After some lovely morning music courtesy of Rokurro and a welcome from You Are In Control MD Anna Hildur, the conference got underway with a rousing introduction from Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism Katrin Juliusdottir (“I’m going to indulge in some of the old fashioned Icelandic art of boasting”), immediately followed by an inspirational lecture by Paul Bennett, Chief Creative Officer of IDEO.
Somewhat idiosyncratically, Paul began his lecture with a pumping YouTube clip of some 70s Italian proto-disco, showed us some records he’d like to have played at his funeral (Blondie, The Clash) and promised there would be no “strategy shit” or motivational clapping etc.
He then told us that, actually, “You Are Not In Control”. Ah…
But that was not, he promised, anything to worry about, since Letting Go was the way forward out of the world’s current financial crisis – which itself was preceded by a moral crisis. Paul gave us various philosophical concepts to think about – doing good begats doing good, how pie is the new slice…and insisted that bitching about the sweeping changes of the digital era is pointless. Adaptation and thinking of new ideas is a much, much better way to deal with the situation.
Some of his key recommendations for companies or businesses:
1. Have higher purposes and meaning, despite the circumstances
2. Embrace failure and learn from it.
4. Make people the centre of the brand
5. Create the theatre, not the play.
He ended with the “tragically unhip” but interesting example of the Josh Groban inspired “Grobanets for Charity” campaign. Paul’s messages were clear: we must go deeper culturally and morally to be more successful. inspiring stuff indeed.