Did Russia hack the election? Intelligence report is active and persuasive.

When you think of government reports, do you expect clarity or doubletalk and jargon? The report on Russia and its influence in our elections, from the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, is brief, direct, and unequivocal. It’s a great study in how to use clear language to persuade. This document is a joint production … Continued

The analyst’s essential role: engage your emotions about the future

We pay attention to the now. That’s especially true because Facebook spreads it, instantly. But what matters is not the now, it’s the future. The job of the true analyst is make you care as much about that future as the ephemeral distractions of the present. This came into crystal focus for me when I read Austin … Continued

A business model for Medium (and the rest of online content)

Medium CEO Ev Williams posted that he’ll be pivoting the company toward a mysterious new business model: [W]e are shifting our resources and attention to defining a new model for writers and creators to be rewarded, based on the value they’re creating for people. And toward building a transformational product for curious humans who want … Continued

Hey Rep. Bob Goodlatte: can you strengthen ethics by weakening it?

House Republicans voted to rejigger (or as the headlines put it, “gut“) their independent ethics office; then, after heavy criticism from Democrats, Trump, and voters, said, “Nah, forget it.” What were they thinking? To find out, I analyzed a statement from Virginia Representative Bob Goodlatte, point man for the change. He’s mastered the Orwellian skill of calling … Continued

“What’s really wrong with millennials?” asks Simon Sinek

“What’s wrong with millennials?” What’s really wrong is anyone who thinks they can characterize an entire generation. A video, which I’ve embedded below, purports to explain everything about millennials in the workplace. It’s from “Inside Quest” and has accumulated 61 million views. Tom Bilyeu, the interviewer, is cofounder of Quest Nutrition. Strangely, there is no … Continued

How change happens. (Hint: it’s not through New Year’s resolutions.)

Things are going to be different this year, you have resolved. But that’s not how change happens. It’s a process. Here’s how New Year’s resolutions (don’t) work. You figure out something you want to change. You make a resolution. “I want to quit smoking” or “I want to stop using the passive voice.” You try really … Continued

Donald Trump on the threat of automobiles

Here’s a statement from Donald Trump about the future: I think we ought to get on with our lives. I think that cars have complicated lives very greatly. The whole, you know, age of the automobile has made it where nobody knows exactly what’s going on. We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but … Continued

The most vacuous press release ever: Revolt PR

Sometimes, when I boil down a piece of writing, I find nuggets of truth embedded within a matrix of jargon and bullshit. But sometimes, I just find nothing but platitudes, emptiness, and evidence of incompetence. That’s the apparent communications strategy of Revolt PR. Here’s what the press release says: Revolt PR believes it can help … Continued