The OCG Blog

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. The point of our blog is to challenge your thinking, to question the status quo, to prompt your imagination, and to help you see your brand differentiation can be a distinction with an engaging difference.

The OCG Blog

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. The point of our blog is to challenge your thinking, to question the status quo, to prompt your imagination, and to help you see your brand differentiation can be a distinction with an engaging difference.

Trust Everybody, But Cut the Cards*

A gentleman named Venky Ramachandran ("I design context for the Future of Work") wrote a LinkedIn post recently that made it easy enough to imagine he'll soon be designing the context for his the Future of his own Work, since he had the courage (or the naiveté) to...

5 More Skills That Innovative Leaders Have in Common

With no fanfare of any sort, the venerable Harvard Business Review (HBR) has published the first in a series of brain teasers, word puzzles designed to look like articles, containing syntactical dead ends, grammatical errors, and logical non sequiturs. The purpose of...

Reliable Idiots

When I was in my teens, Brent Musburger was on CBS covering the NFL. During one such telecast, my father told me Musburger was an idiot. I took Dad at his word and remained skeptical. In the 1980s, I was watching a college football game with my sons, both of whom are...

Crowded Lines

Recently, for the first time in nearly 30 years, I heard the song, "Don't Dream It's Over", by the Australian band, Crowded House. (The band comprised Paul Hester, Nick Seymour, and the Finn brothers — Neil, Tim, and Dorsal.) Along with a beautifully melodic chorus,...

Unnatural Abilities

Fast Company, in a magnanimous attempt to help David Hoffeld sell his book on selling (why did he need the help?), published this article — "Your Brain Can Do More Than You Think It Can, Says Science". Hoffeld is (according to his profile on Amazon) "CEO and chief...

My Trendy New Year

I was in a chi-chi shop during the Holidays that had a display of handbags fashioned from something called vegan leather. My first thought was that vegan leather must come from cows fed only on corn-fed grass that had been humanely slaughtered by filing down the teeth...

Nigerian Prince: RIP

I didn't receive any formal notice of his demise, but it appears the Nigerian Prince who was, at one time, so notorious for his spam emails, as blatant as they were transparent, has bought the farm. I suspect this because I recently received the following email from a...

Gibberish: 3,647,105 — Language: 0

Already reeling and darn near senseless, language is still taking body shots, kids. This post showed up in my LinkedIn feed after attracting some recent comments. It contains this nugget: Frustration and even anger are common, understandable reactions to new ways of...

Go Ahead, Back Up

This just in, kids. According to Harvard Business Review, networking events are a waste of time. That's right. The author, who's the founder and CEO of an un-networking community, has this to say: Regardless of how you define networking, your success will be directly...

It’s About the Fight

Seth Godin published a recent post that said this, in part: There are plenty of people who will pander, race to the bottom, and figure out how to, "give the public what it wants." But that doesn't have to be you. Professionals have standards. Professionals push back....

No Dots in the Echo Chamber

We're not losing our ability to connect dots, kids. We're giving it away. That reality was driven home by three things that came to my attention recently. Two of them were articles. The third was a website. Here they are, in order: 6 Cognitive Biases That Are Messing...

The Empath to Reality

Sincerity is everything. Once you learn to fake that, you've got it made. (Variously attributed.) As I get older, I continually wonder about reality, about the nature of reality, about our ability to perceive reality, and whether there is any objective reality at all....

Have You Heard From Yourself Lately?

It must have been a slow news day at the Wall Street Journal. The editors commissioned Alina Dizik (God bless her for being young) to write a piece about office space. She produced the article, "Open Offices Are Losing Some of Their Openness", which, through no fault...

An Evening of Hartford History

During a recent visit to the Infinity Music Hall & Bistro in Hartford, Connecticut, to see and hear Marc Cohn perform, I ran into a friend, who happens to be an architect. That led to a later discussion with Anne Bjorkland* about the depressed market for...

On the Road … to Business

A confession: As a late-blooming college student (I was 28 when I hit the hallowed halls of higher education), I became a Literature major because I didn't have the vaguest notion of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I still don't. I still haven't grown up. And I...

Regressive Innovation

Are you ready for this? The venerable Hartford Courant ("the country's oldest newspaper in continuous publication") ran an article about Aetna's trimming its workforce (another Obamacare casualty), in which it published this: As it scales back its workforce, Aetna is...

Today’s Interview

Following last week's press release, Yours Truly (YT) interviewed the two principals quoted in the release — Herman Belch (HB) of World Technology Firm (WTF) and Albert Murfwhiffle (AM) of Nano File Works (NFW). Herein, a transcript of that interview. YT: Gentlemen,...

Today’s Press Release

I don't know if you've seen this. But I have ... everywhere. Baked, AK – October 47, 2016 – World Technology Firm (NYSE MKT: WTF), a leading global provider of innovative solutions and services, today announced a strategic partnership with  Nano File Works, Inc. (NYSE...

The (Rocket) Science of Breathing

I was absentmindedly listening to a conversation between two people the other day, when one of them said, "Nadi shodan." I immediately, reflexively, but rather presciently (without intending any pun, of course) said, "Gesundheit." Little did I know I'd be sorry for my...

The Lessons of Experience

More than 20 years ago, I worked for The Travelers. That's right: In those days, it was called The Travelers, as opposed to Travelers, it's known today. I worked in the division that sold health insurance. That's right: In those days, it was called health insurance,...

Rules Are For Chumps

Good news! We now have even more reasons to justify our conducting ourselves like idiots — linguistically lazy idiots at that — and to rationalize our utter disrespect for language and its precepts. That's right. The editors at Inc., apparently tired of doing their...

Disruptive Innovation Research

A phrase caught my eye the other day. It was one of those phrases that was sad, disheartening, and demoralizing all at the same time. It was sad because whomever wrote it no doubt believed he thought it meant something and also believed he knew what that something...

Nuts for Donuts

If you're anything like me, you have a hard time getting away from your desk during the day, even for biologically and physiologically important things like eating and ... well ... you know. There are always things that have to be done: The next deal has to be made....

Two Missed Boats

The other day, I saw the LinkedIn profile of a person who'd given himself the title, Freelance Conceptor. When I saw it, I thought, as Robbie Robertson says, "Oh, this is sure stirrin' up some ghosts for me." Contemplate that for a moment. For that matter, just...

The Nosey Know

Oh, boy. Here's another guy who wants to tell us what to do. It's no coincidence, by the way, that he also wants to sell us something (dig a little more deeply under the free free Web training*): Interested in more? This article is an adaptation of a longer blog post...

Purple Is the New Powerful

One of the reasons we love what we do is that we get to hear every conceivable rationalization for subjectivity, arbitrariness, and disregard for the target audience. Case in point: We recently created a new corporate identity and corresponding collateral materials...

Some Things Can’t Change

These are tough times here in these United States. Seeming to be anything but united, we seem to be intent on finding every way imaginable to divide, to disagree, to fight, to kill, and to point fingers at everyone but ourselves for what we're doing, for the...

7 More Common Characteristics of Unproductive Employees

One of two things must be true: It's easy to be hoodwinked by people who don't do anything. We've lost our ability to recognize people who don't do anything. I'm not sure which of those is true. But I know one of them must be because Inc. saw fit to publish an article...

Water For the Drowning

Read this. Then read it again: This has spawned a plague of traffic brokers who specialize in traffic laundering at an almost unbelievable scale ... “real” traffic is undervalued or, some would say, indistinguishable from fraudulent traffic ... everyone is doing it,...

We Are What We Eat

The perils of ingesting gluten have been fairly exhaustively chronicled, here and in other other, almost equally august media. Nevertheless, as is our incorrigibly human knack, we remain susceptibly gullible to all manner of fads, frauds, flimflams, and other forms of...

10 More Red Flags Not to Hire That Promising Candidate

The dense streak that necessitated the publishing of "Ten More Signs Your Manager Wants You Out" to let employees know when they'd already hit the skids continues. Only now it extends to the manager who wants you out. That's right. Apparently, managers are now so...

The Greatest

Sometimes, we measure our gains by taking the measure of our losses. In the span of two-and-a-half years, three hugely influential men have passed from my life — my father, B.B. King, and now Muhammad Ali. There was a point at which I couldn't imagine my life without...

Ten More Signs Your Manager Wants You Out

Some 20-plus years ago, I was asked by the company for which I worked to fly from Connecticut to Virginia for a meeting on a Friday afternoon. It turned out to be the most amateurish, unprofessional, and bureaucratically typical exercise in passive-aggressive...

Duplicity is the New Competence

After recent revelations about the homogenization and routinization of everything, I suppose it makes a bit of logical sense that we should now be on to trivialization. But this latest revelation seems somehow more dire than its predecessors in that it has the...

The HIPPO in the Room

Trying to get through a recent post of nearly 4,000 words, which turned out to be an infomercial for an equally windy 124-page report from Deloitte, put me in mind of this passage from Alice's Restaurant, since the post contains ... ... twenty seven eight-by-ten color...

Ideology vs. Ideation

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 different ways had a different ideology happened to inhabit it. (Kenneth Burke, 1897-1993, from Language as...

Tickled Pink (Floyd)

A client told me she'd gone to Madison Square Garden to see David Gilmour on the last night of his recent North American tour. Hearing that gave me gifts of reminiscence both nostalgic and whimsical. Thinking about David Gilmour and Pink Floyd always reminds me of the...

Finding Dick Clark?

Dick Clark has been gone almost four years. But his past — the origins and ethnic derivations of the celebrity entrepreneur and perennial New Year's Eve fixture — remained stubbornly murky ... until now. According to Clark's Wikipedia profile, he was born Richard...

LinkedIn is Taking Itself Out

The blind squirrel found an acorn. It was bound to happen. After stumbling around in an amaurotic crepuscule, falling out of a few trees, and living in a virtually opaque stupor, the scansorial rodent finally discovered what empiricists working with even modestly...

Tapping the Vain

You had to know the trivialization of everything would find its way into business at some point. You had to anticipate superficiality, like water, would eventually seep into every nook, cranny, and formerly purposeful aspect of our lives. And so it has. In fact,...

Popularity is the New Productivity

When I took my first full-time job (in a major U.S. insurance and financial-services corporation), my boss said to me: "The quality of your work doesn't make any difference. The only thing that matters is who you know." It remains one of the most cynical things I've...

Junk (Food) Science

According to the WORM (World Organization Rescuing Meaning), the number of bored people in the world has more than septupled since YouTube was invented. Nobody's really sure why that is, other than the fact that it constitutes innumerable attempts to prove Andy Warhol...

Cute is the New Credible

Attention brand managers: In case you haven't yet gotten the memo, you now work for your social-media person. That's right. According to the social-media person who authored this gem — "Branding isn't dead, but it's no longer in your control" — your brand is her show,...

Innovation is the New Fear

Some syntactical constructions are a little harder to penetrate than others. The following snippet requires a hammer drill with a diamond bit to permeate, after which it could still stand some explication. The snippet comes from an article entitled, "Why The Best...

Vanishing Point

Uh oh. That crashing sound you hear is the fast-tracked hysteria of digital marketing hitting the wall. At least one digital agency wants you to think it's had an epiphany, that it's recognized the corner into which it's painted itself and found a way out: "Digital...