Posted by: alysonlmorris | November 4, 2019

Powerful Persuasion – Youth taking action on Climate Change

The article, Greta Thunberg: Meeting With Trump Would Be ‘A Waste Of Time, Really’ released by Huffpost discusses Greta Thunberg’s interview with Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen begins by thanking Greta for all her work around climate change. Ellen believes much of Greta’s success in rallying so many followers stems from her passion that people see as raw and real. The way Greta speaks and her youthful energy is resonating with people, as is evident by the more than 11 million people that have now participated in climate strikes. Greta goes on to explain how she sees her Asperger’s as a gift. She explains that in a society where everyone thinks the same, those that maybe think a bit differently, like many on the autism spectrum, ought to be seen as a resource for new way of thinking (Wong, 2019).

Greta’s ambition reflects a sense self-efficacy. In Chapter 6 of Applying Communication Theory for Professional Life, Dainton and Zelley see self-efficacy as the belief in oneself to perform a certain behavior. Attitudes as learned evaluations can change and Greta’s persistence is evidence of that evolution (2019).

Additionally, Dainton and Zelley describe persuasion to be “human communication that is designed to influence others by modifying their beliefs, values or attitudes” (2019). Greta’s plan of persuasion seems to be aimed at putting pressure on people in power. This tactic is making strides, particularly in youth, a population that could be charging the way for the sake of their own future.

|References:

Dainton, M., & Zelley, E. D. (2019). Applying communication theory for professional life: a practical introduction (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Wong, C. M. (2019, November 1). Greta Thunberg: Meeting With Trump Would Be ‘A Waste Of Time, Really’. Retrieved November 3, 2019, from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/greta-thunberg-trump-ellen-degeneres-show_n_5dbc3717e4b09d8f9799e185.

Posted by: dridgeway | November 3, 2019

Breaking the Brand Guide – Building a New Power Brand

A key element in many corporate marketing and communication departments is the infamous brand guide, better known as the “do and do not” manual. In this guide, the typography, colors, logo layout, and corporate voice examples are a resource to ensure a compelling brand allowing for quick identification for external and internal stakeholders. It is the governing tool of the brand.

I have this tool sitting next to my laptop and refer to it daily – what logo to use, the RGB color code for a PowerPoint, logo placement on company vehicles, approved taglines, and professional photography requirements. Utilizing these tools has been hammered into many marketing and communication professionals, that “where is the guide?”, is one of the first questions new hires ask.

In New Power, Heimans and Timms introduce five steps to Build a New Power Crowd in chapter 4. These steps include: Step 1 Find your connected connectors; Step 2 Build a New Power Brand; Step 3 lower the barrier, flatten the path; Step 4 move people up the participation scale, and Step 5 harness the three storms (Heimans & Timmis, 2018). Step 2 is what caught my attention in building a brand that embraces new power because the beloved brand guide is an element of old power. However, to adopt new power ideals, it needs to be broken.

Ditching the strict guide is to build a community that rallies behind and uplifts organizations. An example in the book is Airbnb. In 2014, the firm need to find its original roots and connect with their community members, they needed a brand that resonated with anyone in any location. They developed a new logo but put power in the hands of hosts on color, texture, and add-ons. According to the logo design firm, DesignStudio, “community members to truly participate into the visual element of the brand” (https://design.studio/work/airbnb) and over 750,000 logo variations have been created. In old power organizations, the example logo below would draw critique and discussion with the employee that created it on why it’s off-brand. However, community members have transformed Airbnb into an influencer within the hospitality industry.

Step 2 also discusses Ownerless Brands, like #GivingTuesday. The non-profit encourages individuals to volunteer and donate to local non-profits in communities on the Tuesday following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, in its infancy, the logo was highly debated on including elements of the organization’s brainchild firm. The fear of incorporating elements beyond #GivingTuesday was that it would be challenging for other non-profit ease of using the logo. The result would create confusion for potential volunteers and donors. New power brand building has allowed the campaign to spread rapidly from coast to coast. #GivingTuesday in 2019 is on December 3rd. Be sure to get out in your community to donate an hour or two, or give a few dollars to our favorite charity and become a new power brand user and post the hashtag on your social media. I know that I’ll be participating this year!

Many firms might be unwilling to allow a full new power approach, but taking small steps can help these brands reach an innovative group of community members who develop a new passion for an organization when they feel they have the ability to be involved or interact in a meaningful way, beyond being a consumer.

References:

Heimans, J., & Timmis, H. (2018). Chapter 4 How to Build a Crowd. In J. Heimans, & H. Timmis, New Power (pp. 54-80). New York, New York: Doubleday.

https://design.studio/work/airbnb

https://www.givingtuesday.org/

First of all, what is the “culture” in the so-called cultural differences?

The meaning of culture is broadly defined. Geert Hofstede, the founder of the theory of cultural dimensions, mentioned: “Culture is the software of the mind.” Does cultural difference exist only within countries? Culture is always labeled as one of the important gaps between “countries”, so that many people take it for granted that they “have a lot of difference” when people divide themselves as a foreigner. However, is “country” really the most significant factor contributing to cultural differences? With the flattening of the world, the rapid spread of information globalization shrinks he cultural differences. In an article from Harvard Business Review, three scholars conducted “re-investigation” and “re-analysis” of 558 surveys in 32 countries covering the past 35 years, including the United States, Brazil, France, South Africa, and China. They chose four dimensions of measurement culture that are of great concern to the world:

  1. Individuals vs. groups
  2. Hierarchy and status in organizations
  3. Having as much certainty as possible at work
  4. Material wealth, assertiveness, and competition vs. societal welfare and harmony in relationships

The result shows that 80% of the differences in the recognition of these values ​​exist in the same country, only 20% of the differences exist in different countries!

So what are the other factors except “countries?” The research surveyed 17 factors including personal characteristics, such as gender, age, age, education, occupation, socioeconomic status, and environmental characteristics, such as civil and political freedom, economic freedom, GDP, and human development, globalization, long-term unemployment, urbanization, income inequality, corruption, crime rate and agricultural employment. The result shows that gender, age and country are the elements that have the least impact on cultural differences, while the cultural differences caused by occupational and socioeconomic status are the most significant. Excessive interpretation of cultural differences leads to the selective collection of information to verify their understanding of cultural differences. If this is the case, then knowing the cultural differences is worse than not knowing it!

Reference: Kirkman, Bradley., Taras, Vas., Steel, Piers. (2016, May 18). Research: The Biggest Culture Gaps Are Within Countries, Not Between Them. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2016/05/research-the-biggest-culture-gaps-are-within-countries-not-between-them

Posted by: ollycnguyen | November 1, 2019

No Way, WNBA?!

The Huffington Post published an article regarding WNBA Dallas Wings and 4-Time All Star player, Skylar Diggins-Smith and her unfair treatment of her two-month absence from the court for postpartum depression. Diggins-Smith played the whole last months of the 2018 season pregnant kept it a secret in fear of backlash and her WNBA contract. The Twitterverse slammed her for “not a team player” for taking care of her mental health and child. 

On the topic of Gender Bias covered in chapter 4 of the textbook, Diggins-Smith and other WNBA players mentioned in the article, are faced with scarce resources for expecting mother — WNBA players do not qualify for FMLA or assistance for maternity leave. Current contract negotiations states that any players who are expecting will receive 50% of their salary and full medical insurance to cover their maternity care expenses (Voepel, 2017). However, I discovered that NBA players also currently have no paternity leave for their contracts but do have a mandatory 18 days off policy (Garcia, 2017) in which they are free to do anything that does not involve NBA work activities. 

So it’s clear that Gender Bias is honey-glazed, and dripping with discrepancies between WNBA and NBA players and I hope that with the current political climate of gender equality, that these players can get more support from their respective associations. Especially since the Nike article New York Times dropped in May 2019. It raised a lot of suspicion and attention to the unfair treatment of Nike female athletes who want to start a family and I think it ties in really went to this article. I’m interested in seeing how female athlete equality pans out in the height of Japan 2020 Olympics.

Citations:

Garcia, A. (2017, July 5). The weird rules in the fine print of sports. Retrieved October 22, 2019, from https://money.cnn.com/2017/06/30/news/companies/contracts-nba-nfl-mlb-terms-cba/index.html.

Papenfuss, M. (2019, October 20). Dallas Wings Women’s Basketball Star Skylar Diggins-Smith Played Entire Season Pregnant. Retrieved October 22, 2019, from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/wnba-tyler-diggins-smith-pregnant-dallas-wings_n_5daba27fe4b0422422c607d8.

Voepel, M. (2017, May 12). WNBA moms grateful for a lot — but there is more to be done. Retrieved from  https://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/19367118/wnba-moms-getting-more-help-ever-face-challenges.

Posted by: ollycnguyen | October 31, 2019

Brand Collaborations Getting with the New Power!

In Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms, “New Power”,  the running theme of the book is that the concept of Old Power versus New Power in respects to business or corporations, the political or social climate, and/or innovation within organizations. Corporations especially, are now moving towards separating themselves from “Old Power” and adopting “New Power” in their corporate ethics and areas of growth. So what is this Old Power versus New Powers concept and why does it matter? 

From the text, old power is considered the “traditional” or old ways of corporations behaviors in comparison to the new power. The “power” that the theme of the book is like There is a diagram below: 

(Image Courtesy of Harvard Business Review)

I find this so fascinating because I’m obsessed with corporate branding and large brand behaviors. In comparing old and new power, old power would be companies and brands such as Urban Outfitters or New Balance, competing against each other. But new power is large brands coming together as a part of their brand success and strength and launch collaboration pieces in the apparel industry such as New Balance x Topo Design street wear or the food and beverage brands like some local spots, Deadstock Coffee x Tea Bar

I think this new power turn is in response to the over saturation of competing brands and companies but also starting a business  in our current economy is like opening a bank account, it’s not rocket science. The only thing that can distinguish brands apart is how their business models hold through the competition, there are no longer any secrets in the game of business. Businesses are now actually saying “let’s collaborate”. In addition to handling saturation, brands are also moving to fit the demand of “experience economy”. A good example of brands actively pursuing experience economy is Airbnb x Barbie. People can now rent Barbie’s Malibu Dreamhouse in Malibu, California and experience the house that is thoroughly decorated with Barbie-esque things and of course, with Barbie-pink themed decor. 

Citations:

Heimans, J., & Timms, H. (2018). New power: how movements build, businesses thrieve, and ideas catch fire in our hyperconnected world. New York, NY: Random House Large Print.

Old vs. New Power. (2018, May 24). Retrieved October 23, 2019, from https://thisisnewpower.com/2018/04/06/old-vs-new-power/.

Timms, J. H. H., & Botsman, R. (2015, July 1). Understanding “New Power”. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2014/12/understanding-new-power.


Posted by: peninsular | October 28, 2019

A Man and a Mission

According to its investor relations page, “Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” But how closely is the company’s policies aligned with this noble-sounding intention? In the same session in which he testified before Congress about Facebook’s cryptocurrency, Libra, Mark Zuckerberg was grilled about the internet giant’s recent policy against banning political ads containing unverifiable information (because, ostensibly, it “limits speech”) and potential dissemination of political misinformation ahead of the 2020 election.

Clearly, many members of Congress don’t believe Facebook gives “people the power,” or that it brings “the world closer together.” Recently, the platform release a policy that stated it would not vet information in political ads, a stunning policy stance considering misinformation campaigns waged through Facebook may have been responsible for the current intractable political climate in which people are more divided than ever. In trying to assure members of Congress that Facebook needed to rebuild trust with its users, Zuckerberg said: “I get that I’m not the ideal messenger for this right now.”

Perhaps he is not the ideal messanger because he’s veered off message. At least 250 Facebook employees agreed this week when an open letter to Zuckerberg was posted on the organization’s internal Facbook page. The employees criticized Facebook’s official policy against vetting political ads, saying it  doesn’t protect voices, but instead allows politicians to weaponize our platform by targeting people who believe that content posted by political figures is trustworthy.” It almost seems as if rank-and-file employees are doing the mission-driven communication Mark Zuckerberg should be doing. Perhaps employees-as-brand-ambassadors will be the ones to help the platform stay on-mission.

Sources:

“Facebook’s Zuckerberg, Accused of Lying, Withstands a Washington ‘Beating,’” The New York Times, 23-Oct-2019 [Online]. Available: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/23/technology/facebook-zuckerberg-libra-congress.html?module=inline. [Accessed: 28-Oct-2019]

“Dissent Erupts at Facebook Over Hands-Off Stance on Political Ads,” The New York Times, 28-Oct-2019 [Online]. Available: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/28/technology/facebook-mark-zuckerberg-political-ads.html?action=click&module=Top Stories&pgtype=Homepage. [Accessed: 28-Oct-2019]

Posted by: nataliaxorozco | October 28, 2019

You Work, I Profit: The WeWork Implosion

As Dainton and Zelley write in Applying Communication Theory (2019), “…simply because a leader articulates a value system does not make it so” (p. 166). This is clearly illustrated in the recent near-bankruptcy of the office-sharing company, WeWork. While providing the guise of a process-culture (Deal & Kennedy, 1982) with a mission of “creating a world where people make a life, not just a living” CEO and founder Adam Neumann was practicing a bet-the-company culture (Deal & Kennedy, 1982)—resulting in big payouts for him and huge losses for the company’s stakeholders. Once the hero of WeWork’s values of community and authenticity, Neumann is now undoubtedly the villain.

However, WeWork’s fall is only so pronounced because of its initial rise to success. According to Thompson, Neumann succeeded because he “…burnished his company’s reputation by telling employees and members that, by doing normal jobs in a place that set its ambitions at the level of human consciousness, they could be participants in a grand fusion of profit and purpose.” (2019, para 19).

With WeWork’s bailout and Neumann’s buyout, the question remains: “After a crisis, how can a company still demonstrate its corporate values to stakeholders?” (Gibbs, 2019). WeWork will have to grapple with this question as it faces job cuts and tries to regain its lost reputation. But for those who bought into WeWork’s mission and values, to begin with, a larger question remains: how can we keep good missions and stories from obscuring our ability to see beyond the artifice?

 

References

Daiton, M., & Zelley, E.D. (2019).Organizational communication.        In Applying Communication Theory for Professional Life: A Practical Introduction(4th ed., pp. 161-179). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Gibbs, R. (2019). Communicating corporate values after a crisis. Strategies & Tactics: The Crucial Role of Corporate Communications Today, 2, 10.

Thompson, D. (2019). WeWork’s Adam Neumann is the most talented grifter of our time. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/how-weworks-adam-neumann-became-billionaire/600607/


An organization is a living thing. Its many parts react and adapt to changes in the environment. A corporate organization is one thrown into the pit of competition, along with all the other creatures that want to kill and consume it. To survive and thrive, the organization must pay special attention to the flora and fauna that combine to make it whole.  

The flora and fauna are the hardworking people employed and contracted to keep the organization growing and flowing. If the organization is to remain healthy, it must nurture its relationships with its members, developing and maintaining robust communication channels internally that stream from top to bottom, from the most veteran to the newest rookie and flow just as freely back up to the top. An effective structure is one that can listen and learn from all of its parts. 

All members, properly steeped in the company’s culture, will exhibit behaviors directly born from that culture. This is how an organization can manage diverse flora and fauna through unobtrusive control. If the values of the organization are authentic or perceived to be, all the constituent parts of the whole will automatically react to outside stimuli in a similar, cohesive way. It is not what to think, but how to think. 

In my company, we trusted that our corporate culture defined the organization in such a way our people would happily soak it in. They were then able to function in a way that the organization approved and encouraged, whether that was representing us on social media, in person at a function or just out there in public. We hoped to instill pride in their jobs, in their company and themselves. All the while, making and selling some tasty grub. Which makes me wonder, did our power to grow a positive culture rest on supplying free food and drink to our family of employees? It sure didn’t hurt. 

Posted by: adrianawollney | October 28, 2019

Organizational Communication to Avoid Workplace Conflict

Chapter 9 of Applying Communication Theory for Professional Life (Dainton & Zelley, 2019) discusses how organizational communication functions on a managerial and company level. Successful organizations should establish a transparent culture, norms, values, and clear expectations of newcomers.

The importance of organizational communication is made clear in an article written by Sara Germano (The Wall Street Journal) about Nike’s 2018 culture. The issues faced by Nike in this article fit into the double interact portion of organizational information theory. The act was the group of women revolting in response to unfair workplace standards from HR, management and the “boys club” mentality at Nike. The response was a public apology from Mark Parker to Nike employees, and the adjustment included promoting two women to senior leadership positions, assigning the role of “chief diversity and inclusion” to a woman, and firing the chief of HR to provide internal investigations into his management style (Germano, 2018). As stated in the textbook, for organizations to survive and thrive, they must evolve and adapt to information communication (Dainton & Zelly, 2019).

Germano, S. (2018, May 3). Nike CEO Apologizes for Corporate Culture that Excluded Some Staff. [Article].Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/nike-ceo-apologizes-for-corporate-culture-that-excluded-some-staff-1525399012?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=5

Dainton, M., & Elaine D., Z. (2019). Applying Communication Theory for Professional Life: A Practical Introduction (4th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Posted by: MJ | October 27, 2019

Balancing Control in a Nonprofit Environment

In Chapter 9 of Applying Communication Theory for Professional Life (Dainton & Zelley, 2019), the concepts of unobtrusive and concertive control are introduced as those wielded often in organizations that value participatory team structures more than hierarchical systems of control. In fact, it can be argued that these newer team structures have arisen in response to bureaucratic control systems (Larson & Tompkins, 2005).

Currently, terms like “participatory culture” and “empowerment” are popularly attributed to young companies that exhibit “new power values,” as defined by Heiman & Timms (2018). These values are not restricted to entrepreneurial endeavors, however – nonprofit organizations can also exhibit behaviors consistent with new power values and team-based structures, especially as they work to innovate in a changing landscape (Jaskyte, 2004). There are unique relationships between nonprofit individuals that could be understood at a deeper level using these concepts of organizational control.

Due to varying constraints faced by restricted grant-funded roles, contractors, volunteers, and leadership staff, different members of an organization may be experiencing control at different levels identified by scholars of the subject (Tompkins & Cheney, 1985; Edwards, 1981). How are control and resistance experienced by team members in a nonprofit environment where certain team members are beholden to the stated mission of an organization, whereas others are beholden to contracts and/or the needs of an external entity (e.g. a corporate funder with its own set of organizational values)? Continuing this research as it applies to the unique structure of service-focused nonprofits may be especially revealing.

REFERENCES

Jaskyte, K. (2004). Transformational leadership, organizational culture, and innovativeness in nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit Management and Leadership15(2), 153–168. doi: 10.1002/nml.59

Larson, G.S. & Tompkins, P.K. (2005). Ambivalence and resistance: a study of management in a concertive control system. Communication Monographs, 72(1), 1-21. doi: 10.1080/036377505200034250

Dainton, M., & Zelley, E. D. (2019). Applying communication theory for professional life: a practical introduction (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

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