Monday, September 22, 2014

Content Requires Context. And Coffee.

Last Friday was a pretty darn good day. It started -like one or two of my insomniac days per week generally do- at 04:30.

First Mission: Coffee.
Second Mission: Head to the shed and jump on the bike.
Third Mission: Get into my extensive routine of rehab and pilates.
Fourth Mission: Make an omelette and get in to work.

#ShedBike (TM) aka the Rust Bucket, not for outdoor consumption

So, work… now I am working as a consultant for CharterMason, currently on site at NBN Co, working as a Business Analyst in NBN’s Business Intelligence & Analytics Competency Centre (serious mouthful, I know!). Now one day I’ll try and explain my role in a succinct fashion that has everyone dying to know more, but that day is not today.

The cool thing that happened last Friday though, was getting to take a look into the inner cloister of CharterMason. From midday to 5pm, in a gruelling session reminiscent of a 5 hour hills loop, some of the head honchos from the CharterMason senior leadership team gathered around to nut out the company’s marketing strategy going forward.

Add in branding guru Mike Harley from, and I was living the business equivalent of some kid buying a bike and the next day going riding with Cadel and Gerro. These things normally don’t happen!

So what on earth was going on?

Well. I’m there to write stuff. To write it fast. And write it good. But obviously, content needs context, so what better way to get it than plotting out some ideas whilst abusing the RACV Club Nespresso machines (hey, I was getting pretty sleepy by that time in the day.)


The thing that stuck with me mostly though, was the parallels between an athlete planning their season with their coach or team, and the work that was going here. It’s all in the detail. You decide what race you want to win. You decide what physiological characteristics are required to win said race, then you go and train.

Business wise? Same thing. Who do you want to target, how will you convince them you’re the one for the job, how will you execute the job, and so on and so forth.

The most crucial decision, and this rings home for me, is being able to define what you are not. I was never a sprinter, and there comes a time when training your weaknesses comes at too great of a cost to your strengths. It will be a personal call every time, but it was fascinating to see the same decisions that an athlete labours over being pulled apart and analysed in a business context.

So what will come out of all this?

Well firstly, it gives me more things to do whilst I still can’t ride***. One day I’ll be out of the stationary shed pedalling situation I currently find myself in, but that’s a while away.

Secondly, CharterMason will have a nice answer to the following question:

 “What does CharterMason actually do?”

I mean, I could tell you the answer to that now, but I’d probably have to kill you.

***Whilst indoors mind you, I’m still a touch excited at the CharterMason-Giant team knocking up a win at the National Capital Tour! Hat tip to Mr Jacob Restall there)

***Jump over to the Capital Tour highlights here to see CharterMason hands in the air

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