The biggest gift of today was that I met strangers again.

I met strangers on the train from Baltimore to New York. I met strangers because I made mistakes. First, I got on the wrong train and met a woman who was kind. Then, I got on the right train and met a man who was driven and entrepreneurial. Then I got on the wrong Subway platform and met a woman who walked me the whole way to the right Subway platform, two stops later. (If you end up trying to go to Manhattan from Hoyt St in Brooklyn, you…


For the last two years, something remarkable has been happening in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

Across the country, many businesses are struggling to hire the talent that will drive their organizations forward, especially IT talent. Central Pennsyvlania is no exception. Furthermore, entrepreneurs and those with business ideas have a hard time connecting to the resources they need to grow and scale (funding, mentorship, talent).

On April 26, 2019, the largest IT employers in Central PA, along with the Workforce Improvement Board (SCPa Works) and the Department…


I really like Seth Godin. Every morning his brief pieces hit my inbox and, along with CNN’s 5 Things, The Times Daily Briefing, and SwissMiss’s newsletter, I read them before I get out of bed.

This morning’s post from Mr. Godin, The Cold Open, is brief and worth reading in its entirety. He covers something that most sales people are taught inside and out — the elevator pitch. Seth poses an alternative because “no one ever bought anything on an elevator:” The Elevator Question.

Consultative sales and building authentic relationships are all about understanding the needs of the other party…


I’m hearing so many of you tell me that you’re disheartened, that you’re afraid, that the world is not what you thought that it once was. People I admire have a slump to their shoulders that wasn’t there a year ago, and you can’t completely blame a year’s passing for the deeper lines on our faces.

This *broad gesture* has been hard. Everything changed for the entire globe over the course of 2020. We are right to question what we thought we knew. Extreme ambiguity and the pace of change are unsettling and our reckoning with centuries of privilege must…


*Full footnoted version available.

Pennsylvania is faced with a watershed moment that will determine the economic competitiveness of the Commonwealth for decades to come. As our workforce ages and shrinks, our infrastructure ages, and our economy evolves, the way that Pennsylvania incites investment in innovation, entrepreneurship, and workforce development will determine whether Pennsylvania’s economy grows or constricts. Data from Bloomberg indicates that Pennsylvania’s economic contraction within the next six months (by mid-2020) “is anticipated to be the most severe since May 2009 during the tail-end of the Great Recession, figures released this week show.”

At the national level, the disparity…


A few things to think about when you’re procuring design, innovation, or custom software work.

andculture excels in ambiguity. If you know you need to solve a complicated problem, and know the solution involves the interaction of humans and technology, but you can’t find an off-the-shelf solution, you might need a custom solution purpose-built to solve your problem.

andculture’s partners (that’s what we call our clients, because it really is a partnership) are dreamers, innovators, and extremely talented leaders who have the moxie to venture into new territories where there isn’t a conventional playbook.

Because our work is always an adventure into the unknown, you might have some questions like: How exactly do you procure…


Digital-first in a physical-first world.

COVID-19 moved our society into lockdown and forced an almost immediate digital transformation on virtually every organization. The problem with that is, well, there are a lot of problems, like access and equity, but those things aside, the problem with that is: we are trying to replicate physical experiences in a digital medium because that is what we are most familiar with.

A classroom is built with desks in rows and a whiteboard at the front and a teacher to teach. …


Authentic relationship building is grounded on an open-minded inquiry into who someone else is, what makes them tick.

If I had a super power, I’d want to it to be the ability to ask the best question for a given moment. Thoughtful questions are generative and they open up space in a conversation and a relationship to go deeper. To ask great questions, you first have to be an excellent listener. Often a question that lands flat was off topic or was recently answered. In that case the question does more harm than good.

I found that it’s helpful to think of the quality of the question before it escapes your lips — will the person be able…


How do we establish authentic connection?

What social dynamics allow us to establish trust?

As humans we are masterful at reading the signals sent by others. We quickly establish an impression and decide whether we like or trust the person in front of us. There are lots of guides to nonverbal communication and to how to ‘win friends and influence people.’ That’s not what this is about. Read Signals or How To Win Friends And Influence People if you want a tutorial on that. What I’m curious about is how we establish authenticity through the lens of technology? …


How do we establish trust and emotional security through video conferencing? An introduction to a series of explorations.

Some comments from my facebook feed about connection via video.
Some comments from my facebook feed about connection via video.

I’ve been a student of the psychology of relationship building for a long time. As someone in business development who loves to network (read my thoughts about networking here), the way that we build relationships through the window of technology is fascinating to me. The people who do this well will end up with a significant advantage over those who struggle to connect.

The New York Times just published an article about why Zoom sucks (paywall). Obviously there are security concerns, but…

Anne Parmer

Connector of amazing people, curator of content, explorer of ideas, thoughtful AF.

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