Archive for Seth Godin

Employees Can Be Your Most Important Change Agents

Employees as change agents

Employees as change agents

The Internet and the explosive growth of social networks have changed the way companies do business.

They must choose among many communications channels to build their brands.

Their employees can help but are often ignored by companies who still rely on advertising to push out their products and services. Read More→

Seth Godin: Why Stuff is Broken and Why That’s Bad

[tweetmeme]Credit TED.com for posting this hilarious talk today that Seth Godin gave at a Gel Conference in 2006.  Godin gives seven reasons why stuff is broken.  I’m listing them here but it’s more fun to watch the video and you’ll get what these mean.  Stuff is broken because:

  1. Not my job
  2. Selfish jerks
  3. The world changed
  4. I didn’t know
  5. I’m not a fish
  6. Broken on purpose
  7. Just broken

Seth Godin at Gel 2006 from Gel Conference on Vimeo.

Creative Communications Requires Out of the Box Thinking

Annie Hart

By Annie Hart

[tweetmeme]Or else what?

Or else be left behind in the dust.  These days we can no longer afford to poo-poo creativity.  Time is ticking and creativity is the wave of the present and the future.

Those who are still thinking in the past will be left behind in the un-creative dust.

So you do want to be on the wave of the future, don’t you?  I’m sure you do.

Being creative in your communications requires thinking outside of the box.  Communications is a wide field of expression – everything from print media to video, to public speaking, to billboards.

It is everywhere we go and in today’s fast paced world, we need to use our creative brains to keep up with the pace.

It can at first seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to, because using your creative brain is actually enjoyable and energy saving.  It’s your old, stuck-in-the-rut left brain that’s getting in the way.

So who is this old brain that keeps you doing the same old same old?  I affectionately call him Mr. Lizard and he loves doing the same things over and over again.

Mr. Lizard is the master of repetition, but needs to learn some creativity.

Ban your lizard brain

Why?  Because he HATES change.  He hates being original and he does not want to stand out in the crowd.  He enjoys being one of the boring pack.

But do you?

Do you really enjoy expressing yourself like everyone else?  I doubt it.  You might be used to doing that but it’s probably not what you really want.

Try this test – if you’re tired or bored with what you’re putting out in your communications, then it’s a likelihood that you’re relying too much on your old lizard brain (cousin to your left brain).

Mr. Lizard doesn’t mean to but he enjoys keeping you stuck.  So you’ve got to override his ideas and try something different.  That’s what creativity really is – it’s the art and science of doing things differently.

Originality is creativity’s middle name.

Thinking outside the box means trying things that you haven’t tried before.  And often, those that are most successful, come up with something that at first seems totally ridiculous!

What's your purple cow?

Think of Seth Godin’s purple cow.  Silly right?

Silly but effective.  Imagine yourself putting a big purple cow on your website, business card or brochure.  You’re probably cringing right?

Well I’m not suggesting that YOU put a purple cow on anything.  That was Seth’s original idea.  But I am suggesting that you take risks like he does and think outside of the routine.

Here are some ideas to get you started, but feel free to improvise:

  1. Think in color, that was part of the purple cow’s effectiveness, it catches our eye and is interesting and different.
  2. Think “difference” – take a look at something that you’ve done and ask yourself, “What could be different about this?”  One small change often makes a big difference.
  3. If you really want to go out on an edge, and I suggest you do, then ask yourself, “What is the last thing that I’d want to do?”  You can decide whether you want to do that or not, but at least you’ve gotten yourself to think way outside of your usual box.

That’s the idea.  Stirring up your creativity is good for you and good for the world, because no one wants to read or engage in your boring, ordinary communications.  They just don’t, so don’t kid yourself about it.

People today, especially the younger generation, like things snappy, quick and interesting and so do you if you’re honest with yourself.

Sometimes we’re afraid to make change, try something different and live outside the box.  But that is old Mr. Lizard again asserting himself when he should be off taking a nap.

Today wake up Mr. Lizard and try something new.  You will be glad you did.

Creativity in communications is everything.  It is the wave of the future and I know you want to be on that wave.

Don’t you?

Annie Hart believes that Stories Change the World and she has brought her work to the fields of Business, Education, Healthcare, Non-Profit, Youth at Risk & Community Organizations.  She can be found passionately sharing stories and tools of change on her blog and popular Radio 42 show.

Always Try for That Extra 10%

[tweetmeme]When Seth Godin’s daily post came today, it literally transported me back in time.  It’s like that moment when a familiar fragrance sets off a memory of a loved one, or you bump into your favorite college professor on the street after many years (this actually happened to me the day after I was married, and it seemed prophetic at the time).

Today, Seth makes the point about how important it is to put that work into the last 10% of quality.  I was brought back in time to my childhood.  My father continually exhorted my two brothers and me to “always try for that extra 10%.”

Coming to this country as a poor immigrant, he never reached the pinnacle of business success, even though he was one of the smartest men I’ve ever known.  He could discuss current affairs with Ph.D’s and talk them under the table.  I can still hear my father’s voice intoning “extra 10%, extra 10%, extra 10%.”

Seth Godin can always say things better than almost anybody else, so I am reproducing his post here:

Hardly Worth the Effort

Seth Godin

In most fields, there’s an awful lot of work put into the last ten percent of quality.

Getting your golf score from 77 to 70 is far more difficult than getting it from 120 to 113 or even from 84 to 77.

Answering the phone on the first ring costs twice as much as letting it go into the queue.

Making pastries the way they do at a fancy restaurant is a lot more work than making brownies at home.

Laying out the design of a page or a flyer so it looks like a pro did it takes about ten times as much work as merely using the template Microsoft builds in for free, and the message is almost the same…

Except it’s not. Of course not. The message is not the same.

The last ten percent is the signal we look for, the way we communicate care and expertise and professionalism. If all you’re doing is the standard amount, all you’re going to get is the standard compensation. The hard part is the last ten percent, sure, or even the last one percent, but it’s the hard part because everyone is busy doing the easy part already.

The secret is to seek out the work that most people believe isn’t worth the effort. That’s what you get paid for.