Friday, January 31, 2014
Thursday, January 30, 2014
- No matter how well-meaning you are --
- No matter how accurate your conclusions --
- Even if the staff are asking you to do it --
- In the short term you can dominate the team and sure you will drive results.
- But long term you may be cutting yourself off at the knees. Because you cannot do all the work alone -- cannot anticipate the issues or resolve them as well as a distributed force of "trained killers."
- Strategy - have a plan for getting things where they need to go
- Communication - tell everyone the plan, update it, work through issues
- Staff Development - take time to make sure people are doing what they're good at, and growing
- Technology - fight for the equipment to work as fast as possible
- Relationships - network as much as possible to find ways you can achieve mutual goals while sharing the burden
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
- One is to simply implement the change on the ground and not tell people that it's happening until it's nearly over. It's a pretty neat trick, if you can get away with it.
- Others put the policy through and count on the fact that most people don't take much time to read anything when it's their turn to do a review. This goes over a little nastier - but people tend to get over most things that don't directly affect their lives.
- Another way is to have a leader proselytize for change through intensive communication. This can work well, but you've got to use an army of people to carry it out, and you must have support from the opposing camp. Because the opposition is always steep.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Here is another example. There is no room for a gay person in Orthodox Judaism - not really. And being gay (or lesbian) is in my view normal and often biological. Even if halacha can find a way (and I think that it can, but that's a discussion for another day) - the concept of gender normativeness is critical. And I believe that people should be who they are, never forced into a mold.
"Know from where you came, where you are going, and before whom you are destined to give a judgement and accounting."
There's only one G-d, and you have a straight connection to Her.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Saturday, January 25, 2014
The reality is that if you do not have a very strong brand ethic to work against, disagreements and turf battles on the inside easily divert time and attention from the unifying focus that any organization must have: the customer.
What is your organization supposed to do? Just do it. That is your brand.
Anything else must be ruthlessly chopped away, no matter how painful that may be.
* All opinions my own.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Just uploaded this slide today. It's a one-pager I put together to explain what our Office does at the National Archives.
Basically, we look for faster, better, cheaper ways to promote public access to historical records.
The most efficient way to do that, obviously is to put those records on the Internet.
But one of the most frequently overlooked issues concerns the importance of private sector partners who will display that data where the public actually congregates.
This is step 4 of the wheel.
It is no small feat to get our data organized, consistent and uploaded. As much of it as possible.
But after that, you've got to get those raw feeds out where people can see them.
The web is good.
Social media is better.
Wikipedia is better - we're doing a lot of work there.
But it would be best if every piece of information we had in our catalog, were available wherever the public consumes information.
And even beyond that - imagine if the public could crowdsource what they see in front of them, and add more information than is available to the government.
Talk to each other, and refine the data together.
Eventually, with all of it connected at the meta-level.
Pretty wild, right?
That's the vision of Open Data - and the government cannot do it alone.
* All opinions my own.
Monday, January 20, 2014
Sunday, January 19, 2014
- The Kardashians
More than that, you've got to show the most fiery part of your soul right there on the surface. Don't bury it under a lot of irrelevant talk. Unlike the rest of life, people are looking only for the main and most relevant idea.
- How many requests? Week to week? Year over year?
- What types of requests?
- How fast were they fulfilled? Were they on time? Did we prioritize?
- How happy were the customers? Or would they claim that we missed a requirement, one added in the hallway during a conversation about weekend golfing and scope?
- How about the employees? How was morale? What was the division of labor?
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Friday, January 17, 2014
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
If you watch the video it shows a prayer service where the people are semi-hypnotized by the preacher.
He gives them the feeling of unbelievable strength.
They clap and sing and urge each other on.
A woman can do backflips, inspired not just by faith or sermon but the combined energy of the people in the room.
We can do great and terrible things in groups and so much of the news is focused on that.
But the truth is that great things are accomplished in groups as well. It's worth figuring out how to do them well.
We spend so much time hiding from each other and ourselves.
But living is really only done when we fuse. With an idea, that becomes a mission, that we accomplish through community.
Thank you to the community that turned out to honor Gerda Blumenthal today. May her beautiful soul rest in peace.
* All opinions my own.
Sunday, January 12, 2014
- United States
- United Kingdom
"Beats by Dre" is a headphone brand. Wear the headphones and it says something about who you are: cool, you live for the music, you have discerning taste.
Wait, I forgot. You "become" Dr. Dre, just by buying them. The quintessential identity brand.
Yes, except that Beats may actually be selling "bass-delivery systems" - an ingredient, according to Jesse Dorris. As he puts it, writing for Slate:
"He’s conquered the headphones market, but Dr. Dre isn’t selling great sound. He’s not even selling celebrity. He’s selling the concept of 'bass.'"
And in a crowded market where I can buy a working pair of headphones for $1, Dre built a headphone business in which revenue shot skyward from $200 million to $1 billion within two years.
Is Beats By Dre really an ingredient brand, though? One might more easily be able to believe that people shell out $200-300 a pair because he's a celebrity.
Check out NiceKicks.com's "Celebrity Sneaker Stalker," below. Obviously the appeal of buying such expensive shoes is largely the feeling of being just like the celebrities wearing them. It is not the "superior" ingredients that go into making them - though they may actually be better.
Indeed, other companies, most notably Bose, have developed equity around sound delivery branding.
But Dorris anticipates this objection. As he notes, an expert review of headphones for the popular productivity site Lifehacker.com misses the point: These headphones make an asset out of something that a subject matter expert dismisses as unworthy.
"Beats’ raison d’etre is to simply blow the lids off the listener."
Saturday, January 11, 2014
- Advice, especially "insider"
- Before and after - e.g. a dramatic makeover of one's life or looks
- "Caught on tape"- video, audio - funny, unusual, extreme, tragic
- Celebrity-related, including business leaders, politicians, religious figures
- Connect disparate people around an issue or interest
- Craziness, how insane or disturbed people think
- Eternal love and/or doomed romance
- Extreme, unusual or unpopular culture or point of view
- Fun facts, statistics, etc.
- Gender-specific or debating issues related to gender
- Honesty, preferably unusually raw
- Inspiration, e.g. a quotable quote
- Moral dilemma
- Physical or emotional struggle
- Rebellion against dictatorship, breaking free from ordinary existence
- Safe topic for the watercooler
- Secrets - reveal something previously hidden
- Surprise - tell us something we wouldn't have believed was true, or show us a photo of something unusual
- Travel-related - show us another part of the world