Strength in Others

Our Community - Forbes recently publicized what most Houstonians already know—this city is a rockin’ place to live.  Coming in just behind Austin, Houston ranked #2 as the best city for young adults because of a low cost of living, low(er) unemployment rates, decent entry-level salaries, and a great arts and music scene. If it’s not clear already from this blog, we’re in 100% agreement—the city of Houston is amazing! Social Responsibility - A recent survey by Do Well Do Good showed that consumers rank social responsibility as an important priority for businesses. More than 88% of consumers believe that companies should try to improve the environment and society while also achieving business objectives. At the same time, most employees surveyed responded that they would seriously consider quitting if their company was harming the environment or committing social injustices. - At the recent Net Impact Conference, I attended a session on crowdsourcing and left wanting to take the idea back to our corporate clients to improve employee engagement in their CSR programs.  Most of our clients already do this to some extent, but other companies, like Xerox, are taking it to the next level and seeing major benefits. This year, Xerox asked employees to contribute their ideas on how help the company achieve carbon neutrality. The results? $10.2 million in annual savings and the elimination of 2.6 million pounds of waste. Social Media - In this post, Mashable predicts the top 10 trends for the news media in 2011. The general takeaway seems to be that citizen journalism will continue to rise (i.e. the Wikileaks Effect—a term we just coined at 20K Group) and news consumers will increasingly turn to mobile devices and readers.  The new version of Flipboard for iPad, “personalized, social magazine,” is proof enough that how we get our news has already evolved. (If you have an iPad and don’t have Flipboard, get yourself to the iTunes app store immediately. It’s life changing…and that’s not even total hyperbole). Communications Olio - Jeffrey Baumgartner’s “10 Creative Myths” is one of my favorite blog posts of the year—so much so that I now have it posted in my office. I’m lucky enough to know many brilliant local artists, designers, photographers and writers, and I’ve often found myself feeling like the Plain Jane of creativity. But Baumgartner’s myths remind us that creativity comes in many forms; can lead us down a wrong path at times but ultimately takes us to a better place; and that great ideas can’t be forced. My creativity may not be as visual or ostentatious as others, but I know its present…and will occasionally take me to beautiful places.

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