Where do ideas come from? How do they move beyond the realm of abstract thought into something more tangible?
Every day is an opportunity to learn. To observe. To ask ourselves "why?". And to take things apart before we put them back together. To my surprise—the article I authored for BusinessWeek ended up being featured as the lead story in the Innovation section. And I just noticed that it's in the Top 5 most read stories at #4. Did you know that this article would have never come about it wasn't for the actions of the following individuals? Here's how:
Several months ago, Valeria sent me a handwritten note including this phrase "You are designing conversations". It was this simple combination or words which sparked the initial idea that designers could become conversation architects. I thought about how the role of information architects used to be about organizing information and how this is evolving. I asked myself—could we become conversation architects?
Jessi works at BusinessWeek and featured my blog a while back. I sent her an e-mail saying I had an idea around designers/marketers being "conversation architects". That's pretty much all I had. Jessi forwarded my thought to Helen Walters, an editor at BusinessWeek and we began working on the idea some more.
Helen took the initial draft and encouraged me to broaden the context. She's also responsible for some pretty darn good editing. And she made the brilliant move of turning a key line from the article into the headline "It's The Conversation Economy, Stupid". I buried the lead, and Helen dug it right out again.
Ann brought me in to Marketing Profs to do a Webinar titled "Emerging Media's Impact on the Customer Experience". Though I found the Webinar to be challenging, it basically ended up acting as my revised outline for current version the article.
Bruce caught wind of the Webinar and sent out the signals that he liked what he saw. This added momentum to the idea.
None of this would have happened if it weren't for YOU—the active participants who add to the daily conversation here.
So that's the anatomy behind the article. That's how an abstract idea turns into something more tangible. Inspiration can come from anywhere, at any time. Collaboration is not always what you think it is. And challenging yourself in ways that make you uncomfortable can lead to good things. That's what I learned today.