Be Empathetic, Brave, and Curious: Know Technology or It Will Eat You

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In this quick discussion, Allison Kent-Smith will highlight some of the lessons she has learned peeking inside large organizations and reviewing the state of talent in the industry. She'll review a few of the most important skills to develop - including empathy, bravery and curiosity - and challenge the campers to a walk swiftly towards greater technology understanding throughout their career.

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  • Hello, Good Morning. It’s great to be here in beautiful Vail Colorado.
  • I am the founder of smith & beta, a talent development company focused on designing custom education programs for brands and agencies.
  • Because we’re evaluating agencies every hour of the day, there are a few insights I’d like to share in the next 12 minutes or so.
  • A few weeks ago I met with an editor in NYC from a super duper important magazine. The first thing she said when we sat down was…”doesn’t everyone know digital by now?”
  • Ok, no. This is certainly not the case. Because technology is so much a part of our lives and been around for many years, we assume people know more than they know.
  • I hope to help you understand how to navigate and develop your own skills in the industry.
  • Look around, these are your colleagues, you represent the numbers.
  • We see stats and numbers every day, this exercise will help you visualize the data.
  • Please stand
  • Rich media has been around almost 20 years, since 1996. Despite our hopes for the demise of banner ads, it’s not going away. Growth rates for rich media on mobile devices is up around 216% -Nexage June 12, 2014. According to Mary Meeker, Rich Media is growing at a rapid rate. Rich media is not just a banner ad.
  • Please stand.
  • The great thing about digital is that you can measure it. Well, maybe only a few can measure it. With 2.5 billion gigabytes created each day, who’s going to understand the future of data? By Q1 2015 more than 50% of Fortune 500 companies will have a Chief Analytics (Data) Officer
  • Please stand.
  • Maybe 2014 can be the year of learning about mobile? We look at our phone over 100 times a day. So how important is it for agency employees to know mobile? We talk about it as the “turning the corner” skill at agencies, often one of the last skills to be developed.
  • More than half of employees believe education is optional, so how do we get smarter about digital and technology? Or do we?
  • Obviously, that super duper important magazine editor was mistaken. In 2014, many of us do not understand digital.
  • But what we’ve discovered is that knowing digital isn’t just about the obvious skillsets. It’s about mindsets and behaviors as much as it’s about skillsets.
  • It’s overwhelming what you need to know in 2014. When we analyze companies, we look for expertise in areas like mobile, social – but there are a few other “skills” that are driving digital success in agencies.
  • Think about where you work, your career, and co-workers. How do they act and what do they know?
  • Curiosity is the #1 motivational driver to learn more about digital and technology – it’s at the very heart of learning. High levels of curiosity in adults are connected to greater analytic ability, problem-solving skills, and overall intelligence.
  • Is your workplace curious? Here are a few symptoms that point to lack of curiosity.
  • Be ruthlessly, unendingly and obsessively curious, If you love what you do, you will remain curious to learn and your passion will be contagious.
  • This question should be included in every single job interview. Look over someone’s shoulder, ask questions (a lot of them). II learned about technology because I had someone I could ask endless questions – a developer who was very patient.
  • Empathy allows us to connect and understand others.
  • Is your workplace empathetic? Here are a few symptoms that point to lack of empathy.
  • We all know that selling is not about the idea, product or service – but about connecting with the people sitting around the table.
  • Many companies ask employees to be “entrepreneurs”, embrace risk taking, and fail. All of which requires a great amount of courage. I suggest that you take a whole lot of chances.
  • I’ve given you a few more skills to add to your list…remember, these are the true “digital” skills.
  • Don’t be afraid to learn from others and try new ways to solve old problems,"
  • Surround yourself with colleagues who are quick to admit that they don’t know enough and value learning.
  • Be Empathetic, Brave, and Curious: Know Technology or It Will Eat You

    1. 1. Know Digital Or It Will Eat You Digiday Agency Innovation Camp 2014 Lovely Vail, Colorado Allison Kent-Smith
    2. 2. Wait a minute, who’s this gal?
    3. 3. founder, smith & beta a talent development consultancy that designs and curates education programs for forward-thinking brands and agencies.
    4. 4. So, what will I share in <15 min? 1. Inside view on the current state of digital talent 2. Three critical “digital skills” that aren’t really digital
    5. 5. First, let’s peek at talent.
    6. 6. “Doesn’t everyone know digital by now?” – super duper important magazine editor, 2014
    7. 7. Whoa.
    8. 8. We’ve interviewed and/or surveyed 1000’s of employees (at some pretty important companies)
    9. 9. I’m here today to share a few down and dirty truths about digital skills at advertising agencies. (so you can understand career opportunities)
    10. 10. For the next few minutes, imagine you are working in a 80 person advertising agency. You represent the numbers.
    11. 11. Learning = Participation When I call your card color, it’s your turn.
    12. 12. Yellow Squares
    13. 13. 40% of agency employees identify as “novice” or “have no idea” about Rich Media.
    14. 14. Green Squares
    15. 15. 59% of agency employees identify as “novice” or “have no idea” about Analytics.
    16. 16. Blue Squares
    17. 17. 41% of agency employees identify as “novice” or “have no idea” about Mobile.
    18. 18. Purple Squares
    19. 19. 56% of agency employees believe education is optional, not critical.
    20. 20. “Please describe the ocean in which we are drowning.” – Anon Agency Employee
    21. 21. Now, the three critical “digital skills” that aren’t really digital.
    22. 22. APIs. ROI. Hadoop. Java. C++. Responsive Design. CRM. Social Media. Mobile. Courage. IXD. Open Source. Cloud. SVSD. IoT. Programming. IA. Rich Media. Algorithm. Data. Analytics. SEM. Prototyping. Curiosity. Application Development. Platform Strategy. Waterfall. Data Science. PR. User Experience Design. Agile. Drupal. HTML. Javascript. SQL. Physical Computing. Marketing. Metrics. Interface Development. Empathy. CSS. jQuery. Native Advertising. Content Strategy. Sprints. Production. PM. SEO. Strategy. Product Design. Multi-platform. Ecosystem. Storytelling. Apps. Paid Media.
    23. 23. Think about your “skills”, workplace and colleagues.
    24. 24. Curiosity
    25. 25. Are employees content with what they know? Do they teach themselves new skills or “call in the experts”? Agency Symptoms
    26. 26. Curiosity separates the most interesting talent from the not-so-interesting talent.
    27. 27. What have you taught yourself in the last six months?
    28. 28. Empathy
    29. 29. Are employees confused about roles? Is there a general “lack of understanding” across disciplines? Agency Symptoms
    30. 30. Are a lot of ideas pitched to clients but very few are sold? SymptomsAgency Symptoms
    31. 31. How often do you set aside your expertise or opinion and listen?
    32. 32. Courage
    33. 33. Do leaders talk more than act? Are clients demanding more “innovation”? Agency Symptoms
    34. 34. Are ideas challenged often? Agency Symptoms
    35. 35. Because if you don’t do that little thing that scares you every day…then why bother?
    36. 36. What is your most courageous idea?
    37. 37. APIs. ROI. Hadoop. Java. C++. Responsive design. CRM. Social Media. Mobile. Courage. IXD. Open source. Cloud. SVSD. IoT. Programming. IA. Rich Media. Algorithm. Data. Analytics. SEM. Prototyping. Curiosity. Application Development. Platform Strategy. Waterfall. Data Science. PR. User Experience Design. Agile. Drupal. HTML. Javascript. SQL. Physical Computing. Marketing. Metrics. Interface Development. Empathy. CSS. J Query. Native Advertising. Content Strategy. Sprints. Production. PM. SEO. Strategy.
    38. 38. Finally, know digital or it will eat you*. *@mattlemay, teacher
    39. 39. Commit to being more savvy.
    40. 40. Admit what you don’t know.
    41. 41. Know that you will never know it all.
    42. 42. Remember those numbers. Get in there.
    43. 43. Thank you. allison@smithandbeta.com smithandbeta.com

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