Category Archives: Behaviour

Brands in Trauma: Oscars 2022

The Academy Awards are an annual industry awards night – an event on the social calendar of some of the highest mediated human products in the world: Hollywood Actors.

The 2022 Awards ceremony proved a timely reminder of the power of the stories we tell ourselves, each other and the organisation’s role in aligning issues to action as they escalate to crisis.

UNDERSTANDING THE ENVIRONMENT

The Academy Awards are traditionally the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science‘s ‘Night of Nights’.

An industry celebration, that is preceeded by months of lobbying the people, the performances, the music and the final edits as a whole into the hearts and minds of the judges.

In a process reminiscent of the way politicians pitch themselves to the electorate or international governments justify their response to ‘threats’, The Oscars is the culmination of all of those individual and team efforts being celebrated by the community physically (mediated event).

A place in time where peer recognition is a featured objective across all contributions to the art of storytelling in variant forms and public declaration (Winner/ Nominee).

Where categories matter, success is tangible and economically rewarded via a piece of gold (an Oscar’s statue), resulting in heightened levels of social and economic capital bestowed upon the recipient.

THE EVENT

The 2022 event kicked off with no significant departures from recent history in the sense it celebrated all elements of performance – acting, dancing, singing – by the talented and seasoned industry performers.

There were red carpet fashions and commentary, comedian hosts and musical performances.

As always, there were tributes paid to those passed, as well as, those who continue to contribute despite their personal challenges.

Lady Gaga and Liza Minnelli providing a timely reminder of the way to respect the process and each other. Legends of the Arts old and new, supporting peers through performance missteps with kindness and grace, in five words.

Then there was the Heckler…

2022 Nominee Will Smith, a professional performer (TV and film) dressed for the event by Dolce & Gabbana (promoted on his social media accounts prior to the event) physically and verbally assaulting a comedian during a live performance in which he promoted himself from audience member to speaking part.

The comedian employed for the night by The Academy to present the award for Best Documentary Feature was Chris Rock.

Rock is a professional performer (stage, TV and film) and given he was ‘at work’ on stage, his response to being heckled was as expected by a seasoned professional… however, the heckle came AFTER the physical assault.

The exchange between Smith and Rock is interesting for what it reveals about the impact of self narratives and environmental triggers on social behaviour and socialised modes of engagement.

THE WORKPLACE ASSAULT

Smith laughed along at the GI Jane comment at first, until he saw his wife’s displeasure.

Then he got physical and verbally abusive – repeatedly.

It is worthwhile to note here, The Academy Awards is the equivalent of a work function for BOTH of these men.

One acting professionally, the other one not.

THE INCIDENT

Additionally, it is highly plausible Rock’s script was cleared by the show’s producers prior.

CRISIS MANAGEMENT

It has been reported that Smith was asked to leave the Dolby Theatre, but apparently refused. All of which is yet to be verified publically.

In the business, this is what we call a Crisis Management failure of epic proportions.

In proceeding with the schedule as planned, and not being agile enough on the ground at the event, the organisation (The Academy) empowered Smith.

Accordingly, Smith ‘set the narrative’ to be adopted by the media reporting on it, rather than the story of how The Academy fulfilled their position as a leader of best practice in the Industry.

Security should have restricted unscripted access to the stage.

Having failed to secure the stage, they should have escorted and detained Smith pending the arrival of the authorities.

The questions to ask of the organisation is: Why didn’t they?

The Academy needed to align their actions with their words on social media.

Their inaction at the time of the incident effectively negated any indignation they showed in social media posts.

Instead, they let a physical assault by one member fall through the cracks rather than one to be handled by security and then the relevant authorities.

By giving Chris Rock’s attacker their highest accolade – the title of winner – The Academy also gave him a global platform in which to celebrate and credit his behaviour – past and present – through a constructed narrative and thus dividing their members.

WHY AGILITY IS THE REAL AWARD WINNER

When caught off guard by unscripted moments, producers have to make split second decisions with the information they are given and the intelligence available to them.

Unfortunately for Will Packer, the producer of the 94th Academy awards, this was his first Academy Awards show and he had two legends of the Arts, members of the Academy, a presenter and soon-to-be award winner, in a physical altercation on stage during a live global (and sponsored) broadcast.

In event production and producing terms, this is a perfect storm, for even the most seasoned professional.

However, THIS moment screamed something more than the insult of a comedic pun.

There was a story, that obviously very few were briefed on.

COMMUNICATIONS IS THE KEY

When ‘the shit hits the fan’ (as we say Down Under) response time contracts to now not later.

As a leader, your ability to ’make sense’ and ‘act in knowledge’ relies on your ability to put yourself, your role and your concerns aside, your ability to access ’the facts’ as best known to all and invariably, the quality of both your counsel and communications.

If their social media posts are anything to go by, The Academy was having the right discussions they simply failed to align the words of the organisation to their public facing actions.

THE ABUSER IS GIVEN THE MICROPHONE

Unsurprisingly, Smith rationalised his actions by drawing comparison’s between his actions at the event and those of his character as ‘a fierce defender of his family’.

A narrative swallowed by some of those in the room who cheered but seemingly not, from those present who didn’t need (nor want) anything from him.

AND THE GOLD

As anyone who feels they’ve ‘beaten the system’ Smith basked in the accolades and clung to the gold…

… seemingly tone deaf to the impact of his behaviour on the next generation. His offspring – also a performer – condoning the physical assault and verbal abuse in response to a verbal insult.

Self narratives are important, both internally and externally.

I won’t chastise the Academy award winner for casting himself as the lead antagonist during a mediated performance by a peer, for I am reminded of Ekhardt Tolle’s concept of pain-body.

WHEN PAIN MANIFESTS AS ANGER

Where there is anger there is pain underneath and this is true for EVERYONE – irrespective of the social profile of your job or the size of your bank account.

TRAUMA IS CYCLICAL

Trauma produces trauma – both internally and externally.

Socially we will follow and perpetuate trauma, if we rationalise the narrative and fail to heal from within.

These are the real lessons from the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony for the individual brands.

They also provide a looking glass through which we are able to glimpse the power of the alpha to dominate and lead a mob.

How inaction by the organisation (and peers) in the room at the time enabled the silent mob to remain inactive.

Leaving the target of the assault to weigh the consequences of his reaction at a workplace event while continuing with his presenting duties.

It also provides real insight into how rationalising the narrative has led to larger-scale atrocities being perpetuated throughout history.

Just imagine if we found our voice in the moment, like Denzel.

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO…

Imagine if Will had taken Jada’s lead – visibly displeased but dignified in her seat – we might be talking about the Winner of the Oscar for Best Documentary feature – the award Chris Rock was presenting – Questlove’s Summer of Soul.

U love my memes, but find safety online a drag

I find our little world perplexing. So many wonderful people, yet so few active citizens.

I say this, because for the past decade or so, I have been researching social media and new tech.

With a decades worth of data catalogued across most industries, I can tell you – hand on heart –

Organic community growth on social networking platforms and apps is a myth

Let me explain…

‘Community’ growth evolves from a value exchange.

When community-based connection moved online it extended our network and when new mobile tech entered our everyday, a new business model emerged to reframe the way we participated – as commodity.

Social technology, enabled us to access a global community of people FOR FREE, effectively evolving ourselves into data.

While enabling the promise of a ready and willing ‘market’ ripe for ‘capture’ and ‘free’.

In algorithmic terms it might have looked like:

TIFF’s ALGORITHM (aka Tiff’s Plan)

Internet connection +safari + BLOGGER = ACCESS & PLATFORM for writing, reading, researching and engaging.

FACEBOOK, TWITTER = FREE community, ENGAGED WATCHERS, LISTENERS, CONVERSATIONALISTS

Social sharing buttons in BLOGGER = OPPORTUNITY for LEARNING, EXPLORING, CONNECTING, ENGAGING, PROMOTING at no-low cost.

… and I was not alone…

From Australian citizen to a global netizen.

My largest ‘audience’ ranged from Europe to the America’s, Asia and The Pacific depending on what I wrote about, when and where I posted.

The WHO, WHAT, WHEN and WHERE was critical to message reception. Nothing new here.

It was as per traditional platform-based mediated communications… except for the potential reach #’s that were now possible.

What wasn’t apparent initially, was the WHY…?

This evolution – largely touted as a communications ‘revolution’ by the industry pushing its wares and those of us researching it – is of itself a wonderful study in the power of language – either alpha or numerical to influence behaviours of animals.

If you look at the animal kingdom and you accept that humans are but one of many mammals within it, we are forced to look for evidence of other species within the ecosystem who have become mediated communities.

While there is a plethora of evidence around animal communities – they appear to be location or sex-based (Feel free to correct me if I am wrong… by posting in the comments below) rather than mediated in any manner shape or form either naturally or animal-made.

Do we honestly think humans – a subgroup of primates within the broader group of mammal species existing on earth within the broader animal kingdom – are the only ones to have connected with tools of amplification and connection?

Or is it merely a case that humans are operating in 0’s and 1’s while whales and dolphins’ preference for sonar within the natural world leads them to another (more sophisticated and possible inter-connected) plane of being…? Are they in the true meta verse and we remain blissfully ignorant to the true tech capabilities that exist in a binary waste dump with CD Roms and iPods?

Meaning, humans are the ones who have reengineered themselves and their ecosystem as data points, in much the same way we learnt to capture the experience of time within a photograph which we then learnt to embellish with joy via photoshop to suit the social context of the time at which it was being consumed…?

A new market reality of commodity as consumer now exists.

As Australian citizens we are willing participants in the ‘evolution’ of the human species from flesh and blood into multiple data points from which behavioural (and more recently biological) patterns are computed before being collated and showcased for profit.

The ‘User’ a tool for learning as much as he is for targeting thanks to the self perpetuating abuse of his privacy through the expulsion of his personal information.

A commercial exchange founded in a ‘test’ motivated from one man’s desire to understand what moves and motivates humans to categorise each other based on physical attributes after a failed date.

Think about it.

Zuckerberg created a US college ‘social’ experiment that utilised a rating system.

From the insights gained, he was able to create the most influential commercial market in the world for individuals, organisations, governments and just as efficiently – their opponents.

A community of exchange. Not of money, although the new business model would ultimately make lots of it – this was non monetary. For the first decade it was binary.

This community ensured it’s longevity by positioning the user as the product and giving them a place of perceived community influence to procure at their leisure according to their needs.

Facebook created the digital playground where humans could connect, be seen, exchange, access and repeat at their convenience at will.

Because it was free and it was a global tool of connection that enabled conversations with friends, colleagues and loved ones around the globe with minimal effort, we became not only the Facebook product, but the contributors to a much larger problem. The ringing of the deathneal on private and personal information security.

Instead of customers craving the product, we the product craved the retail showcase that is the Facebook platform.

It was fun to connect, easy to use, widely available anywhere, anytime. It worked, so to use it was effortless.Additionally, everyone else was using it, so you got access to ‘the inner sanctum’ of their world – or at least, you started to think…

The cost of which is still not yet apparent to the majority, although it will be soon enough.

As products, we shed our privacy and our right to our own behavioural data. After all, what we don’t see, we can’t miss, right?

WRONG!

About a year ago, I stepped off my Social Parenting soap box because ‘adults’ are reluctant to engage is a genuine solution to the dangers of children’s online activity.

Social Parenting was a program borne from my Masters research back in 2010, that encouraged parents to reconsider their children’s use of new social and mobile tech, based on the triad of:

1) neurological immaturity,

2) physiological and

3) psychological health wellness implications (aka blue screen addiction, bullying)

as well as social as the Wild Wild Western Internet.

What I discovered was shocking to me.

Sure, parents and carers would openly talk about it as an issue, but when it came to solutions 9 times out of 10 they would only pay lip service.

I don’t think they know (or don’t particularly care) that they are in fact in breech of their legal duty as legal guardians to an Australian child.

I also suspect the government – both state and federal are also hoping we don’t realise they too are in breech of their duty to Australian citizens.

Acceptable digital practice has for too long now, been constructed by the sales-focused social tech industry.

After 25 years of the commercial internet, it’s time the private information of citizens was protected from mining by the industry because Australian state and federal Governments were actively endeavouring to protect it’s citizenry.

Question is… who is going to step up?

Are you? If so, why? or more importantly, WHY NOT?

Tips for e-Commuting

Many people struggle with working from home or e-commuting to work, because the idea and function of the office is an embedded practice with purpose in our everyday lives.

For a lot of us, the office is our ‘escape’. A refined and productive social engagement that is directly attributable to our financial success.

However, working from home provides the ability to balance all the parts of our lives that matter.

This is something that has ‘really hit home’ for a lot of corporates during C-19 lockdown.

When e-commuting, it is important to recognise there will be a time of fumbling through schedules, due dates and deliverables until you adapt to the new way of scheduling and master the new tools for colleague/ mentor/ client communications and productive engagement.

What you will also soon come to realise is you finally have the supports and tools for establishing that sometimes elusive work/life balance. why? Because now you have the tools and in most cases, the company’s support.

So what are your new tools…?

  1. Flexibility – something most adjust to with ease, even if they are lovers of detailed daily lists and schedules.
  2. Autonomy – many find this a motivator
  3. Responsibility – many fail of manage tasks to completion in isolation, without realising this is a key area for showcasing their leadership capabilities.
  • Know the privilege you enjoy.
  • Be well Organised.
  • Set aside place to work – ideally not at the kitchen table, but away from others and further distractions. allocate a room and it also becomes a tax deduction #WinWin
  • Manage your time – Don’t also be on, connected or available. Set a well-defined working hours. Allocate tasks to time then once you’ve done so, advise your colleagues of any deadlines for collaborations or due dates for submissions. Although some e-commuters resist, a daily work schedule is your best friend in the e-commuting scenario.
  • Back yourself – This is how you counter balance stagnation when ‘the boss is away’ scenario. Back yourself to know what you are doing and how your contribution moves the business forward towards it’s success.
  • Proactively manage your stress – after all, our greatest weapon against it[stress], is our ability to choose one thought over another.
  • Exercise each day – you don’t have to run a marathon or pump iron everyday, but just going for a walk around the block every morning can provide both physical well being and mental clarity.
  • Dress for success – even if you are in a tracksuit, make sure it is clean, ironed, stain- free, your face is washed, teeth are brushed and your hair is combed and styled. You’ll feel ready to succeed.

Good luck!

xo Tiff

If you have any other tips, you’d like to share please do so in the comments section

Say No, Think Know

When you find yourself on the treadmill of life, finding the time to stop and reflect is elusive at best.

More often than not, it’s only the bone-crunching tackle that ‘Life’ blindsides us with that throws us into a lumpy, tangled mess and makes us STOP before taking a good hard look at and around ourselves.

Our physiological core –  we have to exercise, stabilise, celebrate and show it off every now and then.

Our emotional core – arguably our most important and directive – requires consistency and commitment to ensure contribution.

Because only then, are we able to confidently and consistently enhance and enable those around us.

Why?

Our brains and our hearts comprise a core where all the things that complement, enhance function.

Looking after ourselves, so we complement our communities (blood and others) in our everyday disposition, actions, outputs and impacts is our role.

However, with all the tricks and traits of a modern, tech-savvy society we get distracted. Repeatedly and Unashamedly.

So when are we going to stop swivelling from distraction to distraction and instead focus on genuine and organic human evolution?

We need to feed our brain the questions and information it craves…

Hasn’t it dined out on the sexual exploits of the likes of the Trash-dashians for long enough?

When are we going to face up to the vacuous, plastic-fantastic mediated realm we’ve adopted as our ideal over time and re-focus our daily intent towards growing our contributions to ourselves and our communities?

Sadly, we’re not. Not anytime soon.

However, imagine if we did…

Imagine just for one moment if we stood up collectively and said ‘No’ (while thinking ‘Know’).

How fabulous would THAT world –  created in independent thinking and unique knowledge pods of life’s experiences – look, sound and feel…

Genuine and Innovative is my guess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Context Matters

A timely reminder to never underestimate:

  1. the importance of context
  2. the power of media technologies to misconstrue intent

(One does hope the Duke and Duchess don’t mind being used in this instructive context)

 

When cyber stalking finds you

I woke up to this today…:When social stalking finds you

and when I checked the backend user/ visitor stats of my blog for over the weekend, I was unnerved to find it had been a repeat search.

The good news for me, is of my weekend visitors, there are only 10 countries on four different continents where my cyber stalker may dwell!

But just in case… there’s now a record.

Use this as a timely reminder to remove ALL personal contact details from any apps you use on mobiles, iPads, iPhones, Samsungs, Macs.

Don’t post a picture of your child in their school uniform or worse still with a certificate in hand.

Be cautious, be clever by remembering that your friends already have all your details.

Get On Your Bike

Today I rode…

I hadn’t been on a motorbike in years, but finding my balance was exactly what I needed and that’s exactly what I found.

Visiting all my favourite places: we rode through beaches, bush and suburban streets, absorbing the sights, the smells and coming out invigorated.

Alive, for the first time in what felt like aeons.

When we are thrown an unpleasant, we have a choice: self pity and drama or quiet reflection and nurturing.

Despite my gung ho approach to life in general, when it comes to life matters, my default is always quiet reflection and nurturing.

I’m tough, but I’m fragile: a by-product of my sex, as well as, my experience.

So with a friend we rode, talked, walked, sweated and laughed.

Pure unadulterated therapy. Not surprisingly, it got me thinking…

Why do we ever let drama into our reality unnecessarily?

He gave his view, I expressed mine. We were the Ying and Yang of men and women discussing life’s greatest puzzle: honest and loving relationships.

The result: The feeling of being nothing short of indestructible.

Free to be, do, feel and love openly.

Which is why we should never underestimate the power of sharing life experiences, joy, hopes and especially our failures.

 

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