration Drives Workplace Performance.

American workers says they want their companies to play a more active role in addressing societal and environmental issues. 

However, only 35 percent say they feel their CEO has his or her finger on the pulse of employee attitudes toward these concerns.
Article: Sustainability Leaders, Note: There’s No More Room for Silence.

Winning logos, deconstructed

Sign maker Smartsign analyzed the logos of 2,000 successful businesses to ascertain common characteristics. Notice and learn.
Infographic: Which Logo Attributes Correlate with Success?

Audacious goals require audacious strategy

My very first clients, in the seventies, were natural foods companies. I’ve long felt a nostalgic connection to a whole industry of what I knew as very idealistic mom-and-pop  start-ups. So this week’s news of Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods hit me in the solar plexus. Strategy and business analyst Ben Thompson has done a good job of explaining how this audacious move is only a tactic in a much larger strategy to take a piece of every purchase anyone ever makes anywhere.
Article: Amazon’s New Customer

Consider that the current state of advertising was a 50-year anomaly.

Newspaper and radio are being replaced, ad blocking among consumers is rising 30% annually, and one in five US households has cut ties with their cable subscription. Is this the end of advertising as we know it? Andrew Essex says the spend is not going away, but kiss interruption goodbye. Ads are going to need to get a lot more respectful and interesting.
Interview: Andrew Essex, author, The End of Advertising

Listen first

The Clarity brand design process is built on a foundation of listening to and understanding stakeholders. Yet, engaging stakeholders is a relatively new and sometimes challenging process for many organizations. This article, while focused on stakeholder engagement to create meaningful sustainability reports, is relevant to any leader seeking to integrate more honest stockholder insight into their strategic efforts.
Article: The 5 Keys to Successful Stakeholder Engagement


Prepare to have your mind blown and your body moved. Anderson .Paak is how I spell groove. He’s the drummer of his amazing four piece band, The Free Nationals, it’s leader, and singer, too. I started out thinking “Oh, I get it, it’s hip-hop played on live instruments”. Then he went all James Brown R&B on me. Then I was hearing 70s funk, and rock, and soul jazz, all played by a tight and practiced band that clearly know and enjoy each other. You’ve got to love an artist who credits not the songwriter, but the artist who made the beat. More, please.
Tiny Desk Concert: Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals

Images of the week

In the nineties we’d joke that we could use no other typeface than Helvetica for an entire year and still be producing fresh work in the twelfth month. That venerable typeface turns 60 this year. To pay homage, creative agency Husmee has invited 19 other studios to make posters that celebrate the seemingly boundless typeface. The red one is by Graphical House. The black one is by Mash Creative.

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, call us to talk about your organization’s promise to those you serve.

Leave a Comment