Jason Korman is the CEO of Gapingvoid, a culture design company that uses innovative methods to shape organizational behavior and effectiveness. One of their core methodologies is to use artwork to infuse cultural values into the minds and identities of employees. One of Gapingvoid's signature concepts is what they call, "Culture Walls," which are pictures representing the cultural values and desired behaviors of a particular organization, which images are placed on walls throughout the organization. These images are created by the famed business writer and author, Hugh MacLeod.
According to Korman, Semiotics is the study of the signs and symbols that imbue meaning and meaningful communication. It includes the study of signs and sign processes, indication, designation, likeness, analogy, allegory, metonymy, metaphor, symbolism, signification, and communication.
Semiotics has been recognized as having important anthropological and sociological implications by many of the greatest innovators behind the respective disciplines. Umberto Eco proposed that every cultural phenomenon may be studied as communication; Clifford Geertz once wrote that 'culture is the culmination of symbols that transmit behavior.'
It is with these thoughts in mind that Gapingvoid started to study how to impact organizational outcomes by informing culture, mindset, beliefs, and behaviors through semiotic tools.
I have been a student of Korman's and also, as one getting my PhD in Organizational Psychology, I'm always looking for innovative approaches to shifting organizations, cultures, and individual behaviors. Yet, in all of my studies, I have never seen anyone make the unique connections and leaps that Korman and those at Gapingvoid are willing to make. For instance, the infusion of art as a highly intentional strategy to shift organizational culture is something I find to be profound.
I decided to employ the same strategy in my emails. As one who has a large email database, I send emails to my subscribers on a weekly basis with links to my latest articles. After meeting with Korman and hearing about his use of artwork, I was inspired to make just one shift to my emails-- put artwork within them. And to be clear, we have no affiliative relationship or even business relationship for that matter. As a student of organizational psychology, I'm simply approaching Gapingvoid as an avid and ardent student to learn.
The infusion of art into emails makes total sense from a blogging perspective. Articles without beautiful images are less likely to be clicked on in a news feed. The same would make sense in an email.
I had Gapingvoid create for me several images reflective of the content in my articles and included those images in my emails, as well as a link to the article itself. This strategy has taken my open and click-rates up by 5% in the past month, which with a list of over 300,000 people is substantial!
Use art to transform your people.
Use art to transform your audience.
Use art to enhance your marketing.