By now, it's pretty hard not to have seen and heard about the ice bucket challenge.
Individuals shoot video of a bucket of ice being dumped on their heads and invite others to join the challenge, too--as a way to promote awareness of ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease.
This promotion has gone viral, with everyone from athletes to politicians participating. Here in California, authorities are reminding people we have a serious drought and to please not waste so much water with this stunt (though if you did this near some thirsty plants, perhaps that would alleviate the concern).
The ice bucket challenge has greatly raised awareness for ALS and has generated new contributions for ALS research (which is where resources are desperately needed).
Other "orphan diseases" are looking for ways they can do something similar. Look what happens when you think outside the bucket.
To many of us, Robin Williams epitomized the best comedy of our generation.
From the silliness of Mork and Mindy to the quirky but compassionate Genie of Aladdin, the literate leader of the Dead Poets Society, and the genderbending nanny of Mrs. Doubtfire....Robin Williams touched our hearts as well as our funny bones.
Yet beneath that comic genius lurked a dark side. Williams suffered with addiction and depression much of his adult life. Sadly, this week he lost the battle with these diseases. How sad that he wasn't able to take the light and life he created for others into his own being.
In his honor, we should look back at his body of work and continue to smile and laugh. But we also need to look forward at the work we need to do to help those amongst us who suffer silently with these illnesses.
Mark Levy is the founder of Levy Innovation, a positioning firm that helps consultants and other thought leaders increase their fees by up to 2000%. His clients include Marshall Goldsmith, Simon Sinek, David Meerman Scott, the CEOs of major brands, the former head of the Strategy Unit of the Harvard Business School, and many TED and TEDx speakers. His book Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insights, and Content has been translated into 10 languages.
In this podcast, Mark talks about why it’s critical for companies and business people to develop effective positioning. He discusses why great books are not necessarily written logically from beginning to end and why it makes sense to start developing thought leadership with a single big idea.
Two of the medical volunteers fighting Ebola fever in Africa have recently been brought back to the US for medical treatment.
If you listen to the sensationalists and the conspiracy theorists, bringing these two sick individuals here will lead to widespread contamination and contagion, with people dying like flies in the street. For all we know, this could be the beginning of the end for Western civilization.
But the reality is likely quite different. Our medical system is set up to handle patients with highly contagious diseases of this sort, with full quarantine and complete isolation. Furthermore, if these individuals are able to fight off the virus and recover, what we learn from the process may be extremely valuable in developing better ways to treat this horrible epidemic around the world -- and perhaps other untreatable illnesses as well.
Being prepared in advance for this type of scenario, with proper training, process and procedure, was critical. Moving quickly to implement a plan of action when crisis hit leads to much better probability for a successful outcome.
I recently got a new Fitbit Flex fitness monitor, to replace the one I'd had last year but lost.
I'd used a Fitbit for several months last year, so I thought I'd try to go without it for awhile and see what happened.
You can guess the result. The awareness I'd had of how much movement and exercise I did each day disappeared when I stopped monitoring my movements. This didn't become obvious to me until I got the new monitor and could see exactly what was going on each day.
When we measure something, we raise our awareness level. Whether it's in our personal lives or related to our businesses, we need to be sure we're conscious of what's going on around us, and that we're actively measuring the right things.
I'm pleased to be joining a team of experts participating in the Break Through Fear and Self-Doubt Telesummit. James Nsien is interviewing 21 experts who will be sharing insights, tips, and tools to help listeners take control of their lives. The summit runs from August 19 to September 8, and there's no charge to attend. More information.
The remains of many of the victims of last week's Malaysian Airlines crash over the Ukraine are being returned to the Netherlands this week.
It appears more and more likely that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile launcher obtained by Ukrainian separatists from Russia.
I'm willing to offer the benefit of the doubt and say that I don't believe anyone intended for this technology to be used to shoot down civilian airliners. However, when you put this sort of weapon in the hands of an untrained militia, it's not surprising that a tragedy like this occurs.
With great power comes great responsibility. We need to consider not just how technology can change the world for good, but also what can happen if it's put in the wrong hands.
That doesn't mean we stop innovating. It does mean that we are vigilant about understanding how and where things can go wrong and doing our best to avoid disasters waiting to happen.