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Showing posts from January, 2016

A Workaholic Learning Faith: Some Thoughts On Parshas Yisro

First - Hashem says not to make images of Him OR the angels. If G-d is concerned about idolatry then why extend the prohibition to other spiritual beings? They also serve Him.
Second - in the Ten Commandments we are told to rest on Shabbos because Hashem does. But the other commandments don't come with a reason. If G-d is G-d and the people are so terrified they tell Moshe they're afraid they will die from hearing Him - why does Hashem bother to give any explanation at all? It could be like the Red Heifer, just an absolute, a given.
I think the two things are connected with the concept of faith. 
What is faith in G-d? 
It's a form of trust. 
It's not the belief that your prayers will be answered; that's obviousy impossible. 
Rather it is trust in something unprovable: that there is a Divine Omnipotent.
For Jews, there is an added component. That Hashem created a sort of Tao, energy, set of laws, the Torah, that are the blueprint for an optimally functioning world.
That we …

When It's Time To Say: "I'm Enough."

We are never enough. What we have. How we look. Who we hang out with. What we wear. Our emotions, our bank account, our achievements. All of it, wanting. If only we could be more composed, more confident. If only we radiated...serenity. If only we could buy... If only we worked at Twitter (well, actually maybe not)...or Google...or... If only, if only, if only. Brands thrive on us feeling like "not enough." But we were born just fine. Instead of turning outward for the next self-esteem fix, and the next, and the next...maybe we ought to stop for a minute. And simply look in the mirror and say, "It's enough. I'm enough. Simply because...I am." __________ Copyright 2015 Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. Dr. Blumenthal is founder and president of BrandSuccess, a corporate content provider, and co-founder of the brand thought leadership portal All Things Brand. The opinions expressed are her own and not those of any government agency or entity or the federal government as a whole. Ph…

Is HR The "Dark Side" Of Your Brand?

How you handle difficult "people situations" reveals more about your brand than you would like to admit.

When you hire skilled experts but do their jobs for them, you show that the company has no investment in its people. It's all about results, but human beings aren't part of the equation.

When you give employees tasks but ignore their distress, you seem inhuman. Cold and untrustworthy. So does the company.

When you fire people because you don't have time to give them feedback and there's lots more where they came from anyway, you look Machiavellian. And word gets around.

When you deliberately give job-seeking subordinates a bad reference - to punish them for wanting to leave, and to tank their chances of doing so - you make the company look awful for keeping such awful people on the payroll.

And when you interview people at length and then reject them, with no explanation, even after a request for feedback, that shows your company lacks both humanity and courage…

Culture Eats Acquisition For Lunch: Why Microsoft + Yammer Was Doomed

"Hey little sister, what have you done?
Hey little sister, who's the only one?
Hey little sister, who's your superman?
Hey little sister, who's the one you want?
Hey little sister, shotgun"It's a nice day to start again
It's a nice day for a white wedding
It's a nice day to start again."- Billy Idol, "White Wedding"Anyone who's wasted months of their lives emailing documents back and forth with "track changes" knows that enterprise collaboration software is a no-brainer. Whether you're talking about social networking, document sharing, videoconferencing, project management or some combination of all of these, the days are long gone when you could sit isolated in the back of your office and focus on "your work" all day. How big is this market, however ill-defined? One forecast says "$5.9 billion by the end of 2018," another "$6.2 billion by 2019, representing a 13.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) f…

#Snowzilla 2016: Notes From The Abyss

My heart is beating pretty hard right now. In fact I'm having trouble breathing. Maybe it's the coffee, I told myself this morning, when this first started. Two shots of espresso is a lot. But no, it's four hours later now and I think it's because of the impending snowstorm. The one they are calling "the storm of the century." As Jerry Seinfeld would say, "I'm freaking out!" Between emergency grocery shopping - online and off - and a run for kosher Chinese food, we have been to the store no less than 5 times and have spent a couple of hundred dollars. Yet in my mind our pantry looks like this. And then there's the idea that we'll be stuck at home all together, the family all on top of each other, for two or three days. For some people this idea is bliss...but this is what I'm picturing. A lot of people say to hunker down, and relax. Drink wine and watch a lot of Netflix. But in my mind I picture the power going out, and then I can't watch…

We Came Here To Fail & We Succeeded

I've always had trouble believing memoirs and case studies. It's only common sense to surmise that most of this shit is made up. For one thing, anybody writing a thing about themselves is creating a character, and they have a vested interest in making that character sound good. But most of life is a drumbeat of failure. (Consider that the ultimate "retirement plan" is bodily and brain decay, followed by death.) Second, "it's a small world after all" and the only currency we really own is trust. Once you blow someone's confidentiality - whether it's your ex-spouse's or your former employer's - good luck with finding your next "victim," unless they're a total exhibitionist. And free speech aside, it's a litigious world;  a person is smart to be concerned about getting sued.Third, though it's true that "wild" headlines get a lot of attention, most people can't take too much reality. An action movie ends wi…

10 Marketing Trends for 2016

LinkedIn wants marketing predictions for the upcoming year. Here's my Top 10: Pervasive Texting: Your dentist knows how to reach you now, and so does the frozen yogurt place. In between texts from your significant other and your kids, expect a deluge of reminders, promos, and codes from marketers who want a piece of your business.Temporary Appearances: The allure of Snapchat is that it will be gone. Expect high-end marketing of everything from celebrity interviews to sit-down conversations with world leaders, who naturally lend themselves to rare appearances.Infowars Goes Main Street: Alex Jones' unique brand of reporting, long considered "fringe," resonates with many for its insistent, even paranoid, suspiciousness. Now that Donald Trump and Matt Drudge have made appearances, expect more savvy influencers to stop by their studios...including those who've been the target of Jones' criticism.  Sell It On Instagram: Now that it is possible to link from one's…

5 Unexpected Ways To Make The Client Listen

“It is much easier for some clients to dismiss ideas than to engage with them. But that’s exactly what we must advise our clients not to do….[because] they’ll just go somewhere else. There will always be someone who will embrace a brilliant idea. You do not want it to be your competition.” – Michael Dunn, Senior Brand Strategist | Chief Creative, D U N N All service providers face the same dilemma: the client who doesn’t want to hear your ideas. It’s a particularly thorny issue, though, for professionals who touch on psychological issues that are very touchy for the client. Yet you have to get the client to listen, argues Michael Dunn – you’re not doing your job as a brand consultant otherwise. Here are some actionable tips, gathered from a variety of sources. (See the originals for more background on why people so stubbornly refuse to change their views): Tell them they’re right: “Agree with them first, then present additional information.” –PsychologyforPhotographers.comOpen the floor u…

The Opposite of Engagement

I was scrolling through Instagram this morning as I am wont to do when my brain is fried and I just want to relax. There in my feed was a picture of Kylie Jenner captioned "4am with bae." Instantly I fell in love with this photo.  In a single image, Kylie captured everything commercial social media should be: Personal - you're looking into someone else's lifeSpontaneous - it's as if someone impulsively captured the momentAuthentic - it reveals something true about the person who posted itCalculated - the posting is intentional, to create a certain imageUnbranded - there are no signs it's promotionalI realized that, in comparison to Kylie, most of the professional work I do in social media falls far short of this standard. It's not because I can't comprehend what has to happen; I can. Nor is it that we refuse to show selfies with our belly buttons. Rather, it's because we - and when I say "we," I mean the grand "we," the "we"…

brand transparency (2002) by Chris Macrae: open source, full text [recovered]

For many years I was despondent that this text, posted more than a decade ago by me on Chris’ behalf for public consumption, had apparently been lost. It originally appeared at the (now-defunct) Institute For Brand Leadership website, where I served as director from 2001–2003. Fortunately, I found it on the Internet Wayback Machine. All of this is Chris’ — it is his gift to the world. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to edit the text. Of course, as an un-altered text, date-related information is outdated. (I’ll also be posting it to various other places online in hopes of preventing the text from getting lost again.) - Dannielle Blumenthal
brand transparencya collection of writings by
Chris Macrae
Chief Brand Officer Association
www.valuetrue.com edited by
Dannielle Blumenthal
Institute for Brand Leadership
www.instituteforbrandleadership.org Posted: 19 July 2002

contents 1. about the author
2. about the editor
3. bookmarks
4. transparency networkers’ summary
5. introduction
6. brand tr…