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endings

With the final presentations done, last class meeting concluded, I am just two short writing assignments away from ending my first class in graduate school.  That will merit its own post later, but for now I need to push through and get these last assignments posted.  So here we go.

Evergreen Health

Let’s start by just confirming the fact that their video was one of the funniest, most creative things I’ve seen this quarter.  All of the participants could have been real actors for the quality of performance they provided, right down to the dot of mayo under Zack’s nose during his interview.  Brilliant.  I was really impressed with research they did and while at times I wondered how far out the technology they were discussing really was.  I had the opportunity to ask this in the Q&A and they had really done their research.  With the rising cost of health care, engaging individuals in their own health management becomes a critical responsibility of all care providers and individuals.  This was an exceptionally well done presentation. 

The one thing I would like to see if this was a “real” presentation was more information on the specific types of data to be monitored and more details of the estimated improvement in outcomes.  I think this is beyond was is reasonable to expect for this class, but it is the only thing I think I’d look for if I was really involved in a discussion of implementing this program.  Great work!

Asana

Being tasked with making B2B software “sexy” is a pretty uphill challenge.  I thought this team took a smart approach by engaging with customers to build a better affinity for the brand via storytelling and really understanding why mobile is a key to success (though I may never think about oral hygiene the same again).  I have long been of the mindset that individualizing the message to make it resonate as something more personal than institutional is critical, (Perhaps it’s that GenX “what’s in it for me” mentality rearing it’s head here) and I think they illustrated it nicely.  Again, their slides were spectacular.  Pulling images from some of the most identifiable stories of my youth was another way to get my “yes” vote.

The one thing I would like to see if this was a “real” presentation was less of the competition’s video messaging.  I think the concept of showing how little their competition was using a storytelling approach was good, but I didn’t get to see enough of the video to understand what they were doing and it was too much if we were just being shown that their video is pretty standard corporate video.  A minor nit pick, but it stood out to me in an otherwise strong presentation.

Pikshare

Regulation is never an easy balance.  No regulation leaves a system open for abuse, but too much regulation can easily put a damper on creativity and expression.  I thought the Pikshare team did a good job of balancing the requirements of the individuals participating in the service as well as the liability of the Pikshare company and corporate partners.  I think it was well summed up in the “We’re watching, but not in a creepy way,” summary.  I do think this service would be viable given how the individual unprompted photos of products and services seem to be more sincere than most marketing content and this would be an interesting brokering of those connections.

The one thing I would like to see if this was a “real” presentation was more discussion of regulation struggles in the past over “offensive” materials.  I think there was some great case history, but I really liked their response to the breastfeeding question I asked and it seems like the did some great consideration there that we didn’t get to hear too much about. 

Amazon

This was my pod, and as difficult as it was to get organized for the presentation with such large groups of people, I was really pleased with the final outcome.  I wish we had more time to go deeper into some of the issues at play.  We did a lot of research and the situation with Amazon is extremely complex due to their corporate culture.  Specific concepts around monetizing the platform and/or the purpose built tools designed for their internal use would have been whole other section of the presentation, but it really fell out of the scope of our assignment.  Overall, it was a really good experience and an interesting problem to solve.

Gennection

I have to say I was a little disappointed when I found that they had changed the discussion topic from what was originally proposed.  This was the subject I had envied when pod assignments were made, but I do think they handled the framing of the new discussion well.

Clearly they did a lot of research.  I was hoping to find their slides before I wrote this reflection because in the wealth of information I was inspired to go do more research after class on this topic, it was that engaging for me.  As a discussion of the traits of the various generations, I think this presentation hit its stride early.  As they went deeper, it felt like it became less focused on how to work with Millennials.  Many of the statements made about best practices or the desires of Millennials in the work place felt like they could be more broadly applied.  For example, I can’t think of anyone who says, “I want my boss to be authoritarian, provide a dull work environment and heaven forbid I work on things that I am passionate about!”  I think the core of the conflict (if there is one, I tend to think this is more of a media created problem designed to fill air time) is the fact that this generation is more direct about asking for what they want and are more willing to leave a company to go get it.  That said, the needs are not unique to this population.  In following the twitter feed during this presentation, I kept seeing comments that people felt they were describing their desires in the workplace to a T, but I think this was reflected by people other than the Millennial audience they were speaking about.

The one thing I would like to see if this was a “real” presentation was a better discussion of why it matters?  The fact that there are a lot of Millennials entering the workplace is not enough reason for an employer to completely rethink their current practices.  If they are not bringing a unique and necessary skillset or perspective to their job, why should employers care.  I would also like to say that I thought the continued focus on the Boomer-Millennial rift was overplayed since in my experience more Millennials will be in organizations reporting to GenXers and I would have liked to hear more about those specific differences.

And like that, it’s done.  Thank you fellow #CommLead students, it has been an inspiring experience!

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