Teach us something, but make it quick. Part 1.

On Thursday 1 March I spoke at the DisruptHR Conference held in Cape Town at the cool Travelstart offices in Kloof Street Studios.
The opportunity allowed me to do 2 things:
1. Reflect on my personal journey from the advertising industry to product design, and 2. Practice public speaking (once more, after a hiatus of, say, a few years).
If you’re unfamiliar, the DisruptHR format reminds me of PechaKucha in that it’s focused, timed and self running. Each presenter has 20 slides (no more, no less), slides rotate every 15 seconds automatically. You don’t control them. This makes things very interesting. It’s also fun. But terribly difficult to master.
I felt that I had a particularly interesting story to share as a creative practitioner whom found himself in a world he did not recognize or understand. During that experience, I sometimes felt that I did not know who I was. I had lost my 'sense of self', as it were. In order to survive, I set out to learn as much as I could (and as…

My life at pi: lessons learnt from an extraordinary experience.

It’s been over 30 days since I wished my friends and colleagues at 22seven farewell. I remember saying to some of them that I was sorry I didn’t keep a regular diary documenting the extraordinary experience I had. This is my attempt to capture (at the very least) some of this experience, and to fulfill, in part, that promise.
Preface It’s not possible to describe, with the written word, the special and unusual place that is 22seven. As chief creative officer (for almost 3 years) I soon realized that both my title and my past (advertising) experience proved meaningless at face value. What mattered much, much more, was how I needed to re-apply my brains and experience in a culture that valued a growth mindset, constant experimentation and lifelong learning. The culture at 22seven is agile, self-organized and has little respect for traditional structures, bureaucracy and the status quo.
These are the lessons I’ve leant from this extraordinary experience.
First, find your Why? Understand p…

Our Souls Are Not For Sale #BlackMonday

The Black Monday movement is encouraging all South Africans who disapprove of President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle to wear black on Monday.

The movement was started after Zuma fired finance minister Pravin Gordhan and deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas.

Zuma endured criticism for his decision, which included Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe voicing their concern. Gordhan has also called for mass mobilisation against Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle, while the DA has called on all South Africans to join it on a “peaceful march to Luthuli House in an attempt to convince the ANC to support our Motion of No Confidence in President Zuma”.

The #BlackMonday initiative, with the slogan “Our souls are not for sale”, in turn has invited all South Africans to stand together behind the movement.

“This coming Monday, we will all wear black in solidarity and use the tag to further the cause,” it said.

“We, as fellow participants in civil society, civil servic…

Last week I was laid off.

Last week I was laid off.
On Wednesday last week, I was told that my job was no longer necessary. I guess the truth of the matter is that my position was made redundant. That’s different from being fired. Just to be clear: I wasn’t fired. Here’s an interesting statistic: over the last 27 years, I’ve been told that my job was no longer needed no less that 5 times. Let that sink in for a moment.
I’ve been retrenched 5 times in my working career.

Reminds me of that quote from Robin Chase, the co-founder of Zipcar (the largest car sharing company in the world), "My father had one job in his life, I've had six in mine, my kids will have six at the same time."
In situations like this, I like to remember that ‘if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.’ This is something that Dr Wayne Dyer enjoyed saying. And I often reflect on it. For example; instead of thinking I’m no longer relevant, I can take this opportunity and find the next exciting chapt…

A Healer. A Leader. A Legend. #RIPMadiba

In honour of him, let’s remember one of his most famous quotes, as he quoted Marianne Williamson in his inaugural speech :

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.”

Miss You Dad.

ROY MALCOLM BRYCEaged 55 passed away peacefully in East London on 9 September 1998.
Roy was born in East London on 2 December 1943.He attended the Union High School in Graaff-Reinet and Matriculated in 1962.From there he went on to the Graaff-Reinet Teachers Training College where he received his Teachers Diploma in 1966.
He relocated to East London in 1967 when he landed a post with Cambridge Junior School. Being ambitious,a few years later he gained the position of Vice Principal at College Street Primary School also in East London.
Roy was loved by and extremely popular with his students and colleagues alike.His extra-mural activities included rugby to the U11’sand to this day his ex-pupils contact us with fond memories.
He was a wonderful, caring and devoted father to his two children,Thurla-Dene and Clint.Teaching them from an early age to reach for the stars and to believe in themselves.
Tragedy struck in 1970 when a diving accident caused his health to deteriorate systematically. H…

Digital is doomed as an ad industry specialisation

Digital won’t last. It’s already on its last legs as an advertising industry specialisation and about time too. Coming from an agency professional with a 15-year grounding in digital communication this sounds like a betrayal. It’s not.

International trends indicate that digital is becoming part of the mainstream communication mix. Separation of digital formats as a distinct campaign element still happens, but this increasingly identifies the digital component as an afterthought rather than an integral part of a wider concept. Agencies that ‘get it’ realise that digital is an infrastructure, not a medium.

A growing number of agencies appreciate that it’s just not best practice to hive off digital. Leading brands have reached the same conclusion.

It’s therefore a safe bet that within a few years the digital label will become irrelevant. Major campaigns will all contain digital components. There will be no need to set the specialisation apart. It will be as ludicrous as emp…