Coordinates 04.18

Welcome to Coordinates 04.18

A newsletter for busy business, brand, and marketing leaders who want to stay in the know and be inspired about ways to make a positive impact on their business, brands, organizations, and themselves.


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Strategy

What wouldn’t you like about simple ways to be more effective? This article speaks to “12 ways to get smarter – in one chart,” referencing a cool infographic that represents a collection of mental models curated by Michael Simmons that are worth mastering to up your game.


Leadership

Want to be a better leader and manager. Give constructive feedback. Read more from HBR >

A reminder that success is not luck. Rather, it’s about hard work and preparation.


Marketing

An interesting article about new, but confirming, research on facial expressions: “Our facial expressions stem primarily from what we want out of social interactions, not our feelings.” Or take this discussion with Lisa Feldman Barrett on TED Radio Hour who says we can be highly inaccurate about what people are feeling by making assumptions from their facial expressions. It makes me rethink what companies are doing with facial recognition technology. Do they consider these findings?

App inspiration from 4 companies for those wondering if an app is the right platform for your brand. Read more at Adweek >

This report from McKinsey Quarterly should light a fire for leaders to make sure they are making more aggressive progress against their digital strategies to remain relevant. “Only 8 percent of companies we surveyed recently said their current business model would remain economically viable if their industry keeps digitizing at its current course and speed.”

Shoppers today seem to be finicky. Getting in-store interaction Goldilocks “just right” is tricky. This article from Mediapost suggests that shoppers don’t want to be bothered until they want help. “Almost all (95%) shoppers want to be left alone while shopping except when they need a store associate’s help.” Proactive help seems to be better received through mobile phones, when shoppers can control the interaction:

  • “About a third (34%) of shoppers rank receiving promotional and sales information, sent directly to their phone when entering a store, as important.”
  • “Almost a third (29%) of shoppers ranked in-store apps that would provide personal recommendations as important, compared to 17% who ranked sales associates that could help as important to them.”

Brand

An insightful listen from Monocle’s The Entrepreneur podcast entitled “How to Rebrand.” It covers:

  • The simplicity and power in brand identities, as heard from Maurus Fraser of Winkreative.
  • The revivals of a British eyewear manufacturer and a Viennese high-end watch brand.
  • A conversation with Paula Sher of Pentagram on how she approaches a rebranding project.

Content

Get inspired to up your content game from these NewsCred 2018 Top 50 Content Marketing winners from across a range of industries. You’re bound to find something that is relevant to your brand. Check it out.


Consumer

Where will we reach Gen Z? Social media is still important, despite this article’s leading headline. Yet, the lead is noteworthy:

  • “34 percent of Gen Z say they’re permanently quitting social media, and 64 percent are taking a break, according to new research from Origin, Hill Holliday’s in-house research arm.”

A key point to me from this article is to follow Integrity Marketing practices—how can your brand be responsible in how it communicates on these platforms? Are you setting unrealistic expectations for consumers, or are you speaking to their personal motivations?


Innovation

Why should you look at the adjacent possible when seeking innovation? Hear from Vittorio Loreto on the mathematical model he and his team developed that supports the basis for this theory.

Read Pentagram partner Natasha Jen’s alternative perspective on design thinking, including it not being the panacea that paves the way to innovation.


Creative

“The Genius of the London Tube Map.” I love the London Tube Map. It’s one of my favorite uses of design and is a great example of utilizing an adjacent system to bring simplicity and understanding. Hear Michael Bierut tell the story of how the map came to life and the power of its approach and elements. It’s a quick listen here on TED.

In our Weathervane Forum 2018 Forecast, we wrote “Counter Culture with Women Leading the Way,” speaking to the need for women to be a part of shaping our cultural identity. Design is a critical part of shaping our world, so we wanted to feature this article on “5 Influential Women in the World of Modern Design.” Read more at Design Milk >

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Whats Trending

Unexpected robotics. Not all robotics steal needed jobs. Learn about some practical, new innovations made possible through robotics. Read more.


Book in Brief

“Great at Work: How top performers do less, work better, and achieve more” by Morten T. Hansen.

The short? Learn seven “Work Smart” practices that are common themes that have made people successful in their work across business sectors. Based on rigorous statistical analysis, Hansen’s research provides a roadmap to help us work smarter for optimal results.

Prefer to read a bit more? Here’s an interview with Morten Hansen.

Prefer to listen? Listen to a podcast interview here.

Convinced you should dig in? Get the book.


Have a Listen

Seeking an inspiring entrepreneur story that demonstrates the art and science of innovation? Listen to Katrina Lake, CEO of Stitch Fix, on “How I Built This” with Guy Raz.

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Control your brain to be a more effective, productive, and fulfilled leader. 
How? Learn more from these sources:
  • “Your Brain at Work,” the book by David Rock, is a fascinating look inside our brains and provides practical tips on how to manage yourself and your brain to be most productive.
  • Similarly, a recent article from Maura Thomas in Harvard Business Review, “To Control Your Life, Control What You Pay Attention To,” speaks to the importance of where you place your attention and how it impacts outcomes.
  • And if you prefer to watch and listen, tune in to this TED talk from neuroscientist Amishi Jha who also speaks to the importance of managing your attention and the benefits of mindfulness.

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