On this day in history, June 24, 1901, the first major exhibition of Pablo Picasso's artwork opened at a gallery in Paris. Good time to drop some Picasso truthiness:
Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.
Be found working!
In this edition (#35) of the World's Best Newsletter:
- Combating "manterruptions"
- The best fact I learned about Wonder Woman
- Power paradox - it removes empathy, causes brain damage
- Letting local jazz come through the sheet music of the brand
- Brutal truths about creativity you should know
- Boston Content event this Thursday night
- On security marketing by Gwen Betts
1. Combating “manterruptions”
There are many pieces out lately about the phenomenon of “manterrupting” - the very frequent practice of men interrupting women when it’s entirely unnecessary. (Hey, sometimes someone needs to be cut off, this isn’t referring to those times.)
It refers to the situations where you’re trying to get the job done, and a louder voice, a more arrogant personality, or worse, a bullying majority take the spotlight.
Read the NYTimes piece about it, then read how notorious RBG handles it.
(Sidenote: If you're reacting with "Hey I don't do that. Not all men do that." Slow your roll. It happens - unequivocally. Studies have shown it does. Men interrupt women at disproportionate rates. So rather than argue it doesn’t exist, ask instead what you will do to stop it? To be aware of it? To prevent yourself from letting it happen?)
If you’ve been interrupted recently, here’s a great piece on combatting it next time. You can call it out, you can give private feedback, you can hold strong. Whatever you choose to do, ask why it’s happening - emotional control lacking? Power play? Fragile ego? All three? Good luck…
2. The best fact I learned about Wonder Woman
OK one more about girl power, then we're back to marketing, pinky swear.
I’m going to let this WIRED article speak for itself:
“William Moulton Marston was one of the leading psychologists of his time, but these days he’s not known for his work studying the human mind—he’s known as the guy who created Wonder Woman. But that doesn’t mean his psychology research and work in comics were separate, they weren’t. In fact, his scientific theories directly influenced the creation of his iconic heroine.
Marston’s primary aim with Wonder Woman was to acclimate young boys to the idea of powerful women, to help pave the way for a social upheaval that he felt was inevitable.”
The guy wasn’t perfect - there’s a rather awkward obsession with female bondage - but his 1940s Wonder Woman inspired fighters like Gloria Steinem with a female hero that saved Earth from space aliens and fought in the war… much preferred to one who cries over her boyfriend all the time. That’s just boring.
3. The power paradox - it removes empathy, causes brain damage.
This one is fascinating.
“Obhi studies brains. And when he put the heads of the powerful and the not-so-powerful under a transcranial-magnetic-stimulation machine, he found that power, in fact, impairs a specific neural process, “mirroring,” that may be a cornerstone of empathy. Which gives a neurological basis to what Keltner has termed the “power paradox”: Once we have power, we lose some of the capacities we needed to gain it in the first place.”
Empathy isn’t… gone in these leaders. It’s just anesthetized.
Suppressed over time by “Wall Street analysts whispering their greatness quarter after quarter, board members offering them extra helpings of pay, and Forbes praising them for 'doing well while doing good'—they may have what in medicine is known as 'functional' changes to the brain.”
4. Letting local jazz come through the sheet music of the brand
The former jazz musician in me geeked out at this line in a CMO.com piece by Phil Clement (global CMO of Aon):
One key for Clement in leading branding efforts on a global scale is to let the “local jazz” come through when interpreting the “sheet music” of the brand instead of strictly adhering to brand standards: “The essence of brands translates, but it won’t always translate in the same exact manner…”
Every jazz musician interprets a piece (even when guided by sheet music) their way - with local flavor. That’s what makes it great! I loved applying this thinking to brand standards. Embrace fluidity and let the brand be what it will be - reign it in when necessary but re-think what that necessity is when “brand control” gets in the way of making music.
Oh man this got cheesy. My bad. Let’s move on.
Wait, first here's a photo of me playing trombone in a Tigger costume:
5. Brutal truths about creativity you should know
I've heard it a lot lately. "I'm not creative." Or "I can't come up with creative ideas."
We all hit a wall, but there's just as surely always a road around that block. Sometimes "the wall" is this perceived limitation within ourselves.
I know, deep stuff.
But seriously, creativity is learned, practiced, and accessible to all. This week I want to absolutely share these "brutal truths" about creativity that strip away excuses for anyone saying they aren’t, or can’t be, creative.”. They come from an original article by Benjamin Earl Evans, curated by Carla Johnson.
1. Your ideas are not original
2. Inspiration is a myth
3. Everyone is creative
4. Creativity isn’t something you’re born with
6. This week! Boston Content cominatcha
This week, Thursday to be specific, catch the first Boston Content event of 2017. 6:30pm at General Assembly in Boston. We have some exciting news to share!
7. On security marketing by Gwen Betts
The fabulous Gwen Betts was featured in Tripwire where she drops some knowledge bombs about what she’s learned getting into the security field as a UX designer and marketer:
“...there is no silver bullet when it comes to security. From a marketing perspective, we also need to be careful not to sell silver bullets. We have to be weary of fearmongering, too. Ultimately, it’s about balance.”
I also loved this excerpt:
“People of every background use digital products, yet the predominant stereotype for security folks is “nerdy guy.” If we bring in more women, more POC, and more diversity, we’ll bring in different perspectives and create more inclusive products for everyone, including security measures and how we approach design and implementation of these measures.”
^^ This girl, destined for greatness. Read the full interview.
Happy Saturday, friend.