At the end of 2014 a mentor or mine, Kamal Sarma, challenged me to choose a word for the year.
Unlike a list of resolutions, this one word is an acting philosophy, a guide and an invitation for what your days may hold.
Kamal explained the words that he’s picked and their subsequent impact. There was the year of Freedom, the year of Fun. I wasn’t surprised to hear that Authenticity was the hardest one. We’re all so good at putting on fronts.
I was attracted to the simplicity of this idea. Instead of setting goals, this asks you to stay focused on just one thing and examine how it can permeate life. There’s an appealing discipline that hurts our fragmented minds.
So coming into 2016, I spent a few weeks thinking about my word. It forced me to consider the kind of year that I want and how I want my character to grow. I started off with last year’s word: FUN. I then went to TRUST. Explored HONESTY. Flirted with ACCELERATION. And then stopped at LESS.
LESS feels oh so right, and this is why.
For a while now, our industry has been questioning why there aren’t more women in senior positions. There have been studies, debates, plans and action groups.
We all agree that we want women in senior roles. We recognise the need for equality and balance. We concur that women are capable. However I believe our focus has been on the wrong question.
Instead of asking why women aren’t in the top job, we should be asking whether women want the top job in its current form.
My thought of the day is the following…
If I had unlimited funds, I would buy out the outdoor advertising of every bus, bus stop and billboard (etc) for a week or two and place in this space nothing but white.
If someone were to ask me what it was all about, I would simply reply, “Nothing. It’s about nothing.”
If we wanted to get wanky then we could call it “zen-vertising”.
I would then go around and capture what people would write or draw in its place. Or a before and after of their faces to see if anything changed.