Inside my head there is a perpetual motion machine I affectionately call my hamster wheel.

It’s rare to find me at a loss for words or with nothing to contribute to a conversation, especially when it comes to topics I am passionate about. Read on for thoughts about brands, people, design, and day-to-day moments that inspire me.

My career Venn

Friends and colleagues often ask about the work I do, and how they can help me find what I am looking for. Never one to miss an opportunity to draw a diagram, I created this handy Venn. The green zone is my ideal – a strategic branding role in a…

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Purpose drivers

on September 14th, 2014 in Brand and Business, My Work and Articles, Sustainability and Social Value by | Comments Off Purpose drivers

It seems everyone is talking about purpose these days. Imperative has a new take on what purpose means in your career — it’s not the cause you work for, but how you work. Curious to see what surprises it might reveal, I took Imperative’s purpose driver quiz. My results:  …

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Acceptance and Gratitude

Recently I had the good fortune to find a forgotten family gem, personal histories from WWII written by two of my grandfather’s brothers. It was an opportunity to learn about uncles I barely knew and get personal insights into one of the most important events of the 20th century. What…

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on December 13th, 2013 in Brand and Business, Communication, Serendipity by | Comments Off Explainers

This weekend a friend was in town, and visitors are great prompts to do all the local things we don’t get around to — in this case, the new Exploratorium! Something that caught my eye is their name for exhibit guides: Explainers. It’s a miniscule detail compared to the immensity…

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The comfort of ritual

on October 13th, 2013 in Serendipity by | Comments Off The comfort of ritual

I first visited Tadich more than 25 years ago during my first family trip to San Francisco. Over the years we have returned there time after time for local classics like cioppino, hangtown fry, and petrale sole. Tadich is a San Francisco institution, the oldest restaurant in the city and…

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Desert calm

on October 10th, 2013 in Serendipity by | Comments Off Desert calm

I have always found the desert Southwest immensely calming. I assumed it was simply the comfortable feeling of being back in my childhood home — it never felt right when I lived in states without mountains — but on my last trip it occurred to me it could be the…

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Connect the dots

Connect the dots

on September 3rd, 2013 in Brand and Business, My Work and Articles by | Comments Off

In my continuing journey to define my unique selling proposition, here is another personal infographic. This one describes the kind of thinking that makes me happiest: The challenge of taking a disconnected or even seemingly impossible set of conditions and making sense of it. It starts with making sure all…

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Five-finger discount

Cognac is crazy popular in my neighborhood judging by how quickly the shelves are cleared out during a sale. And to keep those shelves from emptying themselves, cognac is always locked up. What’s a brand to do when it becomes known for being shoplifted? If you’re Hennessey, you create a…

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The opposite of inspiration

on July 19th, 2013 in Brand and Business by | Comments Off The opposite of inspiration

A client’s main office has a thoroughly depressing interior despite the building’s landmark architecture. The drabness is made all the more noticeable in contrast to their recent brand refresh, which uses great colors and smart messaging. Every time I visit I think about what a disconnect this is — the…

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Lunch at Hattery

on June 6th, 2013 in Brand and Business, Sustainability and Social Value by | Comments Off Lunch at Hattery

Arguably, the greatest contribution tech companies have made to the workplace is lunch. Hattery takes it even farther – not only hiring a chef to feed their staff, but making it a centerpiece of their cultural strategy. They put their accomplished chef, Tina Dang, out front and center. She and…

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