The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Book review: Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry — July 5, 2014

Book review: Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry


What is it about the LEGO brand that sees this company’s products excite and delight the toy market 80 years on?

When you read page by page of ‘Brick by Brick’ you soon learn the many lessons of how to stay an innovative market leader throughout the decades and into the digital age. It’s a fascinating read as you experience the dizzy heights of phenomenal success resulting from the Star Wars and Harry Potter themed sets of toy to the calamity of 2003 when the cracks in the LEGO empire began to show.

The beauty of this read is the warts and all insight into the people behind the company, the vast array of products and the interesting reasons behind the creation of the product ranges. You are taken on a journey where every step is incredibly detailed and where it is clear that the path to success was not an easy one. Time and time again the words determination, perseverance, tenacity and failure appear. The many mistakes are analyzed and explained providing valuable learnings for the reader. One also reads of experimentation, belief and passion.

The book discusses the six principle approach to innovation that worked: An aspirational mission, relentless experimentation, systems thinking, discipline and focus, the appeal of the real and of inspiring the customer/prioritizing the retailer.

The book challenges your approach to innovation as you learn what worked and what certainly did not work for LEGO. Profitable innovation instead of run-away innovation is key and accompanying that continuous innovation becoming the norm. ‘Brick by Brick’ shares the innumerable signposts that were missed at crucial times seeing the fortunes of LEGO plummet and providing sage advice for the reader. Having offered all the insights, signposts and guidance however a crucial take-away stressed by authors, Professor of Innovation and Technology Management David Robertson and founding member of Fast Company Bill Breen, is that it is up to you to ownership and ‘make the bricks click’.

About our contributor // Jacs Ford’s inquisitive nature sees her say yes to pretty much anything – a Tough Mudder, an African Safari, sailing down the Nile in a felucca and even a HTML workshop. Follow her on Twitter via @jacsford.

Interview: Jess Ho, food blogger and new media restaurant wunderkind — August 4, 2013

Interview: Jess Ho, food blogger and new media restaurant wunderkind


I’d never Instagram a coffee, and at times I really can’t be bothered with taking snaps of my food, but it won’t stop me from looking at it. If you take a good photo of something I can consume, I’ll look at it.

Who is ‘ThatJessHo‘? When you combine a provocative personality and solid chops in hospitality, you get Jess Ho, the result is rave reviews and loyal customers. Notorious food blogger Jess chats with Melbourne ambassador Jacq Shields about how the future is shaping food and the art of eating.

Which restaurants and bars do you think are doing inspiring stuff around the globe?

That depends on who the restaurant is and what they’re appealing to. I’m still in the camp that believes that there is a place for fine dining as well as casual dining. Roberta’s in New York has a radio station operating from their courtyard and they have a back room where they hold a $180 per person degustation that you have to book a month in advance. They do it all. They’re a casual bar, an eatery, a pizzeria, a media centre and a fine-dining restaurant. It’s the kind of concept and execution that makes someone like me jealous. It’s genius.

And of course, the whole Lucky Peach/McSweeny’s/Chang thing is wild. They are three of my favourite things as one. But that’s more about running a business and a brand than it is a restaurant. If you are not familiar with Lucky Peach, that is the quarterly food magazine produced by chef David Chang and McSweeny’s.

What they have created is part-literary magazine, part-friends chatting about cooking and mixing in comments about art, recipes, ideas, innovations that are explored and discussed at leisure. The thing that people don’t realise is that they’re selling it as “cult” when it is obviously mainstream and it is a total branding exercise for the brand of Chang.

Chin-Chin-barImage credit:  Jess’s previous canvas for pop-up conversational art stuff at Chin Chin

You were the new media manager for the insanely popular Thai restaurant Chin Chin until recently. What does being a new media manager in the hospitality space involve?

Yes I left the Lucas Group as their brand manager over a month ago after just over two years at the helm to work on Bottle Shop Concepts with Dan Sims and focus more on DirtyPlayground [more below]. Basically my title had the term “new media” not “social media” in it because the job involved more than just communicating on social media platforms. It was about coming up with new ideas of communicating externally from the business and having the freedom to facilitate projects like Chin Chin Wall of Art, which is a year-long projection project run by Kat Clarke.

The Chin Chin Wall of Art is a not-for-profit independent contemporary art space for the moving image that you can see from the restaurant. The projection wall offers a broad range of video works from local, emerging, established and international artists.

I no longer believe in the media release and when I was working for the company, instead of sending one out for the launch of our second restaurant, we created a video clip instead. That being said, I still communicated with traditional media, just in an untraditional way.

What do you see as the ‘must do’s’ in the social media space for any cafe or restaurant?

Establish a voice and tone, understand your audience and boundaries and be prepared to make fun of yourself.

Due to your success in this space, you were sitting pretty with Chin Chin listed as number two on restaurant review and recommendation website, Urban Spoon. What things contribute to getting a high organic ranking?

I’d say it is the amount of talk that surrounds you; it’s Twitter, Facebook, blogs, reviews, people feeling like they have to get online and rank you. People feel open, casual and as if they’re already part of the restaurant and experience when they get there.

Internally, though, it’s about high standards of service, product and atmosphere. There’s an incredible amount of training that the staff go through and it’s the personality and skill of a good service person that makes you think it’s natural.

What’s the acceptable daily limit for Instagramming coffees and food?

Ha! It depends who you are. I’d never Instagram a coffee, and at times I really can’t be bothered with taking snaps of my food, but it won’t stop me from looking at it. If you take a good photo of something I can consume, I’ll look at it. I’m guilty.

dirtyplaygroundImage credit: Dirty Playground takes over Bar Ampere

You recently launched Dirty Playground (with Mike Barker). Tell us more about this initiative and why you think art is important in the hospitality space?

Dirty Playground was initially Mike’s idea with the aim of supporting emerging artists by providing a space for them to showcase their work. This is possible through renovating under-utilised, unloved, forgotten and dilapidated spaces and reinvigorating them as a temporary artistic space and gallery. We are now working together and refining the idea.

At the moment we are doing this with the basement of duNORD. There were five businesses worth of rubbish in it that 110sqm space. However, from July 1 it’s being shelled while we look over artist applications to use to use the space as a temporary studio and gallery space for the following four months. Three successful artists will be picked by the team at duNORD, Mike and I, to access the space. This will be decided on who we think best outlines how they would use the premises in keeping with the chosen theme of Six Months of Darkness.

This is a concept we hope to repeat in other venues. We intend on having many spaces over a period of time and the themes in each space and the artists we work with, will be on a case-by-case basis.

What we do know is that the artists will always be young, emerging and looking for a platform to develop their work for public consumption. Hopefully, we fill that platform in a non-traditional way. At the moment, we’ve only looked at hospitality spaces because that is our background. However we’re approaching the local council and are also working on a laneway project.

Gertrude-Street-Enoteca-3Image credit: In Melbourne? Work or play over a drop at Gertrude Street Enoteca

What are your favourite places to hang in Melbourne?

I love the Gertrude St Enoteca for a casual glass or 10. Rockwell and Sons to chill out any time of day, and I always encourage people to eat more than just their sandwiches. Piqueos is a favourite of mine for everything and the guys who run it are complete dudes. The terrace of Epocha is a favourite of mine for wine and cheese. The Aylesbury Rooftop on a Sunday afternoon or a Tuesday night is pretty ace. Danity Sichuan is a personal favourite for large groups, and even people who don’t like spicy food love it. And of course, there is Gin Palace.

What events do you recommend heading to?

Events are pretty subjective, I generally try for the left-of-centre ones or those with an educational or interactive bent because I’m already immersed in the industry. I would recommend going to an event that is comfortable for your level and likes. For example, I would never go to a dessert crawl as I would be the most annoying and hyperactive person you’ve ever met after the first venue. I love wine, but wine dinners are become less and less appealing for me as I’d like to try wines from more than one producer in one evening. But hey, that may be your thing. The MFWF is full of gems, you just have to be confident in what you like.

About our contributor // Jacqueline Shields’s inquisitive nature sees her say yes to pretty much anything – a Tough Mudder, an African Safari, sailing down the Nile in a felucca and even a HTML workshop. And each and everything she tries, she takes great joy in writing about. Follow her via @hillrepeats.

Interview: Sydney Local, Gretel Killeen — April 25, 2013

Interview: Sydney Local, Gretel Killeen

This week our community ambassador Jacqueline Shields interviews Australian journalist and author- Gretel Killeen. Follow Gretel on Twitter via @gretelkilleen.

Gretel Killeen’s career has run the gamut in the field of communication. She has written more than twenty books, hosted radio and television programs, worked as a journalist, a stand-up comic, and a voice artist. In addition, she has written and directed for film, TV and stage. She produced a documentary following the plight of AIDS orphans in Zambia, as well as profiles to raise awareness about unexploded ordinance in Laos, poverty in Bangladesh, the defense force on Australia Day in Taren Kaut, Afghanistan and rabies eradication in India. Gretel is a renowned MC, key note speaker and debater. She is currently channeling all of her experience into instructing individuals and corporations in the art of communication. Most of all, Gretel is keeping it real.

Gretel, you’ve recently moved into the corporate world to help executives and corporations improve their communication skills and find their authentic voice. How do the three areas of writing, performing and business interconnect?

To be truly successful in each of these three fields, you must stand out by expressing uniqueness. Unfortunately the pressures of society and the workplace until now have discouraged this and instead encouraged us to conform and suppress our individuality.

The Tall Poppy Syndrome in Australia has contributed to this. Women need look no further than our plethora of magazines to see how strong the message to fit in is. The ads tell us the importance of ‘being you’. However, upon opening the publication we see that page after page tells us what to wear, what to eat and how to be. It’s befuddling hypocrisy. Those who don’t conform are ridiculed and harshly judged.

Pulling people down who do stand out is accepted as the way our society operates. In the long term such inhibitors can lead to ordinariness in our personal and professional communications with a lack of integrity and profundity. I’m keenly aware of that when I gently encourage people to be themselves. It requires firm support and guts, but the rewards are enormous not only professionally but personally as well.

My team and I work to allow the unique voice to emerge with strength, confidence, and profundity… and dare I say it… enjoyment.

How do you differentiate an authentic voice from an inauthentic voice?

An inauthentic voice is dull and its speeches are riddled with clichés and predictability.

An authentic voice speaks from the heart and the mind; it surprises and engenders trust with its honesty. Those who speak with an authentic voice are those whom we subconsciously believe in and follow.

If we look at the corporate environment, those with an authentic voice are those who don’t use jargon. They acknowledge their faults and vulnerabilities, and in doing so come across as honest. There is in fact a move in corporate leadership towards embracing and acknowledging mistakes. This is increasingly becoming a requirement with the evolution of social media and the transparency this brings.

As a leader, you cannot afford to be deemed shallow, two dimensional or artificial. The day of the archetypal ‘suit’ has gone. The audience wants authenticity, and we teach people how to access and deliver that.

Who do you feel exemplifies an authentic voice?

Off the top of my head? Richard Branson, Mother Theresa and President Barack Obama. Obama is a classic example of an authentic voice. He conveys an overriding aura of ‘realness’. His delivery is to the point, said with feeling and often with humour.

In our country most politicians come across as perfectly rehearsed automatons. At the other end of the spectrum, stand-up comics are a group who exemplify having an authentic voice. They are the most successful communicators in Australia. They deal with the toughest crowds, are out on a limb expressing obscure new thoughts, and if they fail the audience is unforgiving. Their vulnerability is their selling point.

The exchange of information allowed by technology has led all communicators, whether comics or TED speakers, to raise the bar for the corporate world. The audience now knows what is possible. They do not and should not expect to be bored or unstimulated by a presentation. If the speaker does not touch his audience, move them or teach them… then perhaps he deserves to boo’d off or at the very least heckled.

What inspired you to share your skills with the corporates world?

I am obsessed with the expression of the individual and enabling each person’s unique self to show. I believe that we can do this at work and still effectively represent the corporation.

When we continually stifle the self, it results in deeper social issues such as depression. The pressure to hide yourself from society and to conform is incredibly strong. Of course no one fits into this mould and the result is that many feel an underlying sense of inadequacy… of not being good enough to present our real self. So we present a fictitious persona that is safe and dull; that could say what anyone else could be saying instead of standing out, being who we are and making it a fulfilling and stimulating experience for everyone.

I think the tide is slowly turning. No longer do we need to hide our personalities and all the things that make us real people. Before, especially in the 1990s, showing your true self was seen as self-indulgent. More and more you can talk about your life or share an insight into your passions, inject a sense of irony or humour, and use metaphors that resonate with you that others can relate to in your corporate persona.

With the rise of technology people are increasingly yearning for a real off-line connection. People want to be touched. Metaphorically, if not literally. But because we have been so focused on the fonts we use, the links to articles we share, the photos we show and hiding behind our online personas, we are losing confidence in face-to-face communication.

According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Does that seem right? That means to the average person, if you have to go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy”. -Jerry SeinfeldYou teach being ‘comfortable, fearless and powerful’ when presenting. Has this always been the case when you are in front of an audience? 

There have been times when I have been absolutely terrified. I remember when I first performed, I prayed for the ceiling of the building to collapse. Admittedly I was dressed as a drunk housewife in a black negligee. That said, it took me some time to realize that I was the only person who’d come to the event not planning to have a good time. In my career I’ve been criticised, vilified, praised, defamed and honoured. I’ve had to learn to swallow my nerves and believe in myself.

How do you do that? What is your approach when addressing an audience?

My approach is to have a logical structure to my presentation or performance because the skeleton of a presentation is vital. I remind myself that I am there to enrich, entertain, educate and enjoy. I focus on how this experience will benefit others and how it will also benefit me.

When I’m coaching in the corporate environment, I emphasis these three areas:

Remove the expectation of perfection. People don’t relate to perfection. They relate to flaws. So work out what you are comparing yourself to that is making you so insecure. Acknowledge that you are perfectly imperfect.

Have confidence in the value of your contribution and if you don’t feel you are saying something important… rewrite and prepare until you do.

Know what it is that you are trying to achieve i.e. when you go into battle you need to know what you are fighting for. You need to work out what you want your audience to feel and how you want to feel during and after the presentation.

What is the greatest problem most people have with public speaking? 

Fear that they will not be good enough and as a consequence they won’t be liked. However we forget that imperfection is what we relate to. Perfection is alienating.

It’s all really a question of self esteem. (Ironically however some people are appalling communicators because they have an excessive degree of confidence and inability to acknowledge the chasm between themselves and their audience.)

To overcome your fear you need to think through the goal of your material, familiarize yourself with it, and make it interesting to you and to your audience.

Your presentation is not something to be endured. If that is your approach then your audience will definitely feel it. You need to find your own uniqueness and strength and hone in on it. That might be your compassion, your statistics or your ability to self deprecate. You need to turn your uniqueness into your strength.

We also need to redefine the word ‘nervous’. Often we are actually ‘excited’ and not ‘nervous’. But if we are ‘nervous’ we need to ask what we are nervous about and break it down and solve each aspect of the anxiety. We need to treat it as a real foe and assess how we are going to defeat it. Saying to someone ‘ don’t be nervous’ is ineffective. What we need to do is apply the appropriate tools to conquer it so that we are focused and forceful.

One of these tools is having a structure to what you are saying. If there is logic to your presentation it takes a lot of the nerves out as it makes sense and flows. A speech, like any form of writing, needs a story arc. The story arc is very effectively applied in the film and TV industries to keep the audience captivated. This is knowing when to have the drama, the highlights, the intensity amongst your beginning, middle and end for the greatest impact for your audience.

Do you feel social media helps or hinders communication?

Both. Social media is fantastic in that it gives everyone a voice. But unfortunately it doesn’t give everyone something worth saying.  A lot of people use social media to communicate other people’s thoughts. This happens for a number of reasons. Perhaps they are too busy or too lazy to think for themselves, or perhaps they think it’s a positive to be aligned to someone else’s profile. And many people too simply bombard the world with constant messaging, whether they be their own thoughts or others’.

But the greatest use of social media is not quantity… it’s quality. Using social media to express individuality and uniqueness to bring information, enjoyment and enrichment to the lives of others.

About our Ambassador // Jacqueline Shields. Luckily Jacqueline is not a cat. She’d be on her ninth life. Her inquisitive nature sees her say yes to pretty much anything – a  Tough Mudder, an African Safari, sailing down the Nile in a felucca and even a HTML workshop. And each and everything she tries, she takes great joy in writing about. You can connect with Jacqueline on Twitter @hillrepeats.


Interview: Melbourne local, Jeremy Carne — March 17, 2013

Interview: Melbourne local, Jeremy Carne

This week, our prolific city ambassador for Melbourne, Jacqueline Shields, interviews Jeremy Carne – the digital producer and ‘web geezer’ behind Hamish & Andy. Follow him on Twitter via @jezcarne.

Jez-01Web Geezer Jez

Jeremy Carne must take the cake for having the most fun job of all time. He basically makes a living out of having a blast with his friends. For the past five years he has been the digital producer for the much-loved comedy duo Hamish Blake and Andy Lee, hosts of the highest-rated radio series in Australian history, the Hamish & Andy Show on the Today Network. Where they go, he goes. If that’s sailing across Bass Strait in a Tall Ship or driving around in a Caravan of Courage across Britain, he’s there – and ready to share every crazy antic they get up to online. Even if it means getting a custard pie in the face!

You might’ve been on the receiving end of a custard pie in the face thanks to Hamish, but certainly no egg, despite constantly pushing the boundaries with innovation and integrating social media into the show. You’ve grown the show’s Facebook page to one of the biggest in Australia with 1.7 million Likes. Can you give us an insight into your social media strategy?

It’s important to nurture the community and give them pay off within Facebook. I value people’s comments and use that feedback to build and strengthen the relationship. Those 1.7 million people want to engage and interact with the content. Harnessing that desire to connect is what it’s all about.

In my uni days I created an online radio station (4Q Radio purely because I loved punk rock and wanted to be a part of that world.

The byline was: ‘By the fans, for the fans’. That’s an ideal that’s still with me today.

It’s so important to have an authentic love of what you’re doing and find enjoyment in engaging with the people who share that love. It’s certainly true of my work with Hamish & Andy – I’m a massive fan of their work.

There’s a fair amount of intuition there, alongside a good understanding of behavioural patterns and peak traffic times.

I guess the final ingredient is having a great brand. The fact that it’s Hamish & Andy. I’m incredibly lucky.

For the past five years I’ve been analysing our audience data to better understand how people engage with content. Trying to decode Facebook’s algorithm. And in the end I’ve discovered that the News Feed is engineered upon the old phrase ‘content is king’.

On Facebook, your content’s royalty is graded in Shares, Comments and Likes, in that order. No long-term social media strategy will be successful if the content isn’t ultimately there to back it up.

Jez-00Jez wins a metal microphone for digital at the Australian radio industry awards

You’re not an over-night sensation. You were working as a digital producer before the term ‘digital producer’ was even a job title. When you were 16 you were not only the song-writer and guitarist in your punk rock band, the Axedentals, you were the promoter and help build the website. What prompted you to go digital at such a young age?
It was the do-it-yourself nature of the Internet. The punk-rock mantra; I’ll create it my way. I looked at other platforms and quickly saw that you needed to go through a lot of approvals to get anywhere – lots of compromise. With the Internet you just get a Domain name for $10 and learn how to make a website. Back in 1998 we used HTML coding and Yahoo Geocities to create our band’s website, now days it’s much easier; you just get a tumblr account and start making your own content.

When I was at uni I realised how rapidly digital was developing in the entertainment industry – it was exciting! That’s what I wrote my thesis on, not excitement in general, but digital media in the music business. I guess that’s why I gravitated towards radio; I love music, I love comedy, and as with online, it’s a platform where you could come up with an idea and share it with people immediately.

But it was milestone moments when things clicked for me and I realised that I could cut a path for myself in entertainment and digital. Like when Mark Hoppus from Blink-182 gave me his Bass after a show in 2004. I had interviewed their support act (Motion City Soundtrack for 4Q Radio and he was hanging about so I shared with him how their music had inspired me to create – music, my band and a radio show. After their show he pulled me out the crowd (it was a big audience, about 10,000 people) and took me backstage to meet Tom and Travis, then handed me his bass as a token of thanks and appreciation. That was a very special moment for me, not only because they were my favourite band and it’s humbling when things happen out of your control, but because it was a big sign of encouragement to keep on.

There are quality people in entertainment; having fun with genuine intentions, and not bathing by the hype, they’re the ones I’m attracted to. Beginning work with Hamish & Andy was another milestone moment of it all feeling right for me.

At the end of the day I’ve always just loved making things and expressing creativity in a variety of ways. Whether it’s building an online radio station (4Q Radio), producing and hosting shows (showreel), mucking around with Hamish & Andy (Jez on, making music in bands (Jack) or working with friends on comedy podcasts (Let them be Bored). I love LIVE, so have developed and produced a bunch of live stream shows that are radio meets homemade variety TV, which allowed the audience to shape the content as the show unravelled. It was fun, so that’s a success in my mind. I first did it in 2010 with This isn’t Radio, then took the show’s location to wherever my mates were with Jez with Friends and then again to a different extent making a reality show in New York, with America’s Next Top Rapper.

At the moment I’m getting back into music, where it all started for me, which is exciting, and that new project will be launching soon.

You’ve produced Hamish & Andy’s incredibly successful digital brand over the past five years. That has resulted in you being nominated 6 times, and winning Best Multimedia Execution at the Radio Industry Awards (ACRAs) for Tall Ship Adventure in 2009. What do you see as essential elements to an effective digital branding strategy?

Being able to pick the big players early, getting on board while they’re growing fast.

Seed your content on the websites that matter, repurpose it accordingly to suit their style. Buzzfeed love lists and gifs, for example.

Innovate. With 4Q Radio we produced video podcasts the same week the video iPod launched. Mainstream competitors like Kerrang and Radio 1 followed suit months later. (Archive website.)

Jez-03Working out of a caravan somewhere in America

Who do you think excels with their social media strategy and/or digital branding?

I used to follow Chris Moyles religiously. He had the biggest breakfast show in the UK on BBC Radio 1, so his Facebook Page was the bar I wanted to hit. He had 10 million radio listeners and a Facebook presence of 1.6 million. So as a personal goal, I chased that. We had about 20% of their audience but I wanted to have the same social media (Facebook) presence as them. We overtook them in 2011, while they were still on air of course. That was a nice personal win.

Radio 1 do digital really well.

Radio is the perfect format to partner with web content because the audio medium naturally beckons visual addition.

Tourism Australia do a great job on Facebook. Russell Brand and Hugh Jackman are smart too. Quality over quantity.

What is a good amount of Likes for a social media manager?

I think we’re moving away from the mentality of a Like count being the main goal. Engagement is way more valuable.

For example, one of my live stream shows, This Isn’t Radio, didn’t have a huge viewership but did have a high level of engagement – 20% of the audience submitted content upon solicit. That level of engagement is considered strong, so that was a big win.

The number of Likes are redundant if people aren’t genuinely engaging with your content. If you focus on engagement then your Likes will come. Having said that, for me the true pay-off is in having fun and creating. If even one person enjoys what I’m doing, that’s enough. And so I’m very lucky that my mum likes my work.

How do you continually grow your digital reach?

Innovate and be savvy with how you use social media. Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Facebook founder Mark, thinks we do this well. She recently highlighted us with Deloitte Australia and Tourism Australia for ‘making smart use of social media through quick responses and regular updates’.

Enjoy what you do; if it’s authentic then you’re going in the right direction. And if you express something people can relate to, they want to own and share it.

With any project you have to know what you’re about, what it means to you, and what the parameters are within which you define your brand.

Be fluid and evolve; digital will continue to be a super fast developing industry.

The attention span of future generations will continue to get shorter. But that’s not a problem if the content is genuine and interesting; quality engagement is the result of evoking an emotional response.

What skills does a digital producer need to draw on?

You have to be a jack-of-all-trades; photographer, cameraman, editor, producer, copywriter, researcher, social media manager, developer, graphic designer, etc.

Versatility is really important. In my role, I have to constantly adapt to unexpected and ever-changing environments, document crazy antics and produce content in challenging situations. I’m very lucky to be friends with who I work with. And it works well for us – respect and trust is there.

Some highlights have been:

  • Photographing a tall ship adventure during hurricane force winds and 10m waves – and uploading content via helicopter transfer
  • Capturing content at 42 parties nation-wide during 1 weekend – Party Marathon
  • Touring with a misfit gang of Hungry Hungry Heroes around Australia
  • Documenting a Bi Bi Tri Bi-athlon – 24 sports in 1 weekend
  • Producing the digital event of Frank Stallone in concert, including a live stream and 360 degree video
  • Launching our version of Facebook –
  • Live streaming a BYO Pool Party under the Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Touring Australia for the Thank You Tour, including a TV show level of production live stream of our final date Myer Bowl in Melbourne, where U2 made a surprise performance
  • Driving across Australia and America, around India and Great Britain, and flying all over Europe
  • Living and working out of New York and London

What are the top tips you would give to those in the digital space?

Let the old brain run free and embrace imagination.

Be genuine, do what’s true to you and enjoy doing it – that’s the greatest reward. The pay-off has to be the joy of creating, expressing and sharing – that’s as good as it truly gets for me.

Pop culture has a lot of misleading values, which distract you from the fulfilling and quality things – so keep it real.

The win is not if it gets picked up, the win should be in the creative process itself – the love of it and the fun. I think that’s important.

In the past I’ve let myself to get lost in the cloudy delusions of our culture, to a point of quite severe depression and physical illness. I think men naturally feel like that’s failure as it clashes with their inbuilt sense of power and desire to be “the man”. So I like the idea of disarming that tendency and encouraging people to be real instead of trying to feel they need to put on a front of what they think other people like. Which is pretty liberating.

That’s one of the dangers of social media; it can make you feel bad about yourself through comparing your life to other people’s “highlights reels” on Facebook. So keep it real to what’s true for you. And unplug regularly, do some real life things and share them with the people in front of you, not online; which isn’t the best way to end this interview as a digital producer, but it’s all about a wider perspective right?

About our Ambassador // Jacqueline Shields. Luckily Jacqueline is not a cat. She’d be on her ninth life. Her inquisitive nature sees her say yes to pretty much anything – a  Tough Mudder, an African Safari, sailing down the Nile in a felucca and even a HTML workshop. And each and everything she tries, she takes great joy in writing about. You can connect with Jacqueline on Twitter @hillrepeats.

Opinion: Who is at the bleeding edge of social in Australia? — January 3, 2013

Opinion: Who is at the bleeding edge of social in Australia?

Jacqueline Shields recently interviewed Pete Williams in a local profile for The Fetch. During question time, she also discovered his thoughts on who is leading social’s edge within Australia.


Pete Williams, Chief Edge Officer at Deloitte’s Centre for the Edge Australia, helps senior executives understand emerging opportunities on the edge of business and technology for corporate growth. Here, he shares with us his thoughts on companies and industry sectors succeeding at social – those that are adopting different business models in rapidly-changing landscapes.

To offer great customer service there are a few options open to companies. One is to employ more customer service people at a high cost. Another is to off-shore it at a lower cost even though you know that your customers aren’t going to be satisfied. The smartest way is to get the people who know most about your products, the people who use it every day, to help each other. Both Telstra and the Commonwealth Bank do this well.


  • Telstra’s CrowdSupport Help & Support Community Forum

Rather than Telstra manage all their customer service activities, they have their customers support customers. This model incorporates cloud, social, mobile, crowdsourcing and gamification and it’s been a spectacular success. There are around 60,000 enquires a week dealt through that channel alone and this has resulted in them being very successful in customer support.

  • Commonwealth Bank Pi

The Commonwealth Bank has just launched a platform called Pi. It’s a next generation tablet payments system like a next generation EFTPOST machine. What they have done is opened that up for developers to get involved and create apps. Again instead of the organisation saying, “We will come up with every idea and build it and launch it”, they are acknowledging that there is a smarter model.

This model taps into an explosion of innovation, leveraging clouds and seeing themselves as a platform provider as opposed to needing to be responsible for everything they do. We’ve been seeing that for many years with the web titans – the Amazons, the eBays, the YouTubes and it being popularised through Apple’s and Google’s App Stores.


Both these examples show how business can look at what is going on at the edges and explore how they could use a crowd or how the gaming world applies to them. It’s not so much building games but using aspects of gaming such as levelling up, reward and recognition, badges, achievements, leader boards, and kudos, and bringing them into the process to encourage your customers to do what you want to do with them.

It’s a bit like an open-source community where you have support forums and that’s an edge that we have been seeing for many years of how these communities share knowledge and knowledge flows at a user-to-user level. Two such communities are the high end World of Warcraft guild and the top end Angry Birds community where you need to be monitoring what new ideas and new strategies you have got. Also what are you learning from your personal dashboards, because the community keeps learning and learning so you have to be able to analyse all that information, then quickly synthesise it in the terms of the way you operate.

These online learning communities with elite people all have one thing in common – a propensity to share, using leaderboards, dashboards and social features. This means that the community drives other users to a new level. So adopting gaming techniques can be very effective for organisations. Although as a Telstra user, I do at times question why I am doing customer support for them! But by the same token if I have a problem it tends to be something exotic so the community has also helped me when I have needed assistance.

What about the politicians?

If we look at who has embraced Facebook as an effective communication tool, it tends to be celebrities, sports people and sports clubs. Interestingly enough, politicians have taken the bull by the horns too. No matter what people say about politicians are smart enough to realise when they can connect and reach a large audience. So they are a very interesting crowd who have adopted it while I don’t see the government agencies that they are theoretically running have adopted it any were near as much.

Malcolm Turnbull is particularly good with social media. So is Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd. Kevin did a tweet recently of a pic of a leak of an orange pen on his shirt. He tweeted that he’d put it in his pocket with predictable results. He tweets what he doing and what he is seeing but he also tweets personal stuff.

Obama set the tone with the 2008 election and it continued on. That was when politicians realised how much of an effect it could have. There is a group that is seen as potentially conservative but who are smart enough to work out what to do with it.


Retailers have enormous numbers of people on Facebook. Coles have a massive following. Supre has always been a standout. And were one of the early starters. They got in early. They tried stuff. They experimented. They got a core audience and now it’s just massive. They do A/B testing i.e. Which skirt do you like? This one or this one? They engage people with simple, easy non-dinky bullshit campaign stuff not just because someone wants a prize. They incorporate it into part of their long-term business strategy.

The luxury brands are massive like Tiffanys, BMW, Mercedes. Those luxury brands that people aspire to tend to have mass followings.

If we look at who is doing Facebook well in the banking sector, the Commonwealth Bank sort of does okay. Ubank does pretty well. But what we see in a lot of those traditional business to consumer relationships is that some organisations think they are above it. But as I say, if you are above it then you are above your customers and employees so probably not a great place to be.

Hall & Wilcox the mid-size legal firm across the road use it well. But we haven’t seen the legal profession really understand how to adopt social media.


We are starting to see mining companies use social media for recruitment.

In terms of the business to business side we tend to see organisations using LinkedIn. Someone who does that really well is Deloite Globally. We’ve done fantastically. We’ve also done really well with Facebook largely in the area of recruitment. The first thing we did with Facebook was not to build a Facebook page but to build a Facebook app for our employees in 2008 called ‘Join me at Deloitte’. ‘Your future at Deloitte’ is the Facebook page. But before we had the Facebook page we had the Facebook app where employees could put it on their Facebook page and people could say they were interested in a job at Deloitte. So again leveraging the networks of our people at a time when we didn’t have a Facebook network ourselves. We use Twitter particularly well for pushing information out there.

The use of enterprise social networking is growing in people to people knowledge type organisations Deloitte won the 2011Forrester Groundswell Award award for Best Collaboration System (Management) through our use of Yammer. Capgemini is a big Yammer user and they use it very well as do NAB and Suncorp Group. So we are seeing organisations who have large bodies of people that want to get better innovation, better collaboration and better learning using enterprise social networking technologies.

But there is a long way to go for most organisations and the key thing to understand is that it isn’t going away even if you want to ignore it.

About our Ambassador // Jacqueline Shields. Luckily Jacqueline is not a cat. She’d be on her ninth life. Her inquisitive nature sees her say yes to pretty much anything – a  Tough Mudder, an African Safari, sailing down the Nile in a felucca and even a HTML workshop. And each and everything she tries, she takes great joy in writing about. You can connect with Jacqueline on Twitter @hillrepeats.

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