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Mike Sparling – March 28, 2013

The Billy Goats Gruff, continuous learning and the 7th pixel: Managing personal and professional brand in an electronic marketing world

Increasingly the pattern of, and expectations for, employment have shifted throughout the global economy. Where once employees looked to work at a single company from graduation to retirement, it is now expected that each of us will have many employers, will plan for our own retirement and more often than not will have periods and even full careers of self-employment.

More than ever, the development and management of our personal brand is crucial. That these brands exist in a digital marketplace is all the more reason for careful custodianship. Equally vexing is the intersection between personal brands and organizational brands – witness the interesting role that J. J. Abrams is carefully skirting as his personal brand is attached to the Star Trek franchise as well as the Star Wars franchise!

While the best-managed brand promise may create opportunity, execution remains the currency of authenticity. In a world where skills atrophy at an alarming rate, and worse become obsolete while being used, a commitment to continuous learning is crucial. Only through continuous learning can an individual remain current in their skills relative market opportunity.

Using the backdrop of a classic children’s story, and a set of practical scenarios, Dean Sparling will deliver an interesting overview of the challenges and opportunities faced by individuals and corporations with brand management at the personal / professional intersection.

Biography – With close to 30 years of industry experience across nearly as many industries, Mr. Sparling has constantly reinvented himself through a career that has focused on four arching beliefs:

1. Every interaction is a networked interaction;

2. Every business is a technology business;

3. You can never stop learning, education is our innovation catalyst; and

4. The way to “win” in a complex economy is through innovation and disruption – based on networks, technology and learning!

A former part-time professor in the Telfer School of Management, Mr. Sparling is the newly appointed Dean of the Faculty of Business at Seneca College in Toronto.