2016 – The Good Stuff

iStock_000022140363_Small2016. What a year.

Before we leap into 2017 armed with hope, lessons learned, and breathless curiosity about what comes next – we want to reflect on what inspired us in 2016.

Imagine walking into your favorite bookstore. You step in from the cold, scan the shelves on your way to your favorite section, and notice a new display. It’s a small bookshelf with twinkle lights draped on top. A sign reads “Staff Picks.” The books on these shelves range in genre, style, and topic – and each is specially recommended by a team member. Some have notecards with the reasons for recommendation, and some just say, “READ THIS,” followed by a scribbled staffer’s name. You find yourself leafing through several selections, and as you continue into the store, one of the books stays in your hand – something new to explore.

This post is the (multimedia) bookshelf of what inspired us in 2016. We hope you’ll curl up with a warm beverage and get inspired. Cheers to 2016.

Daniel Sax’s visual accompaniment to Ira Glass’ 2-minute piece
The Gap – This artful video makes me feel awe, and helps me experience the gap between where I aspire to be and where I am in a way that’s more luscious, more headfirst, and a heap more comfortable. – Julie

…our most daring and eye popping work…

Why Trust is Worth It – Watch two Cirque du Soleil hardbodies demonstrate physically what has to happen mentally and emotionally for our most daring and eye popping work to take place. The voiceover accompanying this visual demonstration of partnership and shared responsibility offers a very short leap to business principles. – Jessica

This interview with a behavioral economist touches on the diminishing return of cash bonuses and how most companies are misinterpreting what their employees really need in order to love their jobs. A Conversation With Dan Ariely About What Shapes Our Motivations by Longreads. – Alex

Louis Boniface’s Headway video – I catch myself whispering WOW under my breath every time I watch this. It reminds me that creating new things requires practicing the art of recovery, and when you fail, getting curious is the path to amazing. – Julie

I loved Stephen Johnson’s Ted Talk, ‘How Play Leads To Great Inventions,’  because it helps bust the myth that play is silly, frivolous, and something only privileged people get to do. Johnson reminds us that play is an activity that has been with us as a species for thousands of years and has resulted in all sorts of amazing innovations that have helped shape our world and made it a far more fascinating place. After watching it, I wanted to run out and play! – Karen

True collaboration will require curiosity about differences…

Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives,’  a Ted Talk by Jonathan Haidt. True collaboration will require curiosity about differences…and understanding and valuing our differences leads to both collaboration and innovation. – Leslie

The podcast Being Boss – Specifically Episode #60: Motivation, Inspiration, Discipline and Action.  A collaborator recommended this podcast recently, and I have been gulping down the episodes. It’s geared towards creative entrepreneurs, showcases different perspectives, and while some topics make me tilt my head to the side and say, “huh,” some have me nodding my head repeatedly and searching for something to take notes on because damn – that’s good stuff. – Jess

Beyond the Holacracy Hype by the HBR team. This is an honest and informative look at what happens when a company lets go of the traditional hierarchical pyramid. – Alex

Dance vs Powerpoint, A Modest Proposal – An argument for using “sticky” experiences to create impact comes to life in this Ted talk with John Bohannon, a molecular biologist and science journalist based at Harvard. Bohannon engaged dancers from Black Label Movement to explain how they might replace the ubiquitous powerpoint deck, why we should all “dance our PhDs” or any grand endeavor. – Jessica

…the amazing woman disrupting Myanmar’s corporate boys-club…

Myanmar’s Supermarket Mogul by Quartz. A short portrait of the amazing woman disrupting Myanmar’s corporate boys-club, and the employee-focused culture that’s propelled her to the top. – Alex

2 Dope Queens Podcast (NSFW) – This podcast/comedy show is not going to jive with everyone, but I am including it anyway. Why? Because every time I listen to one of their episodes, I am inspired to find collaborators that rock my socks off, love the WORK, and show up authentically. -Jess

This interview with crazy-provocative Harvard researcher Ellen Langer – Science of Mindlessness and Mindfulness.  I like it because it makes me second-guess everything I think to be true, and acknowledge more than I realize is possible. Get this, from the interview host: “Ellen Langer has shown it’s possible to become physiologically younger through a changed frame of mind; to find joy in…drudgery by renaming it as play; and to induce weight loss by substituting the label “exercise” for labor.” – Julie