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Kevin Roberts gave a barn storming speech at the IOD annual conference last week and re-iterated for me why he’s such a legend in ad-land. The man retains his capacity for original thought; despite all his exposure to so many different ways of doing and thinking things. He remains true to himself and that’s cool by me.

Of course he pushes his ‘lovemarks’ theme constantly, but listening to what he says makes so much sense; he’s a speaker well worth making it along to listen to if you get the chance & it’s quite fun trying to place his accent, as it seems to change from ‘Kiwi’ to ‘Yank’ to ‘Manc’ all within a half hour…

The ‘I have a dream’ reference is in the context of ‘Dr.King’ being a ‘lovemark’ who never suggested he had a Mission Statement or a Strategy to discuss. I love the fact that this connection with the passion of one of history’s greatest speakers (Dr. King, not KR). ItΒ made so much sense to me sitting in the audience of the Royal Albert Hall, it was as inspirational for me as it must have been to those 1/4 million people who marched in peace back in ’63.

As an entrepreneur, ‘I have a dream’ is what gets me out of bed every morning; it’s what drove me from the comfort of corporate life, away from the assurance of the kind of pension that some people work their whole lives for in unfulfilled misery…

‘I have a dream’ is a more important reality than any business plan mandated by unimaginative investors, who diligently read columns of hypothetical balance sheets making sure everything adds up in a world that hasn’t come about yet.

Having a dream and living it is where any ambitious venture has got to start – without a dream, it’s too controlled and restricted by the elements which can be guaranteed. It becomes a plan to eliminate the potential things that might create failure, rather than a dream to capture the imagination and acceptance of a market and in so doing become a ‘lovemark’.

Thank you KR – I really enjoyed your inspirational talk. Now to work some of the ‘Aquapax love’ into words for those who seek the kind of assurances in a business plan that are impossible to guarantee. The same potential investors who don’t have a ‘feel’ for what their money is actually being used for, providing it makes their notion of a ‘return’. – I wonder if and what they dream of?
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