JAN STURESSON PwC Look beyond the obvious
HIDDEN AGENDAS FRAGMENTS OF A COURSE OF EVENTS THE ART OF DRAMATURGY OUTSOURCED MEMORY KELLERMAN
No. 10 November 2012 €19 / 165 SEK
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Value-for-money top destination ”This is as much Scandinavia as you can get for your money.” That is Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2013 motivation for naming Gothenburg a top value-for-money destination. See unique collections of Nordic art that share its home with Scandinavia’s largest amusement park and the Swedish National Symphony Orchestra. Let the innovative kitchen entice your taste buds; local chefs brought a Culinary Olympics grand slam gold to the country in 2012! Visit the characterful neighbourhoods and parks that lie only a stone’s throw from attractions and the beautiful archipelago. Gothenburg gives great value.
World-Class meetinGs In Gothenburg, metropolitan benefits are combined with a genuine and
the world. Innovative solutions and a “can do” attitude ensure your meeting
warm atmosphere. Your meeting management is made smooth and efficient
is in good hands; professionalism and quality goes without saying. That
by the closeness and joint vision between the academia and the public and
together with a stunning archipelago on the doorstep assures you’ll get a
private sectors. Not to mention the openness among people in general.
whole new meeting experience.
Be sure to contribute to eco-friendliness and sustainability when staying here. All-under-one-roof meeting venues are centrally located within
meet in Gothenburg.
walking distance of hotels and entertainment. Almost 100 % of the hotels
a whole new meeting experience is guaranteed.
are green accredited and our local meeting industry is constantly trying to find new, environmentally friendly solutions. You’ll find us in the heart of Scandinavia, easily accessible from around
Göteborg & Co. Gothenburg Convention Bureau | T: +46 (0)31-368 4000 | E: email@example.com | gothenburg.com
th SoUtH eASt eURoPeAN eXHiBitioN foR MeetiNGS, eveNtS & iNceNtive tRAveL
16 - 17 JANUARY 2013, Ljubljanaâ€”Slovenia
Embark on a new trade show experience Conventa team: flexible Service: individual approach ROI principle: providing a business-oriented platform to develop individual business relationships with targeted meeting industry audiences in a cost- and time efficient manner Exhibitors: presenting the meeting industry offer of South East Europe Hosted buyers: interested in organizing meeting and events in this emerging region
Networking: non-stop coffee break lounges, lunch and evening receptions welcome all the participants Fam trip program: a first-hand experience of this emerging region in the world of meetings
ORGANISER / Slovenian Convention Bureau PARTNERS / Slovenian Tourist Board • Ljubljana Tourism • GR - Ljubljana Exhibition & Convention Centre • ICCA International Congress & Convention Association • Reed Exhibitions – EIBTM • MPI – Meetings Professionals International • IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum TECHNICAL ORGANISER / Go®Mice
Meetings: pre-scheduled individual business appointments between exhibitors and hosted buyers
150 visitors from London, -17 degrees Celsius, snow, northern lights, reindeer and Lapland traditions. Do you also want an adventure of a lifetime?
Visit www.meetscandinavia.com for more information.
Meet Scandinavia - Part of Adventura Group. Entrepreneur of the year of Swedish tourism 2009. www.meetscandinavia.com. Photo: F. Broman / Humanspectra
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Successful meetings are effective meetings – meetings that deliver value and meet client objectives. Successful meetings are where successful planners and designers contribute strategic value to their clients the meeting owners.
shape change* FRESH is the annual meeting about meeting design where we explore case studies, share recent experiences, demonstrate new tools, discuss hot topics and have practical workshops to understand the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of designing a successful meeting or event.
* Shape your change and register before 12 December with : Discount-100€-MI-FRESH13-end-12-12
Join us on-site or on-line at FRESH13 where we’ll be taking a FRESH look at meeting formats – live and experiential. Interaction design, presentation design, crowdsourcing, and more... FRESH13 – fresh ideas to help shape your career, your business and your future..
global vision award
November 2012 Big Impact in a Small Package
The T Economy Atti Soenarso on the emergence of a new economy
LE GA LLY R E SPONSIB LE ED I TO R I N C H I EF Atti Soenarso
firstname.lastname@example.org PU B LISHE R Roger Kellerman
email@example.com COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR Maria Heijel
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River + Craig Masback + Daniel Hahneman. S UBS C RI P TI O N Four issues: Sweden €39, Europe €73, Outside Europe €77. Buy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Single copies are €15 + postage when ordered online. CONTACT Meetings International Publishing, P.O. Box 224,
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Jan Sturesson, PwC: Which industry can deliver knowledge of the future? Answer: the Meetings Industry
32 PSYCHOLOGICAL MEETINGS
Hidden Agendas Hans Gordon on our meeting places and navigation difficulties
Have You Outsourced Your Memory? The relief of a poem
40 BRAND EXPERIENCE
Janne Björge On swimming from the red to the blue ocean
56 BRAIN CHECK
Pelle Berglund We understood that with perfect dramaturgy you could make both rubbish films and fantastic films
A Magazine in the Blue Ocean Roger Kellerman on six strategic moves that make a difference
PHOTO: Henrik Trygg, sTOckHOlm visiTOrs BOarD
Been there? Done that?
There’s certainly no shortage of wonderful incentive travel destinations to choose from. But what if you’re after something truly unforgettable? Something that transcends the standard “sandy beaches” and “big city thrills” promised by some of the more popular locations? Perhaps you should try some lateral thinking and choose a destination that offers a totally different experience? Welcome to the Capital of Scandinavia...
B e e n t h e r e ? D o n e t h at ?
… B e e n T H e r e? D O n e T H aT ?
When you think of meetings and conventions, we bet Stockholm is on your short-list of possible locations. But what about incentive travel and corporate events – is Stockholm near the top of your list then as well? no? read on!
And now for something completely different!
Stockholm is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, offering stunning vistas wherever you go. But let’s thread the path least taken and try a guided tour among the rooftops. A roof top hike is a unique combination of climbing and sightseeing, and the perfect way of getting a bird’s eye view of historical Stockholm. Perhaps you prefer more of a frog’s perspective? In that case, go for a city kayaking tour. Stockholm is built on 14 islands surrounded by clear
blue water, making it the perfect city to experience by boat. In winter, you can join the locals zooming around town on skates once the water freezes over. A dinner fit for a king...
As long as you’re in town, why not host your very own Nobel dinner in the famous “Golden Hall” in Stockholm City Hall? Complete with your choice of any of the historical Nobel menus from 1901 and forwards, served on the authentic Nobel dinnerware. Impossible you say? Well, we might be able to pull a few strings for you...
...followed by a night in a castle.
The almost impossible [even for Swedes] to pronounce Görvälns Castle was recently named Sweden’s best boutique hotel. This place is about as far from your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, hotel chain you can come. The castle is located in a park just north of the city, and the interior style is probably best described as “playful rococo”. In any case, you’ll feel like royalty resting in one of the hotel’s sumptuous beds.
GÖRVÄLNS caStLe PHOtO: WOLFGaNG KLeINScHMIDt
görväln castle, on the shores of lake mälaren, offers a playful version of the 1700s and a feeling of timeless luxury.
PHOtO: yaNaN LI PHOtO: HeNRIK tRyGG
if you thought that camping equals hardship, think again. island lodge provides luxury tents and some of the best views in the archipelago.
A recreational paradise – right on Stockholm’s doorstep
The Stockholm archipelago consists of more than 30,000 islands and skerries making it the perfect setting for corporate events and incentive trips. Come on in, the water’s fine!
organizes just about everything that’s fun and challenging to do on water. This includes the company’s exclusive “ribocopter” experience, combining high-speed r.i.b. boats with helicopters. A less adventurous, but equally unique way of experiencing the pristine nature of the Baltic Sea is to go fishing. Catch & Relax organizes luxury-fishing experiences from purpose-built boats lead by highly experienced guides. “Segling” is the Swedish word for sailing and Out offers sailing-based team building activities, experiences, challenges and adventures. Everything is tailored to your specific requirements, regardless of whether you are looking for a relaxing day in the archipelago or a full-on Match Race.
Art and beauty combined
The name Artipelag is a portmanteau of the words Art, Activities, and Archipelago. The intention of this new and unique venue is to create a destination combining boundary-crossing art exhibits, inspirational cultural activities, architecture, Swedish design, music and extraordinary cuisine. Another must for anyone who appreciates true beauty is the island of Sandhamn . With its position in the outer archipelago it provides the quintessential archipelago experience with barren rocks and white sandy beaches. Visiting the island of Grinda is to visit a place where the world stands still. The first director of the Nobel Committee bought the island in 1906 and built an art-deco building, which today is a beautiful inn. Glamping = glamorous camping
on the uninhabited island of Bergholmen, is a safari lodge and designer hotel rolled into one. Hightech tents complete with feather beds and reindeer skin throws, offer stunning views that will live with you for
forever. The range of possible activities is equally unique. Or how about seal and sea eagle safaris, fire-walks, mushroom and blueberry picking, or Scandinavian cooking? Hotel J, sometimes referred to as “Stockholm’s Newport”, is another excellent option: a boutique hotel, restaurant and meeting venue where archipelago and city combines: the perfect spot to relax and watch the boats on their way to and from the archipelago. For more information, send us an email or give us a call! Stockholm Visitors Board Stockholm Convention Bureau Phone: +46 8 508 28 500 firstname.lastname@example.org visitstockholm.com
Read moRe W W W.
oppethav.se islandlodge.se catchrelax.se artipelag.se out.se hotelj.com destinationsandhamn.se grindawardshus.se
Meelb bourrne & Portt Dou uglass – Australiaa
Experience a fresh perspective of Australia with arinex DMC arinex DMC is offering two exciting incentives in 2012, showcasing a diverse array of Australian experiences. Featuring a combination of Melbourne’s melting pot of culture and cuisine and the idyllic beaches and world-heritage-listed rainforest of Port Douglas, the rst incentive will provide guests with unforgettable dining experiences, up close and personal meetings with local Australian wildlife, and an exclusive discovery of hidden gems in one of Australia’s largest and most exciting cities. The second incentive will treat guests to an unparalleled experience of the iconic city of Sydney and the magnicent Great Barrier Reef. Gastronomic dining experiences and exclusive tours of Sydney sights and will be complemented by face-to-face encounters with the exquisite beauty of the world’s largest coral reef. These incentives showcase the best of Australia alongside premier dining and accommodation.
Syydn ney & Hayyman n Islaand – Ausstrraliaa
For more information on this great offer, please contact: arinex Destination Management T: +61 2 9265 0708 (24 Hours) F : +61 2 9267 5443 E: email@example.com W: www.arinexdmc.com.au
INTRO | 15
THE T ECONOMY
There is a new book on the market: The T Economy, written by Mats Lindgren, CEO of Kairos Future (www.kairosfuture.com). It’s a thought-provoking book that the leaders of the meeting industry should read and discuss. What’s the content? In their own words: ”We can only consciously manage what we can articulate. Therefore we need new language, new words and metaphors that can function as springboards for new thinking and new actions. As soon as the chasm between the new reality and the existing models and language grows so wide that the models are unable to explain reality, we need something new.” “Technology drives transparency … Neither individuals, nor corporations or nations can hide behind curtains. For better and worse. Everything, more or less, could be accessed from anywhere, anytime. Information is not only accessible: good news as well as bad is fast-forwarded across the globe. Not least, rumors and reputations. But also ideas … When everything travels at the speed of light, the world gets flat. Information, ideas and services transcend national borders. Anyone can market its services across the globe. And everyone can access the best – services, education, ideas – from anywhere. In this transnational, transparent world where everything is available,
success becomes easier to reach, but also harder to maintain … Thinking and thoughts are the new competitive factors. It’s all out there for free, more or less – ideas, information and even rudimentary innovations. But the ones that are able to make something out of it, are the ones that will rule the world, or at least survive to the next round. And to do that you need not only the best people. You need the best contacts and the best processes. And perhaps you need to be where the best people and contacts are. Therefore, the world is not only flat. It is spiky too, and becoming even spikier. Talent attracts talent. And in a transparent world, it is easy to see where talent and ideas are located. You need to spread out your wings and tap into the pools of talent and ideas of the world. And you need to bring those ideas home. But sometimes, accessing from a distance is not enough. You need to be there in person. And that’s why the world, although transparent, networked and equal is becoming even spikier and more concentrated than ever. It is becoming T-shaped.” Read, fast and slow, and let’s share our thoughts when we meet next time.
Swedish-Indonesian Atti Soenarso has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. She has worked for Scandinavia’s largest daily newspaper, was TV4’s first travel editor, has written for many Swedish travel magazines and has had several international clients. She has travelled the length and breadth of the world and written about destinations, people and meetings.
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“To download is to copy old patterns, approaches and notions about the meetings industry, whereas to upload is to innovate and to think outside the box from new points of departure that pose a challenge; not only to ourselves but to the whole industry.” These are the words of Jan Sturesson, Global Leader, Government & Public Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). He is stationed in Lund, Sweden, and the world is his workplace. It is a meetings-intensive job and he has amassed experience from thousands of meetings with dignitaries and leaders at all levels. PwC is the largest audit and consultancy company in the world, boasting a workforce of 174,000 in 160 countries. When we meet, Jan Sturesson has just got back from a meeting with an African president and his ministers. One of the subjects they discussed was the significance of water (and who owns it) for the future, another was how a country goes from innovation within traditional ‘Mining’ to the knowledge society’s ‘Minding’. Straight after our interview he jets off to India, followed by trips to Seoul,
Shanghai, the Czech Republic and the USA. A meeting with Jan Sturesson entails not only being part of rapid changes in perspective but complete shifts. He feels it is high time for the meetings industry to reflect over the direction it is taking, and reveals the approach taken by PwC to meetings, as both a neutral observer and a participant. “We’re finally beginning to analyse the meetings industry from a financial perspective. In this respect we’re only in the starting blocks of our development. We know, for example, that the US meetings industry generates enormous amounts. More and more financial impact studies are also coming from countries like Canada, Denmark and Brazil. We quantify the delegates, number of meetings and the amount of money spent. The problem is that it’s not enough. We 2012 No. 10 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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“ A mingle with nibbles and wine. This is where growth is created”
need a new map, find new key ratios to supplement those in the measurement instruments that already exist.” Jan Sturesson means that we often base our reasoning on the Declining Marginal Utility logic of the old economy. That of course the expenses and revenue aspect of what is spent on, for example, the number of hotel nights and restaurant visits, are important figures. However if we believe our own message that meetings are important, that they entail a creative procedure where things are prepared, structured and processed then we need plenty of scope for intuition, creativity and improvisation to make things happen. Change takes place when things really start to happen. We meet, draw up contracts, form new business relationships, create products and everything begins to grow. But what are the consequences? “It means that this particular meeting led to exponential growth in this particular town for the companies or the individuals who took part. We can’t analyse it as though we’re MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 10 2012
living in a vacuum: that a meeting has been implemented that has yielded a direct return – end of story. We also have to see the indirect effects, or multiplier effect. I quote: Knowledge economy is characterised by a growing marginal utility, not a declining. It’s the opposite of what we usually see. We’re normally satisfied with linear returns.” Triple Bottom Line (TBL), is an oft-used expression at PwC. It was coined in 1994 by John Elkington, founder of the UK consultancy group SustainAbility, who argues that a company should have three separate ways of reporting profitability. One is the traditional profit entry on the bottom row of the company’s profit and loss statement (Profit). The second is the bottom row of the company’s employee account (People), which shows the company’s overall social responsibility. The third is the bottom row of the company’s environmental report (Planet), a measure of how environmental the company has been. Triple Bottom Line is thus
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“ Correctly managed, the meetings industry is a strong visitor magnet … We believe that the meetings industry is an industry with a future”
made up of three Ps: Profit, People and Planet. “The purpose is to measure the company’s financial, social and environmental results over a period of time. The TBL is a company procedure that takes into account the total cost of running the business.” Jan Sturesson emphasises that this is not a new issue, giving the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro as an example. When talking about his country arranging the next Olympics and FIFA World Cup, the Mayor is more concerned with what to do with the white elephants after the events, that is to say the large arenas. When the lights go out on the World Cup final and the last Olympic event, who will pay the costs of all the installations that are left behind? “How to make the investments pay is discussed prior to all large world championships, but other things are creating growth than what we see at the feasibility stage of an investment. I’m becoming more and more convinced of that. What if we need a
broader basis for calculating a country’s investments than just financial costs and revenues for an arena?” According to Jan Sturesson, there is a broad consensus among those discussing these issues that things are moving in the world, but there is a difference of opinion as to which direction they are heading. G20 and G7 are being overtaken by the BRICS countries and six of the ten most rapidly growing countries today are in Africa. “The Economist magazine forecasts events up to 2020 but we find it difficult to understand what just took place when looking in the rear mirror. Keeping a development perspective of our own era is not easy. It’s usually a short-term perspective, and more often than not it’s controlled by fear, greed and negative pride.” Like many other people, Jan Sturesson has more than once asked himself: What exactly is a meeting? “It’s a place of innovation. We have to look more deeply into how we go about developing our meetings. I’m 2012 No. 10 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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“If a political representative does not play an active part they will eventually be removed from office for not doing their homework”
talking about meetings from different aspects. How do we add substance to political meetings, to professional congresses, to the different types of company meetings? We talk a lot about the creative industry and we believe that the meetings industry is an industry with a future.” Industries and sectors are discussed a great deal at PwC. Jan Sturesson points out that old industries are disappearing as we read. The company also talks a great deal about trends, or drivers as he calls them. Things like uncertainties, financial crises, globalisation, urbanisation and increased competition between countries. “These are factors that drive development in a certain direction without us knowing in advance the direction it will take.” Another thing that Jan Sturesson wonders about is why Swedish political leaders travel so little, particularly to large meetings. He was once in New York with some Swedish local council leaders. Predictably, a few MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 10 2012
newspapers wrote that the trip was financed by taxpayers’ money and should never have been allowed. “It was purely a knowledge meeting, but in Sweden we clearly have to feel ashamed for attaining knowledge that will enable our country to progress. Let me put it this way. If a political representative doesn’t play an active part they will eventually be removed from office for not doing their homework; for not keeping abreast of what is happening in the rest of the world. If you haven’t travelled around the world you haven’t done your homework. If you don’t believe that then you’re not a future leader.” Jan Sturesson says that globalisation has to mean something in practice. We can download and upload Sweden, but if we’re not out there where it’s all happening, seeing what’s happening and, through travel, being part of the global growth of the meetings industry we’ll start lagging behind.
“When Chinese and Singaporean students come to Sweden they write home to their professors to tell them what’s happening here and how they see future developments. Our students ought to do the same when they study abroad. We should encourage Swedish students to take up higher education abroad.” During his travels Jan Sturesson has the opportunity to meet people who contribute with their pieces of the puzzle, pieces that go towards making up the greater ‘knowledge puzzle’. Any progressive city has to compete for venture capital, citizens, companies and, not least, visitors. Congresses, for example, will tempt professors from other universities, prominent scientists and stakeholders to visit Sweden. Some may choose to live here. Some may return as tourists. “Correctly managed, the meetings industry is a strong visitor magnet. When building congress venues – and I promise we still have a few left to build in Sweden – we should look
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“Which industries can deliver knowledge of the future? The meetings industry, of course”
at how they do it in the rest of the world. Take Lund as an example. They should build a world-class congress and cultural centre. Nothing else will do. Put everything they have into it. Of course, some win while others lose, but more win than lose and the winners are among those who put the most into it. We can’t build a vital neutron research centre in Lund if we can’t utilise the scientists who come here. Lund has fantastic opportunities, not least through its university. It’s self-evident that meetings, when managed professionally, help to bolster a city’s or country’s brand. However, too many politicians and officials are lagging behind in the acquisition of knowledge. “The meeting must become a greater magnet for the city brand. It’s a brand bearer. We have to attract people to Lund, and when they’ve been here to say: ‘We were there. We were part of creating a new identity and goodwill. We came, we saw, we conquered.’ Of course, we’d rather go to beautiful and pleasant places, but first and foremost we travel to acquire new knowledge and to build networks. The meetings industry is glocal, that is to say both global and local, but also finds itself in a co-competition situation. We compete and
collaborate parallel because we have to continue developing.” Jan Sturesson sees the ever-growing technological revolution as a future megatrend. He takes Google as an example. The company is developing new search spectacles that gather information while you talk to a person. Acceleration is a kind of new megatrend, and anything that is not updated disappears. “We find ourselves in the knowledge and experience economy, but this has not come home to roost in the meetings industry. To be honest, I find it rather daunting.” Jan Sturesson places another piece of the puzzle by discussing the different societies that people have progressed through: hunter society, agricultural society, industrial society, knowledge, experience, and participation society. We are now on the threshold of a fifth type: the dream society. “The Dream Society is a ground-breaking book written by Rolf Jensen, former director of the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies. He’s used to delving into statistics and reports, and his prediction of a future society of myths, sagas and narratives is well worth reflecting over. One could also say that if the
vital resources in our previous societies were wild animals followed by tame animals, steel, oil and data then we are now living in a knowledge society in which creativity and innovation is creating an experience society consisting of dreams and visions. From here we go to energy creation through meetings in a participant society where people take part in new democratic processes through new technology and new meetings via virtual reality or real virtuality, it’s their choice. I think it’s a bit of both.” Jan Sturesson has already mentioned the negative impact of travel restrictions. Parallel to this, new technologies are creating great opportunities, something that is beginning to work very well. But paradoxically, we live in a world where some places still don’t have phones. “Forget 4G and 5G, it won’t work because it’s not sufficient. In just two years’ time, the amount of text and the types of images being sent via cables will have rendered the old transmission technology useless. When Africans discuss transmission they all agree that the only alternative is the rapid expansion of fibre. It makes you wonder what Swedish municipalities are thinking when they say that 3G is enough. This way 2012 No. 10 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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“We compete and collaborate parallel because we have to continue developing”
of thinking could have something to do with the fact that we don’t travel enough. Unfortunately, some people who travel to an important meeting do other things than attend the meeting. It has a devastating effect on growth when people don’t attend the meetings they sign up for and travel to. We must be prepared and focused. We all have something to learn from this.” Jan Sturesson means that we are going from a proactive and reactive approach to an interactive. He takes several companies’ annual leadership conferences as an example: “We’re not there to let off fireworks as a kick-off for our new venture. We have to lift our important meetings much higher. We must keep the coordination, strategy, activities, goals and follow-up processes together. That’s the greatest challenge. This has to be a continuous process within a company, an interactivity. The term In Between Space, the space between our meetings, is where the process must live and develop. Therefore, we need a new process leader, an In Between Interface Manager who can connect all the loose ends and take responsibility for things that lie outside the job description.”
In other words, how we view a meeting depends on what is connected to it. Jan Sturesson says we should strive to see beyond the obvious: “Taking part in the World Economic Forum in Davos is, of course, a large investment, but what is the overriding purpose for the majority of delegates? Listening to Mr Cameron and four African presidents? Really exciting, no doubt, but what other people are there? Which pieces of the puzzle can you take home with you after an evening in this company? Kuwait has hired a hotel for the evening and everyone is there. A mingle with nibbles and wine. This is where growth is created. Here we are standing in the middle of the knowledge economy, experience economy and relationship capital. Suddenly it happens, what we are there to experience. There comes the benefits, and it takes place away from the main meeting. If we’d not been in Davos at that moment then we wouldn’t have found out about that other meeting.” What is the structure for that which takes precedence over the actual meeting? Jan Sturesson says that it happens all the time and gives
the Handball World Championships in Sweden last year as an example. The VIP Club invited companies to the handball match in Malmö. Plenty of Danes and Swedes watch handball. But they also talk and do other things like attend seminars, etcetera. The main meeting is not always the most important. “Connecting the core activity with add-on or second tier events is innovative. This adds a completely new dimension to the meetings reality and is something we should be taking on board. I’m becoming increasingly convinced that this is something else we overlook when considering the future of the meetings industry. This is probably where we see the bigger picture: the enlarged interface, the benefits of the multiplier effect. I believe in Penta Helix more than Triple Helix. The public sector has to enter the room of opportunity, put their foot on the accelerator and work together.” Jan Sturesson believes we are creating an innovative meetings industry laboratory in which societies and companies from a variety of sectors must begin to find each other. “I often ask the question: What exactly is a meeting? What does a
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“The meeting is an excellent brand-builder”
meeting consist of? In my eyes it is basically a reflective discussion, a strategic activity for the future, a knowledge and information generator, a brand-building exercise, time for uploading or downloading and creating growth. The question is, what do we have in focus, which naturally depends on the focus we had at the outset.” Jan Sturesson says that when viewing the meetings industry from a strategic perspective he takes in human capital, expertise, social skills and leadership. “It’s easy to say ‘no clue without surveillance’, but it’s through surveillance that we amass new knowledge. We have to create a progressive society of innovation, and which industry is best suited for creating that? The meetings industry, of course, because it’s one of the best.” When asked from how many perspectives meetings can be viewed, Jan Sturesson’s answer is instantaneous: environmental, cultural, social, intellectual, infrastructural, through IT eyes and through political capital. He quickly follows up with the questions: From which values are meetings created today? From which angle should we analyse the growth
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of the meetings industry? Is it only a financial perspective we require? “In that case you can count me out, but it very easily becomes that way. We should be talking about smart human capital and how it affects growth. How do we find new dimensions by which to analyse the extremely interesting meetings industry?” Jan Sturesson says that the meetings industry is one of the strategies for creating more collaboration, but we too easily focus on the time, energy and money aspects. We have to move on to the new ideas, the networks that bring us together to make new discoveries and create new ideas. “Which industries can deliver knowledge of the future? The meetings industry, of course. If we look at the traditional list of growth industries in Europe we’ll find that the meetings industry is not on it. Why is this? Is the meetings industry an integrator that acts like a Nano filter joining together new and old industries? The meeting is an excellent brand-builder.” Jan Sturesson means that the meeting provides energy and purpose, it conveys meaning and power for the next stage but that something extra
is needed to propel it forward. A good meeting also creates touch, we have to feel touched. If we just keep to the meeting agenda nothing will come of it. “We sometimes have to create healthy and positive friction. In Sweden we prefer to reach a consensus before we know what people think.” Jan Sturesson urges us to try to think outside the box. Also to ask new questions such as: Are we uploading or downloading? Are we creating a legacy or are we consuming one? Other questions we could ask ourselves are: how do we think new thoughts? How do we transform the right elements of the meetings industry? How do we improve the density and knowledge at the same time as we reduce the friction and up the speed? “We could think thus: How many apple pips are there in an apple? Six, seven, eight, ten or twelve? Perhaps it would be more relevant to ask: How many apples are there in an apple pip?”
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2012 No. 10 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
YOU ARE HERE 32 | PSYKOLOGISKA MÖTEN START
MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 10 2012
© iStockphoto.com/mstroz/Mark Strozier
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Hans Gordon, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Authorised Psychologist, specialised in Aviation Psychology. Authorised psychotherapist, since 1987 running Gordon Consulting. Has for decades been engaged by airline companies, among them SAS and Thai Airways International.
ABOUT OUR MEETING PLACES AND N AVIGATION DIFFICULTIES I’ve been asked many times why I became a psychologist. It’s a good question. I’ve asked several colleagues the same thing. I’ve also asked young people on the threshold of higher education their motives behind choosing psychology and other behavioural sciences. Most come up with a cliché like they find people are interesting. The motive behind what we spend our time doing, what we set our sights on, whether it be studies, hobbies, vocation-oriented, gaming, gambling, etcetera, are, for most of us, complex and difficult to comprehend. Some of our behavioural patterns follow social legacy. If the father is a blacksmith then so is the son. But not all shoemakers’ children have the same shoe size. My own father called himself a merchant. My mother began her career as a chiropodist. There were no academics among the close relatives. I was one of the many who sought a way forward and beyond without really knowing the why or the wherefore. This in itself is nothing unusual, but in the light of all other planning here in life where concepts like visions, overriding objectives, milestones and strategies play such
a significant role, it’s still rather odd. Do we as individuals just bobble about like corks on water? If this is the case, which is highly probable, then we are bobbling along a misty course without a proper nautical chart. And without a nautical chart we can’t navigate. In another context I wrote that we people are ‘hither and thither creatures.’ We seek order, structure and clarity, preferably provided by others around us, but we also long for the blue seas of liberty, where we can exercise power over our own destiny. This is an equation that doesn’t quite tally and which therefore leads to perpetual inner conflict. I’ve written about how organised meetings between people, the business world included, could handle these unavoidable conflicts that also permeate and influence the internal organisational processes. I’ve maintained that real risks arise within an organisation when the individuals in it consider themselves to be more interesting and important than the organisation itself. There is an incongruity in this context that is worth reflecting over. In our social setting we have long
upheld and protected the rights of the individual. We people have together built a cultural base for conceptions that systematically support the needs and interests of the individual. The consequences are many and complex. We can, for example, see certain consequences if we listen to how people express themselves when applying for a new job, for instance. People are looking to further develop, attain more advanced skills, improve their private economies and secure a generally more satisfying lifestyle, hopefully with plenty of memorable events along the way. It is, I think, less common to seek employment with the prime aim of contributing to the advancement of the company or organisation. What I’m trying to say is that I became a psychologist in much the same way as others become archaeologists and zoologists, or even forensic pathologists. I was driven by an explorative curiosity that was, and still is, my very own. But we should not dwell on idealising my needs. They have been, and still are for the greater part, controlled by my bewilderment when confronted by that which is often uncomfortably 2012 No. 10 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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unclear, diffusely vague and, to all appearances, distorted. My interest in people, groups and organisations is not an interest in the broader sense of the word but something much more specific, namely an effort to nail down things that I perceive as going every which way, or are just basically odd. Moreover: I make no secret of the fact that I also want to progress and get a better private economy, etcetera.
unconscious, the underlying and permanent exchange of information taking place between us people completely unawares. My own intention could therewith be hidden. I keep going without really knowing why. Just like you, I belong to the unconscious multitude. So do our politicians. They are also, in the correct sense of the word, our procur-
“ S ociety is a gigantic meeting place. A complex organisation like this gives rise to a fair number of demands, desires and relationships” But, and this is the important part, am I really equipped to achieve this under my own steam? Are my individual efforts really of interest? Or, to go even deeper: Is it at all possible for me to even do this under my own steam, to be master of my own destiny when my surroundings haven’t furnished me with the right tools? Do I actually have any say at all in my destiny? Am I driven by personal interest to examine, investigate, clarify, secure better opportunities in life? Or could it be that my interests are basically the interests of others and that I’ve become the procurer, the one destined to achieve that which others have desired but have failed to live up to? That could well be the case without any clear verbal communication on the subject actually taking place. Sigmund Freud would probably have nodded in approval, pointing to the fascinating concept the collective MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 10 2012
ers, our delegates, our mouthpiece. Regardless of how we choose to define democracy and its presence in society, it is our professional politicians who mainly occupy society’s navigation bridge instructing us as to the route to take. If I’m correct in my assumptions then politicians also have some hidden agendas and don’t always see things clearly. In which case where are we heading? Why and wherefore? Do you know? Do I know? I hardly think so. Society is a gigantic meeting place. A complex organisation like this gives rise to a fair number of demands, desires and relationships. A good part of this could come under the umbrella of terms like social integration and social control. The degree of social integration is related to the joint convictions of a society’s citizens, their understanding of vital and priority goals, and their expressed interaction with each other. If they share agendas they therewith develop a high level
of social integration and undertake to assist each other in achieving their joint goals. Social control is related to the need of the powers that be to keep track of what the citizens are doing, how they are thinking, what they are feeling, etcetera. Transfer for one moment the above-mentioned from the societal sphere to the company or organisation, group or family. Consider! Let us proceed … In his research more than a century ago, French sociologist Emile Durkheim showed that people’s inclination to commit suicide was directly related to the social integration policy put in force by the society. He highlighted the following: the lower the degree of shared agendas and unity in society in general, the higher the frequency of suicide. He also showed that the number of suicides was directly related to a high social control driven by a manifest need for power – the greater the power, the more suicides. But even at a low level of social control, and without a reasonably high level of social integration, general suffering occurred that Durkheim called anomie. Anomie occurs when a society undergoes major changes that lead to uncertainties with regard to purpose and meaning. Latter day social psychologists maintain the same thing: when a society becomes all too unstructured and woolly many people lose their foothold. This automatically releases a number of stress factors that express themselves through either physical pain or mental fatigue, or both. Once again transfer this to the company, the group, the family. Consider! The cultural and social environment we produce together in our meeting places influences us
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PSYCHOLOGICAL MEETINGS | 37
and propels us in all our listening, thinking, appraising, and thus our collective actions. Everything we do is intertwined. Everything you do, or don’t do, will sooner or later also influence and entwine me. Everything you and I do, or don’t do, will influence and propel developments in our culture and therewith our common priorities. Nobody escapes this. Against this backdrop one could
It was basically the same in the family I grew up in and I know it takes place in other families: some subject areas are suitable for small talk around the dinner table, others are taboo and deported to the invisible room where we quickly learn to stop anything unpleasant rising to the surface. Together we produce the culture. Together we produce the social crea-
“ But this feeling of personal liberty is actually a chimera.
maintain that we together lay the foundation for long-term sick leave, burnout and depression. With a collective spirit we weave a culture in which increasingly more people are driving themselves to death on our roads, in which some carry out aggravated robbery against elderly people while others con companies and organisations to the tune of millions. I don’t think you really want to take such things on board. Studying economical conditions is far less problematic. For example, it can be said that the middle class is becoming increasingly affluent, buying more flashy cars and expensive boats, living in more modern houses. Our health care is certainly expensive but not all that bad, and our good relationship with foreign powers enables us to cut the cost of our defensive forces, thus releasing further funds for health care, social services and education. Sending out such messages into the public arena is completely legitimate.
ture – the human being. Together we even produce thoughts surrounding the benefits and values of individualism. We can, for example, uphold that which is constructively productive in the private individual owning specific skills given to them completely independent of the social surroundings and societal culture, to which they are fully entitled and even obligated to develop. Scientist Karl Marx was one of many who considered this conception of human nature to be a delusion. The human being is namely ‘just’ a part of a greater whole: their family, their relations, their tribe, their culture. Marx called the human being a zoon politikon, a social-politically created animal. Why do we then manufacture delusions of the human being? If Marx is right, what is it that drives us to produce conceptions on the values of individualism?
Social psychology embraces sufficient knowledge to answer that question: we have left the heavy traditions where the blacksmith’s son would continue in his father’s footsteps. Instead, the modern entrepreneurial spirit is producing a changeable, competitively aware and flexible human being, an individual who likes being flexible and innovative and is prepared to bobble about. But this feeling of personal liberty is actually a chimera. We are controlled, subconsciously, to act as we do through strong collective societal forces. And regardless of where we steer our course, where I steer my course and where I steer you and where you steer me, we have to pay a price. The price of individualism and perceived independence is a higher degree of underlying uncertainty and omnipresent angst, an increasingly more impulsive and sometimes desperate personal stance, an increased lack of empathetic concern for the well-being of others, leading to the exclusion of those less smart. I soon have to decide from which energy company to buy my electricity, which telecommunications company to have my telephone subscription connected to, which digital set-top box best serves my TV interests, and which funds to buy for my pension. I can choose what I want, the choice is mine, amen.
2012 No. 10 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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INTERMISSION | 39
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© iStockphoto.com/James Brey 2012 No. 10 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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BRAND EXPERIENCE | 41 SIDRUBBE | 41
Atti Soenarso PHOTOS
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“Many regard the blue ocean as being the most revolutionary concept to have emerged in recent years”
Brand experience agency Nine Yards works with meetings. They know that any brand that delivers its promise in every meeting with its audience is a real winner. That success rests on the emotions, thoughts and images that crop up in the heads of people when they come into contact with a brand. There is often a gap between intention and reality, between what a brand says and actually does. Janne Björge, CEO and founder of Nine Yards, says that they offer a different perspective, a way to cope. They call it brand experience. This entails always putting the experience at the heart of things and delivering vivid experiences in all meetings regardless of channel, format or target audience. “We like to work from the inside out. We’re convinced that a highly committed staff team is the key to success in the long term. But we don’t stop there. We tie together all the communication in all the channels
surrounding a joint project. The energy and efficiency can then reach giddy heights. This is when a brand really can win devoted fans and genuine loyalty.” A company’s identity impacts all parts of its structure. It could be about sustainability and intelligible company communication in which brand experience creates a scalable strategy that is tailored to specific goals for a company and its customers. The book Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontended Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant was written by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. It’s based on fifteen years research into 150 companies and has become an international bestseller in over 25 countries. The authors urge companies to break away from cutthroat competition, the red ocean, by creating their own uncontended market space, a blue ocean, where competition is irrelevant. In the red waters,
the market boundaries are defined and accepted and the game’s competition rules are known. Companies strive to outdo their competitors in order to win a larger share of the market demand. But when a market becomes awash with players it limits the profits and growth potential. Ruthless competition turns the ocean blood red. A blue ocean, on the other hand, is an uncontended market space on which a new demand is created, and with it the possibility of generating profitable growth. Some blue oceans reach beyond existing demand, but most have been reshaped from red oceans through the expansion of market boundaries. Competition has no significance in blue oceans because the rules have not yet been laid down. The book provides strategies and approaches to finding blue oceans. It explains how to map out, and look beyond, existing demand at what actually creates new customer value rather than just increase it. 2012 No. 10 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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The book uses many examples across industries, along with international examples. It contains analysis tools that show how a company can act systematically to create its own blue ocean. Many regard the blue ocean as being the most revolutionary concept to have emerged in recent years. Basically, it is a visual analysis and communication tool that highlights
that the customer receives whether they ask for it or not. It is not until you have analysed yours and your competitors’ value elements, and made a graphic image of them, that things begin to happen. You see objectively what the customer receives in practice and the competition you are exposed to in each individual value element. By creating, removing or reducing value
“ Brand behaviour is an expression that is being used more and more”
the value representations of companies, that is to say, how your company measures up to other companies, but seen through a customer perspective. Blue Ocean Strategy is the tool to use when you want to move your business activities from overwhelming competition to a marketplace that you can regulate yourself. You cannot escape the naval battle but you will change the rules and render competition insignificant. Your entire business is based upon your value proposition, your offering and your customer promise. Any such value proposition always faces competition; either from other companies in your industry that propose a similar solution, or companies outside your industry that offer an alternative solution. At the very least, there will always be competition if you choose not to act. On top of this there is enormous competition for customer attention. A value proposition contains several value elements MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 10 2012
elements in your value proposition you are taking an active step in pushing the game rules on your market to the next level while positioning yourself as an expert in the new arena. Nine Yards has a partnership agreement with international brand experience company Jack Morton Worldwide. The aim is for both agencies to generate new business on the Swedish and Scandinavian market. The main target group is large global companies who want a local partner while working internationally. The partnership is also about the exchange of knowledge and experience in order to give existing clients added value. Jack Morton is one of the world’s largest brand experience agencies with 16 offices on four continents. Their client portfolio includes names like Nike, Ericsson and MasterCard. “Brand experience is all about putting experience at the forefront when a brand meets its target audience. The
Jack Morton agency is behind this definition and they created a whole new approach to experience-based communication.” Nine Yards has undergone extensive changes in the past one and a half years. On the question of what change means to Janne Björge, the answer takes a while. “It’s difficult not to sound pretentious, but as I see it, change should propel things forward. For me it’s a very positively charged word, as are most of its nuances. Change also provides us with a livelihood because practically all assignments relate to adjustments in one form or the other.” With regard to customer relations, Janne Björge and his team always work from the inside out, and it is nearly always a brand and/or a cultural journey that a company is embarking on. The client has usually conducted an investigation and come to the conclusion that they are not completely satisfied with their current situation. “There’s always something that has to be adjusted in tempo, attitude, tone or approach. That kind of change is always exciting. Making it sustainable and genuine is a much bigger and heavier task.” What happens when a client is blind to the positives of imminent change? Janne Björge replies that most clients are very positive to change. Business leaders he meets want to adjust and improve, but are not sure how to go about it. “The challenge often lies in the misconception that others in the room do not wish to develop as much as the leader; that the employees are against too much change. This is a real mind-slip. The majority of people wish to change at a pace that improves them; a bit more fun, exciting, progressive. Most want to go
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2012 No. 10 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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“We have to play this commitment song for a very long time before something begins to happen”
one better. Many people think there is a personal craving to develop but that the same individual is perhaps not as keen for the company and their workplace to change that fast. I think that’s a myth. But this is where the classic mind-slip comes in. If I think that the people sitting in front of me don’t appreciate what I have to say then I rewrap my message in smarter packaging to make it easier for them to accept it. The longer somebody takes to get their real message across, the more irritated I become.” Janne Björge sees the corporate world as having a culture of its own, where things are done as they’ve always been done using an approach that probably emanates from the Church and one-way communication; behavioural patterns that have been ingrained over generations. Churchgoers who attend Sunday service due to peer pressure are more likely to spend the time pondering over the events of the past week than listening to the sermon. “The same applies to union meetings and parents’ meetings, etc. We’re there physically but not mentally. It’s a very expensive investment in a concept that was foolish from the outset. We hold our best meetings at a round
table or a campfire where we are most susceptible. Now and then it’s possible to talk about the challenges we face, then you don’t need to wrap the message in anything. This gives a completely different response, and I believe in thinking outside the box to get it across.” Janne Björge once had the task of dusting off the brand of an internationally renowned school. He discovered that only two people in the marketing department had any ambition whatsoever. The rest had a ‘here but no further’ attitude. “It was clear to see. Perhaps it was because they were approaching retirement, who knows. I’m not sure whether age has anything to do with the reluctance for change, but there was one man who said almost immediately: ‘You know, I’m retiring in three years so it really doesn’t matter what you say because I’m just sitting off time.’ That’s a mental somersault! I think we project our own set of problems onto the audience we meet. In change processes, words are often replaced, new expressions and terms are forged and some old ones end up on the ‘out’ list where they splash around. The words we use also impact progress and development.”
Janne Björge says that ten years ago when he began working in what is now known as the meetings industry, it was mainly about conferences and events, and the word events was a trifle sexier. When events lost its powers of attraction, marketing was added and the term became event marketing; a different language but more or less the same content. He thinks it is important that HR people speak HR language with each other and that brand managers use their special words and expressions, but these occupations very seldom meet. He compares it with sailing. If you have not sailed that much then the language can be difficult. And clients would also see it that way, he says. “There are times when it feels like we’re making it all too difficult for clients. The simplest thing would be to return to giving clients what they demand. If they ask for a conference then we shouldn’t redesign the meeting. But it still feels like that’s the most difficult approach.” Janne Björge says that when Nine Yards began its change process and took the step up to becoming a brand experience agency, there were event companies that used an innovative and results-oriented approach. They 2012 No. 10 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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“Everything was the same, thus making it difficult for the client to choose”
decided to create something that was not off the peg and which would generate some sort of effect. “How would that take place? Our company owns no meetings venue, aircraft or hotel. On assignment from our clients we make bookings of things they need in order to achieve a certain type of effect. If you’re selling effect then you need to be well-versed. If all the replies point to a ‘company event in Barcelona because that’s easiest for us’ then the questions you ask will pale in significance.” It was about here that Nine Yards began to understand the difference between the red and the blue ocean. “We discovered that the red ocean was crammed full of players who said and sold the same things. We sold effect while somebody else sold ‘a conference with entertainment’. But the questions were the same, as were the PowerPoints and prices. Everything was the same, thus making it difficult for the client to choose. “We decided to leave the red ocean where everybody spoke of cost per person and all-in packages with meeting, accommodation, food and transfer, making it difficult to gain any ground at all. On one occasion we MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 10 2012
competed against a charter company for a simple conference. Everybody fighting over the same business is not for us. I felt it was too cramped and that we would never be best in Sweden at doing it this way.” So Nine Yards swam from the red ocean and into the blue ocean. Janne Björge says that it is naturally more demanding. They need to explain who they are, what they stand for and the meaning of effect. It was at this point that they had the choice of changing to strategic event marketing. They could have become a strategic communication agency with event marketing as its channel. “But we didn’t want to be that complex. We wanted to talk about how your brand is experienced and the best positioning for creating the effect you’re looking for. I recall how we sat and discussed this with a company in the furniture business. They were going to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver two years ago with a sponsor company that was sponsoring a team of cross-country skiers. They were nearly 70 out of 400 people. Their brand was nowhere to be seen, the whole thing was perceived as the sponsor company’s event. If I were the brand owner I would have wanted
my trip to be my brand’s trip. But it never happened on that occasion. Poorly utilised brand experience. We then said we would go from the red ocean to the blue and present ourselves differently.” Janne Björge emphasises the importance of the physical environment for the brand experience; using the surroundings to underpin the message, finding surroundings that can send a signal. It could very well be a historical environment that puts your message across, but you have to weigh up every word or it could easily be reduced to a ‘bored’ meeting. But there are not many leaders who can manage that because of the dramaturgy required. “The environment is crucial. It’s probably why we hold so many meetings abroad. We sit around a fire on a beach and talk about things like how we treat each other at work. It’s a meeting where all the senses are switched on. After such a gathering you never need to repeat what was said around the fire. You only need to say: We don’t talk about each other at work, do we?” Brand behaviour is an expression that is being used more and more. Janne Björge believes that brand
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“We need to know the strategy or else the event could turn out completely topsy-turvy with balloons and hot dogs at one end and table linen and candelabra at the other”
behaviour is much more significant than many think, and that it is the sole responsibility of management groups. Brand behaviour is owned completely by management groups, daily and in all the channels. “In my world it’s about how you act in every meeting with your co-workers, clients and end customers. It’s always a management issue – and this is vitally important – all companies must have a policy that they never depart from. This is our policy; if you can’t stick to it then you shouldn’t be here. It can carry brand behaviour.” Janne Björge sees the aforementioned partnership with Jack Morton Worldwide as inspiring, and the discussion leads to how they work with strategies. Now, when Nine Yards are conducting business for several large brands like Samsung, Carlsberg and Volkswagen on the Swedish market, the staff team knows there is a person in London drawing up the strategy for the brand experience. “We need to know the strategy or else the event could turn out completely topsy-turvy with balloons and hot dogs at one end and table linen and candelabra at the other. When there’s a complete lack of MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 10 2012
understanding we adopt the large international strategies. It’s not difficult to understand the tactics, it’s quite logical. Which companies today have strategies that are difficult to understand? None. Which have unique problems? None. All players face the same challenges.” The word ‘effect’ is recurrent when Janne Björge speaks. When asked if many people mistake ‘the purpose of the meeting’ for ‘the effect of the meeting’, he replies: “To be honest with you, people don’t normally understand what ‘the purpose of the meeting’ means. I don’t even think I can get my clients to write the purpose. On the other hand, they can say where they want to travel, what they want to eat and the artist they want to listen to. But all clients know the effect they want: I want increased sales. Alright, we can start there. How much more do you want to sell? Ten percent more. Isn’t that rather modest? And so the discussion goes. We begin talking about what uncommitted and indifferent staff actually cost.” Janne Björge is adamant that it costs large amounts, sometimes unbelievably large amounts. He uses this example: if you have 1,000
workers and 320 show no commitment whatsoever, what does that cost the company? Each person costs around 700,000 Swedish kronor, including premises, insurances, kickoffs and all other expenses. This amounts to 220–230 million a year spent on non-commitment. We’re talking 19 million a month per staff member. A workforce of 35,000 will give you a non-commitment bill of 4.6 billion. “How can you let this go on? Year after year? And then have the cheek to question why a kickoff for these 1,000 people costs a thousand per person? How do we step up the commitment? That’s the only thing we can gain from. Take two similar companies, say Dell and Apple. One of them has a much higher commitment level. They’re always in the black. Getting a CEO to understand the effect of a 62 to 82 percent increase will save you eleven million kronor a month. The limit for what such a solution should cost? Then it’s not a budget discussion anymore. “In the red ocean they discuss what to have with their coffee and what to drink with their dinner. Two or three glasses of wine? Shall we give away coupons at the kickoff? In
Passion for meetings.
tel +46(0)18-34 90 00 | www.novapark.com +KlimatPositiv +KlimatPositiv
Meet Swedish Lapland at the Visit Sweden stand i600 at EIBTM vinter. Photo Ragnar Th Sigurdsson/ICEHOTEL, Fredrik Broman.
The Meetings of Swedish Lapland.
The average population density in Europe is 118 people per square kilometre. Here in Lapland itâ€™s two. As a result people look forward to meeting each other and appreciate each other more. You socialise informally and spontaneously. There are many places to meet. People buy and sell goods at markets; they get together in large, modern conference centres with all the latest technology. After a day of outdoor adventure the sauna is the natural place to wind down. The heat and steam free your thoughts and release tensions.
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“We like to work from the inside out”
the blue ocean we talk of how to go about solving the effect and saving eleven million kronor a month. We suddenly have a completely different starting point. We look at where you are and where you want to be. This is all basic coaching. What tools do we have to work with to enable us to turn on this effect? And the effects are nearly always commitment, profitability, loyalty, job satisfaction, pride … rather soft values when you start looking at the result. We have to work with this in all the channels; digital, printed, work environment…” Ways of finding new methods to communicate over time and through several channels reminds Janne Björge of Chinese whispers. When we arrive at customer service, the people whose job it is to deliver a customer experience, there is just one whisper left of the message from the management group. Normally no change, just the usual ‘do what we always do.’ “This is where the greatest challenge lies. I believe this to be the greatest challenge facing brand experience agencies. If we only organise events for 222 people, which are extremely communicative, well-implemented and which everyone enjoys, we still lose 92 percent of the
communication when we land among ordinary people. So, we have to find new ways to communicate over time, a longer time and through several channels. We have to sell effect and take effect seriously. Communication has to function all the way down from the top to those who deal with the company’s customers.” This is what a typical discussion between Janne Björge and a customer could sound like: You have engaged us to arrange an event. Which effect would you like? I’d like greater staff commitment. Is one event enough, do you think? The answer is usually no. “We have to play this commitment song for a very long time before something begins to happen, and communication must function from the top down. Consistency is key. We have to take effect seriously. In the old days I would have pointed to a Barcelona solution every time costing a good million, that is to say the entire budget. But we would not have been able to measure any effect. I’m glad we swapped oceans. We can now be honest with our clients and tell them that ‘that effect is impossible to achieve.’ We can do it at this cost, over this timespan and with these expectations.”
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since Nine Yards swapped the red ocean for the blue. The perspective has changed. Janne Björge talks of the time they went to South Africa with 80 sellers. But the guys who drive the forklifts and lorries had no such meeting. “They had no idea of what the new strategy entailed because they weren’t a part of it. But that’s where communication is needed the most. So things have changed a great deal. In a very short time we’ve changed direction entirely. It’s a massive change, but it definitely feels like we’re heading in the right direction. Taking the hard road, never giving way to the tough challenge of leaving the red ocean for the blue. I naturally get questioned along the way, but I have a very clear picture. It’ll probably take another eight years, but it’s an expressed aim, a commitment and a set route. All you need then is a clear understanding of where you are and where you’re heading.”
2012 No. 10 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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SHARMA | 55
In a survey of 22,000 business people ranking top leadership gurus, Robin Sharma was #2, with Jack Welch. Sharma’s books have sold millions of copies in over 60 countries. His new book is “The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in Life” (Simon & Schuster). Robin Sharma’s blog is at robinsharma.com.
THINK MANDELA Some pundits encourage us to enjoy the moment and appreciate what we have, suggesting that constantly striving for more is unhealthy and the primary source of our discontent. And others say that, as human beings, we were built to push beyond our comfort zones each day and reach for something higher. I’ve struggled a lot with this issue, as I articulate a personal philosophy that I will live my life under. I think I’ve found the answer, a solution that feels right to me: it’s a balance. I call it The Mandela Balance. Nelson Mandela, a hero of mine, once said: “After climbing a great hill, one finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk has not yet ended.” To me, Nelson Mandela is suggesting that it’s all about a balance. Enjoy the view from where you are at. Savor how far you have come. Be grateful for where you are along the journey that is your life. But, remember that with the gifts that reside within you
come great responsibilities. I believe that every human being has a Duty to Shine. We must walk out into the world and do our best to be of greater service to others and greater citizens in the world. We must continually walk towards our fears and make more of our lives. We must constantly play a bigger game. This drive to realize more of our greatest selves has, I believe, been knitted into our DNA and to deny it is to deny our human nature. And yes, as we set higher dreams and raise our personal standards, we will create discontent. But this world was built by people who felt some discontent with the way things were and knew they could do better. Think Gandhi. Think Mother Teresa. Think Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Think Einstein. Think Mandela. So love what you have. And then go for what you want.
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Tomas Dalström PHOTOS
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Ingmar Bergman – Pelle Berglund, Oscar nominee – Pelle Berglund, Jan Guillou – Pelle Berglund, Henning Mankell – Pelle Berglund, Prix Italia – Pelle Berglund, Bo Widerberg – Pelle Berglund, Leif G W Persson – Pelle Berglund Pelle Berglund is one of the godfathers of Swedish dramaturgy. He is a director, producer and screenwriter. He co-wrote My Life as a Dog, which won two Gold Bagge awards in 1986. It also won a Golden Globe for the Best Foreign Film in 1988 and was nominated the same year for two Oscars in the categories Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. His films include Code Name Coq Rouge and The Dogs of Riga. The films were based on novels by Jan Guillou, Leif GW Persson and Henning Mankell. In 1990 Pelle Berglund won the Prix Italia, the largest European TV award for his production of Jan Guillou’s Förhöret. Other productions include a Kurt Wallander crime story Faceless Killers and the three Swedish crime comedies Dubbelstötarna, Dubbelsvindlarna and Studierektorns sista strid. He also wrote the scripts to the latter two. Over the years he has taught dramaturgy and presently teaches storytelling. “One of my teachers at the Stockholm Film School had cut all of Bergman’s 60s films. She said that
Bergman stole like a magpie. This is why I encourage students to steal. Don’t plagiarize, be inspired. When I watch films these days it’s mainly to see if there’s anything I can use, a useful trick perhaps. I learnt this from Bergman when I worked with him. He worked that way even if he didn’t say it outright. I know for a fact that the script to his film Persona came from a single picture. It shows a piece of broken glass with naked feet walking past it and a person sitting just staring without saying anything. Bergman said it was there that he began to piece together Persona. He didn’t know what the picture expressed and didn’t need to. It sufficed to know that it was charged in some way. Ten, twenty years later I see that exact same situation in a western from 1943 and thought it was here he saw the picture, and that’s not theft.” You were among those who created Swedish dramaturgy. How did it all begin?
“I’m a natural scientist actually. I took the Natural Sciences programme and supplemented it with Latin, 2012 No. 10 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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Literature and Stage History. I imagine there’s a feasible explanation for everything. Some things we won’t get an explanation for today, but you shouldn’t think there isn’t an explanation. When I began at the Stockholm Film School in 1966 I wondered what a film looked like inside. Nobody could answer that. The old bourgeois genius myth was the order of the day. But that’s not the
he decided to start filming, On the Waterfront starring Marlon Brando was playing in the cinemas. He saw it eighteen times, both seven and nine o’clock performances, nine days in a row. Why? To see what it looked like inside. The first three times he didn’t get much out of it as he was captivated by the story. When he knew the story inside out he began to look at other details. Once he only looked at
“ We understood that with perfect dramaturgy you could make both rubbish films and fantastic films”
way it works within art, music or the film industry. All art forms are a craft.” Did they use the term dramaturgy back then?
“No, we learnt the basics of film production: how the camera works, sound and lighting, how a team is made up, how a shoot is planned and how to plan a budget. But it was very weak on the creative side.” How did you go about getting an answer to your question?
“By using Bo Widerberg’s method. I was in luck as he cut Elvira Madigan on one of the Film School’s cutting tables and I got to know him. He made me his assistant producer during the summer holidays one year. He was planning to make a film about the bank robber Clark Olofsson, but it was shelved. Bo Widerberg was a brilliant writer but he had no knowledge of film making. His ambition was to make really good films, like the American films of the time, which still are good to some extent. When MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 10 2012
the picture trying to figure out where the camera stood and why. The next time he only listened to the dialogue, sound, sound effects and music score. Another time he studied the structure, the length of a film scene, etc.” How long is a film scene?
“Today, American professional scriptwriters say that a scene should be one and a half pages long. An important scene should be longer to allow the audience to realise that it is an important scene. If you can’t get a scene into one and a half pages then you should be writing novels not film scripts.” So you began looking at a lot of films?
“Yes, we had free access to all the films and obtained them from film companies. We sat at the cutting table looking at them and learnt what they looked like inside using Widerberg’s method. But I had no idea how a script was put together. That was something that interested a guy who
began two years after me. His name was Ola Olsson and he had a similar background to me. We’ve collaborated for many years within teaching and film production. Ola began reading dramaturgy books written by American gurus and discovered that their theories tallied. They tallied with the American On the Waterfront, the French The Battle of Algiers and the Japanese Seven Samurai. We understood that with perfect dramaturgy you could make both rubbish films and fantastic films. That’s where creativity comes in, but on the basic condition that you know the craft. The great Italian renaissance artists were craftsmen. They had no idea that they were producing art. They decorated churches and painted the wives of potentates, etc. The art concept was invented by some idiot in the 19th century.” I took a dramaturgy course in the mid 1980s that was based on Ola Olsson’s theories.
“Cool! But it didn’t begin well for him. He began to teach in the early 70s and had a difficult time. American film was not regarded as film. Europe stood for culture and the USA for McDonalds so he never became a prophet in his own country. But they believed in him in Denmark. They copied everything and we saw what happened, it was the beginning of the Danish wave. All these films had perfect dramaturgy.” What’s your definition of dramaturgy?
“It’s a narrative technique based on the audience’s point of view. Film is linear, you start watching from the beginning and for one and a half hours if it’s a feature film. The dramaturgical structure existed long before any Europeans set foot on American soil. We should remember that already at an early stage, the audience has a completely different view of events than the author. Authors easily
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“If you can’t get a scene into one and a half pages then you should be writing novels not film scripts”
become blind to the defects in their work. When they’ve rewritten the script twenty times they know it by heart so they therefore think that the opening scene is absolutely brilliant. In their heads it reflects something coming later in the film, but not for the audience, for whom the scene means absolutely nothing.” And this is where the dramaturgist comes in?
“Yes, a dramaturgist understands that they have to put something of that scene in to give the audience something to associate with. This is where dramaturgy’s structural model can be put to good use. It’s adapted to help us avoid pitfalls like thinking we’re putting across something emotional and intellectual when in actual fact the audience doesn’t understand a thing.” You’ve written film scripts. Could you be your own dramaturgist?
“Scriptwriters need a dramaturgist. It’s like doctors who can’t diagnose themselves.” Anders Sigrell, Professor of Rhetoric at Lund University, has said that we don’t receive any instruction in listening and that we can listen in different ways, for example,
understandingly, empathically and critically (Meetings International 40/2010). Do you think we need instruction in how to watch films or is it something we can do?
“We can do it. I mean it’s an organic form. We can say that an apparatus is required to transmit and receive. Fortunately, that is something we all have. It consists of two brain halves, sight, hearing and speech organs, and taste, feeling and smell organs. Furthermore all the apparatuses are compatible, that is to say calibrated with each other to give and receive signals from machines of the same type. “I’m talking about the oldest interpersonal communication apparatus that exists, and it’s roughly 50,000 years old. The Cro-magnon people looked like us, heard like we do and their brains processed impressions the same way as ours. The actual apparatus is, as many young generations constantly find out, embarrassingly similar. “The idiom changes and new whims of fashion succeed each other, or are expressed in a different way. The packaging thankfully changes appearance, but when it comes to
the out and out content it’s the same narrative technique. This, of course, is down to the unchanging design of the apparatus. This means that when we receive a message for ten minutes, half an hour or an hour we need certain information before we can receive new information. For example: If I were to come to you while you’re sitting here and say: It starts at 6pm! What does, you’d answer, but then I’m already halfway out the door. Do you think that sounds satisfactory?” What are the main components of dramaturgy?
“Impact, presentation, intensification, figuration/escalation, conflict-resolution, fading. This is a simplified model, there is, of course, much more. Impact consists of the first scene or scenes. This is where we come to agreement with the audience. Is it a drama or a comedy? What are the main conflicts and who are they between? In the presentation we provide information about the characters, conflicts, settings, relationships, etcetera. In the intensification we get the audience to love or hate the people we’re talking about. The conflict is stepped up and 2012 No. 10 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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reaches its climax. And finally the fading. The audience need time to digest everything they’ve seen. Time to wind down and pay tribute to, or grieve, those they sympathise with.” Can you give an example of when a film doesn’t communicate with the audience as it should?
“There’s a classic example where they forgot to present the relationship between two people. One
person moving around doing things is perceived, for example, as being shy. The role has to contain something so the audience perceives them as being shy. The audience participates to a very high degree.” This must be where our ability to see parts of an entirety comes into play?
“We’re very adept at seeing part of something as though it were the whole thing. I usually use this when
“ The dramaturgical structure existed long before any European set foot on American soil”
actor has to say to the other: ’As you know, you’re my brother.’ What a ridiculous line! Compare this to the introduction of Ibsen’s Johan Gabriel Borkman. In the first five lines he makes clear the relationship with Mrs Borkman and her husband, between Mrs Borkman and a student, between Mrs Borkman and Mrs Wilton, and between Mrs Borkman and her twin sister. And only Mrs Borkman and her twin sister have appeared on stage at that point! He shows the tip of the iceberg. If the fragments are right then the audience draws the right conclusions. In these five lines Ibsen presents the conflict, the key characters and the relationships between them.” How do you get the audience to participate in the process?
“In film we only work with nouns and verbs. Somebody moves around doing something with somebody. Adjectives are created in the auditorium. My task is to ensure that the MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 10 2012
teaching. I let the neck of a CocaCola bottle stick up behind some books and ask the class where I put my Coca-Cola. There, they say. No, that’s only the neck. I had a whole one somewhere, I reply. They laugh and are not at all surprised to see the whole bottle. That’s how we think. We only need to show certain fragments of an event. The audience add the rest. When we show too much the audience start to get bored and begin thinking of something else.” Today the word dramaturgy pops up in many different contexts, including the meetings industry. Is it the correct usage?
“Yes, I think so. It’s a narrative structure that can be used for a speech at a wedding or at work. In a dramaturgy course I once took part in there was a man from a large company. He told us later that he’d received a lot of applause after a speech he had given at an important event.”
I’ve used the impact to fading approach during negotiations.
“That’s also a good area of use.”
We return to the world of film. Is it possible to deviate from dramaturgy, when you know it inside out, and know what you’re deviating from?
“No, not really. Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman wrote Being John Malkovich and Adaptation starring Meryl Streep. Both are completely absurd compared to traditional American films, and in both films he shows that he’s in complete control of the dramaturgy. The films follow the dramaturgic curve to the letter. The narrative is there, after which it’s up to the screenwriter to fill in the structural bits. Kaufman is the screenwriters’ Mozart. As a comparison: Everybody knew the classical music rules at that time. Mozart followed the rules to the letter, but he was much more gifted. That’s the difference.” How does Youtube influence film narrative?
“If you mean the short videos that young people do today, they’re sketches. A sketch is shorter than a short film and also has a certain structure. You will often see old dramaturgy in mini format. I’ve done a 15-second advertisement that had three scenes and two turning-points. That’s also possible.” Somebody somewhere is probably saying that the internet is developing a new form of dramaturgy.
“That’s nonsense, and I’m prepared to go out on a limb over that. People who say that don’t know what dramaturgy is. The word dramaturgy is often used wrongly in the media. They mean something else, something they’re irritated at. That’s the way it is to a great extent.” Has awareness of dramaturgy changed in the years that you’ve worked in film?
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“Yes, definitely in as much as it emerged from a type of mass-produced stage product, like soap operas. They have no qualities other than being exciting and emotional, perhaps. If dramaturgy doesn’t work there then it’s a total collapse. Many years ago I was contacted to watch a several hour long TV series that didn’t work. It was wrongly made and extremely dull. ’Strange because the
“Yes, to a certain extent, but we can react unpredictably too. It’s possible that the screenwriters and directors of the best films have innate knowledge of how we react when they push a certain button. In soaps they have very clear buttons that they push. They’re so obvious that it’s boring for a dramaturgist to watch.” Can you give an example of a good film?
“ The art concept was invented by some idiot in the 19th century”
book was so good,’ said the director. But the whole story was misconstrued. After an hour you still knew nothing about the characters or their relationships – all the things that are taken care of in the introduction without the audience knowing about it. It’s like building a house without bearing walls, suddenly the whole thing collapses.”
“I saw an absolutely brilliant film recently, Polanski’s Carnage. The whole story played out in a stair lobby, a lift and a living room. It was, excuse my swearing, bloody brilliant and suddenly it was over. I thought twenty minutes had lapsed but it turned out to be one and a half hours. It was a stage play and extremely well put together.”
Aristotle, who lived 300 years before our era, saw the potential in utilising the brain’s constant searching for familiar patterns. Do you agree that dramaturgy is based on the predictability of our reactions?
What are the usual mistakes made by people who make films for events?
presentation. And that’s extremely difficult. There are hundreds of films about Mozart but we don’t remember any of them. There’s one good film about Mozart and that’s Amadeus, which was originally a stage play. It has a conflict that propels the story forward.” The Lumière brothers, who showed the first film in 1895, discovered that the brain sees images as a continuous movement when played at a speed quicker than 14 pictures a second. Today we know there is a sluggishness in the brain that means we see movement where there is no movement. There’d be no Hollywood without that sluggishness. What do you think you’d be doing now in that case?
“I was interested in literature and drama so I probably would have worked with that. Film came by chance and I continued with it.”
“We should make it clear we’re talking about drama here. I use Aristotle’s ancient grouping: lyric, epic, drama and rhetoric. These kinds of films are often epic, like an A to Z
Tomas Dalström is an author, journalist, lecturer and innovator with a passion for the brain. He’s the author of the book Bäst i text · Läseboken/ Skrivboken (Best in Text · The Reading Book/The Writing Book) which is about how to write texts that communicate on the terms and conditions of the brain. He runs the websites veryimportantbrains.se and readrunner.se.
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Roger Kellerman is a publisher, business intelligence analyst, trend creator, educator and networker. He has more than 25 years’ experience of the global meeting industry. twitter.com/thekellerman
A MAGAZINE IN THE BLUE OCEAN
MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 10 2012
“Companies have long engaged in head-to-head competition in search of sustained, profitable growth. They have fought for competitive advantage, battled over market share, and struggled for differentiation. Yet in today’s overcrowded industries, competing head-on results in nothing but bloody ‘red oceans’ of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool. In a book that challenges everything you thought you knew about the requirements for strategic success, W Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne contend that while most companies compete within such red oceans, this strategy is increasingly unlikely to create profitable growth in the future. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves spanning more than a hundred years and thirty industries, Kim and Mauborgne argue that tomorrow’s leading companies will succeed not by battling competitors, but rather by creating ‘blue oceans’ of uncontested market space ripe for growth. Such strategic moves – termed ’value innovations’ – create powerful leaps in value for both the firm and its customer, rendering rivals obsolete and capturing new demand. Blue Ocean Strategy provides a systematic approach to making the competition irrelevant. Examining a wide range of strategic moves across a host of industries, Blue Ocean Strategy highlights the six principles that every company can use to successfully formulate and execute blue ocean strategies. The six principles show how to reconstruct market boundaries, focus on the big picture, reach beyond existing
demand, get the strategic sequence right, overcome organizational hurdles, and build execution into strategy. In this game-changing book, Kim and Mauborgne present a proven analytical framework and the tools for successfully creating and capturing blue oceans. Upending traditional thinking about strategy, Blue Ocean Strategy charts a bold path to winning the future.”* When we started our meetings management magazine, Meetings International, almost ten years ago, we had a dream of bringing our ideas outside Sweden. Finding the people already in the Blue Ocean leaving the red ocean one where they were. We both came from journalism in the red ocean so we know all about it. The longer we take our ship out on the Blue Ocean the more there is a journey of discovery to be done. Innovations, transferring knowledge, research, refining ideas, meeting people looking further, taking time to get deeper, finding contexts we have never seen before, looking for the brave people with hungry eyes which challanges our brains. Maybe we need to change perspective once in a while. Listen to your opponents perspective. Nothing will remain forever. But finding bits and pieces, putting them together and there: a new pattern and maybe a new way of looking for a solution. We are on our way to a deeper meaning. Meetings matter. Good meetings change. Very good meetings with open minds and hearts can change the world. For better. * Excerpt from the Blue Ocean Strategy
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