Whether you’re a recent grad or preparing for a milestone high school reunion – there’s something about the “Back to School” season and quick change of seasons from summer to fall that drums up nostalgia for many people. And while my own children have been back to school for a little bit now, the very recent prospect of new backpacks, fresh notebooks and un-sharpened pencils really brought me back to that annual feeling of the chance for a fresh start.
Early New Year’s Resolutions
I recently read an article in Real Simple that offered “5 Excellent Habits to Start When School Does.” As adults, we often look to New Year’s Resolutions to start something new, but this article got me thinking that Back to School is a good time, too!
Start Assignments Immediately
My favorite tip from this article is to adopt a “read and discuss” policy. How often have you put off a project to the last minute, only to find that it actually would take only a few minutes to finish? I know I’ve done it before, and I love this tip for diving in to understand the components immediately. If it’s easy, just get it done! If it’s going to take a little more time, the “read and discuss” approach allows for some time to ponder the best plan of attack. Read more after the jump…
You won’t be surprised to learn that at GFM and CenterTable our team members share a lot of similarities. This goes so far as to include how we work (collaboration, big ideas and strategic thinking are tops), how we play (outdoors, in the gym and definitely with friends and family) and even how we eat.
Food in The Office
As a group of hardworking professionals, you’re as likely to find a frozen lunch in our office freezer as you are to find a homemade organic salad in the fridge – it all depends on who’s got what going on that week. In the last few years, however, the consumption of soda has gone down while the intake of soda water has gone up. There are more bags of apples and raw nuts around the office than bags of chocolate or chips. As we’ve matured as a team and continued to work with natural food companies, our approach to food has matured as well, and I’d wager the intake of healthier food during the workday is on the rise.
Food at Home
At GFM and CenterTable our jobs – just like those of our working colleagues in so many other industries – demand flexibility, which means our meals outside the office sometimes have to be flexible, too. Whether we’re rushing to get kids from school after work, squeezing in a workout before heading home, or driving to the mountains in the evening to avoid traffic – our team is often left with little time to get something healthy on the table. That said, on any given day you’ll hear dreamy descriptions of the dinner someone left simmering in their crock pot or the veggies fresh from the garden ready to go on their grill after work. Read more after the jump…
It’s official: more than half (55 percent) of Americans over age 50 are now getting their news from social networks. What’s more, 74 percent of non-whites claim social networks as their source for news, too. Facebook earned the top spot among platforms – in part due to its sizable user base – with YouTube taking silver and Twitter earning bronze. Chances are you’re using these platforms to grow your business and interested in reaching at least some of these audiences, so take a minute to dig into the latest Pew Research for more! In the meantime, here are a few updates to get you off on the right foot.
When we say “Instagram” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Pretty pictures of far-off destinations? Mouth-watering food photos? Sweet shots of your favorite kiddos? This week we’re expanding our horizons by peeking into Instagram feeds that feature shrunken heads and goats – yep, goats. And surprisingly, both are basking in followers and engagement. Wondering how? Join us on a little Instagram journey…
Believe it or not, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) – yep, the folks running security at the airport – hold the No. 4 spot (ahead of Beyoncé!) on Rolling Stone’s “must follow” list. From frightening, confiscated items to tips on traveling by plane with live lobster, this article explores why there’s something for everyone on this unexpectedly awesome channel. Read more after the jump…
It may not be official, but summer is in full swing and everything feels fresh and new again. While some of the hotter social platforms are offering their fans cool new features, some of the classics are making a comeback, too. So, grab a cold drink, find a comfy spot under a shady tree and read up on the latest news in the world of social media.
It’s been just over a week since I returned from South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) where – in addition to learning about the latest in social media strategies – I had the opportunity to attend dozens of presentations in a variety of formats. I learned a few new presentation tips and enjoyed some effective presentations that inspired me to share some helpful pointers.
Stories Beat PowerPoints Every Time
The Science of Storytelling | Leo Widrich via Flickr
In a panel focused on the power of storytelling, neuroscientist Shonté Taylor noted that storytelling engages the right side (aka, the more creative side) of the brain. Specifically, she described how the body releases reward hormones such as dopamine when the right side of the brain is positively engaged, as can happen when a person is enjoying a great story. She went on to describe those reward hormones as “lighting up” the brain in a positive way, and left me with the point that if you light up the brains of your colleagues and customers, they’re going to remember you.
Reflecting on the various presentations I attended during SXSWi, the most memorable really did include great storytelling elements. Speakers from National Geographic and Outdoor Afro shared compelling stories and – often – images that took me beyond bullets on the screen. One week later and I can describe in detail the stories they told and the lessons they shared in a way that I cannot for other speakers who didn’t weave personal stories, images or testimonials into their presentations. Read more after the jump…
Believe it or not – we’ve reached the end of another amazing SXSW! We had a busy day of packing, automobiles and planes to begin our journey back home – but couldn’t help but squeeze in a few more sessions to take with us on the road.
SXSW may be over – but we worked hard on squeezing in a few more sessions and a final blog post!
I tried to work some variety into my schedule on the final day of SXSW, and in the session titled “Investing to Change the World,” a panel of bankers, investors and financial planners talked about how many individuals today are working to align their investments with their values. There are several individual stocks and mutual funds that fit the bill (humanitarian companies, environmental-friendly companies, etc.), and surprisingly, many are outperforming the market itself. The key is just like any other investment – look for companies who are investing in their own long-term success and are inherently resilient. Who wouldn’t want to invest in companies that produce returns AND are making a difference in our world?
We’re just wrapping up our third day of sessions at SXSWi and with the time change and cold weather it wasn’t easy to hop out of bed this morning. But – nothing gets you going like a strong, inspirational session and hearing from Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, fit the bill perfectly. He reinforced two themes we’ve heard throughout the conference: live your truth and do your best. With that – here’s our best at a recap on today’s sessions!
campaigns, I opted to check out a Smart Cities session to start the day. As Google’s second Fiber City, you’d think it would all be rainbows and roses in Austin. But when only 15% of residents who live in affordable housing have in-home internet, the challenges of truly becoming a Smart City – with a plethora of transportation and mobility options, well-connected to the internet and related devices, abundant affordable housing options, etc. – are multi-layered, and ever-changing.
In a panel that consisted of representatives from Vox Media, VICE, and The New York Times titled “Social Video and the Future of Consumption,” the focus (even for traditional media outlets) is swiftly turning to live video experiences. The challenge with live video, of course, is taking the live element and ensuring it’s adding value or more context to the story in some way – underscoring the extreme importance of being as creative as possible with videos, rather than just producing videos for video’s sake.
Summing a panel titled “Shopping and the Sacred Social Space” up in one line (with panelists from Facebook, Imagur, eBay and Flipboard), and one that’s been a common theme at SXSW 2017: Everything you do content-wise or digital-wise needs to have some kind of value for the end user – emphasize experience, and give more than you take.
At the end of the day I attended a session titled “Where we’re going, we don’t need cars” which featured the CEO of Car2Go, among others. Three important statistics for Denver as it grows:
By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will have moved back to urban centers
Personal vehicles sit idle 96 percent of the time, causing a huge issue with parking/space in already space-constrained urban centers
Every 1 Car2Go car (or other, related car sharing service) on the road removes 11 vehicles from our roads and parking structures