Red Hat is a place where if you work hard, if you are passionate about our mission, and if you are willing to not just notice something could be better but take the initiative to make it better, doors can open and people will support you.
Recently, our CEO published a book called The Open Organization — a book about igniting passion and performance in the 21st century. The story behind the Creative Strategy role is The Open Organization in practice.
In August of 2012, corporate marketing went through a reorganization. There were several goals of the re-org but one goal that’s important to this story was to create smaller, more efficient teams that catalyzed cross-functional collaboration.
Following the initial re-org announcement, Jackie Yeaney, Red Hat’s EVP of Strategy & Marketing, held a marketing all hands meeting. At the conclusion of the meeting, she said: “We know we didn’t get everything 100 percent right, if you think there’s a better place for you, please come talk to me.”
Prior to the re-org I’d had various jobs at Red Hat. The longest standing was project managing the Design team within Brand Communications + Design so naturally, the re-org had me on a team that leveraged those skills. However, I was beginning to understand while project management was something I could do, it wasn’t my “super skill.” My passion was centered around helping others think through what they were trying to accomplish — problem solving, discovery, ideating, finding patterns within chaos, crafting stories, and identifying strategic paths forward.
While I didn’t know exactly how these skills translated into a specific job title, I knew they could help create efficiency and cross-functional collaboration between the larger business and our creative team. With Jackie’s support and the support of many others, Creative Strategy was born.
So, what is Creative Strategy today and what do we do?
We sit within Marketing Communications where our collective goal is to simplify, amplify, and unify Red Hat’s voice. Creative Strategy itself is a consulting-like role that helps tightly integrate our team with the larger business.
In our day-to day, we focus on:
- Building cross-functional relationships
- Proactively connecting dots and identifying unmet business priorities that could be addressed with our team’s skill set
- Catalyzing the use of design as a strategy
- Crafting empathetic stories
While the work we do takes on many forms, in general, our role helps people across the company navigate the Design Thinking process.
Does your team or company have a role like this? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Perhaps we can talk shop sometime.