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Professionalism is overrated

What does professionalism do for us other than slow things down and get in the way of genuine interactions?

We hold things back from others, dress differently, and downright lie in the name of “maintaining professionalism”, and yet there is no advantage of doing so.

Would you trust your accountant any less if he wore shorts and thongs and declared a love for 80s hair metal? Probably not… as long as you knew he had the chops.

In fact, knowing these quirks would bring you closer to him, realising that he is human and has human qualities like passion, care, and a willingness to do good.

The new way of doing business will see a decline in traditional professionalism and an increase in the genuine traits we already value in social relationships.

February is as good as January

It’s the end of January, 2012. How’s this year going for you so far?

Are your goals still at the forefront of your mind, and how are you tracking against them?

If, like me, you’ve forgotten the majority of what you’re setting out to achieve, don’t worry. It’s only February, it’s not too late.

We don’t have to leave our objectives behind — go back, scoop them up, and bring them to the present.

Take stock, remind yourself where you’re headed, and move on with the year.

Happiness: Experiencing vs remembering

I really like this TED talk from Daniel Kahneman who researches how we perceive happiness. He reveals that we’ve been researching this topic the wrong way by failing to distinguish between our “experiencing self” and the “remembering self”.

Our experiencing self really only focuses on the “now” moments, which according to Kahneman, only last about 3 seconds. So the question “how happy are you?” requires people to tap into their experiencing self and judge their happiness in that particular moment.

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Be a minority of one

Being an “individual” has become so naff that it’s almost lost its true meaning, If everyone’s an individual, then I’m just another one of them right? Hipsters — a subculture of people who strive to be different in every way, yet are bound together by this very objective — are a case in point.

Instead everyone should rejoice in becoming a minority of one, someone so fantastically unique that nobody else in the world can fit into the same category. Someone who can’t be marketed to, or would never be chosen for a focus group because they just don’t adhere to a pre-defined group.

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It’s not about the coffee

Coffee unites us. It tastes great and gives us a boost first thing in the morning, but there’s more to coffee than just the flavour, and that’s what makes it the perfect product.

Coffee makes us stop work, take stock, breathe, catch up on a conversation. It provides a conduit between two friends who haven’t seen each other for a while, or two acquaintances trying to resolve an issue. It breaks the ice at a job interview.

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Nobody knows what to do


Something that has given me a lot of clarity over the past couple of weeks is realising that nobody knows exactly what to do at any given point in time.

I mean, nobody can ever know exactly what to do.

Without having some kind of crystal ball or knowing the result of every ensuing step after this particular decision, there’s no way you can ask someone “what do we do next?” and have them give you the finite answer, no matter how much expertise or experience they have.

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Things will keep happening, and other predictions for 2012

It’s around this time of year that the pundits of my industry (digital marketing) start predicting what’s going to happen in the next year, 90% of which, let’s face it, is pure vapourware.

Predicting what’s going to happen in digital marketing (or technology, parenting, psychology, or art) over the next 12 months is like trying to predict what telephone conversations are going to be about — you can look at current trends and topics and expect them to continue, but predicting that “Apple is going to build this” or “Facebook Pages will look like that” comes down to little more than hope.

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