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.

Boys Will Be … Oh, Good Grief

Boys Will Be … Oh, Good Grief

Pardon the interruption. I have a question.The question is prompted by a newspaper article I saw recently. Since the question is likely to be perceived as politically incorrect — or, at the very least, as something like gender-insensitive, rather than pragmatic, which...

Pardon the Innovative Disruption

Pardon the Innovative Disruption

Since many of our clients sell software and services to the insurance industry, it behooves us to pay attention to much of the content published in the industry’s myriad media milieus. This is a practice that yields mixed rewards: On one hand, we come across some...

The Month of April

The Month of April

Now that your taxes have been paid – unless you opted for that extension – we should draw our attention to some of the other reasons April is an important month.

CMO: Neither Salesperson nor Miracle Worker

CMO: Neither Salesperson nor Miracle Worker

Anyone who knows me and is familiar with my unflaggingly sunny disposition knows it’s pretty hard to piss me off. It takes a rare breed of presumptuous dolt and an equally rare combination of inanity and audacity to get my Irish up. But every once in a while ...Ladies...

Bamboozled

Bamboozled

It’s like selling a soup sandwich to a guy who didn’t know what soup was. Was the sales guy really good or did he simply find the ideal target?

Bureaucracy: 1 Creativity: 0

Bureaucracy: 1 Creativity: 0

Stand back, kids. Creativity is about to take it in the shorts ... again.That’s right. Last week, Accenture announced plans to acquire an advertising agency. Here’s all you need to know:Accenture is trying to add the kind of creative muscle not normally associated...

Do Interviews Work?

Do Interviews Work?

FANTASY & INTERVIEWS Do Interviews Work? JoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group 4 April 2019 When it comes to hiring new employees, the current times seem pretty dire. Resumes are copied and pasted from the internet, skills are exaggerated, and interviews...

Say What?!

Say What?!

I once got a call from the publisher of a trade publication. The publisher and the publication shall remain unnamed to protect the stupefyingly unbelievable. I was in the T.F. Green airport in Providence, Rhode Island, when I received the call. I vividly remember that...

Transformation

Transformation

How can you change? How can you transform? It’s pretty easy to think about how other people should change, but how about yourself?

Homer Business Review

Homer Business Review

As you may have surmised from this post and myriad others, I’m no fan of Harvard Business Review (HBR). Maybe it isn’t fair to say I’m not a fan. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say I don’t see the point of publishing things that are patently apparent to sentient...

You Are What You Eat

You Are What You Eat

GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT You Are What You Eat JoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group 21 March 2019 Our brains are hungrier than our stomachs. Every smell, sight, experience, and thought we encounter feeds our brains on a consistent and daily basis. What we...

Narrative Whiplash

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?

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?

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

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

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

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...

What are your values?

What are your values?

Bottom line: Before you tell your story, uncover your values. And before you accept someone else’s story, uncover theirs.

Death By a Thousand Meetings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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...