Big Picture Thinking Teaches Big Lessons

As UF speaks to the world, and UREL partners with many fellow communicators across campus, our responsibility is to stay connected to and understand the “big picture” for UF — in a way that very few units on campus do. We provide valuable perspective and guidance on how UF as an institution communicates within that framework, internally and externally. UREL helps shape and form and add meaning to as much of that as possible.

Coming from almost 20 years in the private sector as a designer and creative director, the biggest challenge I faced coming to UF wasn’t about budgets, or committees, or how slow things can move.  It wasn’t even about wrapping my brain around everything that goes on here.  It was about the rational vs. the emotional.

Here’s something you can’t ignore: Higher ed is very often a world of empirical data, peer-reviewed research, of regimented academic knowledge – and our world as communicators is one of emotional engagements, building trust and telling stories. Personally, I know that reconciling that and turning the apparent conflict to UF’s advantage is how I will spend my career here.

Jim Harrison is UF’s Creative Director in the Office of University Relations.

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