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Heading into Autumn with certainty

Hi <<First Name>>, good grief - has it been three months already? Must be, because here’s the latest quarterly Breaking Bland, Co:definery's poorly named collection of ideas to help you grow faster.

I’m absolutely certain that today's theme is conviction - why it’s essential, what happens when no-one knows you have it and how to ensure you don’t have too much. 

There’s also an event discount, lots of handy learnings and some outrageous hypocrisy. More than your average newsletter, I’m sure you’ll agree. 

Hopefully plenty there to perk you up from the back-to-school blues. And anyway, cheer up - it’ll soon be Christmas... 

cheers, Rob 

One way or another to refine your proposition

I recently heard a deceptively simple question: ‘what would this look like if I was wrong?’ (via Margaret Heffernan, check her out). It’s a handy way of ensuring your conviction doesn’t get the better of you.

That made me want to challenge my own views - in this case, around propositions.
So I interviewed Alex Wright, CEO of Friday - not a Co:definery client - about how they’ve successfully evolved their agency story.

Great food-for-thought around your own stand-out and also a healthy reminder that there’s more than one way to do most things.

Stuck in the middle?

Ever drunk Coconut Water? Nope, me neither - sounds grim. But some people love the stuff. And while it's easy to say you're 'a bit Marmite', this very digestible perspective shows why being 'weird' is the key to standing out in a crowded aisle. 

A great lesson on vision, positioning and conviction (h/t Alex Smith at Basic Arts).

If a strategy falls in a forest... 

On the subject of conviction, if you lack a consistent way of describing your business, then where did that vagueness start, especially if you think your strategy is clear?

Could it be that no-one knows your priorities, not even your Board? Sobering stuff from MIT Sloan (via Jacob Dutton). 

Very good to know

If you found the MIT Sloan article unnerving, this one should nurture your soul. It's an honest and practical set of learnings from a really switched-on agency CEO. 

Like mainlining a really good conference, it's full of reminders, validation and no shortage of nuggets. 

Unlevel the playing field

Putting aside the fact that smarter pitching is often not pitching, I recently moderated a fascinating panel on how the pitch process could be improved.

With some very varied views on show, we had lots of debate, plenty of learnings and a few 'hard stares'. Here’s a short event summary plus my own takeouts

The winningest winner of all the Newbiz winners

Speaking of panels, here's another one. In the evening after The Drum’s Pitch Perfect conference, they're also hosting The BD100 - an event that celebrates the discipline of Business Development, culminating in the announcement of the UK's 100 best BD folk.

In amongst all that, I'll be moderating a panel that explores the knowledge, techniques and mindsets needed to succeed at BD, featuring a varied set of leaders from AAR, WCRS, M&C Saatchi and Selligent. Come along!

When: 13th Sep, 18.30 (after Pitch Perfect) 
Where: 146 Brick Lane, London E1 6RU

You can attend the whole day or just the BD100 event in the evening. Either way, more info and tickets are here - but email me first to get a 10% discount code. 

And the winner of 'Hypocrite of the Year' 2018 is...

Ever heard me rant about dull newsletters that presume clients care about one of your team doing a sponsored something-or-other for charity? If so, let's just gloss over that for a second, shall we? Good. 

If you've ever been affected by cancer - or are just unfit and empathetic - then please visit my Half Marathon fundraising page. If you can spare a few quid, thanks a million - it's for a great cause. And if not, you can always just laugh at the picture of a young me in awesome PJs. 

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