Want to lead. Grow. And be a force for good? Launching TIE Accelerator!

I am SO excited to announce TIE Accelerator.

For the first time EVER, professionals can get involved with TIE in order to find their inner leaders, without having to be sponsored by their companies. They can boost their personal growth. And be the CHANGE that they want to see in this world.

TIE Accelerator is a community of problem solvers who accelerate positive change around the world. We’ve designed an immersive six-week online professional development program that pairs cross-disciplinary professionals with a social initiative in the developing world.

You can do it a couple of hours a day. And fit it around your busy life.

And it will blow your mind.

Today I chat with Mel Parsey, Chief Strategy Officer at the Global agency B-Reel, about TIE Accelerator.

She talks about the types of leaders that companies need. What the best way to learn is. What is important to her from a professional point of view. What has steered her career decisions. And where she invests her energy and her time.

She brings to life how the launch of TIE Accelerator came about, why it’s important and the vision.

And, at the end, she suggests three questions that you should ask yourself, to ensure you’re heading in the right direction.

You won’t want to miss this episode.

If this sounds like a fit for you, definitely check out www.tieaccelerator.com to apply. We would love to work with you!

Or, check out our info session if you want to find out more.

We have 5 projects to support NGOs in Brazil, India, Syria/Iraq, Zambia, and East Africa that we are determined to fill before the end of the year.

Each project needs 6 people. And once they are filled, the next round of opportunities will only be next year.

So do get in touch soon if you want to have a leadership development experience that you will never forget.

And I’d love to call on all of you to help us get this out to as many people as possible. Please share this and TIE Accelerator with your networks.

Let’s change the world!

00:00:07:18 – 00:00:29:12
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 – 00:01:00:24
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. And welcome to Episode four of TIE’s podcast.

00:01:01:14 – 00:01:35:10
Philippa White
How You Can Stand Out As a leader and Change the World. This is a big day. I’m so thrilled to be announcing. TIE Accelerator are exciting. New offering. Finally, for the first time ever, individuals can get involved with TIE without being sponsored by their companies. This is huge for so many reasons. But before I get into that, let me remind you of ties back story.

00:01:36:02 – 00:02:05:08
Philippa White
Now you can check out our TIE Backstory podcast for the full story, and I do highly recommend you listen to it. But since 2007, we’ve been taking professionals from the corporate world and getting them to work with social initiatives across the globe that really need their skills. Our corporate clients have looked to us to help unleash the full potential of their future leaders through self-discovery and experiential learning and to make a difference to communities and people around the world.

00:02:06:01 – 00:02:26:13
Philippa White
Professional years have been working in places they’ve never been to before, with people they’ve never worked with before, often in a language they’ve probably never spoken before. They don’t have their usual team to help them out, and only a fraction of the money they usually have to create something. They only had an objective and 30 days to reach it.

00:02:27:09 – 00:02:55:17
Philippa White
And the results have been extraordinary. It’s a real win win for CEOs, participants and the social initiatives. Now, this past January 2020 was looking like an incredible year. We had four new clients lined up, loads of fantastic projects written and ready to be filled. And then COVID 19 hit. And like so many other companies around the world, this hit us big time.

00:02:56:01 – 00:03:23:21
Philippa White
Borders shut. No international travel and our business model since 2007 sends people internationally. Borders need to be open. And to add to the challenges, our lovely loyal clients are companies who, like us, have equally been feeling the hit overnight. Our business model crumbled, and then a few days after things started to shut down in Brazil, which is where I live.

00:03:24:05 – 00:03:48:22
Philippa White
Me then my five year old and shortly afterwards my nine year old all managed to get COVID 19 to say this was a difficult time is an understatement. Everything was collapsing around me. But the emails started to flood in from various partners around the world, and the conversation were ongoing with all of our partners around the Global South.

00:03:48:22 – 00:04:16:09
Philippa White
They needed help. Now, I knew we had to make this work. We had to figure this out and fast. NGOs need our help now more than ever before. And there are so many people that want to be the change that they want to see in this world and are looking to learn in ways that are more interesting than boring traditional classroom or online courses full of management theory.

00:04:17:01 – 00:04:40:22
Philippa White
We needed to bring these worlds together, and we needed to make TIE accessible to more people. So it was at this stage that I connected with Mel Passey, who we have with us today, helping our. So you had to listen to all of that. And I just wanted to give a bit of a background for everybody now. Let me tell the people, our listeners, just a little bit more about you.

00:04:40:22 – 00:04:53:13
Philippa White
So Mel Passey is the chief strategy officer at the global agency Be Real, and she’s a TIE alumnus. So, Mel, perhaps you can tell our listeners how we know each other and a little bit more about.

00:04:53:13 – 00:05:17:16
Mel Parsey
You, of course. Well, firstly, let me say thank you very much for the book for having me on. Delighted to be able to talk about the TIE accelerator and hopefully won’t bore you with a bit more a bit of the back story in terms of me. So firstly, should we go back in time a bit? Because in terms of when I first met you, it was many moons ago when I was the fellow with WPP.

00:05:18:03 – 00:05:43:05
Mel Parsey
And I know in your last podcast you spoke with John Steele, who led the WPP Fellowship for many years. First of all, it’s incredibly daunting to follow John on any stage or podcast or anything. It should be stated. And as you said, the program, I think, as it was originally conceived, was about growing the next generations of leaders in the advertising and communications space.

00:05:43:24 – 00:06:22:06
Mel Parsey
And John and the former CEO of WPP, CMOs and Cyril. Well, I think kind of ahead of their time that they recognized that the world increasingly needed leaders that were not only multi-disciplinary by design, but that also were cross-cultural, that in essence they needed IQ plus IQ plus kind of some form of cultural quotients as well. If they were going to be effectively able to understand the complex, interconnected global dynamics and challenges that were kind of unfolding around us, that shaped not only our place in the world, but our clients place.

00:06:22:16 – 00:06:38:09
Mel Parsey
And so I was incredibly fortunate that John, way back when, saw potential in me and actually gave me a place on the program. And for context, when John first met me, I was a secondary school teacher or high school teacher and Congress lifer.

00:06:38:24 – 00:06:40:00
Philippa White
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:06:40:01 – 00:06:46:24
Mel Parsey
I literally had to ask somebody to cover my classes while I went to meet the man, the legend, John Steele.

00:06:48:11 – 00:06:50:01
Philippa White
One.

00:06:50:01 – 00:07:10:14
Mel Parsey
I know it’s crazy to think back and but I’m also incredibly fortunate that not only did he give me advice on the WPP Fellowship, but he also introduced me to you and to Tide. So I think John said this in the last podcast that, you know, while he ran the fellowship, he sent 20 something fellows on type projects around the world.

00:07:11:11 – 00:07:39:09
Mel Parsey
Incredible. Yeah. He saw TIE as a way to accelerate the learning curve and career trajectory of fellows. And, you know, someone once told me that the best way to learn is to be exposed to new people and new problems. And I think John just implicitly understood that that TIE does both in just such a short time frame that it’s kind of amazing to see what can be accomplished over those 30 days.

00:07:39:18 – 00:08:07:15
Mel Parsey
And I’ll talk a little bit about that, but from a personal level and a professional level. So as such, I found myself transformed to it from my day to day job leading strategy on big campaigns for global brands. At the Global Ad Agency, I was Thomas in New York to working with this incredible organization in his faith, focused on providing safe spaces, education, support for children and their families, living in the local surveillance.

00:08:07:15 – 00:08:29:13
Mel Parsey
So not too far away from you. And that was when I saw the funding person coming from that experience. And over the years of passed, I’ve spoken with others both from WPP and other organizations who’ve been on site, and it’s been amazing to see how consistent the feedback is in terms of and what we’ve just been chatting with each other about, like what did we get out of time?

00:08:29:20 – 00:08:49:20
Mel Parsey
What was the experience like? And everybody talks about the same pivotal moments in that in their growth and that true to what John believes, that kind of moment of kind of realization, not from just a you know, like what are the things are important to me, but more in terms of where do I want to invest my energies, my time.

00:08:50:07 – 00:09:17:20
Mel Parsey
And I came back to New York with a renewed sense of purpose, a belief in what was possible in terms of how the private and public sectors can work together and to do more together. And that’s probably why I then jumped into helping build a new practice at the agency. I was asked to work more closely with nonprofit organizations, which in turn led to work that I was incredibly proud of.

00:09:18:17 – 00:09:22:08
Mel Parsey
And in some ways it’s pretTIE much steered every career decision since.

00:09:23:07 – 00:09:25:11
Philippa White
Oh, amazing. Oh, yeah.

00:09:25:11 – 00:09:47:23
Mel Parsey
Well, going back to that, you know, where do where do you invest your energies? Where do you invest your time? And as such, I really sought out people and organizations with a strong sense of purpose that likewise were pretTIE intent on making things that helped move people forward. Yeah. And that kind of brings us to today, almost specifically three months ago.

00:09:51:04 – 00:09:52:04
Philippa White
That that for.

00:09:52:05 – 00:10:17:00
Mel Parsey
Yeah, yeah. Well, I just started a new role with a group called Be Real that you mentioned. So they’re a global independent creative agency and they’ve got deep expertize in digital and exploring possibilities of culture and technology. And everything was great. Day one, I came into work and it was the same day that the pandemic also took hold.

00:10:17:00 – 00:10:42:18
Mel Parsey
On day two, I presented signs of COVID next week, the day care shops, and I think like everybody else, I was just trying to make sense of what was happening in the world. And and then an email from you, which turned into a phone call, as you said, which turned into then a work session where we where we put some of the tools I’d been building for clients to start to think about what comes next for TIE and how you could pivot in this moment.

00:10:43:02 – 00:11:03:00
Mel Parsey
And it was kind of amazing. And from that, the seeds of this new program were planted. And within a matter of within a matter of days, you came back to say it’s all and it’s happening, which I think says a lot about you set up a just in terms of, you know, the speed by which you kind of rally around ideas and just make them happen.

00:11:04:00 – 00:11:32:06
Mel Parsey
And I also subsequently then brought others from B-Real in. I introduced them to you to TIE into this program the potential of it and b-real just jump straight in. They had said yes straight away to giving time, energy resources to help create the accelerator program, which is incredible. I mean, given also that I was relatively new to the organization, but the team kind of really did rally around.

00:11:33:08 – 00:12:09:06
Philippa White
I mean, it’s amazing. Yeah, amazing. They really did. So why donate? So I’ll give it because I’d really like people to better understand as well the oral listener. Sorry to better understand the strategy and sort of where we got to, but just to I mean, I’m so you touched you touched on this already, but you know, in our last podcast, John Steele did talk about and obviously I’d love you guys to listen to it if you haven’t listened to it already, but talked about working with Al Gore and Ban Ki moon on the climate change brief and how he gathered the best people who had the right experiences as part of their WPP Fellowship to

00:12:09:06 – 00:12:34:00
Philippa White
work with him on that. And as you mentioned, you were one of those people asked to work on it when you were actually and and as you’ve mentioned, you know, social environmental issues are so important to you. And, of course, you went on tie, as mentioned, and you worked on this EMAs climate change brief. But as you also mentioned, working on socially focused or purpose driven work is just essential to you.

00:12:34:14 – 00:13:00:21
Philippa White
And and obviously when everything kicked off, you know, in Ty’s world, you know, I just I just want to point out, you know, the fact that you so kindly helped us not only strategize and launch the TIE Accelerator Initiative, but you got the be real team behind all of this. And they also it was clear that, you know, purpose driven work and socially focused projects are obviously also really, really important to them.

00:13:00:21 – 00:13:20:00
Philippa White
And the fact in such a short amount of time, we managed to get I mean, I don’t even know how many people in total worked on this from Be Real, but 1250, I think I have no idea. But they’re just we just had so many conversations with people that were so dedicated and interested and just gave their time.

00:13:20:00 – 00:13:37:17
Philippa White
And I just, you know, I’m going to be forever grateful. But perhaps you can talk a bit about the strategy and why in your mind is offering TIE Accelerator right now so important? And yeah, why did B-Real so kindly kind of get involved? Why did they buy into it as well? What why is this such an important idea?

00:13:37:17 – 00:14:07:20
Mel Parsey
Well, first of all, I should say I’m likewise incredibly grateful for the B-Real gang for jumping in on this that. But I think it is also truly testament to the potential that we saw in X and also the value that it holds right now, right in this moment. And I suppose that’s where we start that, you know, for anyone listening to this, it’s likely that you’ve had a moment during this crisis where you felt like life has kind of been put on pause.

00:14:08:14 – 00:14:38:13
Mel Parsey
I know that. I certainly have. I’ve had conversations with friends in various industries where they said that, you know, well, this is kind of a write off. And the truth is, it’s it’s is not and life hasn’t been put on pause. As you mentioned earlier, there is so many organizations from around the world, especially in the developing world, that are at breaking point, as I think that, you know, as resources are diminished and global crises are converging, that there is no kind of pause button for that.

00:14:38:22 – 00:15:10:07
Mel Parsey
The truth is just having to deal with it. And they really do need as much help as they can get. And on the flip side, on the other side, there are people with incredibly valuable skills that right now have this heightened awareness of how that actions impact others. I like to believe that they’re part of this kind of new generation of conscious leaders coming up that want to do good by doing what they do best, especially especially in this moment, but that they don’t necessarily know how they can best contribute.

00:15:11:04 – 00:15:45:00
Mel Parsey
And for them, life isn’t on pause either. They want to continue to grow as people, to grow professionally in their careers, but they’re not necessarily sure about what opportunities are available to them. In the same sense, they feel like, you know, the possibilities have been diminished for them too. So building on Ty’s mission to help grow leaders and better align the public and private sectors, we saw an opportuniTIE to bring both sides of this equation together in in a new way that, again, rather than seeing it as doors closing, you know, what is the classic on what is that?

00:15:45:00 – 00:15:48:21
Mel Parsey
You also feel that necessiTIE is the mother of invention.

00:15:49:01 – 00:15:50:18
Philippa White
NecessiTIE is the mother of invention.

00:15:50:20 – 00:15:57:08
Mel Parsey
Said that about 15 times in our first conversation. But I so.

00:15:57:12 – 00:15:58:13
Philippa White
Sure I do believe it.

00:15:58:13 – 00:16:29:24
Mel Parsey
Is so true that actually that through this moment there came an opportuniTIE to do something different on potentially even a greater scale which is why it’s by accelerating was born you know this online again our world is primarily online these days but isn’t that an amazing opportuniTIE our online leadership development program connecting professionals. You want to use that energy and expertize for good with these social initiatives from around the world whose future quite literally could depend on this support.

00:16:31:02 – 00:17:11:22
Mel Parsey
So far, you know, individuals kind of sat feeling kind of stuck rather than watching, waiting, hoping for change to happen. It actually gives people agency over their future to literally be the change total and really make this moment count. Yeah. And so, you know, we saw this amazing opportuniTIE for individuals to contribute more, to learn more, to take a leap forward in their own professional development, not by sifting through online modules, not just another Zoom call, but really by working directly, intensely with peers who share their passions, organization ways that really do need their skills to make a greater difference in their lives and the lives of others.

00:17:12:10 – 00:17:52:17
Philippa White
Perfect. That’s it. Is it? And I mean, so just to summarize then, so what is TIE accelerator for our listeners? Because this is sort of where all of this is getting to. It’s it’s an immersive six week online professional development program that pairs cross-disciplinary professionals with a social initiative in the developing world. And it’s a chance for purpose driven professionals, like you say, to step up and advance their leadership skills, to break out of their bubbles and go beyond their silos and embrace new challenges and a chance to use their expertize in new ways and to help make a positive change in the world so professionals can make an impact from home with their own

00:17:52:17 – 00:18:13:17
Philippa White
six person team of carefully selected professional peers, which we obviously put together. And they can fit the experience around their busy lives only 2 hours a day and virtually from home. And to ensure the success of all of this, they can follow the tried and tested type process, which obviously we drive. So, you know, exactly the same process that you went to when you went in tying all of the other people.

00:18:13:17 – 00:18:37:18
Philippa White
So and so, yeah. I mean, we see this as being quite revolutionary because it allows us now to impact more organizations and communities every year and allows more people to experience time. Just makes me so excited. I mean, of course, we’re still going to be continuing to offer our corporate offerings. So once borders open up again and I really hope that they do, it’s, you know, imagine early next year, things might start to get back to some kind of normality.

00:18:37:18 – 00:18:56:17
Philippa White
But, you know, we will be continuing our immersive experiences and they, of course, will resume. And we have our corporate virtual programs as well. So, I mean, those are still happening. But what is so exciting about this, which we’ve never been able to do before, is it’s a chance for more professionals to make a real impact in their lives, in the lives of others.

00:18:56:17 – 00:19:13:00
Philippa White
And they don’t need to rely on their company to support them. It’s it’s a way for them to to to do it themselves, which is just super, super exciting. So yeah. So I mean, is there anything else that you want to say before we kind of TIE things up? That’s yeah, it’s getting to the end. Is there anything else you want to.

00:19:13:00 – 00:19:30:05
Mel Parsey
I suppose I the one thing I’ll say and anybody who’s worked with me on projects and honestly this came very much from when I did, taught this kind of formula in my head that whenever I approached a new project or a new assignment or anything or new team, I asked three questions, which is what am I going to learn?

00:19:30:05 – 00:20:00:10
Mel Parsey
What what can I contribute and what will I feel proud of at the end of it? Because you have a good sense of those three. It gives you a good compass. Compass points to know that you’re going in the right direction. And so for anybody, like I said, who’s at home is listening to this right now, who’s felt like kind of life has been put on pause potentially through this crisis that, you know, think about the possibilities of TIE of being able to answer those three questions from now to kind of, you know, six weeks later, what have you learned?

00:20:00:14 – 00:20:09:04
Mel Parsey
What have you contributed and what have you proud of? What can you be proud of? And I think there’s no experience like it to be able to really feel like you’re making a difference.

00:20:09:16 – 00:20:25:23
Philippa White
Amazing on Well, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything. One, I mean, obviously that initial phone call of just us catching up on things, which then led to literally this sort of snowball, I mean, literally a snowball. It’s sort of like you can just sort of see it’s like suddenly this is what started this small kind of seed.

00:20:25:23 – 00:20:47:13
Philippa White
And then it’s like, you know, and and just yeah, everything would be real. It’s been so fun to work so closely with you again. I’ve adored it. And and to the be real team again I can’t. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And and for this podcast as well. It is really great to hear you just bring it to life a little bit more and talk.

00:20:47:17 – 00:20:56:11
Philippa White
Yeah, just reminisce over our coconut water coconut water meetings and in his Brazil so thank you.

00:20:56:16 – 00:21:04:14
Mel Parsey
Thank you for that and thanks that the real team as well for pitching in it really has been a fun adventure. We’re really excited to see what comes next.

00:21:04:21 – 00:21:26:00
Philippa White
Yeah, so let’s get this out there for sure. Well, just, just to summarize for everyone, so do check out TIE accelerator dot com. Now this is your chance to get involved. It is open. Before we weren’t able to do this because it was so specific to companies. Now if you’re listening and this sounds like you get in touch, you know, check out the website and apply.

00:21:26:02 – 00:21:44:07
Philippa White
This really is your chance to get involved. So we’re launching our first round of projects and once these projects have been filled, they won’t actually be available anymore. So don’t miss out. Sign up now again it’s WW dot TIE accelerator dot com and if you want to learn a little bit more about it, we are actually having weekly info sessions.

00:22:09:21 – 00:22:25:09
Philippa White
You know, we’re taking this step to really try and impact future leaders lives and also the lives and communities of people all over the world. So you just sharing this link genuine. We will make a huge, huge difference. So thank you. Thanks, Mel, and thank you to our listeners.

00:22:25:09 – 00:22:26:00
Mel Parsey
Thanks for that.

00:22:26:07 – 00:22:57:04
Philippa White
Take care. Thank you. Bye.

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