Video Scripts Based on Input from All Stakeholders

For a series of videos that we are planning here at IFANCA, it's not me in my silo deciding what the script should entail. Rather it is me speaking to all the various departments who interact with our target audience and asking them what frequently asked questions come up in their conversations that we could perhaps address via our website and videos. Given that every company has limited resources, fretting out the most pertinent information that needs conveying, is what helped me decide what each video would comprise. It may be time consuming to cull this information but it's better than running with assumptions, especially since  meeting audience needs is truly the goal. Doing the research allows us to narrow our focus and trim scope down to what really needs to be done.  Having a solid 'why'  - That is the only way to avoid a redundant product.

So yes, this speaks once again to the idea that when you step outside your silo, you get better results.Aarron, noted author and leader of MailChimp's UX design shared a similar approach in an interview with

Why do we connect with some and not others? From Like to Love to Lasting Love.

I have often wondered why we connect with some and not with others. Why some relationships fizzle out and others weather the stormiest seas? What does lasting love, whether with a spouse, parent or child, look like ? I stumbled on Yasmin Ayyad's blog and believe I have found one component that takes us from Like to Love to Lasting Love in any relationship. It comes down to feeling heard.

As Yasmin puts it:

"We are people, and we need people. Sometimes no matter how much confidence we have, we need validation. We need support. Find those positive, encouraging people that are around you and talk to them. Let them fill you up with energy and power. They can help you accept whats coming your way and see the best parts about it." 

Do we really have "Friends" online?

I'd agree that friendship is “a distinctively personal relationship that is grounded in a concern on the part of each friend for the welfare of the other, for the others sake, and that involves some degree of intimacy." It's someone who actually cares, who likes you for you, makes you laugh, is a shoulder to cry on, makes you feel comfortable about who you are. I would add it's someone who knows your moods, who listens, who understands and loves you despite your flaws. It is certainly not someone you choose to have in your life simply to be able to say you have a friend, or simply because you've shared 25 FB posts with or twenty tweets with. It is not someone you choose to call 'friend' because you need to fill that gnawing void created by a lack of real, physical meaningful interactions that forge tried and tested "I'll always be there for you" friendships. Real Friends pull on our heart strings.

Our online networks do comprise friends whom we have made the effort to actively include in our joys and sorrows, and are part of a real life, mutual support system. The rest of the people we know online are acquaintances for whom we may want the best, to whom we may blurt every thought that comes to mind, but if tomorrow they disappeared, we'd perhaps notice their absence, without necessarily missing their presence.

What Captures Your Attention Controls Your Life - Kare Anderson - Harvard Business Review

What Captures Your Attention Controls Your Life - Kare Anderson - Harvard Business Review

Who'd have thought that a Harvard Business Review article would lead to some soul searching.  But that's exactly what has happened. "Giving and receiving undivided attention, even briefly, is the least that one individual can do for another — and sometimes the most," writes Kare Anderson, who is also author of Say it Better. "And yet, attending to others doesn't just help them — it helps us, by evoking responses that help the listener feel cared for, useful, and connected to the larger world. Paying attention may be an individual effort, but ....simply gazing steadily and warmly at that person, nodding at times and reiterating what you heard will activate an empathic, mirror-neuron response in both of you."

Heeding Anderson's recommendation to become aware of where we are focusing our attention, for a few days now, I've become increasingly aware that while I may be in the same room as my kids, I'm not always present. In choosing to be preoccupied or only half available, or half listening, I've realized that it's not just them I'm robbing of an emotional bond but myself too. Love, relationships, emotional bonds are about connecting and in order to connect we need to be fully present. This article, though applicable to our work life too, solidified that thought for me.

Perhaps this explains how we fall in love, too. Feeling loved is nothing less than feeling heard, listened to, cared for - all byproducts of being given focused attention. If you've been there, you know just how lucky you were to have made the journey - those all too fleeting moments of actually feeling heard. Moments that don't come by so easily once you factor in the onslaught of our daily lives, the many distractions and diversions in our day.  For me, there is only one solution. To set aside family time, to treat those moments together as non-negotiable and to guard it ferociously from the needling interference of life's many to-do lists, phone calls, pings and texts.  

For Aramco World Magazine - Saleem Ali - A Profile

“Greed is not bad,” says Saleem Ali, professor of environmental studies at the University of Vermont, an authority on conflict resolution and author of Treasures of the Earth: Need, Greed, and a Sustainable Future, a book on sustainable extractive mining. Coming from an environmentalist, that statement alone can raise eyebrows. However, rather than greed for greed’s sake, it’s consumption within a framework of regulations, with an eye on providing livelihoods, with minimum impact on the environment, that Dr. Ali advocates. Improving a region’s environmental health must also mean providing a livelihood chain for people in those areas, he says. Choices such as large scale mining for diamonds or trading across continents do involve a carbon footprint, but it is an exchange Dr. Ali encourages. “Pollution is one problem but so is people dying of hunger and poverty.”

Hope this intro. catches your attention. I tell you, he's a man worth keeping an eye on. Nobel Peace Prize winner in the making. It's for my very first article for Aramco World Magazine. To get up to speed with Saleem Ali's doings turn to