Clarity First Newsletter, May 12, 2017

Exactly what is so funny about peace, love and understanding?

Enough. I want to do more than vote and march in the streets. But, what do I do?

One challenge to engaging in civic life beyond simply voting every two or four years is that there is no consensus about what a more robust, participatory model of democracy looks like. Here are three models that have the potential to scale.
Article: The Moment for Participatory Democracy

Listen closely for the word “fine.” It’s never the whole story.

There is often a disconnect between what we say and how we actually feel.
Article: “Fine” Never Means “Things are Fine.”

Think of the company as a living, breathing organism.

The key to engaging employees isn’t through happy hours or game nights, but through expecting them to work hard. The top driver of employee satisfaction? The opportunity to use skills and abilities. Social business design theory is a method of serving this drive by organizing a business around collaboration, innovation, creativity and individual leadership.
Article: How Social Business Design Theory Improves Retention and Innovation

Doing the right thing vs. doing things right

Before concentrating on what you do and how you do it, you should figure out why you’re doing it in the first place. What’s your goal? What’s your purpose? The how and the what will fall into place as soon as you define your why.
Article: Changing Your Entrenched Processes Can Increase Customer Loyalty

A user story is a tool that helps teams align their efforts on a shared sense of an audience and its needs.

Whether writing a letter, an ad, a web page, or a fact sheet, your success is predicated on asking just two questions: With whom are you talking? What problem do you solve for them?
Article: Make Your Audience the Hero With a One-Sentence Agile User Story.

Pixar’s principles and practices for managing creative talent

Ed Catmull, president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, says, “I don’t think our success is largely luck. Rather, I believe our adherence to a set of principles and practices for managing creative talent and risk is responsible. Pixar is a community in the true sense of the word. We think that lasting relationships matter, and we share some basic beliefs:
– Talent is rare.
– Management’s job is not to prevent risk but to build the capability to recover when failures occur.
– It must be safe to tell the truth.
– We must constantly challenge all of our assumptions and search for the flaws that could destroy our culture.”
Lucky for us the success of their efforts prompted him to share his thinking on how to build a sustainable creative organization.
Article: How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity

One of my favorite newsletters

I love newsletters. One that I look forward to and read top to bottom is Next Draft. Dave Pell, who signs off as ”Managing Editor, Internet”, writes this astute summary of the news every weekday. Somehow, learning that Trump is acting like a third world despot again is a lot easier coming from a guy with a sophisticated sense of humor and a big, informed world view.
Newsletter: Next Draft

Talking branding and purpose on the radio

Last Saturday Ira Bryck, of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, featured me on his weekly Western Mass. Business Show on WHMP. Amongst other things, we talked about how branding isn’t just for marketing anymore.
Radio Interview: Mitch Anthony on the Western Mass Business Show


The news is freaking me out. We, the human species, are feeling so much pain and fear. But isn’t this, after all, why we made jazz, rock & roll and reggae? In music we can express our best discoveries and our best hopes. Here’s a Spotify playlist that makes the point. Almost like the blues.

Image of the week

The British street artist Banksy has spoken out over Brexit for the first time since the UK voted to leave the EU, with a mural painted in the port town of Dover, on an amusement arcade building near the ferry terminal—the closest link to mainland Europe. But within 24 hours, the work of art was defaced with the words “the clash”, together with what appears to be an anarchist symbol. The Art Newspaper has the story.

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 think of us when you think about doing the right thing.

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