Clarity First Newsletter, September 21, 2018

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

I am as surprised as you are on Fridays to notice what stories, ideas and trends I’ve been gathering all week. Not by design, but this week’s letter has more about how we learn and persuade than most. I hope it’s of value to you. Happy weekend, when you get that far.

Systems Thinking, New Economy, Audience Definition, Communications Strategy 

Sustainability is the new black. 

The New Sustainability: Regeneration explores the rising need for better sustainability. Doing less harm is no longer enough. The future of sustainability is regeneration: replenishing and restoring what we have lost and building economies and communities that thrive, while allowing the planet to thrive too.”
Article: New Trend Report: The New Sustainability: Regeneration

Advertising,  Guerrilla Marketing

“Customer focused advertising is the future of advertising.”

“Domino’s delivery drivers cover 10 million miles each week in the U.S. alone. If you worked on the Domino’s account at Crispin Porter & Bogusky, what might you do with this not insignificant fact?” The agency’s answer is Paving for Pizza, a civic-minded promotion that hires road crews to fill in pot holes. The effort “wraps the brand in a warm PR blanket.”
Article: “Paving for Pizza” Expands The Idea of What Advertising Can Be.


Drawing helps us think better.

“At its core, drawing is a problem-solving tool. Scientists are often avid doodlers, like the Fields-Medal-winning mathematician, Maryam Mirzakhani, for instance. ‘The process of drawing something helps you somehow to stay connected,’ she explained in a 2014 interview. ‘I am a slow thinker, and have to spend a lot of time before I can clean up my ideas and make progress.’ ”
Article: Drawing is the Best Way to Learn, Even if You’re No Leonardo Da Vinci.

Change and Transition, Learning

Why disruption usually happens at the edge and how to bring it to the center.

Want to encourage diffusion of a new idea? Think of it as a contagion. Simple contagions, such as the news about your company’s latest quarterly earnings, spread spontaneously. Complex contagions, such as learning to act together in a different way, are more resistant. New research suggests that the most effective means to encourage the spread of complex change is to start small and to prove how the change works in that small group before attempting to spread the idea to the whole group.
Article: Making Change Contagious


Three quarters of UK businesses say they are now engaged in deeper problem-solving partnerships with non-profits.

“The importance of strategic collaborations between brands and non-profit organizations has been steadily rising over the past couple of years, but the shift is even more pronounced this year – it marks the first time the majority of brands view tie-ups of this nature on a deeper level.”

“The partnership between GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Save the Children is one example of how the two organizations pool their capabilities in R&D, supply chain, procurement and vaccines. The partnership focuses on improving access to basic healthcare, training and equipping health workers in the poorest communities, developing child-friendly medicines and calling for societal change.”

“This is partly thanks to the rising importance of purpose to businesses, but also given consumers are becoming more skeptical of brands attempts to ‘do good’.”
Article: Innovation Becomes Key Driver of Corporate-NGO Partnerships

Advertising, Segmentation

Media companies have rolled out ad products that they say can match ads to people in certain moods.

“The New York Times rolled out a tool earlier this year called Project Feels that lets advertisers target ads to content based on emotional responses the content is predicted to have. ESPN has been pitching a tool to target sports fans on its digital properties based on their changing emotional state during a game. Now it’s trying to apply all that know-how to the rest of Disney’s properties.”
Article: Project Feels: How USA Today, ESPN and The New York Times Are Targeting Ads to Mood

Collective Leadership, Group Process

Transparency helps project teams come together with a common objective, and it helps build trust in the way in which things are being done.

In his book about people-centric management, Employees First, Customers Second, Vineet Nayarnames 5 clear reasons that true transparency is essential to any successful project team. Sometimes the simplest practices have the most positive impact.
Article: 5 Ways to Build Trust Through Transparency



Today, Piano & a Microphone 1983, a recently rediscovered cassette that Prince recorded just as he was on the verge of major stardom, is being released for the first time. The album includes this gorgeously moving cover of the American spiritual Mary Don’t You Weep. An accompanying video holds up the tragic and personal impact of gun violence. I’ve got a feeling that this guy is going to be blowing our minds for years to come.
Video: Prince – Mary Don’t You Weep (Official Music Video)

While we’re talking about the Purple One, here’s a fun collection of his songs:
Article: 13 songs You Had No Idea Were Written by Prince


Image of the Week

The images of the week are from the Instagram page called Daily Overview. You get it, all images are shot from a bird’s eye view, many from space.

The smaller of the two is Northumberlandia, or “Lady of the North”. It “is a massive land sculpture in the shape of a reclining female figure near the town of Cramlington in northern England. Completed in 2012, the sculpture is made of 1.5 million metric tonnes of earth removed from the neighboring Shotton Surface Mine. It is 112 feet (34 m) high and 1,300 feet (400 m) long.”

The larger image is of “thousands of vehicles are stored at a salvage yard in Rapid City, South Dakota, where they will be scrapped for usable parts and recycled back into raw materials. In the U.S. alone, between 12 and 15 million vehicles reach the end of their lives every year, making them the most-recycled consumer product in the nation. Currently, about 75% of all vehicle materials can be salvaged and recycled.”
Instagram page: Daily Overview

What’s Clarity First?

If you’re new to Clarity First, it’s the weekly newsletter by me, Mitch Anthony. I help people use their brand – their purpose, values, and stories – as a tool of transformation. Learn more.

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