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My Venn Diagram and “Elevator Speech”

January 6, 2012

My Venn Diagram

You know what an “elevator speech”  is, right? The elevator speech is designed to concisely express one’s professional interests/mission, theoretically within the amount of time it would take for a short elevator ride. For interdisciplinary folks , developing an elevator speech can become quite a challenge. Yet, the process of developing, practicing and delivering an elevator speech is perhaps even more necessary for interdisciplinarians than it may be for those who fall squarely within the realm of one, distinct and well-defined discipline.

On the web, we often use elevator speeches to provide snapshots of our interests. Consider the “blurbs” that accompany one’s profile on social networking sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, etc.  My blurb on Google+ reads “Techno-scholar, educator & consultant focused upon the big questions relating to technology & society. Obsessed with technology tools, curation, social networking, the revival of U.S. Manufacturing, labor & employee relations, organizational behavior & scholarly research. ”

Good grief. That’s a mouthful and would leave fellow elevator-riders glazed-over and dying to get off at the next floor – regardless of destination!

Nonetheless, I was determined to plod on toward my objective. After distilling my professional and academic backgrounds to two categories, I still found it difficult to compress the span of my interests and activities. The best representation seemed to be found in the intersection between technology and people/organizations. [Thus, the name of my blog…] My thoughts then turned to developing a graphical representation of my elevator speech. We know from the literature that graphical representations assist in the processing of information and so the Venn diagram above was the result of my efforts to help others understand what I “do”. While a breakdown of what technology management and HRD/IT mean will be necessary, the resulting diagram is a good start.

What would your Venn diagram look like?

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