Now This I Can Fully Get Behind

by Kelly Lytle,

I love words, but business buzzwords? Reading something that sounds like an endless string of them makes me twitch.

No, really. Try it yourself:

“It’s an amalgamated, consumer-centric infrastructure disruptor that harnesses value-free ideation based on cloud-based big data to level up bandwidth.”

I know. You’re twitching now. Which is why we do not need more of these in the world.

There is one phrase, though, that I can fully get behind – changemakers.

At first, I feared it might be another irksome buzzword. Wrong! In fact, I had already been living this word for decades – I just didn’t know it. Until, that is, I joined forces with KidGlov, where this term fits. It’s who we are and where we’re going. (More about that in this great post!)

What’s a changemaker? It’s the people, companies and organizations that come together to do things that bring positive change to the world. It’s the movement focused on collaborative work that improves things for everyone. (No, they don’t all live on communes and wear hippie sandals.)

Their ranks include everyone from entrepreneurs to CEOs, grandma-activists to all kinds of professionals…yes, even ad agency pros, designers and writers. Changemakers include non-profit organizations with inspiring missions. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find plenty of for-profit companies doing well by doing good, too.

Now that I understand the word, I realize that changemakers are my tribe. Friends and former colleagues know this about me, and so they ask me:

What’s it like, writing for changemakers? To be the person who tells the story?

What does it feel like to think through the messaging, channel the audience (ok, I don’t really have psychic channeling abilities) and send that out to the world with words?

Here, in two words, is the answer: invigorating and intuitive.

If you’re a short post person, then congratulations! You’ve learned about changemakers! However, it’s worth your while to keep reading. I’ll explain those two words…but first I have a juicy confession.

I haven’t always been a writer. (Gasp!)

While my illustrious literary career began in the third grade with a book written on construction paper (crayon illustrations by my classmate, Kent), it was short-lived. The tale featured mad scientists in a mountain hideout in China and the monster they created. It ended when the monster stomped across the globe and smashed our school to bits.

While the literary career didn’t stick, here’s what did: the awareness of how powerful words could be. We were allowed to read the book to our class that afternoon and paranoia struck. Hard. Twenty-five third graders were terrified, convinced that every noise was the monster at our door.

This brings me to the first fact about writing for changemakers: it’s invigorating.

Luckily, it isn’t terrifying people that energizes me now, but harnessing that storytelling power to bring life to change-making efforts.

Writing and producing a TV spot for a company bringing high-quality healthcare to people in rural areas, where this is an enormous struggle? Invigorating. Developing content for a non-profit organization committed to serving children? Better than a polar plunge!

Back to the confession.

The Chinese monster never showed to demolish the school and I moved on to greener pastures. Actually, they were greyer pastures. In Eastern Europe, where I worked after college. The lesson here was the power of changemakers – people working together to improve things have immense power.

My career moved on, and for decades I worked at mastering the art and science of marketing and communications. The business acumen, strategy crafting and tactic weaving I learned was the lesson here. I understood the place of the writing in the bigger picture.

Which brings me to the second fact about writing for changemakers: it’s intuitive.

Discussing a new project for a changemaking client with your colleagues is uplifting. Collaborating with designers, strategists and others who are changemakers, too, is empowering.

Learning from clients about the changes they want to see in the world, the work they’re doing to get there and the customers or clients who will benefit? Inspiring.

Pulling on all the experiences you’ve had, knowledge you’ve built and insights you’ve gained to craft the messaging and bring forth the voice and words? Intuitive. It comes naturally, not only because it’s ‘what you do’, but because it’s who you are.

 

To those who share this changemaking path as my KidGlov work tribe, let’s keep pouring our passions into it! For those who are clients, who invite us to be a part of your own goals (and who entrust me to contribute), thank you.

Writing for changemaking clients, as well as working with changemaking colleagues, is the pinnacle of my career, bar none. I’ve not only found my work tribe, but the work I do each day with them actually empowers and supports what we hold valuable as people.

Idealistic? Maybe a little. Powerful? Absolutely.

(And don’t you feel a little sorry for those short post people who left the story early?!)