A tribute to and a lament for Marshall McLuhan continues. If he had lived Marshall would have been 100 on July 21, 2011. Join me in the countdown to his centennial, and an exploration of more of his observations on the way media work in the electric age in which we live.

Business

The strange new world of management

Marshall McLuhan (1972, age 60)  Welcome to the unknown.

“With the acceleration of change, management now takes on entirely new functions.  While navigating admidst the unknown is becoming the normal role of the executive, the new need is not merely to navigate but to anticipate effects with their causes.”

Me (June, 2011, age 58)  Meaning?

You can not escape the future, sidestep it or go around it.  To succeed in it you must be part of it; you must make it happen.  Exhilarating isn’t it?

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading:

Mark Federman and Derrick De Kerckhove, McLuhan for managers: new tools for new thinking, 2003, p. xiii.

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Michael Hinton Saturday, June 25th, 2011
Permalink 1970s and 80s, Business, Management No Comments

The future of advertising

Marshall McLuhan (May 8, 1966, age 54)  Obviously …

“Where advertising is heading is quite simply into a world where the ad will become a substitute for the product and all the satisfaction will be derived informationally from the ad and the product will be merely a number in some file somewhere.”

Me (June, 2011, age 58)  Think of it!

Tobacco without the cancer and alcohol without the hang over.  And why not?  Who hasn’t at least once in their life gone to the movies and wound up fighting a duel and emerging unscathed.  Why not imaginative consumption of more pedestrian experiences.  Meanwhile, until Madison Avenue catches up …

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F_CCt5o00E&feature=related

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading:

Forward Through the Rearview Mirror: Reflections On and By Marshall McLuhan, edited by Paul Benedetti and Nancy DeHart, 1996, p.162.

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Michael Hinton Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Business, Communication No Comments

You’ve got to suffer if you want to be a senior executive.

Marshall McLuhan (1964, age 52).  He only gets the noise!

“Electricity  … has made the harmonizing of production schedules as rigorous as that demanded of the members of a large symphony orchestra.  And the satisfactions are just as few for the big executives as for the symphonists, since a player in a big orchestra can hear nothing of the music that reaches the audience.  He gets only the noise.”

Me (June, 2011, age 58).  Do you have an ear for Management?

Only McLuhan with his preternatural sensitivity to noise could take the idea of a business executive being like a player in a symphony orchestra and turn it into a nightmare.   Despite what you thought the problem with being a senior executives isn’t that  you’re lonely at the top it’s that you can’t get a moment to yourself.  If you think about it that’s what Dr. Henry Mintzberg has been saying years about the Manager’s job, it’s chaos.

Cordially, Marshall and Me

 

Reading:

Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, 1964, p. 355.

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Michael Hinton Thursday, June 9th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Business, Education, Management No Comments

Cool PR?

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  Thank your enemies.      

“The only cool PR is provided by one’s enemies.  They toil incessantly and for free.”

 

Me (May, 2011, age 58).  For example? 

Jack Layton.  There cannot be many Canadians who do not now know who Jack Layton is.  Thanks to his enemies tireless efforts to discredit him many voted NDP in the recent election.

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 88.

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Michael Hinton Friday, May 13th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Business, Communication, Culture No Comments

The new threat?

Marshall McLuhan (1969, age 58).  The new.    

“As the most completely book-minded people in the world, North Americans would seem to be moving into new orbits of experience for which their bookishness has not entirely prepared them.”

Me (April, 2011, age 58).  What is to be done?

Continue to explore.  To discover how media as media work.  Bring understanding to the rescue.  That I imagine is what Marshall would do.

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Counterblast, 1969, p. 99.

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Business talks!

Marshall McLuhan (1969, age 58).  Talking is a labour-saving technology!

“The executive who has many decisions to make must resort to the speedy oral conference with specially briefed experts.  The sheer quantity of information entering into such frequent decisions could not possibly be presented in linear, written form.”

Me (April, 2011, age 58).  Hence, the popularity of the single page report!

The purpose of the single page is not to record everything that needs to be said.  It is to remind the reader of everything that needs to be said later and in greater detail.  And as this clip suggests not all that is said needs to be recorded.

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading:

Marshall McLuhan, Counterblast, 1969, p. 72.

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Michael Hinton Tuesday, April 19th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Business, Communication, Management, Uncategorized No Comments

The importance of the businessman’s lunch

Marshall McLuhan (1969, age 58).  Have you noticed?

“In daily affairs, the increase of oral preference and awareness today appears in the new importance of the businessman’s lunch as an occasion of serious business.”

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  How serious?

For McLuhan the new seriousness of the businessman’s lunch was evidence of the way the electric age had shifted “the entire business community” from print to conversation.  Here is an example of how serious the conversation could get:

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading:

Marshall McLuhan, Counter-Blast, 1969, p. 71.

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Michael Hinton Friday, April 15th, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Business, Management, Technology, Uncategorized No Comments

What’s real?

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  The genuine fake!    

“In art, the genuine fake, Rembrandt or Vermeer, is just as valid as the real thing because it provides the same new awareness or perception.”

 

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  An observation McLuhan made about advertising …

When he said that advertising was getting so good you don’t have to buy the product to enjoy it. 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGZvQoPxhNs&feature=related

 

 Cordially, Marshall and Me

 

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 46.

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Michael Hinton Saturday, March 26th, 2011
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The power of the media

Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  The medium is the message.

“The media tycoons have a huge stake in old media by which they monopolize the new media.”

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  For example?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVV6kxoDuqk

Cordially, Marshall and Me

 

Reading:

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 104.

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Michael Hinton Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
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A lesson for ad men

 Marshall McLuhan (1970, age 59).  A fatal error.    

“The TV sound track still yields the hot radio pitch, even in ads – a fatal error.”

Me (March, 2011, age 58).  Judge for yourself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNN0L2UoPvQ&feature=related 

Cordially, Marshall and Me

Reading: 

Marshall McLuhan, Culture Is Our Business, 1970, p. 86.

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Michael Hinton Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Business, Communication No Comments