Digital strategy is a young discipline at Postlight. While the agency just had its sixth birthday, the strategy team has existed for only a little over a year — and we’re still growing. We added strategy to our capabilities at Postlight because we recognized that, while the soul of our agency will always be driven by shipping great software, our clients’ evolving challenges and opportunities call for a set of tools that can help us answer essential, foundational questions about what we are building and why. Even clients who know that they need a software solution can’t always come to the table with a vetted set of requirements. And when they do, those requirements usually require interrogation.
As the agency grows, answering those questions for more clients means we need more strategists armed with the right tools, experiences, and skills, and growing the strategy team has been a priority this year. As the start dates for our first two new team members approached, we decided it was time to document the core competencies we’re searching for as well as experiences and pathways for growth that we hope to offer strategists here at Postlight.
A living document
A growth framework is a useful tool for people management, performance reviews, and the like, but we also view it as more than that. It is not only a tool for evaluating how we’re performing, but also for understanding what we should look for in hiring as our needs continue to evolve. It’s an aspirational, holistic description of the ideal team — but it’s also a living document that can and should change over the months and years. No one person will come to the table with everything for a given level in our growth framework, but the team it helps us build and support will together offer our colleagues and our clients a potent alchemy of backgrounds and capabilities.
Every great team is built on the varying skills of its people, the way they combine those distinct talents, and their ability to collaborate through thick and thin — from the 1996 Chicago Bulls to the Avengers or the Seven Samurai. Our growth framework is how we will try to gently, but not completely, operationalize something that is often left to intuition if not outright chance.
Our six core competencies
Like our colleagues in product management, we prioritized six competencies that describe the skills a strategist at Postlight needs to succeed, some of which mirror (but do not necessarily match) the PM competencies by design. And for each competency, we created a heat map to show how those skills develop as Postlight strategists become more experienced.
Here are our six core competencies:
- Storytelling & Communication: Ability to craft effective narratives and bring them to life in client-facing artifacts and interactions that support positive business outcomes for Postlight and our clients
- Strategy: Ability to take multiple inputs, identify the right problems to solve, develop hypotheses, and select appropriate solutions
- Execution: Ability to get work done and deliver high-quality results
- Engagement Leadership: Ability to build deep relationships with Postlight project teams and clients that create growth opportunities for both
- Collaboration: Ability to properly empower and leverage the right people to move a piece of work forward
- Growth Mindset: Ability to understand and own your development, along with helping others do the same
Each competency comes with a few focus areas that bring the relevant capabilities to life in the context of our work. For example, we know that great strategists are effective storytellers that can move others by wrapping compelling evidence in a powerful narrative. Our storytelling focus areas — narrative and writing, artifact creation, and presence, persuasion, and credibility — illuminate the specific markers and nuances we’re looking for.
Our Digital Strategy Growth Framework is a starting point for our team. It reflects what Postlight can do today and how we plan to evolve in the future. We hope it will support both hiring and professional development as our team continues to grow, as well as foster transparency and collaboration with our other disciplines at Postlight. We’re proud to share our work, and we look forward to shaping its future together as a team. If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to reach out!
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