With Beckie Smith, Flying Geese Consultant

Image of a woman working in a chemistry lab

Most people within the Arts and Cultural sector realise that their brand has the power to change the way that people think about their organisation. I remember a time (there are still some times) that I was heavily influenced by the brands of some of the leaders in our field. “They are professional”, “They have years of experience”, “Everything they do is so perfect”, I would think to myself, which inevitably leads to thoughts of “How can I ever compete?” Recently, I have come to realise that my view is changing, in that I’m able to see through the surface level perception of their brand, and that actually, I am able to compete, and Flying Geese does compete and often excels in certain areas. So what is it that is changing my opinion? Here are a few thoughts:

1.  Consistency in presentation

I’ve attended a number of career development courses recently, from a variety of influencers, all of whom have used Powerpoint slides as a learning guide. As I sit through the presentations, I’m often drawn to the presentation style and sometimes realise that the ones that grab my attention the most are those with a noticeable level of brand consistency. I like to see clearly identified fonts, consistency in slide templates, consistency in styles, colours, and other brand elements. Although it is ‘just a presentation’, consistency allows my brain to subconsciously believe that there is consistency across all their work – and their advice.

We keep brand consistency firmly in mind as at Flying Geese as we have recently gone through a re-brand exercise to ensure that people have faith in the quality of our work right from their very first engagement with us.

2.  Embrace Experimentation

The arts and culture sector provide a sense of excitement! We experience dynamics and energy and we love to get sucked into what we experience with a view of wanting more and we get a lot of that energy from the people who work in the arts. When it comes to presentations in our sector, I want to be sucked into what people have to say, I want dynamics in people’s voice, to scoop me up and take me through the presentation in a way that grabs my attention and doesn’t let me get distracted. At Flying Geese, we like to think that we are a really happy group of consultants, we are personal, friendly, we smile and we make jokes. We want to inspire you! So we try and capture your attention right from the start of our presentations, keep you motivated throughout and into the day job too.

3.  Expertise

When I first started out in my career I was on a really steep learning curve and I used to take what my influencers said as Gospel truth that could not be questioned. But now, as a Director of a successful Consultancy, I’m able to join in those conversations, to use my own experience to give a different perspective and to bring new ideas to the table – this positions us right up there with them.

4.  Actual Answers

Sometimes (more often than not) you need actual answers in life. When the arts and cultural landscape is changing so rapidly, your capacity at work is very slim, and you need a real suite of resources, tool kits and worksheets that, basically, gives you a process to follow, to do what you need to do to get from A to B. It isn’t helpful if you spend your time ‘discussing the problem.’ Sometimes you turn to your influencer to ‘Sort it out.’ This is something we are really good at, at Flying Geese. We actually provide our clients with a plan of action that is jargon free, actionable and motivational for small teams of people to put into place on Monday morning. Because of the above, I realise that me (and Flying Geese) are not at all dwarfed by our sector influencers. Instead, we are a sector influencer and hold our own amongst those who – I used to think – were organisations to live up to. It’s been a good, progressive 5 years at Flying Geese. Come and find out more about us and see what we can do for you.