Change is in the air

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Change is the law of life, JFK once said. Since I wrote my last

Cam­paign col­umn – which in­ci­den­tally was also my first fol­low­ing the merger with Mar­ket­ing, where I was edi­tor – my own life has been turned up­side down. All for the bet­ter, of course, with the ad­di­tion of a small per­son.

Here we are, just over a year on (hello again!), and change is once more front of mind, if it ever re­treated.

It’s a word that lurks in the mind to­day. Do­ing noth­ing is go­ing back­wards, so what can we do bet­ter? How can I evolve my busi­ness? What can I change?

This drive is fun­da­men­tal to thriv­ing busi­nesses. But while “big bang” change might grab at­ten­tion in the board­room and prom­ise to be the mak­ing of your ca­reer, it’s not al­ways the best path, He­len Ed­wards says (page 49).

In­stead of search­ing for the next big thing to trans­form your busi­ness, con­sider look­ing closer to home: your team. “The great­est suc­cess comes when you al­low the peo­ple you work with to be bril­liant,” Alis­tair Macrow, Mcdon­ald’s UK chief mar­keter, says (page 60). “The more op­por­tu­nity you give them, the more you are likely to get back.”

Build­ing strong, di­verse and, im­por­tantly, em­pow­ered teams is the mark of the best lead­ers, es­chew­ing the echo cham­ber in favour of chal­leng­ing, al­ter­na­tive voices.

And that in­cludes weird fish. Yan El­liott, joint ex­ec­u­tive cre­ative di­rec­tor at CHI & Part­ners, be­lieves it’s “weird fishes that make the dif­fer­ence” (page 45). It makes for good busi­ness too, he says, as clients al­ways love a bright, dif­fer­ent point of view in the room.

Th­ese are the peo­ple who are eas­ily over­looked as they’re un­likely to be fol­low­ing the clas­sic ca­reer path. Their “slightly skewed, ‘off’ way of do­ing things” is, how­ever, what can add a touch of magic (Sharon Hor­gan, page 21).

In her col­umn, Ed­wards cel­e­brates those not seek­ing change for change’s sake but the “nur­tur­ers who un­der­stand the depth and re­silience wo­ven into the fab­ric of the brand”.

This rings ex­tra true to me just now as we plan the new monthly Cam­paign, which will land in Septem­ber, along with rein­vig­o­rated daily on­line con­tent. It’s a chal­lenge we have not taken lightly, un­der­stand­ing the risk, as Ed­wards de­scribes, of not “toss­ing away decades of care­fully crafted brand eq­uity”.

The suc­cess of this next phase of Cam­paign as a ti­tle for the wider mar­ket­ing in­dus­try, fol­low­ing last year’s merger with

Mar­ket­ing, Me­dia Week and Brand Repub­lic, will be grounded in your valu­able in­put. We plan to it­er­ate and evolve the mag­a­zine so don’t hold back with your feed­back. We need you – es­pe­cially the weird fish out there.


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