Sell The Dream

Dear Seth, did you write this workshop just for me? It sure feels like it.

I am in love with this course. There is something magical that happens when someone else’s logic follows that of your own and you feel empowered. Every step of this workshop is unfolding to affirm the hard change I am feeling drawn to lead. Kinda cool. Slightly intimidating. Here we go. 


Tell the right story to the right people.

  • Are you telling a story about your goal that resonates with the people who are ready to hear it?
  • Tell your story four ways, all based on different worldview, for different audience.


Tough questions. Continuing in the vein of “fast, not perfect” let’s see where this goes. 

Honestly, my story is a moving target. Is this work UX? Is it strategy? Is itresearch? Is it design? Is it marketing? Is it content strategy? Is it business development? Is it branding? Um…yes...?

Articulating the clearest story is likely my main problem. It is part of what lead me to reach out to professionals across Vancouver for chats and coffees. I wanted to find where this exists and the form it takes in action. And I found the things I am seeking to accomplish are fragmented, watered down and treated more as a pipe dream than an implemented methodology. So, where does this leave me? 

Craft a narrative. Stick to it. Build a team. Lead the way onward. 

As for the people who are ready to hear it: I am simultaneously analyzing my current position and projects as I envision the larger industry shift. With the role I am in now I am constantly strategizing how to align my vision with how it will best resonate with stakeholders and users. People are ready to hear it for sure. It is the endurance to turn this vision into actionable change that might be the biggest challenge. The key component that people might not be ready to hear is the resources required to enact this shift. 

This section included two quotes too juicy not to share. The first:

Leaders, your job after you’ve painted the picture is to say ‘I don’t know exactly how to get there but I do know we are going to do this and not that.’
— Seth Godin

Check. Checkmate. Set a vision and embrace ambiguity. Love it.

Seth also referenced Michael Shrage in saying:

The most effective, important organizations in the world exist to change people.
— Michael Shrage via Seth Godin

People first. Always. Enabling the change of people themselves, not just ‘change behavior.’ Double love it. 

The story of what I do, four ways was a huge challenge for me to develop around my work. This exercise mirrors a workshop I run to help teams from different departments understand their position in the customer journey and view their role in light of what other teams are doing at different points of the funnel. After crafting a positioning statement for each team, the discussion centers around how to establish a cohesive experience across all customer touchpoints. In addition, I get the group to develop an audience matrix that includes establishing the tone and strategy each team uses to engage with each audience segment. In essence, I need to run this workshop with my own stakeholder matrix.

To get things started, here is a first-attempt at My Story Four Ways that places a stake in the ground. To form a well-crafted plan, I see pivots and many iterations in my future. 


1. Internal CEO: Worldview that is business-oriented. 

I examine systems throughout the organization to articulate how the company's products, marketing efforts and brand performance are impacting users along the full customer lifecycle. Through engaging customers and employees in first-person research and co-creation workshops, I investigate how internal breakdowns are impacting the business efficiency and customer experience. In addition to planning user-facing digital experiences, I build bridges between internal departments that support each team for the ultimate betterment of the customer experience. 


2. Internal CMO: Worldview that is marketing-oriented.

I use market and customer-research to develop a strategies that put user engagement at the center of all marketing efforts. Part of this work includes defining our Value Proposition and Marketing Funnel to include the full spectrum of audiences. Building on this understanding, I map our customer journey to identify the role of paid, earned and owned media so they can be plotted along the funnel; targeting user-centered content creation and channel execution to specific journey points.  


3. External Client: Worldview that centers around their product or service and the growth of their business. 

I talk to your users and your employees to find out how internal breakdowns might be impacting your business goals and customer experience. I then work with you to develop holistic strategies with targeted goals that center around fostering a user-centered vision with clear, executable deliverables. I use a variety of visualization tools to map out the intended design solution. 


4. UX Strategy & UX Research community: Worldview is focused on validating the role of UX for the good of the user and business objectives. 

I use principles and methodologies of UX to develop strategies and execution plans for a company's product, business, marketing and brand goals. Within the UX umbrella, I focus on research and strategy-- always approaching an organization with a holistic systems approach. I value the experience of all humans in the system and view users as end-clients of the product as well as internal employees and B2B partners of the organization. 

UX friends, how supported are you in pursuing whole-system research and strategy? I’ve found friendly pockets in internal organizations, typically surrounding marketing departments. From my research, I see not much space for this level of investigation in the client world. I will press onward to define my niche and find my tribe.  

Karen Whistler