Changing without changing

Many of us make great sacrifice to avoid it. Laws are written and put into place to stymy it. Large, expensive buildings are built to protect against it. Minds are made up against it and reject ideas that even hint at it. Blockades of all sorts are built against potential outcomes that may lead to…

Blending: Building A New World Family

This is the first time I’ve ever done this and, since I’ve spent seemingly countless middle-of-the-night hours reading everyone else’s opinion about it on the Internet, I will offer my own out of respect for others – now knowing just what it feels like, having only imagined it up until now. If you are like…

The unswerving punctuality of chance (Part II)

There are some things that happen, happy accidents, that could not have been planned. Like stumbling on the carpet, catching yourself on the the edge of a shelf where, looking behind a small picture frame there, you find a key you lost seemingly years ago that unlocks that bike lock you have lived without all…

R2 me, too

I was 5 years old when my parents took me to my first movie. It wasn’t just a movie. It was a drive-in movie. It wasn’t just a drive-in movie. It was Star Wars. Needless to say, it flipped me right out. Unlike most of my pals at the time, though, who called out “I’m…

Does empathy bridge art + engineering?

It takes a special something, a combination of unique experience and compatible disposition, to effectively temper hard sciences with soft ones in practice. Everything may very well come back to user experience, not only in the product (the outcome) but also in the process (the story). Empathy is arguably a key component of both hard…

URL

I learned one of the most important lessons from URL, who was about 3 when I first met him. Known mostly for peeing all over the place whenever he first saw you, URL always got too excited to see people he knew or any people, actually, who were willing to give him attention. URL would…

All in the telling

The latest technologies, including cloud, social, anything mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have and will continue to transform business, especially the customer experience, which still revolves around the story. Storytelling is still the centerpiece. Nothing new there. Storytelling has been the centerpiece since before anyone could even write….

On overcoming adversity

Having gone through a particularly trying time over the past couple of years or so, involving pretty much every type of major life-changing event (moving, career changes, divorce, child-custody battle, loss of parents, etc), I made some time to write down my thoughts about it, to write the whole story from my perspective, what it…

Telling stories

We can’t throw a rock across the Web without hitting one of the many articles, posts, books, podcasts or interviews focused on the use of storytelling in business. Arguably kicking the magic out of the hat, most of them address the way stories are used in marketing goods and services (yawn). We need to think…

Plated

I eat too much. It’s simple. I eat good things because I love to cook so they are fresh and wonderful but I just eat way too much. So, I started looking at alternatives. I started learning about liquid diets. Soylent. Not for me, but interesting, nonetheless. This learning led me to discover Plated, a…

Cutting through the jargon

There is a lot of jargon out there. Technology, by itself, is another language, full of the complexities of any culture. It has its own nuances, postures, protocols and fashions. Couple the jargon of technology with the cultures of sales and marketing and what we get is an utter flurry of buzzwords and motivational phrases,…

Creating Meaning in the New Media Ecology

Neil Postman wrote 18 books and more than 200 magazine and newspaper articles for major publications in both the U.S. and Europe. His best known book is Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985), about mass media’s inability to share serious ideas. Television turns real, complex issues into superficial images, he argues, less about ideas and thoughts…

Memorial

Right before you got very ill, Mom, you had already made up your mind. You wanted no funeral. No wake. No trace left behind but the memories you built yourself with each of us. You wrote letters to us to be read after you were gone. You made every consideration to make sure we knew…

“Wock, papa?”

Lately, right after dinner time, the little boy will stand there, look up at me and say, “wock, papa?”. Now, this word, ‘wock’ is a thoughtful piece of communication. Your first impression may be that it is simply a two-year-old’s version of the word “walk” or perhaps the word “rock” – but the truth behind…

Collaboration – A Top Ten List of Tips

In this modern, technology-driven age, there are arguably two general types of folks: technical and non-technical. If we ask around, the average bear with little or no technical knowledge may feel that technical folks use esoteric language, are too exacting or insensitive. Meanwhile, the average bear with technical skills stereotypically feels non-technical folks are dishonest,…

The unseen upside to donating our bodies to science

“Donating your body to science” is a well-known but poorly understood concept, at least, according to my own experience in helping my own Mom accomplish her last wish. It is important to know there are a lot of options out there for donating but there is little, if anything, written about the process and true…

Perception, Context, Empathy, and the Art of Communication

Perceptions sure are funny things. Everything depends on them. Especially outcomes. This is one for the memory banks. Here is some context: last weekend, my little boy and I had just gotten home. We were unloading our bikes from the day’s festivities (it was Memorial Day Weekend), carrying stuff back into the house: he his…

Race, Socio-Economics, and being cool with each other

What do I know about diversity? I thought I knew something about race, gender, socio-economics, and my own identity in relationship to something larger than myself. Turns out I knew very little. I learned more from this past year than I ever imagined I did not know and am keeping my eyes and ears open…

Science is no country for the storyteller? Nonsense.

Science is no country for the storyteller? Nonsense. Should not scientists be, more than anyone, acutely aware that the data tells only a slice of the story? Would not anyone truly, passionately in search of an answer (an accurate one) be more likely to search for the whole story to tell the whole story? Even…

On being a fan

It is an understatement to say YouTube has changed things. It has replaced Encyclopedia Britannica (merely an artifact from another age of learning) as the de-facto go-to resource for everything everyone may want to know, including how to fix an engine, cook dinner using a recipe, even how to tie our shoes. It is a…