How to act like a start-up and deliver a GREAT! result

Over the past few months, we’ve been working with a group of highly successful entrepreneurs and investors, on the creation of a new channel brand to support the launch of the UK’s most exciting free movie and entertainment network.

This work was initiated through a deal the group (Narrative Capital) had done to acquire several of Sony’s UK broadcast brands. A key component of the deal was the requirement that the brands in the portfolio that had previously operated under the Sony moniker, would need to be re-branded to something entirely new.

Time finished-up being incredibly short and we worked with huge intensity to successfully create, deliver and launch ‘GREAT!’ – the brand you now see (in its various flavours) on your Freeview or PVR box.

Now that the brand is successfully in the public domain, we were reflecting earlier this week on what it takes for a group of people to come together and ‘act like a start-up’ – those conditions that are necessary to develop ideas and make significant progress very quickly.

Here’s what you need:

1. Someone with a vision; a clear sense of the ultimate destination, as well as the skills and energy necessary to convey that vision to others

2. The ability to keep your ‘desired’ customer front and centre in your thinking; remembering that you are not trying to create a brand that appeals to you, but to create a purposeful brand that will appeal to your customers

3. A small set of decision makers; the fewest individuals with the readiness and capacity to make decisions and provide direction and clarity to the rest of the group

4. A preparedness for challenge; a team dynamic that welcomes constructive critique and uses it to challenge conventional wisdom or pre-conceived ideas

5. The ability to iterate; a group of people with a complimentary skill set, such that they can come together and rapidly build working prototypes

6. A willingness and appetite to sweat the details; the ability to look at different aspects of what is being proposed and ask, ‘can it be improved or done in a better way?’

7. Great partners; great teams know when they need help, and they value the input of specialists. GREAT! was the result of several different specialists coming together to play their part in realising the vision

8. Execution really matters; brilliant execution makes the difference. If people can ‘see’ and be inspired by what you are proposing, then they are likely to buy into it

It’s easy to be weighed down by the notion that your business is too big or too cumbersome to really achieve anything significant, but irrespective of the size of your organisation, the reality is that nearly all substantive progress is ultimately achieved within a team. Once you start thinking at that scale and create the conditions to allow your team to be successful, you might be surprised at just how much progress you can make.

So why not get started on your version of GREAT!?

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It’s perhaps overlooked that Kermit is a businessman – or businessfrog. He leads a team which is as about as diverse as you could imagine. What’s more, he’s constantly fighting crises on every front, to keep the business going. There’s a lot we can learn this Christmas from…

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