Intrapreneurship

Shining a Spotlight on Barry O’Grady.

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Our Vice-President, Marketing and Brand Experience, Barry O’Grady brings global, award-winning marketing expertise to Spyder Works’ clients.

Everyone knows that the toughest battles in marketing are fought in the grocery aisles. If you can win market share from Procter & Gamble and Colgate, you’ve got what it takes. Barry has done both while managing domestic market and global marketing responsibilities for brand powerhouses like Unilever and Mars Incorporated.

His goal is to help your company connect with its markets more deeply and personally, using the best strategies, storytelling and interactive marketing tools. “After running major brands for multinationals, I now help clients find the true potential in their businesses,” Barry says. “It’s all about helping you see an exciting, achievable future.”

Barry is a decorated marketing veteran, having fought bravely in the Cat Food Wars and won the Battle of the Soaps. The minstrels still sing of his work for Dove Beauty in Canada, which had long languished behind Ivory, the market leader. He says he’ll never forget the day Dove passed Ivory as Canada’s No. 1 soap brand. More importantly, his work on “Canada’s Classic Beauty” which valued the holistic beauty of real Canadian women set the stage for Dove’s ground-breaking “Real Beauty” campaign. Coming out of Canada and spreading around the world, that campaign not only sold more soap, it rede ned how marketers engage with their target audiences. “Dove was 20 years ahead of its time,” says Barry. “It was exciting, fresh, di erent. We weren’t playing a conventional marketing role. We were empathizing with the reality of everyday women.”

Empathy drew Barry into consulting. He loves putting himself in his clients’ shoes, to understand their struggles and the needs of their customers. “I stand for input, dialogue, consensus, and high-trust relationships,” he says. “My clients sleep better at night knowing the consultants they’ve engaged are solving the real problem, not just putting words on paper.”

Barry’s rigorous approach to marketing and brand strategy is a catalyst for customer engagement. Or as Spyder Works CEO Ken Tencer puts it: “Barry transforms consumers into brand advocates in an age where the voice of the brand is increasingly coming from the mouths of its customers.”

“Spyder Works solves clients’ real problems in unique ways,” explains Barry. “I can start the change process by helping clients write a new strategy. The rest of the team can take it further, through design to production and leadership development. We’re operational and strategic.”

Barry’s dedication shone brightest the day he enrolled in a course on “Fundamentals of Digital Marketing” at Sheridan College. He was probably the oldest student in the class. He was by far the most experienced. But he was delighted when his prof, aware of
his background, con rmed that the role of digital media is to uniquely amplify all the principles of great marketing – establish connection, interaction and loyalty – that he learned from working with the world’s best consumer-product companies.

What else can we tell you about Barry? He’s into yoga, and mindfulness. And he’s happiest when the Toronto Blue Jays are winning.

But the wins he likes best are those of his clients. A few years ago, he was hired by an independent producer of creamy salad dressings to develop strategies for addressing consumers’ growing appetite for healthier foods. Soon after, the company was acquired by a major U.S. food brand. Barry was over the moon to learn this multinational had bought his client mainly for its strong position in the wellness segment, which would now be exported to the rest of its international divisions. Talk about impact!

Says Barry: “It blew my mind that I had created that much value for the client in eight months.”

We could tell you more: about the way Barry turned around the Whiskas cat-food brand in the United States for Mars, Inc.; how he launched six products for Green Giant; how he restructured the sales teams for M&Ms, Skittles and Snickers; and how he re-energized a whole division by implementing a “50 Day Challenge” that generated 300 new product ideas. But we think you should hear it from him.

Give Barry a call at <a href=”tel:9056088845″>905.608.8845</a> x 32, or email him at <a href=”mailto:bogrady@spyder.works”>bogrady@spyder.works</a>. Put all that success, experience and empathy to work for your brands.

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It’s About Learning – Not Training.

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Check out IMDB.com, which lists her professional acting and voiceover roles – including her most recent stint as Rabiah, a mentor to young super-heroes in the animated TV series “The 99.”

That’s pretty fitting, because Vivian’s first love has always been talent development: creating programs to help people become strategic resilient, lifelong learners. Transforming training from organizational afterthought to strategic win-win: that’s Vivian’s super-power.

Vivian started as an auditor, working for one of the U.K.’s accounting firms. “But I didn’t want to get labeled as an accountant,” she says, for reasons we’ll leave unexplained. Instead, she found her jam in the firm’s training consulting group, where she learned that business transformation starts with people. She also developed the concept of “the strategic employee,” which encouraged employees to manage their job as if it were their own business – an initiative designed to enhance employee alignment and drive innovative business opportunities.

Her career then led her to a major chartered bank, where she helped transform the building and delivery of learning for many new strategic initiatives at a time when the financial sector was experiencing significant change – including the launch of a national program for 25,000 people that was completed in just two months.

Moving to Nortel, Vivian pioneered a virtual classroom that was at least a decade ahead of its time. She then formed her own business, providing customized learning programs to retailers, financial institutions and other clients – when she wasn’t acting for the stage and TV.

Now Vivian has joined forces with Spyder Works to expand her ability to help companies learn. Their new joint venture, Icicle Learning, provides transformational learning by creating and delivering innovative learning solutions that are integrated into the workplace and directly aligned to business strategy. All with her trademark blend of engagement, integration and relevance.

Her new role is a natural step forward on both sides. As Spyder Works was helping clients develop ever more innovative design-driven strategies, the firm saw a growing need to help employees adapt to change and seize opportunities faster. “With Vivian, we now have the expertise to develop talent or change culture, from the frontlines to the executive suite,” says Spyder Works CEO Ken Tencer.

“With the combination of Icicle and Spyder Works,” adds Vivian, “we can now provide the entire business-transformation process.” (We think it’s cool that they already finish each other’s sentences.)

Now, some cynics will tell you that training doesn’t work. And Vivian agrees that’s often the result if all you’re doing is teaching people a new skill for their current role. You’re missing the opportunity to embrace change, create alignment and develop new leaders in uncertain times. Says Vivian, “People really want to know more about the new world of business.”

That’s especially important now that millennials are dominating the workforce. They’re generally thought to bring a creative entrepreneurial spirit to the office, but they have short attention spans – and they’ve been warned to expect 15 different jobs in their careers. “Most companies are experiencing high turnover, because their employees aren’t engaged in what they’re doing,” Vivian notes. But she’s seen this movie before. When you train employees and managers to think and act like leaders, she says, you create greater productivity and lower turnover, “because they’re totally engaged in what they’re doing.”

If you’re interested in engaging Vivian, please note that she’s not interested in selling training. “I am driven to inspire people to see the value of learning every day; to create their own opportunities to learn and grow,” she says. “There’s something to learn every day.”

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Will you help us by taking this Intrapreneur Assessment?

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Will you help us by taking this Intrapreneur Assessment?

As a global thought leader in intrapreneurship, I have been asked to collaborate with Multi-Health Systems, a people analytics and solutions company. MHS is currently developing an assessment on entrepreneurial competencies, and they are looking for participants to help them in the final stages of testing. At my request, MHS has agreed to incorporate individuals who self-identify as intrapreneurs. 

Will you help us by taking this 20-minute online assessment? We are looking for leaders, entrepreneurs and individuals who identify as intrapreneurs (i.e., they are employees of a company and are officially responsible for creating something new, or for solving problems using entrepreneurial skills). I am sure you will find the assessment questions interesting and thought-provoking. And in return for participating, you will receive a personalized report that will give you new insights into your entrepreneurial skills and behaviors.

To me, intrapreneurship is not a “program.” It is a necessary mindset that all organizations need to embrace to thrive in fast-changing, competitive markets. Ultimately, MHS’s research will provide an even richer foundation upon which Spyder Works will help our clients build more successful cultures of intrapreneurship.

Thank you in advance for participating in this important research project.

Gratefully,
Ken 

PS: As a member of my network, I would also like to offer you a 25% discount for the upcoming Intrapreneurship Conference in Toronto, Nov. 15th to 17th. The conference theme is “Building an Innovation Ecosystem.” To register, please enter the promo code IntraCnf-SpyderWorks. (I’ll be speaking on Nov. 15, to share four key insights for creating a more successful intraprenership program. Hope to see you there!)

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