The secret to Coffee & TV’s extraordinary success with Derek Moore

In an industry often dominated by relentless pursuit of profit and growth, Coffee and TV charts a different course, prioritising a deep-seated belief in the power of nurturing a supportive, family-like environment.

Since its inception, this unique company has steadfastly refused to follow the conventional path laid out by corporations driven by financial metrics, choosing instead to grow at a pace dictated by artists and creative minds.

And the result?

Not only being a highly sought after creative studio to work at, but also being a profitable multi-million pound b-corp business.

What is their secret sauce?

Today Derek Moore, CEO of Coffee and TV, tells us.

We learn about their commitment to being a force for good and how they have created an electrifying atmosphere that transcends the traditional employer-employee dynamic, leading to ground-breaking creativity and innovation.

So throw on those running shoes, or find that favourite beverage, and here is Derek.

Please don’t forget to let us know what you think of this episode, leave a review and subscribe.

If you would like to be reminded of future podcasts and other inspiring stories from TIE, join our newsletter here.

If you would like to pre-order Return on Humanity: Leadership lessons from all corners of the earth, you can do that ⁠here⁠.

Here are the ads he refers to on the podcast:

https://coffeeand.tv/work/no-room-for-racism/

https://coffeeand.tv/work/spring-2024/

https://coffeeand.tv/work/meta-for-work/

0:03

Welcome to the show where we expose new perspectives on our ever evolving world through the lenses of various industries, cultures and backgrounds.

Our guests are disruptors united by a common goal to bring their purpose to life.

0:21

Whether they’re from the commercial world or third sector, from the global north or the global, S expect an inspirational journey that will transform your perspective on just what is possible.

My name is Philippa White and welcome to tie on Earth.

0:40

So can focusing on a more human way of doing things make your company more competitive?

Well, yes, yes it can.

And today you’re going to hear exactly why and how.

Hello, and welcome to Episode 86 of Thai Unearthed.

1:01

Today I’m talking with Derek Moore, CEO and cofounder of Coffee and TVA leading creative studio specializing in VFX, animation and colour grading.

A studio that is also a proud B Corp and Derek has so much to say about that now.

1:20

Before establishing coffee and TV, Derek was one of London’s most renowned visual effects artists.

Working with many celebrity superstars from Coldplay to George Michael and big brand clients including British Airways, Renault and L’Oreal.

Derek turned the company from a start up to a profitable multi £1,000,000 business with a diverse roster of clients across commercials and broadcast.

1:45

So how has he done it?

Well, hard work and eye for detail and a solid reputation.

Yes, that’s kind of a given, but also by creating an environment that people relate to they want to be a part of, connect to, can grow in and where they feel a sense of belonging.

2:06

As Derek said, the company’s growth was mindful and led by artists rather than being dictated by suits and accountants.

So what’s the secret to their success?

Keep listening to find out.

So throw on those running shoes and find that favorite beverage.

2:22

And here is Derek.

Derek, thank you so much for joining me on Tie on Earth.

We obviously, well kind of met each other through the wonderful world of LinkedIn.

I saw a post and it caught my attention and then we sort of chatted and I am just thrilled that I get to have this opportunity to chat with you today.

2:44

So thank you.

Thank you very much for having me excited to be here.

I always like to ask this question.

Anyone who’s a regular listener of this podcast will know what I’m about to ask.

But just tell me, where are you?

Where are you sitting right now and where are you in the world?

I’m sitting right now in Tunbridge Wells in Kent in England.

3:01

I’ve just got back from 2 weeks in Austin for Southwest Southwest which is.

A.

Sort of conference, yeah.

Just sort of shaking off the last little bits of jet lag and maybe moving back over there in the not too distant future.

But for now, England just.

3:18

Is it going to be LA or is it going to be Austin?

Yeah.

That’s still the question, actually.

Yeah.

Having just got back from Austin, I’ve sort of fell in love with it and a lot of a lot of things about it.

So it might be there, but it could be New York, it could be LA, it could be Austin, it could be somewhere else.

But there’s a lot of action going on in the United States for us right now.

3:37

So I need to be where that is really I think, so somewhere there.

Yeah, interesting.

Just as an aside, a friend of mine who also works in the tech world here, she set up a an organization that involves underprivileged youth, teaching them skills in tech and then getting them into the marketplace.

3:56

And so she was at South by Southwest as well, doing lots of networking there and showing lots of pictures and sharing experiences.

Sounded really good this year actually.

It was really good, yeah.

I mean I’ve only the 2nd year I’ve been and yeah, it was both, both years were great.

There’s different reasons.

This year was more about the community outside of South by for us.

4:14

I think meeting lots of really interesting people and learning like rather less official learning like last year was.

The talks were amazing and so much to learn and probably were this time, but we were so busy meeting really interesting people and learning about them that that’s where we learnt most of the things this year.

4:29

Amazing.

Isn’t it?

That’s what I mean.

That’s what these are just so good, isn’t it?

Because you just get to meet people outside of your normal world every single day.

That’s why we need to make the point of doing that right.

So, Connection, tell us your story.

It would be really interesting to know just you and before coffee and TVI.

4:48

Came from almost nothing, actually.

I was born in a one bedroom flat, almost above a motorway, above a green grocery shop, sort of right overlooking A motorway, And it’s sort of all part of London.

And somehow ended up as a visual effects artist for 25 years or so working with you know various sort of famous pop stars and actors and directors particularly you know doing all the things as a as an artist, digital artist.

5:10

I can’t really draw when I use the word artist.

I sort of cringe a little bit.

When I started it was it was tape to tape editing.

So it was more it was an engineering kind of technical qualification.

But it’s I guess as the equipment got easier to use you could kind of be a bit more creative with it.

And there is an element of the the software that we were using at the time it was it’s called now it’s called flame.

5:30

It’s actually a really complex piece of software.

So you needed to have quite a good level of technical understanding in order to be able to use it well.

From a sort of an engineering background.

I kind of managed to get it to do cool stuff.

So that was 25 years and found myself as part of the visual effects industry, which is both brilliant and also can be quite hard.

5:48

Like, it’s, it’s built a lot on manual label, like how many hours you work is that’s how the companies will make money.

So there was a big burnout culture, quite a lot of pressure most days, you know, So you’ve got mental health issues, you’ve got tired people all trying to bring the best creative versions of themselves to the work.

6:05

And after a while, we just tried to find a better way.

We just thought there has to be a better way.

And you know, partly it was a almost like a desperation kind of response to kind of like we can’t do this anymore.

Like I was probably 40 something and it was like I just can’t do this anymore, this intensity at this level at the high end of, you know, we were at the sharp end of like worlds effects.

6:24

So four of us started coffee and TV together there.

We each had different skill sets.

So we had a sort of a project scene between us.

We were able to deliver an entire projects amongst the four founders of the company.

We didn’t start with the ambition of it becoming any sort of even a company.

We didn’t intend to have an office.

6:41

We were just going to work from our homes and sort of share files as a team and work with cool people, cool clients, try and do some cool projects and have some time off in between.

It was much more of a more of a lifestyle lifestyle, doing what we loved rather than the kind of the the make the money for the grow the company.

6:58

Like it wasn’t that at all.

But lo and behold, it turns out that you can do better creative work and have a better time and give your clients a better experience if you’re not tired and burnt out.

So we sort of kept doing more work.

Yeah, right.

Yeah.

But yeah, it’s interesting.

7:14

I think you know that revelation that knowing how to run a project is very similar to how to run a company.

You’ve still got to deliver a profit, you’ve still got to make money.

Otherwise you’re going to come out of business and you still make your clients happy and you’ve got to keep all the project team happy and engaged.

7:29

And a lot of our competitors, larger competitors in our industry are run by big corporations and by, you know, finance people, by accountants who you know don’t really understand creativity and it’s form that we practice there.

So I found it much easier for me to go back to Business School to learn how to run a business.

7:48

The company that we’re in, I think that’s a more effective way to approach what we’ve done rather than, you know, you could have a an MBA from Harvard, but you still wouldn’t necessarily really understand the insurance and outs and the vagarism weirdness of creative people and how it all kind of ends up working OK in the end.

So I think one of our strengths is that we’ve grown mindfully with artists leading the business rather than being answerable to you know, suits and accountants, that kind of thing, which has allowed us to grow in the right direction for US.

8:16

Netflix have a really interesting culture deck some people would have would have read and know about and they often refer to themselves deliberately.

Not a family, but a high performing team.

And I’ve always wondered why would you do that.

But if your point is to compete as a team, like in a sports competition, like in a sports league, and you want to win the league, then if that’s your goal, then cool.

8:35

But if it’s your career and your job, what’s left after the people who’ve been fired, who aren’t performing or promoted, who are performing?

Like what’s left after that?

And what we are is very clearly a family.

We’re there for each other.

The goal is to reward each other and express a you know and have a full career and express ourselves you know more fully.

8:53

You need to make money in order to facilitate that.

But the goal isn’t, you know.

To make money.

Not it’s not.

So, yeah, it’s not primarily to make money, you know, It’s like how can we do it all better, you know?

And that seems certainly for us that seems to work.

Yeah, that’s so interesting.

9:08

I think.

I think I might have mentioned, I’m not sure if I did, but I I’m launching my book called Return on Humanity, Leadership, Lessons from All Corners of the World.

So as you’re talking, I’m just thinking, yeah, I mean, of course, any business.

I mean, you need to make money.

No one’s saying you can’t make money.

9:24

But when the only objective is to make money at all costs, forgetting about everything else, it’s soulless.

And where’s the authenticity?

Where’s the connection?

Where’s the business that’s connecting with me as the person who has fallen in love with that whatever it is that you’re selling, and it’s if you and everyone within the company are part of it, because it’s your purpose, which clearly it is.

9:48

I mean, it sounds like you’ve been doing this forever.

And I I almost before we kind of move forward, I actually just want to move back because you touched on something so key and I’m sure everyone’s like what’s the story behind that?

You obviously came from a very simple background, not having a lot of the resources I guess that a lot of other people in this world kind of have and what you obviously have now.

10:10

I’m just curious what was that catalyst to doing what you do?

I mean how did you get into that visual effects is a pretty high end intense incredible thing.

How did you even make that move?

It was a few small, a couple of small little coincidences.

10:27

I think really.

Firstly I managed to get into the local grammar school, which is like within the state education system in the UK.

It’s kind of divided.

So the grammar school is like the top stream but great.

So my mum was quite smart and so she, I think she caught, I caught some of the smart genes from her hopefully and then she came into the grammar school, which is good because that then that’s a different entry point into the, let’s say university or workplace, which I completely abused by.

10:54

I was like straight A’s all the way through until I got to sort of halfway through the last couple of years and I found I just having too much of a good time.

I suddenly found myself, I’d found music.

I’d found all like all the hobbies outside of everything and didn’t really try to because I’ve been.

11:11

I’ve found it all academically I’ve found it quite easy.

I didn’t.

I thought I could just breathe through my A levels as they were like they still are in the UK without really having to work too hard.

And lo and behold I did pass them all but really only just squeaked through and didn’t get the grades that I needed to go to the university that I had been accepted to, which now I look back on it.

11:31

I could easily.

I was going to read English, so I was in some books and reading and I could easily have been, you know, an English teacher now rather than visual effects company, which is kind of.

Sliding door, Isn’t it the sliding?

Door messing around too much at school, right.

So here’s the message to everybody.

But yeah, So what they encourage you to do back then was to sort of, you know, you’d apply for your universities and then if you didn’t get in, you’d have a vocational sort of backup option or something to do.

11:55

I could have reset the exams and actually done some work and I’m sure it would have been fine, but actually, but I thought why not take a year and do the vocational option which was a a television sort of broadcast operations course.

So learning how to do camera work and sound and editing in basically live TV.

12:11

And I found myself in that environment like firstly incredibly, you know, stimulated by being able to make stuff like from, I didn’t even know that was a thing really.

But also being relatively academic in a, in a creative sort of creative world elevated your, you know, your standing on that course, I guess.

12:27

And I was really and the last like lucky piece was that the course was kind of the leading course in the UK at the time and the leading post production company in the UK at the time, a company called the Moving Picture Company.

They had a sort of habit of taking the top two graduates from that course every year.

So when I graduated I kind of I didn’t it wasn’t like a shoo in, but the kind of got a seat as an as an assistant or basically a runner within MPC, the Moving picture Company.

12:52

And and I learnt more in the first two weeks in that company than I did in the during the college course.

But I think the college course had prepared me to learn that.

And then when you’re in the workplace, you suddenly, you know, everything opens up and you can see career paths and it’s like, Oh my God, you know, I didn’t even know this was just so lucky and so lucky.

13:09

And graceful, you know?

Yeah.

Isn’t it amazing how life can give you these gifts to then?

I mean, some people unlock their purpose, you know, young and then isn’t that great?

And then you sort of follow and then you just you decide how you want to finesse that some people are still looking for it.

13:24

I I believe that everybody has a purpose.

It is just a matter of really tapping into I think as well what makes you happy?

I don’t know if a lot of people even know that that’s even a thing that you can do to make money.

Do you know what I mean?

And and that you can even consider that and you sort of need to back to kind of what you’re saying about the suits and the sort of the money thing that sort of you’ve gone into academia or whatever it is.

13:45

And then you just sort of follow this path that society has told you to follow or your family or whatever it is.

Then you get the job that you need to get to them and work until you retire.

I remember always thinking, Oh my God, what a life.

When that yeah, when that hits you.

14:02

I’m reading a book recently called The 2nd Mountain, which is all about like your first purpose in life, which for me was, you know, how can I be a success?

I can make myself a success.

How can I do something that I enjoy And you know, and I did enjoy, you know, the visual effects world, you know, it’s amazingly interesting.

You meet so many cool people.

14:17

It’s like you get to make stuff, it’s fun, but it doesn’t really give much back to the world.

And then so like at the time, I probably would have said I’d found my purpose and now found another one.

You know, it’s it’s fascinating how you.

Can change.

It’s not linear and you know, yeah.

14:36

How amazing.

So let’s talk about that because I I’d love to just understand more about coffee and TV, how it works.

I mean you you’ve explained it, but I just think you know how it works and why is it different.

Yeah.

Again, that sense of purpose is I think the thing that underpins our what’s working and why we’re different to everyone else.

14:53

So we’ve got about 100 people in London.

We’re growing.

We’ve just become part of the Omnicom network and we’re going to continue to grow inside and outside Omnicom Group in the UK and the US.

So there’s a lot of we’re setting up studios in LA, New York and Austin and all the others to follow.

London’s growing significantly because of the new sort of partnership arrangement we’ve got.

15:13

So it’s we’re in a very exciting place right now.

And the reason that we’ve, well, I mean many reasons but I think the main reason that we’ve managed to succeed and it’s been a very difficult and competitive marketplace is because of the fact that we we try to do everything with purpose, with heart, soul with love.

15:32

We feel love is one of our defined values.

You know that ends it’s the foundations that I talked about earlier were in place just sort of naturally like we just wanted to not do it the same way as it’s been done before because we couldn’t mainly because we couldn’t continue like that way just didn’t have the resilience to to continue like that.

15:48

So we had to find another way and the other way was to be kind to each other, to support each other, to give each other the space to, to fail fast, to change, to pivot, to grow.

You know, we’ve all been very I’m very grateful to my three Co founders to give me the space to to learn how to be a leader and how to grow and how to run a business.

16:08

And you know in return I hopefully I hold space for others to become the best versions of themselves and you know be fully empowered and and that’s my purpose and I think we’re as I think you know we’re the I think the only B called certified creative studio in in the UK at least and and if for those who don’t know because it’s the it’s kind of the gold standard of both environmental and social responsibility.

16:31

So it’s it took us a long time 6 / a couple of years to to get everything together to certify for the qualification and even for us it didn’t feel like it was certainly wasn’t a tick box exercise but it was we were already aligned with a lot of thinking we didn’t have to change an awful lot it still was very rigorous process through processes like that we’re able to demonstrate that what we what I’m saying to you now is authentically true.

16:55

We do care about people.

We do care about the community in which we operate.

We really care about the planet that we work on and with.

And how can we be the best versions of ourselves for all of these different in these different environments and different scenarios.

What I didn’t realise is that in our industry, since we certified new recruits that we brought on, a lot of them have.

17:13

Said I’m.

So grateful come in because of that.

And they thought they would never get to work for a big core certified organization in the visual effects industry.

And they’re they’re grateful.

We’re grateful to have them.

That sense of shared purpose is strong.

You know it’s from small humble beginnings.

17:29

You know that sense of we’re trying to change the industry and we might end up changing the world like we’re already seeing.

Our industry is now.

The big competitors that we have have massively upped their game in how they treat their people.

They’ve had to reinvent how they organise their whole human resources, which I hate that term, but that Prince of that part of their business isn’t it, they’ve all changed because they’ve had to compete with on the talent retention from with us, the tiny little us.

17:52

That’s great, which is great, right?

And if out?

If so, the visual effects industry can be a a leading line.

Disruptor.

Disruptor, How can we treat people better, How can we.

I mean ultimately you get more out of them.

So it’s not like it’s not entirely generous.

I mean it’s it should come from a generous place but the output like you know our people, they are amazing at what they can produce and how they operate.

18:15

And if that could be an example to other industries of how you know people are 5560% more of your cost base of your of any company, right.

It’s most most companies it’s it’s the about the people, right.

So if you can empower and and let’s say get the most out of that cost, which is for the accountants here, why would you not do that?

18:34

Because it’s such a lever, such a driving force for positivity in your company.

But I feel like we’ve kind of helped to show and model that that is a positive change.

It’s so interesting because I studied business at university, got like 25 years ago.

They’ve asked me back a couple of times to talk to their grads, specifically part of the sustainability department, which it’s amazing because they have a sustainability department.

18:57

I don’t know how many universities have that and they’re about to start a purpose department, which is also amazing.

But it was really interesting in a we had a round table just the other night and they asked me to provoke the students.

And I asked a question to both the students but also the university just saying, OK, so if we know that we need companies that have purpose, if we know that’s what people are, you all of you are coming out of university looking for.

19:22

And we know that we need to develop that human centered feeling at companies.

In order for that to be possible, we need leaders who have those competencies for that to be possible, right.

So who is training these leaders coming out of the business schools?

Who’s training them?

19:37

Like who’s doing that?

And it was really interesting because there was a there was a business woman who was on the panel as well And I I actually asked her because she’s in Canada and she works within the finance industry and I and she said well yeah, that’s a really good question.

I think it’s more like the self help people or and I was like self help.

If it’s self help then it’s on the individuals to then train themselves to be the driving force of how business is going to work moving forward.

20:02

And it’s just it’s fascinating because everything that you’re saying, you’re proving that this is obviously, you know, the war on talent is real.

This is what people are looking for.

You are proving that you are more successful, more interesting.

20:18

That doesn’t seem to be what the business schools are spitting out.

I agree.

Anything I would say is that I think that finding it within yourself is like the only way to find it.

I don’t know whether you could but just be told to act this way and for its.

I agree with music, totally agree with you, which is why I couldn’t agree with you more absolutely.

20:36

The thing is, is why are companies not talking about self-awareness?

Yeah.

Absolutely.

And having people think about that because they’re not.

Yeah.

I think just for our listeners, it would be super interesting for you to bring to life any projects that stand out from sort of an impact point of view or help bring to life what you’re talking about.

20:54

We’ve got a lot of really high profile projects that you know on the on their stand alone on their own as a sort of a creative expertise thing to talk about.

However I think the in the light of this podcast and I’d like to bring to talk about as a job we did recently for the Premier League the Soccer League in the UK and and they’re running a campaign to kick out racism.

21:15

The UK has been trying to kick out racism in football for you know forever and you know with limited success I guess.

So there was a campaign recently to try to do that.

When people in coffee and TV get get together with sense of purpose, it makes a massive difference and work doesn’t feel like work.

21:32

It feels like you’re actually, especially to be fair, especially when you’re mainly doing working in advertising, which is where we where we sit.

You know, you’re generally selling a lot of stuff trying to make people buy more stuff they don’t need, right.

It’s not a very conscious or aware of industry to be involved with.

When we get a chance to communicate or tell a story in a more purposeful way, everyone gets excited and gets behind it.

21:52

And there’s a project, which I’ll send you a link to, about kicking, kicking out racism in the Premier League and it shows what would happen.

It combines visual effects in a really cool way because it shows what would happen if there was a a football match without diversity.

So if you started to take out all the players from different backgrounds, different heritages and you know, then the game’s carrying on.

22:16

But the people are just disappearing from the play because they’re not white and middle-aged and you know, like this.

They’re not, you know, and it’s just an interesting, you know, it’s not an amazing visual effects projects and compared to some of the other work we’ve done, but because it’s people care about it, you know, it’s just a really cool project that it’s really great.

22:34

I think we’re all grateful to be involved in things like that.

Let’s put purpose to the side for a second for our listeners and for me too, because I’m curious to know what would be an example of a project that you’ve recently worked on or that you’re sort of super proud of that is amazing from a visual effects point of view.

No, man.

22:49

Well, the one that’s hit the head clients recently is the Calvin Klein ad with Jeremy Allen White with these underpants.

I haven’t.

Seen it, but everyone else will have.

I’m in Brazil and.

I don’t want to have, Yeah, Yeah.

So that’s the one we go and show our work to clients.

Like we start with that and we’ve got everyone’s attention because that’s the level of work that we can do.

23:07

But you explain.

It for someone who might not have seen it.

It’s it’s well, it’s again, it’s not particularly visual effectsy, but how can I say this publicly?

So one of the skills that our artists have is in in beauty work, it’s making people look the best versions of themselves, right.

23:25

There are some moral issues with that.

But whether you use makeup on the set or whether you use makeup digitally afterwards, you can make somebody look, yeah, most attractive version of themselves.

So there’s quite a skill, quite and actually a very refined skill to being able to do that.

It’s been done on still frames like on posters and movables for for forever on one frame at a time.

23:46

But when it’s moving image, you can’t just paint it, you have to apply because you you you’d see the paint marks as it animates over time, right.

So we’ve built a very strong expertise in being able to like manipulate real images and not know that, not see what we’ve done.

24:04

There was very little of that.

In fact, I’m not sure there’s any of that on that particular commercial.

It’s a beautiful colour grade by by our colourist Simona Cristia.

She’s our director of colour and she’s, she’s amazing and she gets that real luxury.

It’s a real combination of the feel of a sort of a perfume commercial with the kind of celebrity star of the moment in an amazing, you know, New York rooftop setting.

24:26

Pretty much just making all, you know, looking amazing in his underpants, right.

It’s then he’s kind of inclined right.

It’s just a cool looking spot.

But we’ve done huge projects for you know directly with meta in the in the VR space and you know within the sort of headset world where everything.

24:42

When we lots of different styles of how the world can be portrayed both in super reality and in animation.

And bringing together all of your sort of your CG art history to be able to take something that was Once Upon a time real and then put it into a an animated version within AVR headset.

25:01

I mean you know and everything in between.

It’s like, you know, once you’ve got a team of visual effects artists, it’s right.

You know it’s how can you?

How can we how far can we push this?

Right, exactly.

So it’s always usually a lot of fun.

You mentioned just earlier and we’ll bring it back again now to Purpose and and B Corpse because I I just think the B Corp move is obviously really exciting.

25:21

Obviously something that lots of people may aspire to be able to do but aren’t actually able to do it.

For people who are listening, who are perhaps skeptical of B Corpse, who maybe sort of say, oh, people are just doing that because it’s a box ticking exercise and it’s just kind of all you get the sort of number and how does it become more than a box ticking exercise.

25:40

And for you what what are you proud of?

So you say no, you know what, it isn’t just a box sticking exercise.

And I know that you’ve talked about how you treat your people, but I just wonder what can you share with people that are listening?

So I’m quite evangelical about B Corp because it’s transforms our business in a very positive way.

25:57

And if I’m honest, when I went into it I thought it might be a box sticking exercise and there are then you realise there are an awful lot of boxes to be ticked and you know it’s almost not worth the return on in on your time investment if you’re not doing it authentically like it doesn’t.

26:14

The benefits just not there.

If it’s not, if it’s not done for real, you know it took a few goes to be able to get through it and make some of the changes that were needed to be made.

But what’s happened through that process is the way the B Corp certification is structured.

26:31

It’s so smart because it isn’t just about environmental, you know, impact on the planet.

The ways in which they encourage your business to change for the better, actually make your business change for the better like it runs as a Better Business.

So for example, and I’ll talk about some of the outliers that if if I may in a minute, the companies that probably did do it as a box ticking exercise and helping.

26:51

Them all out.

That’s.

Also that’s also relevant, but let me come back to that.

One of the one of the ways in which B Core worked really well for us was that one of the things we wanted to do and part of the assessment was to reduce or eliminate actually single use plastic from our studio.

The way that we did it in sort of in collaboration with B Lab, the sort of advisory people behind B Core was we started a Slack channel and invited the whole company, anybody who cared about single use plastic to join the single use plastic channel on Slack.

27:19

And to every time anybody sees in our studio any piece of plastic, there’s only being used once.

Put it in the channel and let’s see if we can find a way to stop that happening, to find a replacement to to do that, which is called calling itself, right, Cooler thing.

But what we found is that the suddenly the lead flame artist is chatting to the CG supervisor who’s chatting to the runner, who’s chatting to the accountant about where we’re going to get different solutions to this problem, right?

27:44

And we ended up building this really cross this communication amongst teams of people who would never normally talk to each other and getting a real purpose driven spirit behind this and that spirit then spread through their company and now everyone’s like that’s what plastic, but why have you got that plastic bottle, why don’t you use one of these bottles that we could give you whatever you know so it just.

28:02

Helped the culture of the.

People that were there by as almost by accident, right.

And then there are multiple examples of that.

And if I can just touch on the the outliers of the companies that have been called out for it as many people will think that that’s an example of B Corp not working.

Because you can be Brew Dog or Avast with the Shell account or any of those companies which you know, I don’t know them.

28:24

So whether they’re trying hard and this is a bad mistake or a decision they haven’t made very well.

We all make mistakes.

And I try not to be judge mental here, but the fact that they’ve been called out for certain misdemeanours, let’s say, is, I think is an example of be called working exactly as it’s intended to if companies didn’t subscribe or sign up to a code and put their commitment and their head above the parapet to a standard to which they should be.

28:49

Yeah, then it really.

Accountable.

Yeah.

If they get found out then it wouldn’t make the news.

If they weren’t signed up to the B Court, they would just carry on doing that.

Whereas now they’re being called out for it.

They’re either going to have to change or be kicked out of the B Court certification and that is an example of B Court working, right.

29:05

And everyone else who’s not getting called out is because we’re trying to do, we’re all trying to do the right thing you know.

But you get get a chance to to course correct if you if you can and if you don’t and you don’t become part of that movement.

It’s almost like self selection or natural selection you know so.

So I think they’re actually examples of B Corp working as it’s intended to, rather than the proving that B Corp doesn’t work.

29:26

So what gets you excited every day?

People unlocking potential in people, the opportunity that you see in people.

But if I can provide a a landscape and environment for them to flourish and to become the best versions of themselves, that’s that gets me excited.

29:42

I feel I know enough about the roles that they play, the jobs that they do in my company, because I’ve been there and done it.

So I feel like I can build the playground in the right way so that they can then have the best time.

I’m sure you know people, some of my people will be laughing at me now, you know, because it’s not never, never that straightforward, is it?

30:03

It’s never that easy.

But but honestly, seeing youngsters grow, seeing, you know, seeing young producers suddenly take on these massive, really big, scary projects.

Seeing artists deliver things they never thought they’d get to work on.

You know, seeing people have careers that you know, they from when they’re rescued from other companies where they were having a horrible time and they were thinking about leaving our industry because they couldn’t do it anymore.

30:25

And they come and work with us and they find a new lease of life and a new spirit and energy.

That’s what gets me excited every day.

Totally.

Oh, I couldn’t agree with you more.

I asked you about cool things that you’re working on.

And you know, what are you working on at the moment that you think our listeners would find interesting?

30:41

Project wise, unfortunately, we can almost never talk about projects that we’re working until until they come out.

Particularly like with advertisers, they don’t want their competitors to know what they’re working on while they’re working on it.

We are working on some really cool stuff that’s I’m sure that’s coming out very soon.

30:59

Some really cool visual effects, a bit like Inception, you know the film Inception.

We’re doing basically a TV commercial with that kind of visual effects.

You know, thing in it.

Can’t really say anything more right now, but you’ll know recognise it when it comes out.

But what I’m actually working on is the US expansion plan is setting up studios in Los Angeles and New York and Austin right now and finding the right people, finding the right studio space, finding the clients and trying to build another version, a smaller version of what we built in London, but trying to replicate that with heart.

31:29

And so in in the US is and learning about the US culture and people and what the market needs and how things work there, learning every day is an amazing opportunity.

I’m really, really grateful to be able to do that.

And now it feels like it’s volume styled up to 11 and we’re going again.

31:47

So it’s very.

Exciting.

Now what haven’t I asked you that you’d like to tell our listeners, I?

Think you’ve asked some great questions.

So I think you’ve a good job.

So thank you.

What I’d like to tell your listeners is almost like a personal reflection that I think is relevant to everybody in that we don’t like to boast or be overconfident or seem to be arrogant generally.

32:11

Generalization, I know, but and I certainly came from that place.

I came from nothing really.

Didn’t really expect to be one of these people that you talk about.

You know, I use the word New York and Los Angeles in sentences, which is the sort of thing that you you watch on TV.

People saying these things.

I didn’t expect to be one of those people.

32:27

I kind of wish that I’d come across this a bit earlier.

But each of us have so much more capacity than we allow ourselves to believe and so much more ability to influence the world and each other than we admit to ourselves.

And if someone has told me that and given me the ability to get out of my own way and just let things unfold in the way that they’re designed to, rather than me trying to keep myself comfortable or secure, you know, or liked.

32:55

I can get out of my own way and let things unfold and always try to do the right thing and do good work.

Good work done well is one of the things we could talk about.

It’s not just about the output, it’s about how you do it and how you show up every day.

Like if I could have done that earlier and learnt that earlier, then I think we would be, you know, or we’ve helped more people.

33:14

We could have had a, you know, an even more successful company than we have today.

Who are we to play small, you know?

Yeah.

And it’s something obviously that I stand for completely about agency, isn’t it?

It’s about giving people at the end.

Part of my book is basically that my daughter actually asked me.

33:30

It was so funny.

She said what are the last few?

It was such an interesting question.

She’s only 13, but it was such a good question.

What are the last few words of your book?

Great question.

That’s a good question for a 13 year old.

Yeah.

And then I thought about it.

I was like, you know what?

I have to double check, but I think it’s the time is now and that I went back and I’m like it is, it’s the time is now.

33:53

Right, right.

Is there a quote that you can share with our listeners that perhaps sums up what we’ve talked about today?

I love quotes and and I just think different people have different ways of seeing the world through quotes, and I just don’t know if you are one of those people.

You haven’t read English, so you might be.

34:09

Yeah, now I’ve got this.

You know so many quotes that come at you and they all relevant at different points in your life and in your journey.

I’ve got this is quite a long one actually, so I hope you don’t mind.

Go.

Ahead.

That’s fine.

That’s like lines or something.

It’s a quote by Marianne Williamson, famous author.

34:24

And it sort of leans into what I was saying about how you know, we we’ve all got more capacity more to give than we perhaps let ourselves believe.

It’s certainly true for me, and I just think it’s a great quote to share for people who are on this entrepreneurial journey because it’s sometimes hard to not see the potential in yourself.

34:41

Sometimes we all see potential in other people, but we maybe we don’t see the same potential in ourselves.

Well, sorry, just a caveat there, There’s a couple of uses.

The word God in this quote a couple of times and I and I just don’t want this to become a religious sermon.

Right.

It’s you.

Well, I I replace the word God with what I think about as God, right?

35:00

Whether it’s our interconnectedness or whatever things, right?

So it’s not a literal God in this quote.

However, our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

35:16

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

35:33

We are all meant to shine as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

35:49

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Ah, that’s really powerful.

What a beautiful way to end our conversation.

That’s just exactly it.

Thank you so much for joining me.

36:05

It’s been an absolute pleasure to get to know you, Derek.

Thank you fellow.

It’s been a great chatting to you.

Thanks for all the questions of the airtime.

Appreciate you and everything you do.

Thank you.

Hey everyone, this is Philippa again.

I hope you enjoyed listening.

36:21

Now this is your chance to get involved with Ty.

If you’re looking to create better leaders, better companies, and a better world, that’s just what we do by helping leaders tap into their greatest asset, their humanity.

We have a number of corporate programs that impact a range of people, from individuals that accompany to 500 people around a business.

36:42

Or check out my book Return on Humanity, Leadership Lessons from All Corners of the World.

You’ll find the answers to how business can truly become a positive force while remaining at the forefront of competition.

You can find all the information you need on all of this at thaileadership.com.

37:02

Get in touch and I can explain more.

A huge thanks to Bej Naviera for Co producing this with me and for creating the music.

I hope we’ll meet up again soon.

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