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Forget "Predict" the Future -- Create the Future! keynote

Keynote presentation for 2014 LavaCon conference in Portland, OR

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Forget "Predict" the Future -- Create the Future! keynote

  1. 1. Forget “Predict” the Future— Create the Future! Andrea L. Ames, IBM Enterprise Content Strategist/Architect/Designer
  2. 2. How do you approach your career development and management?  I keep an eye out for opportunities and take the good ones  I plan the work and work the plan  I invent and create my path along the way  I have a different approach than above  What’s career development?  @aames #LavaCon First, a question… 2
  3. 3. About Andrea (@aames) • Technical communicator since 1983 • Areas of expertise: – Content experience design: strategy, architecture, and interaction design – Architecture, design, and development of product-embedded assistance – Content and product usability – User-centered process for content development and experience design • Senior Technical Staff Member on corporate Client Technical Content Experience team, IBM CIO • University of CA Extension Technical Communication program chair and master instructor • STC Fellow, past president, former member of Board of Directors, and Intercomcolumnist (with Alyson Riley) of The Strategic IA • ACM Distinguished Engineer 3 @aames #LavaCon
  4. 4. • Start with a story… • Recap Vici’sjourney (LavaCon2013 keynote) • A new career-approach theory • What is your type? • Becoming fluent across the continuum • The unique value of this field of practice @aames #LavaCon Agenda 4
  5. 5. It happened while brainstorming for this keynote… the text book definition of “entrepreneurial” @aames #LavaCon A story 5
  6. 6. • She knew what work she wanted to do • She knew what people wanted to pay for • She expanded her skills to match her passions and core values • She became a recognized expert • She embraced the lessons from her perceived failures @aames #LavaCon Recap: Vici’sjourneyfrom “Expanding the Role of Content Professionals” (LavaCon2013 keynote) 6
  7. 7. Approaches to career: A new theory @aames #LavaCon Entrepreneurial Targeted Opportunistic
  8. 8. • She knew her own passions, strengths, and core values • She knew what people wanted to pay for • She expanded her skills to match her passions, strengths, and core values • She became a recognized expert • She embraced the lessons from her perceived failures • And when the right opportunity presented itself, she became targeted to seize it @aames #LavaCon Opportunistic: Vici 8
  9. 9. Opportunistic: Strengths and weaknesses Strengths • Opportunities seldom missed (but might be turned down) • Expertise within the “opportunity space” is very high • Flexible and agile Weaknesses • From a different perspective, might look like a lot of activity for little to no gain • Potentially lots of surprises • Less susceptible to significant consequences (less risk) due to environmental issues @aames #LavaCon 9
  10. 10. • His father wanted him to become a doctor • He knew his own passions, etc., wanted to become a doctor, and set out to do so • He worked high school like a career, setting himself up for the right college, then the right grad school, etc. • He became a doctor, including securing the best residency in his chosen specialty • And when an opportunity with a charitable medical organization crossed his path, he seized it, even though it was not in his “plan” @aames #LavaCon Targeted: “Peter” 10
  11. 11. Targeted: Strengths and weaknesses Strengths • Follow a well-defined path • Planfuland conscious • Few surprises • Less susceptible to significant consequences (less risk) due to environmental issues Weaknesses • From a different perspective, might look rigid • Opportunities not discovered or left on the table @aames #LavaCon 11
  12. 12. • Biology major, computer science major, finally landed on English + grad school Tech Comm • Jobs and projects in government, chemicals, supply chain management, game development, computational science, software development, database technology, telephony, IT • Skill development and expertise in writing, IA, business analysis, user experience, content strategy & experience design, leadership, career development, org change mgmt • “I solve problems…” • And when there’s a business need…new paths are blazed, new “species” are born—just until systematized @aames #LavaCon Entrepreneurial: Andrea 12
  13. 13. Entrepreneurial: Strengths and weaknesses Strengths • When an appropriate entrepreneurial opportunity presents itself, targeting behavior leveraged toward a vision • Once opportunity is selected, path toward vision is created, tested, refined, etc. • Embraces change— beyond staying flexible and agile Weaknesses • From a different perspective, might look high-risk, frightening, or intimidating • Seeks out and drives change, which can be seen as disruptive without a good reason @aames #LavaCon 13
  14. 14. • We all fall somewhere on the continuum—no one is one type alone, but we do have preferences • Which type do you best relate to? Which feels most comfortable? Opportunistic Targeted Entrepreneurial @aames #LavaCon Your “type” 14
  15. 15. • Discover your strengths…but don’t stop there: find the business need that matchesthose strengths. • Commit to the journey—the long-term investment in yourself and your career. In any type, you won’t get there overnight. • The targeted approach is very useful: – Have someidea about where you’re going – If you aren’t sure what skills to develop outside of your core skillset, strengthen those skills. – When in doubt, straight ahead works! @aames #LavaCon Want to become more fluent across the continuum? Or “How to attack this conference…”  15
  16. 16. • Opportunism is a also a very valuable approach in the current economy—and the economy for the past 10-15 years—consider adopting the flexibility and agility of this type. – Build broad and deep skills – Develop transferrable skills & knowledge – Follow trends—in content, technical, andbusiness industries—and build deep expertiseto maintain relevance @aames #LavaCon Want to become more fluent across the continuum? (cont.) Or “How to attack this conference…”  16
  17. 17. • Entrepreneurism is also valuable. Borrow behaviors from it: – Take a risk. Try something new. Improvise –say yes, no matter how outrageous the situation sounds or seems. – Acquire, build, or maintain analytical, problem-solving skills. – When the opportunity arises, carve out the path, lead the way, and “create” the new “species.” @aames #LavaCon Want to become more fluent across the continuum? (cont.) Or “How to attack this conference…”  17
  18. 18. Our skills are SO transferrable! – Systems thinking – Problem solving – Audience analysis – Design – Strategy development …think of all of the places where you can use these! @aames #LavaCon Remember…. 18
  19. 19. @aames #LavaCon Thank you! Have a GREAT conference! 19

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