Creating Corporate Culture – Before the Hire

Building and nurturing a strong brand is a matter of delivering products, services, and experiences that provide unique and compelling value to customers. That requires much more than creative communications. It requires aligning culture, people and processes so that they are incentivized to work, act, and interact in ways that produce desired brand outcomes. That means teaching and rewarding productive brand behaviors, discouraging unproductive ones, and - perhaps most importantly of all – hiri

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The English Language: Evolving, or Devolving?

Did you notice the error in this title? If you did, how much did it bother you? Language is changing. But is it degenerating? Or is it simply shedding antiquated encumbrances? • It’s vs. Its • Your vs. You’re • Their vs. They’re • The subjunctive voice Language is becoming more relaxed. IM’s, SMS’s, Facebook, blogs, wikis – they’re profoundly influencing how we read, write, speak,

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Ask Not What YouTube Can Do For You

In this election year, the new media are emerging not just as democratic, but also as Democractic -- in the capital D sense. The Obama campaign is using the internet as a resource like no other candidate has done before. These days, getting elected is a matter of knowing not only how to market a candidate but where: the medium matters. Barack “Scarlett Johansson loves me” Obama and his supporters are reaching out

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Is the Whole Foods Brand Losing its Mojo?

John Mackey, the legendarily combative CEO of Whole Foods Markets (NASDAQ: WFMI) is back. Back to blogging, that is after an 11-month self-imposed hiatus while the SEC considered whether his two thousand + Yahoo! posts under the anagram “rahodeb” (borrowed from his wife Deborah Morin) violated securities regulations. Equal parts enfant terrible and éminence grise, Mr. Mackey seems surprised by all

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Death, Taxes and Jury Duty: Jury Service in Los Angeles

"I consider [trial by jury] as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution." -- Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Paine, 1789 Every year the fifty courts in Los Angeles County handle 2,700,000 new cases. This gives the system the ignominious distinction of being the largest court in the country. To fuel this formidable juggernaut of justice, Los Angeles calls 2.68 million residents every year for jury service – the equival

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Building an Authentic Brand: Walk the Talk, or Go Home

A former boss once asked me if I knew what the most important word in the English language was. “Perspicacity?” I offered keenly. “Persiflage?” He shook his head and with great sobriety said: “Authenticity.” I can think of other words that might be more important (love, defibrillator, and plunger come to mind), but since that day I’ve seen authenticity become a buzzword among branding agencies and their clients. It makes a lot of sense. Generation X is filling the “prime earning year

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Corporate Culture: Truth vs. B.S.

I just read an interview with Samuel Culbert—a professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and the author of Beyond Bullsh*t—arguing that how people talk to each other at work affects the success of their businesses. Culbert asserts that “bulls—t has become the etiquette of choice in office life,” and that it can undermine a workplace because “it makes people feel beaten up, deceived—even dirty.” He defines “bulls

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