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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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If a tree falls in the forest, and it’s not on Twitter…

November 11th, 2016

The importance of Twitter as measure of informational value.
I woke up this morning reflecting on a lunch with colleagues, where the topic of some heated discussion was the philosophical and functional differences between Twitter and Facebook. I proposed my well-worn notion that Facebook is a social network, whereas Twitter is an information network. “I hear you, I just don’t understand you,” came the slightly agitated response.

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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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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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What We Know Is Not Nearly as Important as What We Don’t Know – Yet.

August 22nd, 2016

Reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb has set me to thinking that it is not enough to be able to predict Black Swans when you are in the business of creating them.

An advertising agency (for lack of a better term – but trust me, I’m working on it), at its most basic level, serves a single purpose:

To reflect the consumer back to the companies who are producing the goods they hope will be consumed.

(This idea in and of itself causes much consternation, as conventional thinking might jump to the conclusion that it is the other way around.)

As a mirror of the very society we serve, we are most successful when we produce work which reflects what is going on around us in culture and society. Work which simultaneously defines and is defined by the times.

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