This is the fourth and final post for this week as we conclude this part of the C-Suite journey.

When building any kind of communication device, I wrote earlier about the need to be creative, clever and consistent. The fourth and final aspect of consideration within your immediate control is that of being complete.

Being complete is related to the consistency argument – but introduces the temporal idea that it should connect not just with what is around it now – but has been in the past – and will be in the future.

You are after-all telling a story. So make sure that your device isn’t hanging out by itself. Leverage the other great work that is there and let the whole story take shape. Think of your piece as part of a saga of books – it should connect the pieces together.

Have a great weekend – and catch up with you next week.

You have put together the singularly most awesome earth-shattering piece of communication – absolutely designed to rise above the clutter and shine like the beacon it is. In a nutshell – the creativity to make it stand out is epic!

Not only that – but you have been really clever and ensured that it is not only epically awesome – but that it ties into the core messaging that is what your organization is all about.

Done! Right? Well – not so fast.

To ensure that the piece is consistent is equally important.

All of your communications relate to each other and connect to each other, at all levels including (alphabetically to ensure that no single item is focussed on to the exclusion of the others) …

  • brand
  • content architecture
  • design
  • language
  • message
  • vocabulary

Making your new piece consistent is the third factor. It needs to be – must be – is essential to be – consistent with every other piece that surrounds it so that the amplification, memorability and use is maximized.

Click through to here : to read more about consistency. As Stacey writes :

  1. Consistency allows for measurement.
  2. Consistency creates accountability.
  3. Consistency establishes your reputation.
  4. Consistency makes you relevant.
  5. Consistency maintains your message.

Thanks also to them for that rather cool graphic I used at the top of the post.

I started writing this short series yesterday with a little introduction focussed on Creativity.

Today, I want to extend that thought into the concept of something that builds on creativity. You have created your piece it is rising above the cacaphony, the clutter of life – but if it doesn’t connect with what you are about as a person, an organisation, an enterprise a charity …. whatever it is – then so what?

As I suggested yesterday – being creative is hard enough – but it must connect – you to your audience. That’s why it needs to be clever.

Clever – so that the creativity touched back to the core of your campaign, your programme, your message.

An extreme example ? Most people would agree that Picasso was creative. But. Simply using a piece of his art to catch attention and rise above the clutter will do nothing.

As an example – what would Guernica be saying about your product ?

A Creative and Clever Campaign or Communication would absolutely rise above the clutter AND – once attention has been gained – the audience will understand how that piece ties into the essence of the message you are conveying.

At the risk of overusing Apple as an example – consider the original iPod ads. Creative? Absolutely. They rapidly separated themselves from the clutter that surrounded them. Clever? Totally. What you saw was a simple message – 1,000 songs in your pocket, outlined images of people enjoying themselves – listening to music – dancing in a very very simple way – one of the core messages of Apple.

Being ‘Creative‘ is the first of a five point tenet around communications that I developed 25 years ago.

Even then the world was cluttered – and my contention was – and is – that creativity is essential to ensure that a piece of communications stands out from the crowd and the clutter that surrounded – surrounds – us all.

My question for you – when you look at what you are giving your customer, your staff, your partner …. is it creative ? Does it stand out from the clutter – or is it just ‘blah’.

And – if it isn’t going to rise above the clutter – ask yourself – why should the recipient care ?

There are reasons – and being creative doesn’t have to mean you need Picasso involved at every stage – or even that the recipient will necessarily get the creativity. 

It can be one of those things that ‘just is’ and works subliminally.

But – if it isn’t there. Why not ?

All Of Us

I’ll save you the read – if you are a young worker – you probably feel that the older generation doesn’t get it – and how much you are struggling. While older workers – just look at the youth and think they have it all. The fact is – the other ‘man’s’ grass is definitely greener – but in fact it is a downtrodden mud patch – just like yours. In all honesty – the full article is definitely worth a read – as are the click throughs: Boomers and Millennials.

“Both situations are terrible, but their problems are different.”

This post was originally posted to Expert Alumni’s Blog and is reproduced here with permission.

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We all toil away at this silly game, accumulating points, chasing that next upgrade way after bedtime, tirelessly working towards the level up that will impress the people around us. Sadly, for some of us this pernicious game takes over our lives. We are addicted. It affects our health, our happiness, our personal lives, everything. This game is called “Modern Work”.and so when you read :::

Let me tell you a story about gameification (ugh!). Not another nauseating buzzword bingo story — no, this is a story about how your parents and mine, your friends and mine, all play a massively multiplayer on- and offline role-playing game five days a week, 47 weeks of the year. You and I probably play it too. Maybe you are playing it right now?

as this article from Wired UK starts – and then goes on to make some interesting points like this:

the best game design today successfully rewards and encourages some of the characteristics least exhibited and most needed in Modern Work — real collaboration and teamwork in particular.

and this

imagine that Zynga were to re-design work. What a depressing thought.

… I can only agree – go on have a full read.

This post was originally posted to Expert Alumni’s Blog and is reproduced here with permission.

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This is something we picked up on recently. Scary data when you read it. And of course, though the article has a UK focus, we KNOW that this is a global problem. And you do to.

The question is – are you going to be one of the haves – or have nots ?

More than six million of the UKs over 50s will live on less than the minimum wage in retirement, a new survey has found.

According to the State of Retirement Report from LV=, the number of people who rely on the state pension solely for an income in retirement – currently 1.2 million – is set to jump to around 6.25 million, because of a failure to save enough through their working lives.

The average basic state pension currently equates to around £5,587; an average of £9,672 a year if the additional state pension is claimed. This is less than half of the earnings of a UK full time worker earning the minimum wage who receives £11,477 a year.

Even those combining private pension savings of an average £7,488 a year with the state pension will be expecting to live on less than the minimum wage. Government plans to introduce a universal state pension of around £140 a week will also not be enough to push retirees over a minimum wage standard of living.

When questioned about their retirement income, 43 per cent of respondents said they could not live on the equivalent of the minimum wage in retirement, while over a quarter (27 per cent) said they would struggle.

Yet despite these attitudes, 15 per cent of those who have already retired, or are set to within the next five years, have cut back on pension contributions, with an average decrease of £296 a month, or £3,552 a year. This equates to £8.31 billion in lost savings in the last year.

Describing the cut back as ‘worrying’, LV= head of pensions Ray Chinn, said: “While working hard up to retirement to bring home a decent wage, I’m sure many will be disappointed to retire with an income equivalent of less than the minimum wage. If more people reflected on their pension as a “wage” that they will potentially be relying on for over two decades, they might feel more inclined to plan ahead.”

In a separate survey by Prudential, only 20 per cent of retirees have set aside money for potential care needs.

With the Government planning a number of changes which will impact on retirees, including the freeze in age related allowances and a rise in the state retirement age, Ray Chinn said that changes were a ‘necessary evil’ given the rise in life expectancy, high inflation and low interest rates.

“Ensuring clear communication around these issues is key, otherwise there is a risk that people will be further alienated from the critical need to plan for retirement,” he added.

This post was originally posted to Expert Alumni’s Blog and is reproduced here with permission.

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Sometimes you may wonder about our approach to business – when we talk of the Pay – Purpose – Play paradigm, the skills gap, the boomer conundrum, career DNA – there are more and more terms in our lexicon that we are aware are new and need consistent explanation and context.

The fact is ‘getting the job done’ is a lot more sophisticated and challenging than it used to be.

So too Recruiting is not what it used to be …. It is a lot LOT more sophisticated – and sometimes – some would argue – weird. I mean what are games doing in the middle of a recruiting process ?

Recruitment: Work and Play … is the full article from The Economist ….

Easy answer – because they work.

The GameChanger unit of Shell, which seeks out new disruptive technologies for the oil giant, is about to test if Knack can help it identify innovators. Bain & Company, a consultancy, is to run a pilot: it will start by getting current staff to play the games, to see which skills make for a successful consultant. (The ability to charge a lot for stating the obvious is presumably not one of them.) “If someone can materially improve our ability to select the best talent, that is worth a lot to us,” says Mark Howorth, a recruiter at Bain.

This post was originally posted to Expert Alumni’s Blog and is reproduced here with permission.