Monday, February 22, 2010

Empire of dust

I was asked to speak to a young group of individuals about career choices, the future, how to get what you want and above all how to sustain your motivation for a ‘better’ tomorrow.

I started compiling a few thoughts, getting my ahead around the right angle to propose this thought process/processes when I was watching the Prime Minister discuss a few current affairs. He was talking his way out or into yet another controversy and it occurred to me that for the majority of his role as Prime Minister of a Nation he was under fire, under scrutiny and under the pump.

The challenge here was not in the 'challenge'; it lay in the ability to employ foresight. When the dust settles how will it all unfold? Being able to employ this thought process alone will liberate you, give you breathing room and allow you the confidence to deliver to the task at hand.

The Prime Minister looks over an empire of dust; the greater the ability to see what it will look like when the dust settles the greater the serving of the role.

To paraphrase my little talk touched on the following:

Most of us are good; our job NOW is to find out how good?

Success starts when you know there are only ever two outcomes; Winning/Learning.

The future is sleeping; the loudest, the most courageous, the innovators and the kindest (the list goes on) will be the only ones it will wake for.

So my little talk went something on the lines of; Yesterday is gone, tomorrow doesn’t exist (yet), and all you really have and will ever have is NOW.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Successful mistakes

A good friend rang me late last year and said he ‘has had enough and he has nothing more to learn here.’

By his account he has had enough of his job, his lack of workplace camaraderie, his colleagues all working for different goals, he was tired of being undervalued, shut down, his skills where not being utilised to the full extent.

My friend was an ambassador of change; he had the ideas, the will, but not the power. He was a cog, he was being under resourced and he was frustrated.

After a few minutes of listening to his rant, I mentioned my thoughts;

Success only happens twice- Once in someone’s mind and twice in the real world. It will only ever happen twice. There can be variations of that success, a similar business model, a similar outcome to a competition and an almost identical product. It will be slightly different every time- Success will never be replicated.

Mistakes happen infinitely. The same mistakes happen frequently, businesses fail in the same way continually; a competition will be lost by making the same mistake, people will lose loved ones by making the same mistakes.- Mistakes will always happen again.

Focus on the mistakes, there are plenty of them, you will never learn enough of them, you will never be able to avoid all of them but the more you know and understand the less the likelihood of them reoccurring in your own equation.

My friend was closer than ever to achieving his own slice of success as he was surrounded by it every time he went to work.

n.b. My friend is still working for the same company, but recently got a promotion.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Who's your company?

These days there a lot of people with a lot of acquaintances, people that want to spend time with you when they want to, when the sun is out, when there is a memory on the table or a lack of things to do at their end. Yes, they are friends, friends that do not care overly much other than the company and the passing of time with someone- Anyone.

Friends it seems are becoming passé, good friends even more so. An older women mentioned to me the other week that she cannot believe how many friends all the younger generation have these days- she people watched at her local cafe for a few months and saw one group of 20 something girls with different people, only once were they in the company of the same people. In her time, she proclaimed “I had two friends, best friends “

We are all spending a lot less time with the same people, and a lot more time with more people. Is it a good thing? It’s a good thing if the company you are keeping is making you a better person but too often we keep company for the wrong reasons.

If you can’t comfortably and with no awkwardness hold the hands of the ones next you, you shouldn’t be standing there for long.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Head in the sand

Too often companies are sacrificing their brand equity by putting their creative and media responsibilities in the hands of people that actually do not care.

The in house marketing team are ‘too busy’ about the real world because they are focusing on their insular world and rarely devising the strategy anyway so why would they care how it gets implemented.

So some companies outsource to agencies...

Most agencies operate on a retainer or a perecentage of transactional media, some are performance based (all should be performance based) and some even ask for a fee from the brands on top of the percentage kick backs the suppliers are offering.

Let’s face it, the suppliers write revenue and they don’t overly care about the agencies because they are not the brand, they only hold the responsibility for a period of time. These Account execs, managers, directors receive a nominal wage per year (few get commissions on top of that) and their time is broken up between the accounts they hold. They didn’t build the brand, the empire of which the hold the budgets for. They just spend it. Sound like a spoilt little rich kid doesn’t it?

So when the agency for company ‘x’ says that they are not interested what do you think they are really saying? When they don’t reply to emails, or even entertain a thought, how do you think the brand would feel? Isn’t this their job, to care about the brand?

But then again how often do you meet a discerning little rich kid?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The modern tour guide

Over the next 6 months we will see a very different media landscape. Over the next 3 years there will be a very different thought process being applied to all media action. Of course there will be the age old, archaic and traditional theories that will be strewn out against any brand not willing to think outside the square. What square?

I implore you to think about your objectives under a night light of seemingly endless possibilities.

e.g I am your new Tour Guide...

In 2010, I’ll be co-coordinating virtual tours via Skype on your mobile phones. I will be taking you on a journey through Google maps to the Seven Wonders of the World, all in 4 hours. I will be selling ''screen shots' as e-postcards in the Facebook marketplace.

You can book your tours by sending me an email or find me on foursquared.