We’ll have the usual…

December 2nd, 2016

You don’t know what you don’t know.
I still have lunch quite regularly with my old partner (who, despite his fancy new title, is one of the swellest guys I know). We go to one of two places: either a Vietnamese dive or a Chinese dive, each of them serving some of the finest food in the city.

We always order the same dishes at each place, because they’re good and we’re not looking for surprises. So when I took an unusual turn as the first to arrive at the Chinese BBQ this week, I had time to look around, and noticed the sign you see in the photo accompanying this post.

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Sit down, shut up and get to work.

November 24th, 2016

It’s all in the doing.
The strangest thing happened today. I was doing my obligatory “charity ride is almost upon us and I’m woefully short of my fundraising target” tweet. No sooner had I posted it when a local restaurant that I frequent picked up on it and retweeted it, calling attention to my exploits, pledging support and inviting other restos to get involved, too. I realized that I could leverage my passion for cooking and cycling to create an impromptu Movement, and in a flash I was on it, tweeting like a mad man. Within an hour I had a dozen restos, markets and foodie friendly purveyors donating prizes, retweeting my call to action and increasing my volume and spread. In other words, I had a Movement.

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Would it kill you to smile?

November 16th, 2016

What’s the go-to position of your face, and how that affects everything.
I’m a bit of a sulker. There, I’ve said it. I know it’s not an attractive habit, and I’m always trying to work on that. But the default position of my mouth isn’t always a smile. Which is perhaps why fate throws so many frowning people in front of me – to act as a mirror, reflecting myself back to me in a way that I can see myself through others. And you know what? It’s not pretty.

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The subject is not important. The people are important.

November 12th, 2016

A life lesson hard-learned but well-remembered.
I am an idiot. Why? Because I walk into every meeting, every presentation, every social interaction thinking that the subject is important. And that my value will be judged based on how knowledgeable, insightful or clever I cam demonstrate myself to be on that subject. But, in fact, it is rarely if ever the subject that is important, or even worth a damn. It is the people that are important.

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TV is dead! Long live TV!

November 5th, 2016

Maybe it’s time to celebrate the death of the old so we can herald the birth of the new.
I was at a friend’s home for dinner last night and afterwards, he and I were engaged in some lively conversation. His tweenage daughter was in the ajoining room, and I was aware that she was being (what I considered to be) uncharacteristically considerate for someone her age, because even though their TV is a big, wall-mounted model, it was not at a volume that was in anyway disturbing our conversation.

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Do we live in an autocracy of ideas?

October 14th, 2016

Does the insatiable appetite of innovation enslave those who might be satisfied with the status quo?
It occurred to me this morning, whilst simultaneously pedaling on my indoor trainer, listening to NPR news via web-radio and catching up on my email and Twitter stream on my iPhone, that perhaps there is a world out there that is not so hell-bent on the constant and ever-increasing pace of change we are currently experiencing.

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Knock knock. Jehovah’s Witnesses calling.

October 7th, 2016

Lessons exchanged in cult seduction from masters of the art.
So, the Jehovah’s Witnesses came calling this morning. Not to my house, because I live in an industrial building where my neighbours are mostly sub-trades to the film industry, photographers and cabinet makers, but also include, quite visibly, a sex shop operated by an interesting ‘actor’ whose nom de guerre is Porno the Clown. No, today the Jehovahs came to my partner Ray’s door, in a much more respectable family neighborhood of Toronto. And anytime the Jehovahs come calling, the conversational drawbridge to movements is immediately lowered. So here’s what happened, and a couple of thoughts that subsequently arose:

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The trouble with the future is the past.

September 15th, 2016

That which is most likely to hold you back today and tomorrow is yesterday.
When you are in the change business, you quickly learn that your best friend and worst enemy is the past. Best friend because it informs you, thus preventing you from fulfilling Einstein’s well-known definition of insanity. Best friend because it excites you, thus providing the impetus to move forward rather than remain stagnant. Best friend because it reassures you, providing a comforting albeit false sense of security that your now-proven ability to survive yesterday is some sort of indicator that the same will continue to be true, provided you repeat that general set of actions. But the question you should be asking is not what’s right about something, but rather what’s wrong. And it is in the answering of that question whence came the realization that the past is something we could all do without.

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So, how about them WikiLeaks?

September 5th, 2016

What will be the fallout from this extreme test of real democracy on the Internet, and how will it affect the spread of movements?
I suppose that everyone has a different take on the WikiLeaks story, depending on with what part (or parts) of their own personal story it intersects. Since we’re in the business of creating Movements, most of the talk around the Hey Harry office has been around what the long term effects might be to the democratic nature of the internet, and how the transparent and free movement of ideas and information may be threatened by the chaos that sustains it. Or, in more brutal terms, does the internet exist at the pleasure of the military-industrial complex that built and supports it, and if so, what will be the result of its biting the hand that feeds it? Or, conversely, if it is not so, will this event be a wake-up call to autocrats everywhere that the internet is officially out of control, and thus needs more aggressive oversight?

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If Small Is The New Big, How Long Until We See Multinationals Become Micronationals?

March 30th, 2009

Is small a measure of size or accountability, and if it’s the latter, how is that best delivered?

I have just finished reading Peter Bregman’s sanguine (and hopefully prophetic) article Why Small Companies Will Win in This Economy and I couldn’t help but ask myself the question, “How will the big publicly-traded agency behemoths respond to this bit of news?”. Being a bit excited, I inadvertently blurted out the question aloud, and Ray, who was sitting across the boardroom table from me, answered, without skipping a beat or even so much as an upward glance, “They’ll reinvent themselves as mini-companies and remarket themselves as a collection of smaller agencies, restructured away from the holding company that brought them together in the first place.”

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