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Technical Communicators: Breaking Boundaries and Driving Change

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Thursday, Oct 1 keynote at TCUK 2015. Andrea's "top 10" ways technical communicators can work to drive change and break boundaries.

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Technical Communicators: Breaking Boundaries and Driving Change

  1. 1. Technical Communicators: Breaking Boundaries and Driving Change Andrea L. Ames TCUK 2015 Keynote – October 1, 2015
  2. 2. Your current safe boundaries were once unknown frontiers Boundaries
  3. 3. 10. Think systems, not discrete events  Everything is interrelated, and content is everywhere  Be sure to consider what might result further down the line
  4. 4. 9. Do your homework  To break the rules “well” and create art, understand where the boundaries are and what defines them  You will be better able to break through others’ boundaries, as well
  5. 5. 8. Don’t say “that’s not my job”  Practice professionalism in content—own it  Own the entirety of the content experience— strategy, design, development, delivery…
  6. 6. 7. Be a consultant  Don’t get too emotionally involved in your agenda  Objectively tell your story with data and advise
  7. 7. 6. Communicate, communicate, communicate  Clearly articulate your agenda in the language of your stakeholders  Manage those stakeholders continually through stories that further your agenda
  8. 8. Change…it’s gorgeous at the end
  9. 9. 5. Acknowledge the result of not changing  What will happen if you don’t?  Will it be better or worse than changing?
  10. 10. 4. Be willing to be uncomfortable  Embrace ambiguity as a reality and a necessity  Step outside your comfort zone
  11. 11. 3. Stop fighting for the old; start building the new  What if everything 10 years from now was exactly as it is today? Would you be happy? Satisfied?  Focus your energy productively
  12. 12. 2. Be the change that you want to see  Model the behavior to build trust around you  Gather followers on the path to change
  13. 13. 1. Recognize that change is a process, not an event  It won’t happen on its own, and it’s often hard  You must “practice” it consciously
  14. 14. The Top 10 Boundaries 10. Think systems, not discrete events 9. Do your homework 8. Don’t say “that’s not my job” 7. Be a consultant 6. Communicate, communicate, communicate Change 5. Acknowledge the result of not changing 4. Be willing to be uncomfortable 3. Stop fighting for the old; start building the new 2. Be the change that you want to see 1. Recognize that change is a process, not an event

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