Tag: Creative

11
Jun

Resurgence, a video interview with MCR Pathways Founder, Iain MacRitchie.

‘Resurgence’ is the new video podcast for entrepreneurs, business owners and organisational leaders that are looking to thrive, not just survive, at the end of the crisis. In this series we are bringing you interviews with some of our top business/organisational leaders and looking at what they’ve done so far, how they are preparing for the future and mainly how they are looking to turn this crisis into something positive for the future.

The first of our interviews is with Dr Iain MacRitchie, Scottish entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of the incredible MCR Pathway programme. In this wide-ranging interview – Iain gives some wonderful guidance for leaders in how to best look after themselves/their teams, why knowing your purpose, vision & mission has never been more important and also the steps MCR Pathways are taking to turn this crisis into a form of lasting change that will help them realise their vision to help every care-experienced and disadvantaged young person in the country gets the same education outcomes, career opportunities and life chances as every other young person.

Important Messages

These are some of the key messages from the interview.

We’re in the same storm but we’re experiencing it in different ways.

Take care of the staff – there is nothing we can’t overcome – we are going to get through this.

Most importantly for us, we kept the focus of the main reason we exist – we need to support the young people.

When facing a crisis, being very calm is an absolute prerequisite – which is hard – crisis brings adrenaline.

You have to get calmer in crisis and really deal with your adrenaline.

Take care of yourself first and foremost, you can’t take care of anybody else – if you haven’t taken care of yourself.

As a leader, you have to take leadership, you have to be the one that pushes. It’s a constant communication, it’s constant.

Get yourself in order, be decisive and then do stuff!!

Make stuff happen but take care of people along the way – they will have challenges along the way.

Let’s make sure everybody is included and nobody is left behind.

We’ve done things in timescales that were unheard off!!

One of the things I love about this – is that it does show that we can respond to need, it does show that we can take care of those that need to be taken care off.

There are things we can now build on – there is absolutely zero excuse for leaving anybody behind.

Every organisation I’ve worked with from 5 people to 5000 people have a challenge to stay focussed.

When doing scenario planning – what is the purpose of your organisation?

Every organisation from 5000 to 5 people – have a challenge to stay focussed.

Either opportunism to chase a sale or chase an opportunity – may not be a bad thing – but it starts to dilute, starts to distract, starts to take you away.

Go back to the beginning – what is the purpose of your organisation – and if you can’t answer that in 1-2 sentences, then you’ve not got the right answer. It can and should be a sentence.

Scenario Planning starts off with absolute focus – what is the focus of your organisation
What’s the purpose of the organisation? What is the focus? What does success look like? What is it trying to achieve?

As soon as you can’t remember something – it becomes irrelevant.

What is the big hairy goal – what do I want it to be and where do I sit in that particular equation? Businesses that fail lose direction and go off-track.

Clarity of need should be in the front of business leader’s mind all the time.

Need first and foremost and think about ways to deliver against that and then communicate it to death.

Everything is going to change – that is opportunity – for me to do it all much better and faster – because there is no resistance anymore.

We have a fantastic opportunity to get it right for society in general but also for the economy

Those that are communicating, those that are out there, are doing great

For those in a rush, we’ve taken the entire interview and broken down for you to go directly to the parts that most interest you…

Interview tic-toc

0 mins | Introduction of series and Dr Iain MacRitchie, Founder of MCR Pathways – supporting over 2000 disadvantaged young people in the country.

1 mins | Dealing with lockdown – sometimes feels like we are two different people at times.

2 mins | Consideration that some of us have it much easier than others, Iain admits to being in a privileged position, but heart goes out to those that are locked down and suffering to a greater extent.

3 mins | Steps taken with MCR Pathways – scenario planning in early February, the consideration of schools closing, get people ready to work from home, clearing the building. Taking practical steps but most importantly prepare people’s mindsets for what was about to happen.

4 mins | Importance of communication to staff, trying to give some form of certainty, the de-stability of facing uncertainty for any team or organisation

5 mins | Communicating to so many different stakeholders, respecting the privacy, inventing a brand-new process, keeping in mind the reason the organisation exists – supporting the young people, moving to a way to communicate virtually.

6 mins | The importance of being calm, of managing adrenaline.

7 mins | Back to basics – how can we reach the young people now the schools are closed? Virtual mentoring in a safe way, asking young people how best to carry on the relationships. Not able to switch to virtual overnight, encouraging mentors and young people to exchange messages (done in the traditional forum of letters called Pen-pal,)

8 mins | Calmness, planning and then going on the persuasion, having to change views on what was possible, the team did a great job on being calm, working towards milestones, had 2-3 weeks to get infrastructure in place, the single objective of reaching young people.

9 mins | Advice for managers and leaders in staying calm – dealing with your energy levels, deal with your body before you deal with your brain, be as relaxed as possible, Iain would blast exercise bike to burn off some excess energy. Mentions to respect the body and the mind.

10 mins | Make sure you pause, reflect, absorb and think – give yourself time to think. Iain works in three times zones – P1 felt like a sprint, no point in burning out, virus isn’t going away any time soon, so must adapt accordingly.

11 mins | Taking time to reflect – what may this look like next month or in 3-4 months’ time, can’t think long term yet, thinking then planning, importance of writing it out down.

12 mins | Writing down objectives, putting together a framework and then sharing that with the team, not an absolute law but a framework. Get the collective engaged and involved in the plan. Iain is an originator of an idea but needs team to buy-in and believe it, ideally to the same level that he does.

13 mins | Underestimating the difference in environment with this crisis, giving people more time to absorb what’s going on – even with themselves, get yourself in order, be decisive and do stuff.

14 mins | Don’t get bogged down in scenario planning, MCR are acting right now in 2 weeks blocks, week time intervals were too tight – months too long, all about reaching the young people, creating an engagement programme which encourages them to continue developing themselves.

16 mins | Some kids don’t have broadband access at home, or devices either, raised funds to bring people online, scenarios quickly identified this isn’t going to change any time soon.

17 mins | Making the current proposition – a permanent part of their offering, constructing time zones in your mind are critical to help your brain think of the now but in the context of the future.

18 mins | People might need time out, supporting over 2300 young people each week – managing to re-engage with over 1300 young people with virtual mentoring quickly, had to work through a lot of regulations, restrictions and barriers but cut through and quickly!!

20 mins | Iain loves how this situations has shown how we can respond to need, that it does show that there are no excuses for anybody being left behind or being able to respond or being able to be taken care off, scenario planning on way out of the crisis.

21 mins | More detail on scenario planning, every organisation Iain has worked with from 5 people to 5000 people have a challenge to stay focussed, opportunism to chase a sale or chase an opportunity takes you down an angle – but starts to dilute, distract or take you away. Go back to the beginning – what is the purpose of your organisation? And if you can’t answer that in 1-2 sentences, then you’ve not got the right answer.

22 mins | MCR Pathway – we are about engaging the young people so that they feel more confident, certain and hopeful about their futures, reaching the young people to give them the support, young people should feel comfortable and secure in that mentoring relationship.

23 mins, common denominator of all organisations should be – what is the purpose of the organisation – what are we trying to achieve? what is the focus? What does success look like? MCR Pathways vision/mission is that they don’t want there to be any difference in education outcomes, job choices or life changes of our most disadvantaged young people relative to others. Have to face into the reality with 3 different mindsets.

24 mins | 3 scenarios in mind – best case/worst case – and how can I deliver on my purpose against those two? Scenarios should be 3, get into your imagination, how can we realise our best case?

25 mins | Hopes of a summer programme for young people with physical mentoring – but preparing for more likely scenario of more lockdowns, schools still aren’t fully back, etc.

26 mins | Both scenarios are planned in some detail – and look/adjust between the two.

27 mins | Don’t want to create a lot of uncertainty around the team, scenario planning does involve a smaller group of people, it is more intense.

28 mins | Clarity of purpose – nailing the purpose down, do whatever it takes to get revenue, revenue comes first!

29 mins | Get yourself in a survival position. Get cashflow, get headroom, get whatever it takes to protect a core of your organisation.

30 mins | What’s your vision for the organisation, what is your big goal? What’s your Mission? Get clear on your vision and your mission then get the mechanics right on the framework to achieve that.

31 mins | What is the big hairy goal – what do I want it to be and where do I sit in that particular equation? Businesses that fail lose direction and go off-track. Business is really simple.

32 mins | Survive first, choices second. Advice to marketeers and communications?

33 mins | Get to what is the needed. What need does your organisation fill? Difference between those in stable household and those that are not. Clarity of need should be in the front of your mind all the time!

34 mins | Many of those in trouble still have customers with needs, pandemic has not changed need, every organisation that survives the pandemic is going to be needed once things return to normal or the ‘new-normal.’ Need is the first thing to keep in mind.

35 mins | Mentoring works, it’s not changing we just have to deliver it in a different way, do everything possible to support those young people when they are locked down, the memory that mentors do care is a profound one to young disadvantaged people, businesses must communicate to customers.

36 mins | Need first and foremost and think about ways to deliver against that and communicate it to death, MCR is fighting to survive just like everybody else, importance of MCR Values – Motivation, Commitment and Resilience.

37 mins | Why can’t we be ahead of the game? Why can’t we be first? Resilience – this is not a sprint, this is a marathon, MCR values are currency to deal with change – imposed on us by the virus.

38 mins | No human being likes change, we like habits or certainty, we have no choice but to change, everything is going to change, country has just borrowed £300 Billion which has huge implications, everything is going to change, however there is an opportunity to do it all much better.

39 mins | Half-full mindset is going to fight the half-empty’s down the track, there is opportunity, going to play a different game in dealing with inequalities, we’ve been able to deal with stuff in a shorter space of time which just wasn’t possible before.

40 mins | This is brand new and that is very good in that respect, we have the chance to get it right for inequality, those things are intertwined.

41 mins | Opportunities with the new economy and get it working for everybody, let’s get going.

42 mins | Companies that have started to communicate well have impressed Iain, local shops have done a great job as well as courier services and front-line workers.

43 mins | Some third-sector organisations have done a phenomenal job.

44 mins | Community/local based organisations that have stood up and responded to demand have been heroic, care workers as well as those delivering essential services, couriers.

45 mins | Sections of public institutions have performed magnificently; the good news is that we know exactly what this country needs to do and should do.

46 mins | Get to the front of the queue and MCR it!

15
May

Marching Forward

For great times to return, we realise that we have to do all we can to make them great right now.

This is why ‘Marching Forward’ is our new mantra at the loft.

13
Mar

Celebrating the design talent of tomorrow…. 

This morning, we were absolutely delighted to once again support the young people of Glasgow, by hosting our 11th MCR Pathways Talent Taster. As always, we were bowled over by the incredible creativity, talent and skills of the students. As always, we shared plenty of laughs. And as always we finished in the afternoon feeling hopeful that we may have just played a part in helping to ignite a spark of potential in one or two of them.

These are some just some of the excellent works by Kiera, Maria, Daniel and Joel. A huge thank you to Jack and Jade – who were absolutely magnificent this morning too.

And finally for most of my friends in the creative sector – design, branding, video, etc… Young people are really, really interested in what we do so if you can spare some time, please help out and get involved too. Send us a message for more info or contact MCR Pathways

Thank you.

Benedetto

 

BB

Benedetto is an enthusiastic Creative and Business person.

‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.

He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder and Creative Director of the loft, a branding consultancy in Glasgow.

He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business

24
Feb

Design With Soul – more than a tagline, a way of life…

Good afternoon beautiful people!!

We’ve just started the process of getting our design and branding portfolio in order for 2020 which (and we’re not kidding) means going back a couple of years to start getting some of those lovely, lovely creative projects organised and ready to present – this is just a snapshot and rest assured, we’re just scratching the surface. #WatchThisSpace #DesignWithSoul #PowerOfIdeas #Inspiration #Collaboration #VisualDrama #MakingMagicHappenEverySingleDay #theloft

Benedetto

BB

Benedetto is an enthusiastic Creative and Business person.

‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.

He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder and Creative Director of the loft, a branding consultancy in Glasgow.

He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business

 

08
Jan

Reiss McLeod | Design Highlights 2017

2017 was a big year for Reiss. After a summer internship and a year of working part-time, Reiss became a full-time member of the loft team once he finished his studies in July. Anybody that knows Reiss knows he is an incredibly talented guy with exceptional basic skills, an uncanny ability to generate ideas out of no-where and he’s a great wordsmith too. His puns are quite the thing of legend in the studio.

As expected Reiss eased into his new role and quickly became a pivotal part of the team adding the role of ‘Director of Client Happiness’ to his design responsibilities. Already an exceptional creative-thinker and problem solver, he added some real weight to his development skills throughout the year culminating in several exceptional pieces of creative work which we’d love to celebrate.

Although we always work as a team at the loft, we wanted to take a moment to value individual contributions to creative projects and Reiss really delivered tremendously in 2017, these were some of his highlights.

CashBack_HD-PNG

1. Cashback Infographic for Inspiring Scotland

Quite possibly the highlight of the year for Reiss was his interpretation of the positive information for ‘Cashback for Communities’ for Inspiring Scotland. The programme involves taking the proceeds of crime and re-investing it back into local communities for young people — £20,000,000 has been re-invested into improving life opportunities since 2014. The programme is led by the Scottish Government alongside Inspiring Scotland and Reiss took an incredibly large amount of information and alongside his cohort Laura developed a beautiful illustration-infographic hybrid depicting a wonderful tale of the programme. The interpretation of the individual mini-stories where Cashback has made a difference in the community is a real highlight. The infographic has been such a success that it adorns the walls of the offices at Inspiring Scotland as well as The Scottish Government.

SOCEX - Financial Crime Conference

2. SOCEX Financial Crime Conference Brochure

The loft has worked with the event organisers for The Serious & Organised Crime Exchange (SOCEX) since 2015 and have since created a number of set-piece conference brochures. Reiss took the lead with the latest instalment — The 2017 Financial Crime Conference in November. Reiss built on the visual frameworks of previous brochures but where his creativity really shone through is with the imaginative, purposeful and almost iconic design of the front cover which cleverly shows two people exchanging ideas – ideas that are all emblematic of themes being dealt with by the conference. A beautiful, abstract and fitting depiction for the newly formed financial conference. We can’t wait for the 2018 events…

Arcman-Making Christmas Campaign

3. Arcman Winter Campaign Image

Our Reiss is an accomplished wordsmith and real creative thinker. Never was this more beautifully brought to life than with his campaign image and advert for the winter edition of print magazine ‘Urban Realm.’  Building on the Christmas theme – Reiss cleverly realised that the ad created for Arcman was going to be seen just as much in January as December so beautifully saw past the obvious Christmas theme and instead brought the sentiment of ‘getting back to wor’k to life. A Christmas calendar with the various services of Arcman as windows remain in place but are all secondary to those strong words ‘The Holidays are over. Let’s Get To Work.”  In-keeping with the company values and a real success.

Client Top 5 FAQs

4. Introducing ‘the pigs’

Reiss has an absolutely wonderful imagination and a real ability to creatively communicate information. Part of his role as ‘Director of Client Happiness’ is to share best-practices with others in the team. His creative ability was on full-display when he introduced a series of odd-looking creatures to us as his way to demonstrate his ideas for ‘Client Happiness.’ These little creatures which we affectionately christened ‘the pigs’ have since found their way into many parts of the loft’s brand presentation in 2017.

Arcman-Making Metal Work

5. ‘MAKING METAL WORK’ for Arcman

Once again Arcman were looking for a series of print ads for the Urban Realm annual, something which would demonstrate the high-energy nature of their service, commitment to clients and desire for excellence. Reiss came up with a rather simple concept but one which really shone. He mixed the excellent photography of Malcolm Cochrane with an exceptionally well-selected typeface to bring the vibrancy of the Arcman message to life for print, digital and everything in between… The campaign advert was so widely liked by the company founder Jamie Doak that it proudly adorns his I-Phone and is mounted on the front of the Arcman workshops.

Reiss was a huge part of the loft’s success in 2017 and we can’t wait to see what ideas, graphics and even puns he has up his sleeve for 2018.