The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

You Don’t Know What You’re Made Of Until You’re Challenged …
July 9, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

So this is my last post of the week.

No, it’s not your birthday … and no, it’s not because I’m going on holiday again [even though you will argue I am] … it’s because I’m off to Thailand to mentor at the wonderful Mediaworks conference/workshop.

I love this thing.

I love it because it’s basically the marriage of a pitch with a reality show.

What do I mean?

Well the pitch bit is pretty obvious, because participants are put into teams and then they are challenged to answer a brief that a real client gives them.

The reality show reference is simply because everything has to be done within 72 hours … so the participants – and the mentors for that matter – are under intense pressure to get things done.

Then – to make matters worse – the poor sods, who basically end up having little or no sleep over the entire duration of the event – have to then present their ‘pitch’ to some of the regions most senior execs as well as the client who gave them the brief in the first place.

It’s intense … it’s highly pressured … it’s exhilarating.

But while you might think the reason I like it is because I get to be a bastard to smart, eager, talented individuals … it’s not … it’s actually seeing how they face up to the challenge and surprise themselves.

OK, so not everyone does it – in fact some end up piled in a heap – but when I did it last year, I got to witness just how good one of my planners was.

Of course I knew they were good already, but seeing them present their idea in a way that not only answered the brief, but in a way that held the entire audiences attention was a sheer delight.

Hearing the room let out a collective groan as they realized that not only had they witnessed my colleague deliver a killer strategy, but presented it in a way that had insight, drama and charm and utterly brilliant.

I know this might sound mad, but I had tears in my eyes.

I felt like a fucking proud father.

She was awesome … and while I knew she had bucket loads of talent, to see it unleashed in such a powerful and memorable way helped me see just how far she had come in such a short period of time.

Companies talk a lot about training.

They go on and on and on about how their staff are their greatest asset.

But 90% of the time, the training is about managing internal processes rather giving people ways to liberate their individual talent and that’s why I am so happy to be part of this MediaWorks thing, because it is a boot camp with purpose … something you learn from, not just in terms of approach and experience, but in terms of seeing just what they are capable of doing and being and when that starts to happen, you start realizing you might be able to go to places you never thought possible.

Let the fun and games begin.


37 Comments so far
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Comment by DH

And it’s a holiday for your work mates. Though they see so little of you they think you’re the new boy every time you decide to actually go in to the office.

Comment by DH

Funny, that’s what they all said as well.

Comment by Rob

i fucking knew i was right. you are the jammiest fucking bastard i know campbell. if you fell into a bucket of shit youd come out covered in platinum and diamonds. and dont give us any of that “its work” shit. youre going to bangkok. you have no agenda to fulfil. you get to boss people around. its a fucking holiday.

Comment by andy@cynic

That’s being called “owned” Rob.

Comment by DH

I’m from Nottingham … I need all the luck I can get.

Comment by Rob

and youre a big fucking wet.

Comment by andy@cynic

Bet you didn’t have as many tears in your eyes as your colleague when they found out you were their boss.

Comment by Billy Whizz

This course sounds like it actually teaches the recipients valuable lessons but I still feel companies general attitude to training is outsourcing.

Even though any training is worthwhile, this outsourced approach means few companies have a unique philosophy and approach behind what they do which is maybe why clients end up judging their agency “partners” by cost, not effectiveness.

Comment by Pete

If I got sent to Thailand for training, they could teach me how to write a post it note for all I would care.

Comment by Bazza

Interesting point Pete. Without doubt many agencies train ‘process’ rather than ‘approach’ hence the ability to ‘outsource’ is maximised … but that’s assuming all outsourced training teaches process rather than philosophy and I don’t think that’s the case.

The Red Spider school for one treats a way of thinking as well as a way of approach though whether an agency that claims to be unique amongst a sea of competitors should be using the system of another company to train their people how to think in their job is open to question.

Comment by Rob

I hate it when you have a fair response. Good point Rob.

Comment by Pete

You mean the iPostItNote

Comment by DH

take me with you!

Comment by Katie Dreke

We’re married Katie!!!

That is what you meant isn’t it?

No, thought not. Story of my life. (Just joking Jill)

Comment by Rob

Breaking with the tone of this post, they’re lucky to have you

Comment by northern

So they can learn what not to do?

Please say that’s what you meant or I’m worried about meeting you in Korea.

Comment by Rob

Don’t you mean more worried?
Flights are confirmed, you can’t get out of it now (or I can’t anyway)

Comment by northern

I’m booking my flights tonight. Ooer …

Comment by Rob

Poor koreans. They thought their northern neighbors were the problem. They have no idea.

Comment by DH

the workshop people i mean
wk seem happy to have you absent whenever possible

Comment by northern

It’s my bit for maintaining office morale.

Comment by Rob

While Rob is off training ladyboys or whatever it is he’s doing, I sense that his audience still hungers for marketing-related content of a certain quality. So, I wanted to share this piece of futurism that was drawn to my attention earlier today.

I think you’ll agree it has lessons for us all and I would be interested to know if the California-based commenters in particular have seen this happening already.

Comment by John

Some of those titles have been around for a while John.

I’m fairly certain had people who had at least 5 of those “new” titles back in 1999.

Most are meaningless or are new titles for old positions. It’s as if some companies think having modern job names will make the VC’s think they are a new generation of company. They won’t.

Comment by Bazza

But as you pointed out, they do reflect where marketing is heading and it is highly fragmented and arguably less focused and effective.

Comment by Bazza

I agree Baz. In addition, some of those titles could be superficially interpretated as suggesting modern marketing is actually going back to the 1950’s with a push attitude and approach.

Comment by George

Wow – 1999, things are worse than I thought.

Comment by John

Maybe this is just me, but those ‘new’ titles make the marketing industry sound utterly depressing.

And for your information John, [1] I am not training ladyboys you racist stereotype trader and [2] since when has this blog had any marketing related content?

Comment by Rob

John doesn’t find them attractive just confusing

Comment by northern

1) I was not derogatory about ladyboys and therefore there was no racism implied, ;et aloe intended.

2) I didn’t say good marketing-related content. But yes there’s a lot of that here too.

Comment by John

I’m alarmed how much you take my comments seriously. Are you feeling unwell?

Comment by Rob

Perhaps he’s just eaten a spinal cord in a bap

Comment by northern

I dream of such epicurean luxury.

Comment by John

As for taking your comments seriously, I don’t I’m just preserving my online brand ahem.

Comment by John

And es Andy, I realsie that commenting on this blog has completely undermined it.

Comment by John

It has certainly affected your typing

Comment by northern

undermining your online fucking brand sounds like the smartest thing you could do for yourself doddsy. commenting on this pile of shite likely undermines it a bit too fucking much though.

Comment by andy@cynic

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