Archive for March, 2010

Be yourself

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

“It resembled some kind of Stalinest Show trial”. This description was not of a bad buying audit or tricky new business pitch. The incident in question referred to someone’s experience of part of a training course. Following a profile report the attendees of this particular training programme had to explain their profiles to each other, and give their future intentions for behaviour modification.

For many of us training has become a luxury in the current economic climate when many companies have cut their training and development budgets down to the bone. For the lucky ones whose companies have continued to invest in them it is surely churlish to complain about the kind of training that they’re receiving. And yet some people are left feeling that team training and personality profiling can lead to them having to apologise for those profiles and try to reverse them. People can be left to feel that they’ve been stuck in a box, labelled and well and truly told off for the label that they’ve been stuck with.


Need, Greed, Speed.

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Vijay Viatheeswaran, Economist correspondent, was the Chair of the Economist Summit on Redesigning Business: The Big Rethink which ran in London last week. “Need, Greed, and Speed” was his theme for day one.

Our mission at the Summit to consider incorporating the principles of design thinking in order to avoid being tripped up by those three principles of short-term thinking. We need said Vijay, to come out of the comfortable silos in which we have operated for too long to avert the obstacles of too much legacy thinking.

There was much to think about from the speakers that followed. Jeff Denby Chief Creative Officer of PACT talked about the firm he co-founded on the principle that “Change starts with your underwear” – he makes pants. His mighty claim that new knickers will change the world would I think hold more water if they were machine washable! (


Pain is good

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Pain is good was the message from Adam Freeman (Director, Consumer Media) at the Guardian who came and spoke at a MediaCom planning awayday last week.

Our topic was about change management, the hot topic at many awaydays at the moment I would think. Speaking to Marketing Magazine recently I coined the term “reconstruction” for the first half of 2010 rather than “recovery”. We’re all rebuilding in the light of shifting business models rather than hoping that the pain will go away if we clench our teeth and keep our eyes closed for long enough.


Who cares what Ian from Congleton thinks?

Monday, March 1st, 2010

There is a massive poster on my way to work now that shows a bloke called Ian from Congleton who says he’s going to vote Conservative for the first time in the next election.

Hands up if you know where Congleton is. As a southerner born and bred I had to search online. It turns out to be a town, founded by the Romans, in East Cheshire with a population of 25, 750 (according to Wikipedia anyway).

Putting aside why I would care particularly what Ian from Congleton’s voting intentions are, this strikes me as a massive missed opportunity for harnessing local influence.