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.


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.

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...

10 More Shocking Workplace Stats You Need to Know

David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom are selling a book. To promote it, they sold a piece to Forbes called, "10 Shocking Workplace Stats You Need to Know". Their 10-point laundry list is considerably more obvious, trite, and superficial than shocking. But I don't want to...

A Long Car Ride

SOLITUDE & REFLECTION A Long Car Ride JoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group 20 September 2018 There comes a time in most licensed drivers’ lives when they’re required to take a long ride. I’d categorize this type of drive to be longer than two hours....

Take the Ride

Parenthood ... It's about guiding the next generation, and forgiving the last. (Peter Krause) There's Nothing New The ground rules: There's no blaming here. We're all making our way through the human condition. We all get the challenges and opportunities afforded by...

The Euphemism Busters

You know how the lyrics go, “If there’s something strange and it don’t look good, who ya gonna call? The Euphemism Busters.”

Maintaining Our Footing

In his book, The Life of Reason, the American philosopher, poet, novelist, and critic George Santayana (1863-1952) wrote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to fulfill it." Seventeen years after September 11, 2001, the matter is not whether we remember...

In the Moment

Full disclosure: I have a saying from Groucho Marx, framed and sitting on a bookshelf, right next to my desk. I read it every day. It says this: Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can...

Language Pollution

Most of us – almost all – must take in and give out language as we do breath, and we had better consider the seriousness of language pollution as second to only air pollution. (John Simon)

It’s Only Words: Part Three

In the immediately previous post in this series, I proposed a cautionary statement by which we might attempt to find — if not to re-establish respect for and insistence on — meaning and substance in written communication. (All but the most hearty and quixotic among us...

The Beginning of this School Year

Welcome to the last week of August! The new school year is upon us! Social Media is officially abuzz with photographs of children we’ll never meet donning smiles faker than the ones in those family couch pictures taken at Christmas.

An Ode to Ephemera

I begin this post with two statements, the cause-and-effect relationship between which I'll leave to you, dear reader: I vociferously believe1984 should be required reading. I live in a constant state of low-level anxiety. I don't know that my nagging sense of dread...

Marketing Should Be Simple: Part Trois

At risk of sounding demanding or presumptuous, we'd like an A for effort. Here's why: We took shots at pointing out that — and how — marketing should be simple here and here. To no avail. But since we consider quit to be a four-letter word, we're back for another...

It Goes On

It’s mid-August – that special time of year when you can’t decide if the summer has gone by really fast or if you’re still enjoying it.


When I was in school, I was so good at math I became an English major. In college, the only two courses I dropped were Economics, which required the calculation and distribution of scarce resources (math) and Chemistry, which required the calculation and disposition...

A Tale of Biases

While gut reactions are often the most reliable, they’re never the most informed. Be patient, question everything, and evaluate thoroughly.

The Infolessgraphic

If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter. (variously attributed) You could have seen this coming a mile away. It would have required neither crystal ball nor Ouija Board, neither soothsayer nor shaman. All you would have had to do is hang around...

When Did You Get So Big?

Sometimes I wonder how time seems go so fast. How’s the summer almost over? When did my kids get so big? Take the time! Reflect on your accomplishments.

Epidemic Surrogacy: Part Three

I can't decide if we've lost the will to take care of ourselves or the ability. I can't decide which would be worse. And I can't decide who should be more ashamed: the ostensible adult who posted the following message on LinkedIn — or the ostensible adult on whose...


I read an article in Fast Company the other day called, "What if We Killed the Job Interview?" On first reading, it ripped the common sense out of my skull, stomped it to a gelatinous dollop, and left it writhing and sparking in a series of random, errant synapse...

The Clever Commode

While writing last week’s post, I learned about the one-of-a-kind TOTO Dual Flush toilet. I also ran across a few smart devices for the latrine.

Harvard Bandwagon Review

I used to think the coolest job in the world was playing rhythm guitar on Lyle Lovett's ''She's No Lady". I changed my mind. Presuming it's a paying gig, I now think the coolest job in the world is editing Harvard Business Review (HBR). It's cool because, apparently,...

Meetings: An Exit Strategy

I read another of Harvard Business Review's inimitably intellectual and brilliantly informative articles the other day. It was called, "How to Get Out of a Meeting You Know Will Waste Your Time". Its thesis was this: You can often predict which meetings will be...

Point of View

Thinking of situations from different points of view can be a humorous and empathy-building activity. It can also bring up good topics for your next barbeque.

Lord of the Flies … and Bass Players

Despite my disdain for bureaucracies, I'm a firm believer in leadership. So, I could only shake my head when I read a piece of utopian nonsense called, "Imagine a company with no leaders - I mean NO leaders!" I don't doubt the author is a good guy. And his post starts...

New Life

Physical, mental, financial, and emotional work goes into creating new life — the beauty and awe doesn’t come effortlessly.

Epidemic Surrogacy: Part Two

In the first post on this topic, as indications of our growing dependency on being told what to do — and as evidence of the rampant proliferation of public nuisances who are only too happy to tell us what to do — I cited Exhibits A through C. As a public service, I...

Conference Season

We’ve been in conference season for a few months now. I’m sure if you spend any time on social media, you’ve likely read all of this year’s hashtags.

Your Amazon Insurance Agent

Because we work with a number of companies that sell software and services to the insurance industry, we hear all kinds of things. Some of them are understandable enough. They're fair, balanced, and reasonable. Some of the other things we hear? Not so much. They range...

My Blue Logo

When you think of the color blue, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the smell of fresh linens blowing in the breeze? Perhaps the memory of your last visit to the beach, the blue water pulsing closer and closer with each incoming wave.

Spidey Sense

If you weren't paying attention during the last days of April, you missed much, most of which was a dizzying blur of inconsequential nonsense. This is just a random sampling of the gratuitous junk that made it into the headlines: North and South Korea met for some...

Does Mom Always Know Best?

She picked out your clothes and loves bragging about your life’s accomplishments. But mom may not be the right person to consult about business endeavors.

It’s Only Words: Part Two

There's a well-worn axiom, particularly in the worlds of business and politics, that goes like this: "Never believe anything until it's officially denied." I'd like to propose a corollary, pertaining to the predilection, particularly in the worlds of...

Honor and Remember

Memorial Day is a U.S. federal holiday for remembering the men and women who lost their lives during their military service. It’s not a holiday meant for celebration. It’s a holiday for remembrance. A holiday to honor and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Break It To ‘Em Gently

Harvard Business Review (HBR) would like you to know that, in the world of business, feelings are more important than results. That's right. In a world in which we award participation trophies just for showing up, it's more important to make sure people are happy,...


There are several different types of people and several different ways in which they maintain their possessions. For example, my uncle is the type of guy that schedules routine maintenance on all his vehicles – the oil changes are never overdue, and the seasonal tune-ups are timely.

The Process

In a blog post I published a few weeks ago, I wrote this: Once the organization — any organization — is large enough, no one needs to care about anything. Executive functions (making policy) are separated from work (conducting the activities that generate the...