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Managing with a Green Thumb: Tools and Practices for Growing a Content Strategy Team

Facebook Content Strategy Director Alicia Dougherty-Wold shares 5 tips for growing a content strategy team that thrives.

Managing with a Green Thumb: Tools and Practices for Growing a Content Strategy Team

  1. ! Alicia Dougherty-Wold Content Strategy Director, Facebook facebook.com/aliciadougherty
 @aaliciaa | #ConfabMN ! ! ! ! Managing With a Green ThumbTools and Practices for Growing a Content Strategy Team
  2. Welcome, nurturers of content!
  3. Content can be better
  4. Content can be better for peopleContent can be better
  5. Cultivate content
  6. Cultivate contentCultivate content strategists
  7. Cultivate teams
  8. Lead with a green thumb
  9. 4. Don’t make square watermelons 3. Know who will grow 2. Love the mud 1. Plan before you plant 5. Replant, repeat and multiply!
  10. What does our team do?
  11. “Content strategy is the practice of defining the big idea (or ideas) that drive a content initiative— any kind of content initiative. ! — Melissa Rach, “Content Strategy and Its Cousins,” UX Magazine (Article No. 946: January 28, 2013).
  12. The world’s content initiative
  13. The world’s content initiative ! More than 802M people More than 609M people on mobile ! More than 1.28B people More than 1.01B people on mobile ! ~81.2% outside the US and Canada ! Today This
 month
  14. Courtesy pdphoto.org, http://pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?mat=pdef&pg=8232, cropped and reversed. Defining the big ideas
  15. Company-wide Courtesy pdphoto.org, http://pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?mat=pdef&pg=8232, cropped and reversed. Defining the big ideas
  16. Company-wide Product-specific Courtesy pdphoto.org, http://pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?mat=pdef&pg=8232, cropped and reversed. Defining the big ideas
  17. Company-wide Product-specific Feature-level Courtesy pdphoto.org, http://pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?mat=pdef&pg=8232, cropped and reversed. Defining the big ideas
  18. Defining the big ideas Company-wide Set guiding principles Define voice and tone Document content patterns Create naming systems Structure ideas, info, content Share lightweight processes Set workflows Share a vision for quality ! !
  19. Defining the big ideas Company-wide Set guiding principles Define voice and tone Document content patterns Create naming systems Structure ideas, info, content Share lightweight processes Set workflows Share a vision for quality ! !
  20. Defining the big ideas Product-specific Audit landscape Inventory concepts Set nomenclature Shape interactions Structure messaging Test with real people Communicate
  21. Defining the big ideas Product-specific Audit landscape Inventory concepts Set nomenclature Shape Structure messaging Test with real people Communicate
  22. Defining the big ideas Feature-level Partner in design Write for the interface Tie to bigger patterns Build consistency Add delight Measure Learn Make things better
  23. Defining the big ideas Feature-level Partner in design Write for the interface Tie to bigger patterns Build consistency Add delight Measure Learn Make things better
  24. Central team, holistic view
  25. ProduProduct Team (vertical)ct Team (vertical) Content Strategy Product Team (vertical) ProductTeam (vertical) Product Team (vertical) ProductTeam (vertical) Product Marketing Brand Marketing
  26. From 3 to 27+ strategists in 4 years
  27. 1. Plan before you plant
  28. Get aligned on your approach
  29. What kind of team do you need? How does company culture define success? How does work get done at your company? How has content been made in the past? What do stakeholders think they want? What do stakeholders need? What do people deserve? ! ! Align with your landscape
  30. Envision the ideal future state
  31. What kind of content do you need? Sound human Offer great service Be lightweight, conversational Recede into the background Make people comfortable ! Align on vision for content quality
  32. Create principles to guide you
  33. Create principles to guide you
  34. What values will get you there? Share work every day Learn from each other Be constructive, collaborative Always be building… relationships Stay flat Align on team values
  35. Cultivate cultural practices
  36. Cultivate cultural practices Swivel
  37. Cultivate cultural practices Swivel Flash
  38. Cultivate cultural practices Swivel Flash PET
  39. 2. Love the mud
  40. Magic of content strategy T. Voekler, http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ed/Sacred_lotus_Nelumbo_nucifera.jpg, cropped.
  41. Magic of content strategy Plan Create Learn Improve T. Voekler, http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ed/Sacred_lotus_Nelumbo_nucifera.jpg, cropped and desaturated.
  42. Mud of content strategy
  43. Mud of content strategy Plan Create Learn Im prove Create Learn Im prov Plan
  44. Say Yes, AND…
  45. “Yes, AND means…whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.”! — Tina Fey, Bossy Pants (New York: Reagan Arthur, 2011), 83-84. Say Yes, AND…
  46. How does Yes, AND work for content strategists? ! Be strategic—whether stakeholders ask or not. ! Offer a Why with every What
  47. Yes And… Future
  48. Concern Influence Control Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Electronic Edition: Rosetta Books, 2013), 89.
  49. Concern Influence Control Plant here! Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Electronic Edition: Rosetta Books, 2013), 89.
  50. Concern Influence Control Too muddy (now) Plant here! Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Electronic Edition: Rosetta Books, 2013), 89.
  51. Tactical YES + a strategic AND
  52. Tactical YES + a strategic AND Stakeholder: “Can you help with copy?”
  53. Tactical YES + a strategic AND Content Strategist: “Yes, AND…”Stakeholder: “Can you help with copy?”
  54. Control Influence Concern
  55. Control Influence Concern
  56. 3. Know who will grow
  57. Organizational climates vary
  58. Organizational climates vary Company A Bias towards action Make decisions, move on Move fast and make things Ship, learn, iterate Done is better than perfect Solve problems in person See a problem? Fix it. Make an impact Build relationships
  59. Organizational climates vary Company A Bias towards action Make decisions, move on Move fast and make things Ship, learn, iterate Done is better than perfect Solve problems in person See a problem? Fix it. Make an impact Build relationships Company B Everything reviewed Stakeholders approve Stakeholders solve problems Hierarchies matter Communicate ideas through email and presentations Don’t ship until perfect Org charts reflect decisions Build processes
  60. Who thrives in your terrain?
  61. Past behavior = future success
  62. Hire for the right behaviors
  63. Company A Bias towards action Make decisions, move on Move fast and make things Ship, learn, iterate Done is better than perfect Solve problems in person See a problem? Fix it. Make an impact Build relationships Interview for being… Curious Entrepreneurial Proactive problem solver Near perfect, quickly Diplomatic Thrives on bringing order Creates structure as needed Strong sense of agency Assumes the best of people ! What behaviors lead to success?
  64. Interview for being… Patient Methodical Comfortable with hierarchy Sees projects through long timeframes Diplomatic Detail-oriented Prefers planning Prefers external structure ! What behaviors lead to success? Company B Everything reviewed Stakeholders approve Stakeholders solve problems Hierarchies matter Communicate ideas through email and presentations Don’t ship until perfect Org charts reflect decisions Build processes
  65. Success Factor Behaviors Questions Proactive Sees a problem and takes action What would you do if you ran into a difficult problem involving a stakeholder? Comfortable with ambiguity Works independently without direction If you had to work with several product teams, what would you do? Entrepreneurial Creates processes where none existed Let’s say you were going to create a process for giving context to the translation team. How would you do it? Before: future-focused
  66. Success Factor Behaviors Questions Proactive Sees a problem and takes action What would you do if you ran into a difficult problem involving a stakeholder? Comfortable with ambiguity Works independently without direction If you had to work with several product teams, what would you do? Entrepreneurial Creates processes where none existed Let’s say you were going to create a process for giving context to the translation team. How would you do it?
  67. Success Factor Behaviors Questions Proactive Sees a problem and takes action Tell me about a time you addressed a difficult problem at work. How did you go about doing this? Comfortable with ambiguity Works independently without direction Tell me about a time you had to set your own priorities. How did you decide what was important and what not to do? Entrepreneurial Creates processes where none existed Tell me about a time when you created a process from scratch. How did it go? What did you learn? After: uncover real behaviors
  68. Success Factor Behaviors Questions Proactive Sees a problem and takes action Tell me about a time you addressed a difficult problem at work. How did you go about doing this? Comfortable with ambiguity Works independently without direction Tell me about a time you had to set your own priorities. How did you decide what was important and what not to do? Entrepreneurial Creates processes where none existed Tell me about a time when you created a process from scratch. How did it go? What did you learn?
  69. Interview to build teams Interview for… Curiosity Entrepreneurialism Proactive problem solving Near perfect, quickly Diplomacy Thriving on bringing order Creating structure as needed Strong sense of agency Assuming the best of people Interview for… Patience Methodical approach Comfort with hierarchy Seeing projects through long timeframes Diplomacy Attention to detail Preferring planning Preferring external structure
  70. Make better hiring decisions
  71. Build a successful team
  72. Laughlin Elkind, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Square_watermelon.jpg, cropped.
  73. 4. Don’t make square watermelons Laughlin Elkind, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Square_watermelon.jpg, cropped.
  74. Focus on strengths instead
  75. What is a strength? You show “consistent, near perfect performance…” and you “can fathom yourself doing it repeatedly, happily, and successfully… You will excel by maximizing your strengths, never by fixing your weaknesses.” ! — Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, Now, Discover Your Strengths (Electronic Edition: Gallup, Inc.), 25-26. Strengthening work energizes you
  76. “At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?” 38% more likely to be highly productive 44% more likely to earn high customer satisfaction 50% more likely to have high employee retention Strengths energize your team Source: The Marcus Buckingham Company http://www.tmbc.com/assets/tmbc_business_case_for_strengths.pdf?x2
  77. 5. Replant, repeat, multiply!
  78. Re-align as you grow
  79. Re-envision the future
  80. Plant new processes as needed
  81. Multiply and repeat what worked
  82. 1. Plan before you plant
  83. 2. Love the mud 1. Plan before you plant
  84. 3. Know who will grow 2. Love the mud 1. Plan before you plant
  85. 4. Don’t make square watermelons 3. Know who will grow 2. Love the mud 1. Plan before you plant
  86. 4. Don’t make square watermelons 3. Know who will grow 2. Love the mud 1. Plan before you plant 5. Replant, repeat and multiply!
  87. Go out and be a green thumb!
  88. Thank you!

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