I have been following the work of Grant McCracken for a while and have yet to be disappointed. McCracken is an anthropologist that studies culture in organizations and has taught at MIT, Harvard and is a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge. Following his previous work Chief Culture Officer in 2011, his latest book on Culture is just as informative and more importantly, for summer reading, entertaining. Culturematic is about making an ingenuity engine that drives performance – something sorely needed in this economy. For emerging producers of culture, this book serves as a digital guide to the territory. For traditional producers of culture – hopefully the book will act as a source of inspiration. How to manage innovation from the C-suite? This book provides some welcome guidelines for creating a culture of innovation. If you want to get ahead of your competition, the most secret sauce of competitive advantage is your culture. McCracken shows you both why and how. He blogs extensively at culture by.com on the intersection points between anthropology and economics. Worth checking out.
Jonah Sachs has written a great book on the proper use of story and the five deadly sins of marketing (vanity, authority, insincerity, puffery and gimmickry). Tapping into the power of myth, Sachs speaks to empowerment marketing and what that shift would entail. The most important takeaway for me from this new offering was the importance, again, of the value system that guides individual and corporate behaviour. In short, SHOW DON’T TELL. Any brand who has maintained its value over time has relied on clearly expressed and lived values. Brand communication becomes sharing your values with your customers and can be expressed in the following values “bucket”:
1. Values built into the founding story
2. Values expressed by products and services
3. Values held by leadership
4. Values you believe will most deeply resonate with your audience
To Sachs, these are the building blocks of the stories you tell about yourself and your organization. If possible, the values should align over all the categories. Hard to do, yes! Living by values is never an easy choice. But it is the most sustainable and profitable course. So your intent for your organization? If sustainability and profitability matter, then you might want to add this offering to your reference shelf. The book can be purchased now for pre-release – Winning the Story Wars will be available in July. You can also check out the video.
If you ever wondered what role emotion plays in consumer behavior or just human behavior, this book would be a great addition to your library. Candace Pert is an internationally recognized expert, a neuroscientist whose extraordinary career began with her 1972 discovery of the opiate receptor in the brain and neuropeptides – the molecules of emotion in our brain and body. She appeared as one of the experts in Bill Moyers 1993 PBS video production, “Healing and the Mind” and many other segments on how our brains process information and emotion. So how does this chemical soup affect our brain and behavior? Interesting to find out!!
From Google Books:
“The journey Pert takes us on in Molecules of Emotion is one of personal as well as scientific discovery. Woven into her lucid explanations of the science underlying her work is the remarkable story of how, faced with personal and professional obstacles, she has grown as a woman and a mother and how her personal and spiritual development has made possible her remarkable scientific career. Molecules of Emotion is a landmark work, full of insight and wisdom and possessing that rare power to change the way we see the world and ourselves. Pert’s striking conclusion that it is our emotions and their biological components that establish the crucial link between mind and body does not, however, serve to repudiate modern medicine’s gains; rather, her findings complement existing techniques by offering a new scientific understanding of the power of our minds and our feelings to affect our health and well-being.”
Check out a new documentary special coming out that explores some of the best in brain/behavior research.
Canadians are once again returning to the polls – an interesting question to ponder is why? Same politicians, same issues, same political rhetoric which is deteriorating into childish mud-slinging. Have we now deteriorated into the cheap methods of American politics? Please let it not be so!
Andrew Samuels has written an interesting book entitled the Political Psyche. Samuels explores the connections between inner and outer worlds and sets into motion a two-way dialogue between depth psychology and politics which addresses such key concerns as market economies and our attitudes towards social responsibility and environmentalism. Perhaps our politicians should take heed and update their reading load walking into this next election. For all those who are “Jung at Heart”, this is an interesting read.
Place Branding is a particular form of economic development that takes full advantage of the power of archetypal psychology. With a nod to the pioneering work of Jane Jacobs, this book explores a variety of cities from around the globe through a psychological lens. For all those interested in the art and science of branding, this book is a great reference guide. With a Jungian flavor, “one might say that the relationship of a city to civilization is analogous to that of ego to one’s field of consciousness.” Enjoy!
When you are in need of further inspiration as to how to use and develop your craft as a corporate storyteller, I always return to the world of film and screen/script writing. For whether on film or in corporations, the principles of story remain the same. One of my favourites is Inside Story by Dara Marks. Not because she was a classmate of mine in graduate school, but because she is one of the leading script consultants in Hollywood. I figure that if her approach can fix a bad movie, it might be of use in an organization that is struggling! Enjoy.
The profound influence of Carl Gustav Jung spans literature, psychology, ecology and science in evidenced in the release of Jung’s diary, The Red Book. Finally permitted by the Jung family to be digitized for the public, this amazing work leads us into the world of C.G. Jung.
Asking “What Story are you Living”, Jung brings us the tools of transformation required to re-vision our current path and change the ending of the story in which we current reside. The Red Book is his opus and provides both guidance and inspiration to find our own.