Word—And How to Get It

Word—And How to Get It

We overestimate the importance of what we’re thinking about.

We misremember the past and misjudge what makes us happy.

Irrationality is in our DNA—and we are the better for it.

These are just a few of the ideas I’m getting from reading Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in the psychology of economics.

This book describes the capabilities and faults of “fast” thinking—the intuitive, emotional kind—versus “slow”, the so-called logical mode of thought. It outlines the impact of intuition on our thoughts and behavior in such areas as loss aversion and overconfidence in business strategies, and in the challenges of properly framing risks in plans and practices.

Sounds thick, but it reads easily, in short chapters, with concrete examples. The ideas are like thought bombs, each exploding with splintery notions that spray everywhere and stimulate the jaded business brain.

Just as important as its compelling thoughts is how I am taking them in: I’m holding a copy I bought from Amazon, or checked out of the library, or picked up at the airport, or that was given to me by a friend. I’m reading it on a Kindle or a Fire, a Nook or an iPad. I’m listening to it on CDs in my car, on an iPod, or downloaded onto my laptop.

I could tell you the same story about the video I watch or the music I listen to, but you get—you know—the picture: there are now many ways to deliver and receive the same message, in many forms, and more are on the way.

These tech developments are having a major impact on the current practice of CSR communications. Not so long ago, comm was simple: you issued a press release, it was distributed and quoted by journalists, and your basic CSR story was told in a straight-ahead way. Now, initiatives, programs, projects, multiple areas of focus, partnerships, and sequential efforts are filtered through a variety of multi-platform channels.

And one more thing: the tech revolution is now re-shaping the content it delivers. In some neo-cyber, M.C. Escher-like mirroring process, content now morphs in its rules, formats, and sources to fit into all the new pipelines.

Here’s the good news for CSR communications: the proliferation of content delivery systems, and the variety of content formats and styles have opened up unprecedented opportunities for the complex, compelling message of corporate social responsibility and sustainability to get into our collective heads. 

So whether getting the word out or taking it in, it’s a great time for the CSR communications.

There, I’ve said it.