Thursday, October 24, 2013

Random Thoughts

I had a little time to think more about the systems approach. There are so many intricacies within a complex system that must be considered. In current professional role, I have been fortunate to experience a more in-depth relationship with the inner-workings of several institutions. It's a perspective that is rare to experience for many reasons. In any case, I believe I now have a much better understanding of how to initiate meaningful change. Here are some rules:

  1. Fix the infrastructure to accommodate scale, direction, and innovation
  2. Fix the structure to leverage the skill-sets relevant to advancement
  3. Refine policies  - update and modify
  4. Test the existing products/services against the new system
  5. Refine products/services - update and modify
  6. Build productive capacity for innovation and advancement
  7. Set clear targets (margins, demand, etc.) for successful innovations
  8. Streamline and automate data and reporting systems

Sunday, October 06, 2013

You Don't Have to be Having Fun for Time to Fly By

It's hard to think that a few months have passed since my last blog entry. Come to think of it, this may be the longest lapse in time since I started this blog. In any case, life has been kicking my butt. In fact, I need to be writing my dissertation as we speak. When I come through this - and I will make it through, I have so much to share with everyone, about strategy, about business, and about the knowledge I would like to share with everyone from my experiences in the doctoral program.

However, those moments are down the road. Right now, I need to be about the business of getting it done. I must admit, I am somewhat stuck in the process, mostly scared of the unknown future. The experience and eventual achievement has presented some new options for me. I always tell young students that life should be an expansion of options as you grow older. However, I am finding it more difficult to deal with all the signs and splits along the way. I do know that I want to make a meaningful impact on society, in a positive way might I add (it could be taken many ways). I also want to realize a new frontier of wealth and freedom. It's time to have some fun - work hard play hard.

So, I am working on it, pushing through this experience that has changed me more than I anticipated. I hope all is well with everyone. The next time someone says "time flies when you are having fun", just tell them that "time simply flies because".

Saturday, July 13, 2013

What Do I Want to Do?

I sit at a conference on continuous improvement torn about my feelings about my conditions, my choices, and the road ahead. As I get closer to completing my dissertation, along with other accomplishments, I am confronted with a wider road, but limited fuel.

I will keep this short, as I am uncomfortably typing on an iPad. I want to do the following:

  • Lead a large organization/institution in the name of change and innovation
  • Become a major contributor to the science of administration
  • Become more obsessive with health and wellness
  • Find the space and environment to become more spiritually disciplined and refined
  • Develop future leaders
  • Speak Spanish and Mandarin
  • Engage in Lean and/or Six Sigma
  • Live in a home that supports and energizes my quest to be a great leader and thinker
  • Become a player in philanthropy
  • Become a power broker in business and politics
  • Be necessary on a global scale

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The Delicate Matters

Okay, I will be real quick, because I don't have much time.

In the game of influence you have to be real careful of three key elements, in order to move a strategy forward.

  1. Trust
  2. Credibility
  3. Momentum

These three elements must be present for anything to work. Trust comes from making deadlines, being consistent, and delivering beyond expectations. The credibility comes from removing all agendas from your scope of work. There should be no sign of personal gain, no favoritism, and no emotions to anything. Finally, momentum is a perceptual thing. similar to sitting in the front seat of a car looking forward down a straight and plain road. If you only look to the side, you can visualize the movement. Thus, you have to present the frame to your audience to highlight the momentum, sometimes framing the situation from the back window at times to show where you have come from.

I am truly engaging in a social science experiment that is revealing a great deal about my ability to lead, communicate, and influence others - even in times of resistance.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Maiden Voyage

I am reading through some journal articles listening to Robert Glasper's version of Maiden Voyage, again and again. It's a clean-up day. I am having the carpets and tile cleaned. As I clear things out, I find myself questioning things - thinking through my choices in life.

I was talking to a good friend today, and we spoke of journeys - the dreams of great travels personally and professionally. They mentioned the concept of journeys being hard or easy. I responded that I don't care much about that adjective in journeys. I don't believe they apply in my world. I am more concerned with the potential of the journey taking one step forward, that the journey can actually begin, that there is a shot of a journey, that laughter and tears could be applied to something beyond self, that I am actually going and getting somewhere.

Maiden Voyage has me messed up right now. Messed up real bad.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Leap Forward FB Comment

The other day I was inspired to think about the visionaries and great minds of the past - artist, activist, etc. I still remain inspired by their efforts, and I now realize how important it is to always strive for excellence. The point of life, and making a difference, is that there will be no theme music when the time arrives. It will not have any forewarning as to this is the time to be great. The circumstances will look like any other challenge, and often much worse than normal. So disregarding those important moments as times when excellence is not necessary is a fatal flaw in life. This is assuming you want to brighten the world around you.

No, I have learned that you get in the practice of excellence, just because. When the time and opportunity arises to do just a little more than the day before, seize it! As I stated in the FB post, "they used what was in front of them to take that leap, and we took it with them". Going beyond is never about you. It's always about those around you, and difference you can make when we all strive for more or better.

I'm not sure what my important leap will be in life. I'm not much concerned about it at this point. I have ceased to listen for dramatic theme music, or even the conditions necessary for it to potentially occur. I am sure if it is in my destiny, the time will find me at a point where I am making that leap. Who knows what will be driving it, or influencing me to do more? The important thing is for me to continue believing that striving for excellence is the right thing to do every day all day, in spite of what I get back from the environment.

This goes out to all who are struggling with whatever. It's easy to give up or not care about what happens tomorrow. Often there are so few sources of support, even when we have close friends and family around us. No one can see the hurt or loneliness in you, and that's okay. If you can survive it, your strength will be much more sustainable, because you have learned to do it in spite of. This is just a little advice from someone who is truly struggling to make sense of it all.

Just remember the leap can be any effort, even getting out of bed today. I encourage you to take that leap. I  pray that your faith is strengthened with each effort, each attempt. LEAP FORWARD!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Because It's Important to Me

I once quoted to a good friend that the movie Soul Food was one of the biggest cultural contradictions on the big screen. I've also told him that most tragedies aren't tragic at all. The movie centered on a mother stricken with health issues common to African Americans - diabetes, heart disease, etc. The movie highlighted the importance of the communion and fellowship that occurs around soul food, in this instance prepared by the mother of the family. Unfortunately in the movie, the mother loses her fight to these health conditions, and the family pays homage to her by preparing the meals she used to prepare, in order to continue the tradition of fellowship and communion with family and community. My comment to my friend was that their response to this tragedy was to serve the very foods that brought on the health conditions of their mother. As an African American, especially living in the south (intentionally made lowercase), I am in the small minority of those who believe that traditions have their place. Most traditions were developed out of survival, or the hope for a better tomorrow. The tradition was an unintended response to a social condition that drove a repetitive response by a certain group of people. Every element of the tradition had a relevant context to present, past, and future. Science and healthcare has made it well known the impact of soul food in the context of today's lifestyle. No one argues the importance of fellowship and communion among family and friends. The debate in the case of the soul food diet centers on the contradiction of celebrating a legacy of survival and progress through the consumption, and sometimes addiction, to destructive practices.

I am so glad to know there are others who have the same concern as I and many others about improving the dietary practices of African Americans. My position on trying to be more healthy has impacted my relationships at work, with my family, and even in my marriage. The video below helps to explain the perspective of both parties; how my view of the world can be threatening and insulting to others, and also how their world has become important and relevant to them over time. I encourage you to take a look at this video and give me your thoughts on the content.

Oh yes, what does this have to do with branding? I would say a great deal. Targeting cultures can often involve exploitation, and an unintended consequence for those who have been exploited through negative imagery. Just yesterday, Sergio Garcia reiterated this notion of images of African Americans by stating that he would keep fried chicken in his abode if he knew Tiger was coming to visit. Even a well-fit, elite golfing superstar, with wealth and influence cannot escape the negative connotation of a dietary practice that represents a sense of pride and shame at the same time for African Americans. A move toward purchasing preferences that resemble healthier choices would in fact transform brand strategies for many marketers. Yes, this is all about the brand!

Watch Soul Food Junkies on PBS. See more from Independent Lens.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Article: This Fuel Cell Startup Has Now Raised $1.1 Billion

This Fuel Cell Startup Has Now Raised $1.1 Billion - SA Insider

Get #1 rated SkyGrid news app for free to follow all of your interests in real time

Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Friday, May 10, 2013

Zen Thought For The Moment

There is a reason for your circumstance. I believe I am in a cocoon moment.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Proud of My Sister

As I begin leaving the world of marketing and advertising, my sister - Leigh Lovett - is developing into an outstanding marketing professional. She has begun working in blog sphere, and has posted a wonderful article. I'm very proud of you Leigh. Keep up the good work sis.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Jusasecretary : Provide Security

Jusasecretary : Provide Security: Wow!  Provide Security.  I commited to four post this month and we are in week three and I've only completed one post.  I'm behind t...

Friday, March 15, 2013

I am not sure why I have been drawn to Max Richter's sound, but it has placed me in a good mood. Enoy.....

Monday, March 11, 2013

Quantifying Corporate Social Responsibility

I recently had a conversation with someone about the benefits of corporate social responsibility. We talked about the popular companies associated with this noble feat in our capitalistic society. This "sacrifice" taken on by many organizations takes much more than a spirit of responsibility. There is a commitment beyond mere words and scheduled activities to connect with the world around them. The act of being socially responsible in a corporate setting means excess resources and organizational slack (Cyert and March, 1963) are abundant enough sustain this promise over an indefinite period of time.

I mention all of this to make a point that centers on how counter-culture the practice of committing to social responsibility is in a capitalistic setting. Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream is one of the more notable companies associated with making social responsibility a part of their brand, which has been successful beyond measure. However, I question the constraints present for publicly-traded corporations that hinder them from adopting strategies that include social responsibility as a part of the overall strategy. The pressure to produce great financial results every three months can often destroy any potential plan to dedicate resources to matters unrelated to production. Just to be clear, I recognize that many publicly-traded corporations are engaged in very meaningful efforts to improve the world around them, using resources generated by sales revenue. But many of these efforts are driven by legal and risk concerns that are mitigated by a good public relations strategy. What happens when excess resources and organizational slack disappear, and firms are forced to make hard choices?

A brief glance at the corporate world and marketing highlight the reality that consumer demand plays an important role in placing a value on social responsibility. While it cannot be quantified, corporate social responsibility has been a very necessary component of many brands. It's a reality that emphasizes how the public, private, and non-profit sphere are merging in many ways where the average citizen expects certain things from any service provider. For anyone interested in one of many perspectives on how the public interacts with these three spheres, check out Exit, Voice, and Loyalty by Albert Hirschman (1970).

I don't have a point today. As it relates to brands, I encourage everyone interested in building a brand to think of ways to incorporate social responsibility from a perspective unique to the ills of your environment. Sure, it's great to take on poverty, global warming, or homelessness as the public problem of choice. But improving the world around you is much more useful, and possibly much more beneficial to your brand. If you make a connection with the problems in your immediate area, you may find the benefits are so good you wouldn't dare suggest quantifying it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Why Great Ideas Get Rejected: From TEDxOU

Why Great Ideas Get Rejected: From TEDxOU

Recent psychological evidence reveals a subtle bias against creative ideas.

Original Page:

Sent from Feeddler RSS Reader

Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad


I have found myself at the all too famous crossroads of life. Unlike my previous encounters with this anxiety-prone circumstance in life, I feel, for the most part, as though I have a few options in front of me that appear to be good opportunities. However, the decisions will now require more commitment than ever from me and my life, and even my expressions in this blog.

For now, I'm not sure which road I will take. The important point of this frequent circumstance is that crossroads have less to do with the chosen direction, but the perception of progression that influences the ultimate decision. One person believes college is not for them, while another person believes they can get into Harvard. These decisions have a lot to do with our perception of the past, and the hope and desire we have for the future. If one feels that life thus far has not produced much, it is probably likely they will believe the road ahead, in spite of the direction, will produce fairly the same results. I mention this because I am forced, with this particular crossroad, to analyze and make sense of my past, which is a mixed bag at best.

Unlike most of my post where I fail to bring the entry home with some mention of what this has to do with brands or brand-building, I am committed in this instance, and hopefully all the entries in the future, to connect the dots between my mindless rambling and useful information for those who wish to become better in marketing, branding, or business strategy.

One, we are all the promise-keepers of our individual brand; the symbols we project to others through our work and words. Some call it conviction, others call it destiny, but in this instance I challenge you to think of it as simply engagement in your deliberate self to differentiate your character from other characters around you. Lately, I have been concerned with my personal brand, and how it is valued in my immediate marketplace. I wonder if I have positioned myself in the most profitable environment, or am I being inefficient in my effort to hold value in a difficult marketplace. As with all brands, we must fight the battle between what we believe is right, and what is acceptable among customers - now and in the future. The crossroads represents an extremely important and powerfully pivotal point in time for any brand. The decision to remove and bring back Steve Jobs, the courage to maintain customer service levels in the airline industry, the audacity to hold fast to the same product design and make it better. The crossroads are an important part of brand building.

If you are still following me to this point in the entry, I believe you can easily transition the discussion on the self-brand to brand problems in the organizational sense. If you begin to think of the great brand builders, you will notice a great similarity in how these individuals have been successful in designing their own person brand, which I believe inevitably produces similar results in the fruits of their labor.

If you are looking at the fork in the road for clues to where it will end, you may have unfortunately reached your destination.

Safe travels.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dee Dee Bridgewater On JazzSet

I found the following story on the NPR Music App for iOS:

Dee Dee Bridgewater On JazzSet
by Becca Pulliam

WBGO - February 25, 2010

"Here I am in my more natural setting," Dee Dee Bridgewater says as her set begins. Besides starring on the Friday-night show at the 14th annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Bridgewater emceed the entire weekend. ...,1103,126134671,10002,15773266

Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Culture of Limits

It has occurred to me that we can either teach resourcefulness, or teach limits and constraints. It's not about positive or negative thinking. It's about the options we think are available to us. The hard part of management and leadership, in a progressive setting, is teaching others to think about the possibilities to make it better. The problem is that before most get in a progressive situation, they've been taught limits and constraints.

Monday, February 04, 2013

BBC E-mail: Argentina pegs supermarket prices

I saw this story on the BBC News iPad App and thought you should see it.

** Argentina pegs supermarket prices **
The Argentine government has ordered a two-month price freeze on all products in the country's main supermarket chains.
< >

** Disclaimer **
The BBC is not responsible for the content of this e-mail, and anything written in this e-mail does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the e-mail address nor name of the sender have been verified.

Thank you,

Kenyatta Lovett
Sent from my iPad

Monday, January 28, 2013

My Friend Ken Stiles - Chico

Thank you for the good time friend. You will be missed. Peaceful journey.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Another Meditative Song

In college, my painting professor, Professor Smith, gave me a nickname that was the best compliment ever. I don't think he meant it to be a compliment, but I don't think it was an insult either. He coined me "nature boy", which was based on his observation of me innocently, and often ignorantly, diving into unknown and uncomfortable environments. There was no real technique with me when it came to painting; no humility to be witnessed in my work. I was merely engaging in things the best I could, finding my way eventually in the end.

Consequently, I love the song Nature Boy by Nat King Cole, which may have been influenced by this assigned nickname. I often think of that nickname, and it takes the edge off of things. I remember that in most things, I have no idea what I am doing.

The words below are to those who have found themselves in a strange and uncomfortable environment, a place of the unknown. Give yourself, your thoughts, to it fully. You will be surprised how prepared you are for the challenge.

As for this nature boy, I will see another landmark in his life soon; one that I am grateful for. The journey has been quite the experience..........quite the experience.

There was a boy
A very strange, enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far
Very far, over land and sea
A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise was he

And then one day,
One magic day he passed my way
While we spoke of many things
Fools and Kings
This he said to me

The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return
Professor Frank Smith (Painting)

Professor Starmanda Bullock (Design)

Professor Lila Asher (Drawing)

Professor Raymond Dobard (History)

Professor Edgar Sorrells-Adewale (Life Coach & 2-D Comcepts)

Professor Winnie Owens-Hart (3-D Concepts)

Professor Asher to the left

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Rhythm. The Groove.

In order to develop things of quality, you must have enough productive time to accomplish the task. I am finding my schedule packed full of events, tasks, and activities that get in the way of my large projects, such as finishing my dissertation. I know some say that you should just get it done, but I am convinced the robotic action of just meeting the bare minimum requirements has a negative impact on how we condition ourselves for excellence. If it doesn't include meaningful activities like finishing a doctoral program, completing a unique project, or repetitive tasks that contribute to problems in your life, then when does one give it the good effort? When the time is convenient? When there is an immediate incentive to do so? When we perceive that it's important to others? I'm not so sure we can calculate these circumstances with accurate certainty.

The legend has it that Michael Jordan played just as hard on an off-night than in the crucial game seven situations in the NBA Finals. It's even said that other legends often practice harder than they play. I'm rambling here, but you get my point. You have to find a way to get more out of the experience than the day before.

Today, I am finding a good stride in my prospectus work. This has been more than a marathon, because there is not predetermined route, no set start time, and definitely no set end time. But, it sure does test your endurance - mentally. In any case, I encourage everyone to reserve the time for the more in-depth project to moments when you can give them the attention they deserve. Trust me, I understand that time is difficult to come by in large chunks. But that's the challenge in placing everything in its designated priority. Five minutes here and three minutes there will only lead to a compilation of random rambling.


Monday, January 07, 2013

The Benefits of Music

I often think about the times when a good song carried me through a rough situation. This one was a classic for me in college:


Mary wants to be a superwoman
But is that really in her head
But I just want to live each day to love her
for what she is

Mary wants to be another movie star
But is that really in her mind
And all the things she wants to be
She needs to leave behind

But, very well, I believe I know you-very well
Wish that you knew me too-very well
And I think I can deal with everything going through your head

Very well, and I think I can face-very well
Wish that you knew me too-very well
And I think I can cope with everything going through your head

Mary wants to be a superwoman
And try to boss the bull around
But does she really think that she will get by with a dream

My woman want to be a superwoman
And I just had to say good-bye
Because I can't spend all my hours start to cry

But, very well, I believe I know you
Very well wish that you knew me too
Very well, And I think I can deal with everything going through your head

Very well, think that I know you too
Very well, wish you knew me like I know you
Very well, but I think I can deal with everything going through your head
Your filthy head

Very well, dum dum da, dum dum da
Very well, wish you knew me too
Very well, And I wish I could think of everything going through your head

Very well, dum dum da, dum da, dum da
dum dum da, dum da, very well
And I think I can deal with everything going through your head

When the summer came you were not around
Now the summer's gone and love cannot be found
Where were you when I needed you-last winter, my love?

When the winter came you went further south
Parting from love's nest, leaving me in doubt
Where are you when I need you, like right now?

Our love is at an end
But you say now you have changed
But tomorrow will reflect love's past

When the winter came you were not around
Through the bitter winds love could not be found
Where were you when I needed you, last winter, my love?

Oh I need you baby, I need you baby

Our love is at an end
But you say now you have changed,
But tomorrow will reflect love's past oh

Spring will fill the air and you will come around,
With your summer love that will let me down,
Where were you when I needed you, last winter, my love?

La la la la la, la la la la la
La la la la la, la la la la la
Where are you when I need you, like right now?
Right now, right now, right now

Where were you when I needed you last winter, my dear
I need you baby, I need you baby, I need you baby
Oh, Where were you when I needed you last winter, last winter

Yea, Need you Baby, need you, need you baby,
Oh, you want me too need you baby
Oh where were you when I needed you last, dear

Saturday, January 05, 2013

My Mecca

Always have a method of calibration.

If Libraries Had Coffee & Beer

I would be there, instead of here. When the reading, writing, and studying gets crazy, I'm glad I have me places of refuge. Shout out to Casablanca Coffee in Nashville (Gulch).

Friday, January 04, 2013


I like style; always have appreciated good taste. I often think about my dream home, and the way the environment can allow for beautiful thoughts and expressions.

When I see someone with a little style, it let's me know they thought it not robbery to go beyond the typical to show some appreciation for things. Style says a lot about a person, and there is no standardard equation. It really has to do with your personality and how you allow style to enhance it through a unique perspective on presentation. Most people try to use style to make them something they are not, or to draw attention. Those with real style are noticed more in silence and in isolation - screaming that their personality can stand on its own. Have you ever seen a ghetto-fabulous person standing alone? They look out of place and insecure. That's not style. Style is the old lady in New York that sits calmly on the train, reading the paper, and holding the most dope bag you have ever seen. It's guy in his 20's that works for a legislator, and sits quietly in a committee meeting, but has the audacity to put on the coolest pair of brown shoes with his gray suit. It's the Asian lady wearing some cool western-looking outfit, that you notice only when you look closely.


Yeah, that's style.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2013 is Here

Well, 2012 is clearly over, and what an eventful year it was for me and the entire world. There was plenty of political friction and business uncertainty. And socially, we are all settling into a new incremental world. Personally for me, I completed my course work in the Ph.D. program, passed my oral and written comprehensive exams, began writing my dissertation prospectus, changed jobs, completed my first level in Toastmasters, made significant gains in my health, and launched a new focus on philanthropy, investing, and community service. We all now have to close the book on 2012, and begin working on the plans for 2013. So, what are the plans for me this year?

My theme from my ritual last year was "Base Hits", a mindset that was helpful for such an eventful year. I now realize that home runs are not always possible, much less helpful to the overall problem. But base hits make up the small pieces that lead to scoring, leading, and winning. The strategy turned out well for me in 2012. I found myself being more realistic, more patient, and more focused on the things in front of me. To build on this progress, I have decided to make the theme for 2013, "Uncut", or pure for the lack of a better term.

My goal is to get at the purest essence of everything I want to experience this year. I use the term uncut to reference the value of the raw essence of things. What it means to taste sugar from the cane. How it feels to see how green Ireland really looks. Having the conversation with someone that influences positive change in all that took part in it. It's all about basically removing those things that interfere with having the true uncut experience. Of course, most things must be cut with something, or cannot be totally separated from other things. And this point leads me to my revelation during the ritual this past week.

I realized that in order to experience the uncut this year, I will be required to do and be more. How convenient is it for me to just say that I want everything I experience to be pure, and SNAP it shows up on a silver platter. If it were that simple, it wouldn't be a theme or a challenge for me. No, it means that in every experience, I must be determined enough to do the things that lead to an uncut experience. It means that I must take the liberty to remove the impurities, and develop new methods - new tools - to produce the outcome I want. This means that I must put aside my tendencies of appropriateness and conflict-avoidance, because the desire to experience the uncut experience is my problem. Finally in order to expect that my world will offer me the uncut experience, I must be willing and able to provide experiences that symbolize the spirit of uncut to those around me.

I look forward to writing and talking with you all this year. It will be an outstanding year, and probably the final year of preparation for something transformative for us all. Happy New Year, and best wishes in 2013.