My notes on... APG World's Collide 'How do you Win against all the odds'


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Please note, this is just my summary, not the presentation that was used.

Getting through a crisis with a cool head. Bringing people with you when they’re not on your side. Changing your mind because it’s the right thing to do – and persuading others you’re right too. Standing up against the crowd with a new idea and pushing that idea through. It’s all about having a strategy and making a plan. It’s what Planners have to do.

But sitting at your desk in front of a screen limits your thinking and your options. So the APG brings you our second Words Collide strategy event where exceptional people from quite different worlds come together to give their unique perspective on developing strategy – this time to deal with situations where all the odds seem to be stacked against you and you need a way through.

‘How do you win against all the odds?’ Answering the question on the 13th May will be speakers from the worlds of politics, creativity, the church, and the police force:

Michael Portillo - the politician brave enough to change his mind and his world view following his political downfall at the hands of the electorate in 1997 ‘It was a very useful experience in my life. I had to dig into my own resources. I can truly say it forced me to expand my horizons, which was obviously necessary.”

Sir John Hegarty – the knighted, non-conformist creative, ‘You have to be fearless. Fearlessness is fundamentally important to creativity because hopefully you’re putting ideas in front of people that they haven’t seen before.’

Rev Dr Giles Fraser – the rebellious cleric who stood up to the Church when the peace protesters occupied St Paul’s, who says of himself ‘I’ve spent my life on the naughty step’

Karyn McKlusky who got the Glasgow gangs to put down their knives, fundamentally changed the culture at her station, and is now joint head of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit ‘If you ask people what they think of me they’ll say I’m relentless, I can’t sit down’.

Our Chair is Brilliant Thinker and Strategist, and Planning entertainer par excellence, Malcolm White, founder at Krow.

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My notes on... APG World's Collide 'How do you Win against all the odds'

  3. 3. FRASERGILESWho?The rebellious cleric who stood up to the Churchwhen the peace protesters occupied St Paul’s, whosays of himself ‘I’ve spent my life on the naughtystep’.In summary, what?- Giles talked about how to make sure that inmoments where decisions need to be made quickly,you make the right decisions- Make decisions based on who you are- You can become the person you want to be. Just‘fake it till you make it”
  4. 4. CommentaryHow do you do the right thing on a battlefield?How can you make quick and major moral decisions?In philosophy there are two main theories of ethics:1. Consequentialism (holding that the consequencesof ones conduct are the ultimate basis for anyjudgment about the rightness of that conduct)2. Deontology (rule based ethics)Obviously, neither of these work on a battlefield.They tried to make rule-based ethics work on thebattlefield and gave soldiers a rulebook of what to doand when. The problem is, there are infinite scenarios,and a rulebook cannot be infinite.
  5. 5. In the split second that a decision of ‘shoot or run’needs to be made, you can’t reflect on rule 76 in sub-section 7.4.1An instinctive reaction needs to be the right reactionThere was one occasion when a man was about tobe shot. He said four words. And the man who wasabout to shoot him changed his mind. What did hesay and why did he change his mind?“Marines don’t do that.”Why did it work?Because the word ‘marine’ had come to meansomething to him. Pride. Identification.Who you are is more important than what you do
  6. 6. Virtue ethics = being a ‘good’ person and makingdecisions based on thatMake decisions based on who you are and it willalways be the right decisionThe big question is...can you teach a character?Ideally, in order for soldiers to make the ‘rightdecision’ we need to shift training fromTrain. Rehearse. And ‘fake it till you make it’.Train yourself to be the person you want to be.if you know you are or who you want to be then you’llalways make the right decisionTeach people Develop people
  7. 7. KARYNM CC LUSKEYWho?The woman who got the Glasgow gangs to put downtheir knives, fundamentally changed the culture at herstation, and is now joint head of the Scottish ViolenceReduction Unit ‘If you ask people what they think ofme they’ll say I’m relentless, I can’t sit down’.In summary, what?- You either lead, follow, or get out the way- To change behaviour, you have to reach out at‘teachable moments’- Vital to concentrate on: outcomes, not processesand assets not deficits.- The importance of hope and opportunity
  8. 8. “Truth springs from arguments amongst friends” -HumeI had to face up to a big problem that was beingignored: We had a huge issue with violence and I hadto do something about itYou either lead, follow, or get out the way (and youhave to know who is worth leading)So how did we fix the problem of violence inGlasgow?Shifted the way we viewed violenceAsk Q’s like: when do we intervene? Is it contagious?Crime Disease
  9. 9. The WHO’s plan for stopping epidemics:1. Interrupt transmission2. Change behaviour3. Change normsWe had to apply this to violenceWhere do you interrupt? At teachable moments.Vulnerable moments.- Parenting- When assulted- When arrested- When convictedWe also engaged those that were indirectlyassociated: e.g. vets (pets are often abused alongsidedomestic abuse) and dentistsBut what did we actually do?
  10. 10. We knew all these gangs. So we invited them to meetus. All of them. In the court room.We got doctors to talk to them about the problemsthey were causing with filling the hospitals. We got amum who’s son had died from gang violence to talkto them.There were tears in the court room.And then we offered them an alternative. A number tocall and advice on how they can change their lives.We gave them hope. An opportunity.and we have now achieved a 54% reduction inviolence.
  11. 11. Vital to concentrate on:Outcomes not processesAssets not deficitsYou need to have the stomach for conflict, ambiguityand uncertaintyWe’re in a psychological recessionResilience is keyAspire to build a cathedral, not a garden shed
  12. 12. SIR JOHNHEGARTYWho?the knighted, non-conformist creative, ‘You have tobe fearless.  Fearlessness is fundamentally importantto creativity because hopefully you’re putting ideas infront of people that they haven’t seen before.’In summary, what?- Creativity is an expression of self. Be interesting andyour work will be interesting.- Work in advertising, don’t live in advertising.- As an agency, be a brand.- Your job is to satisfy client needs, not yours.- You’re selling the future, make it exciting.
  13. 13. It doesn’t matter where you are on a pitch list. Thereis no correlation with winning.Creativity is an expression of self. If you areinteresting, your work will be interesting.Work in advertising, don’t live in advertisingAs an agency, be a brand. And in doing so, know thatyou cannot appeal to everyone.Have some beliefs.Create a difference.You cannot be all things to all people.Relationships are based on truth. trust. love. And theyare the core of your company.
  14. 14. Your job is to satisfy your client’s needs. Not yourneeds. Always put them firstLearn the language of the person you are selling to.For example, in the US, I haven’t found the word‘creative’ to be a positive attributeYou’re selling the future. Make it excitingYou have to be great at everythingServe the best coffee
  15. 15. RT. HON. MICHAELPORTILLOWho?The politician brave enough to change his mind andhis world view following his political downfall at thehands of the electorate in 1997 ‘It was a very usefulexperience in my life. I had to dig into my ownresources. I can truly say it forced me to expand myhorizons, which was obviously necessary.”In summary, what?- ‘the odds’ against you aren’t necessarily as big asyou think they are- Strong opposing forces are needed to createchange- Do you have to ask yourself ‘what do I think?’
  16. 16. Are the odds always as great as you think they are?If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankindwould be no more justified in silencing that one personthan he, if he had the power, would be justified insilencing mankind.John Stuart MillUK is great because we are liberal. We are willing toaccept that 1 person in 1,000,000 may be the onlyperson who is right.This is how the media manages a celebrity or politiciantimesentiment
  17. 17. They take something you have said to create a pigeonhole. Over time, everything you say that fits that pigeonhole, they publicize. And naturally anything you say thatdoesn’t fit that pigeon hole doesn’t get publicitySo they continuously reinforce a very narrow mindedworld viewHow does change happen? When Margaret Thatchercame to power, no one could imagine a world whereTrade Unions did not have all the power and wheregovernments didn’t control income and pricesSometimes you need strong opposing forces to makea changeMargaret Thatcher, remarkably, always knew what shethought...
  18. 18. ...she never had to ask herself ‘what do I think aboutthat?’You have to know where you’re going. Talk.Compromise.In an organisation, everyone should know what you’reaboutIn big corporations, when you’re at the top it’s easy toforget that the rest of the business is made of realpeople
  19. 19. Some notes from the question timeGF: There are some brands that are so strong that when you’reassociated with them they distort the way that people perceive andbehaviour towards you.The clerical collar, for instance, is such a strong visual cue .Can be opportunity and constraint.Weighing up of stress and job satisfaction.Do you really learn from mistakes?Is it worth reflecting on mistakes or does it just make us dwell onnegativity and stifle us from achieving in the future?Does it depend on the context of what you’ve made a mistake in?Maybe it’s not applicable to creativity but could be true for processes?
  20. 20. KM: You always have to be aware of what you’re sacrificing. Are youreally aware of the size of the opportunity costs. For example, when Ihad to choose between work and raising my child I didn’t think aboutthe true costs of my decision.JH: Advertising is about the freedom to have an idea and tell it to thepublic. That’s an amazing ting.To wound,To save. In relation to the Church and Advertising.Connecting the dots - Steve Jobs“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect themlooking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehowconnect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut,destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots willconnect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your hearteven when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all thedifference.”