Category Archives: Business Change

YOLO to FOMO

How many times have you rolled your eyes and resignedly sighed ‘Oh the Yoof of today’?

If I’m honest, I lost count a while back, but that said I’ve also forgotten the last time I said it. Why? Because quite frankly this ‘Yoof’ are outsmarting c-suites around the world and as they start to enter the workplace they’re shaking things up, I believe for the better.

They’re more focused, more ambitious and more tech enabled than any other generation to date. They also have the lowest drug abuse, lowest alcohol abuse and lowest teenage pregnancy rate than any other generation. They’re tech savvy and life savvy.

They are the first digitally native generation, having never known a world without the internet and according to Business Insider 61% would rather be an entrepreneur than an employee when they graduate.

They’re the generation happy to pay over the odds for the latest smartphone but that make up for it by streaming video content for free rather than paying to rent movies, they dual screen constantly, multi task ferociously, are hungry for everything, patient for nothing.

For brands, they pose an increasingly difficult audience to reach, with such rapid and sporadic consumption of media they live in fear that they will miss out. They constantly switch between devices and channels, which has resulted in them having the attention span of a goldfish… literally.

They’re exposed to thousands of brands, hundreds of times from their waking moment to their sleeping one, so the question posed to brands today is, how do you make your 8 seconds count?

Less is certainly more, and any communication must cut through the noise in a concise way, bear in mind that these guys have entire conversations through emojis, or Kimojis (JGI).

Forget disruptive technology, these guys are already beginning to change the landscape. The clunky old guys at the top currently trying to move things forwards will simply need to keep up or get ready to pack their suitcases and go home.

 

emoji unicorn

 

p.s. YOLO = You Only Live Once (totes popular with millennials) FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out (which if you read the post you’ll get 😉 )

p.p.s. sorry if you’re feeling old now

p.p.p.s. but I did use a unicorn emoji so that restores the balance

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Curiosity didn’t kill the cat, complacency did

A big part of Leadership is the ability to pivot and adapt to change. Within the creative industry change happens all around us, new ideas, emerging technologies, new skill sets, different teams, in my entire career I don’t think I’ve had two days that went the same way.

I currently help lead the digital discipline across an integrated agency that has moved rapidly from its roots in traditional advertising, to adapt to our clients needs to deliver quality integrated campaigns.

With this evolution we are seeing a new expertise blossoming in the coined value of ‘T-shaped’ people, those that have a strong vertical but can work alongside other teams and departments to see the wider context of their work. For example, my vertical is digital, but I work through ‘the line’ with traditional creative and production teams. Within the digital vertical I am working with other ‘T’s’; designers who work with tech, producers who work with writers and so on.

The success of our agency is inevitably about the ability to embrace change, being curious about what everyone around them is doing and collaborating to make it amazing.

We’re a digitally empowered nation. As an agency our clients and their audiences are smart. They can tell when the dots aren’t joined up so a blended skill set is no longer a nice to have, it’s a necessity to transformation.

The search for the best talent today is less about specialism and more about diversity. This next phase promises to be dynamic, turbulent and challenging.

The last of the dinosaurs are on their way out.

all my friends

 

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Personalisation with a side of ease

As someone who travels a lot there’s nothing worse than stepping off a long flight, red-eye kicking in, knowing you’ve still got to claim your luggage, find your transfer, get across town, find your hotel, complete an arduous check in process and get up to your room before you can finally collapse on the bed.

So imagine my excitement when I spent a day with the top tech bods in the travel and hospitality industry reinventing the entire future-scape for the upgrade needed to cater for Gen X & Y travellers.

We talked a lot about the automation of the journey. How we could put in place a centralised data approach with intelligence systems connected to smartphones and robots aiding the various staff throughout. Whilst I find that really exciting, I’m sure you won’t want to be bored with the tech stack, so to let you in on how it might feel in 2025 I’ll summarise a brief walk through of a typical business trip, we’ll start with stepping off that plane again…

The second you switch from flight mode a signal is sent to your smart suitcase where the built-in tracker connects to your phone as you make your way through customs, you time getting to the conveyor belt perfectly. You pick up your case and activate the next signal, which is sent to your driver who now knows to get to the pick up bay within a three-minute window, avoiding parking fees, congestion and more importantly you being irritated by him not being there.

Your GPS switches to your driver who you find with equal ease. You collapse in the back of the car, whatever music you want is synced automatically, the temperature adjusted and an update sent to your hotel with your live eta feed updating your awaiting concierge.

On arrival your check-in is confirmed through facial recognition, you’re then greeted personally and swiftly shown to your room whereupon your climate is again synced, your drink and snack of choice is freshly prepared and your smart TV pre-loaded with your favourite channels. You can even activate a holographic in-room personal trainer should you so wish…

Your dinner table is reserved at the time you would normally eat and on arrival you see that the menu is based on your culinary preferences with wine recommendations to match. Not only that but the seasonal info and the history of the restaurant Chef are sent to your mobile because they know you like to read the background to what you eat and how it’s prepared.

After dinner, you retire to the lounge and login to a guest screen which is loaded with your business itinerary, options to tailor your travel and where to take your clients, plus recommendations on what to do with your spare time.

You relax, confident that every detail has been taken care of.

In this future-scape our aim is to democratise an executive level of assistance so that everyone can have his or her own ‘Parker’ rather than having to rely on ‘Manwell’.

do not disturb

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Minding Change. Changing minds

One day (pick any day in your career), a client will have said to you ‘We’re not set up to do that, this way is tried and tested’, then in the next breath, they’ll ask for scalability with stability.

Big businesses based on structures that scaled in the 80’s when the price of bread was stable and people had one job for life, find it really hard to keep up with the rate that technology and mindsets develop.

Back then the channels were limited and the organisations structured linearly, now we have to deal with forever shifting landscapes and instantaneous communication flows.

I work for a company that has recently gone through a lot of change, as we equally work to help our clients to change, so for the last 18 months I’ve been deeply immersed in what the theory verses the reality can look like, and indeed feel like.

I believe that long-term structural change needs three things to be considered:

  1. Scale; setting a foundation and building upon that in the right way
  2. Speed; ramping up and achieving significant growth quickly
  3. Stability; an output that can sustain the duration and return, over and above the investment

Yet at the very heart of all of this, the thing that keeps me awake at night, and no doubt my business partners too is that we only really succeed when change works at an individual level, because that’s where the passion comes from.

I was lucky enough to talk to Evan Spiegel yesterday, the founder and CEO of Snapchat, he’s young, smart and not bound by the constrictions of big old businesses, he said this:

‘Success is based on leaders that love their people’

It rings very true to me, and as I make my way up the corporate rungs it’s becoming starkly obvious just how hard it is to achieve the balance transforming requires.

change

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