The100: Flabby thinking, thinking on your feet and angry hipsters

Flabby strategic thinking

“Too many objectives fall into one of two camps. Either they are analytical and devoid of imagination, driven by metrics that are easy to measure rather than necessarily the right things to measure. Or, on the other hand, they are highly evocative but meaningless. You hear them and leave the meeting in awe but a day later you realise they are unactionable and unmeasurable.”

So says Gareth Kay, as he argues that strategic thinking is getting flabbier and flowerier by the minute. And what a marvellous read it is too, identifying the 4 key signs of flabby strategy.

“Every strategic decision should face a simple test: could you make the opposite choice without looking stupid? For example, that far too common strategy of ‘great customer service’ fails if you consider the alternative is to deliberately offer ‘terrible customer service’. Great strategy is differentiated and distinctive.”

Love that.

Thinking around the clock

Trying to keep my body clock on UK time whilst in Chicago for a few days this week meant me being awake at 3:30 am local time. It also meant no interruptions and some seriously focused thinking. The Financial Times agrees.

“The first thing that helps creativity is solitude… Creativity is essentially an individual rather than a collective activity.”

The article goes on to explain the Ringelmann Effect, where individual productivity falls as group size increases and that

“…brainstorming produces, at best, a light, irritating drizzle of complacent mediocrity”.

On a similar note, turns out walking helps us think. I like that.

Work hacks

In our office, we have 2 kinds of people: those who have less than 3 browser tabs open at once, and those who have what seems like 671,823,000. It’s the subject of much internal debate, so you can imagine my glee when I shared the One Tab App with our resident tab hoarders.

I found out about it in this article on 20 tools to help you become a more effective freelancer. Even if you aren’t a freelancer, they’re great. Case in point 🙂

Don’t go chasing waterfalls data

Charlotte Rogers reports on how empathy, storytelling and creativity will become a lost art in marketing if the industry continues to obsess over data. As Gav Thompson at Boden says:

“I’ve never stumbled across a great customer insight in the data. I’ve found greater customer insights in talking to customers and learning about their behaviour and then I’ve checked that against the data and used the data to build on that”

Words and pictures

Who said libraries were dull? Check out these stunning photos of bookworm paradises.

And finally, I can’t explain how much I enjoyed this story about the angry hipster. Tickled me.