Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Music - Christmas Wrapping & Fairytale of New York

'Christmas Wrapping' by The Waitresses and Fairytale of New York  by The Pogues (featuring Kirsty MacColl) are the two songs that put me in the holiday spirit and are staples for any Holiday Mix.

Today I read the background story on how 'Christmas Wrapping' came to be which is well worth reading.  I did not realize that this was the 25th anniversary of The Pogue's classic.  Beat Surrender has compiled an impressive collection of covers and the original as well at their site that is definitely worth a visit.

"So "Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas! Couldn't miss this one this year!" and 'I've got a feeling, This year's for me and you, So happy christmas."

It's the music that matters....

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tear Down The Walls

I am a huge fan of The Clash. They were one of the seminal bands of the 70's and 80's and their music still has a timeless quality and a resonance that has influenced so many bands since then. I was fortunate enough to see them live and still remember how they left everything on the stage.

For me there are two simple messages that make what The Clash stood for so important today. The first was the brashness of their personal mission statement which was "The only band that matters."  To this day when I hear that I find it so fitting because of their swagger and attitude showed that they believed it. The other message was pointed out to me by my high school friend Mark Smith, who showed me in the 'London Calling' album dead wax (the blank space in an album between the label and the actual recording) were the four words on each of the album sides "Tear Down The Walls."  For me these four words were a rallying cry  that still have meaning today.  In this time of twitter and simple straightforward messaging, can you sum up your own brand in four words?

12/20/12 - Great update on the impact of Joe Strummer of The Clash on the tenth anniversary of his death.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Be Here Now

I've had the opportunity to work on some interesting projects with some quality clients during the time I've been consulting. For me, there are always lessons learned and specific messages that resonate. 

From the nearly two years I spent at USAA, that take away message is 'Be Here Now.'  As an organization that takes great pride in providing the best possible service to those that serve our country, this meant taking the time to focus on the task at hand and perform at the highest possible level.  

When I now talk to USAA members and share with them my experience working there, the conversation most often goes to them sharing a positive customer experience story or two.  It make me realize how important the commitment to 'Be Here Now' is. In a time where so much time is spent multitasking and not always being fully engaged, it's a simple message to revisit.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Show Me How Approach To Life

I really enjoy the Show Me How books. If you haven't read them, they are illustrated instructions to everyday life. Using step-by-step illustrated instructions and anecdotes, they show you how to do tasks such as hold a baby, poach an egg, teach a kid to ride a bike or get out of quicksand. I've found them to be fun to read with their simple approach, making a task achievable.

What makes Show Me How work is the ability to take a simple comic book panel format and make the message fit in a step-by-step guide using basic and entertaining illustrations. By adding a few notes along the way they make the story all the more compelling. Is there a message you have to deliver or process that needs to be mapped out? You may want to consider the Show Me How approach.

Over thinking can really complicate every day life. Most of the best approaches are the simple ones.