I spent yesterday at Boulder Digital Works, speaking and listening at its 36 Hour Executive Digital Workshop. BDW, part of the University of Colorado’s, is one of the few programs in the country designed to educate students in all things digital.
A joint effort between the university’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication and its College of Engineering and Applied Science, the program acknowledges both the shortage of digital talent in the marketplace, as well as the need to encourage inter-disciplinary rather than multidisciplinary ways of working as everything becomes (if it isn’t already) digital.
This session, however, wasn’t for college students, but rather for anyone working in marketing (both at clients and agencies) who is struggling with making his or her organization more relevant. We covered consumer behavior, trends in social media, the differences between traditional product and digital production, and the need for new kinds of briefs, teams and processes. And this was just day one.
A few things struck me. One, everyone is dealing with the same challenges:
- –how to keep up with the onslaught of technology
- –how to free themselves from the shortcomings of legacy systems
- –how to effect internal change
- –how to stay relevant and current and employable
- –how to love (rather than be intimidated by) the challenge of it all
Some of the suggestions we shared included:
- –encourage more people in your organization to use the digital tools and platforms
- –don’t start with the technology, start with people’s use of it
- –create experiences that earn attention rather than messages that buy attention
- –look for “T” people, those who understand how all the different roles need to work together
- –generate lots of little ideas (below the radar) rather than striving for the one big idea
I can’t claim to be a digital expert by any stretch of the imagination. But as an observer of culture, consumers and change (I’ve lived through plenty of the latter having been in the business for 30-plus years) I do know something about transforming one’s self and one’s company. So I shared some of that.
You can poke through my deck on Slideshare (there are some cryptic notes attached if you click “more” under the embed button. Or you can watch it archived on UStream, though UStream may force you to sit through an ad. (Note that they’re not passing the revenue on to me.)
Let me know if it helps. In the meantime, I’ll be back there today, and will share more later. Some great stuff from Gareth Kay on strategy and briefs.
What are you doing or trying to do to keep up, stay relevant and transform your company?