Transformation. Purpose. Innovation. As we heard during Echo’s 2018 Summit, the pace and the risks may be different, but every single organisation is facing these issues today. From Airnb and Amazon, to e-government and WeWork, whole sectors have been disrupted in a very short space of time. Fundamental transformation is challenging how we operate, how we communicate, how we engage.
The successful formula must overcome change fatigue, digital dystopia, distrusting generations and mistrusted institutions. And embrace the right kind of energy, skill and purpose-driven thinking to connect, collaborate, cultivate, mobilise and innovate in new ways—for the better. As reputations are made or broken in this environment, they also become drivers of behavior and support organisation’s licence to operate. Too few know the real value of reputation—which can and should be quantified—or even assess how they stack up against key stakeholder and societal expectations.
To help us all engineer the needed transformations ahead, above are but a few soundbites from our content-rich discussions.
Dangerous Words, Jetson Reality, Risk and Twitter Handshakes for the Queen
Setting the scene, Ian Davis, Chairman of Rolls Royce, considers the value of ‘shallow versus deep cultures’ and cautions on the use of three dangerous words: transparency, diversity and culture.
Working closely with Ian at BP, Geoff Morrell, Group Head of Communications and External Affairs, shares the communications lessons post deep-water horizon and advises on wrapping facts and reason with humanity and emotion to gain cut through.
Drawing on the 1960s Jetson’s cartoons to today’s reality, Compass Chair Paul Walsh warns of a tsunami leaving generations economically stranded, unless government, academia and businesses act now to better equip people for meaningful work ahead.
The academic and practitioner session led by Henley Business School professor Kevin Money and former Vodafone head of communications, Matt Peacock, examines purpose in relation to the human drive to acquire, bond, comprehend and defend, and the importance of valuing risk mitigation to secure board action. Which Sue Garrard, the former Unilever EVP for Sustainable Business Development and Communications, affirms that ‘anything you do under the badge of sustainability has to drive growth, mitigate risk, reduce cost, or build trust. If it doesn’t do one or more of those four, don’t do it.”
Finally, from fast change to the long view of purpose and transformation at the British Monarchy, Sally Osman, Director of Royal Communication concludes on the evolving, consistent storytelling and the transformative power of Twitter, ‘that virtual handshake with the Commonwealth’, considered so important to the Queen.
We are delighted to have relaunched Echo with our focus on “aim for better”—through sound feedback, material evidence, sensible measurement and valuable insight to support our clients on their journey of impact, change and success ahead.
Comments from guests
“The calibre of speakers, and the quality of the debate, were wonderful…Not only that but the guest list comprised 'who would I like to invite to dinner' names.” Di Burton, Di Burton Limited
“Not only great content and speakers (I’m delving into ‘shallow cultures’), but also a wonderful opportunity to catch up with some lovely people I haven’t seen for a few years. It was the highlight event this year for me.” Tabitha Aldrich-Smith, Pladis
“So many of the themes we talked about are really relevant to the non-profit sector as well.”
Mark Henderson, Wellcome Trust