“Collaboration is the key to our longevity and our ability to deal with the challenges thrown at us”.
There’s possibly never been a more poignant moment to discuss this topic, at least not in my lifetime. Today’s thought-provoking Marketing Society event took us through the perspectives of four individuals facing reassuringly similar business and human challenges in the wake of Covid-19. The line-up was made up of three powerhouses from the sports industry – CSM Chairman Seb Coe, Ryder Cup/PGA European Tour’s Guy Kinnings and F1’s marketing chief Ellie Norman, and an alternative brand and tourism point of view from Issam Kazim, CEO Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing.
Seb Coe talked us through the importance of collaboration underpinned by resilience at various stages of his career. In athletics, on the team he credited with making him the greatest 800m runner of his time, on winning the London 2012 bid and the subsequent challenges delivering an Olympic Games, and on his current journey with World Athletics to resume the sport. He cited moments of collaboration as his best memories, and those with a lack of collaboration (which included politics) as the worst. Each stage, he told us, had helped him deal with the impact of Covid-19.
Continuing the sports theme Guy Kinnings and Ellie Norman reflected on the collaborative processes required to reinstate their respective sports’ global calendars, with Norman highlighting the need for straight, honest conversations in this climate and indicating that the power of live sport and events can potentially help to kickstart economies again.
“We should approach this like a start-up”, Issam Kazim advised as a potential strategy as the world attempts to come through the other side of Covid-19’s impact. “Set egos aside, take an open-minded approach, listen and consider. We’re now connected 24/7 and this opens up a much bigger world, with more opportunities to collaborate”.
The reflections of each speaker were testimony to Coe’s opening statement that now is the time to pause and take stock of ourselves as individuals and as organisations, and his parting advice that each of us needs to maintain an all-encompassing vision.
The session was an hour very well spent, although I was surprised that the discussion didn’t extend to the power of collaboration under the lens of combating racism – hopefully a topic for consideration in a future event.
This piece was written by Alison Forth, Communications Director, CSM Sport & Entertainment