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Archive for February, 2016

The wonder of it all.

Friday, February 26th, 2016

Off the beaten path, away from smart phones, look at the beauty that can be found.

Shot by Jon Keeling

The Power of Narrative

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

Since the beginning of civilized time, the thought patterns of the traditional world have been rooted in science and philosophy. Logic and reasoning ruled the schools of thought as scholars sought to understand how people make decisions. However in the early twentieth century, the popularity of social sciences eventually caused a linguistic turn, an awakening of sorts, in which philosophers sought to understand the world through different lenses.

One such example is the lens of narrative rationality.

Twentieth Century philosopher Walter Fisher is credited with altering the school of thought regarding communication. He posited, “All meaningful communication is in the form of storytelling. Peoples past experiences influence our need for communication and also base our behavior. Thus narrative paradigm is very helpful in analyzing the nature of human communication.” To Fisher and his colleagues, stories weren’t just an entertainment tool; they were a communication vessel in which ones culture and personality can be derived from.

Stories can have the same impact on an organization or business. Every business has a narrative arc that defines their values. If one can draw upon stories from their life that define themselves, so too can an organization use its narrative paradigm to establish or rebuild its corporate identity. For example Bill Bowerman, a co-founder Nike, wanted to find lighter shoes for his Oregon University track team. Along with friend and former runner Phil Knight (the other founder of Nike), Bowerman famously used (and ruined) his wife’s waffle iron to create a rubber sole for their running shoes. This was an unprecedented concept at the time. What ensued was the beginning of the Nike giant that we are familiar with today. A small hunch during breakfast turned into a global empire.

Your experiences in life are just a small part of your larger story. However, these stories define you as an individual and your message to the world. For an organization, they are a unique kind of mission statement, an extended elevator pitch of your company. Embracing these narratives can help an organization not only build its brand, but also maybe just impact the world as well.

Where is the white elephant ?

Friday, February 19th, 2016

Bern Zoo Switzerland_Where there are similarities, there are differences.  What do you see?

Redefining role models.

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

On Saturday night, the often-controversial rapper, Kanye West took to Twitter to announce that he was $53 million in personal debt. He then asked his Twitter followers to urge Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg to help him by investing in his “ideas”.

The rapper continued to plead his case with multiple additional tweets to Zuckerberg such as, “I promise I’m going to make the world dope…. all I do is make shit dope #facts…”, “I don’t have enough resources to create what I really can…” and “you’d rather open up one school in Africa like you really helped the country…”

Before we all set-up a GoFundMe page for donations to Kanye because of these heart-warming tweets, let’s remember that Kanye recently married reality TV star, Kim Kardashian. Together, the couple made an estimated $80 million in 2015. In 2014 the celebrities spent an estimated $12 million on their wedding and that doesn’t even being to touch on the cost of his lavish homes, cars, jewelry purchases and more.

West then honestly suggested that he is more in need than children without access to education in third world countries? That thinking really brings the description self-obsessed to an entirely new level.

When are we as a society going to start demanding more from our entertainers and role models? Time and time again Kanye sends out messages that are delusional, egotistical, and materialistic, yet many of his fans continue to buy his albums and regard him as a genius.

As consumers, we have a key role in the supply and demand chain and our role is simple – if we don’t financially support people who don’t deserve to have their thoughts and ideas amplified, they may no longer be in favor.

The ruler of the roost.

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Bern Zoo Switzerland B

Stately, powerful and in complete control.  The lion certainly is king.