“My legs may be tired, but my mind is racing and I’m hoping to be back very soon with other ways in which I can help people, help others.”

There is a common misconception that change and progress happens overnight. We live in an age where ‘agile’ is often used as shorthand for ‘doing it faster’.

As an innovation agency, clients often expect a ‘golden ticket’ solution rather than a strategic play that can move the team further down the field (apologies for the analogy…but it is SuperBowl week).

However, the truth is innovation is far from simple and very rarely a linear process. It requires (and often benefits from) a more incremental, test and learn approach, where prototyping, pilots, consumer testing and patience are key ingredients in creating more tangible, long-term success.

Perseverance and positivity in the face of adversity are what separates the good from the great. They are qualities to consider and implement no matter one’s field — whether committing to a charitable endeavour or strategizing the next big innovation in the world of drinks when socialising has been reduced to distanced walks around a muddy park.

Will it be tiring? Sure! Frustrating? Of course. But ultimately, as Captain Sir Tom Moore showed us, persevering in spite of these challenges and taking the time to make sure a ‘job’ is done to the best of one’s abilities can create the real impact.

This doesn’t mean we throw deadlines out of the window; it means rethinking agile to ensure it is about working smarter — not just working faster.


“The hardest part is the first step; once you’ve done that, if you do another one, it becomes a natural thing”

Brands are often stifled by the fear of failure, which prevents meaningful change from happening at all. It’s not unfounded — poorly implemented strategy, a rushed idea or an ad that misses the tone could damage a brand identity whole teams have worked so hard to build.

Nevertheless, we often see that a fear to fail limits opportunities. In the words of Captain Tom, taking that first step can feel ‘hard’, unnatural and scary at first. So, it is important for innovation teams to create an environment where change and iteration is possible, framing initial failures not as a scary, finite end — but an opportunity for learning and future growth.

It demands courage and an absolute belief in your idea, but you’ll never know what you missed unless you get comfortable with that feeling of the unknown.


“I think you have to rather like people and realise there is good in everyone and as a leader you can bring it out of them.”

Captain Tom achieved world renown by completing a simple task — 100 laps of a garden. He embodied strength and gumption — but it was his relentless positivity that drove millions to donate money and complete their own acts of positivity and charity.

Driving change should be about creating positive innovations that make meaningful changes to people’s lives. Brands should be courageous in leading this change, shaping the future of categories for the better.

No matter how big or small, brands making a positive impact on people’s lives and driving human happiness are successful. Manifesting this impact may be about filling an unmet need or proudly seizing white space — but looking for ways to drive that positive impact should be at the at the core of every great brand, product or service.

Create and lead the positive change you want to see, starting with your brand and your innovations.


This week, we honour a truly bright beacon of positivity who stood out in the darkness of lockdown. We can all learn some lessons from Captain Sir Tom Moore’s inspiring plight: success and change aren’t easy to come by, but positivity certainly helps get you a heck of a long way.

Brands should never be content with what they’ve already achieved. Being ‘good enough’ is not good enough. We call on brands to commit to creating positive change, not only for the good of others — but to achieve goals and drive growth.

Being a leader, inspiring others within your business and within your wider category means being led by an unrelenting desire to create positive change in people’s lives. It means achieving goals through iterative processes that embrace an element of failure as a natural path to success. Experiencing a small failure today means learning how to make a better tomorrow.

Today might have been ‘bad’, but always remember, “tomorrow will be a good day”.

Simon Hall is a senior consultant at Brand Genetics, an agency specialising in human-centred insight and innovation. With a background in reinventing big businesses at pace, he has experience in creative problem solving, thought leadership and reframing human insight and has worked across strategy, leadership and brand.




Human-Centered Insight, Innovation and Trends from Brand Genetics www.brandgenetics.com

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