In September 2012, I had a chat with the lovely people over at Somewhere about my working style and work at PBI. You can read the interview HERE and learn more about Somewhere HERE!


Meet Lena Blackstock, who is a trained Ethnographer and a Creative Contextualiser at Point Blank International.

Somewhere: So where do you live?
Lena: In Berlin.

Somewhere: How would you like to describe what you do?
Lena: Well, I work for an innovation and strategy consultancy, rooted in qualitative research, Point-Blank International. My ‘job role’ has kind of evolved into what it is now over the past year or so.

I come from a background in design, research and communications and had just finished my Master in Design Ethnography when I started. At Point-Blank International I work in the Spark&Craft Unit. We are the internal idea workbench and communication hub. We run a lot of workshops at conferences and events. Also we work closely with our internal strategy unit to bring new sparks of inspiration and new people into the company to help foster our knowledge culture and we are responsible for most external communications as well. My current title is Creative Contextualiser and I guess that describes what I do pretty well.

Somewhere: How do you like to start a project?
Lena: I really have more of a Type-A planner-personality, but have learned to work very flexibly and spontaneously. In our Unit we like to work as ‘rapid action agents’ – if we have a new idea and feel that it’s interesting and inspiring to us at that time, we go for it and we try it. We work with the mindset of the Design Thinker. This is a really fun and satisfying way to work, because stuff is always happening. We don’t get stuck in defined processes and hierarchies and if something doesn’t work, we haven’t invested too much time and energy. We learn from the process and then move on to the next.

Somewhere: How do you like to organise your workload? What tools do you use?
Lena: I am an avid Evernote user and have been for many, many years. Evernote is my place for everything personal but also at work. I save my private notes, information I need frequently, things I want to look into etc. I also use it to organize my To-Dos for work, keep track of what time I spent on what project, call notes etc…

I can’t be all digital, so some things will always remain analogue for me. One example are our weekly lists that we make together as a team. So every friday we sit together in our Unit and look at the week ahead – we then make our individual list for that week, but we try to make it visual, action-focused and we always try to give the week a theme. Since throughout each work day, a lot of little stuff’ comes up, I usually also have a small sticky with my must-get-done-today-tasks on my desk for that day.

Somewhere: What is your measure for a good day’s work?
Lena: That depends – of course finishing a task or a project is super satisfying…you know that feeling when you cross something big of the to-do list? But like I said, we like to work quickly and try out lots of things, and this helps because it means that at any given time there are so many things in the works, and so many things getting done, that you do feel satisfied at the end of a workday.
Check Lena out on Somewhere.

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