Happy December, Anders Pink Posse! Christmas is now in its third month and if you’re fully sick of it, then you just have no holiday spirit. Let’s light it up with some glad tidings from this week’s briefings:
We know many of you are in HR or learning teams. But you dream of being mad men and women. Marketing is where the real fun is. This week in Harvard Business Review, Mark Schaefer (a very fine marketer himself) shares 7 ways in which HR needs to act more like marketing. We loved tip 3: Be More Human. Enough with the “Stock photo images of perfectly diverse people jumping for joy instead of real faces and real smiles in a real workplace.” Sorry about the image choice Mark. One last time.
One way learning could be more like marketing is through telling data-driven stories. Here’s a great example of that. Nature magazine consolidated research of how humans spread out from Africa starting 125,000 years ago to cover the globe. They turned it into a great animation. Look closely and you can see your uncle Billy leaving Ireland to seek out a better life in the Bronx. No you can’t. But look closely anyway.
How did people get to Sweden? Well, why not just call and ask? In a departure from the usual state-run tourism campaigns, Sweden’s done something a little different. Call the Swedish number: +46 771 793 336. You’ll get routed to an ordinary Swedish person (as if there’s such a thing) who’s volunteered to take calls from random strangers like you (you’re not strange to us, but you are to someone picking up the phone in Gothenburg).
Ask them what it’s like there and if should you visit. Ask them anything. It’s a marketing campaign for Swedish tourism, of course – but it’s nice way of letting the people literally speak for themselves. You can also tweet the nation @sweden. This could make the Eurovision voting much more efficient.
The search for effective news algorithms continues Kirk-like to go boldly where no bot has gone before. Reuters shared what they’re up to this week. They’re looking at Twitter, where news stories often break first, and using AI to auto-verify stories. The results? They’re getting 8-15 minute head starts on reporting world events via verified eyewitness accounts. That makes a huge difference if you’re in the news business. One of their algorithmic rules: “Tweets in all capital letters tend to be less true”. OMG I HAD NO IDEA THANKS GUYS
Wired reports this week on the skills crisis in cybersecurity. They recall one of the original cryptologists, Alan Turning of the Enigma machine. He was certainly a genius – and probably autistic. Adults with autism will number 3 million in the US by 2020. Over 70% are unemployed. The report suggests that we can fix this failure and address the cybersecurity skills shortage at the same time. Cracking codes, and highly analytical and disciplined work in cybersecurity is one where autistic adults can shine.
Where do we find these stories? Through briefings like these: