Tigers changed my life.
In 2015, I had the opportunity to work on a crowdsourcing project with Oxford University. The project, saving the Bengal tiger, while admirable in its own right, was only part of it. We brought together a diverse group of stakeholders—from academics to animal rights activists to local farmers in northeast India—all focused on the importance of common purpose. This transformed my career. I understood then that amazing brands, like Oxford, were the result of making amazing transformations, not just marketing. No one questions the value of Oxford University. Their brand, a thousand years old, speaks for itself because of the work that they do.
I no longer call myself a marketer. As a transformation leader, with extensive experience working with some incredible global brands, I help them harness the power of engagement. Over the last 20 years, I have helped companies as diverse as Lego, Suncor, Rust-Oleum, KPMG, Lloyds Bank, United Way, British Gas and Alberta Innovates to transform what they do and how they connect with their communities. This requires organizations to better understand their customers if they are to leverage real, transformative community innovation and following.
People come first. It’s the only way to help an organization understand who they are, who they’re serving, and how they want to want to improve the world around them. Brands today that do not contribute to social well-being do not survive. Purpose is the path to profitability. It may not have always been that way, but it certainly is today. It will likely be that way tomorrow. That’s my job.