March 13, 2015

Big Questions

As a researcher, I am no stranger to questions; I’m the one asking them. Lately, I have been on the receiving end of some very big questions. In my last post, I recounted the questions that started off my Ei year:

What questions do you find yourself wrestling with that you’d like to dig into during this transformational year?

My initial questions were centered around connection: people’s attraction to brands, galvanizing people around an idea or mission, and reaching people amidst noise. I had been wrestling with these questions in my role as a nonprofit board member. And now in my 2nd apprenticeship with StartingBloc, these questions are front-and-center as I work to understand the core of their brand, the space they occupy, and how to translate these into effective strategies for their digital communications.

StartingBloc’s mission is to transition emerging leaders in social innovation from high-potential to high-impact. Last month, I attended StartingBloc’s LA ‘15 Institute as a Fellow. It was a perfect orientation because it allowed me to experience being a “user” of their main product--a 5-day immersive institute chock-full of inspirational, skill-building, and tribe-loving goodness. The institute was also chock-full of big questions. Here are a few that struck me:

  1. What do you fight for?
  2. What are the parts of you that are in conflict with the story you’re telling?
  3. What is your relationship to the world and how you want to see it?

These questions fell on top of questions we had been grappling with in our Ei coaching calls around identifying our values and superpowers.

These are big questions--ones I can’t say I have all the answers to, but I’m digging in. In some way, all of these big questions are reflected in my role as manager of digital communications for StartingBloc. I’m fighting for them. I’m telling their story. I’m helping create their relationship to the world. And, my values and superpowers are mirrored in what I’m doing for them and the value I add.

It’s a big responsibility to speak on behalf of an organization, and it’s a position I step into with humility and acknowledgement of the power they have placed at my fingertips. I’m just a few weeks in, and I can already sense the iterative learning taking place with each tweet, post, newsletter, and photo. At the end of my time with them, I hope to have some big answers to some of these questions.

What big questions are you wrestling with? How are you discovering answers?

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