It’s six months since I started the biggest job of my career to date. My days bring with them a constant Wile E. esq feel of laying the tracks as the train speeds to the cliff edge whilst I’m speeding one step ahead to build the bridge that will carry everyone over safely to the other side.
I don’t actually know what the other side looks like yet, but since jumping in to this role I’ve learnt once again to trust my instincts and the many years of experience I have leading change.
Allow me to give a little background; I’m a CXO. A what? Great question. A CXO, a ‘Chief Experience Officer’. A fairly newly created space on the expanding c-suite of companies that design for the next rather than the now. Over the course of 27 interviews, 3 countries and 6 months a handful of my now team and I crafted a job description that is part ‘sh*t to get done’ and part ambition statement. This was the first hook – we don’t really know how this will go but what I do know is that I feel energised.
I constantly seek to make a difference with every small action and to balance positive disruption and forward impact. When I’m in our agencies I look around me and the small but rapidly growing teams assembling are passionate, excited and if they were honest probably a bit scared. Most of all though we are hungry.
I’m frustrated (as always) by the ‘we don’t do it that way’ computer says no mentality of some of the structures and processes in place but hey, whilst I can’t (and don’t want to) break all the rules, we can definitely create better more modern and future proof ones. I’m excited by the gravity of people pulling together and that excitement wouldn’t be as sharp without the frustration to balance it.
Everyday I turn my phone on in the morning to watch my emails argue out my day and my calendar level up in Tetris – the demand on my time and my brain is exhausting. I love it.
It’s reminded me that I thrive amidst an assembling puzzle, playing out the chess board whilst figuring out what piece you are on any given day. I’m glad we have the ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ agencies out there and people to run them because that’s boring to me. Got a problem but you don’t know where to start? Great. Losing customers with only a vague idea what to? Excellent. Your market’s been thrown into turmoil by a #movement? Bring it on. Your business is chaos and a watertight process won’t stop the sinking feeling? That’s us.
We’re building a practice that meshes business transformation, creativity and technology to address growth challenges anchored in human centred design thinking – in doing so we’re helping our clients design and build their futures.
I don’t have a crystal ball but I do have faith in how things change because the system of change is always fundamentally the same. The pace will be different, the complexity governed by how many people do, or don’t know what they’re doing. But it will happen, it will keep happening and we’re at the front of it.
What a brilliantly uncomfortable journey to be on.