Okay, Everybody Out of the Pool
HP’s Meg Whitman follows Marissa Mayer’s lead: All Hands On Deck
Then this article from the NY Times Bits blog says that there has not been a work policy change at HP. Apparently the company has just made more room for those working at home to come work in the offices if they want.
Two recent books (by guys) advocate for getting out of the office:
Remote: Office Not Required, by Jason Fried and David Hansson
The Year Without Pants, by Scott Berkun
Here’s a blog post at HBR penned by Mr. Berkun, an overview of his book.
And slightly more locally, my version of Patch.com asks, “Who works from home?” (Though I’m not quite sure how to make sense of this map. Except to say that more than 200 people in my neighborhood work at home. What are they all doing each day?)
Book: QR Codes Kill Kittens
Kind of a funny video of author rant about idiotic use of QR codes. At bottom of page. (Should have been at the top of the page, I think.)
Angry Young Woman Uses Her ‘Telekinetic Powers’ in a NYC Cafe
This is quite amusing. Promotion for the remake of Carrie.
I’ve been working on a short documentary film tentatively titled “When Dogs Die.” It’s about the end of life of dogs and how we humans deal with that loss. One of the people I’ve interviewed for the film is Mike Thomas, caretaker at the Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery in Dedham, MA. While working on this project I began taking a class in documentary film making since I quickly learned how much I didn’t know. One of the assignments for the class was to create a video portrait of someone. Since I already had an extensive interview with Mike, and I liked him as a subject, I decided to do my portrait about him. I spoke with him a couple more times while he was at work at the cemetery. This short film then is about Mike and the work he does. It’s not exactly an excerpt of “When Dogs Die,” but portions of this short film will no doubt appear in the longer final film. At one point while interviewing Mike, he said he’d “become the cemetery guy.” I liked that line and so made it the title for this short piece. Unfortunately the line itself didn’t make it into the film.
These days, if you’re an author, you’re a speaker. (That notion definitely pertains to business authors and probably most non-fiction authors as well. Fiction authors, well, not yet, though I know a writer of young adult novels who makes most of his income speaking.) And if you’re going to speak, you want to connect; and one real good way of making a connection is to get the audience involved beyond just sitting in their chairs. Here’s a link to Nick Morgan’s podcast about how to engage your audience when you’re giving a talk. And he doesn’t mean Q & A. (As he says, that’s so 20th century.) Well worth listening to. Eight minutes; four ways to get audience to do more than just listen. (Nick is an author, communication theorist, and coach. If you’re going to speak, and I think we’ve already ascertained that you are, you should check out his website: publicwords.com.)
One way to engage your audience not covered by Nick is singing. I recently attended a book reading at the local Brookline Booksmith for Caitlin Shetterly who read from her book Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke, Finding Home. After she finished reading, she handed out photocopied lyrics to Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land,” and asked us all to sing along. She references the song in her book, but the version we sang included a more political verse about private property that did not make it into the popular version that we all know so well from our grade-school days. To sing along with friends, neighbors, and book lovers was really phenomenal—and completely unexpected, thus memorable. How many book readings that you’ve been to have stuck in your mind? Not many, I’d guess. Want to have a memorable speech, talk, book reading? Engage with your audience.
Information from wikipedia about “This Land is Your Land.”
Lists are great things. People love lists. I don’t know what it is (though I’m sure someone who studies the brain could tell us), but people will read lists of just about anything. Just take your thoughts and put numbers in front of them or pile them on top of each other. Otherwise how do you explain sites like this: http://www.grocerylists.org/
You make a “to-do” list every day, probably. Without lists, the world doesn’t go round. One of the pre-eminent list makers out there is Tom Peters. (Tom and I used to work together.) He’s got lists for anything related to work. See this page.
Here’s list-making in action, shown in this blog post, “The EXCELLENCE 25: Master the Basics.” In the first iteration, each item is just one word. In the second iteration, each term is now expanded into a sentence or two. Before you know it, each of those numbered items has a paragraph or two after it and so on and so forth. Before you know it you might have a book.
Which reminds me, Tom did write a series of three books based on 50-item lists in 1999: The Project50; The Professional Service Firm50; and The Brand You50 (this last I would maintain is still the best book on the subject of Brand You—I’m biased, of course, having worked with Tom on those books).
A quote from my Cool Friend interview with Bill Taylor, author of Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself:
If you’re a leader or you’re in an organization that’s kind of a middle-of-the-road organization, it looks pretty hopeless out there. You’re an organization that says to itself, “How do I become the most of something in my field? How do I get out of the middle of the road?” Maybe it’s the most exclusive, maybe it’s the most affordable, or maybe it’s the most local, but the organization and leaders that are thriving are the ones that embrace this “most of something” mindset and aren’t satisfied with doing things the way everybody else does.