Clarity First Newsletter November 10, 2017

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

Connecting some dots, because it’s all connected. Happy Friday.

The communal benefits of coming together to do something difficult pay extra dividends.

In the spring, summer and fall I ride with the same group of mountain bikers. In the fall, winter, and spring I ski with a community of x-country skiers that has grown around the Prospect Mountain ski area. I know from experience that the insights in this article are true. I’m wondering about the implications for the workplace.
Article: Group Exercise May Help With Quality of Life & Stress More Than Going Solo

The innovation spectrum

Rather than argue for one over the other, it makes more sense to look at Design Thinking, Lean, Design Sprint & Agile as a set of integrated tools and techniques. They can all add value somewhere on the innovation spectrum.
Article: When, which … Design Thinking, Lean, Design Sprint, Agile?

Customer experience is the sum total of all experiences that customers have with a company.
When people talk “differentiation” as a factor in brand success, they often refer to products, services or costs. At FedEx every employee knows it is their culture that is the differentiating factor.
Article: Culture Eats Brand Strategy For Lunch At FedEx.
Our world is far too complicated to simply go out and try to observe it with a tabula rasa mindset.
The challenge of any research effort is turning observations into insights that produce a new understanding and strategy. When it comes to the kind of research that feeds strategic choices, one way to stand back far enough to perceive the insight is to review the data in the context of a hypothesis, or set of hypotheses, in much the same way a scientist does.
Article: The Art of Strategic Observation
Your strategy is only as effective as your message.
The pros agree: email is the most effective digital marketing tactic. If you aren’t getting much of a response, here’s a good summary of the planning process to review.
Article: How to Write Ecommerce Emails That Don’t Annoy the Crap Out of Your Readers.
People do still talk on the phone. That is, when they want to.
You know that gated freemium offer you’re laboring over? Don’t bother. Hubspot ran the numbers on how best to narrow the conversion funnel and learned that the best leads still want to call, chat or book an appointment.
Article: How Buyers Want to Talk to Your Business in 2018: The 3 Channels You Need
Design thinking can help you craft a more meaningful life, create the type of relationships you want, or open up new pathways for you at work.
“In 2009, my law career stalled. I was burned out and ready to make a professional change, but I had no idea where to start or what my next step should be. Here is how I used design thinking to help me identify a new career path (and save lots of time and money in the process)”.
Article: How I Used Design Thinking to Reinvent My Career.
How do you get readers of a major literary magazine to notice your advertisement? 

Put a big typo right in the headline.
Article: This Ad Is Trolling Readers of a Major Literary Magazine With a Glaring Typo.


Google William Bell and you’ll find that he is a 60s-era soul singer, known for writing and performing such Stax Records classics as “You Don’t Miss Your Water” and “Everybody Loves A Winner”. Last year he rejoined the label, and at the age of 77 released a brand new album. To support the record he built a band and went on tour. They, a 12-piece band with vocals and horns stopped by the incredibly small All Songs Considered offices in DC where they recorded this intimately beautiful Tiny Desk Concert. By the time they break into “Born Under a Bad Sign,” which he wrote with B.B. King, you will be really, really glad that they did. Soul will never die.

Images of the week

“People Matching Artworks” is a photography project that captures people in the museums of Berlin and Vienna who inadvertently match the artworks they’re looking at. The coincidences are uncanny.
Article: Stefan Draschan Captures Museum Visitors Who Accidentally Match The Artwork

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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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