Brilliant Reads: the impact of creative industries, assembling a change team and debating capability

Welcome to Brilliant Reads. This week we discuss what you can learn from transformational leaders, the highlights from our recent capability dinner debate and using data to map the economic impact of creative industries.


Tackling change with a team

In digital, so much of our work is about change. If you’re the person responsible for making that change happen, it can be an exciting, galvanising prospect. But it can be lonely and daunting too: particularly the prospect of all the work it will take, or persuading your stakeholders to do things differently.

In this post, our Head of Content Lauren Pope looks at change teams – what they are and how they can help. They’ve proven particularly powerful for shifting an organisation’s approach to digital marketing, by breaking down silos and strengthening communications throughout the business.

Change teams: finding your squad for digital transformation
Brilliant Noise, 4 mins

Borrowing from Bezos

Most businesses are working on digital transformation initiatives, yet success stories are exceptionally rare. In this study of leading organisations, five characteristics of success were identified:

1. CEO’s kept an outsider’s perspective throughout growth – looking at things objectively and exploring external opportunities.

2. The transformation journey isn’t a single path of turning the old company into a new one. You have to build on your current business core while investing and expanding in new growth.

3. Transformation is inherently risky, so you must build the culture of risk taking and exploration into the company itself. Through constant learning, analysis and employee engagement you create enthusiasm for growth.

4. To build this culture you must tell the story of transformation to all staff, leaders and stakeholders. By depicting the stark reality of the (potential) future then creating plans accordingly, you will invest the company in the imperative for change.

5. When you paint this future you must not be short sighted. Transformation can take years, but by having long term plans you will be more adequately prepared for any bumps in the road.

What the Best Transformational Leaders Do
Harvard Business Review, 14 mins

Debating capability

We hosted a dinner debate with senior marketing leaders to discuss how to build the digital capability needed to drive effective digital transformation. In this article we share the highlights of conversation from attendees including John Lewis, Schroders, Which? and Unilever. The conversation centered around the importance of language, bold leaders and being customer-led.

Why capability is core: notes from the dinner debate
Brilliant Noise, 2 mins

The impact of the creative industry

Nesta, in collaboration with the Creative Industries Council, have created an innovative data map to show the impact of creative businesses across the UK. The tool uses data to map the contribution to local economies and the evolution of creative hubs. Their latest report highlights eight key findings including creative business’ impact on local economy, location concentration and how universities connect creative industries together.

Overall the results show that creative industries have great potential for employment expansion if given sufficient investment. The fact that local creative growth benefits surrounding areas supports the idea that investments in creative hubs will improve the local economies around them.

Creative Nation
Nesta, 4 mins

Bring the team together with coffee

As a company grows silos inevitably appear, isolating teams and departments. When you work closely with a group of coworkers everyone else can become strangers. This communication breakdown causes gaps in information and potentially a disjointed experience for the customer.

Hootsuite faced this problem after rapidly growing from a small team to 1,000 employees. They tackled it by integrating a blind-date style match up for employees to get to know each other, titled #randomcoffee. It was a success – staff gained insight into other departments, shared common issues and found new perspectives to problems.

How 2,000+ random coffee dates changed our company culture
Medium, 4 mins