this post falls between.
somewhere between the personal and the professional.
a year ago i went to an author event, Brene Brown was in New York for her book Rising Strong. I am a fan of her work, and that night I became a fan of her. She stood up there sharing her own story as part of her work. Her own weaknesses and vulnerabilities were used to demonstrate universal themes. I liked her. I understood her work more fundamentally because she shared herself.
She talked about how she had strived to keep her personal life separate from her professional life, how she had divided it all up and how the divisions started to fall in on themselves. I hated that part of the presentation. I thought it was crap, and that she just didn’t get the whole managing personas thing. It has bothered me all year. So has the idea of managing personas.
I am brand strategist. A writer. A creative director, a sometimes CMO, I am a business leader and I am a jealous friend that does not like staying in touch via social — where’s the intimacy if everyone on god’s green earth knows everything? — and every time i sit down to write this blog, i think “what difference does it make?” no one reads it. but here i am. trying.
you might have landed here by accident, or maybe you’re considering hiring johnson + wolverton and want to get a sense of what we’re all about, or maybe you’re one of the editors i’ve been hounding with story ideas that relate to POSITANO, or a writer that is as freaked out about building your platform as i am, or maybe you’re my sister (hi, patty).
this post falls between the personal and the professional. a personal 10-year plan that crosses over, just like Brene Brown, into the work I do. i’ve written about my personal plan this year, relinquere et giocare (relinquish and play), and i had a bit of inspiration on next year’s theme, and worked with hal to flesh it out. we agreed, kind of fast. like record breaking fast. 2017 is “play as…”
i started with “play and …” i loved the idea that relinquish and play would roll on. that play would be our pivot point. hal tweaked it, he liked the idea but didn’t like that play was separate, a this or that equation.
hello?! yes. right.
play as a conversation. play as research. play as listening. play as exercise. play as an expression of confidence. play as a giant fucking clue that you’re onto something good.
when i look back over projects, the ones that resonate most for me or that had the most impact for our clients, there’s a thread of play that runs through them.
play, i believe, is super close friends with curiosity and curiosity is a pure gateway to the imagination drug — and when those three get together my ability (and the ability of most of the creatives i’ve ever worked with) to adapt and invent is so effortless and intuitive that all kinds of awesome breaks loose.
there’s lot of science to back this up, my bet is the ones who cracked it started with some bullshitting with colleagues, a little goofing around with algorithms, some private toying with opposing perspectives… and boom the explosion of insight around cognition and play was born.
one of my favorite business quotes ever is from trevor edwards, currently a huge big wig at nike. at the time he lead marketing for nike europe (and he was probably quoting someone else, but that’s how it goes), he said “invent the game, write the rules” that’s hardcore business, and that’s kids inventing new ways to move ones and zeroes around, and that’s me, using play as a way of getting down to one me.