My name is Chad Calease. I have a learning addiction, which is why this site has existed since the late 90’s: primarily as a place to keep stories, artifacts about what I’ve learned, having mostly to do with people, ideas, and technology. They’re prolly metaphorical crumbs, too, a trail to help someone find their way back to whatever it was they were supposed to be doing before they got lost on the Internet.
Speaking of getting lost, I’m grateful for finding my way through some dense and vast forests, both literally and figuratively. I’m even more grateful for the way those experiences have hardened my skills and softened my heart. That may be a way of saying I’m a self-taught type who learns best from practical application in the field, doing things out in the wild world.
My work history has found its way through some forests, too, particularly through creative and technical arts, skills that live in the same room in my mind. They need each other. It’s my people-focused gifts, though, that are the reason I gravitate towards challenges requiring a broad set of skills to solve. Thanks to these, I’ve found my way through forests of creative strategy, digital media, information security, IT infrastructure, integrated marketing, management, technical operations, user-experience (UX) architecture, and all the hidden machinery required to bend technology to the will of organizations of many shapes, sizes, and complexities in advertising, consulting, education, marketing, media, non-profit, and regulated industries, like financial services, healthcare, transportation, and energy.
I approach every challenge as a design problem and solve each of them through better listening to the audience and reaching a better understanding of the challenge, which leads to a better definition of it. Better definitions always lead to better design decisions and solutions.
My wheelhouse is answering big, strategic questions, like: “What do we need to be prepared to respond to a broad spectrum of cyber attacks?” or “What technology strategy do we need to achieve Y?” or “How do we stabilize our technology cost cycles?” or “What’s the best way to train our people to do X?” or “What are some ways we can improve the overall security and performance of our product/service?” All tricky but satisfying kinds of questions answered through the same intentional, thoughtful, design-driven process.
Most importantly, I do this through communicating and connecting with others in meaningful and memorable ways. Those audiences have diverse backgrounds, cultures, skills, and ability levels and might include business leaders, creatives, designers, engineers, knowledge workers, the technical elite, and everyday folks who just want the machine on their desk to change the world, preferably by noon.
Presently, I help guide others through their own forests over at WIMZKL, where I make complicated but important stuff, like Resilience Strategy, more accessible and executable for lots more people. My team and I use agile methodologies that almost always have less to do with technology than people. It’s always about people. It’s about finding our way out of the forest together through successful collaborations and outcomes.
Some stuff I do, in no particular order:
- Resilience Strategy
- Technology Strategy and Infrastructure Architecture
- UX Architecture
- Memorable Conference Presentations
- Write for Cool Publications
- High-End Media Production
- Moderate Podcasts
- Dadding and Stepdadding
- Follow Through
- Cook Stuff
- Break and Fix Stuff
- Take Pictures
- Evangelize Media Literacy
- Stroll with Meta
- Ride Bikes and Spend Time Outside
- Worship my Queen
It’s not easy but, yes, even in spite of our current social-political challenges, I remain optimistic about the future and our opportunity to have a role in helping to evolve into a thoughtful culture that collectively values empathy, tolerance, respect, and diversity (even neurodiversity), with a genuine commitment to learning and making good decisions for the long term.
Since early in 2007, I’ve kept a micro-journal of sorts on Twitter with these same motivations in mind.
If you find something useful and/or inspiring here, cool, use it but please share and share, alike.