Found in translation

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In an interview to France’s Les Echos, then relayed by our shared Alumni on LinkedIn, Emmanuelle Desires, Danone’s Communications’ director in France, referred to her role as “Chercheur de sens”. This could translate loosely as “researcher of meaning”.

But not only, and this is where it becomes interesting.

The French name “Chercheur” is used for both the professional role of a ‘researcher’ and the more personal/informal name for the ‘seeker’.

The first implies looking at and developing meaningful stories or links between her company’s purpose and what society is concerned about. This was her focus in the article.

The latter talks of a quest-like journey for greater meaning (or purpose) in our lives.

This doesn’t stop there, as ‘sens’ in French translates as meaning, but also as way/direction, as in ‘sens interdit’ (e.g. the ‘wrong way’ sign on French road) or ‘sens unique’ (one-way street). This is familiar to any unlucky holiday driver finding himself shouted at for driving the wrong way in a French village – usually accompanied by various shrugs of “Ha! Ces Anglais!

And this strikes me as exactly right. The role of a central communication (or marketing) officer is one that should at its heart be focused on researching andseeking, meaning anddirection; and then sharing it.

Said in English, it is about Purpose.

It’s shorter, but what’s the fun in that?

No appetite for lazy dogma

lazy dogma

With everything that’s going wrong in the world I can’t help thinking that people are increasingly falling for lazy dogma.

“sign up here and everything will be fine” type-of-thing.

“based on your habits, we know what you like”.

Formatted habits and thoughts are taking over.

What happened to changing one’s mind? Or simply being determined or challenged to think something through and make one’s mind up? And what of being curious?

It’s not that hard.

I don’t even know if I still hate cauliflower and school was a long time ago.

Time to try again and override the default pick list.

Emotional data

emotional data

Take these two sorts of people – economists and artists

They speak to my left-brain, and my right-brain.

The economist uses statistical data, logical theory (and history) to help us understand the world we are in. He also offers analysis, ideas and guidance… that are not always thankfully received of course.

The artist is a publisher of thoughts and ideas that aims to touch the heart first.

He knows that emotions, rather than data, really connect people to themselves and others.

Yet, both are needed if we want to make sense of the world and really connect with it.

We need Economartists (or Artconomists)!