Ask me how I stopped a director from making a €100k mistake, how I transformed an argumentative team member into a sought after team mate or what method I used to attract CEO's & CMO's to ask for my advice.
It seems like I've solved problems for people and brands for as long as I can remember.
Here you're just a few steps away from solving your own problems.
(Disclaimer: I'm extremely good at doing this with you)
A SIMPLE PROBLEM WE ALL FACE...
Let me let you in on a little secret.
Every position you’ll ever have in your career, you won’t have the full skills or be fully qualified to do the job at the time of starting it. I guarantee it!
Let me repeat that:
Every position you’ll ever have in your career, you won’t have the full skills or be fully qualified to do the job at the time of starting it.
On paper (in some cases there isn’t any paper) there are specific skills that you’ll need to have but you won’t actually have them.
In my case it was like this;
As a Jr. Art Director, I needed to know about photography, design, layout, typography… But I didn't know. I was fresh out of college.
As a Sr. Art Director, I needed to be able to present ideas, persuade, know digital, win pitches… But I couldn't. I hadn't been in a senior position, I'd only seen other people do these things.
As a Creative Director, I needed to mentor teams, convince clients, delegate work, build marketing relationships, sell work… Again, I was up against it! What could I do?
How did I manage to “fake it till I made it"?
I come from a tradesman/builders background. I’ve been an apprentice painter & decorator and an apprentice carpenter & partitioner. I observed my superiors and I took notes, sometimes written, but mainly mental notes.
I trained and learned so much on the job, but more importantly, I learned even more away from the job. In my spare time, I read home improvement manuals, in-store leaflets, trade books and anything I could get my hands on to improve my hands-on skills. I always wanted to impress ‘my gaffer’. 9 times out of 10 I did.
To this day I still use this approach. But nowadays I watch YouTube videos, enrol myself in courses and signup for online tutorials. I still want to impress and I still want to 'over deliver' what I set out to do.
If you’ve landed a new job and you feel out of your depth. Do your homework. Reach out to others (message me). Take online courses. Juggle your time and learn wherever you can. It's in your interest to be better than the best you can be!
Links to some great problem solving, learning tools and resources:
CREATIVE INSIGHT SESSIONS
Is there a problem that you've tried to solve but it's still there? If so, get a room, while you're at it, get a bunch of marker pens and Post-it® notes too.
Block some time and brain dump everything out of your mind = Creative Insight Sessions.
Creative Insight sessions focus on uncovering and solving problems. I run special workshops (remote or onsite) that get to the root of the problem and then build ideas & solutions to overcome it. One-size doesn't fit all plus all outcomes are usually way simpler and more affordable than most people imagine.
Most companies see the word 'consultant' and imagine the big fees that come with it. Not at Craigology. Costs are openly discussed without any hidden surprises.
I specialise with In-House agency and business challenges. These sessions are specifically designed to start open discussion so owners, senior leaders and managers find answers to areas like;
- How to actively service clients better
- Improve collaboration between teams
- Write profit making creative/commercial briefs
- Connect marketing and creative together (and why this works better for all involved)
- Find and use valuable customer data to create highly engaging content
- Build external relationships with agencies/vendors (building wider capabilities for In-House teams)
- Inspire talent, retain talent, improve operations and more...
So the first question is, what's the problem you're facing?
Read below for some helpful kickstarter problem solving advice you can immediately use.
Read to the bottom regarding In-House consulting/problem solving.
If you wish to know more, let's talk!
PROBLEM SOLVING - VACUUM INSIDE YOUR HEAD
If there is one hidden gem to attaining focus and unearthing your problems, it has to be Morning Pages: the process of writing 3 sides of A4 paper, when you first wake up in the morning.
Now this probably sounds absolutely bloody ridiculous or even downright boring, but "don’t knock it 'til you try it". Morning Pages are the equivalent of sticking a hoover in your head and sucking out all the chitter-chatter, thoughts and mental junk that is fogging up your mind.
With Morning Pages you write down thoughts and feelings without editing anything. Think of it as a conscious stream of written daydreaming. Everything goes down on the page. Nothing is taboo. The results are remarkable.
For example: You start to write down how tired you feel because the night before you episode-binged on Netflix. Your mind then realises there’s a link between your late night TV watching and your inability to switch off your overactive mind. You write down all the negative thoughts that have been bottling up and manifesting over the past few months, You can’t write quick enough. Suddenly your three pages have been written and your day is now ready to start AND you now have clarity on some deeper concerns that have been keeping you awake late at night!
I can’t stress enough the incredible power and profitable possibilities of Morning Pages.
The creator of Morning Pages is Julia Cameron. Creativity is a major focus but Morning Pages have so much more power than just creativity. Problem solving, productivity, work focus, life/relationship insights… The possibilities are boundless. A truly outstanding life-tool that costs you nothing, just a small amount of time and a cup of your favourite morning brew. Try them tomorrow morning, do them for a week and begin to be astounded.
Still skeptical? Read this brilliant article by Oliver Burkeman (The Guardian)
5 SIMPLE WAYS TO SOLVE PROBLEMS
If you’re stuck with a problem and don’t know how to find a solution, here’s 5 things you can try:
1. In large letters, write the problem on a sheet of paper. Place this on a table in front of you. On another sheet of paper freewrite as many solutions as you can think of, however weird and crazy. Don’t stop, just write for 15–20 minutes non-stop.
2. Find the voice recording app on your mobile phone and go for a walk, talk all your thoughts into you phone. Listen and review your words an hour later. Write down the things that stand out.
3. Open an incognito Google search window and type in your problem. Honestly, this is such a simple idea but it works. YouTube is a personal favourite for finding solutions. Reddit also.
4. #hashtag your problem on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and see what results come up.
5. Simply talk. Find people you trust (friends, family or trained professionals) and talk through the problem you’re looking to solve. Talking is usually all it takes to gather information to help solve the problem. Remember; A problem shared is a problem halved!
The lesson is to get the problem out of your head.
Once it’s out in the open, solutions are much easier to find.
Originally written on Medium
IN-HOUSE AGENCIES - CONSULTING / PROBLEM SOLVING
There is a definite crossover between Problem Solving and In-House Consulting. Many In-House agencies hit challenges and problems as they start off or as they scale-up and grow, hence consulting and problem solving become one. This is the intersection where Craigology excels. Having gone through all stages of establishing and expanding an In-House agency, many lessons and insights were learned.
Brands like Anheuser-Busch, Unilever, PepsiCo, Vodafone, Adidas have In-Housed their creative and media work. Establishing an In-House presence that produces nearly everything the mother brand asks of it. There are multiple reasons why this has happened, for instance stronger creative output and much closer client relationships.
As In-House agencies are being established, problems begin to appear that weren't necessarily seen during the outset. This is having an effect on the credibility and productivity of the work being produced.
I wrote the eBook 5 Hidden Truths Supercharging Today's In-House Agencies to share valuable information that help agencies set themselves up for success plus overcome some typical In-House problems. It has been downloaded by PepsiCo, Footlocker, TomTom, Adidas and other major brands with In-House agencies.
Download your FREE copy. Wish to add something or share feedback? email@example.com
I'm giving the eBook 5/5! It's a great read and really hits all the main points to either start a successful In-House Agency or to help the future-state of an In-House Agency already in place!
Director BizDev - NiceShoes
Thinking of starting an In-House agency, or struggling with teething problems in the early stages? Download this excellent eBook. Well structured & full of useful tips.
Founder - Simple Simon Strategy
The 5 Truths are a refreshingly irreverent change that I'm stealing to make me look smart!
CEO - Express KCS
A practical and smart eBook from Craigology.
The customer data piece needs injecting in to so many of today's In-House agencies.
Founder - The Recommended Path
The 5 Truths
STRENGTHEN THE CHEMISTRY BETWEEN YOUR AGENCY AND THE MARKETING DEPARTMENT
LEARN TO INSPIRE AND RETAIN YOUR
IN-HOUSE TALENT - REDUCING CHURN
UNCOVER THE ESSENTIAL MINDSETS BEING USED BY TODAY’S BEST IN-HOUSE AGENCIES
WHAT TO DO TO ACHIEVE SUPER FOCUS & PRODUCTIVITY
HOW TO GET CUSTOMER DATA - THE ROCKET FUEL NEEDED FOR IN-HOUSE AND MARKETING SUCCESS