Dec 30 2016

Social Business has implications for every organization

Charlene Li, founder of the Altimeter Group, published end-of-year insights on the State of Social Business. Of particular interest to me is how Social is being used and leveraged across organizations, not just marketing or customer service. More and more organizations are allocated Social resources to every major function. Some top-line findings: 78% of companies have a dedicated social media team, 50% of companies say Social business has improved marketing, optimization, customer experience and brand health.

Nov 20 2015

20,000+ questions over the last 12 months

Media executives. Agency leaders. University administrators. Energy policy-makers. NGO change-agents. Family. Friends. I’ve asked a lot of questions this last year through my work and in living my life. It’s clear the way you ask a question yields different results and can lead you in different directions. Warren Berger’s “A More Beautiful Question” is a worthwhile read for those interested in creativity, innovation, getting to fundamental issues and teasing out stories that matter. I’m in the midst of writing three questionnaires for projects now and finding myself wrestling with question design even more deeply and with a child’s eye… a good thing. Thanks @GlimmerGuy.

Feb 23 2014

Learning from Google’s Hiring Process

@NYTimes @TomFriedman column highlights Google’s recruitment strategy. To paraphrase Laszlo Block, the svp of people operations at Google: ‘in an age when innovation is increasingly a group endeavor, it also cares about a lot of soft skills — leadership, humility, collaboration, adaptability and loving to learn and re-learn.’

Feb 7 2014

The power of saying Thank You

Mark Zuckerberg sets a big goal for himself each year. Over the last several years he’s committed to meeting a new person each day who doesn’t work at Facebook (2013); to only eat meat that only he himself killed (2011); and to learn Mandarin (2010). In 2014, Zuckerberg will write a “well-considered thank-you note every day, via email or handwritten letter.”

Writing thank-you notes to express gratitude is a simple and important act in our increasingly fast-paced world. I’m a big believer in handwritten notes, though email works when the sentiment is sincere and thoughtful. Douglas Conant, former CEO of Campbell’s Soup, wrote more than 30,000 notes during his decade long tenure to employees. President George H.W. Bush and Tom Peters are other longtime practitioners; Pepsi’s CEO, Indra Nooyi, goes a step further: she sends letters to the parents of Pepsi executives.

Dec 20 2013

End of the Year – Strategic Planning

As usual I’m excited about the holiday season. Family, friends, parties, a slower pace between errands and preparations, and extra time for exploring the woods near my office and thinking about Bellinson & Company’s work schedule in 2014. I take several hour hikes with a notepad and pencil to think about my work from this year and generate project and business ideas for the next 12 months. Looking back I’m amazed at how productive and efficient these intentional strategic planning sessions have been over the years. Planning is critical, and too often we don’t make the time to do it. These last two weeks of the year are a real gift to me for Bellinson & Company. I hope you make the time for this productivity blast as well.

Dec 20 2013

The Actual Story of David and Goliath

David and Goliath is Malcolm Gladwell’s examination of the idea of advantage and challenges our assumptions about what makes for an advantage. The social scientist unearths surprising statistics and compelling personal stories in presenting his message and confronting conventional wisdom.

Nov 29 2013

The Challenge of Staying Informed

Keeping updated with important news within my professional portfolio is both a challenge and invigorating. Learning  of new trends and developments is critical. My key sources include the following:

  • Twitter
  • New York Times
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Reuters
  • devex Global Development News
  • MediaPost OnlineMediaDaily
  • BSR Blog and Insights
  • Talking Points Memo

Is there another news source you’d suggest I add to my morning reading list?

Oct 13 2013

The Finance of Retirement & Pensions

The Finance of Retirement & Pensions starts this week. In this eight-week course, you will learn the financial concepts behind sound retirement plan investment and pension fund management. Course participants will become more informed decision makers about their own portfolios, and be equipped to evaluate economic policy discussions that surround public pensions. The course begins with the principles of financial economics, such as the distribution of outcomes when investing in stocks, bonds, or annuities. These serve as the building blocks for an understanding of different retirement strategies that can help you improve your asset allocation. Finally, the course applies these principles to government programs and policies.

Oct 11 2013

What Does the Average American Man Look Like Compared to Other Countries?

Todd is the most typical of American men. His proportions are based on averages from CDC anthropometric data. As a U.S. male age 30 to 39, his body mass index (BMI) is 29; just one shy of the medical definition of obese. At five-feet-nine-inches tall, his waist is 39 inches.

Don’t let the hyperrealistic toes fool you; Todd is an avatar. I gave Todd his name, and gave his life a narrative arc, but he is actually the child of graphic artist Nickolay Lamm as part of his Body Measurement Project.

Todd would prefer perfection—or at least something superlative, even if it’s bad—to being average. But Todd is perfect only in being average. With this perfection comes the privilege of radical singularity, which is visible in his eyes.

Read the Article