Fun Friday Links: The Secret of Storytelling, 2014’s Most Popular Perks, and the Power of Self-Editing (Your Thoughts)

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Arwen Heredia

February 21, 2014

Welcome to Conspire’s Super Happy Fun Friday Link Time, a weekly collection of cool discoveries from around the Web. Most times the goal is to get you thinking differently about communication, collaboration, culture, and life in general. Other times, LOLCAT ATTACK! Submissions are welcome, and you can send them to for consideration.

Leo Lionni on Creativity and the Secret of Great Storytelling

Skilled business leaders always recognize and value the role of creativity and storytelling in marketing and sales, but it’s easy to get caught up in pushing product features, personnel expertise, and which trendy moves your competitors are making. But every now and then, finding inspiration in unlikely places is the best path to take — for example, children’s book author and illustrator Leo Lionni’s approach to bringing ideas to life. While he may not have been a businessman per se, his methodology for creating and his philosophy about work are completely applicable to enterprise strategies for engagement, ideation, and innovation. From Brainpickings:

“The most frequent question that children asked my grandfather Leo was, “How do you get your ideas?” He would usually start with a simple idea. Sometimes the idea would be a beginning to a story, sometimes an ending, other times it might be the main character, or the situation. But however it would start, he would work hard to create a story from that idea. He thought of it as a game of chess, moving the pieces around to create the best story possible. And so, to the question “How do you get your ideas?” he would give a simple answer — “Hard work.”

But why did Leo make books at all? Why draw, or paint, or make sculptures out of wood, glass or metal? He did all of those things and more. He always said that he had “an irresistible urge to make things.” If for some reason he couldn’t make art, he claimed that he’d make bricks or boxes or anything else that he could make with his hands.”

Source: Brainpickings

The Most Popular Employee Perks Of 2014

Employee perks like gourmet coffee and fancy gym classes represent some of tech’s most unique (and often outlandish) forms of driving engagement and retention. This piece from Forbes’ Kate Harrison digs in to what some of today’s most successful, lucrative companies are up to when it comes to attracting and keeping young, in-demand talent. From game rooms to extensive PTO, free massages, Netflix subscriptions and customized footwear, these organizations aren’t messing around. However, the author isn’t necessarily convinced of the validity of practicing perks. From the article:

“Owners like Patrick Lynch…and I are living in a different reality. [Says Lynch], “I would like to offer a somewhat different perk that is incredibly important but not quite as sexy: continued employment. There are countless small business owners like myself that sacrifice personal compensation for the sake of keeping their team in place — not having to downsize during tough times, not having to reduce hours. This may not be as cool as a juice bar or foosball table, but it shows employees that their CEO cares and values them. ?I think that is awesome.”

Source: Forbes

Self-Editing is the Key to Making Better Decisions

It’s doubtful that there’s a person on this planet who hasn’t said or done something mildly regrettable at one time or another, and the same can certainly be said for decisions. But according to Inc Magazine author Leo McKeown — who frequently has to cover popular business topics in a frustratingly short 600-word column — the principles of self-editing a piece of writing can be applied to decision-making, too.

In this piece, he makes several excellent points about the process of “editing” your thoughts and choices, including the importance of prioritization, why less is really more, and lessons learned from leaving things off the table. Read the full article here.

Source: Inc