Thursday, 27 May 2010
Especially coming hot on the heels of yesterday’s talk about recognising genius.
When I spoke in Stockholm last week,
I found myself fielding some pretty huge questions.
Where’s the world heading, what will happen to the economy, that sort of thing.
So what qualifies me to speak with any authority about such major issues?
Let me put that a different way – is anyone really in any position to answer those questions categorically?
Of course not.
When I ask myself what gives me the right to answer those kinds of questions, I realise that it’s the confidence to take the question in the first place.
Most open questions don’t have a right or wrong answer.
So when someone asks you a question, you’ve already done enough to earn the right to answer it.
More importantly, they’re not only looking for your answer.
They’re looking for a marker for their own beliefs and opinions
So just give them what they asked for.
Wednesday, 26 May 2010
And not just because we cast the exact same shadow.
His books are always a fascinating read,
His newest title is called Lynchpin, and I recommend you give it a whirl.
Seth’s central conceit is that we are all geniuses.
He talks about Albert Einstein, whom everyone agrees was a card-carrying genius.
And yet, Einstein sometimes had trouble finding his way home.
I guess even a genius can have his off-days.
Nobody’s a genius 24-7.
But we all have flashes of genius.
I’m reminded of that fact every day I come to work.
I’m constantly in awe of the brilliant ideas, level of thinking and intelligent insight that goes on here at Jack Morton.
We each bring something different to the party, and collectively, we achieve genius.
Rather than a noun bestowed on one person,
I think the word ‘genius’ should be an adjective used to describe the flashes of brilliance that we’re each capable of.
Seth believes that almost every business works like a factory,
I have a different view of our idea centric business
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Are you sure you’re eating enough?
We’ve all heard it.
In fact, some of us have said it.
To our mums and dads, we never really grow up.
Even in your forties, you can still be someone’s little boy or girl.
It’s annoying, but that’s what families are for.
What I can’t understand, is why we do the same thing to colleagues.
We have a fixed view of the people around us, usually based on that all-important first role.
No matter how many years ago that was, we can’t quite shake off the way we tagged them.
It’s really important that we learn to focus on the people they are now,
rather than the people they once were.
By constantly dragging them back to the role they once held we are holding them back.
It doesn’t matter if it’s meant as a sign of familiarity or affection.
Let them grow up.
Monday, 24 May 2010
Second only to the Open, it’s the biggest competition in British golf.
Although I’m always happy to watch the golf,
I have to admit that I found this weekend’s match a little lacklustre.
Simon Khan ended up as the champion, pocketing over £600,000 for his efforts.
But if I’m honest, he didn’t really feel like a winner.
He was just the least bad loser.
The fact is, all the other players just lost more.
They each had plenty of opportunities to storm into the lead, but they made mistakes and lost out.
Sometimes, business goes the same way.
In other words, you don’t always need to win to be victorious.
Maybe it’s just a case of hanging on after everyone else has let go.
Don’t worry if a pitch feels like it didn’t go the way you planned.
Chances are, the other guys did even worse.
Friday, 21 May 2010
I don’t often write about the work we do at Jack Morton.
Sure, I’ll talk about the strength of the ideas and the talent of the people.
I even mention the great clients we get to work with.
But never the work we actually deliver.
One of the areas we’re really focusing on this year is social media
(along with everyone else!)
to activate communities.
And where better to do that than on a World Cup project.
So I’d like to invite you to check out our campaign for Hyundai.
As if you needed an incentive, there are lots of tickets to the World Cup to be won.
I’d like you to be in with a chance, since Jack Morton employees aren’t allowed to participate.
And if you’d rather stay at home to enjoy World Cup fever, have a look at WAG’s Manor where you could win a luxury mansion all to yourself for a weekend.
This is an exciting space to be working in – where live and digital overlap to create a genuine brand experience.
And, of course, it’s fun.
Just click here
follow the instructions and good luck.
And if you win, just remember who sent you there in the first place...
Thursday, 20 May 2010
I’m here in Stockholm speaking at the Scandinavian Sponsorship and Events days ’10
This Scandinavian trip is actually just the first of many, since I’ve been invited to speak at a number of events around the world in 2010 (World Tour T-shirts available in the lobby).
Weirdly enough, it doesn’t matter where I go, the questions asked of me are often the same.
“What does this mean for us here?”
“Aren’t things very different over in the UK?”
“What do you suppose are the greatest contrasts between our market and yours?”
And since the questions are always the same, my answers are pretty similar too.
I’m a firm believer in the fact that we’re all driven by the same desires, fears and ambitions.
The size of our audience may vary.
Budgets might go up or down.
But that’s the same with every client, and it’s not specific to any region or country.
Developing an experience brand is about understanding the need for robust, scalable and relevant solutions.
And that never changes.
So instead of worrying about what makes us different, we should focus on learning about how much we have in common.
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Monday, 17 May 2010
As he settles back into regular schooling, he’s getting up-to-speed with some of the subjects that have fallen by the wayside.
Last week he took a maths exam.
When I spoke to him afterwards, he told me he didn’t think he’d done very well.
But he wasn’t depressed or upset.
In fact, he was pretty sanguine about the whole thing.
He knows where his talents lie.
And he doesn’t burden himself with the expectation that he’ll be great at everything.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses.
The key is to focus on perfecting the former, rather than obsessing over the latter.
Friday, 14 May 2010
Our world has moved on and people’s media consumption habits are rapidly evolving.
We have two choices – stick our heads in the sand or run to catch up.
So it’s a shame that we hear “I don’t do Twitter” or “I’m not even on facebook” so often.
They’re your personal choices, and that’s fine.
It’s no different to “I don’t like Italian food” or “I don’t go to clubs anymore”.
And it’s just as irrelevant.
If your consumers are on facebook, you need to be right there with them.
If they’re tweeting, you need to be listening to them.
The next major breakthrough is always just around the corner.
But if you spend your life holding back, waiting for the next big thing to arrive, you’ll miss all the others here and now.
Thursday, 13 May 2010
Why wouldn’t it?
Nobody starts a meeting thinking ‘I’m going to be as difficult and objectionable as possible.’
The problem is, if you go into a meeting expecting it to be awkward.
Chances are it will be.
And you'll be on the end of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you’re there to add value
share your expertise
and offer support,
how can it be anything but good?
But as George Benson said, “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.”
If you drop to your knees and say “I’m not worthy”
chances are, you won’t be.
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Most people think of Intel Inside and its four note signature.
But that’s a bit like thinking of a brand as little more than a logo.
Daniel Jackson (no relation) wrote a great book about sonic branding which I recommend you read.
Jingles used to provide a handy shortcut to unimaginative advertisers.
How things have changed.
Now a brand will have a bunch of writers composing aural motifs.
And a host of different musicians able to interpret them in a variety of styles.
The brand has an entire soundscape, rather than just a simple chime.
Jackson understands that music has the power to link you emotionally to the brands in your life.
I could say the same about experiences.
It’s all about the emotional journey, and celebrating the complexities of the world around us.
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
It seems that some people are cynical about the effectiveness of developing new business through emails and phone calls.
I think it’s because they don’t understand the dynamic of clients and agencies.
Clients are busy people.
If someone can offer them something that can move their brand forward, drive sales or even make their lives easier, they’ll take that call.
Additionally, isn't part of their job buying agency services.
Which is easier – scouring the industry press to find out who’s doing what, and then tracking them down?
Or letting the great agencies come to you?
When I used to work in a CRM agency, we had a simple saying – “It’s only junk mail if you’re not interested.”
Monday, 10 May 2010
It’s not about cold-calling – we lay the groundwork first.
Then we call.
I was speaking to one such client the other day, and he seemed genuinely surprised that I’d bothered to follow-up my email with "the" call.
Apparently, he gets countless emails every week from agencies wanting to work with his business.
They all end by saying
“We’ll be in touch soon.”
And then silence.
It made me wonder how many times we have great opportunities at our finger-tips,
but we neglect to follow through and miss out.
If you say you’re going to do something, make sure that you do it.
Your next big win is closer than you think.
Friday, 7 May 2010
You’re looking at your strategy and figuring out how best to maximise your profitability.
But what happens when that single-minded focus starts to dictate what it is that your business does?
Sure you’re in it to make money – aren’t we all?
That’s not the issue.
The problem is that you start trying to find ways of selling your existing products and services to clients, rather than developing them to meet the needs of those clients.
If you plan your business around what’s right for you, you’ll never achieve your goals. Business should only ever have one goal in mind – delivering what their clients are crying out for.
Anything else is just an exercise in self-validation.
And it doesn’t make money.
Thursday, 6 May 2010
Everyone knows I’m a big fan of collaboration.
I’ve talked about the theory, the practice and the mindset needed to make it work.
The more I hear from clients, the more I’m convinced that I’m on the right track.
They’re looking for multi-platform, media-neutral solutions.
And whether you like it or not, that means more multi-agency projects.
They want big ideas, and they probably don’t care about whose name is stitched into the lining of it.
It isn’t a competition, and there’s no prize for saying “that was my idea”.
That’s because there’s only one immutable truth about collaborative projects – they lead to better solutions for the client.
Sure, you might lose a little revenue to one of the other teams, but the results you deliver for your client will be that much greater.
The audience doesn’t give a hoot about where the idea came from either.
So why does it matter so much to you?
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Speaking to that kind of audience can be intimidating, but not if you’ve done your homework first.
There’s the research, the planning and then pulling the whole presentation together.
It was also a handy reminder that, in situations like this, it’s not so much about telling people something new.
It’s about giving them your perspective on it.
The there are the rehearsals.
Lots of rehearsals.
It feels like a lot of work in the run-up to it, but it’s worth it once you’re up there on stage.
That’s the power of face-to-face communication.
The reward comes once you’re done speaking – in the interactions you have with your audience after the fact.
That’s when you find out what they’ve taken from your speech.
And the ideas that you’ve helped to trigger.
You also get a sense for the contagious nature of energy – you pass it on and your audience will do the same.
If you’re someone who gets tongue-tied at the prospect of presenting to a large group, try to keep in mind how great it’s going to feel when you’re up there.
Thanks, you’ve been a great audience