Liked Jamie Hewlett and the aesthetics of pop culture (The Economist)
Where Britpop had been largely backward- and inward-looking, Gorillaz looked forward and outward. The sound ingeniously combined dub, electronica, hip-hop, and anything else Mr Albarn felt like using. But it was Mr Hewlett’s character designs that held it all together, and made not just the songs but the concept a hit.
Listened Your company’s culture is not unique, psychologist Adam Grant says from Recode
In an interview with Kara Swisher for Recode Decode, Adam Grant explains why company cultures are far from unique. He touches on a few key idea:

  • Fail Fast: Failure (and product) is not what matters, instead we should be focusing on processes.
  • Culture Fit: The right mix is not about being less cohesive as an organisation, but rather more open to diversity.
  • Givers: We need more givers. However givers require a culture to prosper. There needs to be a ‘culture of asking’ and a move to weed out the takers.

Agreeable Disagreeable Grant

Overall, success is about contributing and helping others succeed. This is addressed in Grant’s TED Talk.

As a side note, one of the interesting points discussed during the TED Talk was that of the ‘agreeable taker’:

The other combination we forget about is the deadly one — the agreeable taker, also known as the faker. This is the person who’s nice to your face, and then will stab you right in the back. And my favorite way to catch these people in the interview process is to ask the question, “Can you give me the names of four people whose careers you have fundamentally improved?” The takers will give you four names, and they will all be more influential than them, because takers are great at kissing up and then kicking down. Givers are more likely to name people who are below them in a hierarchy, who don’t have as much power, who can do them no good. And let’s face it, you all know you can learn a lot about character by watching how someone treats their restaurant server or their Uber driver.

via Doug Belshaw

Liked Challenging the invisible beast by Paul Browning (Compelling Leadership)

If you are a newly appointed leader here are a six tips to help you wrestle the invisible beast:

  • Spend time listening, seeking to understand the prevailing culture, “the way things are done around here”.
  • Be a questionable person. Identify the things you don’t agree with in the culture and have the courage to lead a life that is in opposition to those things.
  • Identify the crusaders, the nay-sayers and the influencers.
  • Take care not to get sucked into the prevailing culture, it is very powerful and you will be subsumed into it if you don’t have the courage, or strength to resist.
  • Develop strategies to change those aspects of the culture you don’t agree with, strategies to develop new norms.
  • Once a new strategy or norm is established, commit.
Replied to The Fortnite Phenomenon (Where Social Gaming and Kid Culture Collide) by dogtrax (
I soon realized that the boys were “playing” Fortnite, the multi-player video game phenomenon that I know has been part of many of the students’ gaming lives for weeks now. But to see it being acted out — the axes being used to clear bushes and trees to make hiding spaces in the game world — just looked … odd.
One of the things that I love about following your blog Kevin is your documentation of various cultural movements. No longer in the classroom, it can be useful in keeping a finger on the pulse. Fortnite seems intriguing.
Bookmarked Behind the Revolutionary Power of Black Panther (
The revolutionary thing about Black Panther is that it envisions a world not devoid of racism but one in which black people have the wealth, technology and military might to level the playing field—a scenario applicable not only to the predominantly white landscape of Hollywood but, more important, to the world at large.
This piece captures some of the hope and hype associatwd with the new Black Panther film. It also provides a discussion of the original Black Panther movement. Along with this post from the BBC, they explain why the movie is so important right now in a step to give voice back to a marginalised voice within society. As Austin Collins explains in The Ringer:

How much better would most superhero movies be if, rather than fall back on the plain anonymity of World War I and II villains, they rooted themselves in a live, urgent sense of culture? What if Christopher Nolan’s Batman films had anchored themselves in a genuine sense of economic disparity, rather than continually paying lip service to that idea through a vaguely conceived millionaire and his abuses of power? What if the Avengers’ Ultron had more of a palpable fear of public surveillance? Seeing Bruce Wayne or even 007 get a tour of their new toys, meanwhile, is always fun, as tropes go, but imagine that those toys, and the monied, technologically advanced societies they imply, had become possible only through an element that had the power to reverse the course of colonial history. Wouldn’t those tools seem more powerful, the stakes in their design that much higher? That’s what it feels like to watch Black Panther.