I'm Dejana, a Brand Manager on the Fisher-Price team.
One thing Garb and I both love about so many people
at Wieden + Kennedy is that they're "T-shaped."
Most people look like this. They specialize in one thing that they're good at.
"T-shaped" people, on the other hand, look like this. They may do one thing really well, but they also stretch into lots of other things.
One of my favorites looks like this:
- Creative Director
One of Garb's favorites looks like a photographer
who also doubles as a cat-whisperer and treat-giver.
I've met people at W+K who are secretly New York Times best selling authors and others who are comedians.
Hell, we have an entire program called The Kennedys for the sake of filling this place with more T-shaped people.
That's important because we don't just churn out ads here.
We solve problems, change minds, and start important conversations.
It goes beyond work.
It brings the weirdest kinds of people to a weird little place called Portland, Oregon.
With so much changing about how we see and show up for work, it remains the best place in the world
for T-shaped people to come be every part of who they are, not just what their job description is.
Even if that's a novelist-poet-taxidermist-CD. In fact, especially if that's a novelist-poet-taxidermist-CD.
I happen to think these kinds of people make the best leaders.
Here are a few examples of how I've put some of my own T-shape qualities into practice here,
thanks to team members who've given me the space to do so.
I've led the creation of a Brand Management
onboarding deck and process.
When we were strapped for resources, I designed the deck.
It's one small way I've been able to stretch what I do at work to show that I care about the current and future members of our department and agency.
We had a tiny budget to make a holiday video last year and it was a problem. Like, a no-money-for-storyboards-but-highly-visual-clients kind of problem.
So I got on Procreate and drew some storyboards.
Last year, we convinced our Fisher-Price clients to create a campaign about the power of play that didn't feature a single product of theirs. It included a film, which remains one of my favorite things I've ever worked on.
But we had no money (again) and no time, with a specific vision for scalloped tags that we were told was impossible within our budget and timeline.
So I went to Michaels, bought red felt paper and a roll of white vinyl, and hand stenciled + cut 52 blank and written tags by myself for $40.
Recently, our Fisher-Price clients needed a few retail mock-ups made for a global meeting in a super short period of time. One was in progress with design studio and the other was a last-minute request that would've been really shitty to throw on the team.
So I ran to Target, snapped a photo that would work, and made the secondary mock-up.
For me, it's less about showing people I can photoshop or hand-cut letters.
It's about seeing a hole and filling it, and then clearing the path to transformative work.
Whether it's taking a stab at a story framework so our strategy lead has a starting point, making a quick video to show the feeling I think we need to convey in an upcoming presentation, or illustrating a deck, I'm passionate about stretching beyond my role to solve problems.
And in the process, I get to be my full self at work.
I'd love to get sharper and give back in new ways with a place in the
third annual WKU Leadership Academy program.