Smart City, Smart Teams
Written by Kimberly MacArthur Graham on June 13, 2016
I spent a good part of the spring working on Denver’s Smart City Challenge application. I enjoyed the work and the project tremendously, in part because I learned a TON. One of the greatest perks of my job is constantly learning new stuff from intelligent, experienced people. Part of that is the nature of my work, which involves very specialized terms and information. But my open-minded approach is a huge factor. I not only expect to learn, I look forward to it and plan for it.
This is NOT the same as learning on the job—not at all! Clients hire me as a marketing communication expert, and I take that responsibility very seriously.
But here’s the thing: I’m not an expert in everything. (My 20-year-old self might not have been so clear on that.) Fortunately, I’m surrounded by other highly intelligent folk. My clients, service provider partners, vendors. . . all offer experience and wisdom that I do not, and all are happy to share this wealth. By asking questions, and from simply listening and observing, I have learned a tremendous amount, from the differences in paper weight and finish to the most diplomatic ways to offer constructive criticism.
Even better, this open-minded, collaborative approach improves every work product. Now I have a reason for everything I suggest, and I stand by my work, but I am open to new ideas and alternate views. No matter how good something is, it can’t be its best without the insight of my client and the team. Even when a client signs off on the first draft, this interaction is invaluable. Why? Clients hire me to help them communicate clearly in order to persuade—and their reaction to what I’ve created is the first litmus test.
See how it works? Without being asked, I’ve shared a bit of my learned wisdom. Now keep it going!