Monday morning, 05.51am, alarm kicks in with ELO, Mr Bluesky – it’s going to be a sunny day, the traffic to London must be lighter than normal, and I’m due to go for a run when I get in (choice of song and time of alarm). Rerouted through Chiswick rather than Hammersmith as sat nav picked up a recent accident on the flyover.
As I hit Regent’s Park for my run, the diary has already lined-up the day for me, gives me some headlines about a business I’m pitching for, then firmly tells me I have to go up Primrose Hill four times because I missed hill climbs last week. On the third ascent, it drops Go by the Chemical Brothers because it notices my pace and cadence are flagging badly.
I swing through Pod after taking a shower. Eggs, chorizo, and a coffee are ready and waiting. I eat in and do some strategy work with my AI "Planning Buddy" – I do insight while PB searches, tabulates and analyses to give me facts and figures on sales levels, market norms, cultural influences – all voice activated with charts popping up on my tablet. PB shares the most interesting nuggets with the rest of the team.
Diary pings me at 11 to remind me I have a mentoring session at 11.30 near Piccadilly – I head to Regent’s Park tube (get on at carriage three to be opposite the exit at Piccadilly). I get an audio run down on my mentee, including a few press clippings and panels she’s been speaking on. We have a great session – it’s looking like she’s nearing the promotion we’d set as our objective for the sessions.
Back to the office (carriage five), music is The Stones, (I can’t get no) Satisfaction, must have a board meeting this afternoon. Don’t grab lunch as I’m reminded it’s being provided today. I arrive at the meeting having been briefed on the agenda on route. Spend a quick half-hour making decisions (so much faster when everyone is fully briefed beforehand), then a good future-focused chat.
Client meeting late afternoon. Again, I’m briefed while travelling on their performance, our performance, and some of the key news stories around the sector. The meeting is positive, but ends with a quick turnaround brief to help prove the business case for some NPD. I brief my PB on the way back and have a report to read back in the office. I have a quick chat with PB which generates a series of briefs that shoot off to different parts of the office. A meeting is scheduled for tomorrow to check early progress and do Q&A with the teams.
I’ve not checked email all day as basic deletes, responses, clarifications and filings have been dealt with automatically, and nothing has red flagged as needing immediate attention. That alone has saved about two hours of my time.
Parents evening tonight so I’m out a bit early (traffic heavy), in the car I ramble on with some thoughts around the challenges of short versus long term measurement – PB will organise my ramblings into a first draft article and go find various sources to back up my musings (or disprove, here’s hoping). Meet my wife at school and discuss the future of boy number three.
Back at home, I’m reminded I have an early start and should go to bed, but I flick on the telly and The Shawshank Redemption is on – settle in to watch ignoring the fact I can get it on demand anytime. Sometimes human serendipity is a great thing…
Dan Hagen is chief strategy officer at Carat UK