I work at a leadership level in design, product and strategy.
That can be with anything from a startup, a social enterprise, an agency, to being embedded in a large corporation. I'm open to scale, stage and industry.
Having set up and run successful design practices over the past 17+ years, as an independent practitioner I now typically work at a senior level alongside the organisation's leadership, focussing on delivery. That often means setting up / revamping companies and products, as well as building teams, culture and processes.
Over the past year I’ve been consulting with tech-based startups in the UK, helping them develop new brands, products and bringing them to market. It’s part business design, part product development. We’re talking quick turnarounds; getting a brand and prototype in front of investors, and then adapting (or not) from there. Lean, multi-threaded, exciting.
Much of this is now at investment stage and not publicly visible, but I can share more if you get in touch.
I spent a long time establishing and running design practices in the Caribbean.
My first design business, Abovegroup, was a highly successful graphic design agency, introducing a culture of design and social engagement largely absent from the region at the time. We touched almost every significant indigenous business in the region, with a lasting impact on the visual landscape; worked with and nurtured a generation of emerging designers; and had a blast in the process.
The second version came out of merging my business with one of the largest advertising groups in the region - the local branch of Ogilvy, to form Abovegroup Ogilvy. Think of it as an accelerated business school programme - with all the things they don’t teach you thrown in. My work changed to servicing multinational giants - Coca-Cola, IBM, Pizza Hut, PWC, Unilever, Nestlé: great prestige, and a lot more grown up. I was also managing pretty much every significant department, with a team of 65 people. All this while splitting my time between Trinidad, the UK and France, and integrating two very different corporate cultures.
The final iteration came post-Ogilvy, when I went very small and rebuilt as a consultancy. Small, as in never more than six of us. Consultancy, as in less communications, more business strategy. Great clients, an increasing number of digital products, a greater focus on sustainability, and some of our best work. We started building and investing in related businesses - some worked, others not so much. Abovegroup became a fully virtual agency in 2017. What does that mean? No permanent base, working only on special projects in T&T, the UK and California.