From Ed Batista: I conducted a workshop with the team at a startup here in the Bay Area on a range of topics related to interpersonal and group dynamics. While the title was simply Startup Communication, a theme woven throughout the day was the idea of startups as human systems, emphasizing both the complexity of the organizational culture and the critical importance of communication, feedback, and relationships in this setting. A condensed version of my deck is above, and I've added a number of links to other posts that explore in greater depth the ideas we discussed in the workshop. (Note that you have to download the deck from Slideshare in order to access those links.)
From Kivi Leroux Miller: I’m friends with many nonprofit program and research directors who confide in me about their various scuffles with communications or fundraising staff in their organizations. Nothing strange there.
What I do find a little surprising is how often I will meet a program or policy director, or even an executive director, for the first time, and upon learning what I do for a living, they will say, “Ugh. Our communications director is a complete idiot.”
From FastCompany: Jonathan Gottschall, author of The Storytelling Animal, says science backs up the long-held belief that story is the most powerful means of communicating a message.
From M.P. Mueller at NY Times: nother year — that time when we turn a critical eye to what worked and what didn’t last year. So let’s give some attention to the foundation of all good marketing efforts: interpersonal communication. Think of traditional marketing as air cover but personal communications as the sales maker that wins customers and keeps clients happy and loyal.
From Garr Reynolds at Presentation Zen: "This new talk by TED curator Chris Anderson is a great example of a naked talk given with the support of technology. This is one of my favorite talks ever, in part because of the content, and in part because of the way it was delivered. Anderson is not slick or over rehearsed, he speaks in a human voice, imperfections and all. He speaks from the heart. His embedded video and visuals help but do not get in the way. The visual amplifies his narrative and helps him take people on a little journey. Anderson states that the rise of web video created a growing worldwide phenomenon called Crowd Accelerated Innovation."
From Rosabeth Moss Kanter: Coping with the unexpected is a leadership imperative. In every endeavor, the ability to recover quickly separates winners from losers, whether they are reacting to fumbles in a sports match or curve balls thrown by external events. I summarize the challenge of managing volatility in a simple equation: MTBS = or < MTMD. MTBS is the mean time between surprises, which is shrinking. MTMD is the mean time to make a decision, which better be fast.
From ChangeThis: I hear people every day offer very valid excuses why they don’t try to improve how they communicate. Some people think it’s too hard. Others don’t know where to go for help. The most repeated excuse from people at work and in their personal lives that could be so much happier with some focused, intentional new habits: ‘I don’t have time.’ Every single one of us can communicate in a way that makes it easier for people to like spending time with us. If you feel shy, nervous, or afraid, you’re not crazy, you’re not alone, and today is the day you stop letting ugly communication damage your relationships. Authentic communication can become as natural as breathing — when you pay attention to a few essential aspects of what connects people.
From Venkatesh Rao: We humans are simpler in collectives than we are as individuals. We like to think there is a “whole greater than the sum of the parts” dynamic to human collectives, but there really isn’t. The larger the meeting, the dumber it is. If you find a large deliberative body that is acting in ways that are smarter than its size should permit, you can be sure its workings are being subverted by, say, Karl Rove. I’ll argue that larger thesis in a future article, but for now, I’ll just use that element of my personal doctrine to explain why I’ve been fascinated by meetings for years — they are simpler to study, understand and influence than individuals (in particular that most stubborn individual, yourself). When introspection gets to be too tiring, I turn to thinking about groups.