Change is in the air for Campaign - and you
A view from Rachel Barnes

Change is in the air for Campaign - and you

'Big bang' change is not always the best way forward.

Change is the law of life, JFK once said. Since I wrote my last Campaign column – which incidentally was also my first following the merger with Marketing, where I was editor – my own life has been turned upside down. All for the better, of course, with the addition of a small person.

Here we are, just over a year on (hello again!), and change is once more front of mind, if it ever retreated.

It’s a word that lurks in the mind today. Doing nothing is going backwards, so what can we do better? How can I evolve my business? What can I change?

This drive is fundamental to thriving businesses. But while "big bang" change might grab attention in the boardroom and promise to be the making of your career, it’s not always the best path, Helen Edwards says.

Instead of searching for the next big thing to transform your business, consider looking closer to home: your team. "The greatest success comes when you allow the people you work with to be brilliant," Alistair Macrow, McDonald’s UK chief marketer, says. "The more opportunity you give them, the more you are likely to get back."

Building strong, diverse and, importantly, empowered teams is the mark of the best leaders, eschewing the echo chamber in favour of challenging, alternative voices.

And that includes weird fish. Yan Elliott, joint executive creative director at CHI & Partners, believes it’s "weird fishes that make the difference". It makes for good business too, he says, as clients always love a bright, different point of view in the room.

These are the people who are easily overlooked as they’re unlikely to be following the classic career path. Their "slightly skewed, ‘off’ way of doing things" is, however, what can add a touch of magic, says Sharon Horgan.

In her column, Edwards celebrates those not seeking change for change’s sake but the "nurturers who understand the depth and resilience woven into the fabric of the brand".

This rings extra true to me just now as we plan the new monthly Campaign, which will land in September, along with reinvigorated daily online content. It’s a challenge we have not taken lightly, understanding the risk, as Edwards describes, of not "tossing away decades of carefully crafted brand equity".

The success of this next phase of Campaign as a title for the wider marketing industry, following last year’s merger with Marketing, Media Week and Brand Republic, will be grounded in your valuable input. We plan to iterate and evolve the magazine so don’t hold back with your feedback. We need you – especially the weird fish out there.

Rachel Barnes is the UK editor of Campaign.