1000 Heads

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We’ve been a keen supporter of Like Minds from its foundations in 2009. Over the years 1000heads has presented keynotes, hosted lunches and attended summits, and we will be running an immersion session at the 2012 conference in May. However, we realise that while a number of ‘heads are actively involved, not everyone gets the opportunity to add their minds to the Like Minds mix.

It happens all too often, in agencies and brands alike: the same old people get to globetrot their way around conferences, while everyone else has to make do with an ‘event debrief’ afterwards, back in the office.

We wanted to change that. It’s exactly those people who are too busy, or considered too junior to attend these events, who are likely to get the most out of them. Everyone in the agency has the right to have their voice publicly heard and to bring insight back to their teams.

So we decided to give someone different the opportunity to go to Like Minds this year and represent 1000heads as a true ‘challenger’.

Welcome to the ‘Like Minds Challenge’. Here’s how it worked:

1. Everyone in the agency was invited to identify something they thought needed to be challenged, changed or improved; a process we currently work to that needs improving, an approach that should be changed outright, or an opportunity we haven’t yet recognised

2. To enter they simply had to explain their challenge and set out their suggested solution – in whatever format they felt conveyed it best

The numbers and quality of the entries, which came in from every direction – client services and creative to insights and analysis – seriously impressed us. 1000heads was positively challenged on everything from its environmental approach and philosophy on team motivation, to the way it handles client briefs and its use of technology to deliver better internal communication.

After much deliberation we realise we had two winners on our hands, not one. Data manager Andy Stretton and senior account manager Meg Grogan come from two very different parts of 1000heads – analytics and client services – yet both showed great understanding and passion for our business, an ability to challenge our thinking, and the acuity to suggest practical solutions that could effect real change.

But it’s not just about winning. The 1000heads Like Minds Challenge leaves us with an enthused and engaged team and a whole series of ideas that warrant further exploration. Each entrant is working with a Like Minds Mentor from our senior team, so they have the support and guidance to make their suggestion actually happen.

In short, we want the spirit of this year’s conference – ‘Why What You Do Matters’ – to become a long term, living, breathing process within our organisation – not an elitist jolly or a rhetorical pose.

What are you doing to give your people an opportunity to challenge your organisation in a constructive way?

Or does a culture of openness and innovation mean too many opportunities to upset the equilibrium?

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