Organizational Narrative: Lucky Iron Fish

Lucky Iron Fish is a certified B Corp working to improve health around the world, starting in Cambodia. They’ve made a short video, with the help of Google, to tell their organization’s origin story. The video is a great two-minute organizational narrative example that uses the five parts of Joseph Campbell’s mythological story form to...Continue reading

The Social Progress Index: Measuring the Quality of Our Social Nature

Marketers often benchmark their goods and services against the competition. For countries, the main benchmark for nearly a century has been Gross Domestic Product, or GDP. The United States rules in GDP. While increasing GDP does correlate with some improvement in social conditions, it is purely an economic measure. As the measure of a country,...Continue reading

Designing Digital Government Services: U.S. Digital Service

Government needs to get its shit together and catch up. That’s Helen Van Dyck, leader of the U.S. Digital Service. Her group works as a technology start-up within the federal government, applying the design and implementation approaches of Silicon Valley to create digital government services and disrupt the delivery of social goods for the better.Continue reading

Organizational Narrative: The Hero’s Journey (video)

In my series on organizational narrative, I’ve shown you how to structure a master narrative as a hero’s journey.  Your organization is the hero on a journey to defeat powerful forces and restore harmony. After all, that is what you’re doing, right?

Harvard Research Across 75 Years Shows Our Social Nature

The Harvard Study of Adult Development is a very long longitudinal study. For 75 years, the study has gathered data on two cohorts: 268 men who were sophomores at Harvard in 1938, and 456 boys who lived in low-income neighborhoods in Boston at the same time. A main focus of the study is alcohol abuse...

The Power of Design: Basic Elements of Graphical Communication

In a recent presentation, research and senior TED fellow Genevieve von Petzinger showed 32 ancient graphical symbols that she found repeated in cave paintings and hieroglyphic writings around the world. This consistent set of symbols appeared 30,000 – 40,000 years ago and remained in use for thousands of years. It’s possible that this is the...

The Power of Design: Social Service Program Design

In her TED talk, “Social Services Are Broken: How We Can Fix Them,” Hilary Cottam displayed a chart mapping 20 years of social services interventions in the life of one family (screen shot shown above). Color-coded shapes along two timelines mark each encounter in which schools, police and social services interacted with the mother, sister...Continue reading

Organizational Narrative: Stories Make Humans Uniquely Social

Humans are not that much different from chimpanzees or Capuchin monkeys. If you put a human and a chimp in a Man Vs. Wild scenario, undoubtedly the chimp would win. Individually, we humans are not that impressive when compared to other animals. So why have we come to dominate? Historian Yuval Noah Harari believes it’s...Continue reading

The Power of Brand: Designing City Flags

In his TED talk, Roman Mars of the podcast 99% Invisible makes a strong, touching and often funny plea for city branding, beginning with the flag design for a city flag.

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