“Communicators” is an ongoing series detailing the various ways people use communications. The first entry focuses on how marketing and strategic planning manager Carl Pascale is using video to demonstrate the need for strategy.
After working for defense contractor Lockheed Martin for 22 years, Carl Pascale gained quite a bit of knowledge about strategy. Now he’s using the lessons he learned from business development and marketing efforts involving fighter jets to help others plan their personal strategies.
“At the time I started with them, most of the business development and marketing activities were around the F-16 program, one of, if not the, most successful fighter aircraft program in the history of the world,” said Pascale. “They’re still selling them today, now 30 plus years after it was introduced and my role was to do a variety of things. I got involved in putting together the strategic plan for the company.”
The strategic plans Pascale helped develop described what Lockheed’s focus was going to be for up to a year, but also included looking ahead anywhere from 5-10 years. The data produced would also help other departments align their course of action with the company’s goals.
“It’s trying to figure out [a course of action] without getting terribly specific about product necessarily, but just the market opportunity, what’s out there, what the company’s position is in terms of market share and the potential, what the competitors have,” said Pascale. “Can you take share from competitors or are there spaces or niche markets that are not presently addressed that might be opportunities, so all of that provides context, direction for all various organizations in the company.”
Lights, Camera, Strategy
After leaving Lockheed in December of 2011, Pascale found a new outlet for his strategic skills in the form of a video clip. He jokes that he “stole” the idea from the feature on magazine Fast Company’s website, “30 Second MBA.” The video series features a variety of people, ranging from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to Bjorn Rebney, CEO of the mixed martial arts league Bellator, giving their thoughts on various aspects of business.
The videos, Pascale thought, would be a chance to reach a larger audience with his opinions on strategy.
“It occurred to me that much as I might work to have conversations with people and talk about what I do and what I’ve learned from my experience, video is probably an effective way to reach people I otherwise wouldn’t with that message.”
“Also, I don’t have a job,” he added with a laugh. “The other motivation was this is a way to reach potential employers. Something to hopefully set me apart.”
So far, the subjects Pascale has covered with his videos include “Business Base Forecast,” “Why is a Strategy Necessary?” and most recently, “Adaptive Strategy.” He said that the subject matter comes from his experience working for Lockheed over two decades.
One of the biggest challenges, though, hasn’t been coming up with subject matter or talking to the camera. It’s been the technical aspect of producing the videos.
“I have no experience [creating videos],” said Pascale. “This is new to me. So the first one, you’ll probably notice the lighting is good and the camera is set back. I had my son help me with that one. The other one I experimented with just using the camera in my laptop because I wanted to get closer and the lighting is not as good.”
A New Type of Audience
The other challenge for Pascale has been having an audience that he can’t physically interact with.
“I think it’s, for me anyway, it’s odd to have an audience that I can’t see. I really enjoy the eye contact and getting people to react to me,” he said.
While his audience has changed from a room full of people to individuals watching him on computers and tablets, he hopes that he can still get some sort of a reaction. Pascale said he wants give people something to think about and would like to see the head nods or perplexed looks replaced by emailed questions and online discussions.
He also plans to continue the video series once the job search is over, as it has quite a bit of potential.
“I actually think I will,” he said. “I think I’ve unleashed something that I’m not going to be able to get back in the bottle and now that I’ve gotten it going, I really want to make it better. I really want to figure out how to get it to where I think it will really have the look and the content that will make people listen and react.”
Pascale says that has gained quite a bit of perspective through the entire process.
“Thank goodness I got into the job search six months ago, because if not for that I wouldn’t have gone down this path. I think this is in the set of things that I’m pleased to say have been one of the more rewarding things to come out of the being in the job search.”
Click here to view Carl Pascale’s LinkedIn profile.
Follow him on Twitter at @CarlPascale