Gareth Jenkins
Design Leadership

Work

 
 

I work in design, leadership and strategy.

Whether it’s with a tech startup, a social enterprise, an agency, or a blue chip corp, I create value at the intersection of business, design and empathy.

Having set up and run successful design practices over the past 15+ years, as a consultant I typically work at director level alongside the organisation's leadership. I'm good at setting up / revamping companies and business units, building teams, culture and processes to augment business goals. Within an agency, I'm pretty fluid and can move between client services, strategy, leadership and design as needed.

 
 
Spot

currently

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.

 
Before then

before that

I spent a (very) long time establishing and running design practices in the Caribbean.

ABOVEGROUP

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.

ABOVEGROUP OGILVY

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.

ABOVEGROUP CONSULTING

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.

 

Featured work, Abovegroup