Being Totally Professional May Not Be What to Strive For

July 24, 2008

Last night I went to the Marc Cohn concert (he wrote “Walking in Memphis”). He had such a personable way of being on stage. He literally wrote two songs on the fly that had amusings to him and the audience based on the interactions that were taking place. It got me thinking about what is happening in the advertising world with the white markers over pictures. The informality of sharing ideas.

A book I recently completed called On the Back of A Napkin discusses how presentations on the back of a napkin can be even more powerful than those elaborate power point presentations. The reason for this seems to be that with the advent and ubiquitous availability of technology to edit and change photography and enhance presentations perfectly can be done by so many. Having a great power point (perhaps I am overstating this for effect) is not too difficult. Now we must return to our art looking like a craft. It seems that you can only do this if you have the expertise within your domain and the respect of your field (those who can appreciate your competence). If the opening act, although good, attempted to be this playful it would have likely fallen on deaf ears. He may have had domain expertise, he did not have the credibility in the field yet. Marc has a loyal fan base and thus credibility within his field is high. He also had the skills from learning his craft within his domain to be able to both deliver and create on the fly. Have you built the credibility you need in your field? Have you reached the level of expertise in your field or business to create on the fly?

Reach your next peak

We help leaders expand the change they want to see in their teams, organizations, and the wider world.