Rethinking Life

What we leave behind

Fred (Mr.) Rogers once said

“[i]f you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”

The first thing to accept is that you do make an impact. It might not always be big: the encounter can be brief. But even the smallest stone creates a ripple when dropped in water. If that’s the case then, we need to ask ourselves: what are we leaving behind? If, in fact, we are so important to the lives of those we meet, what does every mood swing, every selfish act or negative comment say about us? What are we allowing others to remember us by when we are being a drag or a weight?

Remember, you are not only important to the person you are meeting, you can’t even imagine who else is being impacted.

In that case, wouldn’t it be more meaningful to leave our selflessness, our passion, our curiosity behind? Wouldn’t we rather be a lifter…someone who thrusts, pushes and encourages others?

(Photo credit: Andrea)

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Four links that will make you rethink

These are four “must read” articles that will make you rethink — rethink marketing, rethink business, rethink work and rethink life. I read a lot of great content online. I share a lot of it on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+, but today I’ll share four that I think are particularly amazing. They’re not necessarily articles that are related to marketing, business, work and life, but you can apply it to those areas.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did

  • [Rethink Marketing] Magic Beans (Three steps to a successful marketing promise). There are three elements to a successful marketing promise: the prospect has to be open to hearing the offer; the prospect has to want to believe your story; and your story has to be true. If your marketing is failing, there’s a problem with one of the items.
    • Why are your prospects not listening? Is it because you can’t reach them or the story isn’t resonating?
    • Why don’t they believe you? Is it because it sounds shady or too good to be true or you’re telling the wrong story to the wrong people?
    • Is your story even true? Do you deliver what you promised?

The real sales will come only when all three are in sync.

  • [Rethink Business] Elon Musk is the coolest rich guy on earth. Elon Musk made his money with PayPal (or more precisely when eBay bought them for $1.5 billion) and he’s now on a quest to change the world of transportation. His most famous project is Tesla Motors — high performance electric cars that are set to make a big splash in Canada and the US in the next few years. His other company SpaceX is the first private company to ship goods from earth to the International Space Station. And he’s hinting at another project — some sort of an ultra high speed transport that would bring people from LA to San Francisco in 30 minutes. Why is he an inspiration to rethink business? Not because he rethought online payments, put a dent in the century-old automobile industry or the space industry or because he might do the same with mass-transit, but because he dares to dream bigger. Actually, it’s not only that he dreams bigger; he executes the dream. I think more companies should take a page out of his book. Out with the stuffy, in with the scary.
  • [Rethink Work] The secret to your success? Make others successful. I’m a fan of Tim Brown and his company IDEO. I haven’t worked with them but I love what I’ve read and heard — IDEO has invented and reinvented products and services you use each day. So when Tim Brown talks about success, you listen. The advice? You’ll be successful when you help others be successful. It’s advice you’ve probably heard before. Every “great” needs a team. Everyone gets stuck, needs inspiration and support. Tim Brown is fearful when in an interview someone uses “I” instead of “we” a lot. It can indicate that the person will not help his colleagues and colleagues won’t help him. And that’s usually a recipe for disaster. The other side of the coin, which isn’t covered in the article is this — if you’re interviewing for a company, how can you find out if they foster a “lone ranger” type of mentality or they truly favour group work. It’s worth investigating. It’s a matter of success…for you.
  • [Rethink Life] Can an audiobook change your life? Another Seth Godin post this week. I read 10-12 books a year — nothing much by some standards, but 10-12 more than what most people read. The most common reason for not reading you will have guessed is time. Or lack thereof. Of course, the reality is you do have time. Most of us have stretches of time with — quote/end-quote — nothing to do. Kindle allows you to easily pick up a book and read for 5 minutes while waiting for the dentist. But audiobooks…they allow you to gain knowledge while on the road, walking, working out, gardening, etc. When I first got back into reading it was the audio version of Seth Godin’s Linchpin, Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It! and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story by Donald Miller that got me initiated again (all three links are affiliate links). Pick-up an audiobook, change your life.

That’s it for this week, what are you reading right now?

(Photo credit: David Sifry)

 

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Your audience, your message

[Note: If you’re signed-up to the newsletter, you’ve already seen this. I’ve posted it here by popular demand of sorts.]

Let me ask you; have you ever stopped to think about your audience? A little while back I went to see Oprah Winfrey speak in Montreal and vividly remember how impressed I was that she was able to connect with an audience of roughly 20,000 people. Even the ones in the so-called “cheap seats” were completely engaged. This wasn’t a hockey game with all the chanting, scoring, hitting, the highs and lows. This was one person speaking — except for a few seats, you had to check the screen to make sure it was her up there. Yet, everyone was blown away.

I wasn’t surprised when I read somewhere that she had once said this about audiences:

“What’s the most important message you want to leave with your audience and why should they care?”

I think we often mistake an audience with the people who gather at plays or concerts, events and talks. Audience is much broader than that. In fact, we all have audiences; they just don’t all fill an arena at one time. Each time you interact with your boss or colleague, son or daughter, barista or sales clerk, you have an audience. True, some are important, some less. Some are paid to listen to you, some are not.

When you look at it this way — speaking to an audience — and start thinking about your message and why people should care, I think your perspective changes completely. How would you approach a salary increase meeting differently if you saw your boss as an audience? How would you write your next blog post differently if you looked at your readers as an audience? How would you discuss an important issue with your husband differently if you saw him as an audience?

I think there are three steps involved here.

  • First, you have to accept you have an audience. You have to accept that you have a message to transmit and you want your audience to care.
  • Second, you need to know who matters and who doesn’t.
  • And third, you need to know your message.

You’re an artist, you have an audience

If you don’t accept that you’re on a stage. If you don’t accept that you’re exactly like Bon Jovi, Lady Gaga, Bob Dylan, Axl Rose or even Oprah, you won’t get your message through. When you’re an artist like a musician, poet or painter, all you want is an audience. Someone that will care enough about what you have to say that they will learn the lyrics, come to the readings and buy the painting.

You’re an artist; Seth Godin said it. Sure you don’t have the rock star or pop star label on you. You’re a lawyer, a programmer, a social worker, a compliance officer, a professor, a father, a consultant, but what you do matters. It has an impact. It changes and adds something to the world and, therefore, you have an audience. You have people that are there to listen.

And just like Bon Jovi or Lady Gaga, there are those that don’t want to listen, those who don’t care, those who dismiss, those who go out of their way to place hurdles along the way. That comes with the job of being an artist. So maybe your boss is an ass or your coworker is jealous or your clients dismiss you. There are those who are there for you and those who are not. Some are vocal, some are not.

Your job as an artist is to deliver your work to your audience.

Those who matter…

Those who matter are the ones that are there to listen. It’s not easy. Ask any world-class performer if they woke-up one day with legions of adoring fans and see what they say. It’s taken years and decades to build that. Years of relentless dedication to their art. Years of learning, changing and improving. Years of picking themselves up when they fell. All that, because they had a message and they believed some people cared.

Then there are the eternal sceptics, the naysayers, the jealous ones, the ones that like the status quo. They don’t matter. They don’t matter because they’ll never believe in your art. Not because what you do isn’t great, but because it’s different. Because it’s not refined yet. Because they wish they could have a message, stand up and say something, but they don’t dare…

You see, being an artist is scary. Accepting you have an audience is terrifying because it means that what you do and say is worthy. It means it’s important. So the ones that don’t matter are the ones that will never understand.

Then there’s your message

Let me tell you what your message isn’t. Your message isn’t “there’s a problem with order 137586” or “your ROI isn’t what it could be” or “your SEO needs some serious tweaking” or “with this argument, we can win.” No, your message is something more. Those are simply words related to what you do. Your message is more some like:

  • “integrity, honesty and caring”
  • “you matter and you’re important”
  • “hard work, dedication and perfection”
  • “relentless pursuit of happiness”

Your message is something you say even when you aren’t talking. It’s in your actions and reactions. It’s what you stand for. It’s what people will say about you when you’re gone.

I heard an interview with Bon Jovi. He grew up in a time of hope where happiness was attainable to those who were willing to roll up their sleeves and go for it. So he wanted his music to be about hope and happiness.

That’s his message. What’s yours?

And I think that’s where a lot of us go wrong. Maybe you just don’t believe it matters or you matter. Maybe it’s scary. Or maybe, just maybe, you think you’re about something, but your actions keep saying something else. Often we try so hard to fight against who we are. We say A, but act out B. We believe we’re one way, but do another. And it’s not that we’re bad people. No, it’s just that what we would like to be or what we were told we should be is inconsistent with who we are, where we are and what our worldview is. Once you know that, you can work on your message.

This week…

So this week, let me ask you what do you stand for? Take some time to look back at your life and look at the common thread; not the things you’ve said, but the things you’ve done. The actions you’ve taken and the decisions you made — the cold, hard facts if you want to put it that way. From there you can figure out your worldview and your message will appear and then…you can tell me what you stand for.

(Photo credit: Libelul)

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Four links that will make you rethink

These are four “must read” articles that will make you rethink — rethink marketing, rethink business, rethink work and rethink life. I read a lot of great content online. I share a lot of it on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+, but today I’ll share four that I think are particularly amazing. They’re not necessarily articles that are related to marketing, business, work and life, but you can apply it to those areas.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did

  • [Rethink Marketing] A different approach at Google Ventures. I’ve long believed that companies needed to take a different approach to growth. Although not available to all, investing in and developing start-ups is one way. Not only does it provide additional revenue, it gives the company a first look on what’s next. It also helps to demonstrate just how much the company is willing to be innovative. Google is a great example. How they structure Google Ventures is interesting. Marketing is slowly evolving from advertising, stunts, tweets and PR to something a little more holistic — based in value, innovation and service. Being able to develop something new that breaks the current system is the next marketing.
  • [Rethink Business] What’s wrong with job interviews, and how to fix them. Turns out job interviews as we know them are broken. They’re broken because of the interviewer’s biases and they’re often set-up to compare apples and oranges. The process leads us to hire the wrong person for the job. A thorough article about what’s wrong with the interview and how to fix it. Well worth the read.
  • [Rethink Work] Too much collaboration is hurting worker productivity. The work environment is changing. The cubicle farm is dead, the collaborative space is in. Collaboration is the new saviour…employees working together to solve problems in new and creative ways. From experience, it’s great… until it isn’t. Turns out too much open space is a problem — collaboration is great until you actually need to get stuff done. When people are constantly brainstorming and collaborating around you, it’s hard to focus on what needs to get done. The trick then is finding the right balance between serendipitous collaboration and solo-time. Find out how companies like Intel and Steelcase are dealing with the issue…
  • [Rethink Life] On teaching people a lesson. Remember the last time you wanted to teach someone a lesson? If only they could understand…they’re wrong, they’re not doing it right, they’re just plain stupid. The problem is the person who needs to be taught a lesson is usually the one who won’t and can’t be taught. By setting down that path, you’re actually setting yourself up for failure and frustration. More often than not, it’s better to politely remove yourself from the toxic situation and continue down the path you were meant to go and focus on the ones who want to learn and grow…

That’s it for this week, what are you reading right now?

(Photo credit: David Sifry)

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Four links that will make you rethink

These are four “must read” articles that will make you rethink — rethink marketing, rethink business, rethink work and rethink life. I read a lot of great content online. I share a lot of it on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+, but today I’ll share four that I think are particularly amazing. They’re not necessarily articles that are related to marketing, business, work and life, but you can apply it to those areas.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did

  • [Rethink Marketing] The curse of frequency. In marketing “[i]f you promote something twice to one hundred people it will lead to more sales than if you promote it once to two hundred people.” Sad, but true. The real problem is when persistence becomes annoying. You know, Jeff Bezos from Amazon once said, “advertising is the price to pay for having an unremarkable product or service.” If that’s the case, frequency is life support. Sure, we need to sell, but marketing must learn to be better. It sounds easy to say…perhaps, but would you rather be unremarkable?
  • [Rethink Business] Business needs a plan B. Sir Richard Branson is putting together the B Team with a handful of partners. Their goal is to deliver a “Plan B” for business — a new way of doing business that prioritizes people, the planet as well as profits. Their three initial challenges to tackle will be “The Future of Leadership,” “The Future Bottom Line,” “The Future of Incentives.” Say what you will about Richard Branson, he does view business differently than most. It’s an interesting initiative. Too bad we need an initiative to make businesses realize they should people and planet at the same level as profit… That being said, it could just be the beginning of something new.
  • [Rethink Work] Is this the perfect way to hire? I’ve had an issue with job postings for a while. You see, they really don’t say much about a job or the company at all and they allow (encourage?) the candidate to “fake it.” This is a different take on it. It not only filters out lazy candidates and helps the company find the truly motivated applicants, it also forces the company out of its own laziness and complacency. If you’re asking candidates to answer and industry/company problem you, as a company, need to know them as well. It’s also an awareness exercise — how creative do you really want your staff to be? Worth the read and worth forwarding to HR/Senior management.
  • [Rethink Life] Detroit’s recovery plan dips into pensions to keep city afloat. Detroit’s not doing well these days. It lost a quarter of its population since the year 2000, it just missed out on a $39.7 million debt payment (and has about $1.5 billion in such payments to make) and might be headed towards the US’s largest municipal bankruptcy. They want to save some money by reducing existing pensions. It’s a sad story really, but I think it can be a lesson for us. What used to be called a stable job with great benefits is all but gone. Even government-type jobs aren’t safe. I’m always fearful when someone says they have a job with amazing benefits. It’s great if you can take advantage of it. It’s not so great when you’re dependent on it. Putting employees first does not mean forking over tons of cash in the form of benefits. Give us a little more credit — we’re more complicated than that… way more complicated.

That’s it for this week, what are you reading right now?

(Photo credit: David Sifry)

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Of friends and enemies

I wanted to ask you, how much do you like to please others? How much do you want to be liked by those you interact with? It’s something I’ve been thinking of quite a bit recently and I’ll admit it, I’ve always cared (to a certain extent) what others thought of me so I aim to please quite a bit. I’m working on changing that. I’m working on learning to say “no.” Why? Well Paul Newman put it this way:

“A man with no enemies is a man with no character.”

It’s kind of a raw statement. I don’t know if anyone sets out to have enemies. But let’s look at it this way. I think we can both agree that, logically, it’s impossible to please everyone. Right? Take any mass polling or voting and you’ll see just how diametrically opposed people can be. So how can you expect to be friends with everyone. You’d have to have two diametrically opposed views… It’s impossible. You can’t fit in every category and every opinion right?

Yet, we want to please. We want to give the best experience to people and we feel the only way to do it is by pleasing and agreeing and saying “yes.” The problem is “[t]he best experiences and the biggest ideas don’t fit into a category. They change it. They don’t get filed away, they transform us.” That means when you try so hard to fit in a category — helpful, nice, cooperative, friendly — you’re not delivering the best experience. The best experience is you and you don’t fit into a category.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken” said Oscar Wilde. Can you work on that?

  • Say what’s on your mind first, think second
  • Say “no” more often
  • Act out what’s on your mind
  • Don’t wait for permission
  • Set a goal; achieve it
  • Cut out excuses

The other side of the coin

Of course, you can’t get anywhere alone. Having enemies doesn’t mean not having any friends and allies. So then, maybe it’s not about learning when to say “yes” and when to say “no” or even when to please and when to push back. What if it’s about the experience, the ideas, the change you create, the transformation you encourage? Maybe it’s bigger than you or me.

Could it be that we need to rustle a few feathers? After all, only the naysayers and sceptics are going to hold you back from delivering your gift. Maybe learning when to say “yes” and when to say “no” is really about figuring out your gift — the experience you want to deliver to the world.

A tall order for sure. But no one said this would be easy.

(Photo credit: Kevin Cole)

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Four links that will make you rethink

These are four “must read” articles that will make you rethink — rethink marketing, rethink business, rethink work and rethink life. I read a lot of great content online. I share a lot of it on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+, but today I’ll share four that I think are particularly amazing. They’re not necessarily articles that are related to marketing, business, work and life, but you can apply it to those areas.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did

  • [Rethink Marketing] Google’s best perk: The library in building 42. The article suggests that the best perk Google offers is the not the free meals or the nap zones. It’s the library in building 42 with books ranging from linear algebra to sales negotiations. Why is that a perk? After all the Internet has all that information and more and any employee can look up whatever they like. This passage sums it all up for me is “[i]t is a great feeling when someone takes interest in your education.” Sure comfort and amenities are great, but the only thing that really fuels a company’s growth is it’s employees and their knowledge. Feeding their curiosity is probably the best investment a company can do. What does that have to do with marketing? Tell me, how much do you foster curiosity and knowledge in your marketing team? “Those investments provide compounding benefits to the company. First they engender tremendous feelings of goodwill. Second the education improves our performance and helps us better achieve our potential. Third they serve as fantastic recruiting differentiators.”
  • [Rethink Work] Creating career longevity isn’t about length of years. Just over a year ago, I had to hire someone for my marketing team. One of the concerns for the guy I picked was that he had changed jobs quite a bit. Was he dedicated? Was he able to commit? The world of work has completely changed in the 10 years I’ve been out of school (actually, the change started way before that). It used to be that you stayed at job until retirement and it’s funny how that just doesn’t make any sense anymore. The article mentions that the average job tenure in the US is now 4.6 years — and that doesn’t take into account the growing number of freelancers and entrepreneurs. I read somewhere that in a few years 40% of the working population will be just that: entrepreneurs and freelancers. Nilofer Merchant’s article outlines the 3 pillars of a great career: Don’t be a Luddite, Share and Avoid Ghettos. Here’s to the squiggly career!
  • [Rethink Life] German railways deploys surveillance drones. If you’ve been at all following the news, what information is available about you and what governments are doing with it is a hot topic. A German railway is planning on deploying flying drones to catch taggers and graffiti artists. It’s not a far stretch of the imagination to see how that could only be the tip of the iceberg. For some reason the following passage from 1984 comes to mind:

    “There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to.” — George Orwell in “1984”

    We’re creating a world that’s vastly more different than most could have imagined — for better and for worst. No lesson here, just food for thought.

What are you reading right now?

(Photo credit: David Sifry)

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The wake: Everyone's got a past

Let’s talk about the past today. Or more precisely, what the past means for the future. It’s actually very simple. It means nothing. The past means nothing for the future.

I was once told that a company is a lot like a boat: Emanating from the bow and stern of a moving ship is the wake — the waves created by the boat. If you only look at the wake, can you tell where the boat (or the company) is heading?

Of course not, the wake only indicates where the boat has been. If your wake is straight, does that not mean you can turn? If you’re wake curves to the right, does it not mean you can go straight?

The same is true for you. You have a wake that indicates where you’ve been, but it really doesn’t dictate where you’ll go. Tony Robbins once put it this way:

“Everybody’s got a past. The past does not equal the future unless you live there.”

It’s true, humans are able to relive and live in the past. Companies cannot. They just move forward or sink. The danger for you then is choosing to live there…in the past.

You see, everyone has success, big and small. Everyone has major failures and tiny setbacks. That’s a given. You can’t get around it — promotions, layoffs, emergency house repairs, births, injuries, etc. We all live through them even though some feel more unfair than others. But that’s just the wake…nothing more, nothing less, no matter how you look at it or what meaning you attach to it. In no way does it dictate where you’ll go. Unless, of course, you let it.

Learning from the wake

It doesn’t mean you blindly go forward either. The wake is a teacher. It’s an representation of your experience. You can look back, see what’s worked or see what hasn’t. You can see which turns were nice and which weren’t. Sometimes the path was hard, the waters were choppy, the wind was strong. Maybe it was rainy and cold. But the lesson here is to let the teacher be the teacher: You can choose to live there, in the wake, or you can learn and choose to forge ahead.

Forge ahead; your future is yet to be discovered. Where you’ve been doesn’t dictate where you’ll go, unless you let it.

(Photo credit: Paolo Camera)

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Four links that will make you rethink

These are four “must read” articles that will make you rethink — rethink marketing, rethink business, rethink work and rethink life. I read a lot of great content online. I share a lot of it on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+, but today I’ll share four that I think are particularly amazing. They’re not necessarily articles that are related to marketing, business, work and life, but you can apply it to those areas.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did

  • [Rethink Marketing] A futurist looks at the future of marketing. I think the title is self-explanatory — it’s all about rethinking marketing. The point that really sticks out to me is this: “The idea of having a separate marketing department is going to vanish.” I don’t agree with the reason he gives, but I do agree that marketing will become more ubiquitous throughout companies — working hand-in-hand with sales, customer service, R&D, etc. This both a challenge for marketers (what is it then to be a marketer?) and a great opportunity (integrating the brand’s USP at every layer of the company).
  • [Rethink Business] Marissa Mayer is bringing back the Internet portal. Here’s why. The early days of the Internet (Web 1.0) was all about portals — AOL, Yahoo!, Alta Vista and others. Google and Facebook killed that. Information became scattered throughout the World Wide Web. Or did they really kill it? Think about Google’s ecosystem. What about Facebook’s? Both companies are now way more than search and social networking…they’re about email, advertising, location, information sharing, etc. The Internet portal is alive and well. Why? Because of information…these new portals know more about you than ever before. And the more properties they add, the more they know. So what does that have to do with business? Things are not always what they look like on the outside. Your business, especially if you work at a larger company is an ecosystem. How can HR, Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, R&D combine to get better information about employees and customers to give better services to both?
  • [Rethink Work] Asking for a precise number during negotiations can give you the upper hand. I love this type of article. Using the fields of psychology, sociology, anthropology, biology, etc. to improve your day-to-day life. When’s your next job interview or salary negotiation? This research shows that giving an exact number is more powerful than a vague one. It conveys confidence and knowledge — the perception is that you are informed about the true value of the offer being negotiated. So asking for $55,455 is better than asking for $55,000. It shows you truly understand your value. I would make sure I can back it up…
  • [Rethink Life] Are Canada’s VCs missing the mark? Arlene Dickinson is one of the investors on Dragons’ Den (If you’re in the US, think of the show Shark Tank). She feels Canadian Venture Capitalists are missing the mark. They’re looking for the big fish. The next Facebook or Google. Her investments tend to be more traditional and offer consistent, but smaller payoffs. Think for a second what that means for you. If you agree with Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha (The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career — Affiliate link) that you should approach your career as if it were a start-up. How are you approaching your life? Are you looking for the big payoff — the crazy cool job with the monster salary or the huge client with the deep pockets? or are you aiming for smaller and maybe more consistent victories?

What are you reading right now?

(Photo credit: David Sifry)

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Four links that will make you rethink

These are four “must read” articles that will make you rethink — rethink marketing, rethink business, rethink work and rethink life. I read a lot of great content online. I share a lot of it on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+, but today I’ll share four that I think are particularly amazing. They’re not necessarily articles that are related to marketing, business, work and life, but you can apply it to those areas.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did

  • [Rethink Marketing] What can you expect from me as an evangelist. The post was written by my friend Frédéric Harper. He’s leaving his Tech Evangelist job at Microsoft and is looking for another gig. What stood out for me is how the job of evangelist (or advocate or advisor if you prefer) is, in fact, a marketing job. Marketers need to understand that their role is that of an evangelist. It’s about hitting the pavement and meeting your customers and potential customers. Sure it’s also about translating that online, but if you’re spending your day putting together newsletters, fussing about SEO results or tweaking your strategy, you’re completely missing out. We live in a Thank You Economy; marketers need to understand they are brand evangelists. [Side note: Fred is an amazing guy, if you are looking for someone, please reach out to him, you’d be silly not to.]
  • [Rethink Business] Transparency aids the fight against corruption. The article will naturally be of interest to anyone living in Quebec right now. The premise is that technology (the web, social media, mobile phones, etc.) is making our world more transparent — for better or worst. One of the better side effects is it will lead to the reduction in corruption. We’re in a world where anyone can be an investigative reporter; a more transparent world where it’s easier to voice your opinions and insights to the world. Think about what that means for your business. Employees can rate you online and they can take pictures and videos of goings on. Slowly you have less and less pull. It’s not a watershed of course, but drop by drop, the very nature of your existence is completely changing. The world we’re living in can help topple governments, expose corruption and unfair practices like never before.
  • [Rethink Work] Taxes on some wealthy French top 100% of income. There’s nothing wrong with taxes per se. You’re paying for services in the same way you would pay for a taxi or a VA. There’s sometimes a question of accountability of course, but that’s slowly changing (see previous post). But this is a little over the top. Last year some wealthy French citizens were taxed 100% of their income. A year’s work gone to the government. Sure, it was a special occurrence, but there’s something that doesn’t feel right, no? It definitely makes you think about who you are working for. I think Governments are going to suffer the same fate that businesses have for the past 10 years…loss of control and dominance. This article demonstrates why it could be a welcomed change…
  • [Rethink Life] How engineers are building a new railroad under New York City. I’m not sure where to place this article. I think our biggest challenge in the years to come will be distribution. Moving people, goods and information around in an efficient way. Of course, this isn’t a new problem. But it’s taken on a new dimension. Technology is allowing us to do things that we never thought possible. For example, the Internet has completely disrupted and broken some distribution channels (music, publishing, newspapers) for the better. The consequence I think is two-fold. One, people are expecting “instant” and two, it’s allowing us to do more from “wherever.” So while I expect everything to be available right away, I’m expecting to be able to do what I need to do wherever. Makes sense? Some have said that the new world will lead to an increased urbanization. It’s the opposite, people will live wherever they please — “I don’t need to travel 2-3 hours a day to go to an office, I have everything I need in with my iPhone and laptop, but if I need something like groceries, I expect them to be easily available or if I do need to move around, I need it to be quick and easy.” We’re entering a world of increased fragmentation of population, which means a fragmentation of delivery. In other words, we need a mass customization of delivery. Moving people, information and goods from point A to point B in an efficient way, but your point A and B are completely different than mine. That’s why Amazon is working on same-day delivery and why companies like Uber, Waze and Airbnb are exploding. Fragmented distribution…the challenge of tomorrow.

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(Photo credit: David Sifry)

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