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.

My Younger Boss

My Younger Boss

I recently came across a video on bbc.com called, "Crossing Divides: How to cope when your boss is younger than you." In an effort to be helpful, the video was presented with this text snippet: In a society increasingly fragmented by age, work is one place where...

Professional Vulnerability

Professional Vulnerability

SPAM & PROFESSIONALISM Professional VulnerabilityJoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group5 March 2020 Dear JoAnna,   Did you read my last email? How about the first six that you ignored? I am sooo excited to begin our relationship together. I know you’ll...

Doing Right Things vs. Doing Things Right

Doing Right Things vs. Doing Things Right

In 1999, I was working at a small public-relations firm in Avon, Connecticut. My dentist was in the next town east, which, oddly enough, is West Hartford. (Everything is relative.) Exiting I-84 on Prospect Street, I drove north on Prospect, intending to turn left onto...

A Bad Story

A Bad Story

TRUTH & VULNERABILITY A Bad Story JoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group27 February 2020 A common phrase in PR is, “No press is bad press.” If you don’t agree, you haven’t flexed your problem-solving muscles well enough. I’d like to extend this sentiment a...

The Sky is Falling

The Sky is Falling

Now that Chicken Little has taken over at Harvard Business Review (HBR), she has a message for you: "GDPR and the End of the Internet’s Grand Bargain". It's not a typical children's story. But it is a fairy tale. And along the lines of Hansel and Gretel and Little Red...

Who Are You

Who Are You

CHANGE & YOU Who Are You?JoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group20 February 2020 Please know that no matter who you are today, it doesn’t define who you have to be tomorrow. I often fell into the hole of thinking I had to stay put to stay on track. If I told...

A Pain in the PETA

A Pain in the PETA

In case you missed it, or you haven't been keeping score, it's official: PETA has now completely run out of things to do. If that weren't the case, they wouldn't have jacked up the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club in an attempt to get Phil replaced by a robot. You think...

The Story

The Story

THE STORY & YOUR STORY The StoryJoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group13 February 2020 When you write an autobiography, you’re telling the story of your life through introspection. You’re the only person capable of knowing your version of self-talk – and...

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s Superficialman!

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s Superficialman!

The only thing I wanted to do less than write this post was read the article that prompted it: "In Silicon Valley, some men say cosmetic procedures are essential to a career". It's really tough to imagine humanity ending well when we've elevated first-world problems...

The Bubble Club

The Bubble Club

TARGET AUDIENCE & PREFERENCES The Bubble Club JoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group6 February 2020 Have you ever started to read a book and couldn’t finish it? Or maybe you started watching a new television series and didn’t get into it. In those cases,...

Let the Sunshine In

Let the Sunshine In

Some things are so completely screwed, you just have to write verses about them. Case in point: "A $1 Billion Solar Plant Was Obsolete Before It Ever Went Online". Get a load of this: SolarReserve’s Crescent Dunes received backing from Citigroup and the Obama Energy...

2020 Vision

2020 Vision

PERSPECTIVE & VISION 2020 VisionJoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group30 January 2020 20/20 vision is a term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see...

Reduced to Peanuts

Reduced to Peanuts

That thing rushing up at us is the bottom of the barrel, kids. Yep. Unless you happen to live in that barrel — with the lid sealed tight — you've likely heard the story, nearly ubiquitous by now (its ubiquity is its one and only point), that Mr. Peanut will allegedly...

MLK’s Timelessness

MLK’s Timelessness

QUOTES & REFLECTION MLK's TimelessnessJoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group23 January 2020 We’re in the third week of January. If you live in the U.S., you likely observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day this past Monday. While listening to the radio and...

Up, Up, and Away!

Up, Up, and Away!

One of the five million or so things I love about life is coming across a headline so incredible, so fantastic, so laden with unintended consequences that it causes your mind to reel, even as it causes your heart to sink and your stomach to churn. Exhibit A: "Uber and...

Dear Jennifer …

Dear Jennifer …

INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE & FAMILY COURTDear Jennifer ...JoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group16 January 2020Out of the 246 intimate partner homicides in Connecticut during the years 2000-2017, 213 were women. That means 87 percent of the victims of...

Bad Bosses: Part Two

Bad Bosses: Part Two

The day after The Guardian published the article, "You’re not alone: how to survive your horrible boss" (about which I wrote last week), Training Journal published this: "How to avoid triggers in the workplace". Apparently looking to one-up The Guardian on idiocy and...

Dominance vs. Vulnerability

Dominance vs. Vulnerability

DOGS, CHICKENS, AND VULNERABILITY Dominance vs. VulnerabilityJoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group9 January 2020 Is dominance the way? My six pets consist of dogs and chickens, and their behaviors seem to demonstrate one thing to me: I’d rather be vulnerable...

Bad Bosses: Part One

Bad Bosses: Part One

In the middle of November, The Guardian published an article entitled, "You're not alone: how to survive your horrible boss". It was one of those articles you know you should approach with trepidation because you can reasonably suspect it's in some way connected to...

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

PROMISES & SUPPORT Happy New Year JoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group3 January 2020   Take a deep breath in through your nose then let it out through your mouth. We did it. The holidays have concluded, and we’ve begun another rotation around our...

Christmas Beliefs

Christmas Beliefs

RELIEF & BELIEF Christmas BeliefsJoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group19 December 2019 I sometimes wonder if folks who don’t celebrate Christmas have the right idea. With the big day less than a week away, this single momma is secretly praying for elves to...

Holiday Fun

Holiday Fun

If you're anything like us, you might find yourselves looking for some recreational activities in which to engage during the downtime afforded by the Holiday Season. Here at O'Brien Communications Group World Headquarters, we find it engaging, enjoyable, and...

Snow

Snow

WINTER & DARKNESS SnowJoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group12 December 2019 The wintry weather has begun in the good ol’ Northeast. We had our second minor snowstorm this week, and I was reminded how bright it can be outside with a fresh coat of snow on the...

The Big Drain

The Big Drain

I'd like you to think about something. And because I'm not a beat-around-the-bush kind of guy, here it is: Digital transformation is more than a buzzword for modern businesses—it's a necessity for remaining viable ... Despite its critical importance, a surprising...

48 Down, 4 To Go

48 Down, 4 To Go

GROWTH & FOCUS 48 Down, 4 To GoJoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group5 December 2019 The first 48 weeks of the year are gone, and only the final four remain. I’ve started putting some thought into the promise I’d like to make to myself in 2020. Last year, I...

Raising the FUBAR

Raising the FUBAR

Whew! By any measure, this came along just in the nick of time: "Spiking Health Problems in U.S. Millennials May Make Them Poorer".  Since we seem to be catching on to The Four Hs of Climate Change — Hyperbole, Hysteria, Hubris, and Hypocrisy — our knickers were in...

Why is Your Why Your Why?

Why is Your Why Your Why?

Several months ago, I wrote a story on Medium called, "The Big Why". In it, I wrote this, in part: It’s become popular ... to ask people, “What’s your why?” All of that is attributable to a young British chap named Simon Sinek, who’s managed to turn our cataclysmic...

Help

Help

GIVING & RECEIVING HelpJoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group21 November 2019 Who are your favorite clients? Why? Do they regularly pay their invoices on time, or is it more than that? Are you able to have conversations with them that make you a better...

The Blissful and Bizarre World of ASININE

The Blissful and Bizarre World of ASININE

I love the Internet because it's an endless source of mindless distraction. It's also a wonderful way to discover the mindless things with which other people distract themselves. One of my more recent discoveries is ASMR or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. I came...

Crushing Goals

Crushing Goals

SUCCESS & FAILURE Crushing GoalsJoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group14 November 2019 Disney+ launched on Tuesday of this week. Of course, it wasn’t without a hiccup, but in the grand scheme of things (GSoT) I doubt many will remember the rocky start....

Big Data is Bigger Than You Thought

Big Data is Bigger Than You Thought

I miss surprises. I really do. I feel a little bit sorry and a little bit nostalgic about the fact that things are becoming so increasingly obvious that it gets harder and harder to imagine — forget about trying to actually find — things that aren't completely...

Good? Evil? Which Are You?

Good? Evil? Which Are You?

SELF & STORIES Good? Evil? Which Are You?JoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group7 November 2019 When I think of an evil personality, I immediately go to the part of my childhood memory formed from stories and movies. Jafar in Aladdin, Scar in The Lion King,...

You Don’t Say!

You Don’t Say!

I happened on a story on Medium the other day entitled, with disarming effusiveness, "Blue Lagoon Strategy — Carve your own niche!" Since I'm something of an amateur whittler, I thought I might be able to pick up a few tips on carving techniques, the best types of...

Postponed

Postponed

HALLOWEEN & EVOLUTION PostponedJoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group31 October 2019 Happy Halloween! Towns throughout CT have postponed trick-or-treating for this evening due to the impending weather unpleasantries. Some folks are livid about the change....

Succeeding With DIMWITs

Succeeding With DIMWITs

While surfing LinkedIn the other day, I noticed an article about organizational transformation. (Good luck with that.) The profile of the author indicated he was responsible for innovation. The first thing that crossed my mind was that being responsible for innovation...

Yellow

Yellow

YELLOW & BRAND YellowJoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group24 October 2019 Today I looked out the windows in my office and noticed the trees are a beautiful blend of yellow. Some are a greenish-yellow like an unripe banana. Others are a bright yellow that...

The Long, Painful Death of PowerPoint

The Long, Painful Death of PowerPoint

It finally happened: In a recent Discovery Session with a new client, the client said, “We need you to create new presentation materials for us. But we don’t want you to use PowerPoint.” I don’t know what unnerved the client more — the fact that I wept openly or that,...

Precedents aren’t permanent.

Precedents aren’t permanent.

Humans are creatures of habit. It’s easier to keep with the familiar precedent – even if it’s torturous – than it is to commit to making a change. But with change and broken habits, we can uncover new and more healthy ways to experience conflict.

Shootout At the InsurTech Corral

Shootout At the InsurTech Corral

If you have any doubts at all that insurtech is The New Thing, The Next Big Thing, The Already Big Thing, and The Ultimate Bomb-Diggity, look no further than this post from Finextra, pubished just this past May: "Report questions value of insurtech despite record...

Data Obsession

Data Obsession

DATA & PEOPLE Data ObsessionJoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group10 October 2019 As an overall population, we’re obsessed with data. We’re humans after all! We can’t help but be fascinated with the idea of predicting, preparing, and planning. Attempting to...

The Pre-Paleo Diet

The Pre-Paleo Diet

If you don't believe in God — or if you harbor any doubts whatsoever that he loves us — doubt no more: "The Saddest Leafy Green: America never really liked kale": Since about 2011, when Gwyneth Paltrow taught the world how to make kale chips on the Ellen show, kale...

Fourth Quarter Reflection

Fourth Quarter Reflection

REFLECTION & MOTIVATION Fourth Quarter Reflection JoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group3 October 2019 Welcome to the fourth quarter! Can you even believe it? Did you accomplish your 2019 goals? If I go back to my first blog post of the year, I can...

Eastern Equine Encephalitis and Other Viruses

Eastern Equine Encephalitis and Other Viruses

In the town in which we live — South Windsor, Connecticut — mosquitoes tested positive last week for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, otherwise know as Triple E or EEE. This is timely but not accidental, of course, coming as it does after Connecticut’s deleriously...

Story Telling

Story Telling

MARKETING & STORIES Story TellingJoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group26 September 2019 Story telling is the oldest human pastime. The oldest written story known to man is The Epic of Gilgamesh, which dates to more than 4,000 years ago. For as long as...

A Pain in The Ass

A Pain in The Ass

Author’s Note: Every word of this story is true. No morons were hurt in the making of the story told here, except yours truly. I’m all right now. Thank you. I once had a client (who shall remain nameless), whose wife (who also shall remain nameless) worked in the...

Crushed or Courageous?

Crushed or Courageous?

COURAGE & FAILURE Crushed or Courageous? JoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group19 September 2019 Struggles are part of the human experience. Some days it may seem we were put on this earth to suffer. Some of our challenges make us fearful. Our stressors can...

Ya Gotta Hope

Ya Gotta Hope

While reading the news feed on my iPhone in the gym the other night, even as I cranked my heart rate up to 340 on a Matrix elliptical machine, I came across a headline that damn-near blew me off the machine: “This 74-year-old woman just gave birth to twins.” The piece...

A Story and Some History

A Story and Some History

STORIES & HISTORIESMy Story and Some HistoryJoAnna Bennett, O'Brien Communications Group12 September 2019It’s September 12th, 2019. Eighteen years and one day after the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center were attacked by two planes, a third plane...