Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hide-and-earth bound but there's no tether, on a zephyr (Mary Chapin Carpenter)

I'm reading an amazing book at the moment: Velocity by a couple of young whipper snappers - Ajaz Ahmed and Stefan Olander.

It's subtitled The seven new laws for a world gone digital. Don't let that put you off; the seven, the new and digital are tags to get you hooked.

I'm not sure where the idea that seven was the desired standard for these things. I'm pretty sure the seven deadly sins came before the dwarves but I'm a little hazy on these things.

Whatever, everybody's at it these days. I mentioned in my last posting that I'd finished reading Deepak Chopra's The 7 Spiritual Laws of Superheroes and of course there are Seven:11's; seven days in a week; seven notes on a musical scale; seven wonders of the world; the Buddha first walked seven steps; the magnificent seven; highly effective people have seven habits according to Stephen Covey; and, of course, there is that enigma wrapped in a riddle that is Seven Sharp

But I digress.

Velocity is written by two whizz kids. Ajaz Ahmed founded AKQA ( Have a look if you get a chance - their business is future innovation so it's interesting to see what their website looks like - big on graphics, high on mystery.

Stefan Olander has one of those what-the-hell-does-that-actually-mean job titles at Nike - Vice president of digital sport.

Together they talk about stuff in Velocity and it's terrific.

Lesson one/Law One (in a chapter called a Smith and Weston beats four aces) - trying to protect what you've already got is a mistake.

They obviously mean in a business context but I think this applies to other things like schools. School's have a brand association whether they like it or not.

I was filling up the car's petrol t'other day and the shop lady knows I teach at Woodford House. She was chatting about schools in general. When I asked her where she went to school she said 'Colenso College', followed by it was good then but it's not now.

And right there the brand suffered. Who knows the truth. Anyone coming in contact with this lady is going to get one version only.

Schools go through ups and downs. Public perception is fickle. Schools want to protect their brand if it's a good one but Ahmed/Olander say that's a mistake. Innovation/ continual improvement is a must.

I'm lucky to be at Woodford House. We are currently involved in some potentially major change to the brand but we appear to be quite fearless about it right now. Fantastic!! Long may that continue.

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