Building on the Past

By Scott McMurray As the local television affiliates scrambled post-Irene to capture shots of our beloved, broken ocean front boardwalk in Spring Lake, New Jersey, they missed a telling detail: many of the boards were twisted or missing. But the squat concrete supports remain undamaged. If the camera operators had ventured out onto the beach…

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Mixed Messages

By: Scott McMurray There we were with a couple weeks’ worth of conference calls with the client’s technology crew under our belts. We had been ironing out the fine points involved in inserting QR (quick response) codes in our latest corporate history book. These included some pretty cool links to extended video clips and audio…

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Listening to History vs. Histrionics

Oral histories—extended interviews that capture the “you are there” feel of an executive’s career —enrich an organization’s bank of heritage assets to be leveraged in support of corporate transformation, change management, and a host of other goals. Capturing foundational stories that exemplify corporate values and “hero” stories, including lessons learned from setbacks, before they are…

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BP: Beyond Core Values

When BP’s “Beyond Petroleum” image campaign was running full throttle a few years ago, I remember cornering a company lawyer. What was wrong with being a petroleum company, and being the best one they could be? He shrugged. Oil was so 20th century; the company’s C-suite was focused on a future increasingly powered by alternative…

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Square Deal to Done Deal: Leveraging History to Change the Future

President Obama reached back nearly 100 years in our nation’s history—to Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal from the 1912 presidential campaign—to demonstrate how long American political agendas (both Republican and Democrat) have listed expanding health care coverage as a key reform. The push to pass healthcare reform was a hard slog, but the President prevailed, using…

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History Shock

Change is history, whether companies have been around for 200 years or 20. While we’re not about to rechristen the place, “The Change Factory” (or if we are I didn’t get the memo), much of what we do here is to communicate—to help companies tell their stories—about change. And regardless of how long a company…

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2 Soon 2 Tell

It’s five minutes to breakfast on the fourth floor outside of the hotel ballroom, and among the three of us, the Merrill Lynch stockbroker—dressed to the nines but already behind the eight ball—pulls me, the interviewer, to one side while the camera guy is at sixes and sevens choosing shots and makes her confession: “I…

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