In the first of our new series, we brought together members from our hubs in Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai for an informal virtual round table discussion, to share personal stories of leadership, and to find out how we as a community can advise, help and support each other.
We discussed what we have learnt from 2020 so far and how we now navigate the uncertainty that still remains. Two themes continue to surface. The first is that we must balance empathy with the demand for business growth. The second, how as marketers we can maintain this new-found mindset of innovation and agility as we emerge from this challenging period? Here are eight of our favourite insights from the session:
1. Authenticity is important. Brands need to come off as authentic and not opportunistic, whilst caring for their community and employees.
2. Growth can be created by building people up. If we let people vent, share their anxieties and take a load off – they are then able to deal with other things.
3. As work and life have become increasingly integrated, employees find it hard to draw the line between the two and switch off – this can lead to employees feeling tired and burnt out. We need to put in boundaries and create a focus around mental health.
4. There is huge opportunity during this time to switch to digital. The aim is to create the same experience as a physical event by using new technology – how can we create a similar, immersive, in-person feel whilst also staying true to the brands vision?
5. Stop, start, continue – Encourage people to stop work that isn’t working, rather than continue.
6. Be transparent and communicate with your team. Treat them with respect and calm some of their second guessing. There was an initial fear that people may not be working as much from home, but people are now more responsible and responsive.
7. Now is the time to try new things. We need to be agile, harness innovating thoughts, and experiment. Projects that used to take months of polishing are now coming out faster than ever before. We need to be fast rather than perfect. How do we harness and maintain this?
8. Different countries are all experiencing this at a different pace. We can gain knowledge from a global team to see how we can innovate.