Do you think disruptively? In this episode we spoke with self-described “Rough Diamond”, Nicole Yershon about what it means to think like a disruptor and how disruption can be turned into an advantage.

Nicole is not new to disruption. When Nicole joined Ogilvy in 2000 she was given the simple brief of “bringing the agency into the 21st century”.

She achieved this by building relationships with third party suppliers and embracing new technologies that saw Ogilvy digitise some 10,000 tapes of adverts dating back to the 1950s. 

Nicole later went on to be the founding partner of Ogilvy’s London Digital Innovation Lab – the dedicated Innovation unit of Ogilvy & Mather Group where she worked with brands such as Amex, IBM, BP, Selfridges, Unilever, BA and Wetherspoons. She’s also famous for her “black book” of leading suppliers.

In 2016 she founded the NY Collective with a mind to remove the traditionally opaque practices of consulting and marketing agencies.

We spoke about topics such as:

• Turning disruption into an advantage
• Why we need disruptors in any business
• The prayers, players and stayers
• The Ogilvy Lab Rats and Lab days
• Measuring the impact of disruption
• Can disruptors be made or are they born?
• How a “black book” of suppliers became a community
• 3 Things for next week 
• Be curious
• Get outside your comfort zone
• Be authentic

Reade more about Nicole’s experience on the show here.

Show Transcript

spk_0:   0:03
Welcome to The Actionable® Futurist Podcast, a bi-weekly show all about the near term future, with practical advice from a range of global experts to help you stay ahead of the curve. Every episode answers the question. What’s the future of … with voices and opinions that need to be heard? Your host is international keynote speaker The Actionable® Futurist Andrew Grill.

Welcome to Episode 15 of The Actionable® Futurist Podcast. Today I’m thrilled to be joined by the self described rough diamond Nicolay ation where Nicole join Ogilvy in 2000. She was given a simple brief off, bringing the agency into the 21st century. The Gasque. She achieved this by building relationships with third party supplies and embracing new technologies that saw Ogilvy Digitise some 10,000 tapes of adverts dating back to 19 fifties. She led. He went on to be the founding partner of Ogilvy’s London Digital Innovation Lab, the dedicated innovation of Ogilvy and made the group where she worked with brands such as MX, IBM, BP, Selfridges, Unilever Beyond whether Spins. She is also famous for her Black Book of living supplies. In 2016 she founded the collective with a mind to remove traditionally opaque practices off consulting and marketing agencies. Welcome to coal.

spk_0:   1:21
Hello. Well, that’s an introduction. Thank you. You’ve done a lot of stuff. I have been around.

spk_1:   1:27
We’ve known each other for more than 10 years. Probably even the living or 12. I think in around 2008 I was at my ball advertising party gig a fine. And you kindly invited me to instal a permanent demonstration of the technology in your lab. So thanks for that. But since 2016 since your letter Eagle, you’ve not stood still. Bestselling book, rough diamond conferences, speaking, consulting, mentoring, narrowing collective.

spk_0:   1:49
How do you fit it all in? I’m used to spinning many, many plates. So that

spk_1:   1:53
is your woman, and you can multi task. Well,

spk_0:   1:55
I’m just It started with my role years and years ago. Goldwyn Distraught. I was running traffic there. Traffic department’s of people don’t know what traffic department means. It basically is. Progress. Control. You make things happen,

spk_1:   2:08
don’t let things crash.

spk_0:   2:09
Yeah, you get things done on time. The right people see it doesn’t go over budget and make things happen. So I have experience off being able to do that. And also the art of delegation.

spk_1:   2:20
Oh, yes, very important. But your book Rough Diamond, is all about turning disruption into an advantage in business and life. So if I was to hold you to three things that people should take away from the book, what would they be?

spk_0:   2:33
Test and learn. So you don’t know unless you’ve tried it. So you can’t have an opinion to say, though that won’t work unless you tried it. So testing learn sometimes No. Doesn’t always mean no. So when I set up the rough diamond scheme at Ogilvy always told no did it anyway, for two years under the radar until it was because when you’re innovating, you’re doing something new. You can’t put it into a PowerPoint presentation. You can’t really explain it very well for someone to sign it off. So you just have to go with your guards, you know, bit of intuition. And I was really lucky because there were some great people over we who gave me enough rope to be a maverick. Yes, I would say don’t necessarily always accept No. On third piece of advice is bring people with you on the journey who want to go with you on the journey, so the ones that just do not want her don’t try and make them. Don’t be banging your head against a brick wall on getting frustrated. They’re just not your tribe. So go, You know, seeking out your tribe bond. You’ll get things done a lot quicker.

spk_1:   3:35
I talk about tribes a lot, and often I’m in a group of see sweet executives, and they’re all nodding in agreement about what I’m telling them they should be doing. And I say, That’s great. You’re gonna have your young ladies, you’re millennials. Who will expect that? You’ll do that on that, said Andrew. So what’s the problem? Why can’t we change? I said, Mr Group, There you’ve got the prayers, the stairs and the players and those prayers and stares or in middle management. But you just said, sometimes I can’t come along, So disrupters have to realise you’ve got some resistance. But how do you change a whole company if you’ve got a whole life that doesn’t want to move?

spk_0:   4:07
Well, I I did it within the innovation naps, quite simply, with initially I had lab rats so and they were people that were interested in the kind of stuff that we were doing. That’s why they would stay within the agency because we were doing interesting stuff. So every time I did a semester of learning, so say, You know, I do a semester on gaming or mobile or so sure behaviour, change or big data. I would say I sent a note out to all of the group because I work for the group. So it was about 2000 people and I would say who is interested in big data on DH? Then there’d be loads of people that would put their hands up maybe 20 different people. Then I on all different ages and all different wants and experiences on. Then I would say, get it agreed with their line managers to spend some time with me for the six months when we did the big date, a semester, and so therefore they would want to learn it would be over and above that they job. I didn’t pay them because they were being paid for their day job, but they were doing something as well as that was going to add to their day job and Also, they were teaching their clients and teaching the people within their groups interesting things that they’d learned. And I’d send them to events. You know what’s in them to South by or wherever I could send them. That had big data. I would say to whoever it was OK, who wants in to go to Amsterdam or IBC or wherever on they would put their hands up. I said, Okay, so your job is to find out as many interesting things you can and then bring all that learning back. So for me, it was It was about finding what buttons to press that they really were interested in on DH, then bringing them on the journey with me.

spk_1:   5:50
So those listening on the podcast in a learning and development function, I’m gonna say this just sounds like training, but it’s so much more because it’s not just about the curriculum. It’s about the passion. It’s about people almost thumping the disc and saying, McCall, I want to be on this course. Did you have that sort of groundswell where there’s more, more people looked over the parapets at all? Debbie’s just on a big data course, and she’s really clients love her. Did you have people almost banging the door down to say I want to be on this course?

spk_0:   6:14
I did. But it was always to do with what their love wass so that when there was a gaming one, there was a big kind of groundswell of people saying I mean, I want I want to be part of this. When there was a behaviour change one, there were quite a few people, your big groundswell. And I think they had the want first. And then they saw what what it was like working with me because I don’t micromanage Andi. There

spk_1:   6:40
were didn’t report to you, so you couldn’t

spk_0:   6:41
exactly. So I was just really pleased with help on DH. We just all go on like a non hierarchical team. So therefore, if that was, you know, we would have had very clearly defined objectives because the semester’s were quite rigid on DH formulaic and they were changed every six months. So we’ve had to see who was out there, which is why the Black book is so important of seeing 10 to 15 different cos every single week on behaviour change. I would also with behaviour change. We put a few people on Dan. Ariel is course beginner’s guide to irrational behaviour. It was free. It was amazing on we all learned so much from it and we were all doing it together, maybe six of us on. Then we would we would then implement something. So we did. We want an award for the power of cute which was putting baby’s faces on shutters in village on. Then we were babies within the community and then we were able to test, you know, did behaviour. Did it change behaviour in that street? Did people feel more peaceful because of the baby’s faces? So that came as a direct result of within the semester. We see who is out there. We attach it to business, we implement something so there’s something tangible that we could then put forward for awards or whatever their measure of success is on. Then we would have a lab today for 500 people would always be at Ravens born on. That would kind of close down the semester where we would pull up all of our earnings and those people who had been part of the semester that I didn’t employ, but we’re interested were all part of the lab day. And so therefore, they then got the most amazing experiences that they ordinarily wouldn’t have got Their normal experiences were contact reports or client meetings, or it was very much enjoying the doing and putting on event for 500 people. They were part of that and everything that goes with that.

spk_1:   8:30
So you’ve been doing this for more than decade, you seeing other companies that are taking that model and helping the disruptive inside organisations, Or it’s still status quo for many companies,

spk_0:   8:39
still status quo for many companies. Why? I know that’s why I asked myself a free bloody day. Actually, my position. I was paid to do what I did, and when I came away from Ogilvy and I went on interviews and there were many people that said, You know, we really want you to work with us, we really need a head of innovation and then I’d start to talk to him about what I would need to do. And they said, Oh, no, we don’t want to do that

spk_1:   9:02
with rock the boat.

spk_0:   9:03
We just don’t want you. They didn’t really understand it hadn’t really had it before, so therefore, you’ve still got people still doing the same job. Where is that was my job. They put their money in their pockets and they employed me to do what I felt was right, because I don’t know. There was a paragraph, and I think you’ve all Ferraris 21st century 21 Lessons on. I think he says it. If you want to know what’s happening, they’re not the adults. They don’t know. We don’t. So we have to constantly be out there and testing and learning. But that is not attached to a day job. It’s a separate function of R and D that they need to find the money, at least for a salary.

spk_1:   9:43
It’s almost the role of the chief disrupter, and I think we’re kindred spirits. And the topic of this podcast is disruptive thinking. Someone asked me once, when did you know you were disrupted? I’ll ask you the same question. I mean, it was when I was young. I think great five on. We had the classroom laid out that you would see a double discs. I was deemed to be too disruptive for the rest of the class. I had to sit next to the teacher. The benefit Wass though I got to leave the classroom first when the bell ring. If I look back, I know I’ve been a disrupter in many ways all my life. When did you realise you’re a disrupter?

spk_0:   10:13
When I question the status quo When it didn’t make sense to me, I wasn’t being annoying for annoying sake. I just didn’t get it. So if you could explain it to me But what I didn’t want was someone saying Sit down and shut up, Andi, I don’t hear from you in eight hours and it was the same within organisations. I’m very lucky that the two initial jobs that I had before Ogilvy everyone was like me. Well, that could

spk_1:   10:37
be very scary.

spk_0:   10:38
It was working with Dave chart. So therefore disrupting Yes, so there and then Simon’s Palmer. So it was for me there. I thought I was normal and then I went to openly and I stood out like a sore thumb. They would have meeting after meetings and I wouldn’t get anything out of them. And I turned up and no one else was there or there’d be half a hour late. And I just think this isn’t right. I wouldn’t do that to you. Why would you do that to me? And I said I therefore just questioned things that just it questioned my value systems, I suppose.

spk_1:   11:11
Why lasted four years at IBM, and most the disrupters that went there. They’re not there anymore. That’s not a negative thing. And IBM, But that particular environment doesn’t really absorb disruptors. There is a pattern in the programme to follow. And this is the the way things get done. Yeah, I think you’re right. And I’ve had the same experience. You go to traditional companies for interview. I don’t know what to do with you. Yeah, because they’re, like, window where we’d put you because you’ve got to put you in a box. We know that you could be amazing and do stuff, but we can’t measure it. So how we gonna pay you?

spk_0:   11:42
I think also it scares them that you’re going to disrupt everyone else. And it’s gonna be anarchy. But I was very lucky. In 2000 the person that employed me knew me from Simon’s. Palmer knew me from Goldwyn, distraught I had never done a CV, but I did have a reputation for getting shit done. But I really did, and therefore it didn’t matter what it was. It didn’t have to be an advertising. That’s why now. I mean, I haven’t really worked in marketing appetising for the last three years. I’m working directly with clients and working with dough known and their future supply chain for infants baby nutrition. And you know how their supply chain gonna look. It’s It’s things that where I can deliver upon something doesn’t matter what it is, but I know that I can get it done.

spk_1:   12:23
And how do they measure your success? Or were you just on a flat fee? And they just know that you bring it all. How does it work?

spk_0:   12:27
There’s some things that are just like working with London business school and doing workshops or meetings. And then I measured on that and turning up literally and there’ll be other things that a project based that will go on for five or six months, say with compare and they were launching, we flip or I could be doing workshops with great Western railways where they’ll say to me what’s the future of ticketing? And I’ll turn up there and I’ll do the future of payments, so that’s disruptive in itself. They think that they’re going to learn one thing, and I turn up and do something totally different. And I think it was a stop and learned session and or stop and think. And I think it’s the first time they’ve actually stopped to think, you know, I’m not looking to solve the wrong problem really well. I don’t have a business model like the agencies do what consultants do to keep large salaries in the building and pay. Lots of people would pay a big building. You know, it’s it’s me. And so therefore, I’m very quick at working out what the problem is, and I get the right people in to try and fix it with the right solution. But I’ll find out when I was working with a known and they wanted me to put on a day for their 70 supply chain leaders from around the world, literally from cow to consumer. I said to them who you working with anyone else doing the kind of thing I’m going to start looking at all these different companies who doing interesting things that will impact on your marketplace. So they said, Oh, no, we’re not. So I said, really had Why don’t you just go and order your own company for five minutes? Andi, come back to me after a day or two and just let me know what you found out. So they came back and he said, Oh my God, you’re you’re worth your money before you’ve even started Just by asking the right question, he said, I’ve found out that there’s a head of innovation in Paris and also found out the worldwide people are working with Accenture and they’re working with three block train companies. I went excellent. Now we can use them. So rather than me going to find loads of companies introducing to them, getting that another pathway started, there’s no point. So it’s just it’s just by asking the simple questions,

spk_1:   14:34
but again, stopping and thinking that you’re stopping. Yeah, someone pulled me up on the day of a conference, he said was one of the slider questions, so I don’t know who it wass. They said disruption is such a negative term. Yeah, I wanted to defend, they said, has destruction being good for consumers. And I love Q and A, and you’re probably the same because she can prepare for it. And I wasn’t miked up, so I just walked into the room and I yield the large voice. I said, Yes, you’re right. Disruption is a negative tone makes you sit up and think And I gave the example, and as we record yesterday, people lost their licence again, I

spk_0:   15:04
said, But they still pack to saying

spk_1:   15:05
correct. But if it wasn’t for disruption, black cabs would not take credit cards. I’ve lived in London long enough to wait for four or five cabs that had a credit card machine in the wet. Only because other companies like Uber and others came in and disrupted the market didn’t force him to do. And the guy went, You’re right. So if we agree that disruptive is a negative term, shouldn’t we just embrace that? It’s It’s gonna shake things up.

spk_0:   15:30
You and I will out Tribe will, But there will be many people that aren’t measured to have things shaken up. And if they’ve got to do, they’re like, I know, For instance, the woman that got rid of the labs, The innovation labs, everyone was Are you mad? Like what? On Earth? But from her point of view, she’s a CEO spreadsheet manager. She’s looking at the spreadsheet. She’s looking at one cost, and she’s thinking I could do without that and she’s not thinking of all the positives that came out of there. So she’s never gonna be that visionary, that leader, she’s a manager, so in her eyes, she’s doing the right thing. So I am a cost that she that she can’t see the value ofthe on. Unless you’re working with people that can see that value, you’re not gonna get anywhere. So that’s why you have to find people who can absolutely see the value. I mean, I was I was talking about that good example the last week where this school committee, Communication Arts and Mark Lewis was talking about reciprocity on DH. The fact that he was standing up there in front of many people at this lunch and was talking about school comes arts on DH. It wasn’t just asking for money. Future scholars, he did an amazing presentation, but what he did was that developed 12 different posters on on each post. Sir, there’s an emergency button on it, like that’s connected to the Internet of things on when you are desperate for creative ideas, you hit the emergency button and you get 40 brains from this school that will give you a media access to campaigns and for £1500. So I thought, That’s bloody brilliant. So I was the first to put my hand up. It was the first to buy a poster, and for me, I’ve got in my back pocket possibility of 40 different people working on a campaign for me literally overnight or over 40 hours,

spk_1:   17:21
almost break glass for campaign.

spk_0:   17:23
Exactly. Now I see that as value. There might be other people that were there that might come along with me because I put my hand up. It might feel that they should, but maybe some of them there don’t value him, and that’s also fine. But until you find people that do value what you d’oh, you’re not really going to get Anyway.

spk_1:   17:43
This is a generational thing. So the person you spoke about, it’s probably Gen X and Gen X on a 60 child. I think I keep talking about the young ladies. I’m loath to call the Millennials. Let’s call him young leaders when they’re in positions of authority and the other one’s deciding whether we hide in the coal or Andrew, they’re just gonna go. Well, of course, we need someone like you. So is it generation? We have to wait another five years before management teams of full of young leaders rather than old leaders?

spk_0:   18:07
I think again we’ll go back to how they’re measured. And if their measure of success is always purely on a bottom line financial, it might be that they don’t want people like us to disrupt something that, at the moment they’re still getting the money in. But we know that it’s not gonna stay like that, so only when they’re literally on a burning platform will something be done

spk_1:   18:29
so can disrupt us be made or they born,

spk_0:   18:33
I think, a little bit of both. I know that from experience, because I have a boy and a girl on their 24 22 on my goal. Claudia was amazing, a school, a star student all the way through. They didn’t even see me at the school they didn’t even know what I looked like. Then Max joins on. I’m literally in their existence because he’s in trouble because he’s a naughty boy, because he won’t sit down and shut up right now because he’s questioning things. And I get Why did you get that from you? But I get then the feeling that he’s got what I’m literally told, he’s gonna be expelled pretty much every month or so. So I get very heavy with school and I’m sending them Sir Ken Robinson posts and Seth Godin posts. And God knows what else I turn the the headmaster around, and I’m I’m saying you’re not gonna mess up my kid just because he doesn’t go through the cookie cutter factory that, yes, and that my daughter quite happily is going through. But what strangers? So it turns out well for Max, and he is deputy head boy and then goes to university and gets a first that university, including gets a first and and it turns out really well. He now is in AA job that is a 9 to 5. Claudia came out of university, did the graduate trainee schemes. I thought she would just be a good girl and she’ll just do as she’s told. And the minute she went into proper work, she was like, What on earth is that why they telling me to do such stupid things? They’re micromanaging me. They’re changing and to the takes me a week to get an email out. And she was so massively frustrated she’s now running around company. So that’s not what I thought would happen. So I kind of felt Max was born a disruptive and called He was a good girl, and now it’s turned around that someone she just won’t accept. Stupid nous, I guess for one of another word that that’s how it’s done. And that’s how it’s always done. And she was like, Well, I don’t agree. You can’t give me a good enough reason So she started to get her voice on because me being the mother that I am, I allow her that voice on. I don’t think, say things like, Oh, don’t say anything, Don’t walk the boat, don’t get into trouble, are just make sure she is happy and she’s she’s doing it for the right reasons. We talk a

spk_1:   20:47
lot when you talk in the book as well and publicly about intra prin ownership. Being an entrepreneur inside an organisation, Do you think entrepreneurs can become intra preneurs and vice versa? And maybe the intra preneurs just another another name for disruptor?

spk_0:   21:00
I really think if you’ve got management who have a very clear vision on DH to allow you to have a vision and make things happen, then I think you can be an entrepreneurial spirit within a large company and you harnessed the other entrepreneurs. You can see them. They’re very easy to spot and you give them a voice and you bring them out. Andi is a beautiful thing. When that happens, I was allowed to do it for 16 years. It was really good when you’re being hauled over the coals every five minutes and you’re really you know, senior management. Middle management will never quite like what you’re doing, because I think they will feel a little bit jealous as well. Having all the fun? Yeah. Was she going off to South by or without understanding? Actually, it’s bloody hard work. You are on the go unless you’re asleep on even in the evenings. You’ve done a four day you’re then having to network and its really exhausting, and you have to be on on, be alive and be sharp.

spk_1:   22:00
Be representing the brand. You gonna be on your game because if you’re really representing oak of your IBM, people are seeing you as the brand.

spk_0:   22:06
Yes, it’s no all glamour, but I guess compared to their day job pushing a spreadsheet, it pushing this bed sheet that maybe they don’t want to do. But I would say to them, That’s why I would do the semester. I would say, Well, if you’re interested in any of these things, come, come with us. You bow to that event. I don’t have to go to all these events. If that’s your love, you do it.

spk_1:   22:27
And the intro. I mention the Black Book. I think I’m in the Black book. Definitely tell me about how it came about and how important it is and why others should have ones.

spk_0:   22:35
Yeah, I really wanted Ogilvy to understand the importance ofthe collaborating on DH new kinds of partnerships because the traditional ad agency, which I came from so I know had lows of partnerships. But with print illustrators, photographers, film people and that was pretty much it is. Supply directory? Yeah. Then what happened? You’ve got gaming a mobile and social and a R V R and big Data and three D printing. And I could go on and on and on and on, and no one knew how to get any of those things down or who was good or who was best in breed or who was doing it in what country? So the semesters of learning were key in me wanting Ogilvy to be agents because that’s what an agency is. Their agents. But the problem was that business model. They couldn’t see how they could make money with doing all these different things that came out off my semester. Of course, it gave them awards because we were doing Cem beautiful things. I mean, remember the IBM the A R thing that came out before even Layer would open their

spk_1:   23:40
used a Wimbledon in 2009? I actually I was a very entrepreneurial blogger. I contacted, I think, probably, or someone can I get a free ticket to go to the match and four of them around and say the the art thing, and I did it was.

spk_0:   23:53
So all of those kind of things were done to allow will be to have a different business model, to then offer not just TV and print, but a R and D. R and all the things that came out of a semester, we would see 10 to 15 different cos every single week. We would then attach it to business. Someone had a problem. We would then attach it to the right solution because we found the right partners. Did we know if it worked? No, we didn’t had it been done before. No, it hadn’t. So we were pioneering all of these new technologies on bringing them to people, making it easier for people to engage with them on DH. We would then win tonnes of awards. And now it’s been, um, talking 10 15 years ago. Doing these things now is commonplace, but overall, we didn’t know how to make money doing those things. They saw it as little bitty things on the side. Their traditional model is selling a TV ad

spk_1:   24:51
which is very profitable,

spk_0:   24:52
which is how they get Teo, you know, make money for the shareholders. So for me, when I first started out on that black book or collaborating. It was purely so that the agencies could be agents in the truest sense and not just have to meet with photographers and illustrators and know the breast in breed. But no the best in breed with everyone around the world. And I would get friendly with the embassy’s. Remember, we think we last saw each other. The Finnish Embassy. Yes, that’s right. So I would get friendly with the embassies and the Israeli Embassy in British Embassy and London and partners and Italians and the Canadian High Commission on I would say, Who do you If I was doing a semester on big data, I would say, Who do you have in your countries who doing interesting things on data? Aye, aye, machine learning. They would then send them over to me when they were coming to London. So therefore, I wouldn’t even need to necessarily go to them. Perfect. Yeah.

spk_1:   25:46
So often people ask me if I ask you what industries are ripe for disruption. I’m gonna turn it around. Which industries can handle a disrupt door on the books.

spk_0:   25:56
I don’t think it’s industry sector specific. I think it’s the leadership.

spk_1:   26:01
Really? Yeah. Any industry,

spk_0:   26:02
any industry and not tell you why that makes a difference. There was an event that I was curating for, like, 500 people last year. Yeah, and I kept saying that there was someone that I knew who is a professor in Sad on Dad worked with the most unbelievable names from Loreal and Nike and added Assassin Takao and unbelievable reputation, but because she didn’t have a name behind her because she wasn’t seven, so from IBM, they didn’t want that there yet. She was the one teaching them. And that really annoyed me that you wouldn’t have the teacher because they didn’t have the name by their name.

spk_1:   26:40
Yeah, the disrupter, but not not unknown one.

spk_0:   26:43
Yes. And so therefore, they were selling their tickets to get bums on seats were saying, We’ve got someone from IBM. Ah, Whoopi. I know someone who teaches those people from IBM in the likes of in Seattle.

spk_1:   26:56
It’s about the tribe’s feeling comfortable. So if you see the logo, then it must be OK. It’s social proof. So on my Twitter page, I have me standing in front of a big wallet, says D H l I’ve done that deliberately. It’s social proof because they hopefully a new client will go. Well, if d h l thought he was good, they must be okay. So I think we use that. But as you and I know, I could have a blank wall there and still be just as inspiring, I would hope.

spk_0:   27:20
Yeah, well, because we’re way have experience and we have wisdom on DH. We know the truth on we have strong values and we’re honest and open hearted on DH. That’s when you do the best business and room. Israel is authentic. And I think sometimes people find that level of honesty quite scary.

spk_1:   27:42
Yeah, I remember when I was selling social listening tools, I was selling into TV back then. This is probably 10. 15 years ago, there’s some had a spreadsheet of all the tools, all things they couldn’t couldn’t do on. They asked me how good is your sentiment analysis? And I said, It’s as bad as everyone else’s, and I step straight back and why I’m being so honest because you’re gonna find out soon and legends and actually, I spun their spreadsheet around. I said, Look, I can help you here, take my vendor head off. I’ll tell you which ones are good or bad. You’re the top six, including us. You make a decision. Guess we got the business. And they said because you were honest, we could see that your integrity was there. Even though your product head of floor wasn’t as good as everyone else’s, we knew that you could make up for it. So I think honesty in business it isn’t about disrupting just being honest.

spk_0:   28:23
Yeah, on. I think that what’s happening right now because technology means that you can work from anywhere because technology means you can have your own email. You can have your own website. You can have your own connexions. You’ve got access to a black book. Even with your linked in. It means that if you meet someone who happens to be a client on holiday, you can do what with them. You know, did I think that I would be doing what we do known necessarily and jump through those kind of hoops Now I didn’t, but it just shows you that times are changing and you don’t need the bigness anymore because I’m able to work a leverage business model. So whatever the problem is, whatever the problem is, I know the right people within my book to execute and to make things happen. Once we’ve worked out what the problem is,

spk_1:   29:11
leads me nicely into my final question about your collective Thean. Why collective? What is it and why

spk_0:   29:17
It’s a good play on N. Y. C, isn’t it? Because people would automatically think New York? And But that’s they’re my initials. So I’m very lucky. Thanks moment that for that, But the collective is literally the black book off who I’ve met over the years, and depending on what the problem is, find the right person with the right solution. I’m always being asked to know someone to do this or someone to do that, and I could spend 24 hours a day answering that. I can’t do that as much anymore because I’m a Lone Ranger. But

spk_1:   29:49
you wanna monetise it because there’s value in that. Yeah, that the fact you pound the pavement and met these people, you qualified them. So rather than Bill Blog’s, it’s Terry Smith, and he’s fantastic in this. In this

spk_0:   30:00
Yeah, I do have a referral Fay, but it’s all very open and very transparent. So that someone, if someone’s come onto my Web site, which they have a couple of times and said I really need help with X Andi I found the right person. Then they don’t pay me the client. But if the person gets the job, then I’m on. There was, ah, line item on guy. Say to them, You pay me what you think that was worth So some jobs have been 5%. Some jobs have been 15% but that’s been a really nice way. Now no, everyone likes. They feel that that’s not a good way to get money in. But if you’re transparent off, you wouldn’t have known who to go. Teo.

spk_1:   30:38
There comes another suggestion because they’ll go. That was that worked out really well.

spk_0:   30:42
Yeah, I am a super connector. That’s maybe my power where I just act could be speaking to someone, and I know Oh my God, you really need to meet this person and then they’ll end up doing incredible business together. I’ve been doing that literally my whole working life. It it feels good to connect people

spk_1:   31:01
what people buy from people. I don’t think that’ll ever change. Yeah. Final question. Is this the practical futures podcast? What three things cannot listen to be doing to beam or or better disruptive thinkers next week.

spk_0:   31:14
Bi curious, Don’t they go by way? Your your No finding interesting information somewhere. Just bi curious. Get out of your comfort zone. So I always go to places where I know no one And number

spk_1:   31:28
two I love you made some fantastic people

spk_0:   31:30
amazing people. You have great conversations. So when everyone was at Web Summit, I was a house, a peaceful business on the reason that works for me, that no one’s there with a lanyard. You have no idea. So you have to go in cold and saying, Who are you and I’m Nicole and very uncomfortable, you know, even for people who are extroverts. ITT’s Justus uncomfortable for extroverts as it is for introverts. But try and get out of your comfort zone because you’re learned something you didn’t know. So curious. Get out of your comfort zone. Try and stay honest and authentic because otherwise people like us will see right through you. And we can’t do work with people like it’s almost kind of. I know that. You know that I know something not quite right going on there. So that’s why people do fear working with us. Because when I was asked, you know, he’s going to the board. I don’t want to go on the board of a company. I don’t want to go up those ranks. People like us have other things that we want and need and not necessarily get to the top of that mountain and then think, I don’t like it up here because they not like me. It’s not what I really wanted. So I think to be authentic with yourself, to know what you really, really want is it to be on the board of a company and work your backside off? Maybe. No. And that’s okay. There are other things that you could be doing that don’t need for you to follow that formula.

spk_1:   32:58
So how come people find out more about you and your work?

spk_0:   33:01
Thank goodness for my name, because there’s anyone Nicole Yashin. So I’m everything linked in Twitter Insta website yl my name. So quite an easy one.

spk_1:   33:13
If ever you get in trouble, that’s gonna be very easy to find you. That’s why I’m always honest. Call Thank you so much. I don’t know what’s taking his 10 plus years on the podcast. I’d love to have you come back at some stage and and disrupt some other thing that we’re talking about. Thank you so much. Few times It’s a pleasure. Thank you.

Thank you for listening to The Actionable® Futurist Podcast. You confined all of our previous shows at If you like what you’ve heard on the show, please consider subscribing via your favourite podcast app. So you never miss an episode. You can find out more about Andrew and how he helps corporate Navigator disruptive digital world with keynote speeches on DH see sweet workshops at until next time. This has been The Actionable® Futurist Podcast.