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Showing posts from November, 2015

Don't Be Afraid, It's Just Social Media

There's lots of mistakes you can make. But fortunately there are ways to avoid them. Check out my most recent post on All Things Brand.

5 Ways To Die - On Social Media

A few years back I used to watch a show called "1000 Ways To Die," which highlighted the unbelievable ways people exit from this world. Social media can be much the same - the list of potential mistakes is endless. For example, recently I shared that my social media posts, especially on Facebook, give some people the impression that I literally never go offline. And noted that when you're online a lot, it can make people think you aren't focused enough on work. Truthfully as a workaholic, that hasn't been my problem. But I've definitely made a lot of other mistakes. And for every one you see here, I'm sure I've made many more. While it's true that social media involves a lot of trial and error, there are some very obvious ones you want to avoid from the get-go. Hopefully these tips will help you through the doozies: Seeming "self-promotional." When I first started blogging nearly ten years ago, relatively few others were online as much. As a…

5 Brands That Kill The Agony Of Thanksgiving

Let's face it, those large-and-awkward Thanksgiving dinners can give even the most extroverted party girl a panic attack. To soothe the anxious soul, here are five newly mainstream brands for 2015. All of them promise to reduce the pain: Starbucks Order & Pay: You have to do your duty and come over for the meal. But when you make the Big Escape to the crowded corner Starbucks to which everyone else has fled, it's nice to know that your drink will be sitting there waiting for you.FitBit: Everybody did their best to make it come out right, but the turkey is dry and gamy; the sweet potato pie is a sugar coma; the green bean casserole is way too dense and salty. What do you do to cope? It's no problem! Just hold up your device and declare, "I need a serious walk around the block. This food was great!"Instagram: You may be having the worst time ever. But snap a selfie with a willing accomplice, put it through the magic filter and voila! Life is truly, totally grand…

Movie Review: "Suffragette"

As an ardent feminist I am tempted to give the movie 5 stars just because I agree with its agenda. But that wouldn't be morally right and it actually wouldn't be feminist either. 

The reality is that the movie is not about art. If it were, then we would be debating whether the characters were riveting, portrayed with depth and complexity; whether the story was told in a skillful way; whether the cinematography furthered the narrative; etc. etc. 

On all of those counts the answer is "meh." The movie is artistically average, the pacing feels rushed, and the emotions we are supposed to feel are predetermined from the start.

But then again, it is not about the art. As someone else has pointed out, "Suffragette" is to feminists what a Holocaust movie is to Jewish people. The criteria are different in evaluating this movie. As follows:

1) Does the movie evoke the reality of the feminist struggle back in the early 1900s?Yes, absolutely and in a way that you learn some…

5 Things About Work You Have To Get Used To

It is reality. And very often, "reality bites."

Leadership Like Kevin Bacon

On the surface, Footloose was about young love and a small-town bully. But more deeply it showed how a generation of students was hostage to the fear-fueled religious extremism of a town. They took away the dancing, they took away the music, and they even burned the books.

Ren doesn't want to get drawn into this thing, but it happens anyway. Because a system of authority that lives by keeping its members down, eventually chased him down and tackled him, too. (More...)

10 Kosher Ways To Make Shul A Lot Less Boring

1. Start a Facebook group for shul members. Have a parsha discussion discussion start Sunday and run through Friday. The rabbi's sermon can address themes that came up during the week.
2. Let congregants speak instead of the rabbi's speech or in conjunction with it. Rotate guest speeches to include people who don't normally get to speak, particularly women. Bring in outside speakers who are interesting. The most engaging talks are the ones that come from nonprofessionals, speaking from the heart.
3. Hold interdenominational Sunday learning brunches together with other area synagogues. Encourage congregants to visit other shuls and bring back "best practices." Remember, it's not about getting the most money, i.e. members for your shul - it's about getting the most people to shul that we can.
4. Add more no-instrument music to service and/or shul events. Hold a chazzan competition. Make a "house band" and/or choir for Sunday dinner events. Have the k…

Does Starbucks Need The Baristas?

Business Insider notes the dramatic growth of mobile orders at Starbucks company operated stores. In just two years (Q1 2013- Q12015), the percentage of customers using their phone to pay for food and drink more than doubled, from 8% to 18%. (Read more...)

Liberation Leadership: The Time Has Come

It is time to eliminate oppressive, inefficient, backward systems. Read more here.

Inventing The Networked, Streamlined Federal Enterprise — a.k.a., “Government 3.0”

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I’ve Gotta Wear Shades The federal government has long made use of vendors to provide everything from equipment to IT support. Today, it is expanding on that reliance and increasingly moving toward a futuristic business model that emphasizes interagency cooperation, shared services, and even shared workspaces: Agencies paying other agencies to do work for them, such as standing up websites or shooting video.Agencies pooling resources to stand up programs that touch on multiple missions.Departments consolidating support functions such as acquisitions and HR.Vendors being tasked with a wide range of not only service assignments — such as IT and communications — but also leadership assignments, such as change management.Open-air, modular workspaces that encourage collaboration and discourage territorial “ownership” by any employee of a single office.Earth-shattering? Where did all of this change come from? After all most people still think of government as a lumbering, stove-piped bureauc…

Analysis: 5 Branding Techniques To Achieve Middle East Peace

1. Name & Positioning 

In branding, you use a name and positioning to establish a unique space for the product or service in the customer's mind, and to ensure that your product will be the first thing the customer thinks of when they're ready to act.

"Middle East peace" is obviously a great name because it intuitively appeals to people and is actually a long-held yet frustrated goal.

As we know, it is impossible to generate a solution from within a problem. Using "Middle East peace" as the brand avoids pitting Israel against Palestinians, or Jews against Muslims, East against West, etc. It is only about the choice of creating peace or living in perpetual war.

Everybody can agree on this. How would you describe it? What is it's "position?" Well, "it's like being able to wake up in the morning, except you're not afraid that someone will blow your head off in the street or stab you to death."

2. Relevance

In branding, you want to…

Where Men Are People & Women, Dolls: A Review Of Ridley Scott's "The Martian"

An otherwise outstanding movie is marred by the pervasive portrayal of men as complicated, three-dimensional beings versus women who exist mostly to nod their heads and smile.
Matt Damon of course is phenomenal. As NASA Astronaut Mark Watley, stranded on Mars after a mission gone bad, he breathes life into the role of a man whose training, ingenuity and attitude wind up saving his life.
Supported by an exceptional cast of men and women alike, Damon captures the soaring spirit upon which NASA itself was founded. On a broader level we can see the vision of President John F. Kennedy at work, one in which all of humankind work together to solve impossible problems, making life on Earth better for all.
Situated as it is in an environment of growing chaos and terror in the real world, “The Martian” offers a world-uniting way. Rather than competing, we can cooperate to solve the kinds of stubborn and pressing problems that keep all of us from realizing our dreams.
Solve one problem after another…

Today on All Things Brand: Proof That Most Employees Have No Allegiance To Your Brand [Infographic]

Check out the startling stats here.

Proof That Most Employees Have No Allegiance To Your Brand [Infographic]

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Still think employee engagement has nothing to do with keeping your brand alive? Possibly that is true – if your brand can be delivered by robots instead of people. MarketingProfs.com reports on research from employee engagement firm Achievers: Nearly 3 out of 4 employees (71%), don’t know their company’s mission (and 68% say it isn’t motivating to them)Fully 7 out of 10 (70%) don’t know what their company’s values areNearly two-thirds (63%) say they don’t feel recognized for their progress workAbout half (48%) are unhappy at workLess than half (42%) trust their company’s leadersOnly about one-third (37%) said they like their company cultureIs it any wonder that half of the people surveyed believe they will be ex-employees just one year from today? Check out the full infographic. ___ All opinions are the author’s own. Photo by Kevin McShane / Flickr (Creative Commons).