The Weekly Jolt! 10.23.2013

Hope your week is going well.

Here’s this week’s Jolt!


Did you know that between 50 and 75% of agency new business development is led by women?

If nothing else it’s an interesting factoid. And for the women, one of the few potential paths to a senior leadership position. There is nothing like being able to close a deal to increase one’s influence. The article, from Michael Gass’ always excellent Fuel Lines, suggests that one reason is the math.

Women make up to 85% of all brand purchases.

I guess the theory is that if brands sell to women, it makes more sense for a woman to sell to a brand… or that the brand will want to buy from a woman. I didn’t do all that well in logic, but I am not sure that this is a viable syllogism.

As every woman reading this has already concluded, I think it has everything to do with skills at relationship building. Gass seems to agree saying that:

Rainmakers, predominately male, who were great at their trade in the past are struggling today. The new business environment that includes technology, networking and social networks is turning out to be an environment that is well suited for women.


Do the tools you use change the way you think?

There are some software developers who think so. Not that far fetched when you consider how many people like writing longhand for the “connection”.

As We May Type is from the MIT Technology Review – I know, a lot scholarly for The Jolt! It’s a meaty read that offers a lot of insight into how the app you write with, affects what you write; and might even help to make you smarter.

The article takes a look at a number of very different tools:

Fargo – which is a  browser-based outliner from Dave Winer who invented Think Tank, the first outliner I ever used on my 128K Mac.

Editorially – is a text editor optimized for collaboration.

Medium – is designed to offer a certain amount of formatting/structure. It can also be shared.

Why are so many creative software developers building tools for composition? Because the Web is growing older, and its authoring tools seem increasingly unsatisfactory to larger numbers of people.

The Big AHA!

How would you visualize someone’s life?

It’s an interesting question – especially if you’re a designer. The Lives of 10 Famous Painters, Visualized as Minimalist Infographic Biographies is an absolutely engrossing answer.

This is a brilliant visualization from Accurat, a NYC/Milan based design firm. My first impression and reaction (without meaning to ruffle any feathers) is to say that they have taken Edward Tufte to the next level.

The brief article is written by the very brilliant Maria Popova for Brain Pickings.

There is also a video – it’s basic pan-and-scan without a track, but still a good way to see the details of the work.

SPOILER ALERT FOR GLENN – you will get lost in here for a while.

Pollock, Dalí, Matisse, Klimt, Picasso, Mondrian, Klee, Boccioni, Kandinsky, and Miro, visually distilled.

Metrics & ROI

How is Big Data changing the role of the CIO?

The easy answer is, there is more data so there is more to do. Which is an OK as far as it goes, but it goes a lot further.

While ck Curates usually looks at how metrics impact marketing, this free e-book by Mike Barlow, The Changing Role Of The CIO, offers an interesting look at the impact that Big Data is having on IT and the CIO.

Until very recently, the primary role of IT was to enable business processes. From a technology perspective, that role forced IT to focus almost exclusively on the programs running underneath those business processes. Today many companies perceive that their data has more inherent business value than all the various processes and technologies necessary for managing that data.

If you remember the nightmare stories of ERP implementation which touched every business process, you have some insight into just how big a shift this is. But to get there, Barlow says that IT will have to change from looking back at what happened, to a forward looking view that aligns with the way  the business user looks at data and what they want to know from it.

Which puts them very much in the same boat as the Marketing Department.

IT will have to acquire new skills for managing and understanding data. Today, the average IT person doesn’t have those skills.

Marketing 501

Do you have a process for out-of-the-box thinking?

The authors of Thinking In New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity say try as you might, the answer is no. They believe that because of the way that our brains are wired, the only way to get out of one box, is to step into another one.

Since your brain needs models or boxes to think, the key to being creative in practical ways, to managing change during these times of such uncertainty, is to first try to understand your existing boxes to a greater degree, and then attack any situation or issue by developing a range of new boxes. You can then carefully choose which box(es) to use…

If you’re not convinced, or are curious here are the 5 steps to building yourself a cozy new box.

  1. Doubt everything. Challenge your current perspectives.

  2. Probe the possible. Explore options around you.

  3. Diverge. Generate many new and exciting ideas, even if they seem absurd.

  4. Converge. Evaluate and select the ideas that will drive breakthrough results.

  5. Reevaluate. Relentlessly. No idea is a good idea forever. And did we mention Reevaluate? Relentlessly.

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ck Curates – – so that you can take it along on your next adventure.

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