For Leaders and Learners

The creative industry’s connection to inspirational, educational and thought-provoking content.

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Leaders

In memory of Murphy Chou, bright star of Leo Burnett Taiwan

“Hope this is helpful.” Few words can condense Murphy Chou’s spirit more efficiently than these, pulled straight from one of our email exchanges with Leo Burnett Taiwan's former chief creative officer. As the industry gathers to...

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Leaders

Recruiting After the Pandemic In the Design Industry

The pandemic has changed the way we live and work. For the past few months, employees around the world have been working remotely, getting their projects done with video conferences and online project management. It also has definitely changed the...

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Leaders

Conversational ads can unlock the measurable value of creative 

When I first started working in digital advertising 13 years ago and media was still bought over the phone, my manager shared an anecdote with me. It was late in the day at their agency and the team were waiting to receive the creative to go live...

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Leaders

Getting to know the holistic mind of Recursive's David Yates

As the MD of international technology studio Recursive, David Yates has to keep his finger in many pies, often at the same time. Where he really specialises, however, is in taking the disparate principles of audiovisual, IT, acoustics, lighting,...

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Leaders

Dare to be different

Is our desire to be different in freefall? And could Covid be the unexpected cure? The dilemma of originality in advertising has been keeping the industry awake for many-a nights, and the issue never seems to untangle itself. As time passes, things...

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Leaders

Felix Schmidt on the value of risk

Some people enjoy a good challenge. Others simply thrive in one. Felix Schmidt was just appointed country manager at partnership automation provider Impact and he has already high hopes for his future in the company. Having learnt about his past...

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Leaders

Jake Barrow on greatness from small beginnings

COVID-19 has pulled everybody's focus out of balance. But the drive of Jake Barrow is unfaltering, which shows how great of a leader he is to his team. 'Sic parvis magna,' as it appeared in a popular video game series. Jake was born in a small...

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Leaders

Abi Pearl on overcoming the impostor syndrome

We tend to forget how important it is to take care of ourselves, especially during a world-wide pandemic that makes us busier than ever. The story of giffgaff head of advertising Abi Pearl is as inspiring as it gets. If there is one thing you should...

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Leaders

Nick Lawton on running a family business

Low-skill roles can teach you a lot and leave you with tons of insights. One key takeout is definitely how to hate low-skill roles with a passion. Nick Lawton was lucky enough to do some cold-calling in London some time after uni, and that made him...

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Leaders

Patola Figueroa on being a woman in the creative industry

There are plenty of words we could write about Isobar Mexico VP, Patola Figueroa. There is plenty of time we could spend trying to capture her essence, her strength, her attitude to leadership and all of her personal backstory. But in truth, there...

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Leaders

Billy Faithfull on why COVID-19 has actually brought us together

We are physically distant, but emotionally closer. It's no secret that the lockdown and the COVID crisis have had a huge impact on agency work. Some agencies have struggled more than others, but we know that the lockdown was quite a heavy and...

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Leaders

Gayle Carpenter on collaboration and diversity

Starting your own business can feel like quite a big and daunting task. How do you abandon the relative security of a paid job to tackle such a huge challenge? Founder of Sparkloop Gayle Carpenter made that choice a long time ago, and hasn't looked...

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Leaders

Emma Sexton on running your business in COVID times

Who would have thought, one year ago, that success in 2020 would be measured by the capacity to survive a pandemic? We know Emma Sexton as the CEO and founder of creative agency MYWW, founder of the Inside Out Awards, creative expert in residence at...

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Leaders

It's pandemic day today. How are you?

How are you? A question rarely asked for fear of the answer. It is August 2020 in Mexico City. My spouse and I recently bought our first home and it is in a woody area. Its name translates into the Desert of the Lions, a name befitting my family; my...

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Leaders

Katie Lee on leading from the centre of a circle

What makes a great leader? Some believe leadership is about having the best ideas, but we've already busted that myth. CEO of Lucky Generals Katie Lee believes the best leaders guide a team from the centre of a circle, learning just as much from...

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Leaders

Charlie Smith on paving your own path

Running a design studio is no mean task. As motivated as you or your team may be, there will be challenges and there will be obstacles that require your full set of skills. Add to that the fact that, as founder and CEO of CSD Charlie Smith so...

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Leaders

Pivoting in the face of the new world

This piece is all about the "P" word. You have been warned. "Pivoting" is a palpable and prevalent protagonist in brand paradigms, purpose and communications, enough to possibly sound repetitive and preposterous to hear. But how do you pivot during...

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Leaders

Why is Primark denying digital?

There is no overstating the impact of the pandemic on the retail industry. We've seen stores close down, other retail giants move to digital only for a bit, and some others (such as Cath Kidston) make a permanent shift to digital - which was a smart...

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Leaders

Ben Scoggins on finding your place

Corporate culture can make a huge difference in your career's success. For some people it can take a while to find the right fit when it comes to working at an agency. Managing director of Organic Ben Scoggins knows this first-hand, after moving...

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Leaders

Steve Austen-Brown on knocking down walls

It is quite universally recognised and understood that siloed approaches are more harmful than not. On top of that, you may be the greatest architect of them all, knowing all about your theory and with a perfect understanding of the craft - but if...

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Leaders

B2B buying is changing and you're probably not ready for it

If there is one thing this pandemic has accelerated, it is the rate at which businesses have realised they are in deep pits of dung. Outdated systems, experiences and pipelines have come to the open following the outbreak and it looks like the...

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Leaders

Deirdre Waldron on passionate leadership

TBWA\Dublin chief executive officer Deirdre 'Dee' Waldron was not born a CEO. And this made her an even more passionate and empathetic leader. Born a computer programmer, Dee learned from coding a set of transferable skills she still employs to this...

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Leaders

The creative industries need #MoreThanWords to ensure real change

We've heard the promises of a hypocritical industry working relentlessly to patch up the holes in representation and diversity. We've seen our own industry fall short of those promises when the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has...

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Leaders

Brands, it's time to address the UK's widening inequality gap

The UK's inequality gap is widening. With COVID-19 bringing upon us one of the worst financial crises in centuries, a country which already had a problematic inequality gap was only able to get worse. It is just normal that, in these circumstances,...

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Leaders

Dreams of Diversity with Emma Robson

Ingenuity head of events Emma Robson loves travel, food and football. While she dreams of a way in which she can blend all of these passions together, Emma also dreams of a more diverse advertising industry, one in which brands are not afraid to test...

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Leaders

There is a crisis of creativity in advertising

There is a crisis of creativity in advertising. You have probably heard these very words or a variation in the past few years. Campaigns striving to touch on the same key points, unoriginal tropes used over and over again - things are starting to...

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Leaders

Learning from Failures with Oliver Fuselier

Few people make their way in your heart like Great Guns USA managing director Oliver Fuselier does. Reading him as he tells stories of his remote and recent past is heartwarming and enough to paint a beautiful, comprehensive picture of an ambitious...

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Leaders

Don't leave design to designers: we're all in the design team

We are all designers. This is the sentence you will see at the end of this piece, a consideration that many teams fail to realise. Making creative projects requires going through a process. This process can be more or less specialised across the...

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Leaders

Why being a queer creative puts me at more mental health risk

Michael Stephens, former creative director, recounts his own struggles with mental health. Ever since I was young, I’ve been outwardly known as a ‘creative’ child. I was artistic, loved dressing up and of course making dens. I knew...

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Leaders

Helen Brain on setting your own challenges

Fiction or reality, the best leaders are the ones who always pursue knowledge. Ambition is but a piece of the puzzle - without passion and determination, you are unlikely to get anywhere without having a really hard time. And having passion and...

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Leaders

Managing Director Simon Bell on Seizing Opportunities

Not everyone is lucky enough to grow up in a context and environment where creativity is encouraged. Managing director at JustSo Simon Bell went one step further: with his father running a small business, Simon was always curious about the ins and...

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Leaders

Marketing your way through the COVID crisis

It's easy to imagine how hard small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are struggling during this global pandemic situation. Government programmes may have neglected you or you may have fallen through the cracks of a flawed emergency initiative. Either...

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Leaders

Leaders – Andrew Wilkie on challenging the status quo

There isn't a perfect formula for being an effective leader. But if there were one, we'd believe head of creativity and engagement at touch Andrew Wilkie cracked it a long time ago. A believer in humility, hunger for knowledge and constant...