The city is a book of poetry writ large across buildings. Santiago, Chile.
During the mid-1990s, Santiago went through building boom. The game was simple. A development investment project would be conceived and pitched. If the enough investors were interested, the project was funded, and the building was built. An apartment building here, an office building there. And key to the success of getting funding? The name.
Rodrigo Rojas, a poet and professor, played a key role in naming these buildings. “Rodrigo was a kind of interpreter of dreams — he tapped into the psyche of what the people of Santiago wanted to become, and tried to give that a name.”
Every project needs a name. Unfunded real estate projects and security projects, doubly so. Here are a few things I’ve learned from naming projects.
Be playful and fun. In my consulting days, to protect confidentiality, we wrote a name generator. We dedicated a portion of the project kick-off to laughing over possibilities. With names like Iron Taco and Gubbins Dance, you can’t go wrong. Security needs a spirit of play.
Share the vision. “One system, one team” was what I called my DevOps and IT modernization project. The clarity of the name simplified sharing the vision and making downstream decisions.
Address concerns. When I received feedback that my approach to managing several consulting practices was too complex, I came up with a three year roadmap in three words. Simplify, optimize, expand. One word per year. We executed on this from 2017-2019, with quarterly goals reinforcing the overall journey.
We need to find the spirit of a poet when naming security projects and initiatives. Tell a story with the name. Make it fun, while communicating the vision and addressing any concerns. We can use the name to drive action.
This article is part of a series on designing cyber security capabilities. To see other articles in the series, including a full list of design principles, click here.Posted by