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.


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...


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...


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...

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...