Prophetic City: Houston on the Cusp of a Changing America

Houston is America on demographic fast forward, so read the tea leaves of the future in Rice University’s Steve Klineberg’s 39 years of surveys. A much loved and overlooked city, the most diverse large city, the most awarded in cuisine, and as the location of 40 percent of America’s petrochem, a lynchpin to the economy. As Houston goes, so goes the nation. Learn more here.

Being Ram Dass, Saving the Best for Last

Coming in January 2021, the final memoir by the great American spiritual master. If you’ve ever said, “be here now,” done yoga, learned meditation, or engaged in spiritual exploration through psychedelics, you owe it to this man.

What’s a Messaging Intervention?

When high profile individuals and organizations aren’t able to talk about themselves–who they are, what they do–effectively, the impact of communications, marketing, publicity, and sales efforts is diminished. The problem is almost always in the initial iteration of core messaging. Through our discovery process, we engage core stakeholders in workshopping a course correction, making future communications efforts simpler, more direct, and more effective.

Hot Books: The Soul is Dead – Long Live the Brain

Once upon a time, every other book proposal that came in had the word “soul” in the title. There was Care of the Soul, The Soul’s Code, The Seat of the Soul, juggernauts that landed at the top of the bestseller list–often hoisted by Oprah–and sat there sometimes for years. Then, as now, publishers were looking for the next big thing that looked like what was already working. So if it had “soul” in the title, you could pretty much guarantee a feeding frenzy.

The same thing happens now around the brain and neuroscience. The Female Brain (full disclosure–I published this one), The Male Brain, Brain Rules, Daniel Amen’s books and more. The soul is nowhere to be found in the new quest for cracking the code to the computer in our heads–the organ that everyone seems to think is the cause of our happiness or unhappiness, the one that we think controls our destiny with the flip of a neurochemical switch. The one that may or may not have volition, drive, yearning, hope. From this perspective, says Rodger Kamenetz, “Instead of souls on our way to God we are brains on our way to the pharmacy.”

Interesting to note that Zombies and the Brain trended at the same time. Maybe next will come The Soul of the Brain or The Brain of the Soul. One without the other is a flat earth perspective: parts never make a whole.

Most Common Branding Exercise May Be Your Biggest Waste of Time

When a new client shows up, nine times out of ten, they ask, “Do you want me to make a list of qualities to get the conversation started about branding and positioning?” Our answer is “no.” That list is usually a waste of time. Almost everybody uses the same words, from individuals to groups, from small non-profits to publicly traded corporations.

The branding and positioning conversation requires the discovery of uniqueness, which making a list almost never yields. When your list looks like everybody else’s list, who you are and what you do won’t have a prayer of becoming visible. What does work is this:

  • Knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing
  • Becoming clear on how you want to impact people
  • Being sure of who you’re talking to, what you want them to do and where you want them to do it


The Fatal Mistake One Career Guru Says You’re Probably Making

When it comes to finding a job and building a career, Allison Cheston knows what she’s talking about because she’s getting her information from the front lines. What’s everybody saying to her? Nothing you haven’t heard before, but you probably ignored it: LinkedIn. Read her blog, Recruiters Say: Avoid LinkedIn At Your Peril to find out why working this network is the key to your next move.


How to Tell the Truth Without Getting Fired

It’s planning time in most companies. When you’re trying to set the budget and your goals for the next year, wouldn’t it be great if everybody just told the truth? Tangerine Ink’s client, Ted Harro does a great job of explaining why honesty is at the bottom of everybody’s list of policies and what to do about it. Here’s 5 Steps to Getting the Truth Your Employees Will Never Tell You and 4 Ways to Tell Your Boss the Truth Without Getting Fired.

We’re Older, Funnier and Less Likely to Goof

We found this on the 11 reasons you shouldn’t let an intern handle your brand on social media. No offense to young people–they’re teaching us something new every day about what’s possible on social media. Yes, we’re more expensive, but it’s a time on the planet thing. Do the kids have a sense of the big picture? Context? History? Judgment? Do they remember the things your customer base, your audience, is thinking about? You decide.