Clarity First Newsletter, March 9, 2018

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

“Positive propaganda to promote a happier way of living.” This is how artist Anthony Burrill described the intentions of his work in last week’s letter.

I’m loving this description as a container to hold this letter too. Yes, we, the ever-evolving species with consciousness, are learning new ways to collaborate and share. And often these learnings do translate to more happiness, whether at home, work or community. I love the mission of promoting practices that make us happier. “Positive propaganda to promote a happier way of living” is such a crystal-clear lens.

Happy Friday. Here’s what I fished out of the stream this week.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma González gives a speech at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Feb. 17.
Photo edited by Slate. Photo by Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images.

“These kids aren’t prodigiously gifted. They’ve just had the gift of the kind of education we no longer value.”

How the student activists of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High demonstrate the power of a comprehensive education.
Article: They Were Trained for This Moment.

Lessons from Norway on motivation and performance

Daniel Pink wondered how such a tiny country could win so many medals during the 2018 Winter Olympics. He scanned the coverage and isolated six uniquely Norwegian practices that might explain their success:
– The social fabric of the team comes first.
– Zero tolerance for jerks.
– Humility and respect are the highest virtues.
– Minimal prize money.
– In youth sports, athletes don’t keep score until they’re 13.
– Friday night is taco night.

Article: What Norway Can Teach us About High Performance

B Corp members in the UK have experienced an average year-on-year growth rate of 14 percent.

“Today’s most exciting businesses are operating for the benefit of all who contribute to its success — for shareholders and for stakeholders — and as such they are taking responsibility for their broader impact on employees, on communities and on the planet. This is the future of business.”
Article: B Corp Analysis Reveals Purpose-Led Businesses Grow 28 Times Faster Than National Average

A blog about collaboration and how we learn to do it

“Communities, teams or networks are increasingly at the heart of innovative projects where new knowledge is generated. I’m interested in the successful creation, nurturing and shepherding of those teams, primarily within science. Those team-focused activities may variously be called community management, netweaving, team science or in-reach.

“Social in silico explores anything related to these topics of collaborative work – both online and off e.g. What does it take to build a successful community? What does a community manager look like?”
Blog: Social in silico   (Thanks, Beth.)

Disintermediation comes to the creative services

I’ve spent my career helping clients understand why creative matters. And for most of that career those services have been protected by pay-walls in the form of agencies. (I’ve run my fair share.) This month in NYC there is a new model being tested. Bright, experienced creatives available to think with you in real time, in a shared workspace environment. “A new-age ‘genius bar’ for creative services — available on demand and all over NYC.”
Website: Makeshop Beta

“A totally rad implementation of Getting Things Done”

I’ve shared with you my radical reduction of David Allen’s Getting Things Done liturgy; A Simplified Way to Use Getting Things Done. It works to keep things moving, but it forfeits a certain big picture vision. Mike Sturm has been trying different software solutions that would preserve this ability to see more, but each missed the mark. “They were either too rigid, too complicated, clunky, or a mixture of those shortcomings.” But then he tried Google Sheets. “Who would have thought a simple web-based spreadsheet program could run a totally rad implementation of GTD?
Article: How to Implement a Killer GTD System in Google Sheets

Why this non-profit is abandoning Facebook

“Looking at the statistics provided by Facebook, we’ve come to realize that the connection we were after isn’t actually made. That’s why we’ve decided to stop putting effort into Facebook. The world’s largest social network has become an increasingly inhospitable place for nonprofits.”
Article: Why Facebook Is a Waste of Time—and Money—for Arts Nonprofits


Sam Cooke meets Van Morrison in the 21st century, in Texas. Friends, we are lucky. The streams that fall from the juke joints, tent churches, and street corners turn to rivers as they do. Leon Bridges sings “I need you, baby” for a whole new generation. He brought his combo to Tiny Desk and made the case.

Images of the week

The images of the week were captured by street photographer Jonathan Higbee in NYC. He’s got a unique talent for capturing surprising juxtapositions in a frame.
Article: Street Photos of Coincidences on NYC Sidewalks

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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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