What we’ve been reading.

Management.

  • Motivational jiu-jitsu: staying positive in the face of negativity and indifference | The 99 Percent
  • Zen and the art of making: how much fun it is when you’re a beginner at something as opposed to being an “expert.” | MAKE
  • How Coca-Cola manages 90 emerging markets | Strategy-Business
  • The trouble with titles: agency titles are getting out of hand, and it could be bad for productivity (not to mention being ridiculous) | Lars Bastholm

 

Innovation.

  • Successful brainstorming goes far beyond dumping people in a room together. Here are the rules | Innovate on Purpose
  • What if an agency had an API? | Only Dead Fish

Data.

  • From Bondi to the big bucks: the 28-year-old who’s making data science a sport | SMH

Technology.

  • Apple’s supply-chain secret? Hoard lasers. The iPhone maker spends lavishly on all stages of the manufacturing process, giving it a huge operations advantage | BusinessWeek
  • The discreet shift to Twitter: Facebook’s usage is undergoing a split. Active Facebookers become increasingly engaged, while “reasonable” users (above 25) become more reluctant and careful. | Monday Note

Insights.

  • People rationalize situations they’re stuck with, but rebel when they think there’s an out | Science Daily
  • Online interactions can lead to risky financial decision-making, study suggests | Science Daily
  • A brief guide to embodied cognition: why you are not your brain | Scientific American

Creativity.

  • “Imagine if all briefs were written on Twitter. What a fantastic idea.” | Dave Trott

What we are reading

Management.

  • If you’re busy, you’re doing something wrong: the surprisingly relaxed lives of elite achievers | Study Hacks
  • The really simple way to get work done | zenhabits
  • The holy grail of consulting – do this and triumph | Wrestling Possums
  • Three types of people to “fire immediately” | BusinessWeek
  • The impact of a corporate culture of sustainability on corporate behavior and performance | HBS Working Knowledge

Innovation.

  • Why social innovators need design thinking | McKinsey
  • Felix Salmon: The future of online advertising  | Wired.com
  • At Google X, a top-secret lab dreaming up the future | NYTimes.com
  • 7 steps for creating disruptive new retail experiences | Co. Design
  • TV ads’ new digital role | Harvard Business Review
  • Behavioral economics put to the test by the Obama administration | BusinessWeek

Data.

  • 40 epic marketing insights from Google | Hubspot

Technology.

  • The failures of gamification: Gamification may be fun in the short term, but it’s fatally shortsighted. Throw it away. Spend time working on the stuff that matters. | Self Aware
  • “Build something people want” is not enough | Avichal’s Blog
  • #Occupy: the tech at the heart of the movement | Alexis Madrigal, The Atlantic
  • For brands on Facebook, fan quality trumps quantity | Fast Company

Insights.

  • Why I quit the mainstream media (over Occupy Wall Street) | Salon.com
  • Why science depends on good branding | Co. Design
  • Have we reached “Peak stuff,” where the amount of things we consume stagnates, then drops? | Only Dead Fish
  • A curriculum of toys: what childhood play teaches us | MAKE
  • Seller how-to: fostering repeat business | The Etsy Blog

Creativity.

Gamification

Definition by wikipedia

Gamification is the use of game design techniques and mechanics to solve problems and engage audiences. Typically gamification applies to non-game applications and processes (also known as “funware”), in order to encourage people to adopt them. Gamification works by making technology more engaging, by encouraging users to engage in desired behaviors, by showing a path to mastery and autonomy, and by taking advantage of humans’ psychological predisposition to engage in gaming. The technique can encourage people to perform chores that they ordinarily consider boring, such as completing surveys, shopping, filling out tax forms, or reading web sites.

links:

Gamification

Rules of engagement and how gamification is changing the world

How Century 21 real estate drives engagement with mobile social gaming sponsorship

What we’ve been reading

Management.

  • Why we’re not hiring creative technologists | Wieden+Kennedy
  • Stumbling up the ladder: ad agencies neglect their brightest prospects | Fast Company
  • Boomerang employees: making it easy for your old workers to become your new ones | WSJ.com
  • The twenty-somethings are here; get out of the way | Creativity_Unbound
  • Creating a high-performance learning environment | Accenture Outlook
  • The values proposition: do small things with great love | Harvard Business Review

Innovation.

  • By being unorthodox, Kraft transforms itself into a creative powerhouse | Forbes
  • Kraft’s new ‘Leaping’ philosophy advocates making aggressive changes rather than smaller incremental moves | Advertising Age
  • Why conviction drives innovation more than creativity | design mind
  • Lessons from the industry formerly known as “The Record Business” | Harvard Business Review
  • Entrepreneurs who go it alone – by choice | TIME

Data.

  • An analysis of Steve Jobs tribute messages displayed by Apple (read if you care about Steve Jobs, data or sentiment analysis) | neilkodner.com

Technology.

  • Poor kids experience “App Gap,” says study | The Digital Shift
  • Why teens are fleeing Facebook (should we be on the lookout for a new platform that parents are scared to be on?) | Forbes
  • 5 reasons e-books are awesome, even for the very reluctant | PBS
  • Wherein I try to explain why Google Reader is the best social network created so far | Here is a thing.
  • Data point: Internet growing more truly global | JWT Intelligence

Insights.

  • On the “echo chamber” – maybe it’s not as bad as we think? | BBH Labs
  • Messaging vs experience/pattern models of ‘engagement’ | How To Break Anything
  • Lachlan Harris: Rise of the opinion cycle makes Andrew Bolt the most influential man in media (a must read for PRs) | mUmBRELLA
  • Advertising is a poison that demeans even love – and we’re hooked on it | George Monbiot in The Guardian
  • Museums’ brave new turf (a must read if your job is to get more people to experience culture) | NYTimes.com
  • How do luxury brands “stay hip to the web” without ruining their hyper-exclusive image? | Sparksheet
  • A network analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy | New Scientist

Creativity.

What we are reading

Management.

Innovation.

  • The great tech war of 2012: Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon battle for the future of the innovation economy. | Fast Company
  • How Apple eclipsed Microsoft | The Guardian
  • How symphonies grew strong audiences by killing the myth of the average consumer | Fast Company

 

Technology.

  • In Silicon Valley, some dare to ask: Why hire a PhD, when a self-taught kid is just as good? | Fast Company
  • The impact of the Internet of Things on energy | GigaOm

Insights.

  • Occupy Wall Street: what businesses need to know | Harvard Business Review
  • ‘Occupy’ is a response to economic permafrost | BBC News
  • Starbucks concerned world coffee supply is threatened by climate change | guardian.co.uk
  • The more affluent, time-poor, and lonely a society becomes, the greater the need for pets. | Fast Company
  • From the desk of Maria Popova, curator of Brainpickings | From your desks
  • Style bloggers comment back | Final Fashion

Creativity.

Trends.

  • A summary of Mary Meeker’s 2011 internet trends report | PSFK
  • 5 trends that will shape the future of mobile advertising | GigaOm

The most important lesson from the life of Steve Jobs (why we need nutters, pirates and positive deviants to succeed)

BY CHRIS SAVAGE, Chief Operating Officer, STW GROUP ON OCTOBER 19TH, 2011

from his blog chrisjohnsavage.com

The most important lesson from the life of Steve Jobs for those of us in professional services and consulting worlds is not what you’d expect.  Yet for me, it is what I’ll always remember Jobs for, more than anything else. Here it is.

University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann wrote: “The challenge of leadership is not to fit in. It’s to have combined passion with purpose, and the most inspiring and successful leaders, I think, don’t fit in.”

Steve Jobs did not fit in. His legacy endorses my recent guest post for Firebrand Talent’s blogentitled:” Why We Need Nutters, Pirates, and Positive Deviants To Succeed.”

As a tribute to Steve Jobs- and with apologies to dual Possums/Firebrand Talent subscribers, here is that story. It’s my favourite.

 

The Power of Black Sheep

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble makers. The round pegs in the square holes.” So wrote Steve Jobs. He was a rebel who took risks and did it differently.

If you want your firm to beat the competition and be the place the best clients and people want to be- then make sure you’re hiring black sheep. And sometimes be a black sheep yourself.

Too often we hire clones- hard working, ambitious, disciplined, compliant, well educated, often trained and proven in a competitive firm, appropriately groomed, etc. You know the story. Just look around you. Look at yourself perhaps.

To really succeed in a fast changing world where rules of old are being broken every day- as a business or as an executive striving for the most vibrant of career- we have to resit the usual and be brave.

David Ogilvy’s Confession

“Our business needs massive transfusions of talent. And talent, I believe, is most likely to be found among non-conformists, dissenters and rebels.” So wrote David Ogilvy in “Confessions of An Advertising Man.”

Pirates

Tom Peters puts it another way in encouraging us to ‘do it differently.’ The story he tells goes something like this. “Most people who want a career on the high seas join the navy. White uniforms, nice caps, salute the flag….” Don’t!! If you want a career on the high seas, be a pirate instead!” I LOVE THIS IDEA. Be a pirate! A friendly pirate, where the skull and crossbones are still in the company colours, but a pirate none the less. Taking risks, living on the edge a little sometimes, flaunting rules on occasion, laughing loudly as the wind lashes your face and your pursuers drift into the distance behind you. I want to hire people like this.

Nutters

Miles Young, the global CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, told us to Hire more nutters.” “Is a nutter the same as a pirate?” I asked him over a cocktail one night at the Zeta Bar in Sydney. “No,” he said.“They’re different. But they serve the same purpose. Nutters think totally differently to us. They come at things from a very different perspective. Pirates are on the same wavelength but do it their way and with their rules.”

 

Crazy People

Positive deviants‘ is another way I have heard this rare type described. Tony Blair in his autobiography describes them as ‘crazy people.’ “In my experience there are two types of crazy people: those who are just crazy, and therefore dangerous; and those whose craziness lends them creativity, strength and ingenuity and verve.”

 

The Valuable Lesson

Whether a non-conformist, dissenter, rebel, pirate, nutter, positive deviant, a Blair ‘crazy’ or a Jobs ‘misfit or trouble maker’,  make sure your team has a solid sprinkling of them. They will fuel your ideas, thinking, momentum and competitive edge, and quite simply, make your business a winner. And make sure you have a dose of this magic yourself on occasion. It will take you to positive places in your career you never thought you’d get to.

What we’ve been reading.

Steve Jobs.

  • Remembering Steve Jobs | Statement by Apple
  • Steve Jobs, 1955 – 2011 | Wired.com
  • Playboy Interview: Steven Jobs (1985) | Playboy
  • Steve Jobs in his own words | Engadget
  • Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement address | YouTube
  • Text of Steve Jobs’ Commencement address (2005) | Stanford
  • “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” | Pocketmonstered
  • The Steve Jobs I knew | WSJ.com
  • Steve Jobs was always kind to me (or, regrets of an asshole) | The Wirecutter
  • “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.” | curiosity counts
  • What Steve Jobs taught us about advertising | The Ad Contrarian

 

Management.

Innovation.

Technology.

  • Maybe the best ads are just answers | Google
  • Few consumers are cracking the QR code | NPR

Insights.

  • Why TED’s ‘Ads worth spreading’ aren’t really spreading | Advertising Age
  • Forever frugal: Retailers are coming to terms with a new reality: the consumer who traded down during the recession and never came back | WSJ.com
  • The fragmentization of experiences | Influxinsights
  • “…we’re witnessing the rise of a global Metamovement: a movement of movements | Umair Haque
  • Welcome to the age of micro-planning | adliterate
  • Kmart marketing boss: price is more important than brand | mUmBRELLA
  • Patagonia’s “Buy Less” campaign may lead to more revenue | Harvard Business Review
  • Minimum viable personality (for brands) | A VC
  • How our online connectivity is making us better human beings | TNW
  • It’s not only that cultural work is becoming algorithmic; cultural life is as well |The Late Age of Print
  • Social enterprise employs immigrants to teach cooking classes and culture | Springwise

Creativity.

Trends.

  • (Re)Commerce: unlocking the value in past purchases | TrendWatching.com
  • Research study: Google looked to its own employees to identify trends among longtime smartphone users around the world | Google Think Insights
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