DOPE: The Creative Approach That Has Never Failed Me
My background is in instructional design and fashion media.
As a corporate trainer and development specialist at a top-25 Inc. 500 firm — with a portfolio including two Fortune 100 clients — I was challenged with designing and delivering learning experiences to a workforce possessing little to no experience in financial services, quality control and client engagement. Not to mention: It was my first foray into the financial sector himself.
The stakes were high: Competitors were jostling for market share and the economy hadn’t yet fully recovered from the Great Recession leaving customers and clients plus front-line and management on the edge or eruption at a moment’s notice.
My solution simple but not easy: Make learning not feel like learning.
My lessons featured role play, engaging discussions, and activities that focused on aligning policies and procedures to their unique personalities so everyone involved felt seen, heard and understood. And I created tools that resolved recurring challenges so managers could spend more time developing their teams instead of troubleshooting performance breakdowns.
Word spread fast and clients from the second-largest financial institution in the country dispatched me to one of his firm’s field offices to replace their in-house training team.
A few months later, I threw caution to the wind and relocated from Dallas to New York City to work at a magazine owned by one of the world’s most influential media companies. The mission was straightforward: Create a fashion magazine that made people felt good about themselves, made them feel included, and that style was for everyone.
I translated that message into resourceful style-advice columns that were written in a friendly, supportive and insightful voice. The secret sauce to my work as a fashion editor was, as my boss, once said, my “ability to get inside the consumer’s head and be creative from that perspective.” In other words: I was always thinking about the person on the other end of his how-to guides, styling features and shopping roundups.
Fast forward to today.
The convergence of these two seemingly disparate adventures taught me one invaluable lesson: That people — whether they work in financial services, are wild about fashion or looking to strategically express their creative point of view — want products, services, content, and campaigns that are DOPE: Dynamic, Optimistic, Practical and Efficient.
DOPE Creativity: The Characteristics
I revisited the same philosophy that resonated with clients, employees and readers at my previous professional pit stops. And I’ve adapted it for a generation of courageous creators who want to trade their extraordinary work for valuable personal freedom so they can win in our new economy — one where mindful creativity is valued over mindless consumption.
The result? A suite of professional services, premium resources and licensed products that embody the following characteristics:
Dynamic: I believe learning is most effective when it’s immersive, collaborative and entertaining. And I practice what I preach during every experience. In other words: Expect to forget that you’re actually learning.
Optimistic: I focus on looking ahead at what’s possible instead of looking back at what could’ve, would’ve and should’ve been. You have enough people telling you what they think you’re not capable of — I’m here to interrupt the cynicism with a shot of good cheer.
Practical: The market rewards action over ideas and performance over procrastination. Every interaction with me is engineered to give you the content and resources to conquer overwhelm, uncertainty and perfectionism so you can create the change you want to see at work, in life and on the planet.
Empowering: Creators come away from experiences with me inspired to start where they are with what they have — trusting they’ll pick up anything else they need along the way. In my world, you’re the one you’ve been waiting for. I’m just the guy to give you the insights and support to help you see it for yourself.