Elephants and Figure Skaters‏

Spring formally arrives Thursday, except where it’s still snowing, Rob Ford’s making Canada proud again, and watching college basketball until your eyes are ready to fall out of their sockets will be the biggest accomplishment for the next three weeks in the U.S., so lower your work expectations.


Why Elephants are Better People than Tanya Harding  

Nothing to add, the proof’s in the story…


Empathy relates to trust which reminds me of a recent client interview. The guy said that his organization’s reputation could be traded like stock. He believed that losing credibility wasn’t a big deal because he could buy it back with a few well-placed community donations. I asked him to think again:


A recent Stanford corporate reputation study looked at JP Morgan Chase and how they might fix that monster. The full study doesn’t seem to be online anymore but this synopsis is worth reading:


Stage Presents  

I’ve been getting a lot of requests for more tips on presentation and public speaking skills under normal and tough circumstances. So, here are a handful of gifts. If you watched the Oscars a few weeks ago, you saw a few good and bad examples. This isn’t just celebrity fluff, read on…


Our ability to communicate and influence has less to do with content and more to do with packaging. Hand gestures can play a huge role:


Held Hostage in Public  

Someone once told me that dealing with “the public” felt like being held hostage. That’s kind of a stretch, but dealing with tough issues and people does correlate to hostage negotiation. Here are six really good lessons:


On the subject of hostage taking, I think you’ll like the following article. It sorta ties the previous story to the following one:


It takes all kinds, as mom used to say, and I’m sure that you’ve run into interesting and challenging “publics.” One of those is the bully and, as I’ve long suspected, it seems that bullies are narcissists:


Outsourcing Our Humanity

One of the more talked-about films during Oscar season was Her, the Spike Jonze movie about a guy in a relationship with his smart phone. It raises interesting issues about our connection with technology and how healthy that may or may not be. Wired magazine thinks we’re becoming sociopaths…


And how much is too much of a good thing, eighteen hours maybe?


Online communication increasingly dominates how people now exchange ideas and form beliefs.  Every tidbit and variation of information and opinion is just a click away which is astoundingly useful and helpful, except for the outrage porn part.  Everybody’s mad and we love it!


We’re addicted to outrage:


And, on a related and disturbing note, it seems that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is in the process of deciding what new endings it will allow to compete with .com, .net, etc. As of this writing, one apparently still under consideration is .sucks. If this happens, every domain will be forced into buying it to keep it out of the hands of people who don’t like you or want to shake you down. The implications of this truly suck.


No Girls Allowed

This clip has no socially redeeming value at all and, if you’re a girl, just don’t watch…


Coaching and Training

We’re working with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) these days and I’ll be part of a group offering a day-long community engagement workshop in the Village of Hoffman Estates, Illinois (Chicago metro) on May 1st. Click on the link below to learn more:


We train, coach and work with government, corporate and non-profit organizations on engaging the public, managing thorny issues and opposition and moving decisions and projects forward. We facilitate customized workshops and courses with your folks in as little as half a day or as many as five days. Call us.

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Remember, Randall wastes his time surfing the net so you don’t have to.

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