Blog

June 2011 - PS Insights

THE VOICE

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  The Voice. The surprise television hit of the summer season so far – and a good indication of what television programming has become. Beyond the performance, a social networking component that invites interaction between contestants and the crowd. All activated on Sprint equipment. Like Coca Cola couches and Ford music videos in American Idol, reality programming is seamlessly linking content with commerce. So, forget about the commercial break. But, from now on will we ever get a break from commercials in our content?

MALL RATS

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  Mall Rats. Kids take to malls like ducks to water. An average Friday night, the mall will be overrun by tweens and teens. At first blush, they’re really annoying, but take a moment to observe their behavior – their style, their fashion, their attitudes and relationships. It will be an eye-opener – both painful and pleasurable. And it will get you in touch with what is going on real quick.

BIG IDEA

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  What’s the Big Idea? Big Ideas are just that: one simple, single Big Idea. If you need to embellish it with other stuff it probably doesn’t qualify as a Big Idea. Find your single Big Idea and focus on delivering that one, simple, clear message.

MASTERY

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 Mastery. For Malcolm Gladwell, in Outliers, it’s just a matter of practice, practice, practice. His formula suggests 10,000 hours of work. If you manage to fit in three hours of work between meetings, e-mails and interruptions and you’re willing to work six days a week, you should have mastered your craft by the time you’ve worked in the business for 11 and a half years. Are you a master yet – or still an apprentice?

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

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  Make A Difference. To your consumers. To your employees. To your family. To your bosses. To the world. When was the last time you volunteered – for ANYTHING?

HIGH LINE

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High Line. New York’s newest park and a lesson in meaningful meandering. Rather than just paving over the West Side railroad tracks, they took the time to create a series of micro-environments in the middle of the grittiest part of the city. The result is a surprise around every turn, a surprise turnaround for the economy of the area and the city (some $2 billion it’s been estimated) and a lesson that sometimes the straightest route to inspiration is not a straight line.

FIRECRACKER

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We have an intern who’ll be working with us for the summer who basically got the job by describing herself in one word. She said, “I’m a firecracker.” The self-description really resonated with Paul who, throughout his career, has had a special place in his heart for employee candidates who he also describes in one word: “spark.” There’s something about candidates who want to set the world on fire that make them very attractive employees.

WORDS FOR SNOW

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It’s a conventional belief that in the arctic there are many words for snow. Alas, it’s an urban — er, arctic — legend. The Inuit word for “snow” is “patuq.” But the belief that there are lots of ways and words to describe something can liberate us to romance it in ways that make it seem more versatile and desireable. How are you romancing the language of what you do?

BE INQUISITIVE

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Be inquisitive. Ask yourself “why does this work?” “what can I learn” “how do we know?” Never stop asking questions.

REVERSE MENTORING

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Reverse Mentoring. The newbies have a lot to teach you. They come to your business without the baggage and rules that have gradually encrusted around your thinking. Yes, they’re probably a little foolhardy and rash, but don’t dismiss the new thinking out of hand. Sit with it and ask yourself whether “out of the mouthes of babes…”