A rear-view mirror is one of the most valuable assets in business. If we can understand what’s gone before and why, we can make more informed, and much bolder, decisions going forward. Looking back gives us the foresight we need to get ahead of the curve.
So, as we at TCC turn 35 years old, I can’t help but take a look back and glance into my own rear-view mirror. Each anniversary and every milestone is an opportunity to take stock, reflect upon our experience and experiences, and draw new conclusions to achieve more profound understanding for our next steps.
TCC’s foundations are humble ones; a husband and wife team renting desk space at an office in Invincible Road, Farnborough. However, in 1985, I wasn’t working at TCC. In fact, I was probably just a few years into my first job at an ad agency.
My first client? Kodak. They were the market leaders in their field; no other company even came close. Their brand name was completely synonymous with photography and, as such, they were in their comfort zone.
However, allegedly, when a member of their research and development team came to them with the very first iterations of the technology that would go on to make digital photography possible, they pushed back. If that technology got into the wrong hands, it could put them out of business.
Rather than use their status and stature in the industry to confidently carve a bold new path, as torchbearers for digital photography, Kodak chose to rest on their laurels and bury the potential for innovation in the sand. That decision left them stranded, on the wrong side of history.
Fortunately, over our 35 years, evolution and revolution has never been something TCC has avoided. Aside from moving from Invincible Road to Kings Ride, replacing ashtrays with conference phones and swapping out drawing boards for brand-new Apple Macs (oh what a day that was), we’ve ridden the wave of at least two recessions, expanded, contracted and are stronger than ever. Now, in 2020, we’re lucky enough to be working with a range of clients such as O2, Samsung and Mizuno, who are now at the forefront of innovation in completely new ways.
We’re fortunate enough to have forged relationships with these clients that have stood the test of nearly three decades collectively. And that longevity and prosperity is the direct result of their openness to share of their wants and desires, and their concerns and ambitions. That level of transparency gives us the opportunity to create a bold, brave roadmap to meet their needs and exceed their expectations.
The world is changing at a perpetual pace. But, for those open-minded and humble enough to be agile and flexible enough to change themselves and their business, the dauntingly fast-paced world transforms into one full of opportunity, rather than fear.
The future of any business depends on the ability to break with deeply ingrained habits. Those that can overcome convention to realise a new level of potential, and then do it again, and again, are the ones that will thrive. So, let’s look back, look around and look forward. Everyone will encounter the same struggles, and everyone will deal with them differently, but we can all learn from each other and move forward together.
‘Plateau’ is only a fatal diagnosis if it goes untreated. And my recommendation would always be preventative measures.
Written by Tim Leney
February 20, 2020