Front Stage to Backstage

Photo credit, Seabass Creatives
During the last several years of my career, I have played a series of internal operations roles. This was a nice change after so many years being a client-facing consultant. 
You have a different view of constraints when you come out of a client-delivery context.
Client constraints help you focus.  In the backstage world, there are less boundaries to keep you corralled: as a result, you can spend too much on supplies or take too long planning.  It’s important to remember to deliver.
Then there’s ego. You don’t get the glory.  Sales get glory. New deals in the pipeline get glory.  You don’t get glory for streamlining messaging, no matter how it goes. 
Many internal employees like things to stay the same.   I am spoiled. Being a traveling consultant for so many years, I learned to get bored if I’m not looking to improve my work.   
I always loved working with customers. Still do. The only downside of consulting was not being around long enough to understand how your work would survive without you. Now I can get the best of both worlds.
I’m finding it refreshing to bring a client delivery mentality to an in-house role these days. I’m also lucky to have a team that is sinking their teeth into a more agile style of working. 
Love what you do. Find something you can improve tomorrow. Make it better. Keep going.

I’ve Been Busy Doing The Work

I am a digital marketer that likes to help others be better marketers.  In order to do that well, it means that I’ve got to sometimes just skip that blog post or presentation idea and “do the work“.  That’s where I’ve been.

It’s been a journey.


About two months ago, I joined ICF, an organization with amazing talent, ambition and some very unique client opportunities. My charter is to develop and lead our brand’s digital marketing strategy. Its an exciting mission because of the complex domains that the company engages in. Renewable energy, digital government, healthcare modernization. We’ve got awesome challenges ahead of us. Content strategy challenges, marketing and communications challenges, and the mission to build out our team to take us into the future.

That said, I needed to keep my expectations tempered because there was a big project already waiting for me:  as I joined, our new brand identity and website were nearing deadline for launch.  The company wouldn’t need a strategist on day one: it needed to make sure we delivered.  

Fast forward two months.  We shipped the new site.

Everything is illuminated

It’s far from done (news flash: websites never are).  That said, it’s been a good reminder of the positives about actually finishing things.

  • Finishing is good for a team. It reinforces their belief in their own capabilities.
  • Finishing lets stakeholders know you’ll deliver in the future.
  • Finishing gives you time to think about building the next great thing.

I’m thrilled to be part of a team building something great again.  Now and again, I’ll be taking a break to tell the stories here. 


Pastures New

Today I’m breaking from my typical routine of writing about digital marketing and strategy trends to talk a bit about a big personal milestone.  It is with much excitement that I share the news of some big changes for me and my family: I have left ThoughtWorks to head for new pastures.

My next career challenge:  I am joining TrackMaven in Washington, DC, as their Senior Director of Professional Services and Customer Success.  I am starting this month and soon after, I will also be looking into moving the family back east as well.

What I Am Most Looking Forward To

I am excited to be joining my fellow Mavens on many levels, but I’ll elaborate on a few specific reasons here.

  1. TrackMaven has a great product that fills a universal need for omni-channel marketers: the benchmarking, monitoring and trending of competitive analytics across all digital channels.   I’ve been a customer/user for a couple of years now, and we continue to find new ways to use the data that the service provides. I cannot wait to help build new levels of awareness around the product, help our customers get better insights into its use and potentially craft new forms of marketing education and services using it as a platform.
  2. A fun-loving culture. There is a love of the craft of marketing, and that of helping customers solve problems that comes from every member of the team.  This spills onto customers as well, not solely through Corgi photos and cupcakes, but also by creating unique quality content.
  3. Building relationships with marketing leaders. If you know me well, you also know that I am a connector, and lover of people. As a part of my role, I will be able to forge new bonds with marketers in organizations of many different shapes and sizes.

The Extra Benefits

  1. Proximity to friends and family. Being based in DC, I’ll now get to visit many more of our closest friends within a few hour drive.
  2. DC is such a  great city.  Filled with so many amazing free things to do and see and eat, I cannot wait to share it with the boys.

What’s Next?

During the last several weeks, I’ve had a chance to reflect on many life themes from the last decade. Specifically, these include life in northern California, product management, health and wellness and career changes.  I’ll be sharing some of those thoughts here, in addition to my typical areas of focus, digital marketing and strategy. I would be very thankful if you subscribed and offered feedback on anything that resonates with you.