If You’re Going Into A Corporate Job This Week: Make Change for BIPOC Employees

I’m unemployed so I’m not going into an office (or remotely dialing into meetings) this week.

But if I were the first thing I would do – as a manager and leader –  is talk to my team about how they’re feeling, what they’re feeling, and what they need.

The next thing I would do is write an email summarizing the conversation I had with my team.

In this email I would ask about how the company is going to publicly take action in lending aid to what is happening to the Black community. 

In this email I would also ask how the company is going to ensure that they do no harm or retaliate against any employee who wants to speak on what the 

company can do better.

I would also ask about a timeline for when the employees can see an action-plan on what the company is going to do to proactively address EQUITY amongst BIPOC employees within the company.

I would ask how they plan to address systemic prejudice and racism within the company BEYOND what is written within their boilerplate ethics documents. 

I would offer my assistance in relation to the above.

I would send this email to the CEO, any other C-Suite executives, any heads of whatever diversity or minority committees exists, the head of HR, the entire Internal comms team, and the PR team.

I would then take notes on how long it takes to get a response and whether that response has any actual merit to it or is just boilerplate. I would hope that it wouldn’t be the latter, but based on past experience I wouldn’t expect it to be much more than rote.

Then I would either aid and assist in necessary change.

Or, and more likely based on my past experiences where I have done some or all of the above, I would slowly see myself ostracized and labeled by leadership. But I would keep doing it anyway and make myself ‘that person’ to them.

I hope some of you go into work this week and make change.

The Near Future of Internet-based Companies and Digital Marketing Part 1

When I think about the future-state of the internet, it’s usually as a duality. One on hand, I think about it strategically in terms of my day-to-day work for corporations and businesses. On the other hand, I think about the way I want it all to evolve as an ethical human with a vested interest in a positive digital world; and that is usually at odds with the way I think about it for work. (And on the third hand, well, I’ve just always wanted to use that joke. Please groan.)

Here are some quick thoughts that I’ve been mulling over the past couple of days.

Search Engine Optimization will die.

Wow that was dramatic. What I really meant to write was: Search Engine Optimization will become completely corporatized. But that just didn’t seem like a good header. Yet all these keywords are now in here, hi SEO!

Name a business in the past 5 years that has gained market share – in any definition of the term – solely via SEO.

SEO is a legacy game now. You can’t just enter now and compete on the same level as companies who started doing this years ago. Search engines are not the open web. They are algorithm-run platforms for the masses that are completely controlled by small number – two, really, Google and Baidu – of companies.

And this corporatization will become even more dominant in the next 5-10 years. So at what point does Search Engine Optimization and the term “Organic Search” become a misnomer? When will it just become Search Engine Purchasing or Search Engine Control or Search Engine Equity (someone please come up with a better term than I can). Which leads me to:

Mid-tier Internet-Based Businesses will die.

Damn, drama again! Yep, death. Look, if ‘organic’ search and tools that are supposedly equalizers for companies become completely commoditized, then the companies that don’t have the resources to compete will die off.

Successful services that are free and open eventually have to turn a profit in order to stay successful, so they’ll start charging the businesses that rely on them. And mid-tier companies won’t have the resources to compete on the same level as monopolies.

Smaller companies may find niches though. But they better stay small or become huge, because mid-tier companies are not going to make it.

Ok, this is now part one of two because I am old and tired. Part 2 will have less death, maybe more, not sure yet.

Failure As A Privilege

The exaltation of failure is the result of lucky people not knowing they are lucky.

If you live with a mindset wherein failure is acceptable as part of life – or worse, desired – you are privileged. If you can dust yourself off and try again, you are privileged. If you think others should ‘pick themselves up by their bootstraps’, you are brain-washed.

The privilege of failure is often confused with tenacity, or discipline, or ‘hard work’.

For many, failure means they don’t get to eat, pay rent, survive, making failure a path towards destitution. Failure can mean a spiral into unchecked mental and physical demise, which one needs a societal and personal support system. The former of which does not exist at an easily accessible level in the US system.

Minor failures can help you grow. Major failures can kill you. Unless you are lucky.

This post brought to you by frustration with society’s constant advocation of the illusion versus reality of the American Dream.

Afraid of Erasure

I left Facebook a week ago; just decided I wasn’t going to go on it any more. I toyed with deleting my account but I have a page on there that I didn’t want to lose.

And then I thought about why I didn’t want to lose it. And it wasn’t that I didn’t want to. I was afraid to.

What if I lose opportunities? What if it’s the only way people get updated on my artistic endeavors (the purpose of the page)? What if it doesn’t look good for someone employed as a digital strategist and frequently asked to advise on or develop social media presences, doesn’t have a Facebook page?

So I kept it, set this blog and my Instagram account up to feed into the page, put up a notice on my personal page, deleted the apps off of my devices.

It’s all silly, really. There’s no reason to be afraid of any of the things I mentioned above. But that’s what I – and I believe most of us – have been trained to do: Be afraid to erase something that – we think – represents us and connects us, which it does but badly. Like having the clown from IT entertain your kids.

I’ve done this with my blogs before. I’ve blogged in various forms since roughly 2004, but I get into a headspace where I get tired of the format, the following, the comments, the interaction – and I just want to get rid of it all and bring it back to a place where I can think noiselessly yet publicly via writing.

This blog will last though – yes, it will – I mean it’s on a new URL and everything. Fancy.

But I’ve been thinking a lot about social media recently. And I’ll start to share some of that as I go along; it’ll be worth it.

Anywhoo – follow me on Instagram or Twitter while I’m still on there! Take A Chance On Me.

There Will Always Be One More Thing

We lost Toni Morrison. A woman who understood humanity like no other. I remember, years ago, in the infancy of the public internet, scouring the web for interviews with people whom I wanted to learn from. She was on a short list. She was a teacher, philosopher, a fucking god, and – yes – a hell of a writer. The best writer. It was a privilege to read her work.

I remember reading a quote of hers on racism; just looked it up to remind myself:

The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing.

Toni Morrison

This quote makes me reflect on countless experiences where I have – intuitively or logically- held myself back from doing or saying or being so I can survive both the moment and the marathon, on how hard I’ve worked, how much extra I give for what I have, how tired I am.

I love her for understanding where so few do. And I thank her for the privilege of reading her words. And I will miss her. While we do not live in a good world, it is a better world because Toni Morrison helped it be so.

The State of the World

The term ‘the state of the world’ isn’t something I would have used to describe anything until recent times. I find that the West – particularly Americans – believe Western/American events are world events instead of localized.

And while I still believe that, times have shifted a bit.

Climate change. Mass shootings. Fascism. Drastic inequality. These are world issues in that they not only affect all of us, but in that a unified, global front must be had to contend with them.

One can argue mass shootings are a uniquely American phenomenon and – to a point – they are in modern times. That a supposedly advanced society breeds such archaic laws and the mindsets that accompany them is unique. But every single region that has experienced genocide or executions or terrorism or war has had mass shootings. The mindset to commit these atrocities is global. The access to commit them is American.

The pressure to stop it, all of it, must be global.

Pheroze.Blog

This site is a daily writing practice. A place where I can clear the cobwebs out of my head and jot down thoughts and the like without having to concern myself with the hellhole that is social media. I expect most posts will be a few sentences long; some longer, some much longer, a few shorter.

These posts will be beaconed out to a few of my social media feeds with – hopefully – an end result that I will not be on these feeds myself any longer.

Just a long list of short posts. I think I’ll enjoy it here.