Sunday, April 6, 2008

on going process with goals in mind

I am happy to announce that I recently received an internship at Naked Communications for the summer!!! This is really a dream come true for me. Just ask my former roommate; one year ago when she and I drew up our "Dream Life Maps" I swear mine read something like this:
"get into Adcenter," check.
And I am fairly certain the next was "intern at either Naked or W+K."

So what is this "on going process?" Learning. Thomas, who will be my boss (I think?) at Naked this summer, asked me to write up a list of things I would like to learn while there. My list has turned into a rant. I plan on cleaning this up a bit before giving it to Thomas, but here is what I am looking to learn both this summer and in my career...

There is no bigger thrill than the “ah duh!” moment. It kills me when watching a presentation and thinking “why didn’t I think of that!” I even have a folder where I collect creative work called “must kill the creator.” My jealousy never really leads to rage though, I promise, it leads to inspiration. The “ah duh!” moment can not be learned. The process to that moment however, can.
While trucking through research for a project, it can be difficult to wade through the facts and find the BIG, sensational, driving insight. I find the process of fitting this insight neatly into a positioning statement, a strategy, and a unifying idea difficult. Can these sometimes be the same thing with very slight variations? This process usually comes down to semantics. However mind numbing debating what the difference between a “conduit” and a “connector” can be, I understand the necessity for clarity. I truly hope to master this process as it is imperative for becoming a strong strategist.
People in our industry love to throw out advice about the big idea, the unifying idea. While some say it should steer all of your work, others say it does not exist, that big ideas are just lame. Some believe that an obsession to find that one big idea/strategy/what have you, causes us to miss out on brilliant smaller ideas that can be more helpful. This contradictory advise has left me tip-toeing into strategies and feeling uncertain. If my strategy doesn’t ween a beautiful big idea, does that make it useless, or worse...wrong? I am in need of some guidance here.
Speaking of strategies. One thing I need to learn how to do is present my strategic idea in a “sticky” way. When working with big groups (like eight people), I find my suggestions and ideas getting lost in the static of conversation. I sometimes feel like people would pay more attention if I were to perform my idea as a modern dance. Now if only my client were a paper company, I can do one hell of a tree.

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