Clad in khakis in a room full of suits, I stood on stage in the Grand Banking Hall of the old Dominion Bank headquarters in downtown Toronto, about to give a talk on people-centered design.
I’m a West Coast creative; I work in digital.
This was a Toronto crowd, working in finance.
“I’m not creative,” said the faces looking at me.
“I know,” I wanted to say back. “I’m not financive…financial? Finance-ish. Finance-minded. That’s why we’re talking.”
If you know me, you know I’m not exactly a natural with finance. We talk, occasionally: hi-how-are-you’s in the hypothetical hallway, pleasantries by the proverbial photocopier. Some light up when they see spreadsheets; I hide behind a coffee mug.
Tyler (our VP of Finance) knows this: we see the world through different coloured glasses. It’s the same floor we’re standing on, but different ideas filter down through the dust motes. Just a couple weeks back, my colleague Veronica and I gave a presentation on the pathway forward for Domain7’s marketing. As various team members jumped in to offer their takes on the big-picture ideas, Tyler’s thoughtful silence began to stand out. It took a dust-clearing walk around the block to dig deeply into the differences, and through that, Tyler helped me see an important distinction I had missed.
Back at my notebook I scribbled out this little comparison of me and finance: