The power of YES

Pictured are some Singapore public sculptures. I’m unsure as to how they are funded, but note that they sit in front of commercial buildings as well as at the family friendly Changi Airport. Regardless of how the finance has come together, all parties benefit – as well as by (brand) association.

Play it forward
Some years ago Simon Arcus, a previous head of the NZ Institute of Directors, shared an article with me about Adam Grant, the youngest tenured professor at Wharton. For those unfamiliar, Wharton is one of the top ranked US business schools.

Grant lives a personal philosophy of making himself available (to students) no matter their request. He is organised, swift at recognising next steps, and well networked to parties who share his positive outlook. This is an admirable philosophical viewpoint where like attracts like.

Sponsors play it forward
It is my thesis that companies who sponsor share this outlook. This does not mean that they will take on things that do not work with their purpose; but they will make that clear so approaching parties can self-evaluate fit. If we look at Flick Electric, the Comedy Festival suited their upstart brand for what is a traditionally dull (and confusing to price) mandatory purchase.

Such companies will not invest in every option – but they will be open to exploration, with a “How could we make that work?” instinctive initial response. This is the case with Hell Pizza and how championing diversity and working with (previously IHC) has delivered a whole new set of learnings.

Test and Learn
These companies will test and learn to what may work best and seek customer validation ahead of committing significant resource. This includes specially brewed batches for theatre performances such as Red for the Mark Rothko show at Circa theatre. 

The opportunity this creates is an engaging process (both internally and externally) and from such alchemy the ability to discover, surprise and exceed all expectations. 

Yes we can!
A positive attitude distinguishes people and companies. It builds communities. The campaigns may change but the spirit or brand endures. I will venture that those who embrace YES lead more fulfilling lives.

Galvanising leaders say yes and make positive change. Mahatma Gandhi said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. The examples set by Gandhi, Wharton’s Adam Grant and so many others are examples to be followed and lived.

As Barack Obama proclaimed in the lead up to his election as US President: “Yes we can!”

What can I do?
So if you have said YES and have a creative collaboration that would benefit from further exposure, or want to discuss how to achieve it – Giddy Up… and get in touch.

Disclosure: The author is a beneficial shareholder in Flick Electric, and a sponsor of Circa Theatre. He enjoys craft beer and the occasional slice of pizza.


InsightsNick Phillips