Endeavorance

The point of our blog isn’t to show you how up to date we are with buzzwords and jargon. It isn’t to instruct you with how-to guides, tips, tricks, and hacks. It isn’t to encourage, endorse, or engage in conformity. The point of our blog is to provoke, to counter popular notions, to question the status quo, to prompt your imagination, and to challenge you to think and achieve more than you might otherwise. Whatever happens, it’s worth the endeavor.

Endeavorance

The point of our blog isn’t to show you how up to date we are with buzzwords and jargon. It isn’t to instruct you with how-to guides, tips, tricks, and hacks. It isn’t to encourage, endorse, or engage in conformity. The point of our blog is to provoke, to counter popular notions, to question the status quo, to prompt your imagination, and to challenge you to think and achieve more than you might otherwise. Whatever happens, it’s worth the endeavor.

Narrative Whiplash

In the beginning was the Narrative, and the Narrative was with Global Warming, and the Narrative was Global Warming. (Al Gore 1:1) Then the Narrative was with Climate Change, and the Narrative was Climate Change. Then all Hell broke loose. The polar vortex that...

What’s Your Purpose?

When it comes to establishing your brand’s voice and overall personality, it may seem like an unnerving task. Are you supposed to be serious or friendly?

Going Somewhere?

Before you cast those vacation plans in concrete or book flights for your next business trip, you may want to take a look at this: "Our galaxy is due to crash into its neighbor—but when?” At risk of alarmism:Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is destined to collide with its...

Correctness in the GSoT

Will March go out like a lamb, or a white bear? I’m going to fight the urge to seek the answer to that question. And in the GSoT, does it matter?

Lazy Up

The older of my two sons, Sean, started coaching basketball — at Saint Timothy, a Catholic Middle School in West Hartford, Connecticut — when he was just 22. It was his calling. He only lost one game in his first two seasons. That loss was the final game of the New...

Sticks and Funny Bones

Researchers at Australia National University (ANU) have discovered irrefutable evidence that humor can reduce workplace stress. So, the institution publicized the results of its research in a post called, "How humour can help reduce workplace stress", and put a u in...

Death By a Thousand Meetings

As you might have surmised from reading this and this, I'm not a fan of meetings. And I've always suspected every meeting I've ever attended cost me considerably more than time. Well, now, there's apparent proof, courtesy of this study: "Implicit signals in small...

Al Gore’s Next Movie

If you thought Al Gore, the Clown Prince of Self-Enriching Hysteria, was done — if you thought a Nobel, an Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy, a Webby, a few million bucks in the bank, and an energy-sucking mansion might be enough to satisfy his publicity-craving,...

Great Things

RESPONSIBILITY & ACCOUNTABILITY Great Things JoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group 7 February 2019 Patricia Jones thought of herself as a good person. She had grown up on the Upper East Side, attended Marymount School of New York, and for as long as she...

The 10 Realities of Leadership

In a short blog post more than four years ago, I published "The 10 Commandments of Leadership". They weren't original. Since then, I've done much, learned much, and come to realize things are hardest for those who think they should be easy. They're not. If you want to...

Mob Rules

We were on a call with a client the other day when he said something about mergers and acquisitions (M&A). But it sounded for all the world like murders and acquisitions. And that got me to thinking.According to Investopedia:The key principle behind M&A is...

Find Your Tribe

Finding our tribe seems magically delicious. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: The only way into a tribe is to be a part of a tribe.

Redefining the Funnel

The marketing funnel (alternatively known as the purchase funnel, the purchasing funnel, the customer funnel, the sales funnel, the conversion funnel, or the snake oil funnel) is a model that purports to show the various stages of the journey ostensibly taken by a...

The Unicorn Craze

It’s nice to imagine being as rare as a unicorn, but being precious can be damaging to our psyches, our lives, and our sense of enjoyment and fulfillment.

Houston, We Have a Problem

People come to me all the time and ask: "OB, how can I tell I need a brand-management program?" My answer is always the same: "There are many ways in which you can tell you need a brand-management program. But one of the most important ones is the way in which you...

Identity

PERSONALITY & GROWTH Identity JoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group 10 January 2019 Have you ever taken a personality test? Did it describe the you that you always thought you were? Thinking about the way I view myself compared to the way others view me, I...

Mind: Boggled

The Dilbert strip at the top of this post boggles my mind. Before I tell you why, I'd like to list some of the reasons for which it doesn't boggle my mind. It doesn't boggle my mind because: I know people use language like this. I hear it, read it, and try to keep our...

Logotripe

logotype (noun): 1. any alphabetical configuration designed to identify an individual, product, service, publication or company 2. a single piece of type that prints a word or group of separate letters 3. a single piece of type that prints a logo or emblem 4. a logo...

A December 27th Haiku

The omnipotent feelings of peace, magic, and acceptance are what I’d like to bring with me into 2019. I hope you’re able to conjure up some of those feelings as well.

A Seasonal Meditation

I originally published this piece on December 24, 2015. I vaguely remembered having written it. I didn't remember at all having published it. But I'm glad I found it. I offer it now with even more fervent hope that we might recognize its universal truth, that we might...

Pressure

The pressure is on – unless you happen to celebrate Hanukkah, which concluded last Monday. For the rest of us, it’s five days until Christmas!

The Season of Atonement

This is adapted from a post I originally published on December 24, 2014. I still mean every word. In the song, "Turn, Turn, Turn", made famous by the Byrds, though adapted from Ecclesiastes 3:1 by George Aber and Pete Seeger, we learn this: "To everything, there is a...

Believe

Perhaps this season needs to come around to remind us to believe in something – whether its yourself, your clients, or good ol’ Saint Nick.

I’m Dreaming of a Wet Christmas

Sung to the tune of "White Christmas", with apologies to Irving Berlin and junk scientists everywhere.I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas,Just like the ones Al Gore predicts.Where Big Al is frowning and we're all drowning;Although, real science contradicts.I'm dreaming of...

Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and Innovation

After the editors of Harvard Business Review (HBR) came back from vacation, they immediately took a sabbatical or went into hibernation or something. No one seems to be sure. But it's the only way to explain the publication of this: "The Myth of the Intrapreneur"....

Reading the Classics

Once I know how useless something is, I really don't enjoy being reminded of its uselessness. Alas, as I'm quite aware, the world doesn't care much what I do or do not enjoy. And, so, I couldn't ignore this reminder: "Capital projects: Creating digital-first...

Unlimited Access

The internet puts the world at our fingertips. Not only are we able to connect with the world via the internet, but the world can access us.

Empaths, Sympaths, and Cow Paths

empathy (noun) the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another the imaginative ascribing to an object, as a natural object or work of art, feelings or attitudes present in oneself sympathy (noun)...

Transparent Opacity

Regular readers of my ravings know it's the rare occasion, indeed, on which I agree with Harvard Business Review (HBR). But, as Grandpa O'Brien loved to say, "It's the exception that proves the rule." Case in point: I found myself in wholehearted philosophical and...

The Era of the Era Era

In a post I wrote recently, a publication I cited mentioned the loyalty era. That got me thinking about how, when, and why we decided everything now has to be referred to as an era. It also made me wonder (1) what might have to transpire and (2) how much time might...

Sick … Again?

If you happen to be a parent or know anyone who is or was, you’ve likely heard the woes of back-to-school colds. If it happens to be the child’s first year of school, you can increase the occurrences of these illnesses exponentially.

Can We Talk About Lean Marketing?

After publishing last week's post on Agile Marketing, I read something about Lean Marketing. Since I do my level best to keep pace with the latest gimcrackery (or quackery, if you prefer), I quickly leapt out onto the Web Searchosphere to see what all the buzz was...

The First of November

Happy November! There are only 60 days left in the year – you got that right we are 83% done with 2018. Have you started your Christmas shopping?

Can We Talk About Agile Marketing?

A company called Workfront was good enough to publish an informercial, disguised as a blog post, from another company. The other company is called MarketerGizmo, and its URL directs to yet another company. That third company is called IdealPath. And if you think...

The Exclamation Point!

Especially in business communication, here’s a rule of thumb: Don’t let punctuation define you or your brand. Use an exclamation point if you want!

Three Ways to Know You’re Sucking Wind

In today's episode of B2B Business Challenges, we're going to talk about ways in which you can recognize if you or your organization is sucking wind. Specifically, we're going to cover the Big Three: Falling for Clickbait Falling for Buzzwords Falling for Sales...

Living My Best Mid-Life

This past Monday, the Ides of October, I made it around the sun for the thirty-fourth time. I’ve always thought I’d be worried or bothered by the aging process, but it’s had the opposite effect on me.

Leaf-Peepers and Other Public Nuisances

One of the hazards of living in Southern New England is having to contend with the annual onslaught of northbound leaf-peepers. Depending on the weather — I'm sorry, climate change — somewhere between Columbus Day — I'm sorry, Indigenous People's Day — and Halloween,...

Reading Email … Part Two

I like to look at email as an extension of myself. I work from home. Email is vital in my daily communications. It’s one way that I can represent myself, my company, and our brand.

Good to the Last Drop

In the upper right-hand corner of my LinkedIn page last week, I saw a headline that said, "Hip coffee has become big business". This headline, I was to understand, constituted Perspectives curated by LinkedIn Editors. Be that as it may, I immediately recognized it as...

The Labor of Emotion

Emotional labor is an unavoidable human experience. And it’s not something that can be evenly balanced or evenly compensated for between different people and jobs.

Social Media, Marketing, and Ideology

I'll preface my thoughts with this notion from Kenneth Burke, which I've shared in several of my previous posts: An "ideology" is like a spirit taking up its abode in a body: it makes that body hop around in certain ways: and that same body would have hopped around in...