By 2028, the experience economy will be worth an incredible 8.2 trillion dollars globally, according to the latest study from Euromonitor (Euromonitor, 2018). The trend is fuelled by ever-evolving consumer desire for deeper connection to the brands they love, going way beyond just buying ‘things’ and receiving good service. Consumers of today want an immersive and personalised experience that allows them to connect with brands in a new way.
Adrian Simpson, Wavelength’s Co-founder and Chief Connector, distils the pertinent themes from their recent immersion into Silicon Valley, sharing insights from some of the world’s most forward-thinking businesses including Airbnb, W.L. Gore Associates, GE and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
In a ‘post-truth’ era, what separates the trusted from the tarnished? I’ve been researching speed in business over the last two years, talking to senior leaders of organisations about how they deal with the rapid pace of a changing world. In this context, themes of truth, trust and transparency were revealed as the accelerators of business success, with three approaches leading the resistance to the ‘war on truth’.
Wavelength ‘Shortcuts to Inspiration’ Volume 4 – Adrian Simpson, Co-Founder of Wavelength – You Cannot Train Nice!
Welcome to our ‘Shortcuts to Inspiration’ series where we share bite size nuggets of inspiration from Connect.
Wavelength Connect provides participants with the inspiration, knowledge, and resourcefulness to find their own solutions to the leadership and organisational challenges they are facing, and to own and action them.
A core part of Connect, Behind the Brand offers participants the opportunity to get inside a broad array of organisations with compelling narratives around culture, engagement, innovation, social impact, and leading change. It’s a chance for them to hold a critical mirror to their own organisations to see where they could be doing much better as well as where they could be doing much worse.
Silicon Valley’s leading companies, VCs, thought leaders and organisations in the midst of business model transformation will be part of Wavelength USA 2018. They will share how to thrive in a digitally disrupted world, lead through disruption and create thriving cultures to create amazing service.
Over the last eight years, we have invited the leaders from this remarkable organisation to join us on Wavelength USA and to share the Aravind story at Wavelength Connect, so in February 2018 Wavelength Co-Founder Jessica Stack and I decided to visit Aravind in Chennai and Madurai, India, to see it for ourselves. What we found impressed us so much we are returning in January 2019 with Inside Aravind, taking a group of 20 clients to inspire and provoke them about what a highly successful, purpose-driven business looks like.
After two days digitally marooned in the beautiful Berkshire countryside, surrounded by 90 leaders keen to discuss the challenges faced by those who want to change the world for the better through business, coach and social entrepreneur Lily Lapenna-Huda reflects on Oxygen and on her own leadership.
In 2003 the school’s inspector, Ofsted, branded Harrop Fold School in Salford “the worst school in the country” putting it into special measures, the lowest rating a school could have.
Behaviour was so bad that two local bus companies refused to transport pupils attending the school and a quarter of school-leavers went on to be classed as NEET (not in education, employment or training). Worse still, the school had inherited a financial deficit which was the largest of any school in the country.
”At fourteen years old I was creatively destructive,” says SpeakersHub speaker Jude Kelly “I got in with a bad crowd and things were spiralling out of control in my life until my head teacher told me to go and set up a drama group in the school.”
“He told me that he thought I was an existentialist and I needed a creative outlet to channel my search for purpose in life.”
“My aim is that no-one else will die from the stigma of mental illness.” An interview with Geoff McDonald
“Stigma killed my friend” says Geoff McDonald movingly “why wasn’t he able to talk?”
Geoff is a former Global Head of HR at Unilever. He now heads up the mental health charity, Minds@Work, devoting his time and energy to changing the narrative around how we discuss mental health in the workplace.
The world’s first voice activated hotel room, the consumerisation of everything and the advent of the brain machine interface.
These were just a few of the trends emerging as I talk to the leaders and thinkers in the heart of Silicon Valley to plan our Wavelength USA programme.
W.L. Gore & Associates, a $3 billion global business of 10,000 associates best known for its GORE-TEX® fabrics, is widely regarded as one of the world’s most innovative and fascinating companies. In the face of sector disruption, Terri Kelly, President and CEO, is driving change through an organisation that is already renowned as a Great Place to Work.
Media is the industry most disrupted by the digital and software revolution. The 200 year old Guardian has undergone a wholesale change to the foundational components of its business: from its operating model to its infrastructure; what it sells, to whom and how it goes to market. In this video, David talks honestly about the challenges facing his business and sector and how he and the senior team at the Guardian are doing to navigate their new world.
We recently completed Connect, our (eighth) annual six-month leadership experience for 90 people including senior leaders from engineering, media, financial services, housing, energy and retail. These are leaders on their way up, average age early to mid forties, bright, ambitious, keen to learn.
“Organisations are non-entities, people are organisations”.
Dr Aravind Srinivasan, Aravind Eye Care System
However much we like to imagine we’re in control of Connect, we know what happens in the room (garden, tent, field, amphitheatre) and what plays out in each of our minds as we walk away cannot be planned.
Here’s a glimpse into the wonderful couple of days we had down on the farm at Sheepdrove for our last event of Connect 2017, Reconnect. It sure was HOT HOT HOT but what a beautiful setting! Some great photos of our fantastic Connect 2017 members along with our fabulous speakers.
Wavelength’s SpeakersHub were proud to host their inaugural event to mark the launch of their new brand and to showcase a selection of their most insightful, engaging and topical speakers.
Wavelength USA 2017 is fast approaching!
“I didn’t make things worse.”
This is how Sir Martin Narey described his time as Director General of the Prison Service of England and Wales during one of our Leadership Masterclasses. Not what one ordinarily hears from a leader but then Sir Martin is no ordinary leader. He’s an inspiring individual and an accomplished storyteller, and the core narrative he uses to describe this chapter of his leadership story – the last-choice-for-the-job, unheroic, lonely leader failing to make the difference he so passionately aspires to – is compelling but it’s also a fiction. A fiction in the way that all stories purporting to be about reality are fiction. Because creating coherence from the raw mess of lived life involves choosing what to include, what to exclude and what framing will best martial the chaos.
Stepping into other organisations is a powerful way to sharpen focus on your own culture, organisational effectiveness and leadership. Not because the organisations visited on Best In Class are perfect but because they help illuminate what’s strong, precious and worth building on in your own organisation alongside those flaws, deficits and areas of underperformance that must be addressed. Moreover, the visits provide invaluable inspiration and ideas for how to tackle them.
So what of this year’s cohort of BIC organisations?
As I pulled in to Sheepdrove this week, I was instantly reminded of my time as a Connect member in 2014. The sense of excitement, anxiety and the re-emergence of that pesky imposter syndrome were instantly with me. It also recalled the friendships and connections that I had made at my On Your Marks and indeed the personal transition I have been through since; from Connect member to being part of the Wavelength team.
What happens when you take 20+ leaders from around the world on an intensive six-day trip across the USA, a trip full of inspiration, ideas and insights from some of the world’s most successful, innovative and people centric companies? Every year Wavelength’s flagship USA tour seeks to find out.
After two discussion-filled days on Leading Change at Sheepdrove we reflect on where leaders choose to begin in the face of big, difficult or complex change and what these start points tell us about the longer journey
“Get the start right, the right point of entry, that’s how you get a conversation going, that’s how you walk toward people.”
Rob Burnet, CEO & Founder, Well Told Story
“If OK is the outcome of what you’re doing, scrap what you’re doing.”
Imagine that 24 senior leaders, your peers, were coming to where you work to understand what you do and how you do it. What would you tell them? How would you bring the essence of your organisation to life? What would you share (and not share!) to ensure they left feeling inspired to improve?