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Idea Execution

June 30th, 2015

So, I was thinking about this today.

What’s the best way to get an idea into the world?

Is it:

Idea -> talk -> paper (disqus) -> more talks -> more writing -> book -> more talks -> more ideas -> start over

or

Idea -> ebook -> talks -> book-book -> more talks -> start over

???

Going Rogue – Project 6, altMBA – COU2

June 28th, 2015

One of my favorite gifts from law school: knowing when it is time to bend the rules.

This weekend, I went on a weekend vacation. I dragged no computer along with me. While I had a cell phone, I vowed only to take pictures with it. This was a planned vacation, long before altMBA flashed onto the scene, and thinking back to my last vacation, which happened in 2014…I was long overdue for an unplug. *(See below if you want to know where I went.)

I’m not making excuses. I’m just trying to state why I deviated from Project 6, as we were to work in our teams. In fairness to my team, I did warn them as far back as Monday this previous week that I was going to be off the grid for this weekend and project 6, so if they wanted me to do anything to help before I left, let me know. I did help a bit with possible personas and researching audience sizes, but candidly – I was a terrible teammate on P6.

There.

Now, the dilemma becomes:
1. Do I turn nothing in?
2. Do I turn something in from my team? Or…
3. Do I turn in something of my own?
I can’t choose #1. After all, I’m an educator. Nor can I really choose #2 either, as I didn’t do the work, and that is probably even more heinous that #1–both as a student and as an educator. So, below you’ll see that I’ve chosen option #3 – to go it alone, and share with you my idea for project 6.

And, because I had this entire campaign ready to post on altMBA’s site and it lost over half of it, I’m going to re-type it and post it here instead and link it over to the WP site.

So, the persona that I’m targeting for my campaign is: the lost smashed center between the crunchy thick ends of the generational cookie–millennials and their baby boomer parents.  The lost generation.  Yes, I’m talking about Generation X.

We were born between 1961 – 1981, and there are about 41 million of us in the US.  But, writers never really write about us much, and although we are generally ignored in the media, we’re now taking power from the retiring baby boomers, so we actually are in a position to start creating some positive change when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions.

I’m also Gen X. And one thing I loved growing up was my music.  I loved and still love all the 80s bands!

Thus, my campaign, COU2:

So, the biggest conspirator in global climate change is CO2, or Carbon Dioxide.  The biggest band ever to land in the 1980s was, arguably, U2.  But this could be bigger than merely just bringing back U2. We could, through this campaign, bring back a LOT of 1980s bands and cover what needs to happen to reduce carbon emissions. Said another way, through bringing back 1980s artists, they help take out the “U” in Carbon Dioxide emissions. Take the U out of CO2: To wit:

Bands we could have on commercials for this campaign:

U2 – <cue “In the Name of Love” – could discuss or even spoof their recent mess up of automatically downloading their album to all of iTunes, by just stating they were trying to reduce carbon emissions from everyone rushing to the store to buy their physical CD.

Simple Minds – <cue “Don’t You Forget About Me” – and make the star of this commercial the Planet Earth.  Show how we are destroying the planet, and what to do about fixing climate change.

Prince – <cue “Purple Rain,” and discuss acid rain instead.

Dead or Alive – <cue “You Spin Me Round,” and feature Earth again, and state that it might stop spinning if we don’t reduce our carbon emissions and save it.

George Michael – <cue “Faith,” and/or

Journey – <cue “Don’t Stop Belevin’,” – and have both George and Journey’s commercial feature REAL Generation Xers doing positive things to reduce carbon emissions in their communities.  Whether that is changing law or policy, to just starting a community recycling program, anything to take the U out of CO2 would be great.

Messages for this campaign:  reduce eating red meat, put energy efficiencies into houses (like solar panels and water gutter capture, if legal), reduce driving, increase walking and bicycling, and reduce/reuse/recycle campaigns.  Although Gen X is and will probably always be skeptical, they do through this campy nostalgic return to their glory days could capture spirit and begin changing their carbon emissions.

Why wouldn’t this work? Well, time and money, as always.  Getting these 80s icons back would be a challenge.  On the other hand, didn’t they already do this once with “We are the World?”

How would we measure how this works?  Well, policy changes for climate and environmental impact by Gen X leaders could be something we view to see if there’s an impact.  Reducing overall state carbon emissions would be great.  There are many other ways we could measure impact here.  However, Geico has used this campy 1980s nostalgic strategy for many of their commercials, and as a Gen X person myself, they do get my attention.

That’s it. No fancy weebly site on this, or slide deck.  Just one animated gif (which, admittedly is my first ever…that should count for something).  And to my team: I am sorry I bailed on you!  But, I thank you for giving me the time away that I needed to unplug.

___

*I went to Charleston, SC.  I do have some photos on my instagram feed.  However, I was struck by how tacky the mass media was being at the actual church where the incident occurred, especially while people were grieving and having funerals there this weekend.  However, I do have to say that the Charlestonians handled themselves with the utmost grace under pressure.  They even seemed positive and hopeful, despite their setbacks this past few weeks.  I think if we all could be as classy as they have been, we’d definitely have a better world right now.

 

 

Another Reason for Authors to NOT Publish with Amazon

June 24th, 2015

So, JB in his wisdom proclaimed this week that those writers who do not hold the attention of their readers will pay for it.  In reduced royalties.

This is brilliant for Amazon. But, not so much for the rest of us writers.

Full disclosure: I’ve never self-published with Amazon, and now, that possibility is next to zero. Why?

Well, think about it–what was the last book you ever read, cover to cover?

For those of you who might read novels or fiction, maybe that was the last book you read.  But for myself, an avid reader of books that one could actually use, non-fiction, I rarely if ever read those books from cover to cover.  I graze. I look at the TOC. I go to the chapter heading that looks interesting. I dip in, then dip out.  I go back to it when I need it. I use them as reference books, in some cases.

So, if you’re a Kindle publisher with Amazon and writing nonfiction, and I pick up your book, I’ve got some really bad news for you…

It appears from the last Pew Study I could find that eBook reading is creeping up.  But just today over at altMBA, in a writers’ group, we discussed how we still love book-books.  Myself included.  And while even I have published some of my titles as ebook only, I still prefer physical books to read, hands down.  (Can someone speed up the espresso book machine availability?)

Thanks, Mr. Bezos. You just narrowed my field of publishers.  Thanks for making it easier for me to choose.

P.S. does anyone else find it creepy that Amazon is tracking what pages we read of ebooks, anyway?!?

First Half of 2015: MIA!

June 21st, 2015

Infographic time (and I totally stole this idea from @garyvee for his 1Q15 infographic).

The year is scarily almost half over – what have you done with it? Here are some of my metrics.

Make your own infographic – and start tracking what you’re not getting paid to track at the day job, but maybe what could be important down the road!

Slide1

 

 

 

Decisions, Goals and B Plans: My First Week with altMBA

June 20th, 2015

Hi there sports fans!

Sorry I’ve been buried under a couple of other projects…one of which is the inaugural class of Seth Godin’s altMBA. This first week, as a small recap – we had 3 projects to do in small teams:

  1. Learn how to better make decisions.
  2. Set goals.
  3. Create 80+ business plans.

My posts and homework are here. We haven’t as a team officially posted project 3 just yet, but I produced a quick video on my contribution to the 80+ business plans.  It was fun to dream up businesses – as long as I don’t have to implement all of them – lol! Check out my contribution to the group below.  (The google sheet link will be posted later at my altMBA site in case you want to see any of the mini b plans, or what others in my team came up with…)

We also had a mini project of writing a letter to our future selves.  I’ve done this in the past, but it has been a while, so it was fun to dream big and send myself a letter.  And as I’ve said all along, putting stuff in writing kind of seals the deal with the universe.  It’s amazing how things start heading your way when you put pen to paper and summon them. Week 1 has been a lot of work, but it’s fun.  And everyone in the larger group has great attitudes and a lot of energy/edutaining things to say in our Slack group.

Can’t wait to see what week 2 brings…!

On Making (Bad) Decisions

June 15th, 2015

So, Project 1 at altMBA this week is about – how to make better decisions.  I won’t go into the details on the assignment, since that’s Seth’s and Winne’s/the class’s stuff to work through.  Instead, I’ll talk about, for a moment, the behaviors I exhibited when I made BAD decisions in the past.  Ready?

When I made bad decisions in the past, I…

1. Ignored my gut.  Come on…you know when something is hinky. Don’t ignore that hinky feeling.  I did in the past, and I paid for it. Big time.  I know the research tends to say that if we fully trust our guts, we make worse decisions.  But with me, I know the opposite is true.  Of course, I have to take the facts in and list them out–but in the end, I don’t discount my gut anymore.

On the other hand…

2. Let resistance take over.  In the book, The War of Art, the author describes resistance as a stop for creation.  I procrastinate.  I ignore. Right now, I’m actually procrastinating from two larger writing projects I (must) work on by writing this very post.  Don’t let resistance take over.  If you get in this trap, break down bigger goals into baby goals for each week, each day, each hour if you need to in order to get stuff done.  And while I think I’m pretty good at shipping and honoring my commitments, even I have trouble sometimes with resistance.

3. Let others control the outcome.  Said opposite – the more you can control the outcome, the better the choice of decision moving forward.  If you put the choice in someone else’s hands, you’re at their mercy.  I don’t want to go down the cynical path and say that humans, if given the opportunity will always disappoint you, or say that everything happens for a reason (the grand excuse people give when they make choices that didn’t turn out the way they wanted)…avoid this altogether by making decisions where you have more control over the outcome than others.

For example, I choose to participate in projects where I don’t need to seek others’ permission to pursue them anymore.  If I have to ask permission of another to make something happen, I try not to go there.  It better be really, really really awesome.  Otherwise, my time and energy is better spent on projects and decisions where I’m driving the bus.

There.  So, I trust my gut, make baby goals to overcome resistance, and choose paths where I can control the outcome in my better decisions moving forward.  Everyone has their own process by which to go through–and of course, being the imperfect human I am, learn more from the bad ways of going about decision making rather than the better.

I thought I’d share my ‘better’ with you on this Monday!

Next 35 Days

June 10th, 2015

Forgive me, my good people, if you call/text/phone/email me for something…but I’m about to go underground.

For the next 35 days, I have 3 major projects to work on, and a few minor ones too.  I’m throwing them down here to keep a mental checklist of the things I need to focus on for the next 35 days.  But if you want to see what’s in my world right now – read on if you dare.

Epic Stuff:

1. altMBA – It’s almost here, and the messages were pouring through Slack today like crazy.  While I think it will be good, and the class is clearly rockstarian, it’s going to suck one month of my life energy to get through the aggressive assignments laid out.  I’m almost mentally ready for it.  Anyway, you can watch the magic unfold on this one over at their website.

2. DQSA – I’m co-authoring a monster paper on DQSA.  Again, I won’t bore you with details if you’re not in pharmacy, but writing about pharmacy law stuff is not the easiest prose to put out there.  I worked on some of it today, and I just took 2 ibuprofen for the headache it caused…

3. STEMPrincess2 – Come Hades or high water, I’m going to get this done for 3Q15 delivery.  Even if it kills me.  The kiddos need more exposure to STEM stuff, early and often.  So, I’m on it.  But it has proven to be harder than I thought to deliver stuff in the format I want in book 2.  You all can hold me accountable on this one, but I’m on it.

Other Stuff:

4. AACP Butler school poster on BU Well – Butler COPHS’s school poster at the annual meeting for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy will be about BU Well, because it fits into several newer domains of ACPE 2016 – mainly standard 4.  (See my plea for forgiveness in bullet 2 above if you’re not into pharmacy geekery and/or pharmacy academic geekery here.)

5. Several STEM Ed Chats – Already did one as a panelist at MAEOPP.  Next one is eLEAD Madison County at Anderson University, and NACW in Indy in July.  This is where I’ll be showing the not so swell data on STEM for girls, then give thoughts on how to make it better.  (BTW – Rep. McNerney in Cali introduced a bill to get the DOE to ensure more STEM ed is getting to girls.  While I’m not sure DOE and/or the federal government is the right direction to head, the spirit of the bill is dead on…you can ask your reps to support this bill here.)

6. Oh, yeah, prep for the fall semester – Teaching one brand new class (BU Well), part of another new class (in Butler’s new BSHS program, on policy/advocacy/global health), and one class that I’ve always taught (entrepreneurship).

Enough for now.  Don’t hate me if I don’t get back to you right away.  I’m just trying to get through this list!

Countdown to First Edition of BU Well

June 9th, 2015

As Matthew Mcconnaughey says: Alright alright alright!

Here it is…the official countdown timer to the very first VOLUME of BU Well – coming 5/13/16 or bust! (That’s of course a Friday the 13th… I couldn’t resist.)

You can watch the 338 days and counting melt away and keep us honest…. Now that the BU Well editorial meeting is over (all the students rocked the google hangout – even if sideways…) I’m off to crank on some DQSA and STEM Princess stuff. (I’ll shield you from any more on DQSA – it’s pharmacy stuff…)

What Happens When I Have Too Much Coffee: Comparing Presidential Candidates and Their Klout Scores

June 4th, 2015

First day of a 2 day show at work we’re putting on…  Of course, I had to be at work way, way early.  Of course, I drank way, way too much coffee.

So, now that I’m “resting” – my brain goes to crazy places…like, who has declared who is running for #POTUS in 2016, and more important, what are their Klout scores?

This is my brain on too much coffee.

That aside–let’s take a look at the current numbers, shall we?

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 9.27.53 PM

First, I took all the candidates who are officially in – not those that are ‘maybe’ or ‘probably’ as of today, June 4, 2015.  Next, I went to their official Twitter feeds and checked out their Klout scores with my handy dandy little Klout plug-in on Firefox.  I also looked at the number of followers they have.  Then in the table above, I sorted by Klout score.

Now, I do realize that Klout is a bunch of smoke and mirrors on their algorithm.  Furthermore, I wanted to look at my tribe of peeps for voting.  Gen X–even though we seem to be the forgotten center of the baby boomer-millienial cookie–is mainly on Google+, Pinterest and of course Twitter.  However, Klout’s plug in is only over at Twitter, so I assume Twitter is a larger chunk of their scores.

Anyway, in my very over-caffeinated very un-scientific analysis – there is clearly one winner currently, if we can tie Klout scores to the big W: Hillary.  It’s not even a contest, as she has millions of followers, while the next closest candidate, Rand Paul (a favorite among the internet freedom fighters) only has 627K followers.  (Like that number is small?  Apparently. I digress.)

One of the biggest reasons why I think the Republicans lost last time was they ignored social media. OK, maybe they didn’t ignore it, they just weren’t good at it.  Whatever.  Poor performance aside last time, if the R’s want to take back the White House, they can no longer assign social media to an intern.  (Unless, of course, the only channels they want to be big on are YikYak and Snapchat.)  They need a serious conversion plan.

We studied the Social Media Plan/Campaign for the Obama Campaign at WCS Yale when I attended in 2013.  The emphasis in that sentence should be on Plan/Campaign.  (Which, I believe WCS Yale is starting or starting again next week – congrats to all the women who are attending this year – and prepare to work hard!)  The amazing part of their Plan was the online -> real world activity conversion and timelines.  Impressive.  (And I’m a social liberal and fiscal conservative myself – whatever party that is.) Props to them for mastering social media and winning.

Republicans: take note.  Get serious about social media.  If you don’t, Hillary will…

Note to self: lay off the coffee tomorrow morning.

My 101100 Birthday

June 1st, 2015

bdaycake2015A while ago, I turned 101100.

(Just so you know, that’s in binary.  I’ll let you figure out the decimal age.)

Anyway, for this birthday, my binary 101100th, I decided to send a quick note of appreciation to the top 101100 (again, binary) people in my network this year, and along with the note, and included my favorite thing about those other 101100 people, individually.

I also included a buck in the card.  Why?

Well, I have fond memories of my friends and family sending me birthday cards in the mail with a little bit of cash them when I was a kid.  I was hoping my friends this year would put it towards something that they are great at, or that would inspire them, or just treat themselves or a cause. Maybe even spend it on a stamp and write someone else a note of gratitude.  It was more about the principle, and less about the amount.

Most of the 101100 peeps sent me a nice email of thanks, or called, or texted, and just shared what was up in their lives.

I can’t think of a better birthday gift.