Clarity First Newsletter, October 21, 2016


If our politicians can’t be civil, perhaps we can set a better example in our workplaces. Here are some tools and ideas to help.

Our companies are not machines, they are living systems

The accumulating failures at organizational change can be traced to a 300-year old assumption that organizations are machines. This is a great article on modeling living systems instead, to create organizations that are adaptive, flexible, self-renewing, resilient, learning and intelligent.
Article: The Irresistible Future of Organizing

Human-centered design is a practical, repeatable approach to arriving at innovative solutions has gathered a toolbox of Methods – step-by-step guides to putting the people you serve at the center of your discovery. There are Methods for listening to people, understanding them and then keeping them at the center of your research. Very useful.
Website: Design Kit/Methods

Organizational health trumps everything else

Patrick Lencioni asserts that “Organizational health will one day surpass all other disciplines in business as the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage.” His prescription is simple and effective: 1) Build a cohesive leadership team. 2) Create Clarity. 3) Overcommunicate Clarity. 4) Reinforce Clarity. You see why we like his work so much. Essential reading.
Book Review: The Advantage. Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business.

Learning to think like a brand strategist

This week Todd and I hosted a 90-minute webinar for graduates of last month’s DIY Brand Camp at Smith. Here’s some of what is emerging.
Article: Learning to be your own brand consultant.


Ultimate Painting had us from the intertwined guitar riffs that open Green Lanes, their second album. Their music is quiet, cool, soothing and just discordant and surprising enough to keep it interesting. They’re clearly fans of the VU, Pavement and Sonic Youth (when SY used their inside voices). They’ve also listened to a lot of early Jefferson Airplane, which makes sense as their name is borrowed from one of the art ideas that centered the 60s era  Drop City commune. Great desk music.

Images of the week

Ever Is Over All, 1997, Audio video installation (video still). Open My Glade (Flatten), 2000. Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist refers to her work as a “glorification of the wonder of evolution”. Her first New York show opens next week.

What’s Clarity First?

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

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