Lift your head above the weeds for a few moments and think about this admonition from marketing maven Seth Godin.

Talking about marketing, he says that what works is either purely "authentic" or super "slick." In between authentic and slick is The Dead Zone. In that zone, everything fails.

Says Godin: "We crave handmade authenticity and we adore perfectly professional slickness."

It’s a marvelous point. Presumably, by definition we all have the capacity to be authentic (barring neuroses and over-socialization … hmmm, maybe that does rule out a lot of us!). But it takes rare and special attributes to pull off "slick."

So it would seem that the conservative, but successful strategy for most of us and our organizations is to stick to authentic. Slick is for Madonna.

Is anyone making "slick" work in the nonprofit arena? Nominations please.

Tom

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