Unicorns, New York City, and Lessons Learned from Rodney Dangerfield…

I assume that we’re all happy about the economy now because according to USA Today, pay for CEOs of large U.S. corporations rose 27 percent in 2010. Three quarters of CEOs got raises in 2010 for a median salary of $9 million. Extra noteworthy, Transocean Ltd., the owner of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that exploded last year, killing 11 workers and unleashing the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, awarded its top executives bonuses for making 2010 its “best year” ever for safety. When called on it by CNN, Transocean acknowledged that this might appear “insensitive” to some people. Yes, it might.



The Science of Delusion

This mailer is a little late again, as much as I enjoy them I wasn’t going to spend my last days on earth in front of the computer. But now that the apocalypse is delayed I think it’s time to talk about why people believe the things they believe and why facts and science make it worse.



Making Better Government

Having worked for both a government agency and for a Fortune 50 international corporation, I discovered that each lives in its respective bubble, rarely understanding the role, value or needs of the other.

Government needs to evolve as a primary convener of decision-making not the “decider” mentality that just doesn’t work anymore. Stephen Goldsmith is the deputy mayor of New York City, a former two-term mayor of Indianapolis and the author of The Power of Social Innovation.



Impressing Dr. Bainter

Dr. Bainter was an old-school, highly articulate, formal literature professor with a Ph.D from Yale. How he wound up at a state school in Wisconsin is anybody’s guess — we always suspected witness protection.

While he might be happy with the language used in many government, public documents — he’s not the audience. We need to write for and communicate with real people who often have far less education. There are dozens of tips and here are a few: 

  • Find an editorial buddy
  • Ask:  What is the purpose of your message?
  • Remember the five W’s
  • Check for Accuracy
  • Check for “interrupters”
  • Remove extraneous phrases, clichés and poor word choices
  • Avoid using social media language abbreviations and symbols in e-mails or documents to strangers



A Crisis of Disrespect

It’s become increasingly acceptable to treat other people callously, vindictively and dismissively. Just being angry makes it okay. And of course when somebody treats us that way, it’s okay to reciprocate. I blame media deregulation, but hey, that’s just me.

Problem is it’s extended to a lot of areas, one being the workplace.  A lot of public involvement principles are now used for employee engagement and if you really want to engage these folks, you need to do it authentically and respectfully. 




Great Training

The two-day Emotion, Outrage and Public Participation course will run in Chicago on August 23 and 24, 2011 and we’re always booking in-house classes, so contact me @ jdg@GodecRandall.com.

 Upcoming dates for the IAP2 Certificate Course in Public Participation;

  • June 13-17 Flagstaff, Arizona
  • July 18-22 Chicago
  • August 1-5 St. Louis
  • October 3-7 Santa Fe, NM
  • December 5-9 Washington, DC
  • January 23-27, 2012 in Phoenix 

You can still get in under the “early rate” if you sign up now.  I hope you can join us for one of these, please pass it on to anyone that you think might benefit.

Other days will likely be added so check www.ExtraordinaryTrainers.com for the latest information, details and registration.

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