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10 things from our Brave Get Together

Former Marketing Society Editor Elen Lewis shares ten things she learned at our Brave Get Together.


1. In times of crisis trust that humans know how to react in the moment. There are two lessons. First, do the right thing. Second, act tactically rather than think strategically. (Ken Muench)

2. Learn from Sherlock Holmes. Be as interested in the dog that didn't bark. In an uncertain world, high performing organisations should embrace the learning zone. This is how you know you're there. How often are you hearing bad news or half-baked ideas? How often are your team asking for help?(Prof Amy Edmondson)

3. It's a myth you can get all the data you need to make a decision. You can't. Train yourself and your team to make decisions with incomplete information. And look for the 'unknown unknowns'. What are we not doing? What have we overlooked? (Baroness Manningham-Buller)

4. Change your metaphor about data to get a new perspective. Think of information as light, not liquid. Look for moments of enlightenment, how to illuminate something, look at the differences. The more actionable, interesting work you do is when you force yourself to use the metaphors of light around information. (John Willshire)

5. Learn from the army if you want to work fast. They told the Nightingale Hospital team to focus on pulling the big levers and forget about the minor details, which can be mopped up as you go along. Have two meetings everyday at 8am and 5pm to highlight blockers and push through decisions. (Principal BDP - designers of the Nightingale Hospitals)

6. Black Lives Matter is not about getting poor black kids through the door of your organisation or making 'look at me' statements. It's about taking the time, care and patience for reflective conversations about changing the behaviour of a nation. Marketers need to use their power to champion the message for the Britain we want to see. (Cephas Williams)

7. Pay attention to your pronouns. People who use 'I' more in conversations are paying most attention to themselves and tend to be insecure and looking inward. People who use third-person pronouns more in conversation tend to be more interested in other people and more social. People who use 'we' more in conversation are most interested in the group they're part of. (Prof. James Pennebaker)

9. People care about things that make life better. Value creation comes through creating better human experiences. (Tim Kobe)

10. Don't just do your job, make a difference. Channel the wisdom of American poet, Mary Oliver. "What is it you want to do with your one wild and precious life?" (Syl Saller)