The Thought Leader Interview: Douglas Conant

Posted by on Aug 29, 2012 in Empowerment, Insights & Reflections | No Comments

This is a great interview with the former CEO of Campbell, Nabisco, General Mills and Kraft talks about how corporate transformation happens when you have engaged leadership who believe and live the transformation giving the rest of the company something to emulate.

He points to big changes like transitioning “executive compensation [to] longer-term goals. A major share of a leader’s salary was linked to long-term compensation, based on Campbell’s total shareholder returns versus a peer group of companies, over a rolling three-year period. That kept people sufficiently focused on the future. I think that kind of balance needs to find its way more fully into the corporate sector. Yes, people need to be rewarded in the short term; they have bills to pay. But they also need to be sufficiently dispassionate about everyday issues, so that they can build a greater company tomorrow as well.”

Finally, he talks about the necessity for a strong social responsibility platform. It builds a strong reputation which in turn has positive impacts on employee engagement and marketplace performance.

The Thought Leader Interview: Douglas Conant.

School Reform for Realists

This is a great article profiling three examples of business/education partnerships, what’s working and what’s not.

Here are some of the highlights.

Business/education partnerships should:

• Be set up so that all aspects of the project are transparent to outsiders, even if corporations profit from the R&D

• Foster experimentation, because it is not always clear in advance which ideas and projects will work best

• Establish in-depth training for every new technology, with businesspeople and educators learning from each other

• Bring together school leaders, teachers, nonprofits, and business collaborators to brainstorm and plan innovative efforts

• Focus attention on the problems that school leaders and teachers identify as important

• Foster a participative staff and student culture that echoes the best of the business culture around them

• Document successes and failures so that other schools can learn from them.

You may have to create a free account to read this article. Or you can download the full PDF here.

School Reform for Realists.

Why Is the Most Popular TED Talk of All Time About Education? | Creativity on GOOD

Is it really that surprising that this is the most watched video on TED?

Even if you have seen this video it’s worth watching again. If you haven’t it’s DEFINITELY worth watching for the first time!

Why Is the Most Popular TED Talk of All Time About Education? | Creativity on GOOD.

Corporate Social Responsibility vs. True Sustainability – DAL – November 2011 – Dallas Metroplex

Love this story. Especially this part:

“She approached one of the forklift operators, who was also on his coffee break and they struck up a conversation. She asked the fellow what it was that he did there in the factory. The forklift operator replied, “I come to work each day and save the planet.” When she asked him what he meant, he told her about his role in the company to reduce waste and save raw materials, and how this ultimately made the planet better for his children.”

After watching Ray Anderson give his TED talk it’s no surprise his employees believe they are making the world a better place. Might want to have a box of tissues near by.

Corporate Social Responsibility vs. True Sustainability – DAL – November 2011 – Dallas Metroplex.

Climate Science as Culture War | Stanford Social Innovation Review

Posted by on Aug 16, 2012 in Education, Insights & Reflections, Social | No Comments

“The public debate around climate change is no longer about science—it’s about values, culture, and ideology.”

The article is one of many articles and books I’ve been reading that are beginning to talk about “why” there is such a divide in so many important topics today. The simple answer is that they have become topics rooted in emotion, values and morals instead of fact or science. Because of that it has become increasingly harder for either side of a debate to listen to and consider the others POV.

We need to reframe the debate from being a science issues to being an issue that challenges our cultural and contemporary worldviews. Once you do that new approaches to discussing and solving the issue become clear.

Two of the 8 solutions the article provides are extremely relevant to strategic communication design. Here is a summary of both:

Focus on broker firms: “People interpret information by fitting it to preexisting narratives or issue categories that mesh with their worldview.

Specific broker frames can be used that engage the interests of both sides of the debate. For example, When Pope Benedict XVI linked the threat of climate change with threats to life and dignity on New Year’s Day 2010, he was painting it as an issue of religious morality. When CNA’s Military Advisory Board, a group of elite retired US military officers, called climate change a “threat multiplier” in its 2006 report, it was using a national security frame.”

Recognize the power of language and terminology: “Words have multiple meanings in different communities, and terms can trigger unintended reactions in a target audience. For example, one study has shown that Republicans were less likely to think that the phenomenon is real when it is referred to as “global warming” (44 percent) rather than “climate change” (60 percent), but Democrats were unaffected by the term (87 percent vs. 86 percent).”

The need to understand how our audience talks, feels and believes is critical in this debate. I think we can apply a lot of what we learned with Access Effect—the power that human stories have to help people understand and relate to a topic—to this project.

Climate Science as Culture War | Stanford Social Innovation Review.

To Hear Beck’s New Album, Learn to Play an Instrument | Music on GOOD

Posted by on Aug 13, 2012 in Empowerment, Inspiration, The Little Things | No Comments

Open source at its most open!

“…Beck’s latest project is a uniquely ambitious and imaginative endeavor. …Beck will issue a new collection of songs not in recorded form, but as 20 booklets containing sheet music for others to play.”

To Hear Beck’s New Album, Learn to Play an Instrument | Music on GOOD.

This Affecting 45-Second Video Explains the Uphill Battle Young Female Athletes Face | Olympics on GOOD

“It’s been forty years since the passage of Title IX, which enforced equal opportunity for women to athletic opportunities in academic institutions. While parity on the professional sports level remains elusive, Time has dubbed London 2012 “The Year of the Woman”. Every one of the 204 delegations include a female athlete, and the U.S. delegation for the first time ever boasts more women than men (and they’re bringing home nearly twice as many medals). That’s pretty remarkable given that we still have a cacophony of advertisers working hard to tell girls that they’re not attractive enough and that their primary concern should be fixing every imaginable aesthetic shortcoming.”

This Affecting 45-Second Video Explains the Uphill Battle Young Female Athletes Face | Olympics on GOOD.