Can you tell us a little about what your day-to-day life involves at Good Shout Community?
I spend most of my days saying “COME ON. JUST DO IT. IT’S NOT AS SCARY AS YOU THINK” because the job involves taking people out of their comfort zone, frequently. Whether it’s helping them use their voice with more discipline, or come up with weirder ideas, or just saying yes to an opportunity they wouldn’t normally say yes to, there’s a lot of tough love involved! At Good Shout we provide L&D experiences with zero business cliches, that are designed for real people, and delivered by real people. No stale frameworks allowed. Me and the team have worked in communications for decades and so we know what sparks imagination and makes people braver. This means my day-to-day life is generally pretty rewarding, and always exciting.
What is the one key mistake you think people are making when it comes to being creative?
They don’t listen. I worked in advertising for almost 20 years as head of creative and head of innovation for some of the world’s biggest agencies, and the annoying reality is that we don’t listen to each other enough. We don’t give strange suggestions enough airtime. So many of us are terrible at listening to new ideas, because we forget that every good, new idea probably sounded weird when it first came out of somebody’s mouth. These days the creative industries are driven by not being wrong, instead of being moving and ridiculous and unforgettable. But for an idea to be those three things, it has to jar when you first hear it. We should all listen to those ideas more.
Tell us about an experience that taught you the most
I recently starred in a play in London that I wrote and produced, which was terrifying, but it taught me that if you’re not slightly terrified by your job every once in a while then you’re not growing enough. The feeling of pride you get from completing something overwhelming is ridiculous. It’s important that I do this stuff, and experiment with their voices, because I’m always telling other people to do it, too!
Where do you get inspiration from in your personal and professional life?
Every few months I allow myself a ‘reading week’. You know, like students have at university? I force myself to take a week off and read four or five books, both fiction and non-fiction, to get my head into a different place. No distractions, just guilt-free and completely immersed reading. It’s an absolute joy.
What do you love most about your job and why?
I love the tricky customers. Sometimes at the start of an L&D experience I’ll have a participant who’s really shy, or even a bit disruptive because they’re too insecure or self-aware. Normally, the transformation in these individuals is remarkable - as you slowly watch them come out of their shell, allow themselves to be vulnerable, and see their confidence increasing as a result. It’s something very special indeed!
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