Clarity First Newsletter, May 26, 2017

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

I’m feeling good today. Last night we helped the board of an organization that was tangled up in blue to see the really clear and positive story that is their’s to tell. In under two hours what had been cacophonous voices started to sound like a choir. Hope and belief that are based in reality are so motivating.

New skills for new challenges

While written about Corporate Social Responsibility teams, the findings in this article apply to any and all departments in the modern organization. To be truly effective teams need to build capacity in systems thinking, social innovation and external collaboration.
Article: Essential Skills for Next-Generation CSR Leaders

Advertising the first ammendment

Last month the ACLU partnered with the New York agency Emergence Creative to launch a campaign confirming that “We the People” means everyone. It consists of billboards running in and around the Times Square area until June 25 along with bus-stop ads in D.C. They are running in English, Spanish and Arabic to reinforce the campaign’s themes of universal rights, and they’re supplemented by 15-second videos airing twice an hour on the massive screens at the corner of 43rd Street and Broadway in Manhattan.
Article: The ACLU Is Writing the First Amendment in Arabic on Billboards as a Rebuke to Trump.

How one organization is reconfiguring itself

Life beyond copyright is just the start. Creative Commons is developing a new strategy for their own collaborative organizational structure.
Article: Creative Commons’ Bold New Strategy to Empower Its Community

Social media is where your customers are.

Article: 6 More Reasons You Can’t Ignore Social Media Marketing

Conscious working

Jochen Guertler calls himself a design thinking coach. In that role he runs workshops that help people employ design thinking to help establish more innovative and creative company cultures, and as a change management tool in developing future-oriented organizations. He’s identified 10 principles that help him to understand and to share the immense power of this discipline.
Article: Ten Design Thinking Workshop Principles

Consumers today don’t simply want to engage with brands, they want to be inspired.

Article: Want To Build An Inspiring Brand? Here Are Tips From CMOs At Airbnb, CVS Health And Centene

How can we make the best use of our lives? How can we make the best use of our time?

Published in 1910, Arnold Bennett’s book on living a meaningful life within the constraints of time might be even more relevant today.
Book Review: How to Live on 24 Hours a Day.


In 1994, at the height of her acting career, Juana Molina quit her own popular TV show to turn her attention to music. Seven albums later she’s made clear why acting couldn’t hold her talent or interest. Nor can labels. Her soulful blend has been dubbed folktronica for its roots meets electronica stylings. Both descriptors strain under her accomplished brilliance. I prefer to think of her as a jazz musician who needs the support of looping and modulating keyboards to hold all of her very large and very groovy ideas. She’s got a new album, Halo, but to glimpse her full genius start with this live concert recorded on stage in 2015 at the Néstor Kirchner Cultural Centre in Buenos Aires. Working with just a drummer and another keyboard/fretboard artist she shows off her astonishing composing, live performing and mixing skills. Be sure to watch to the end. For the last few songs she’s joined by singer/guitarist Moreno Veloso and his band. Together, they bring the house down.

Image of the week

The images in the headers are of the earthworks called City, by Michael Heizer. It’s in the Nevada dessert, near his house. He started it in 1972, and he’s almost done. It’s a mile and a half long, inspired by ancient ritual cities, and made from rocks, sand, and concrete mined and mixed on site. Dana Goodyear profiles the artist who explores “the aesthetic possibilities of emptiness and displacement”, whose work has informed public art from the Vietnam Memorial to the pits at Ground Zero.

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.

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