Clarity First Newsletter, November 4, 2016


Ideas, inspiration and tools you can use to change your world.

Lack of brand awareness is not a marketing problem. It is a mission-driven leadership problem

Rob Simpson is a proven CEO and leadership consultant. He knows from experience that mission is a powerful driver of organizational performance. He very neatly summarizes the whys and hows of using mission to foster employee loyalty, encourage customer engagement, improve strategic alignment and find organizational clarity.
Article: Start with Why

Storytelling begins with knowing what story you want to tell. Everything else will follow

In September Kevin Spacey gave a keynote at Content Marketing World in Cleveland. What does a Hollywood actor have in common with content marketers? “When you strip everything away, we are all striving toward the same goal, and that is connecting with our audiences,” Spacey said. Then he shared his three key elements that make better stories: conflict, authenticity and the audience.
Article: Kevin Spacey’s Top 3 Tips for Better Storytelling

How to conduct market research quickly and inexpensively

Advice from Google Ventures on using the net to answer big questions about your market, competitive offerings or customer’s behaviors and attitudes.
Article: Seven Tips for Lean Market Research

A personal planning system that starts with a personal mission and vision statement

Jordan McGilvray has noticed that personal planning systems fall into either a “top-down” (Franklin Covey) or “bottom-up” (Getting Things Done) model. He’s picked the parts of various systems that work for him and created the Middle Way Method. He says it provides “a balance between the important things of life and the daily grind.”
Article: The Middle Way Method of Personal Planning

Investment in key infrastructure doesn’t diminish programs. Instead it provides invaluable core mission support

The too-typical model of a non-profit is a giant pie named “programs”, with pieces removed for “administration” and “fundraising”. Rather than thinking of our investment in infrastructure as diminishing our programs, it should be seen as valuable core mission support that is necessary, vital, and integral.
Article: A Graphic Re-visioning of Nonprofit Overhead

Posters that will make you want to go vote

Every four years, the Get Out the Vote campaign invites graphic designers to make posters that rally US voters to go to the polls. Here are some posters that rock the vote.
Gallery: 14 Posters That Suggest We Should Vote. Let’s


This week scary politics has us on edge. So we’ve been turning to quiet music to soothe our ruffled minds. Madeline Peyroux’s newest album – Secular Hymns – fits the bill perfectly. Recorded live in a twelfth-century church in England she leans only on her small touring group: one guitarist and one stand-up bass player. The songs are mostly covers of artists from Tom Waits to Townes Van Zandt to Patti Smith to Willie Dixon. Their familiarity adds to the sense of intimacy she conjures. Check out how softly she makes Allen Toussaint’s classic Everything I Do Gohn Be Funky (From Now On) swing. The whole album is that good.

Images of the week

The photos in the headers are by Joel Meyerowitz whose two-part retrospective Taking My Time is opening tomorrow at the Polka Gallery in Paris.

What’s Clarity First?

If you’re new to Clarity First, it’s the weekly newsletter by Clarity, the agency that helps mission-driven companies use their purpose, values, and stories as powerful tools for transformation. Learn more.

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