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So open up and say, Aha! That's the Piehole Way.



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Women Can’t Meet their Full Potential Until They’re Married

July 27th, 2018

They don’t have to say the words – we hear it in their tones and see it in their eyes. The subtle questions of whether or not we’re participating in the right activities, so that we can meet the right people,you know –professional, serious minded individuals that can “support a family.” The awkward, ever-present “Let me set you up with my brother’s wife’s accountant so we can all go out together” spiels.

That’s what we hear from friends and family who are just concerned. Because marriage is apparently the only thing that brings happiness and stability to a woman’s life. Sounds oddly similar to monotony and compromised dreams but call it what you want.

Realistically, when given the right match at the right time, marriage has a nice ring to it. But NEWS FLASH: When it comes to life, should “Do you have a 401K?” actually be discussed on a first date? Should we wait for our lives to begin until we’ve met the right partner? Should our opinions be less valid if they’re not backed by a man? Having to repeatedly explain why getting married to then immediately have a family to then quit your job as soon as possible is actually not your top goal in life is exhausting. The responses received are even more exhausting; there’s nothing like the sly… “Yes, that’s what I thought too until I met…” Good for you; no one cares about your unfulfilled dreams and unmet potential.

Sometimes in life we can’t have everything. Life can be a series of tradeoffs. Maybe the choice is between stability and passion or adventure and security. And the truth is that we’re not all going to choose the same way or be provided with the same choices.

But the bottom line is that you should never have to wait to fully live until you’ve found a partner. Every woman deserves equal rights and an equal feeling of fulfillment regardless of her tax marital status.


Does Following the Rules Prevent Progress?

July 18th, 2018

Rule following comes naturally to some. Without rules or guidelines, there is chaos…. Rules have benefits for safety, security and order; for personal integrity and ethics. But, we are all faced with moments when blind rule-following only breeds inefficiency and mind-numbing dullness.

Rarely have innovative ideas followed the so called “rules” of the era. At some point we all naturally begin to understand which rules are incontestable and which are up for debate. Think back to grade school. You were asked to complete busy work every day and those assignments in total made up, let’s say, 10% of your grade –even though they took up majority of your class time. If you had only completed a few of those assignments but aced the tests and projects, you would have saved hours and still gotten an A. But it wasn’t about efficiency, it was about learning to follow the rules.

We’re taught about the vitality of rule following from the very beginning. It’s ingrained in us strongly by parents, teachers, even peers. But is this deep-seated convention inhibiting creative thinking, innovation and efficiency?

While a child is taught that a rule is unavoidable; an adult may identify a simpler process to attain the same or improved outcome. Sometimes the comfort of a rule or a process that is set-in-stone prevents people from even searching for a better way. A commitment to innovation and progress requires some level of openness to changing the game and breaking the rules.


Marketing is like God and First Aid Kits

July 3rd, 2018

Marketing and communications tactics are like God and first aid kits. No one thinks they’re important until something bad happens.

Once the bottom line of a company isn’t looking good, a crisis arises or a competitive advantage is no longer prevailing, companies begin to think, “Huh. We really should’ve invested in marketing or a communications strategy before now.”

In today’s multi-tasking world, speed is everything and employees have more on their plates than they can easily navigate, making survival the priority. While solely focusing on important day-to-day tasks may keep heads above water – all other efforts that fall into the category of “optional” or ‘side of the desk activities’ are generally passed over. Survival mode does the opposite of fostering growth, too. Without resources to spare, whether human or financial, survival mode can become normal without the investment required for forward-moving progress.

It’s common for organizations to realize their need for marketing or a communications strategy and to even have a strategy only to come to realize that they don’t have the resources needed to execute it. But therein lies the question – do they not have the resources or are they simply allocating them to something more “black and white” instead of efforts that may be effective but more complicated to measure?

What if you had purchased a first aid kit before that skiing accident? Timing is everything. It’s never too late to reap the benefits of a newly executed marketing or communications strategy; having a plan in place prior to a product or new business launch is considerably more effective than trying to backtrack and add in a piecemeal strategy.

 We recommend you buy the first aid kit.


Crisis Social Media – One Piece of a Complicated Puzzle

June 20th, 2018

Social media has introduced an interesting component to crisis communications. Not only does social media play a role in communicating important messages during a crisis, but it can also be an emergency instigator in itself. While social media is a buzzword for many, failing to communicate information to stakeholders through other traditional channels, while focusing on social media solely, can worsen any crisis situation.

As a channel of communication that allows users to be co-content-creators, social media can lead to gray areas between facts and fiction. Strive to communicate sensitive information using a variety of channels to ensure your message is received clearly.

One irritator that makes social media crisis communication especially challenging is the wide gap that often exists between the person managing an organization’s social media, and the decision makers who ultimately determine what should be relayed to the public in uncertain situations. As organizations continue to tap into a newer, technology-savvy generation for social media management, there is a barrier of understanding between executives and those who are tactically making social media decisions.

It’s challenging to make judgements without knowing the full intensity of a potential crisis situation. For example, a customer is upset about the way they were treated at a retail store; this could have the potential to blow up and become viral, making you wish you had taken the issue to your company’s leadership earlier or you may have two unhappy customers every single day, and you’re not going to continuously bother your company’s busy leadership just to have a discussion about Patty’s bad experience in the grocery store. So how do you determine what is worth the time investment and what is not?

In crisis conditions, information typically comes more slowly than we wish it would, and we’re left to piece together what we know quickly while remaining transparent and credible. It’s essential to have a crisis communication plan already in place prior to an issue arising. From social media to traditional media relations, having a step by step plan on hand that details actions for all communication channels will guide tough decisions that are necessary under tight time constraints.

There’s also an infection going around right now called “Oh yes social media is so important.” That’s what executives say when they give you advice on how to handle the social media crisis at hand and then you learn that they thought Twitter was a type of bird and they haven’t logged into their LinkedIn for two years. And you think wow, no wonder they just gave me really bad advice. During times such as those, a level of autonomy must be taken by the social media manager, using an understanding of the industry’s key components while still respecting the wishes of a company’s senior leadership. While this is a hard line to ride, it is critical and the sign of a social media pro. It’s also important to emphasize to executives that regardless of the social media response, integrated efforts across all communication channels should still be prioritized to successfully navigate any crisis situation.


The Amusement Park of Life

June 6th, 2018

Let’s say you’re at Disney World waiting to ride your favorite attraction. You see a sign that the wait is 2-hours long. You hesitate but know that you’ll regret it if you leave without riding the one thing you came to Disney for. More important than the 2-hour wait are the people who stand beside you. Who are you waiting with? If you’re with the right people, those that inspire you and make the mundane more interesting, then the time lapsed won’t seem like waiting, instead it will be an extension of the overall experience. On the other hand, if you’re with people who make a living off of complaining, then that would suck.

In life, waiting is inevitable. We wait for red lights, for restaurants to seat us. We wait for more education or experience. We wait to find partners or start families. If you’re not careful your whole life will simply be a waiting game. Waiting is a necessity, but if you’re waiting with the wrong people, you’re wasting precious time.

Just like the complainers in the line at Disney World, there are people in life who have grown so tired of their own waiting games and ordinary routines that they focus their time on finding new things to complain about and new people to critique. They’re never satisfied because they’re doing nothing to improve their own lives, they’re only looking for ways to grumble about their current situations. It’s easy to become that complainer when you’ve been standing in a Disney World line for 2-hours, it’s 100 degrees out and there are screaming children surrounding you.

But in that moment, that’s when you’ll realize if you’re actually waiting with the right people. Can they make light of the uncomfortable situation? Will they stay positive in the face of heatstroke? Are they distracting you from how much your feet hurt because of how entertaining their stories are? These are the people you want to hold on to.

In the waiting game of life, there will be countless unpleasant moments. Surrounding yourself with the right people will turn any amusement park day of misery into a good memory in the years to come. When you’re truly living life to the fullest, you’ll make it to the front of the line without even realizing how long it took because you were enjoying your time in every queue.