WHO do I think I am?
Know thyself... If someone asked you this question, how would YOU answer?
Some years back a recruiter asked me 'who exactly did I think I was'. I thought it was a good question, so I composed a bit of an 'open letter' response. I'll share my evolving version of it with you here.
This is how I would pitch myself, if I had one page to tell you about ME
I am who I am, and this is what I do.
: - ) *
I've been potentialKEN since the last century and "KEN" even longer. I'm a Generation-X Postmodernist who cherry picks concepts from across the narratives of mass media pop culture to inform my ideas and art. I'm a consumer who literally grew up in the mall and in front of the television (later the computer). Studying the evolution of visual/verbal communication from oral to literate to post literate cultures; I've become convinced that our ubiquitous 'screens' are the new campfires we huddle around to hear the stories that define our shared social identity and advertisers are the new patrons who commission the creation of the public art and the private talismans which unite us as tribes. When I can, I make my living as an integrated marketer.
Generally I think of myself as a “Strategist”. Title aside, that’s how I see my primary ‘agency discipline’. Although, I do also have extensive experience managing the client relationships and delivery scheduling for some of the strategic ideas that I've helped catalyze, create, and analyze. Strategy is the discipline of structured thinking about our objectives, the tactics we use to accomplish them, and how we achieve ROI. I specialize in shepherding how interdisciplinary teams think about accomplishing behavioral and communication objectives, through digital media and interactive tactics as part of an integrated approach to cross channel marketing and contextualized e-business touch points. That is usually a function of the deliverables I create as well as the process by which I conduct the research/analysis and facilitate the group thinking that informs those documents. Occasionally I help shepherd those ideas to launch. Often I analyze the outcome to see how things worked out and/or optimize how they continue to grow.
I also would like to consider myself an "artist" but that is more about what I do than what I do for a living. I am my own favorite character in fiction. Whether as peaceful Jedi, dysfunctional superhero, or first monk in the Church Of Disney; from exile in suburban purgatory I appropriate and re-contextualize pop cultural myth systems as the raw materials for commentary on postmodern life. I make mixed media, installation, and conceptual art. My creative background influences my approach to integrated marketing solutions.
Historically, at work, I tend to introduce myself as “Hi I’m KEN, I’m a strategist, and I’m here to help.” By this I hope to both set the tone for my personal commitment to our collaboration and frame the context in which I think that I might be able to be of assistance. However, I'm also open to your suggestions for how you think I could create value working with you.
Truth be told, I’m just intellectually fascinated with how interactive multimedia is evolving our species and I’ve tried to seek out professional projects that will enable me to explore that trend and better understand how to help clients (and myself) adapt to our changing culture and behaviors. Beyond that topical/tactical objective, to be happy, all I am looking for out of life/work are new opportunities to learn and think and talk about interesting complex challenging things with other smart creative committed people.
I like coming up with a good idea but I love uncovering great ideas by facilitating collaborative ideation. As much as I’ll blow my own horn, I never cease to be humbled by some of the brilliant people I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with over the years. Working on the types of initiatives that I do usually puts me at the intellectual heart of the projects, agencies, and client organizations driving those transformational undertakings. At their best, each new project is both an opportunity to share what I know and do while simultaneously getting to learn new things from who I get to work with and what we get to work on together. Ideally each new contract benefits from past learnings and informs future undertakings.
I produce the most value when I can play a meaningful role in helping clients and/or an agency team ‘think things through.’ Monetizing that role generally involves helping insure that ideation/production will result in a desired qualifiable/quantifiable outcome [with the intended user audience].
Generally I consider my guiding principle to be that "all I’m truly looking for are new opportunities to do great work for receptive clients with a team that I can believe in".
I’m open to going anywhere for the right opportunity and I’m willing to consider new/alternate ways to apply my skills and experience to the needs of a potentialOPPORTUNITY.
I'd be interested to meet you and explore if there might be an opportunity to continue that journey together. "Great collaborations start with good conversations."
contact KEN to start a conversation.