Leo Burnett and this VUCA world

Today I speak with Carly Avener, Managing Director of Leo Burnett London.

I had so many questions.

I was keen to understand how COVID has changed things at the London ad agency. What they are doing differently as a result of everything. And what they did to support people when things got really difficult.

We then hear Carly talk about the silver linings, and the biggest learning.

She tells us what she looks for in leaders and brings to life the characteristics of the leaders that have risen to the top. What makes them shine. I personally found this fascinating, as it was very much in line with what I talk about at TIE.

On Monday we kick off our Corporate Team TIE project with Leo Burnett, and we’ll have 6 of their leaders come together to crack a challenge for a children’s rights organization in India. While developing more of the competencies that will help them shine in today’s VUCA world, they will also get to impact an organization that really needs their help.

Carly finishes our conversation by explaining why she and Charlie, the CEO, are getting involved, and why it fits perfectly with the expression of the agency’s purpose.

An absolutely fascinating chat, and just really special to understand what life is like post-COVID at a thriving London ad agency at this moment in history.

So grab your favorite beverage and do get stuck in. And please do let us know what you think of this episode, leave a review, rating and subscribe.

And if you would like to get involved with TIE, do get in touch at philippa@theinternationalexchange.co.uk. I’d love to hear from you.

00:00:07:19 – 00:00:29:13
Philippa White
So the questions are these How can we really activate the best of the private sector to meet the challenges of the real world? Is there a way to accelerate my career that doesn’t involve boring online or classroom courses? And can I really impact people in the developing world with the skills that I have? Can I finally feel proud of what I know?

00:00:30:04 – 00:00:56:24
Philippa White
Those are the questions. And this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Philippa White and this is TIE Unearthed. Keep listening and you can follow us on our journey as we show you how we’re connecting the private sector with the social sector. To make change. Hello everyone. Philippa Whyte here and welcome to episode 26 of TIE Unearthed.

00:00:57:09 – 00:01:04:13
Philippa White
I am so looking forward to speaking with Carly Avner today, managing Director of Leo Burnett London. Hi, Carly.

00:01:04:16 – 00:01:05:12
Carly Avener
Hi. Philippa.

00:01:05:21 – 00:01:07:01
Philippa White
It’s great to have you here.

00:01:07:05 – 00:01:10:10
Carly Avener
Thank you. It’s lovely to be here. Thank you for having me.

00:01:10:15 – 00:01:39:24
Philippa White
Great. Well, yeah. I mean, a few weeks ago, I was honored to be invited to the Leo Burnett London Virtual Agency meeting. There we heard Charlie Rudd, who’s the CEO, talk about what a post-COVID future looks like and he talked about how it will reward clarity but punish certainty and that it’s important to have direction and vision, but that you must remain flexible and open to change.

00:01:40:00 – 00:02:12:10
Philippa White
Why? Because we’re living in a VUCA world. So what’s that, you ask? It’s volatile, uncertain and complex and ambiguous. So it then felt quite fitting to then be invited to present TIE to the agency and call for participants to get involved in the virtual team type program. So it’s super exciting because we now have selected six professionals at the agency take part and we kick everything off on Monday.

00:02:12:10 – 00:02:33:09
Philippa White
It’s very exciting. So today Carly and I will be talking about leadership, about purpose, their involvement with TIE and adapting to a VUCA world. So I think before we get into all of that, Carly, it would just be really lovely if you could just bring to life your background where you’ve worked, what gets you excited about what you do?

00:02:34:03 – 00:03:03:03
Carly Avener
Sure. Yeah, no problem. So I started my career back in 2003, many moons ago on the grad scheme at McCann Erickson in London. I was working on American Airlines and Microsoft and getting some brilliant training in the process, and I was actually so grateful to get that job. I applied for hundreds of jobs, hundreds of graduate jobs, and I got rejection.

00:03:03:03 – 00:03:32:22
Carly Avener
After rejection, I got rejected by every single one. And mechanics and was the one place that I actually even got an interview. And so I had a good conversion rate from interview to find a job and not so good conversion rate from application. But anyway, and so was it. McKenna was in for a couple of years. I then left and joined BBH where I spent 13 years and I started my career in account management.

00:03:32:22 – 00:03:57:10
Carly Avener
And then after a while I sort of got I think I got a bit burnt out in account management really just sort of lots of conflict with clients, which was beginning to wear me down and I had an opportunity to move into the new business department, which I love that actually. I found that really interesting and exciting, dynamic part of the agency.

00:03:58:02 – 00:04:23:12
Carly Avener
And also it was a chance to kind of almost act out the job that a lot of my clients had been doing. You know, we were the sort of sales and marketing department for the agency. So thinking about the BBH brands as well as all clients brands. So I was in the business that BBH for a while and then my last role there was helping them to set up and launch their social media division.

00:04:23:12 – 00:04:44:11
Carly Avener
So at a time when social media was becoming more and more important to clients and their businesses, we set up our sort of specialist division and to create work for social platforms. Wow. Wow. That was my time at the age. In that time, I had a baby, went off for maternity leave, and then I joined Leo Burnett about 18 months ago.

00:04:45:03 – 00:04:46:12
Carly Avener
So as managing director.

00:04:47:01 – 00:05:08:10
Philippa White
Yeah, amazing. I mean, just I worked at BBH as well and I worked at Leo Burnett, so I feel a lot of yeah. A lot of connection to your your story. And actually I remember I also God when it was back in the day when it was sort of applying for various different jobs. And I also tried to get into the grad scheme, didn’t manage it.

00:05:08:10 – 00:05:31:23
Philippa White
I did get an interview with TBWA. I think it was one of the only ones and I made it sort of to the to the final rounds where they sort of take you off into breakout rooms. And anyway, I didn’t get that one, but I did end up getting a I ended up replacing a grad at Darcy, which ended up getting my foothold into Darcy, which then turned into Leo Burnett, which then I afterwards worked at a debate.

00:05:31:23 – 00:05:37:24
Philippa White
So yes, I relate to that, that moment for sure. Tell me what what gets you excited about what you do.

00:05:38:07 – 00:06:13:08
Carly Avener
And what’s the thing I love, which I’ve always loved about what I do and which is why I wanted to get into the industry in the first place. Is advertising and marketing, is it for me where sort of creativity and commerce kind of comes together? And that’s why I think that’s quite a unique thing. And that’s what I really love about what we do is using creativity to fuel growth for our clients, for their businesses, for their people, and doing that in a really exciting, creative, unexpected way.

00:06:13:08 – 00:06:37:11
Carly Avener
And that’s what I love and that’s what I’ve always loved. And a big part of that is working with creative people. I find them just fascinating and brilliant and inspiring, and that fuels my creativity as well. So and that I think is something really special this industry has that we need to really protect and nurture as much as we can.

00:06:37:23 – 00:07:07:14
Philippa White
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. Couldn’t agree more. That’s exactly the reason why I absolutely adored working in in advertising. Now, I recently read an interview with you where you talk about human brands and how brands are dialing up their role in society. And, you know, as we know, post-COVID during COVID, even pre-COVID, you know, this is definitely a you know, a movement, I guess, that isn’t going away.

00:07:07:23 – 00:07:17:08
Philippa White
Perhaps things have even changed post-COVID, but I’m just super keen to know from you working in the industry for so long, what? Yeah. Can you bring this to life for us?

00:07:18:03 – 00:07:49:08
Carly Avener
Sure. Yes. But I think brand is have such an important role in society, especially in this kind of uncertain, volatile world that we’re living in, where, frankly, you know, lots of governments don’t always provide that that leadership and that direction and make the decisions that that people want them to make. And I think, therefore, people look to to other places for for that leadership in that direction.

00:07:49:08 – 00:08:17:22
Carly Avener
And I think brands have the scale to do that and they have the platform to do that. I think people do look to them to lead the way when it comes to doing the right thing for the planet or for equality and diversity to fight racism. I think that people do look to look to those places and for that, and I think that’s increased a lot recently.

00:08:18:03 – 00:08:31:01
Carly Avener
And it’s not enough to just sell products. Brands have to understand the power that they have in society and use that power for good. And I think that’s what being a human brand is all about.

00:08:31:13 – 00:08:48:11
Philippa White
I couldn’t agree more about the power of the private sector for sure. I mean, obviously Leo Burnett works with so many different brands. I just wonder, can you bring this to life? And just to provide the listeners with a bit of an example from your experience, just what this looks like?

00:08:48:24 – 00:09:13:06
Carly Avener
Yes, I think you know, good example is as we live through the pandemic last year, obviously, there was lots of uncertainty, lots of mixed messages and confusion coming out, especially from the government. And, you know, we found that for some of our clients, their behavior and their action was more significant for people than what was coming out from from the government.

00:09:13:06 – 00:09:39:22
Carly Avener
So, for example, McDonald’s is one of the big clients and people were looking to them sets and to know what was going on. So, you know, when McDonald’s closed, it was seen as a symbol of, you know, how how serious the situation was that even McDonald’s closed equally. When they opened it, everyone felt like, well, things must be okay now because McDonald’s have opened and and we trust McDonald’s.

00:09:39:22 – 00:10:03:11
Carly Avener
And I think trust plays a big part in all of this. Consumers do a lot of trust in brands. And I think the most successful brands are the brands that really do trust with that audience and with that customer because they behave in the right way. They take their customers seriously. They understand the lives that their customers and they behave in really responsible ways.

00:10:03:11 – 00:10:20:20
Carly Avener
And we certainly saw saw that through the pandemic with some of the, you know, targets that McDonald’s and Kellogg’s and Premier Inn, where people really sort of took their actions and their behavior as a as a signal of what was going on in the wider society. Yeah.

00:10:21:07 – 00:10:40:22
Philippa White
It’s funny, actually, because when I’m talking about tie and sort of presentations or if I must to speak or you know, on info sessions when I’m talking to people about it. But one big part of tie is anyone who’s listening, who’s sort of following our journey. I mean, I really couldn’t stress enough the power of the private sector.

00:10:40:22 – 00:11:00:09
Philippa White
And actually it is up to the private sector, I think, to be a big driver in making the world a better place because we have the reach and we have the money and the financial you know, the financial resources and the human resources. And unfortunately, the government just can’t do that. We don’t trust it. It’s all over the place.

00:11:00:09 – 00:11:22:24
Philippa White
The decisions are all over the place. Unfortunately, NGOs don’t have the financial resources and the human resources to have the scale of impact. But these brands, they just the key really and I couldn’t agree more. They just they just need to understand one that power to being responsible and then helping to direct society in the right direction. And the the opportunity is huge.

00:11:22:24 – 00:11:24:06
Philippa White
So yeah, I.

00:11:24:06 – 00:11:54:09
Carly Avener
See kind of great Naomi saying that, you know, when we when we look at diversity, which is, you know, a big topic within marketing at the moment and, you know, brands do need to represent everyone in society. And we’ve seen with our own clients that when they do that and when they do that in a sort of respectful and sensitive way and people trust the brand more because they’re seeing their real world reflected back at them.

00:11:54:18 – 00:12:17:12
Carly Avener
And also not even just their real world, but actually brands can push on those and not those stereotypes that they can undo those stereotypes and they can present a much more progressive view of of society, the society that we’re all striving for. So I think they have a really they have a really important part to play in all of that.

00:12:17:18 – 00:12:35:10
Philippa White
Now. Now, stating the obvious, COVID is certainly shaking things up and in a few ways. Do you think COVID has changed organizational culture? And if it has, you know, how is it changing from your point of view?

00:12:36:01 – 00:13:13:20
Carly Avener
MM Yeah, it’s an interesting question because I think, you know, one of the things that we were really worried about was, you know, during the pandemic, you know, how we can retain our culture because we’re not together and we’re not seeing each other. But what we learn quite quickly is you don’t need a building and you don’t need to be together physically to sort of protect and nurture and grow your culture because your culture really, for me is about how you do things and how you treat each other and how you treat people and how you look after each other.

00:13:13:20 – 00:13:39:15
Carly Avener
So in a way, you know, just having that laser focus on how do we treat each other and how do we look after each other, was the only thing that changed because our culture still exists. We still did things a certain way and we really just took that extra time and care to make sure that people were feeling that without necessarily being able to see us.

00:13:39:15 – 00:14:17:04
Carly Avener
So lots of communication, way more communication than we ever had with each other before and lots more, I guess, physical expressions of our culture. So just really taking the time to signify things that were important to us and things that were an expression of how we wanted to behave. So for example, making sure that we were really looking after each other’s mental health, I think we’ve just kind of taken that for granted before because a lot of that can happen just by being around each other physically in the agency.

00:14:17:04 – 00:14:33:24
Carly Avener
But when you can’t be together physically, you have to sort of make that extra effort to reach out to people. So we set up a wellbeing buddy system. So we made sure, yeah, we made sure that everyone in the agency had a wellbeing body. Oh.

00:14:34:10 – 00:14:36:02
Philippa White
Oh yeah. Yeah.

00:14:36:18 – 00:14:55:11
Carly Avener
Which was brilliant actually because it, it forced people to talk to each other not, not, not in a sort of aggressively forceful way, but gave people a reason to talk to each other about something that wasn’t work and actually people that may not have been exposed to each other for ages because they don’t necessarily work in the same team.

00:14:55:24 – 00:15:15:02
Carly Avener
And it gave people permission to ask, are you okay? Like, are you really okay? And if not, is there anything I can do to help or do you want to bounce some stuff off me? And, you know, I’m really proud that we put that together because I think people really needed it and wanted it and really appreciated it.

00:15:15:02 – 00:15:21:03
Carly Avener
And for me, that is a real expression of the Leo Burnett culture. That’s just one example.

00:15:21:09 – 00:16:07:05
Philippa White
Yeah, beautiful. Really like that. That’s great. I’m interested to know if what you were looking for in leaders before COVID, if that’s still what you’re looking for now, you know, has anything changed from that point of view? And if so, yeah, you know, what characteristics are you looking for? And I guess this question just came about because obviously I sat in on the agency meeting and actually just as a really quick one based on the last comment that you just made about the agency culture, I have to say, sitting in on that virtual agency meeting, I had that feeling of real warmth.

00:16:07:14 – 00:16:28:20
Philippa White
There was a really amazing energy. There was jokes, people making fun of each other. You’re sitting there, you know, it just felt as if you were sitting at the agency, which is really nice. It was Charlie making jokes and, you know, Josh just being it was just it was really nice. So actually it did feel that. I definitely felt that.

00:16:28:20 – 00:16:56:24
Carly Avener
But oh, that’s great. That’s really great to hear. Yeah. And I think, you know, as leaders of the business, we all share the same values and and I think authenticity being one of them, you know, we all turn out to work truly ourselves. And I don’t think I’m any different at home than I am at work. And I don’t think any of any of the rest of us are either.

00:16:56:24 – 00:17:32:01
Carly Avener
So authenticity is definitely a hallmark of Leo Burnett people and leaders and the Internet culture, and that is definitely something that I look for. And I think in terms of other characteristics, I think the leaders that have risen to the top are the ones who are flexible and agile and adaptable and entrepreneurial. And those are definitely things I’ve always looked for, but I think I’ve really understood the importance of those things in the world that we’ve lived in.

00:17:32:01 – 00:17:55:07
Carly Avener
You know, the people that have successfully led our clients through COVID are the ones that have been able to think outside the box and have understood that the way we’ve always done things pre-COVID cannot be the same as the way you do things now. post-COVID, because different behaviors need to change in order to get to the same outcome.

00:17:56:04 – 00:18:15:12
Carly Avener
And I think there are lots of people that have grown and developed that careers and big agencies and sometimes with big agencies comes a lot of process that you can hide behind and that can stifle creativity, build budgets as well. That can totally.

00:18:15:12 – 00:18:16:20
Philippa White
DOT Yeah.

00:18:16:20 – 00:18:53:16
Carly Avener
Yes. You do this a little more than anyone. You know, it just don’t demand that people think differently. And I’ve always looked for people that enjoy working around those constraints in a way, rather than relying on them to just get them through from one project to another. So, so yeah, I guess I, the things I look for haven’t changed, but I think I really understood the critical importance of those characteristics of flexibility, agility, entrepreneurial isms, that kind of thing.

00:18:53:21 – 00:18:54:07
Philippa White
Yeah.

00:18:55:02 – 00:19:24:00
Carly Avener
Yeah. And I think the other thing is about leaders who can create followership because you’re not really a leader if no one’s following you and looking after your people is kind of the only thing really. But when it boils down to is looking after your people and and again, that’s just been brought to the fore through COVID, where people have had to deal with so much at the same time as trying to work that.

00:19:24:00 – 00:19:34:06
Carly Avener
I think if you can look after them and keep them happy and motivated and sane, then then you’ll get much better outcomes.

00:19:34:14 – 00:19:52:19
Philippa White
Yeah, it’s so great. It’s funny. I don’t know if you know, I think yeah, you do know this because with the TIE program, which we’ll talk about in a sec, but we have a lot of it’s housed on a portal and each week individuals will get a video from me just to kind of welcome them to that week and key things to think about that week.

00:19:52:19 – 00:20:28:11
Philippa White
And their resources are on the portal. And then and then of course there’s been life stuff as well, but that’s just a nice kind of welcome to that week. And so I, I’ve actually been rerecording all of the videos just because we’ve had so many projects since when I first set this up and there’s a lot of learnings and, and I just finished recording the last one yesterday and, and it’s funny just listening to you talk because I, I was sort of wrapping up everything and I won’t give too much away for people who on but but I do I do talk about you know how necessity is the mother of invention.

00:20:28:11 – 00:21:00:12
Philippa White
I’m also how it’s funny because you work with such tight resources on ties. So human resources human financial resources time resources. You know there’s a timeline and I think in our in the I keep saying our I haven’t worked in advertising in a while, but anyway, still I still consider myself an Atlanta person. So in our industry we, you know, we are used to big budgets, certain processes, certain ways of doing things.

00:21:00:12 – 00:21:27:09
Philippa White
But what I have found is through going this through the type process and really actually being forced to work with very little people, realize just what is possible with a whole lot less. And it’s amazing how much I have heard on the back end how many people have said, you know, I remember actually there was somebody from Why didn’t Kennedy and she’s a designer and she was responsible for a it was a photo shoot for a makeup brand.

00:21:27:20 – 00:21:47:20
Philippa White
And she said, I showed up and one person was sick. They didn’t manage to make it for the building, the set, and also the money suddenly got slashed and everyone was on this set and had arrived. And the first response everyone had was, this is impossible, sorry, this is impossible. It said, Well, it has it can’t be impossible because we’re here.

00:21:47:20 – 00:22:08:17
Philippa White
We’re paying for this space and we need to make it work. And she said, it’s so funny because because I had just been through the type program, I looked at this and I was like, It’s so funny. I think before I might have joined that bandwagon and said, That’s not possible. But she said, I have you have you guys have literally no idea what we managed to pull off with like a fraction of this amount of money.

00:22:08:21 – 00:22:25:03
Philippa White
We will make this happen, she said. We did, and it was amazing. And she said, It’s so funny because I see the world differently just because of what I saw was possible. And anyway, so it’s just really nice to listen to that because it’ll be interesting to hear what your Yeah. What the participants who are involved.

00:22:25:03 – 00:22:25:14
Carly Avener
Yeah.

00:22:25:14 – 00:22:31:12
Philippa White
With Leo Burnett say at the end of this because this is a big part of what we try and drive.

00:22:31:17 – 00:23:02:05
Carly Avener
That I really hope that they take something from that into their, you know, day jobs. You know, I probably should have mentioned this upfront, but I, I had a startup about ten years ago, over ten years ago now is a failed startup. It never fully got off the ground. And but that was completely bootstrapped. So every penny that we spent on the business, you know, was coming out of our pockets.

00:23:02:05 – 00:23:25:05
Carly Avener
And it was a it was a dress rental website. And there’s loads of them that I would say, Really? Wow, this is probably a little bit ahead of its time. And we you know, we found a photographer who was like a junior at Athos, I think. So he wasn’t even offered, but he’d like, you know, he knew exactly what he was doing.

00:23:25:17 – 00:23:49:20
Carly Avener
I asked. I was at BBH at the time and I asked him if I could use the Office of the weekend as our studio, which obviously didn’t cost us anything. And, you know, we were just really savvy, I guess, and really just had to think outside the box about how we could create this brand and get this this website up and running for very little money.

00:23:49:20 – 00:24:19:03
Carly Avener
And that for me was a really lesson in entrepreneur entrepreneurial ism. No, that didn’t work. I love it so much that I’ve now taken into obviously my day job and I think clients really appreciate it when you can think creatively about their challenges and whether it’s financial or, you know, anything else, you know, how how can they deliver this idea with the resources they’ve got and that kind of thing?

00:24:19:06 – 00:24:38:11
Philippa White
And I also think what again with the ad client relationship, it’s you know, it tends to be, you know, here’s our brief, this is what we want. And then, you know, people come out and do it. And I another thing that we’ve talked a lot about at tie is it needs to be a conversation. You can be part of that conversation.

00:24:38:11 – 00:25:02:10
Philippa White
You know, your client will adore you if you can also come up with other ideas, other solutions, what are what are some other ways of doing it? Oh, have you thought about this? Ooh, I’m aware of these. You know what’s going on. And how about thinking this way? And I think again, I agree it’s that entrepreneurial ism is, you know, it’s it’s so important to kind of be a partner in in the process, right?

00:25:02:13 – 00:25:03:23
Carly Avener
Yes, absolutely.

00:25:04:09 – 00:25:31:13
Philippa White
So, you know, just you might have covered this off, but I’m just keen to know, is anything over and above what you’ve said? But, you know, are there any opportunities? Is that covered for you has unearth in your world? I mean, do you see obviously there’s a lot of dire, horrible stuff from COVID. I get that. But at the same time, I personally, I, I think a lot of what has happened for where even my business has got to as a result.

00:25:31:13 – 00:25:44:08
Philippa White
And I think there’s always a silver lining. I’m a I am an optimist. I’m definitely more an optimist that a pessimist. So I definitely tend to see the silver lining. But I imagine a lot of businesses feel the same way as well. You know what opportunities have unearthed for you guys?

00:25:45:07 – 00:26:11:22
Carly Avener
Definitely. There’s definitely been some good stuff to take out of this. I mean, I think the obvious thing is how we work and where we work. So that flexibility that people are always looking for and talking about and as happens, you know, we now work in a really flexible way. And there is no question in anyone’s mind about whether or not people can work effectively from home.

00:26:12:12 – 00:26:36:21
Carly Avener
And I think that will disproportionately benefit women, which is a very positive thing. Women who are previously, you know, having to leave the office at 2:00 to do the school run, that kind of thing. I think the ability to just be at home and be close to the family and will make a massive difference and will hopefully, you know, keep really talented women in this industry for longer.

00:26:37:05 – 00:27:04:08
Carly Avener
Yeah. And so that’s that’s been a really positive thing. And I think connected to that, being able to work with people outside of London and talent from outside of London, which has been a real challenge for the industry in the past, we now know that, you know, we can we could hire people who are based outside of London who don’t necessarily want to or can, for whatever reason, live in London.

00:27:04:08 – 00:27:37:01
Carly Avener
And I think there’s so much talent that’s been untapped up. And so now that’s a huge, huge opportunity. Yes. I think from a definitely from as a ways of working and talent perspective. There’s there’s there’s lots there. And then I think looking at more broadly at clients, I just think the acceleration of digital products and services is transforming lots of that businesses and as partners that will bring new creative and commercial opportunities into our business.

00:27:37:01 – 00:28:03:24
Carly Avener
So, you know, McDonald’s has weathered the COVID storm quite well because of delivery. You know, being able to keep the restaurants open even when their people couldn’t dine in, but they could sell, they could still serve their customers. So I think all of these trends that are accelerating will just be really exciting for businesses and brands moving forwards.

00:28:05:07 – 00:28:10:23
Philippa White
Do you have a lesson that you’ve learned while navigating the COVID crisis?

00:28:11:22 – 00:28:13:13
Carly Avener
Take back a holiday like.

00:28:15:04 – 00:28:15:10
Philippa White
Yeah.

00:28:15:10 – 00:28:44:23
Carly Avener
Right. So we’re just in the UK at the moment. There’s all these traffic light systems of what country you can and can’t travel to and it’s just chaos. And but no, but I joke. But the truth is, you know, that point that we made earlier about certainty, there is just no such thing. And even if I think back to this time last year, we thought we’d all be back in the office by last September and everyone was planning frantically planning returns office.

00:28:44:23 – 00:29:08:21
Carly Avener
And here we still are nearly a year later and with none of that in sight. So yeah, I think being agile and being open minded to different potential, different outcomes is has really landed with me because we’ve never had this much volatility before and thus that’s a good lesson to learn.

00:29:09:04 – 00:29:35:05
Philippa White
Yeah, for sure. Now, Carly, I am so grateful and excited that Leo Burnett is trusting Ty again to develop their leaders and embed more purpose at the agency for our listeners. I don’t know if you will know this, but our first ever Ty project was with Leo Burnett in 2007, so a bit of a shout out to Chris Jackson, Helen Doherty, Bruce Haynes.

00:29:35:05 – 00:29:57:07
Philippa White
I mean, they were the ones back in the day that, you know, made that happen. And it was a, you know, of course, then it was physically sending people to another part of the world. Chris went to Brazil. It was a big job. I mean, it’s a huge trust in me, which I’m still so grateful. And since then we’ve sent numerous leaders on the type program.

00:29:57:07 – 00:30:16:06
Philippa White
And I just it means the world to me that we’re continuing this partnership. So I mean, this just thank you from the bottom of my heart. But I’m you know, I’m also just really excited because it is such a great fit with Leo Burnett. Everything that you stand for, everything you’ve talked about today, just couldn’t be more fitting, you know?

00:30:16:06 – 00:30:40:19
Philippa White
And we’re all about turning gifted professionals into game changers and helping to create better companies, better brands with better people, and to create a better world for our listeners who maybe aren’t really sure how this is working. I mean, obviously they probably heard me talking about Ty Accelerator. This is this is very similar, but it’s for corporate. So I mean, it’s six leaders coming together from around the business.

00:30:40:19 – 00:31:01:09
Philippa White
So around Leo Burnett, London, they will work together to crack a real challenge facing a children’s rights organization in India. So obviously it’s incredibly timely. They’re going to have six weeks to work about it. It’s about 2 hours a day and they’re going to be forced to innovate, think differently, be pushed out of their comfort zones, out of their silos.

00:31:01:09 – 00:31:29:16
Philippa White
All the stuff we’re talking about be forced to kind of work with limited resources. And, you know, whilst all of that is happening, obviously grow into more empathetic, flexible, worldly leaders, but also making a huge difference to a group of people that really need their help. So I just I’m keen to know I obviously am incredibly passionate about it, but of course I am have been doing this for a really long time, but I’m just keen to know, you know, can you tell me what resonated with you and Charlie just about this opportunity?

00:31:29:16 – 00:31:36:13
Philippa White
And, you know, why is Leo Burnett getting involved? And I just would love to know what you hope to get out of it.

00:31:36:13 – 00:32:16:07
Carly Avener
Yes. So Leo Burnett is an agency that is proudly populist, that is a proposition, is about populist creativity, and it’s about working with brands that appeal to the mainstream and make the good stuff in life accessible to everyone. So whether that’s McDonald’s giving everyone access to tasty, good value food and Premier Inn, you know, being making sort of reliable, clean, good quality accommodation accessible to everyone, it’s about making the good stuff in life accessible, and that’s become our agency’s purpose, as it were.

00:32:16:07 – 00:32:45:03
Carly Avener
And that really applies to our people as well. We want to give all of our people access to experience voices that will challenge them, that will stretch them and grow them. And obviously the brilliant thing about Ty is we can do that for all people. Whilst at the same time, you know, making the good things in life accessible to people in other parts of the world through the organizations that they support.

00:32:45:03 – 00:33:04:10
Carly Avener
So it just felt like a really brilliant expression of our purpose that we’ve been able to give our people an experience. So whilst they in turn compile that experience onto the people in another path as well. So just a really brilliant expression of everything clear about really.

00:33:05:03 – 00:33:32:01
Philippa White
Yeah, really cool. Well, I’m looking for I mean, as I say, obviously I got introduced to everybody yesterday. So we’ve got six amazing creatives. There’s so many creatives, designer and strategist, I’m super excited for things to kick off, which obviously will be on Monday. So we’ll keep you in the in the loop, of course, as things evolve. Now, Carly, you’re obviously busy.

00:33:32:01 – 00:33:48:13
Philippa White
You’ve got a lot going on with your family and work and you know, everything happening. As we’re wrapping up the podcast, we’re coming to the end. But I’m just wondering, you know, what are you working on at the moment or what can you tell our listeners perhaps that I haven’t asked you? What would you like to leave our listeners with?

00:33:48:13 – 00:34:18:14
Carly Avener
Sure. Yeah. I mean, lots, lots of stuff going on. I think I’ve touched on things like diversity and mental health and they’re really important. And, you know, pillars have also planned for this year. But I think the thing that I’m most excited about is I’m making lots of apps and I make lots of work at the moment and sort of getting back to the heart of what we do, you know, living at one a lot of lovely new clients at the end of last year and beginning of this year.

00:34:18:15 – 00:34:45:05
Carly Avener
And now just so getting past that pitch phase and at the point where we’re actually sort of making making work for them. So it’s lovely to just be back at the heart of that creative process and and partnering with clients to of support them on their own, their path to growth. So that’s that’s the thing I’m excited about the moment and that I’m that I’m up to and focusing on, which is what it’s all about.

00:34:45:05 – 00:34:45:14
Carly AvenerE
Really.

00:34:45:24 – 00:35:05:01
Philippa White
Yeah, for sure. Good. Well, that must be a wonderful feeling. Definitely different to this time last year, so I’m thrilled to hear that. Well, Carly, thank you so much for joining me. It’s just been really amazing to connect. As I say, I’m really excited about what the next six weeks have in store for all of us. Really appreciate everything.

00:35:05:01 – 00:35:10:20
Philippa White
A shout out to Charlie as well. Thank you, Charlie. And yeah, thanks for joining us.

00:35:11:10 – 00:35:13:21
Carly Avener
Pleasure. Thank you for the path. Take care.

00:35:13:21 – 00:35:14:15
Philippa White
Take care, Carly.

00:35:14:15 – 00:35:18:03
Carly Avener
Thank you. Bye.

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