Thursday, July 19, 2018

Step Change – Creativity and Innovation.

A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the team at Step Change, a strategically led digital and creative agency in Sydney. I was invited by their Head of Strategy, Glenn Bartlett, who I’ve watched grow from a talented school-boy to a global leader over the past 20 years.

Below is the first video of my conversation with the team, where I spoke about creativity, innovation, and the three types of organisational change.

Insights from Kevin Roberts: Creativity and Innovation

Keep posted for the next part of this five-part video series on identifying the customer’s pain points.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Throwback thoughts from November 2004.

·       On average a four-year-old child asks 437 questions a day.
·       Napoleon made his battle plans in a sand-box.
·       Plastic lawn flamingoes outnumber real ones in the USA.
·       More than 2,500 left-handed people are killed every year from using right-handed products.
·       A duck’s quack doesn’t echo, and no-one knows why.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Art of Branded Entertainment.

I’ve been working with FremantleMedia’s brilliant leadership team for over a decade now as they’ve created and produced shows like American Gods, Deutschland 83, The Young Pope, Picnic at Hanging Rock and of course American Idol, Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor.

FremantleMedia is all about Connecting Creativity – and Creating Irresistible Entertainment.  One of their up and coming leaders Sam(antha) Glynne is their VP of Branded Entertainment and she’s just contributed a must read chapter to a new book “A Cannes Lions Jury Presents: The Art of Branded Entertainment” – available on Amazon (of course).

A cracking read.


Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Store is Not Dead.

Am back in NYC for a couple of weeks in my stomping ground for the past 15 years, Tribeca.  I’ve been super impressed by the entrepreneurial retail spirit and sense of adventure being shown in the Downtown neighbourhoods, as outlaws and pirates brave the increasingly turbulent waters and fly their Jolly Rogers in the face of the Mighty Amazon.  The big and the small are adapting, experimenting, creating and innovating in bricks and mortar retail.

New York magazine did a great feature story on the rise, and fall, and rise of bricks and mortar retail in Soho and Tribeca last week.  Check these out:

·       My favourite Soho indie book store McNally Jackson has just opened in Williamsburg with two more outposts on the way.

·       CW Pencil Enterprise on Orchard St – a pencil vending machine selling vintage advertising pencils for .50¢, a sharpening station, a pencil testing area and a sticker department – with each shopper buying about 12 pencils per visit.

·       Roman and Williams Guild – art, flowers, books, furniture and a French restaurant.

·       Homecoming – flowers, coffee, books, homewares and an apothecary on Franklin St.

It’s not Either/Or.  It’s And/And.


Monday, July 2, 2018

Making New Zealand a Better Place.

For some years I have been arguing that the long-held belief that the role of Business was to create Shareholder Value has become outdated – first by Peter Drucker’s dictum that Business’ role was in fact to create and sustain a customer and more recently by Roger Martin’s preference for customer capitalism over Shareholder primacy.

My work with this year’s Lancaster University Management School’s (LUMS) MBA class has hardened my conviction that the role of Business in today’s Fourth Industrial Revolution truly is “To make the World a Better Place – for Everyone”.

Today’s winning organisations are creating, collaborating and connecting everyone they touch by delivering instant, intimate value at scale.  They are creating a Supervuca world of radical optimism, vibrancy and innovation where everything happens quickly, easily and efficiently – with no waste of time, effort or resource.

They are run:
·       By leaders, not managers.
·       By inspiration, not command and control.
·       By agility, not bureaucracy.
·       By customers, not shareholders.
·       And profits are the result, not the goal of their work.

So hats off to the usual suspects – Amazon, Apple, Google, Airbnb, Spotify, Tesla, Air New Zealand (and those companies who shared their ideas with us at Unfiltered Live).

Now – keep your eye on Spark New Zealand.  Under Simon Moutter and Joe McCollum’s leadership they are transforming themselves (once again) – this time into an agile, customer-led company where big issues are dealt with quickly by small accountable teams, cracking small tasks one after the other at full speed.

A fast game is a good game (ask Steve Hansen or Pep Guardiola) and Spark is stripping it all back to do just that.  And whilst they may not be Making the World a Better Place, they’ll certainly be making New Zealand better for all of us lucky enough to live there.

The Road Goes on Forever.


Monday, June 25, 2018

Phil Rigby – A Legend.

I’ve collected photos since the 60’s – my homes are full of them – heroes / icons of my youth – along with views of my hometown, my roots and my favourite place (The Lakes).  My two favourite Lakeland photographers are Old Lancastrian Jon Sparks and Cumbrian legend Phil Rigby – both of whom are totally in tune with the character and ebb and flow of life in Cumbria, Lancashire and The Lakes.

Jon has just published Lancashire in Photographs, a beautiful collection of images which captures the diversity of my home Red Rose County.  And Phil has just published Portrait of Cumbria, Life and Landscape – curated by Cumbria Life’s visionary editor (and Phil’s mate) Richard Eccles.

These books are a must for Lancastrians / Cumbrians all over the world.

Why am I telling you this?

Because Phil retired last week as Picture Editor of all CN Group’s magazines – 30 years on.  He shot both my Grasmere homes and became part of the ‘Family’, so connected was he to our homes and our ideas; the photos he took were a visualisation of our dreams.  A special man with a special eye and a special gift.

Cumbria will be poorer without him interpreting and sharing it.  But I understand via the Cumbrian grapevine that he’ll continue as a freelancer taking photos for Cumbria Life.

I hope that’s true.

Keep Going Phil.