Perspectives - Mark Coad at IPG Mediabrands - A rare opportunity to reset

By AdNews | 10 December 2021
Mark Coad

AdNews is following the WFH Diaries with a series of Perspectives, asking two questions: What did you learn in 2021 and what are you looking forward to in 2022? We've also encouraged the industry to glam, dress for the best, and face next year with optimism. 

Mark Coad, CEO, Mediabrands Australia


What did you learn in 2021?

We’ve all learnt plenty, so I’ll give you one each from a personal, professional and national perspective:

Personally, it is the levels of resilience we have, especially when we need it. We came into this year thinking 2020 was the COVID year, so there was fresh optimism for a good period of time. We travelled interstate, we went on holidays, we went to Qld, we were in the office….then we weren’t again. In many ways that was harder, as we knew how tough 2020 had been. But, we found a way. When it needs to be done, we always find a way.

Professionally – if we didn’t already know this is a people-based business, we sure do now. People’s wellbeing, their workloads, their uncertainty, their need for connectivity take the highest consideration for people managers at all levels. This last period has been as tough as it gets. The businesses that will do best coming out of this will be the ones that have adapted in that space and worked with their people. The good will get back to the office soon and thrive in that reconnection. The not-so-good ones will get back and wonder where everyone is.

And nationally…We unfortunately discovered that Australia is not quite one nation – it is a federation of states for the common wealth. We could argue it’s not even that. It’s a federation of states. I’m pretty sure what we’ve seen this year is not what our forefathers and foremothers had in mind back in January 1901. The sooner we move past this divisive border approach the better. We all have places to go and family to see – and the sooner we can all do that, the better.

What are you looking forward to in 2022

Most certainly – putting the uncertainty and tension behind us and getting on with our new normal. A chance to take the best of the past couple of years and weave it into the ways of the future. The way we use our office space, defining the reasons we come together, the balance we strike between working from office and home, redefining the reasons we travel – basically living the realisation that work is not a place we go, it’s what we do. These past couple for years have given us a truly rare opportunity to reset, a circuit breaker to assess our ways of working. COVID will probably never be ‘over’. It’s what we have learned from this period and how that makes us better personally and professionally that matters significantly to the industry’s future.


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