Category Archives: Thought Leadership

Leadership and Other Lessons Learned from a Wise Woman

Dinner With Mary HoaglandEvery once in a while, if we’re lucky, we meet truly inspiring people that leave us in awe. Mary Hoagland, is one of those people.

As a group of us recently had dinner with her earlier this week, she had a lot of wisdom to share about her 92 years in this world. As we’re inundated with sensational stories in the media and on social media, it’s refreshing to hear from someone who is so accomplished, yet humble, and happy to live in the moment.

After graduating from Smith College in 1946, then marrying and raising four children, at the age of 48, she decided she wanted to go to law school. Her husband was a successful attorney in Denver, so why couldn’t she become one? After being turned down twice from the University of Denver School of Law because of her age, on her third attempt she showed up with her tuition check in hand and told them: “You’re a business, and you need my money.” They finally relented and admitted her in 1972. She graduated and went on to run her own family law practice for 16 years, which included representing women in serious, often dangerous, family situations.

Read more after the jump…

CenterTable @ SXSW 2017: Friday Sessions

Noor Tagouri speaking at SXSWi 2017

Noor Tagouri speaking at SXSWi 2017

The buzz and anxiety of the first sessions at South by Southwest (SXSW) are palpable. And its easy to see some of the broader themes of SXSW 2017 rise to the surface: leadership in times of adversity, using the technologies we have at our fingertips to solve everyday problems and the rise of chatbots were some of the front runners. Here are our highlights from Friday at SXSW: Read more after the jump…

Small Idea, Big Movement

bohsw-zcuaavuieI love great ideas! Especially the ones that start out small but then revolutionize an industry. In 2007, a like-minded group of individuals, including Pam Warhurst and Mary Clear, wanted to find a way in which everyone could help improve their own community. Their solution: They taught their local residents to take control of their community through gardening and eating.

“The answer was food,” said Warhurst in her TED Talk. “Everyone understands food. Food gets people talking; even better, it inspires people to take action.” They started with small herb gardens and community plots in a Northern England town called Todmorden. Then they planted corn in front of a police station, fruit trees on the sides of roads, vegetables in front of the senior center, and even planted gardens in the cemetery, where “things grow really well because the soil is really good!” Read more after the jump…

The Importance of Patagonia’s Black Friday Campaign

This year, Patagonia announced that it would donate all Black Friday proceeds to grassroots environmental groups fighting to protect natural resources like water, oil and soil. The company expected to rake in about $2 million across its 80 global stores and Patagonia.com. In reality, Patagonia recorded $10 million in revenue – five times what the company expected – and is still promising to donate 100 percent of that revenue to the environmental groups.

Read more after the jump…

Colorado Companies – What We Learned at The Wright

The 2016 Wright finalists on stage with Governor Hickenlooper

The 2016 Wright finalists on stage with Governor Hickenlooper.

Last week marked the fourth straight year that GroundFloor Media/CenterTable has sponsored The Wright – a Shark Tank–esque event focusing on Colorado companies who work in the outdoor/lifestyle industries, and love to give back to their respective communities. Companies are nominated, finalists are required to produce a short video about their business, a panel of judges narrows the list to three finalists at a live event and then questions those companies before selecting the winning contestant.

Some of these companies are big, some are small, some are new and some are more established. The common theme is that they’re all amazing Colorado-based companies who have great entrepreneurial spirit. It’s truly one of my favorite events each year – and one where everyone can learn a thing or two from the contestants. Here are a couple of things we took away from, or were reminded during the 2016 Wright: Read more after the jump…

GFM @ SXSWi: 2016 Preview

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Rain or shine, GFM will be at South by!

For the sixth year GFM is headed back to the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, March 11 – March 15. Beginning this Friday you can follow Jon Woods’ and Carissa McCabe’s recaps of all things SXSWi here on the GFM blog, or via Twitter (@WoodrowWilson and @CarissaMc).

The reason we value the South by experience so much is the fantastic programming, which is most easily explained as marketing-meets-digital-platforms-meets-Texas-meets-thought-leadership-meets-TED-Talks-meets-food-trucks-meets-pop-culture-meets-startups-meets-hipsters-meets-brilliant-minds-meets-Tech-Stars.

Read more after the jump…

Reporter Talks About Being Human In Goodbye Column

Jack Broom Seattle Times

Using the two-way radio in a photographer’s car, Jack Broom calls the newsroom with the details of a breaking story in 1978. (Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times)

Over the years, I’ve read many farewell columns by retiring or transitioning journalists.

Even before the profession hit this sustained downturn, I mostly thought these columns were self-serving, focusing on the glory days of news reporting, and self-aggrandizing about news stories uncovered.

With so many departing journalists, the farewell column has become cliché, and editors are surely loathed to provide the opportunity to all those leaving. And readers, remember them, aren’t interested.

This week, however, I came across a particularly poignant goodbye column by a reporter retiring from The Seattle Times after nearly 40 years.

Jack Broom was a general assignment reporter, which means he usually covered the big stories of the day, and when there wasn’t breaking news, he would work on occasional feature stories. General assignment reporters are a special breed; they can cover a legislative hearing one day and a volcanic eruption the next with the same grace and poise.

Broom started reporting when newsrooms were filled with typewriters, and over the years had the dubious honor of writing obituaries for his colleagues. There are few journalists left like him.

Broom saw his role as a journalist quite simply. “My goals have been straightforward: To tell readers something about the community and world they live in, and — if possible — help them enjoy the time they spent with the newspaper.”

Read more after the jump…

2015 Facebook Favorites

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 11.13.39 AMWhile many of us have some well-deserved down time over the holidays it’s a great chance to get caught up on some reading – and possibly discovering some new content sources for the New Year. We polled our GFM team, asking them to share their favorite social media accounts with our readers over the holidays, and we’ll be sharing them platform-by-platform in the coming days.

To be somewhat unbiased, we’re not including our client’s social accounts (because they’re all fantastic, of course), and we’ve left off some of the more obvious choices that many people already follow (Mashable, local news sources, etc.). But we hope these recommendations bring some new and useful content to your holiday season and New Year! Read more after the jump…

Does Curiosity Really Kill the Cat?

ApolloI was curious about a book written by a famous movie producer, one who had been responsible for such mega hits as “Splash,” “A Beautiful Mind” and “Apollo 13.” In fact, Brian Grazer’s movies and TV shows have been nominated for 43 Oscars and 152 Emmys. A Curious Mind, The Secret to a Bigger Life is Grazer’s 35-year story of having curiosity conversations, every two weeks, with thousands of people, including scientists, politicians, writers, athletes, dictators, inventors and entrepreneurs – everyone from Steve Jobs to Fidel Castro to Jacques Cousteau to Dr. Edward Teller, the maker of the hydrogen bomb.

Read more after the jump…

State of News Media Shows Changing Habits of Americans

Fellow iPad UserI recently caught a segment on CBS Sunday Morning about a Spanish language TV show called “Sábado Gigante,” a three-hour program that airs every Saturday night and is viewed by millions of people in the U.S. and in 40 countries around the world. The interview included Don Francisco, the gregarious host who has missed just one week in the 53 years since the show began. Amid declining viewership over the past few years, particularly among younger viewers, the show is ending its historic run.

That’s just one example of how TV viewing habits have changed dramatically over the past decade, particularly among the Gen X and Y viewers. Many in these age groups are forgoing cable TV in favor of the massive on-demand content of Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. According to a Retrevo “Pulse Report,” 23 percent of people under 25 watch most of their television content online compared with just 8 percent of people over 25.

Read more after the jump…