7 deadly sins of communications

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Based on my experience, communication efforts fail because of these seven reasons:

1. No clear and consistent strategy

2. Over-indexing on tactics

3. Poor organization and staffing

4. No consistency or editorial calendar

5. Know-how is not shared and made available

6. Efforts are reactive and by chance

7. Online activities not in sync with offline activities

-Marc

Marc A. Ross is the founder of Brigadoon and specializes in thought leader strategy for executives and entrepreneurs working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Ross Rant: Being counted doesn't always count.

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"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." -- Albert Einstein

The world is inundated with data.

But yet Hollywood can't guarantee a hit.

The outcome of the Stanley Cup can't be confirmed.

The future UK PM officeholder can't be verified.

And the next chef to beat Bobby Flay can't be affirmed.

Still, we love data.

"Do a survey. Do a focus group. Do a study."

Do more data.

I don't think the magic is in more data.

Data should not be about trying to use the information to prove a theory, but to see what the numbers are actually telling us and to inform us what we might be missing - especially since the mind likes to trick us.

You see, our brains are wired to remember and overvalue the vivid and the shocking. Our brains are wired to remember events that actually happened and not events that could happen.

So often we comfort ourselves in data to gain a better understanding and some guidance, but the data often falls short.

In their book, Why Everything You Know About Soccer is Wrong, authors Chris Anderson and David Sally concluded that soccer is basically a 50/50 game. Half is luck, and half is skill.

With this conclusion, the authors determined there are two routes to soccer glory. One is being good. The other is being lucky. You need both to win a championship. But you only need one to win a game.

Disney CEO Bob Iger used a similar conclusion this week.

With the announcement of his company's over the top Disney+ streaming service, Iger is going where his customers are going. One where customers can customize their viewing experience and seamlessly view Mickey and Minnie on numerous devices.

No survey, no focus group, and no study needed to know this is a good move for Disney.

Disney has a customer experience that is visceral and multigenerational. A customer experience that is deep and broad. A customer experience forged with skill.

But Iger knows Disney needs more than skill to win the future.

As Iger told CNBC, if you measure the future against the present, the present doesn't stay the present for very long. Today's marketplace has never been more dynamic.

You can't measure what is happening today. You need to measure what you think will happen in the future - that and harness a little luck.

The reasons many of us don't innovate is the data and the information being used is shaped by a current business model and what has gotten us to our current status.

Data which is based on the present and data which is not of the future.

So be mindful of having too much data as a means to confirm what you want the outcome to be.

Plus don't be afraid of harnessing a little bit of luck.

- Marc

Marc A. Ross is the founder of Brigadoon and specializes in thought leader strategy and idea amplification for senior executives working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics

Thought leadership: Introverts wanted

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Thought leadership: Introverts wanted

Here's the big idea = Going forward, thought leadership and idea amplification is the process to shape globalization, disruption, and politics.

From my experience, most people over-index on tactics and vanity metrics and fail on strategy and organization.

From my experience, not engaging, not sharing, and not playing doesn't make the difference.

If you want to start a business, win a campaign, or change a culture, you can't do it from the sidelines.

Like the lottery, you got to be in it to win it.

Just this week, rising Democrat star and potential national candidate Stacey Abrams on The View told the audience, "I am an introvert. I don't like public stuff."

Imagine that.

An introvert.

A leader who has served as Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, was her party's nominee in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election, and in February 2019, became the first African-American woman to deliver a response to the State of the Union address.

Imagine that.

An introvert.

Abrams went on to tell the audience she is self-aware, recognizes the fear, and take steps to "hack opportunity."

She closed powerfully by saying, "In politics, they will never elect you if they never hear from you. You can't secretly run for president, or governor, or school board."

A good reminder from even one of the most talented politicians amongst us.

You got to be in it to win it.

- Marc

Marc A. Ross is the founder of Brigadoon and specializes in thought leader strategy and idea amplification for executives and entrepreneurs working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

It's important because it's getting the most attention....

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So 13 EU nations are supporting China's BRI, Britain can't sort out how to Brexit, and America is consumed with a scam where two C-list celebrities rigged the system to get their progeny into elite universities.

Seems right.

Currently, the US is all about personality trumping policy.

However, as a news story, this is Shakespearean.

This news demands we pay attention - it is simply hired-wired into the lizard brain cultural foundation of America.

It's no wonder the Feds led with Hollywood stars cheating the system and finding more support for children already given amazing support - this is the ultimate narrative and captures attention from the start.

For entrepreneurs and Hollywood stars who deal with sharks daily, the emotional ups and downs of performing, working, and living at the highest levels of America, they wanted a guaranteed process, they were taking no chances.

The pressure to buy academics and credentials in America is real. The idea that being in the right network and around the right alumni is reinforced daily in America.

So they turned to a college entrance professional with a secret sauce and “side door” process to help kids of the wealthy and powerful and connected into highly sought after universities.

This story will be with us for some time. This story is the ultimate narrative and will foster memes, pods, books, movies, and plays.

The charges will shake the high echelons of American academia.

Politicians on the campaign trail will weave this story into their campaign speeches reinforcing us vs. them and reminding voters of the advantages the ultra-rich enjoy in accessing the country’s best colleges.

Students will continue to feel intense competition where merit alone may not be enough to assure admission, even for students with perfect grade-point averages and stellar resumes, to the most sought after schools.

It's a heck of a story, but possibly not the most important story this week.

Your lizard brain is a heck of a news editor.

-- Marc A. Ross

Marc A. Ross specializes in thought leader strategy and management for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics. He is the founder of Brigadoon (thebrigadoon.com) and Caracal Global (caracal.global).