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28
Jun

Resurgence, Interview With Award Winner, Entrepreneur and Investor, Brian Williamson.


‘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 current crisis. In this series, we are bringing you interviews with some of our top business and organisational leaders and looking at what they’ve done so far, how they are preparing for the future and how they are looking to turn this crisis into something positive for the people they serve.

In our latest interview, we talk to award-winning entrepreneur, investor and current chairman of 4icg Brian Williamson. In an incredibly wide-ranging interview, Brian goes into business pivots, gap-funding, talking to investors, post-work environments, re-imagining business propositions, leading during challenging times and how calm seas never made a good sailor. In his talk ’necessity, the mother of all invention’ he explains how the current crisis can potentially be the starting point of something great for entrepreneurs, business owners and leaders. A great 35 minute watch for anybody looking to thrive.

The series is brought to you by Glasgow-based design and branding agency – the loft.
Important Messages

These are some of the key messages from the interview.

Necessity is the mother of all invention

Narrow The Chasm – when looking for gap funding

Present the light at the end of the tunnel when talking to banks.

Your exec summary has to set someone on fire.

Investors don’t have time to read 38 pages – but they may do – if the exec summary is exciting enough.

The exec summary should be the most exciting part to read and rest of plan is validation of that summary.

People want to be fired up by the business opportunity and the person’s passion.

You have to be objective driven with remote working.

Involve employees with the objective of the business and how they fit in.

We want the output, but we tend to measure the input.

Being output driven is where we want to be. We’ll have more output-focussed minds which is what we want.

We’ve been trained to being input managers.

You’re really solving your customer’s problem or helping them to grasp an opportunity. You have to put yourself in their shoes.

You have to understand the challenges of the market.

If you can understand the market, you can shape a solution.

You need to understand the market and that means finding out what people want.

There is nothing better than 10,000 people telling you what they want.

Calm seas never made a skilled sailor.

I’ve been through 5 recessions and many company challenges, in each one, I’ve come out stronger on the other side. There is a great amount of learning to come from this.

Out of the crisis comes solutions – to new problems.

Your business can be part of that solution.

That’s where the opportunity lies – there are more problems than we can shake a stick at right now.

Interview tic-toc

0 Mins | Introduction of LOFCAST and Brian Williamson by Benedetto

2 Mins | Working from home, 2-3 times greater productivity. Geting used to issues with businesses and support. Whats coming out the other end?

3 Mins | Incredible 4icg Pivot – fast action, 24/7 response, morphing premises to safe working environments, shielding vulnerable people (Incredible speed.)

5 mins | Importance of extending cash runways to de-stress yourself and establishing control. How long can I last and create choices.

7 mins | Asking for increased credit terms.

8:30 Mins | Rotating staff to make ‘furlough’ more effective.

10 mins | Success in apply for CIBLs Loans, keep the bank informed of what you’re doing during bad times and present GAP funding appropriately. (Narrow The Chasm.)

11:30 Mins | Banks are reasonable people, but present light at the end of the tunnel

13 Mins | Present the business plan as a story, vision is all-important, it has to be exciting. 14 Mins, Summary has to be exciting with business plans, regardless of the current climate.

14:30 mins | Importance of telling the story in technical and human manner. People waant to be fired up by business opportunity and person’s passion for the business.

16 mins | Other big moves – implementing remote working for other companies. Being objective driven when managing staff. Harder but possibly more effective.

17 mins | Radicalised thinking post-virus, working with London investors chasing him as opposed to him chasing them, speed of movement is now truly remarkable.

18:30 mins | 4icg’s 4-day work-week, negotiating terms with unions in the past, importance of genuine productivity,

19:30 mins | Empowering employees in where they fit in and to communicating the difference they can make.

20 mins | Importance of focussing on output as opposed to the input. Importance of being output driven

21 mins | Are we really being productive or just being busy? Input managers and possibilities of being more output-focussed.

22 mins | 4icg’s legendary pivot for small business’s looking to digitise their offering, back to basic principes – you’re basically solving your customer’s problem.

23 mins | Understanding the market and shaping a solution, how restaurants have successfully pivoted,

24 mins | Helping restaurants re-bound after COVID-19, 4icg’s new product offering

25 mins | Advice to pubs/restaurants and travel agents – planning when the future is so uncertain.

27 mins | Likelihood of more localised holidays for citizens, people want to travel somewhere with their own transport,

28 mins | Travel industry needs to understand the client’s needs now, package holidays,

30 mins | Updated safety and security for health and beauty salons,

31 mins | Making clients feel comfortable, Peer-to-peer learning with the IOD.

32:30 mins | Roosevelt quote – calm seas never made a skilled sailor, being through 5 recessions and challenging times with clients, comes out stronger every time.

33 mins | Always come out stronger on the other side, reflect on what’s happening in society, hackathons to stimulate creative thinking, innovative products to deal with COVD challenges.

34:30 mins | Your business can become a solution to that problem.

35 mins | Ideal environment to find creative solutions to these problems.

25
Jun

Resurgence, a Video Interview with International Business Leader, Entrepreneur and Storyteller, Bob Keiller



‘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.

In our latest interview, we talk to experienced international business leader, entrepreneur and storyteller Bob Keiller. Bob gives an absolute tour-de-force on the importance of values, purpose and knowing your organisations ‘Why.’ He shares his thoughts about innovation, why it is so important at this time and gives some practical suggestions about how you can make that happen. Finally, he makes a call to businesses to be bold and ask themselves, what else can you do? An absolute must-watch for leader of organisations of any size – with a little extra something in there for charities. Comes in at a lovely and compact 20 minutes too.

Throughout the interview, Bob refers to The Lens Perspective>>>

Important Messages

These are some of the key messages from the interview.

In some ways we can do more

Wisdom comes from experience – none of us have experienced this before.

Your first obligation is to survive.

Look at simple things like credit management, cashflow and customers. Do what you need to do to survive

It’s a good opportunity to go back to basics and reaffirm your why and your how.

You can always change the what, but understanding the why and how of your business is really important.

Innovate – no point in thinking things will get back to normal – it might but it might not!

What skills have we got, what talents have we got, what resources have we got, what knowledges and experiences have we got and what can we do??

We need to test things, we need to try things

As the leader of the business, you won’t have all the answers, but the best place to find a lot of the answers is from the team

Remember what we’re all about, remember what we are doing this for?

Let’s concentrate where we started the journey and where are we headed?

It’s dead easy to read a book but doing it is what really matters.

Culturally – how do we step up the environment that people bring forward ideas that we can collectively develop together.

What else can you do?

We’re not in the business of knowing the answers but we sure are going to go out and find what the options are.

Getting your message across has always been a key aspect of business.

Interview tic-toc

0 – 1:30 Minutes | Intro of Bob Keiller.

3 Mins | What’s Bob Keiller been up-to? Speaking to lots of people, trying to help, had to re-package training sessions into smaller modules (2-hrs, etc.)

4:30 Mins | Different context with this one, very little certainty, some sectors have been harmed badly.

5 mins | Advice is simple – first obligation is to survice, face the difficult decisions, do what you need to survive.

5:30 mins | Good opportunity to get back to basics to re-affirm your why and how.

6 mins | Sometimes running a business is like flying a plane, time to take stock and check what kind of condition it is in.

6:30 mins | Innovate, things might or might not get back to normal, mode of thinking what skills, resources, talents you’ve got and what can you do – rather what can’t you do. This can open up opportunities.

7 mins | Importance of trying things and testing. Importance of innovation and leadership. Harvesting potential answers from the team and use that as a primary source of answers.

8 mins | Values, danger of charities is that they sometimes lack focus and occasionally become more diluted.

9 mins | Importance of getting back to main purpose of the business – what are we doing this for? Who are we doing this for? Getting back to the core purpose.

10 mins | Getting back to the core purpose and values,

11 mins | To pivot or not to pivot, some businesses that have seen a huge increase in business.

12 mins | What else can a company be doing in terms of innovation? Can services be provided in a different way, importance of selling and marketing.

13 mins | Getting services out there and telling a compelling story is important.

13:30 mins | Useful resources for businesses having to innovate for the first time.

14 mins | ‘The lens organisation’ pulling out proposals and craft a few number into business opportunities and prototype with limited resources and time.

15 mins | Culturally – how do we step up the environment that people bring forward ideas that we can collectively prototype and test. Contact the Lens team to find out better how to do this?

16 mins | How would Bob run a sports club, etc?

17:30 mins | David Lloyd gym’s innovation in the past during crisis.

19 mins | Final thoughts, importance of communication, how do you get the message across?

20 mins | Most marketing and comms is pretty ineffective right now. Time to get better at communicating what you’re doing, etc.

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.

27
Apr

The loft is 8….

It’s 8 years to the day that I finally decided that I was going to fully commit to that freelance project that I had been doing called the loft. Somehow, and looking back I have no idea how I managed it, I had kind of made the transition from being a car designer to a graphic designer to a branding guy. There would be no going back to full-time employment, no return to car design, it was time to make a decision and get on with it and 8 years later – hey presto – we’re still here. I am delighted to report that we are doing better than ever, and despite the craziness of the current moment – I am more excited about the future than ever before…

So to celebrate, I thought we’d take a very quick swing through memory lane and celebrate 8 of our finest moments…

1) Thank you PSYBT

One of the greatest things about 8 years in business has been the peer-to-peer support from so many different people/organisations – The Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Entrepreneurial Exchange, E-Spark, etc, etc… However, it was The Princes Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) which really helped us get going. The PSYBT Growth-Fund as well as the mentoring support I received in 2013 was, and still is, completely invaluable. For that we remain incredibly grateful.

2) First Designers, Ruth and Alejandro

By 2013, we really were on the move and during the most incredible weeks ever in October – we moved into our first premises and hired our first designers. This was their first day at work, picking up their I-Macs from the Apple Store. Our new studio was fully-operational by the end of that crazy Friday. Ruth and Alejandro have moved onto pastures new but did an incredible job and retain a very special place in the company’s history.

3) Altia Solutions, the start of something special. 

It would be difficult to talk about our company history without mentioning the amazing folk at Altia-ABM, or Altia Solutions, as they were known back then. We began working with them in 2013 and to date have carried out more than 100 creative projects together. They are all wonderful people but their CEO Ian Watson remains one of the company’s and my own personal best friends. (Here’s a little photo of me sketching some ideas for their old logo.)

4) Early Mornings, Late Nights… 

This isn’t one moment in particular, but a quick nod to those countless, countless early mornings and late nights that characterise our studio’s work ethic. We are proud that we road-test so many concepts, go into more depth to get it right and simply put more into each and every single project than many we know. Our version of creative chaos.

5) A 3-Year Chase of bus company, Alexander Dennis

Anybody that knows me will know that I can be pretty persistent – in fact, very persistent. After hearing the amazing Colin Robertson, CEO of Alexander Dennis, give a brilliant talk during a business dinner, I decided we would one day work with this exceptional bus company. We somehow managed to get his phone number, chased him down, sent him ideas for a company Christmas card, ideas to celebrate their 10th Anniversary. (Anybody that knows us, knows that if you ignore me too long – I will just start sending you ideas anyway,) talked to his Marketing Director, talked to his Group Corporate Affairs Director, talked to a new Marketing Director. Not entirely sure now how it happened but 3 years later we finally managed to work with them on a creative project. It was, and still is, a great honour to have worked with such a fine company and definitely a lesson that Persistence Pays.

6) First Creative Provider of PETEX

Petroleum Experts are one of Scotland’s finest technology companies with a world-class team, leader and product. They had been going for 25 years without ever using a marketing/design/creative/brand agency and we were truly honoured to be the first that they would work with to bring their ‘Digital Oil Field’ software concept to life. Receiving one of their little glass statuettes of the visual we created for them remains one of the happiest moments of 8 years in business.

7) Obesity Action Scotland, First Big Pitch Win

Winning a pitch – either big or small – is a special moment and we were thrilled that our ‘Organg’ concept was selected by Obesity Action Scotland to raise awareness of the potential dangers of Obesity. Four years on – we still love this creative idea.

8) BBC

We have been so lucky to work with some great organisations and some wonderful people – one of these is the BBC who we worked with a few years ago. We’ve worked with lots of great organisations – big and small – over the years but there remains something quite special about working for ‘Aunty.’

9) MCR Pathways

We can’t really celebrate 8 years of business without briefly mentioning the amazing MCR Pathways. We’ve loved each and every one of the 11 Talent Tasters we have carried out, the creative work we’ve done together and the immense personal support Iain MacRitchie has given myself during my business journey.

Ok, one more than we really should have, but at the loft, we have a motto of always doing more than we’re paid for so 9 it is. To be honest, we could have spent all day listing them. Thanks to all of the wonderful people that have supported us, you know who you are, and here’s to another tremendous 8 Years…

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

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

 

10
Jan

7 Steps To A More Effective CV – For Internship or Graduate Positions

A very happy new year folks!

I hope you are all as incredibly excited about this new year and decade as I am. Speaking of New Years, this time for us at the loft means our inbox starts to become full with CVs, cover letters and folios from students looking for internships or even graduates looking for their first full-time job. We’ve received hundreds, if not thousands, of these in the past, each with different levels of effectiveness, so we thought we’d share a quick guide to help those of you preparing your CV right now.  

1. Know who you’re applying too

Before starting to prepare your CV, it’s worth taking the time to better understand who you’re applying too. A branding agency that has a fun people-focussed culture, a digital company which is always looking to the future or an academic organisation which values research – each requires different approaches and involves you showing a slightly different side of your personality. Writing and designing your CV with this in mind, will greatly enhance your chances of being replied too, gaining an interview or even being given a trial. 

2. Save multiple versions of your CV

As mentioned, it’s important to know who you are applying too. In all likelihood, your CV is going to have to be used multiple times and be sent to lots of different people. So, we recommend keeping multiple versions of your CV for different occasions – most of the information will be roughly the same but you may have different layouts or versions which include different skills or experiences. 

3. Prioritise your skills and experiences.

I’m sorry to say that a CV only really has a few short moments to make an impression so get across the most relevant information as promptly as possible – in this case – the capabilities that are most valuable to whom you’re applying and the experiences which they are also most likely to find interesting.  

On a separate note, if you are a student supporting your studies by working somewhere like Tesco, Subway or McDonalds, etc – it really is to be admired and your self-dependancy should be applauded. However, consider carefully where you position this information – or if you include it at all. With so many different things to include – there just might not be the space. 

Which leads us nicely to…

4. Keep Your CV Concise

The first impression of your CV should be that it looks like a document that a stranger would want to read. Or even better – ask yourself the question if you had little time – would you want to read a similar document about another?

In practical terms – this really means including it all onto one side of A4. As stated above – pick the most relevant information, intelligent formatting can be your friend and leave some things for the interview. 

5. Personal Statement

One of the biggest challenges you are likely to have is standing out so one of the best ways you can differentiate yourself is by writing a paragraph, a couple of sentences or even a few words as a personal statement.

There are many different ways you can do this – and ultimately no right way – but it should be more about who you are as opposed to what you do.

A couple of good examples are below..

‘My superpower is my smile, as well as my sensitivity and passion for great visual design.’

Or…

‘A results-oriented, ethical and highly adaptable individual with a drive to effectuate lasting positive social change in Scotland.’

There are many different approaches and it’s worth mentioning that professional LinkedIn summaries are a great source of inspiration for personal statements.

6. Print Make A Difference

Again, when it comes to standing out,  you should take every opportunity available to you. This means that if you are able to do so – have your CV and cover letter printed and sent on high-quality paper. 

Quite simply, it will make more of an impression than a digital CV.

However, please ignore this advice if a company is asking for a ‘Digital Application’ only. 

7. Mention what you have to offer – be specific, personal or even humorous

Finally, when asking for something, it is always useful to mention what you have to offer in return for the job, place or internship you are seeking. So take the time to mention this in your cover letter and for those that want to go the extra mile – be specific, personal or even humorous – it is a human-being that is reading your CV after all. 

  • A designer, photographer and videographer all-in-one.
  • A person that eats balance sheets like they’re twinkies. 
  • The best meme-creator in the West of Scotland.
  • The only person who knows how to use TikTok
  • Or if all else fails… ‘The humble person who’s happy to learn and will make the tea for everyone. 

7 short steps that will make a massive difference. Best of luck with those CVs and don’t hesitate to let me know how you get on and please get in touch if you have any questions?

For you creatives out there – keep an eye out for a similar post on Portfolios.

Benedetto

BB

 

 

04
Dec

LOFTCAST Episode 2, ‘Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things with Brian Williamson’

We are absolutely thrilled and delighted to present the second in our LOFTCAST series this week. For those, that aren’t in the know, this video and audio podcast features high-impact, transformative and radical thinking individuals who are rapidly changing the world in which we live today. For the second episode, our founder Benedetto Bordone interviewed Scottish entrepreneur, investor and multiple-award winner Brian Williamson who talks to us about ‘Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things.’

In a wide-ranging interview, Brian speaks about his up-bringing, the tremendous success of R&D Tax Credit specialists Jumpstart and how his early experiences as a manager in a factory in the highly unionised 70s and 80’s shaped his career for the better. He gives some great insights into how he has been able to effectively engage, energise and create more efficient workforces, his passion for entrepreneurship, how the significance and benefits of a 4 day work week with current company 4icg is shaping their success and finally how receiving ‘the yellow card’ (cancer) has affected his outlook and the changes he’s made since going into remission. There is also a special Q&A at the end of the interview with questions from the Scottish Business Community.

This film is rich with advice, stories and experiences from Brian’s past, present and future. It is absolutely perfect for people who are looking to develop a more entrepreneurial mindset, for business leadership, for managing people at work and anybody with a desire for personal development to become more successful with their careers.

Finally, we’ve taken the entire interview and divided it into 27 mini-films that seamlessly flow from one to another, so you can pick and choose those that are most relevant to yourself.

We hope you enjoy watching this series as much as we’ve enjoyed producing it for you.

15
Sep

From Brand Communication to Brand Experience, A Subtle Shift…

We’ve been having a good look at ourselves at the loft recently – thinking about our values, our culture and where we want to be in the next 18 months or so, a great exercise..

One of the things we’re most excited about is the subtle shift of what our company does from Brand Communication to Creating Brand Experiences For People.

What’s the Difference?

Well communication means engaging people on one level whereas producing an experience is much more profound, encouraging of creativity and most importantly – is effective for the client.

In practice, the services remain the same, and the way we do them to a certain extent too. But we now build on those details which make a difference. The magic touches that create an experience – more creative print techniques, better paper-sourcing for brochures, websites with buttons that people want to press, campaigns that are more dialogue and less broadcast, brand marks which truly capture the imagination, etc.

As stated, all things we’re already doing but with a greater emphasis on surprise, delight and a proper commitment to the end-user experience.

Benedetto