After a few weeks of attending events and conferences, I am struck by the fact that I am now replacing company admin with learning more than ever about our industry. It is a reality for anyone working in the corporate world that so much time is sucked up in administration, unrelated to actually doing their job. Every company I have been at, we had meetings about how to have fewer meetings and were considering ways to cut back, but the reality is it is very hard.
Instead, I am now able to attend events, listen to the speakers (good and bad) and hear some of the common themes, the recurring themes, the themes we have been discussing for decades and some new ones. It is inspiring to see and hear from people who are in it day to day and have the freedom of thought to evaluate their commentary and if I so choose comment on it. Years of being shackled because of either client relationships or internal politics has meant every word was being scrutinised.
So to be able to come and be part of the industry again is brilliant and fills me with ideas and opinions that are formed through my own experiences and hearing from others. I have never been obsessed with taking all my thoughts from other people, I am low-key on marketing books and industry podcasts but there is no doubt to the value of having 1000 conversations a week. This is the power of consultancy / running your own business. The time to 100% focus on the job in hand, and learn from different people vs. drink the coolaid of whatever company you work for, which let’s be honest, is painful as a spectator.
So after 30 years in this industry I am finally learning again firsthand, its liberating and exciting and also makes me realise something around how busy the clients we are meeting are and how tight their time is, whether it is not enough time to get projects done or time spent finding expertise to support the business, or finding the right learning and development people, our first job at TheZoo.London has to be to save time for the senior professionals we are talking to, maybe if we save them some time, they will have more to do the things they love.