Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Portfolio - the 4 Pillars Narrative

Prior to diving into the 4 Pillars in more detail it is important to share a perspective on taking a portfolio approach to career management. While the 4 Pillars focus on core competencies, career experiences and goals, a portfolio aids us in retaining and expressing our career story.

This post provides an overview on portfolio content, forms and reasons to consider this strategic career tool.

A portfolio is a collection of stories about solutions and experiences.
Each story presents the problem or challenge, ideas, final execution and whenever possible, results. (quantifiable and qualifiable)
The story may also reveal tools, materials, roles, comps, drafts, schemas and methods used during ideation, execution and implementation phases of the project.

It is important to note portfolios take on many forms, some raw, some polished.
In my experience there are 3 primary forms.
  1. the shoebox (add digital metaphor here). Take the time to secure all supporting details and elements of every unique experience while they're available. Consider polish later.
    This takes diligence but is a relatively nimble way to retain the story for future reference.
  2. the general public porfolio. This is the url or book you share openly. Preparing this portfolio requires careful consideration not to disclose the intellectual property of current or past clients and employers. This requirement sometimes creates somewhat shallow or generalized stories.
  3. the custom presentation. This portfolio is tailored to your prospective client or employer. For this presentation you pull relevant stories from 1 and 2 above and present them directly to your prospects interests.

You forget what you know.
These stories are first and foremost for yourself.
One of the most affirming aspects of a portfolio approach is revealing tacit (wikipedia) knowledge. As we learn new techniques, tools, styles and skills they become internalized as part of who we are. Looking back at past accomplishments (and the related struggles) we realize how much we have changed and developed.
If for no other reason than this, adopt a portfolio approach.

While many creative professionals are intimate with the merits of a portfolio I encourage all knowledge workers to adopt a portfolio approach in managing their careers.

I look forward to discussing your experiences with and ideas for portfolio use.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Go with Vision

A new adventure begins.
My 4 Pillars of Success Blog.
My mentors say vision is enough to get started, don't get hung up on strategy, so here we go.

This blog is intended to extend a management approach I have developed and currently deploy in my role as Creative Group Manager at one of the worlds leading digital agencies, Critical Mass .

I call this approach the 4 Pillars of Success.
The term pillar is used to represent a vertical scale of competency and accomplishment.

My vision for this blog is to extend and expand the 4 Pillars by engaging in conversation with a larger and more diverse community of creative professionals.
I offer this simple definition of a creative professional; a person is in a creative profession when their main job is to think and to create new standard approaches for fixing the problem at hand.

The Four Pillars of Success
• Creativity
• Client Leadership
• Team Leadership
• Fiscal Acumen

I look forward to diving into all aspects of these pillars in future posts.
For now I'll leave you with this overview from a presentation I did during a Beer Camp (inspired by Bar Camp) at Critical Mass.