William Colgrove spoke at our April CreativeMornings/Washington, DC event, giving some potentially life-saving advice on how to survive a zombie apocalypse (or what the living dead can teach you about a future career in creative services). Here it is:
Team + Problem = Solution
This is a pervasive theme both in the workplace as well as in zombie attacks. You have a team of people, there’s a problem to be solved, and you must arrive at a solution. The success (and life) of your team depends on it.
You must have a plan.
In zombie movies, the man without a plan is always the first one to go. Zombies can’t plan. It’s the one edge we have on them.
A plan should be scalable.
It should work for any size crisis. Same goes for your career. It doesn’t have to last forever; it can be a short term plan, but it needs to scale. A good three to four year plan is best, with short and long term goals for yourself.
Always leave an escape route.
The cellar is a death trap. You need to keep an open mind, open doors. Don’t keep too many doors open, it makes it hard to make decisions—but also to defend. Make sure your flexible with your exits, allowing more than one point of egress.
Do not lose your sh*t.
The guy or girl who loses it, screaming and wallowing in self-pity, is invariably eaten. Be cool. Your job is to solve problems and move on to the next one. It’s how you survive.
Develop new skills.
In an apocalypse, the only fast food is you. You must quickly learn new skills—like hunting and gathering—or become the meal of the undead. Same goes for your job, too. Whatever it is that you’re doing or working on, should not be your primary skill. Always be expanding what you know, what you do, and take the time to teach yourself something new.
Avoid open conflict.
In almost every zombie movie, the louder someone is, the easier it is for millions of zombies to find and devour them. And they descend quickly.
In zombie movies, there is rarely any hope—society has collapsed. Your one hope is small glimmers of humor and happiness, so you need to stay positive.
For more tips on what to do in a zombie apocalypse or in your career path, watch the talk.