Monday, July 13, 2009

Northwest Vision and Media about the Accidental Leader Programme

The Accidental Leader Programme starts tomorrow!
We had a quick chat with Lynn Kelly, Head of Skills at Northwest Vision and Media about why they decided to back the course, created to help develop ‘Accidental Leaders’ in team effectiveness and digital.

How come you are financing a course for Accidental Leaders? What do you see is the need?
Vision and Media has worked with media companies for a long time and in lots of ways - through investment, helping them to find new talent and developing leaders themselves through industry specific mentoring and coaching around business planning, discovering new markets, international programmes etc. Generally though, leaders of creative and digital companies have not been big takers of management and leadership training - they tend to be really good creatively or technically, so much so that their business flourishes and before they know it they've got an expanding number of employees to look after as well as everything else a business needs to continue being successful, hence the name Accidental Leader!
Bringing leadership training to the Northwest has been a big priority for Northwest Vision and Media, the Northwest Development Agency (the primary funders of this programme) and Skillset (the Sector Skills Council) over the last few years and especially now that MediaCityUK is taking shape, it's vital that our business leaders have the right personal and business skills to enable them to take any opportunities that come their way. This is why we've worked hard to get the funding for this programme and get something really special for the region.

What are your expectations on the course?
We hope that the people who attend this course find it invaluable, something they can look back on as a defining moment for themselves as leaders and for their businesses. Looking at it from an investment point of view though, we hope it has a positive impact on the bottom line of their companies!

How come Hyper Island got the very exciting job to deliver the course?
We wanted something specific to the Digital and Creative industries, a provider that the participants could connect with and understood their needs as well as their industry. So, we had a long and robust selection process: we put the contract out to open tender (it received the biggest number of proposals we've ever had for a tender), the best were shortlisted for an interview and to make sure we chose a provider that our industries could relate to, we had members of the TV and Digital industries on the panel. Hyper Island came out top across the board! They have a long history and a great reputation across the world plus they have developed an array of fantastic programmes specific to the Creative and Digital Industries. They also have a really different approach to training, this won't be any ordinary leadership course!

What else is going on in Manchester?
We're also funding the Accidental Manager course as part of the Digital and Media Skills Programme, this is aimed at the next tier down - the rising stars! It's being delivered by Kirkbright.

Thank you, Lynn!

Friday, July 3, 2009

D&AD pencil to Christian and Dennis

Last night in, The D&AD student awards became yet another success for the Interactive Art Director 09 students Christian Söderholm and Dennis Rosenqvist. The duo won a first prize pencil for their work for the BBC.
Christian and Dennis, who already won gold and silver in Art Directors Club and two silver statuettes in the Clio Awards, celebrated the win to mark the start of their careers.

– The D&AD pencil is such an honour to receive. I mean, over 3000 entries from all over the world was submitted this year only so of course we are a bit proud of our selves, says Dennis.

The concept consists of a media player called BBC Tag Player, which the user can use to discover and add content in BBC’s programs. Christian explains the idea:
– Let’s say you watch a football game online via BBC. With the Tag Player you can easily find out everything you need to know about the players, like statistics and such, with just one mouse click on the player you want to know more about. And you can of course comment and add your own material to make it even more alive.

The team have, thanks to the awards, already received a lot of job offers from the industry. Dennis recently came home from Wieden + Kennedy London to work for Crispin Porter + Bogusky Europe and Christian continues to work for DDB Stockholm where he did his Hyper Island industry placement.

Dennis sums up:
– This is a perfect end to our studies at Hyper Island.

Read more about Christian and Dennis at and
See the award winning entry here:

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

First Accidental Leader course coming up on the 14th - 16th of July

Hyper Island is coming to the UK to do a leadership course for leaders in the creative industry; Accidental Leader Programme UK. There will be a mix of companies with expertise within many different areas: interactive, animation, radio, TV production and video production among others. They will go through a total of six days of very intense training, the first session being in July and the last one in November.

The first session is getting closer. On July 14th - 16th, 20 leaders will get together at the Imperial War Museum in Manchester to experience and learn through the Accidental Leader Programme.
We asked one of the participants - Tony Foggett, CEO & Founder at Code Computerlove a couple of questions:

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company?
We are a Digital marketing agency based in Manchester - there are 55 of us at the moment, but we are growing so on the look out for new talent. Code look after brands like Matalan, Waterstones, Butlins and the NUS, we do their consumer experience planning across the channel and online promotional activity.

What are your expectations on the Accidental Leader Programme?
I hoping for leadership training that deals with the particular challenges that come with running a creative and digital agency.

How, would you say, should the ideal leadership programme be like?
Not sure I understand the question. But for me it would be a combination of inspiration with practical tools I can take away and apply back in the agency. I'm really looking forward to spending some time with some of the other agency folks from Manchester. We all know one another pretty well so I'm hoping outside of the training this might actually be a chance for us to discuss the digital scene within the city and what we can do to collectively improve it.

What do you know about Hyper Island?
You're Swedes who understand creativity. And there was something about a walnut?

It seems to be a buzz about Manchester, what are your thoughts about Manchester right now?
There is no buzz about Manchester, it's all a big lie, shushhh now you crazy Swedish people. (The longer we can perpetuate the myth that London is really where its at the longer they will leave us alone) Unfortunately with the BBC moving up here and Media City around the corner it's getting harder to hide the scene that is developing here.

Thank you, Tony!