Top Tips from Seventy7 and Use.Space
Top Tips on renewed energy, smarter strategies, a fresh focus
23rd March 2020, 6:00 pm
As agencies, brands, businesses and organisations of all shapes, sizes and sectors, we so often find ourselves considering what is ‘coming next’ and talking about ‘the future’. In the light of the unprecedented circumstances that we now all find ourselves in, it’s safe to say that the ‘future’ we all refer to is arriving far more quickly than we ever imagined.
We will emerge from these difficult times, and when we do, we must do so with renewed energy, smarter strategies and a completely fresh focus on the new future we create.
We must adopt ‘Design Thinking’
Defined as an iterative process of ‘empathise, define, ideate, prototype and test’, Design Thinking is not the exclusive property of designers, but rather the opportunity to involve specialists from a variety of sectors in the process of understanding, innovation and problem-solving. Combining creatives with engineers, scientists with business minds, academics with entertainers, can lead to ground-breaking outcomes, as some of the world’s most forward-thinking brands can testify.
We must build our ‘Networks’
Put to one side thoughts of those awkward moments swapping niceties and business cards you might never act upon, instead retune your thinking to meeting, talking to and connecting with, people you want to form productive relationships with, share information with, and partner with in new ventures and opportunities. We never stop learning from others, and building a meaningful network is one of the very best ways to do so.
We must invest in ‘Collaboration’
The days of keeping what we know close to our chests are long gone, as is the idea that the need to work with partners is a sign of professional weakness. Collaborating with specialist partners is a clear demonstration of awareness, commitment and the ambition to do more and do better. It’s sharing, collaborating and co-creating with the right people that adds real power, strength and depth to what we can achieve.
We must listen to our ‘Audience’
Understanding and empathising with our audience will become even more important than it is now. The next generation of consumers are already having much more of a say in the brands and businesses they choose to connect with, and as we move forward that ‘say’ will increase significantly. The clarion call for brands with authentic sustainability policies and businesses that put something back into the community, cannot be ignored.
We must support the ‘Problem Solvers’
If the last couple of years has taught me anything, it is that for every problem we create (and we create many), there is someone out there working on a solution, on making positive change, on finding a better way of doing things. Reducing carbon footprint, combating world water scarcity, moving to plant-based packaging – it is these businesses that we must support and partner with if we are to build a better future.
We must strive for the ’17 SDG’s’
Adopted unanimously by all 193 of the member states in 2015, the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. They plot a path towards a future in which ‘nobody is left behind and everyone lives a life of dignity’, and they’re beautifully presented in the book 2030NOW which can be found at https://2030now.com/
We must become a ‘Force For Good’
I count myself fortunate to work alongside people who are all about supporting others, and to be involved with some businesses that actively do likewise. I recently worked with a Scandinavian brand whose owner insists on an element of ‘Company Karma’ in everything that it does. Thankfully there is a growing movement of businesses who understand the power of good, you can find out more in the book ‘Good Is The New Cool’ https://www.goodisthenewcool.org/
We must create a ‘Circular Economy’
Irrefutable evidence shows that our traditional ‘buy, use, dispose’ economy is at the core of much of the damage being done to our environment, it is simply not sustainable. Brands and businesses that help work towards a circular economy, one where materials, nutrients and data are continuously repurposed, will be the ones that create new value and deliver long-term prosperity. Find out more at https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/
We must look to the ‘Future’
The value of experience and knowledge gained over time is beyond question, however we should never underestimate the potential of bright young minds. Since becoming an associate lecturer at MMU, and a mentor for start-ups, I have been inspired and humbled by the ability of students to see things from a fresh perspective. Working with higher education can be mutually beneficial in terms of new ideas and development of future talent.
We must share the ‘Solutions’
Workspaces that are more than workspaces – spaces that create communities, networks, resources and hubs, spaces that give those already turning words into action a platform to share their knowledge and solutions, will become the engines that generate creativity, growth and success. Both physical and digital, these ‘spaces’ will provide a vital ecosystem for the constant flow of information, innovation, investment and support.