Strategy is navigation through noise. As an expert listener and guide, I steer organisations, brands and independent professionals toward successful and sustainable futures.

Analyzing behavioural, cultural, and category trends - at the global level.

Breaking the bad habits that stifle breakthrough thinking and results.

Coaching individuals and teams, to achieve tangible goals and growth.  

Developing future-forward content, methodologies and teams.

Enjoying the geek factor of alphabetised lists.

 
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Worst amazing opportunity ever.
After gaining a degree in Philosophy & Classics, I was thrilled to be hired by anyone, let alone a global communications group - and to be moving to New York City. My start date? Monday September 10th 2001. Having a front-row seat for citywide devastation, taught me some fundamental truths about creative industry, corporate business and city life. By observing all three in crisis, I learned that people are considered expendable so kindness is never forgotten; that expertise honestly counts for nothing if you can't share it; and that no one will help you to build a dream until you start the work alone.

"Art is not a thing, it is a way." (Elbert Hubbard)
9/11 fall-out also enabled a decade of proactive skill grabbing. I jumped from Copywriting to Brand Development to Trend Analysis to Ethnography to Innovation Strategy - and also fell into curating exhibitions with artist friends in Brooklyn. Together we agreed future themes, created covetable objects, converted unlikely venues into makeshift galleries, auctioned the artworks to online buyers, and donated all proceeds to charity. The ARTSHO project ran from from 2009-2015, opening in New York, London, Berlin, Budapest and Istanbul. Art practice involves critical questioning, experimental processes, a laser focus on relevance and a commitment to creating engaging solutions by any means necessary. I soon realised these skills are also vital to design innovation - but getting my corporate colleagues and clients to recognise the value of art practice, would be an uphill struggle.

Creativity is connection.
After ten years, I noticed my favourite agency colleagues kept resigning. They tended to be the most fun but challenging thinkers and makers - people who were open to unorthodox problem solving - and unwavering in their assessment of creative outcomes that qualified as "new".  One by one they all became freelancers - so in 2014 I joined them. Having quit my job as a strategy director, I moved to Berlin to study art practice in all its forms, and created an online hub to connect my global collaborators with each other. Today Spokehub operates like a switchboard, for hub members to develop new ways of seeing, solving and storytelling, through interdisciplinary exchanges. 

 

SPOKEHUB is a network of artists, designers and analysts - reinventing the way creative work is made and valued. Art flexes our process, while strategy ensures impact. The result is disruptive design that pushes industries forward.

 
 
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"On honestly disruptive strategy…"

Interview in Business Review, 21.07.2017

 

How to lose friends in 5 mins.

Introducing myself to design innovation peers in Berlin was a little nerve-wracking - until I learned that the format was a timed 300-second presentation. I love limitation challenges (!) so rocked up, dropped some truth bombs and basked in well-earned infamy for the rest of the night.


Biters need not apply.

Full disclosure, I have a lot of love for Adidas, both brand and business - so when they asked me to say some inspiring words about the evolution of retail, I was initially miffed. Sexy analogy to the rescue! By likening retail eras to dance styles, I was able to put juggalos firmly on the corporate radar. Achievement unlocked.

 

"We want to reinvent how creative work is made and valued…"

Interview with Creative City Berlin, 13.02.2017

 

So... what's up with Water?

Definitely not the weirdest assignment I've ever been given, but the expense : vagueness ratio was initially concerning. Our friends at Sperry really wanted to understand the cultural significance of water in Cuba, so I went to investigate - and even had my shoes custom-designed by Havana's most eminent tattoo artist.


Hyper-innovation,Berlin style.

Designing a time-efficient process for industry giants to co-innovate together, is as crazy-difficult as it sounds. Cisco was a fantastic client for almost 2 years - they even let me be in this summary video when we pilot tested on my home patch!