Opinion: Ali Rogan on riding the waves of uncertainty

The waves of uncertainty will be here for some time to come 


During lockdown, Ali Rogan, founder of Hornsey Consulting, was kind enough to take part in a Wrapped Let’s Talk podcast with our CEO Kate Eady. Scroll down to listen to the full podcast – and check out this summary of what they chatted about.

Insight is a gift

Insight is what business leaders and marketers throughout the world need to work on and improve. Insightful people read situations at a deeper level, tune into others at an emotional level, and pick up on cues others miss. Covid has made observing others slightly more difficult when working remotely, particularly if people don’t turn their cameras on, but it’s still possible. 

Challenge assumptions 

Kate asked me how I have come to be in the position I’m in today and how I’m coping at the moment. Well, the clients I work with tend to trust me to get on with the job and it’s a real privilege to be asked to do the stuff I’m asked to do. So it’s about the questions you ask, constantly challenging assumptions to get to the heart of what the issue is. 

The leadership teams I work with typically know they want to change. Consequently, it’s about working together with the senior teams to really understand those requirements and I usually start with the value proposition strategy. Digging those answers out would not be possible without good leaders. 

Change is constant but strike a balance

It’s an incredibility difficult time for many people and Covid has changed things forever. But many leaders have seen transformation in the face of adversity. In health we’ve seen how frontline workers have had to adapt and flex and they have had the freedom to do so, transforming services on the job. We’ve seen amazing agility – who would have thought that you would be able to build the NHS Nightingale hospital in just 9 days. And then there’s technology – treating and supporting people virtually has really come into its own, fast tracking digital health for all. 

But we must remember that people are working incredibly hard. A recent BMA poll on the future of general practice says that one in six GPs plan to quit the NHS or retire early once the pandemic dies down, while 29% plan to work fewer hours. In social care only a third in the profession feel their workload is manageable. 

I will always remember the quote “A comfort zone is a beautiful place .. but nothing ever grows there!” I’m sure a great deal of people will be praying for a comfort zone at the moment and whilst you’ve got to push yourself to do something new every now and again, a balance must be reached. 

But the thing that links everything is, of course, the patient which is at the heart of everything I’ve been involved in, certainly for the last 20 years. 

Don’t turn everything off – you don’t need big marketing budgets 

You can do a lot with small budgets these days. There are more than 5,000  tools and platforms to help digital marketers, so it’s pretty overwhelming to keep up to date with all the tools and techniques. But digital content has really come into its own this year – so far today there has been around 3.8m blogs written and 4bn google searches. So make sure what you are putting out is rich, relevant and hits the mark. 

We need to be better at data science 

It feels like everyone is in reset mode – rechecking, changing, adapting, resetting, using new language. But what do you change and where do you find the evidence for that change? Today’s marketers and senior teams need to be good at data science, in order to look back at your achievements and make it better next time. 

Agile leadership 

When you think about all the businesses that are suffering, the ones that have got moving early and become more financially flexible are riding the waves of uncertainty instead of being overpowered by them. Those further along the digital journey tend to be connecting better with their customers, more cost effectively, provide a frictionless customer experience and avoid expensive IT upgrades at a vulnerable time. So it pays to build in early resilience. 

All this will require a leadership team that is itself agile and resilient, able to make effective decisions quickly in an atmosphere of insecurity. 

The waves of uncertainty will be there for some time to come. We’re here to help.

Listen to the full podcast with Ali below or find out more: hornseyconsulting.co.uk.


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