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5 posts from April 2011

Working this morning on Creative Houston Directory

Photo credit: Downtown Denizen by Adam Baker (AlphaTangoBravo on Flickr). "I went to my favorite spot to watch the International Space Station fly overhead. Alas, it was too cloudy to see anything. So, I decided to just check out the big city."


Welcome to the Houston Inventory of the Creative Economy.

Use this directory to explore Houston's creative capacity in thearts, sciences, commerce and education. Our goal is to interconnect the city with a comprehensive set of listings for theplaces, organizations and people that drive the creative economy of Houston. Let us know what we're missing! Add a profile, then begin contributing. 

How humor encourages loyalty

Long-term loyalty is based upon a sense of relaxed familiarity between a customer and a supplier. What can you do to make customers more comfortable? Humor can be fabulous for helping your customers recommend you to their friends. Just be careful about what type of humor you use. Mitch Earleywine says you should pick the type that fits your audience.

iMedia Connection: How to harness the marketing power of humor, 2011-Mar-22, by Lori Luechtefeld

Humor is a powerful thing. It does so much more than merely make us laugh. Rather, humor is a complex cognitive process akin to creativity, says Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D., professor of psychology at SUNY Albany. That means marketers can use humor to improve their moods, memories, and problem-solving abilities -- not to mention their levels of innovation. Furthermore, humor is a core interpersonal skill for enhancing relationships -- and that has everything to do with how marketers persuade and encourage loyalty among customers, Earleywine notes.

Author of "Humor 101," Earleywine will be presenting a keynote address at the iMedia Agency Summit in May. ... 

Recent data show that moderate humor improves memory more than no humor or a lot. Finding that happy medium takes some experimenting. In addition, anyone who crafts a humorous appeal so that the name of the product is part of the punch line is guaranteed longevity and success. Just ask anyone over 30, "Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?"

Can we laugh past our assumptions?

When operating a business, when encouraging innovation, when recovering from setbacks, one of the biggest challenges is recognizing our incorrect assumptions. Day to day, they are almost invisible. But what if the answer were as simple as 'laugh more'?

The Daily Beast: Neuroscience of Humor, 2011-Mar=31 by Sharon Begley

Inside Jokes argues that mirth (the feeling we experience when we encounter humor) arises when the brain realizes that an assumption it has committed to is flat-out wrong.

Real CEOs know real customers

My husband is a financial strategy advisor, and one of his clients asked him to research a business opportunity that would solve a problem the client has. (Sorry I can't be more specific, but I've got to be fair to the client who may be onto something.) 

My point is that many of the best businesses are started by someone who wants to be a customer. And many of the worst businesses are run by people who have no idea what it's like to be a customer. 

Work Matters: The Power of Observing and Talking to Real Humans, 2011-Mar-18, by Bob Sutton

the best bosses go to great lengths to develop empathy for both the people they lead and the customers served by their teams and organizations

Use everyday conversations to strengthen community

I recommend reading the entire article for tips on strengthening communitities and culture. 

Sanders Says: Always Build Community, 2011-March-11, by Tim Sanders

Focus on the Why, not the What. Talk about the purpose behind our efforts, either at work or in transit. By placing vision or cause at the center of the table, we naturally organize people around a shared vision or mutually desired outcome. It dissolves barriers and creates a unity of thinking.