Clarity First Newsletter, May 19, 2017

Watching our “leaders” in Washington bobble head yes behind a mad man is surreal at best, deeply depressing at worst. But, but, but. What if the lesson of Trump is that the concept of self is completely delusional? What if the answer to our questions isn’t a leader, but each other? What if our biggest opportunity is to learn, as Peter Senge suggests, “the disciplines that will help cultivate the wisdom of the group and larger social systems”?

Design abilities can be developed and nurtured. Not coincidently, they make great leadership abilities, too.

They include:
– Creativity, lateral thinking, and intuition,
– Effectively clarifying and communicating concepts and ideas through models, sketches, and stories,
– Being solution-focused, meaning designers make sense of a problem space by proposing and trying solutions, and
– Focusing on how things ought to be versus how things are.
Article: 7 Qualities of Design-Thinking Leaders

Canada would like to apologize for all of the fuss its 150th birthday is going to cause this summer.

As an insecure bully tries to topple what is left of the U.S. democracy I, for one, am pleased to raise a glass to a culture built on respect and decorum. Happy birthday, Canada. Nice advertising work, Roots.
Article: Roots Salutes 150 Years of “Nice” Canadians for Canada’s Birthday

Jobs in advertising aren’t so straightforward anymore.

Digiday asked the mothers of contemporary marketers what their kids do for a living. They don’t really get it.
Article: Here’s How Agency Execs’ Mothers Describe Their Children’s Jobs

“I think we have a shot at building the best office building in the world.”

Steve Jobs’ last design project is almost done.
Article: One More Thing. An Exclusive Look Inside the Mothership

Pinpoint repeated processes and reuse them.

Let’s make this simple. Workflow is central to marketing campaign organization.
Article: Best Practices for Organizing Your Digital Marketing Campaigns

It’s on the tip of my tongue.

I wish I couldn’t relate to this article so much.
Article: Shazam Suddenly Started Forgetting Song Titles to Highlight a Little-Known Fact About Alzheimer’s

Contemplating, launching, or growing your venture? Come learn from leaders who share your values.

I am proud to be one of the first faculty members of the Conway Institute, a new offering by the Conway School, Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning and Design. On June 28th and 29th Wendi Goldsmith and I are presenting a two-day workshop called Sustainable Entrepreneurship Basics. Wendi is in charge of day one: Your Inspiration Can Shape a Sound Approach to Life and Business. I’m running day two: Finding Your Voice. Communicating Your Promise. (Yes, you know this as DIY Brandcamp.) Spread the word. There’s a very cool learning community gathering on the hill in Conway, Mass. next month.
Workshop: Sustainable Entrepreneurship Basics

The beat is a great bridge to we.

Hip hop artist Tarriona “Tank” Ball makes leading, listening to and supporting each other look easy, and really, really fun. The respect she’s earned from her masterful band is the starter mother of groove. And groove they do, each player leaning easily on their trust in what they make together. They know that they can rely on the beat. They know they can rely on each other. The resulting calm and very cool smiles are priceless.
#MusicToLove Introducing The Winner Of The 2017 Tiny Desk Contest

Image of the week

The images in the header are close-ups of a massive, in scale and effect, photo installation mounted now at the ICA in Boston. It’s called Rock ’n’ Roll 70(2015) and is by Gillian Wearing. The reason for the striking resemblance between all of the models is that they’re all her. At the start of the project, when she was 50, she photographed herself. Then she collaborated with digital artists working with age-progressing technology to render what she might look like at age 70. By setting switches and following “what if?” scenarios, she played with the apparently infinite possibilities of identity. The results shake the bones of who we think we are. You can experience this amazing wall in the ICA’s always inviting and inspiring main lobby through New Year’s day next year.

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, volunteer for a cause that moves you, and/or think of us when your company feels stuck and you want to come together.

Leave a Comment