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Paula Land: Empathy, Change, and CATs - CS Seattle
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Paula Land: Empathy, Change, and CATs - CS Seattle

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Paula Land's presentation at Content Strategy Seattle Meetup Presentation on Empathy, Change, and CATs: What I learned at CS Forum …

Paula Land's presentation at Content Strategy Seattle Meetup Presentation on Empathy, Change, and CATs: What I learned at CS Forum


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  • 1. Empathy, Change, and CATs What I Learned at CS Forum Paula Land
  • 2. SessionsEmpathy: Content Strategys HiddenDeliverableCorey Vilhauer, Blend InteractiveEmbracing Your Role as a Change AgentJonathan Kahn, Together London
  • 3. Common Themes• Soft skills—less focus on tactics, strategy, deliverables as the starting point• Listening and reframing• Being advocates• Change requires changing organizations• Overcoming fear, uncertainty• Failure is okay
  • 4. EmpathyDefinition: “The act of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experiences of another…” “The trend towards greater and greater customerempowerment requires a deeper and deeper understanding of customer needs.” --Gerry McGovern
  • 5. How to do it• Replace Content Strategy with People Strategy• Practice empathy not just with the people who are the consumers of the content, but with the client (or team, co-worker, boss, editor…)
  • 6. How to do it• Be curious – Ask questions• Be clear and deliberate – Get to a shared understanding of terms – Consistency promotes trust• Be conniving – Identify strengths and play to them – Use politics as leverage• Be a teacher – Provide tools
  • 7. “Your job isn’t to make the change happen –only your client can do that. Your job is topresent the change, understand the issues thatwill serve as barriers to that change, and walk abit in their shoes.” --Corey Vilhauer
  • 8. Change• Change is hard• Failure is certain, unavoidable, necessary• Content strategy work involves systemic change• You can’t solve problems without changing organizations
  • 9. Traditional organizational models• Top-down• Hierarchical“…the idea of limiting communications, so thatthey flow only from one layer of the hierarchy tothe next, was part of the very design of thesystem at the dawn of managerial culture.” Here Comes Everybody, 2008 CLAY SHIRKY
  • 10. Mind shifts and power shifts• Moving from product to service• From consumer to customerTo bring about systemic change we combat:• Denial about change• Org-centric thinking
  • 11. The arguments against change• My organization is too complex• It’s different in a large company• It’s different in a small company• It’s different in non-profits• It’s different in higher ed• We can’t do this agency-side• This is impossible in government
  • 12. Areas of focus• Service design• Cross-channel UX and CS• Web and digital governance• Learning lessons from the lean startup and agile movements
  • 13. How to be an agent of change1. Let yourself be vulnerable (make mistakes)2. Fight the culture of shame3. Embrace failure4. Get out of the building
  • 14. “Denial about change, silo-centric thinking, and poor governance and strategy lead to disappointing user experience outcomes and substantial business risk. As web professionals, we can’t be effective until we become agents of change.” --Jonathan Kahn
  • 15. Sourceshttp://www.slideshare.net/blendinteractive/empathy-content-strategys-hidden-deliverable-cs-forum-2012http://eatingelephant.com/2012/10/empathy/http://www.slideshare.net/jdkahn/embracing-your-role-as-a-change-agentcontent-strategy-forum-2012#btnNext
  • 16. Strategic Contentwww.strategiccontent.com Content Insightwww.content-insight.com @content_insight