Favorite Interviews, Rare Good News, and More To Be Thankful For [The Weekly Wrap]
Author: Robert Rose
And that’s a wrap of the week ending Nov. 29, 2019
This week I’m thinking about how viewing the world (and work) through a lens of gratitude changes everything. I round up some of the best news you might have missed this year and share highlights from some favorite interviews. And I point you to inspiring content marketing examples to review while you’re trying to resist the temptation to do some online shopping.
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Our theme this week is gratitude. Let’s wrap it up.
One deep thought: The lens of gratitude (4:00)
One practice I continually return to is to ask: What eyes am I judging this experience with? Child’s eyes, adult’s eyes, cynical eyes, the ego’s eyes, or something else? Another way to ask the question is, “What lens is coloring my judgment?” This reflection can help us as business managers, friends, and humans. Whether we are creating a content strategy, building a brand, coding a project, or just visiting with friends at dinner, we can choose to see everything – even conflict – through the lens of gracious gratitude.
A fresh take on all-too-rare good news (12:05)
One thing I’m working on is how to bring more goodness and kindness to the world. These days, cynical stories seem to rise in algorithms while wholesome ones get hidden. We can change that. Here are my favorite good-news stories from this year.
A news item from February highlights a NASA study that shows that we are a greener earth than we’ve been in decades thanks to “ambitious tree-planting programs in China and intensive agriculture in both countries.”
A man who is blind asked people in a pet group on Facebook to describe their dogs so he could picture them. To his delight, thousands of people left detailed descriptions of their mutts. Here’s a sample comment: “Billy is a chocolate lab. He’s silly and funny, and so loving. He knows when you’re sad, or tired. He’ll put his super soft snoot that feels like velvet on your lap, and when you start petting his smooth, silky head and back you can feel his whole body sigh and relax. Something about that just pulls all the sad out of you and helps you feel better almost instantly.”
Did you know that you can choose Cookie Monster as the voice for the navigational app Waze? Added to celebrate the beloved character’s birthday Nov. 2, the option is available for a limited time unless Cookie fans on social media lobbying to make it permanent have their way.
This week’s person people making a difference in content (16:45)
This week I highlight some interviews I’ve loved. I’m grateful for all the time people have spent with me since we started the interviews 17 weeks ago. I hope you enjoy these highlights.
Jim teed up our interview series by talking about how his new book, Your Journey To Becoming Unskippable, was the result of his misadventures in politics. He won his race, but it nearly ruined his life. We talked about how the lessons he learned brought him to a place where he could write this book.
“I learned a lot about how people think, react, buy, and vote. I learned a lot about human beings in the process,” he told me.
An amazingly smart marketing strategist, Sydni made a great point about empathy – something in too short supply – as a foundational piece of marketing strategy: “A leader that honestly, truly has empathy for the audience they’re looking to serve is always going to be 10 steps ahead of the person who doesn’t.”
That’s so true. As John Steinbeck wrote, “You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself.”
Jeff and I talked about his book The Purpose Advantage. We often see companies grasp onto a popular issue – without living up to that commitment.
“You need to think about purpose metaphorically – as a verb,” Jeff said. “Purpose is a noun, but the brands that have a purpose advantage and do it well use actions to stimulate their internal and external audiences, rather than just advertising about a societal issue.”
Another one of my favorites is this fun and funny interview in which Kathy and I talked about experimenting with interesting ideas. I asked her how on earth can we start to manage this experimentation in business terms.
“The team will laugh and say, ‘We gotta get 10 layers of approval to even put out a tweet. So you tell me how we’re supposed to experiment.’” Kathy offered several good ideas for process and management changes that reward experimentation.
Ann and I talked about those things marketers all know we should be doing – being more strategic, thinking things through from the audience point of view, providing real value – yet too few are actually doing.
“We aren’t taking the time we need to pause and figure out what we should be doing to give us the most return down the road,” Ann said. “And we’re not selling the idea internally that we really can do less and we can obsess about what we’re doing and still get great results.”
I’ve saved my very favorite for last. I talked with Todd Henry about how creativity affects not only the way people behave but the way businesses operate. I often talk about how businesses haven’t evolved – we still operate with industrial revolutionary ideas of input and output, and that busy equals successful. Todd explained why this approach won’t work when we’re looking for great ideas.
“You can’t really systematize creativity. Creativity has an ebb and a flow … When we try to squeeze as much effort and value out of people every day, we’re unlikely to get to the really good value that’s buried just beneath the surface and requires a little more nuance, a little bit more time, a little bit more forethought to get to,” he said.
One content marketing idea you can use (33:50)
The one CMI post I’d love for you to take another look at is: Learn From the Best: 8 Inspiring Content Marketing Examples by Jodi Harris. She breaks down each example for you, including the core elements of success and how you can use them to reach your own content goals. Great inspiration while you’re home recharging this weekend.
Join me next week when I dish out one thought I hope will bring out the “fillings” in you. I’ll have “polenta” news items you can share with your (taste) buds, and one content marketing post that will help you “bake” some great content marketing. All delivered in a little less time than it takes for another Baby Yoda to appear on the internet.
If you like this weekly play on words, we’d sure love for you to review it and share it. Hashtag us up on Twitter: #WeeklyWrap.
It’s your story. Tell it well.
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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute