The Best Commercial of 2015

Emotional, unexpected, concrete, credible and tells a story. From Chip and Dan Heath’s Made to Stick this commercial is incredibly “sticky”. I like giving the presentation on Made to Stick to my class. I try to get students to use the 6 principles as a guide to thinking about and developing communications.

Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath-hand out

 

You can watch a commercial like the Royal Dutch Guide Dog one and check the boxes that apply to the ad. The best ads are many different “Sticky” factors all rolled into one. Try it on your next newsletter, your business cards or anything else, the more “sticky” your message, the better odds someone remembers it.

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Do You Care About Post Secondary Education? Watch This…

Ivory tower the movie

Ivory Tower is a documentary I recently watched on Netflix and I think you should watch it too. It talks about the ever increasing cost of tuition. Universities can’t balance their budgets and there’s pressure from all sides to do something about it. Government funding is decreasing, student apathy is increasing and at the end of it all some of the critics are asking, do we really need to be charging what we are for a third rate education? 

You can learn from the Ivy League school online for FREE now. No you can’t get the piece of paper along with it but is that really you end goal of school? To have a $60,000 piece of paper?

Watch the documentary, it’s enlightening.

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Upset Because You Were Cut?

 

No successful person in history went though life without failure.

It’s not about how many times you’re knocked down, it’s about how many times you’re willing to get back up after you’ve been knocked down(I think Rocky said that). In competitive sports there’s bound to be cuts. The competition ends up being a driver, a motivator, a reason to stay after practice, a reason to show up early, a reason to go to more camps, a reason to get extra reps in every day.

Those who love competition aren’t phased by being cut.

Everyone’s been cut from something. I remember being cut from the Provincial Volleyball team, I wasn’t tall enough, well that and I had the vertical of a small Elephant. I was cut from Tier 1 hockey twice, I was cut from tier 2 hockey once. I played an entire year in the worst hockey division in Regina for my age group. The following year I played tier 1.

It doesn’t matter the hand you’re dealt in sports, it’s how you react. It’s your attitude, and yeah it matters when your teams winning but more importantly attitude matters most when things aren’t going your way. When the world seems like it’s against you. When you feel like all is lost and that failure this time may be fatal. That’s the moment when your attitude is tested, the weak usually don’t last. Giving up is easier than fighting.

Many kids give up after being cut, many people give-up when they face insurmountable odds.

Many people don’t see the beauty that comes with a hard fought battle. There’s something romantic about sports and the endless competition. When all odds are against you, and you still prevail. There’s something amazing about the upset by underdog. There is also something special about the underdog.

When you’re cut you’re the underdog. The odds are against you. No one expects you to rise up again, no one thinks you’ll do it. But the greatest stories in sports are always underdog triumphs. It happens all the time. A team or person against all common sense defies the odds and comes out victorious. That will never happen without the right attitude and the resilience to keep moving towards your goal no matter what.

 

So, are you going to complain about being cut, or are you going to start practicing more and start taking fate into your own hands?

it's-supposed-to-be-hard

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What Are You Going to do With Your Time?

what are you going to do with your time?

Here’s a short video you have to watch. It’s an illustration using Jellybeans that puts into perspective how we organize our life and how much “free” time we really have.

So what are you going to do with your time on earth? 

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My Top 5 Articles From Last Month

The top five articles of the month

1. Dubai Police will use facial recognition and Google Glass to look for wanted criminals

Why is this important? The next step in the interconnected web is using software and hardware to better serve at our jobs. For Police enforcement this means facial recognition software. It’ll some time before it comes to Canada but I’d be willing to bet not as long as we think!

2. Select seven to hold ‘Internet reboot’ keys

Why is this important? Did you know if the internet goes down due to a terrorist attack or natural disaster 7 people hold keys of which 5 only have to meet in the U.S. to re-boot the internet. Have you ever thought what would happen if the internet goes down? I’ve never until now. We assume it’ll run forever, uninterrupted. But have you ever been working and the internet went out, what did you do? It happened last week at a clients office, I was lost, scared, lonely and I didn’t know what to do. I hope you never face that desolate situation ever.

3. The Psychology Behind Costco’s Free Samples

Why is this important? This article was fascinating, basically if you want to increase your profits, offer free samples, well for Costco it works quite well. When speaking with young marketing minds they usually jump to

4. The best Canadian Business schools for Marketers

Why is this important? The Globe and Mail decided that ranking Canadian Business schools might be of interest, well you’re right, it isn’t. UNLESS you’re in highschool, love marketing, and want to go to the school where most people like you would go. A neat little experiment that the Globe has tried here, the real question is do you trust the rankings?

5. Starting today UK citizens are free to copy MP3s, CDs and DVDs for personal use

Why is this important? The first major country to revamp their copyright laws to reflect the change that the Internet is caused to the music industry. You can now download songs and movies for personal use in the UK. It won’t be long before more first world countries follow in the UK’s footsteps.

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Coaching Is Just Management Sped Up

Coaching is just management sped upWhen you coach you have to take in feedback and make decisions affecting other people in real time. You say one thing in the wrong tone and your team is turned off. Trust is lost. You have to be extremely careful in how you treat them at first, once you have trust though, it’s much easier to get them to buy-in to your system.

When you manage people in a business situation it’s very similar to a sports game with some obvious differences. The decisions you make as a manager will affect how your staff (team) view you in the future. If you’re a demanding asshole most of the time, your staff doesn’t have many reason to stick their neck out for you or really do the right thing for the company.

When you’re coaching you don’t have weeks to get things done, you have minutes. Generally you coach youth or kids much younger than you, who are less mature than you. You’re forced to abide by the nobler motive, you can’t argue, name call or act childish under any circumstance for fear of losing the trust of the team.

You see managers all the time who’ve lost the trust of their team. I like to ask managers what their staff would say about them behind their backs after several cocktails. If the answer is “not good” we have work to do. You can’t manage in a bubble, people talk, your reputation precedes you. It’s all to common these days to find disengaged staff and a leader who is completely delusional. It’s sad really.

I think the business community could learn a lot from coaches, especially management. Do you want to become a better manager? How about a better leader? Try coaching a team. You think motivation in the workplace is difficult, try convincing a bunch of 10 year olds to pay attention long enough to learn about Volleyball, that’s difficult.

Coaching forces you to be a leader, you get better by default. The more you try to learn to be a better coach, the better leader you end up being.

Coaching is the one area where the athletes provide instant feedback, you can look at the faces of most athletes and tell if they are enjoying practice or loathing it. That is a skill all on it own, I’m not good at it yet, but I’m learning.

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