Updates from May, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Brigit Law 10:32 pm on May 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Summer Reading Program   

    Summer Reading improves Creative Minds at Scotland Elementary 

    Dr Seuss, Walt Disney and Shakespeare: these are the three protagonists in the new Summer Reading Hand Book 2012 that I created in my new capacity of PTA chairperson for the Summer Reading Program 2012 at Scotland Elementary in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

    Over 400 copies are ready to go out to all students during this week’s Scholastic Book Fair.

    (More …)

    • themysticmom 1:50 pm on May 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      So proud to know you and all this hard work! You are AMAZING! (Plus, thinking on a grand scale might be another thing we have in common! Remind me to tell you THAT story another time… :))

    • DeniseDenkt 2:50 pm on May 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      What a beautiful and inspiring project is this! We should have that here in Holland too.
      I’m sure that all children will like this!

  • Brigit Law 2:29 pm on April 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: noaberschop, , TCTubantia, Twente   

    Noabershop geeft Revlon gevoel 

    Afgelopen week rapporteerde de Twentsche Courant Tubantia met een blog van Laura Smit over de gevaren achter het uitsterven van het noaberschop.

    Noaberschop is het Twentse woord voor nabuurschap: de gezamenlijke noabers (buren) in een kleine sociale gemeenschap. Een belangrijk fenomeen, in het verleden maar ook in de toekomst (denk Sociale Media!).

    Het verhaal van Laura raakte mij. Vooral omdat ik, sinds ik 20 jaar geleden Twente heb verlaten voor stad en buitenland, overal gevraagd of ongevraagd het noabershop invoer. De noaberplicht zit blijkbaar diep geworteld in mij. Eerst onbewust maar nu bewust, gebruik ik bij elke verhuizing voor het werk van mijn man – die voor een groot internationaal bedrijf werkt – de Twentse kunde van het oprichten van een noabeschop. Het geeft mij de broodnodige veerkracht om als persoon en gezin internationaal te kunnen opereren en overleven. Het noaberschop is voor mij een overlevingsdrang.

    Deze investering in noaberschop levert veel op. Het noaberschop geeft mij namelijk: …

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  • Brigit Law 11:40 pm on March 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: doodle, images,   

    Unfamiliar story more enjoyable after looking at appealing images 

    “Simply looking at images of food that appeals to you can make something taste better, according to a new study by scientists at the Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland.”

    I guess one could imagine this reasoning applies to story reading too.

    Our eyes are a hugely important instrument for communication.

    Eye contact with image processes important emotional information to us. People, often without consciously doing so, probe images or positive or negative moodsigns, just like in eye-to-eye contact with other human faces.

    What’s more is that eyes send images to our brains. By providing images in addition to text, we can influence and make it more easy for our eyes to understand the text or what is being said. A side note however, if that we need to make sure that we do not overkill with images so our brains become lazy and loose the ability to think creatively.

    Our eyes are our visual system. Our eyes visualize the written or spoken story. In particular those which are still unfamiliar to us.

    So, if you are keen to transmit or digest new information and knowledge this week, make sure you get a stories with taste and clear vision.

    Have a delicious Doodle week!

  • Brigit Law 11:54 pm on February 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Trot, And You’ll Lead! 

    It’s not new when I say that horse riding contains many metaphors for good, creative leadership. You may know many yourselves.

    I started horse riding four years ago at the same time I started my own business. I am not a very demanding and egocentric by nature and – therefore- not natural leader. I neither feel the urge to proof something to my friends or family – a proven help in successful leadership -, so I was well advised by a Swedish friend to take up horse riding to get the hang of good leadership.

    And it pays off, in particular because of my wonderful American instructor Judie.

    Here are a couple of equestrian principles she thought me which I like to share with you as food for thought in business leadership:

    1. Post Bigger when trotting, not smaller. In English riding one is tempted to post smaller in an effort to stop a horse going t0o fast, but the opposite is true. When you want a horse (or organization) to go more slowly and in controlled manner, start posting bigger.

    2. Don’t Focus, just Be Aware. Whilst many management gurus and alpha-male leaders advocate that ‘Focus’ is the key to success in business, equestrian leadership will tell you that ‘Being Aware’ is a better key to good leadership. Putting a strong focus on something particular means that one does not see or sense other important signals (in an organization).

    3. Use Your Space. Horse riding is a mirror to how we cut short our corners if we are not conscious of all the free space around us. Cutting corners short means more difficult turns and more stress. In communications & leadership this is also explained by (not) using ‘white space’ in writing or by getting active in the ‘complexity quadrant’ of Dave Snowden’s  Cynefin. There is much to say for showing leadership where the situation complex, though much less crowded.

    These are my favorite thoughts that help me to keep my leadership skills in form. What are yours?

  • Brigit Law 9:39 pm on February 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Doodles, Google,   

    Valentine’s Doodle Tells The Story of Google 

    “The coolest thing, after having worked in online games for the last 10 years, is it was a wonderful return to storytelling.”

    “It felt like a Valentine for me.”

    This is what the creator of the Valentine’s Doodle Michael Lippman says about his viral work.

    The Doodle was uploaded on YouTube on February 10th and received 8,164 likes within the first 4 days.

    It’s the best piece of advertising for my continuous effort to convince organizations to use storytelling in their communications!

    Watch it here …

    Valentine’s Day Google Doodle

  • Brigit Law 10:55 pm on January 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    The Real Meaning of Nike’s ‘Just Do It!’ 

    Since my recent move to America (I am dutifully following my husband on his career path), so many famous slogans from world leading American films and product brands have become much clearer to me. In fact, most have a much deeper meaning than I could figure out from sole marketing when i was living in Europe. For example, I thought that the ‘Just Do It’-slogan from Nike was something like a sport related yell, but I know now that it is part of the American way of living. Or at least that is my perception of it.

    Cultural differences do go deep, I know from previous moves to different countries. So deeply that it stirs up ones emotions completely. Through better and worse I have learned that the best way to overcome these is to plunge yourself into the way of life of the people surrounding you as soon as possible after you set foot on the soil that is your new, temporary, home.

    That’s why, since moving to Pennsylvania last summer, I have stepped into volunteering at several local organizations. Mainly to get settled into live here quickly, partly to keep my professional skills alive and kicking while not working. As a Dutch woman, I am amazed about the easygoingness of ‘getting things done’ here. The only thing is that you have to do it yourself! Just Do It seems to me a real emotional and cultural representation of the American people and I admire Nike for this. As former advertising and communication professional, I normally see lots of shallow creativity.

    The first time I had to ‘deal’ with Nike’s ‘Just Do It!’ was with my first side job as personal assistant of the President of the Standards and Certification Committee of the EBA (European Business Association) in Moscow. To get around the new legislation that all English text and slogans on products in Russia should be in Russian language, Nike opted for just dropping the ‘Just Do It!’ and let their symbol, the “swoosh”, speak for itself. It’s a great example of creative leadership in business.

    Now, when I sit in committee meetings in local Pennsylvania, the first reaction I get from my new American friends and colleagues on my ideas for doing something different is: “That sounds great Brigit. Do you want to Do It?”

    And you know what, after three years of working as an independent consultant in the complex and hierarchical Brussels networks, this ‘Just Do It’ American attitude gives me a real sense of empowerment – the one that is embedded truly and deeply into human society as opposed to the politically driven one – , inspiration, commitment and creative freedom, professionally as well as personally. Nike’s new ‘Just Do It’ Beijing campaign, The Courage Within, is so true to human nature. I will still not buy more Nike, but I respect the brand more now I know more about its home country.

    It’s great that after only six months here, I have found something American and meaningful that I will treasure and take with me on my next adventure when we will move back to Europe in a couple of years – or anywhere else.

    So, if you have lots of ideas and want to see them materialize, then do like me the following:

    1. Get (the courage to get) off your bottom

    2. Get ready for action

    3. Don’t stay floating on the surface of cultural differences, let yourself drown into it – real deep

    4. Be resilient every minute of the day (keep on smiling and ‘keep the glass half full’, no matter what)

    5. Join or create networks where people challenge you to ‘Just Do It!’

    Thank you Nike, thank you America!

    • Mariska 8:56 am on January 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Very recognizable story! I remember my 4 months studying in Budapest in the 90’s where I met Lilly. In the middle of the turning times in Eastern Europe there was a profound sense of ‘Stay where you are and don’t move’ amongst the young people that were stuck in their old communist habits. Lilly, coming from the US with only a basic course in design, applied for a art director job at a major international advertising agency and got the job! How’s that for a first entry on your CV!
      So there I got it. Just do it. It takes you places you can’t imagine…

    • themysticmom 8:14 pm on April 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Love it, Brigit! True represenation of both you and the American culture! 🙂

    • themysticmom 8:15 pm on April 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Very nice, Brigit! Very accurate representations of both you and the American culture! The rest of it probably should be…”if you don’t Do It, someone else will!” 🙂

  • Brigit Law 10:12 am on January 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Originality and Momentum Is Wearing Off at OWS 

    I just read the article:

    Is Occupy Wall Street strapped for cash?

    The Washington Post Social Reader reports that Occupy Wall Street is running out of money, according to the Wall Street Journal. Although I cannot imagine a more unreliable source to trust in the case of how Occupy Wall Street is doing, there may be some truth in it.

    Originality and momentum wears off quickly with whatever one does. In many cases it is also true that the quicker the success comes, the quicker it disappears. Unless one is out for a to set a quick mark, making a change as a steady organization requires long term strategy and vision, a history and above all resilience and good planning of resources.

    Whether OWS will be a ‘stayer’ or just a one day wonder, they stood up when needed and has left an important mark history already. And since the world economic crisis is far from over, it may continue to do so despite set backs. In fact, it are the set backs that establish a real change!

    Read full article here.

  • Brigit Law 3:02 am on December 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Ook fouten maken is perceptie 

    Vandaag sprak ik met een jonge Nederlandse student en goede vriend van mij over het maken van fouten. Nu heb ik het hier niet over het maken van fouten in de wereld van feiten, maar in de wereld van opinie. Tenenkrommend was het voor mij te horen hoe het maken van fouten in het geven van een oordeel hem onzeker en moedeloos maken. En dat in een land als Nederland waar studenten geproduceerd worden die hun mening kunnen en durven  geven. Dat wil dus niet zeggen dat Nederlandse studenten en afgestudeerden ook veel beter tegen kritiek kunnen dan hun minder hard roepende collega’s in de buurlanden. Als het om perceptie gaat, is iedereen even gevoelig. Hierin zit ‘m dan ook de knoop.

    A knot by Brigit Law

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  • Brigit Law 1:17 pm on November 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Let Curiosity Make Your Message Become Memorable 

    What seems like a child’s prerogative in today’s world is becoming a new business virtue: letting curiosity flow to make corporate messages more memorable.

    Hear more about this from Edelman’s President & CEO Richard Edelman now featuring on Curiosity.com (Discovery Channel)

  • Brigit Law 2:48 am on October 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , teaching   

    6 Best Practices for Teaching Staff to Embrace Social Media 

    I keep on telling teaching staff to start using Facebook for course related communication with their students. They can do this by …

    (More …)

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