Evangelism101

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Nuts and bolts guidance about moving people with your ideas and enthusiasm. Presented at the Information Architecture Summit in 2005.

Nuts and bolts guidance about moving people with your ideas and enthusiasm. Presented at the Information Architecture Summit in 2005.

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  • Use icons and art here
  • Use icons and art here
  • Use icons and art here
  • Use icons and art here
  • Use icons and art here
  • Give examples from my jobs here
  • Give examples from my jobs here

Transcript

  • 1. Evangelism 101 Warning: This presentation contains male frontal nudity
  • 2. About me
    • I’m 6 ft. tall, weigh 215 pounds, I enjoy long walks on the beach …
  • 3. About me
    • The obligatory slide that tries to convince you that my past experience somehow qualifies me to be worth a ninth of your registration money (not counting food) instead of just some guy who’s really just saying a bunch of stuff that you already know, but perhaps haven’t thought about it in quite the way I’m outlining.
    • Jobs I’ve had where I was a OVERT evangelist:
          • Art Director (Start-up print magazine for Tribune Co.)
          • Senior Producer/Design and Production (Tribune Co. Web and AOL sites)
          • User Experience Director (washingtonpost.com)
          • Director of Site Development (washingtonpost.com)
  • 4. About me
    • The obligatory slide that tries to convince you that my past experience somehow qualifies me to be worth a ninth of your registration money (not counting food) instead of just some guy who’s really just saying a bunch of stuff that you already know, but perhaps haven’t thought about it in quite the way I’m outlining.
    • Jobs I’ve had where I was a COVERT evangelist:
          • Associate Editor (Tribune Co. print magazine)
          • Design Manager (washingtonpost.com)
          • Senior Information Architect (K12: online education co.)
  • 5. Evangelism: The there there
    • Enthusiasm to the point of zealotry
    • Group dynamics
    • Change
  • 6. Change
    • “ Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies.”
    • --- Robert Kennedy
  • 7. Evangelism and the IA
    • IA as a discipline
          • “There is this thing and it is called information architecture.”
    • IA as a legitimate discipline
          • “What are you laughing at? C’mon, I’m serious, a solid information architecture is essential to your success.”
    • IA solutions
          • “Why are you still laughing? Stop that. This stuff is going to work. Probably.”
  • 8. Evangelism and the IA
    • IA mechanisms
          • Easy sells: Site maps, content inventories
          • Harder sells: Conceptual wireframes, user task flows, non-linear interaction maps
    • IA building blocks
          • Primacy of user goals
          • User-centered design
          • User research
  • 9. Bad reasons to be an evangelist
    • Fame
    • Power
    • It looks cool on a business card
    • Chicks dig it
  • 10. Evangelism + quest for fame =
  • 11. Evangelism + quest for fame =
    • Paris Hilton
    • at a charity
    • event
  • 12. Evangelism + lust for power =
  • 13. Evangelism + lust for power =
    • Pat Buchanan
    • running for
    • president
  • 14. Credibility
    • Using evangelism for your own fame or power damages your credibility
        • Credibility is essential for an evangelist
          • Requires honesty, integrity, consistent excellence
        • The appearance of credibility is secondary
          • Requires credibility, presentation/facilitation skills
  • 15. Good reasons to be an evangelist
    • Status quo is not enough
    • You have the passion and mad skills
    • You just can’t help yourself
        • Square pegs: round holes
          • Three-side pegs: square or round holes
        • Are you an evangelist and don’t know it?
  • 16. You might be an evangelist if …
    • You stop your department’s monthly brown bag lunch with the CEO to demand: “When are we going to cut all the crap and finally talk about the real problem here???”
  • 17. You might be an evangelist if …
    • You’ve seen the beginning of the movie Jerry Maguire a dozen times and you still can’t figure out why Tom Cruise got fired.
  • 18. You might be an evangelist if …
    • You drop Bill Gates a personal e-mail every time you think of another thing that bugs you about that damn talking paper clip.
  • 19. You might be an evangelist if …
    • Every week, you find yourself trying to convince the office cleaning crew to install the toilet paper roll in the “correct” way.
  • 20. You might be an evangelist if …
    • You have a recurring nightmare where the company’s adherence to existing processes inadvertently opens the Gates of Hell and initiates Armageddon.
  • 21. So what does an evangelist do?
    • They help things change
        • By the work of their “day job”
          • Solve problems rather than just alleviate symptoms, trade ownership for consensus around new kinds of thinking
        • By their involvement within projects
          • Function as an outside consultant whether they are one or not.
        • By initiating group creative exercises
          • Run workshops, Home Cookin’ sessions
        • By circulating information
          • Author e-mail newsletters, collect timely articles from other industries
  • 22. So what does an evangelist do?
    • They lead change from behind
    • They stimulate change by asking questions
    • They unearth and encourage expertise (especially under-appreciated expertise)
    • They are a resource for, and supporter of other evangelists
  • 23. 8 random rules of evangelism
  • 24. 1. Be shameless
  • 25. 8 random rules of evangelism
    • Be shameless
        • Do what you have to do to make change happen, no matter how personally embarrassing
          • But first, identify the envelope you are trying to push:
          • Your audience
          • + Your goals
          • = Your envelope
  • 26. 2. Be fuzzy
  • 27. 8 random rules of evangelism
    • Be fuzzy
        • Skill sets are more useful than job descriptions
        • Utilize different levels of evangelism for different challenges or projects
  • 28. 3. Don’t be fuzzy
  • 29. 8 random rules of evangelism
    • Don’t be fuzzy
        • Demystify everything
          • Use existing words if commonly understood
            • If not, create a new common language
          • Utilize a common perspective
            • That’s the beauty of User-Centered Design
          • “Demystify” doesn’t always mean “explain everything”
  • 30. 4. Be tactile
  • 31. 8 random rules of evangelism
    • Be tactile
        • Bind squishy concept to hard pixels
          • Action items
          • High concepts/practical implications
          • Illustrations
          • Case studies
  • 32. 5. Own minutia
  • 33. 8 random rules of evangelism
    • Own minutia
        • People tend to give away the most influential aspects of a project
          • Process
          • Grunt work
          • Details
  • 34. 6. Fear the incremental
  • 35. 8 random rules of evangelism
    • Fear the incremental
        • Incremental change is frequently confused with evolutionary change
  • 36. 8 random rules of evangelism
    • Fear the incremental
    Incremental: Changing how related links are displayed
  • 37. 8 random rules of evangelism
    • Fear the incremental
    Evolutionary: Developing an automated way to create related links
  • 38. 7. Incite the riot, but try not to lead it
  • 39. 7. Incite the riot, but try not to lead it
  • 40. 7. Incite the riot, but try not to lead it
  • 41. 8 random rules of evangelism
    • Incite the riot, but try not to lead it
        • You will be more effective if the self interest of those being evangelized is greater than your own.
  • 42. 8. Protect your poets and pirates
  • 43. 8 random rules of evangelism
        • Poets
          • Those who tend to think about and describe things in quite unique ways
    • Protect your poets and pirates
        • Pirates
          • Those who are most comfortable working outside existing structures on projects to which they have a deep personal attachment
  • 44. Poets
    • There's a hole in daddy's arm where all the money goes, Jesus Christ died for nothin' I suppose. Little pitchers have big ears, Don't stop to count the years, Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios.
    - From “Sam Stone” by John Prine
  • 45. Poets
    • Gordon MacKenzie
    • Orbiting the Giant Hairball
  • 46. Poets
  • 47.  
  • 48. Poets
    • Gordon MacKenzie
    • Orbiting the Giant Hairball
    • “ A pyramid is a tomb.”
    • “ A tree is a living organism.”
  • 49. Poets
    • Things to know about the care and feeding of poets
        • When you try to protect them, they will distrust you.
        • They will doubt that you truly understand what they’re talking about. They may be right.
        • They tend to be less loyal to the company than typical workers, but more loyal to other people.
        • They don’t play well in the sandbox, if at all.
        • Sometimes, they completely freak out.
    • Why bother?
        • The singular work of poets can change the world.
  • 50. Pirates
    • Monty Python
  • 51. Pirates
    • "You've got to do something about this dreadful program. It's simply not funny.” -- Tom Sloane, BBC executive
    • “ By the second series they were wanting to see the programs before they went out. And by the third series ... they wanted to see the scripts before we filmed them.“ -- Terry Jones, Monty Python executive
  • 52. Pirates
    • "You can start any (Monty Python) routine and people finish it for you. Everyone knows it like shorthand." -- Robin Williams, annoying American comedian
    • “ They're comic gods.” -- Eddie Izzard, an English comedian who is less annoying than Robin Williams but who wears annoying clothes nonetheless
  • 53. Pirates
    • Things to know about the care and feeding of pirates
        • They resent attempts to protect them.
        • They will usually assume that you don’t understand what they’re about to talk about.
        • They are sometimes surprisingly and fiercely loyal to the company.
        • They dominate any sandbox, or are willing to die trying.
        • Sometimes, they self-destruct.
  • 54. Pirates
    • Why bother?
        • They will never settle for the status quo.
        • They work very hard all the time.
        • They ask great questions (although sometimes in the form of a complaint rather than a question)
  • 55. Poet & pirate protection tactics
    • Keep them away from managers who can’t appreciate them; point them out to ones who can
    • Translate their work
        • Over-deliver on giving them credit for it
    • Praise your poets
        • Praise must be meaningful and well-timed
    • Empower your pirates
        • If it’s somebody else’s call, secure their empowerment
    • Don’t take negative reactions personally
  • 56. They are among us
    • Are you:
      • More poet than pirate
      • More pirate than poet
      • So much more than some silly ass label some joker speaking at the IA Summit is trying to stick to you, in other words not even close to being either a pirate or a poet
  • 57. They are among us
    • Who would your rather work with?
      • A poet
      • A pirate
      • Neither, they would both piss me off too much!
  • 58. They are among us
    • Who would you rather have working for you?
      • A poet
      • A pirate
      • Neither, let them read their T.S. Eliot and wave their skull and crossbones flag somewhere else!
  • 59. They are among us
    • Who has at least one poet or pirate working for them right now?
  • 60. But enough about me
    • Your evangelism success and horror stories