5/13/2013: They say there are two ways to enter the water – toes first, easing in and adjusting to the temperature gradually and comfortably, until fully immersed. Or, you can jump. My first week at Enventys/Inventor’s Digest would qualify as the latter. First thing Monday morning, I was met by my boss (VP and associate publisher of Inventors Digest Magazine) and the senior VP of design (and partner of Enventys) for a Monday morning meeting. The meeting also included the graphic artist in charge of layout over the entire magazine, who was, ironically, also an intern here last summer. The meeting was to inform our team, the editorial side, that the designer of the magazine would be leaving the following Thursday. Becoming a member of an existing team is always a bit intimidating – it can be tricky to identify the way the team operates and communicates, find what’s working well, figure out the dynamics, and find one’s own place and role within that team. Joining a team that is breaking apart and rebuilding could be even more confusing and complex, or it could be a curtained opportunity to reinvent Inventors Digest magazine and rebirth the brand. Not every change has to be the somber melancholy David Bowie sang of. Albert Einstein said that the world as we have created it is a process of our thinking, and it can’t be changed without changing our thinking. Returning to my desk, I found myself pondering the experiences I will be gaining this summer. This is the way the real world works – people leave, roles change, and responsibilities shift. Like a timeless pop icon, businesses only survive by reinventing themselves.
My second meeting of my first day was with the Public Relations team – my forte, and favorite part of communications. The people in PR were welcoming, as was everyone else. There appears to be great room for growth within the company on a large scale. As I mentioned, the guy resigning from art direction and layout was only an intern last summer when the previous person left, and he was promoted. There are also other graphic artists and designers who were interns last summer. On my side of the building, there is a project manager who recently graduated in May and was hired. It is promising and encouraging to see a company that recognizes commitment, dedication and hard work, and provides opportunity and room for advancement to interns (college students sympathize now.)
Some people are oak trees – grounded, and steady as the sun, dependable and strong, always there when relied upon. Some people are weeds – they spring up quickly, unannounced and unexpected, growing tall, wild and free wherever the wind blows them. From my limited experience in the “real world,” I deduce that well-functioning teams need both – the steady oak trees and the free weeds. They provide the right concoction of consistency and creativity, dependability and direction, functionality and freethinking, allegiance and artistry. When it comes down to the bottom line, someone needs to be able to sell a product, and someone needs to keep the lights on. Maybe a new team of free thinkers and dependable doers is just the ticket to the reinvention of Inventors Digest Magazine. Next is figuring out where I fit into the team.