My new gig

I have a new job at Lenovo and figured since a few partners, customers, and suppliers read this blog, it might be efficient to take a crack here in public at describing what it is that I do.

Some background. Every year the executive ranks at the company are presented to the CEO and senior vice president of human resources in a process known as the “OHRP. ” I don’t know what that acronym means exactly, but it is the one time a year I get  asked “what does Dave want to do next?”  I get talked about but I am not in the room.

The OHRP form — an Excel template — first gets filled out by me.  I first did the onanistic-assessment thing to myself at McKinsey where evaluation and feedback is the backbone of the Firm.

One of the fields on the OHRP is essentially the question I dread: “What do you want to do with your life?”  I dunno. This year’s OHRP, with me coming down and back from the Beijing Olympics,  I wrote: “Work in China” and “Focus more on blogging and social media marketing.”

I got my wish. Coming into this new year, Lenovo did a reorganization of marketing with the result that I now divide my time pretty much between two things:

  • Social media marketing: think blogs, monitoring, word of mouth, conversational, digital branding and content publishing … stuff aimed at defining the Lenovo brand online, staving off unhappy customer experiences, and persuading the world that it is better to be an owner of a Lenovo than any other PC or device on the market.
  • Project Mayhem: my Fight Club code name for the project that shall not be named. This is the thing I took on in September, but am now engaged with as the marketing guy since early December. This is the coolest thing, the holy-moly thing. The change-the-world and sit-down-and-shut-up thing.

I give up a few things and the following things no longer apply but I remain an interested party and bystander to the following former responsibilities:

  • Web marketing: paid search, display/banners, affiliate, email … anything direct and focused on CPC, CPM, CTR, etc. etc. …. that moves to a new global direct marketing function headed up by my esteemed colleague and fellow Red Sox fan, Steve Starkey.
  • Web metrics: those stay with Jim Hazen, but no longer are a direct part of my day-to-day, at least not ecomm metrics. Blog and social metrics I do care about.

There it is. I move from the bottom to the top of the marketing “funnel” and I get to do somethingwith people with titles like “Distinguished Engineer” and “Visionary.”

New year, new challenges, some regrets, but a lot of excitement.

I should have been a Frenchman

My first pate de campagne is in the oven, cooking slowly in a bain marie, assembled per the recipe in my new favorite cookbook, Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. This is basically a French meatloaf, but a really, really, really good meatloaf. Pate has the reputation of being cruel liverwurst because of the iconic cliche of pate de fois gras, but the campagne version is the country version of essentially a big pork sausage without the casing, sliced, and served cold.

I’ve been itching to make one since an unforgotten meal some ten years ago in Paris, with my wife’s godfather, at a little hole in the wall in a neighborhood somewhere on the southwestern side of the city. We sat down and the waiter brought over a terrine — a rectangular earthenware container — with a baguette and knife.  I dug in and have been on a crusade to find that experience ever since.

I had to buy a meat grinder attachment for my KitchenAid mixer, and I just nuked the kitchen putting the recipe together, but little does my poor wife know what lies in store for I also purchased the sausage stuffing attachment so I can get real serious and start pumping out some andouille and other smoked tubes of goodness. I won’t be doing the salami, dry-cured stuff. Flirting with botulism is not my idea of culinary fun. Now I have to hit up my nephew for use of his mega-smoker that he got for Christmas a few years ago. This book has it all — how to use every part of the pig except for the veritable squeal.

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