Get Shouty


how long is the truth?
January 7, 2014, 12:40 pm
Filed under: Digital Strategy, The Rules, triangulation, Zeitgeist

triangulating favourite things

Had an interesting question about the triangulation exercise- how long should it be?

In a true form I’d have to say: How long is the truth?

I’ve put the challenge forward with ‘manifest the outcome how you like…’

I do know that the blank page is the hardest to start with and the that structure is a fine tool to get the ball rolling….

So to help actually answer the question I can put forward some options on process and practice:

  • I’m a big fan of visual thinking as a tool to explore intersection- to mine where commonality lies and to use it to find a singular point of truth
    • the above was a bit of a joke for a mate (if you’re not a Top Gun fan- it means that the absolute truth between his three favourite things is that they FVROOM/ Doppler effect/or can disappear out of sight in a second)
      • this was a while ago- today I’d say that the intersection could be brought to life by Archer
      • this might mean that you could structure a deck like this:
        • Demonstrate key learnings/ Identify themes: one chart each on the major themes of each of the articles
        • Explore intersections: commonalities between each article
        • The absolute truth- your key out take/ observation/ pov
  •  When I started doing these exercises myself as blog posts I tried to keep them around 300 words

I’d love to see a podcast, an interpretive dance, a cartoon if that can take us on a journey of your thinking.

I’m as interested in what you see along the way as the destination of your journey.

Anyhoo- good luck, and thanks for asking.



the lucky ones
September 4, 2012, 12:59 pm
Filed under: The Rules

It is a planner/ creative strategist/ maker-upperer-with-rigor’s job to introduce people to things they don’t know.

One of your goals might be to create those moments and to make it safe (and fun!) for people to say ‘Hey, I didn’t know that’.

Try not to be a douche about having more knowledge than others. Strength requires responsibility and using your smarts to punch people in the face makes you a bully.

Celebrate and contribute to growth instead.



Challenging Leadership/ Leadership challenges
April 24, 2012, 4:16 pm
Filed under: Experience, Great Stuff, The Rules

Over on Seth’s blog today was this morsel

A good employee says, “I know that this is a serious problem, it’s hurting our customers and we can do better, but I can’t do a thing about it because it’s run by a different department.”

A version of this might conclude with, “And I don’t even know the name of the person who’s responsible.”

This is a sure sign of systemic failure as well as a CEO who is not doing the job she should be. When smart people who care get frustrated, something is wrong.

There’s an intesection here and a paper that Deloitte relased yesterday:

Based on a global study of investment bankers, private equity companies, and financial analysts, the paper, The Leadership Premium: How companies win the confidence of investors, puts a hard metric on the “intangible asset” of leadership, revealing that, in some sectors, good leaders can account for more than one-fifth of equity value.

The gap between the value of an effectively-led and ineffectively-led company could, says the paper, be as much as 35.5 percent.

It’s a pretty good read, and one that full of steal able insights about the core components of value building leadership and the importance of leaders taking their teams along for the ride:

“All employees should have the same goal and process in mind… the same direction”

Investment analyst, US

Here are my notes:

Many major corporations have found that orthodox management practices and organizational principles are not well suited to the modern era. Our view is that current conditions don’t demand a revolution so much as a renewed focus on the fundamentals of leadership

Three value delivering components

  • Strategic Clarity
  • Successful execution
  • A culture of innovation

Strategic Clarity

Organizations need to decide on where and on what basis they will compete. e.g

  • Virgin Media’s decision to focus on it’s network as its core strategic asset was the beginning of an impressive corporate turnaround
  • Southwest Airlines’ early use of the internet and online booking and check-ins has helped consolidate its positions as a low cost, low fares carrier.
  • Apple’s relentless focus on ‘insanely great’ products allowed it to transform consumer electronics
  • FedEx Ground’s emphasis on service and its early use of tracking systems (as RPS in the 1980s) enabled it to challenge UPS

Strategic clarity involves delivering a vision of what the organization needs to achieve

  • and a framework that leaves enough room for people to create the future
  • with consistency and commitment

Successful Execution

Common to organisations is the belief that the only long term differentiator they have is their people. The priority for an organisation has to be getting the best out of its people by ensuring that they are willing and able to fulfil its aims

  • Believe: compelling reasons, communication and bulid commitment
  • Belong: leaders need to articulate a long term purpose beyond just making money
  • Behave: adaptive, value driven, team building, respectful,
  • Able: capabilities, resources infrastructure

A Culture of Innovation

Great ideas are generated and developed through interaction.

  • Commitment to enterprise; an environment for ideas
  • Collaboration culture
  • The freedom to experiment (and fail)
  • It’s not about hiring new radical thinkers
    • It’s about realizing the potential of the thinkers you’ve got

I liked this check list:

Effective leadership characteristics

  • Capabilities
    • Driving competitiveness and innovation
    • Providing direction and purpose
    • Making effective decisions
    • Inspiring others to act
    • Developing people
    • Building high performing teams
    • Personal qualities
      • Integrity, probity and humility
      • Moral courage


How To Be More Interesting (In 10 Simple Steps)
December 7, 2011, 10:03 am
Filed under: Digital Strategy, The Rules

1.Go exploring.
Explore ideas, places, and opinions. The inside of the echo chamber is where are all the boring people hang out.

2. Share what you discover.
And be generous when you do. Not everybody went exploring with you. Let them live vicariously through your adventures.

3. Do something. Anything.
Dance. Talk. Build. Network. Play. Help. Create. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re doing it. Sitting around and complaining is not an acceptable form of ‘something,’ in case you were wondering.

4. Embrace your innate weirdness.
No one is normal. Everyone has quirks and insights unique to themselves. Don’t hide these things—they are what make you interesting.

5. Have a cause.
If you don’t give a damn about anything, no one will give a damn about you.

6. Minimize the swagger.
Egos get in the way of ideas. If your arrogance is more obvious than your expertise, you are someone other people avoid.

7. Give it a shot.
Try it out. Play around with a new idea. Do something strange. If you never leave your comfort zone, you won’t grow.

8. Hop off the bandwagon.
If everyone else is doing it, you’re already late to the party.  Do your own thing, and others will hop onto the spiffy wagon you built yourself. Besides, it’s more fun to drive than it is to get pulled around.

9. Grow a pair.
Bravery is needed to have contrary opinions and to take unexpected paths. If you’re not courageous, you’re going to be hanging around the water cooler, talking about the guy who actually is.

10. Ignore the scolds.
Boring is safe, and you will be told to behave yourself. The scolds could have, would have, should have. But they didn’t. And they resent you for your adventures.

So perfect. Love Jessica Hagy. From here



the art of the argument
December 27, 2010, 2:02 pm
Filed under: The Rules


expert opinions
March 31, 2010, 10:07 am
Filed under: The Rules

Elvis at home with Barbara Hearn, a high-school girlfriend

From this vanity fair article on photographer Al Wertheimer, who shadowed Elvis in 1956, the year Elvis-mania hit. Wertheimer on what made Elvis different:

“He dared to move….Singers just did not move onstage in those days. You stood there like Frank Sinatra or Perry Como, and you sang from the waist up. Elvis broke all the rules. He moved his hips. He charged the microphone. He was introducing something that was just not acceptable to grown-ups and the more conservative groups. I have the William Morris guys getting him into a corner, and they’re giving him advice: ‘Now, Elvis, look, you get up there, you sing your song, but don’t move too much.’ Elvis dutifully listened. He wouldn’t argue with them. But once he got onstage he did what he wanted. And it created such a sensation. Not because you could hear him sing—there was too much screaming going on. The kids loved it. And the kids were the ones who bought the 45s.

Via Matt Linderman at 37signals, who says,

Funny to imagine those experts sitting Elvis down and telling him that he’s got to stop moving onstage. Shows you the problem with experts: They’re experts on the past. No one is an expert on the future.



Google before you tweet
February 3, 2010, 10:04 pm
Filed under: Great Stuff, The Rules

I’ve seen this all over the place- and I do love to track down the artist:

Letterpress print designed by Joe Newton.
Typeface: Olduvai by Randy Jones.
Paper: Somerset Velvet 300 gsm, soft white.
Size: 8.5″ x 11″ (approx A4).
Printer: Woodside Press, Brooklyn, NY.

Signed and numbered limited edition of 100.

You can buy it for $15 at I Love Typography here.



let it burn
November 4, 2009, 3:05 am
Filed under: Great Stuff, The Rules

invoice-for-day-ruining

Spotted this on the great Kitsune Noir blog.  It’s a design piece by Jessica Hisch.

I think you might use it like sending letters to Santa- fill it out and set it in fire.

Downloadable version here.



the sum of the parts
October 13, 2009, 7:32 am
Filed under: The Rules

the rulesEpisode 4

  • “Collaboration” just means you’re in charge but you want people to feel included in the process.
  • Feel free to edit anyone’s contribution without their knowledge- particularly if you’re not presenting that particular piece of work.
  • Remember: no discipline integrating with yours needs more than 5 minutes to explain itself or its role in your idea.


no prisoners
August 24, 2009, 7:45 am
Filed under: Experience, The Rules

the rulesPart 3

  • hold on to your idea tightly
  • anything that is not your idea is a bad idea
  • resist asking for the premises of anyone’s conclusion- it will only cloud things
  • the most important thing is to be right


you are the centre of the universe
July 30, 2009, 8:04 am
Filed under: The Rules

the rulesPart 2

  • it’s perfectly OK to interrupt another meeting in progress with a ‘quick question’
  • turn up late to meetings and leave before they’ve finished
  • keep your mobile on, read your emails on your blackberry and snort at your Twitter messages
  • don’t distribute information before meetings, read your documents word for word
  • remember that your time is ever so much more important than others


You are the author of everything
July 29, 2009, 6:44 am
Filed under: The Rules

the rules Part 1

  • Never, never reference the source of images, stats or ideas.
  • It will always make you seem smarter and more creative to imply that others work is your own.
  • You’ll never get found out- you are the only one that reads books and blogs and uses Slideshare and no one else can use Google.




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