The Gift of Compassionate Communication

If innovation is the engine of the knowledge economy, creative problem solving is the fuel.

While excellence in writing, design, communication and critical thinking are still in demand, when employers are asked what they would like to see in our students, creative problem solving rises to the top.

Can we teach creative problem solving? Is it a skill that can be learned? Is it nature or nurture? How do we train a new generation of leaders and problem solvers?

Read the entire article from Dr. Prabu David, Dean of the College of Communication Arts & Sciences at Michigan State University and follow him @prabudavid

Karl Gude teaches classes on creative thinking and problem solving and conducts Design Thinking workshops in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University. Gude is the Director of the college’s Media Sandbox and a faculty instructor in the School of Journalism. Prior to entering academia, Gude was the Director of Information Graphics at Newsweek magazine and The Associated Press. In 2017, Gude received the MSU Quality in Undergraduate Teaching Award and was also featured in the university President Lou Anna Simon’s Report on teaching creativity.

Gun Reform: Speaking Truth to Bullshit, Practicing Civility, and Effecting Change

One of the biggest sources of bullshit today is the proliferation of “If you’re this then you’re automatically that” and “You’re either with us or you’re against us” politics. These are emotional lines that we hear invoked by everyone from elected officials and lobbyists to movie heroes and villains on a regular basis. They’re effective political moves; however, 95 percent of the time it’s an emotional and passionate rendering of bullshit.

Normally, we used forced choice and false dichotomies during times of significant emotional stress. Our intentions may not be to manipulate, but to force the point that we’re in a situation where neutrality is dangerous. I actually agree with this point. One of my live-by quotes is from Elie Wiesel. “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

The problem is that these emotional pleas are often not based in facts, and they prey on our fears of not belonging or being seen as wrong or part of the problem. We need to question how the sides are defined. Are these really the only options? Is this the accurate framing for this debate or is this bullshit?

Read the entire amazing article from Brene’ Brown. Follow Brene’ @breneebrown

Get Back To Your Life

Stephen Colbert was on Showtime on November 8. It was amazing to see the show and how surprised people were – even him. But, at the end, he shined with a mix of serious and funny. As you’re processing the election, here are some things we as Americans can all agree on:

  • When you agree on something, you shout YES
  • No matter where you stand on Hillary’s email server, we all can agree work email sucks
  • KitKat should be eaten in segments, not bitten into like a normal candy bar
  • Every red-blooded American knows that when ordering a bunch of pizzas, don’t order a veggie pizza. Nobody is going to eat that. Plain cheese = veggie.
  • There are too many Portlands.
  • None of us will ever remember what the War of 1812 was about
  • Alex Trebek will never die and if he does, it won’t count because it wasn’t in the form of a question
  • The gas light coming on isn’t a warning – it’s a challenge to see how far we can get on whatever gas is left
  • The biggest selling point of Cool Whip isn’t the taste – it’s free Tupperware
  • It’s nice to get a card in the mail once in awhile
  • The first person to get up in line for seconds at a wedding buffet is a hero
  • We should never, ever have an election like this again

Cool Quote from Jen Hatmaker

I think Jen Hatmaker gave some perspective:

To everyone devastated and scared this morning, to those who didn’t vote this direction and feel betrayed and shocked: No leader can make us fear or hate our neighbor. No leader can stop us from loving, defending, representing, advocating, bridge building, and gathering. No human has ever been able to staunch the power of love. We have had many presidents and we will have many more, and yet here we are, the people of Jesus, managing to further the kingdom generation after generation through cultures, shifts, crisis, and the changing of guards. We rise up today like we did yesterday and tomorrow. Be good news. Be a good neighbor. Be kind and hopeful and generous. Hug your babies and don’t let their fear find a permanent home. But for today, look out for your friends that feel maligned and forgotten, and if that person is you, treat yourself with tender, tender care. I am your friend in sorrow today.

My Perspective

I’m taking a breath. Going to do a good job at my workplace. Treat people with respect and kindness. Go home to my wife. Make ROCK pizza on my grill, watch the NBA, jump in the hot tub and chill out. I’ve been drunk on MSNBC, CNN and FoxNews for the past 20 months. I’m turning off that crazy noise for the foreseeable future. I’d suggest as much as you can, focus on what you can focus on: your work, studies, friendships, marriage, family, faith and the Cubs winning the World Series.