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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.
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