So if you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ll know that last week myself, Becca and Cait were invited down to Chichester to see how our colleagues at Autumn Publishing run their offices – which included a trip to their warehouse. This is because we are members of Bonnier’s Team 15 – which is, in their words: ‘selected rising talent from within the group’. Rather flatteringly, this means they think members have the potential to go far within the company. If you would like to see an embarrassing photo of us, go to the Bonnier Publishing website , admire the animation of our CEO, select the S.T.A.R book from the bookshelf, and then select ‘Team 15 2012-2014’. Or, there is a nicer one of us here:
So on Friday we were back in Chichester for the first of our planned get-togethers. This meant all the Team 15 members – including Liz and Craig from Five Mile Press in Australia – were gathered together for some training, but also rather a lot of (fiercely competitive!) fun. Richard Johnson, our Group CEO, and Sharon Parker, our Chief Operating Officer, basically run Team 15, and so they explained to us that our mission for the day was to complete an ‘Apprentice’-style task, where we would be responsible for creating the Next Big Thing In Publishing. We would then present the idea to Derek Freeman, our Executive Chairman, and the winning idea would be taken into development, presented at Frankfurt, and the winners be given a small royalty from any sales!
We were immediately split into two teams – Cait and I (plus other colleagues from Templar, Autumn, Five Mile Press and Bonnier Publishing) on Team 2, and Becca on Team 1 (plus others too!). Team Leaders were picked, and we were off.
I will say right now that it is REALLY HARD to come up with the Next Big Thing In Publishing. Most of our day was spent trying to come up with something completely new and exciting, but also practical and (most importantly) profitable – which is tough! You can have the most amazing ideas in the world, but unfortunately you’ve got to think about the costings of them too. We also had the fantastic Steven Edney from The Edney Partnership on hand to give advice on leadership skills, idea development and presentation – did you know that body language and tone of voice count for over 70% of how well a presentation is judged?
The presentations went really well – so well in fact, that both teams won! We were assured that this was no cop-out decision – they just thought both ideas were really great, and had brilliant potential. Now the teams have until September to really get our business plans together, and then we’ll present them again…
And as for what the Next Big Thing In Publishing could be? Well, you will have to wait until Frankfurt to find out!
Massive thanks to Richard, Sharon, Derek, Steven and the rest of Team 15 for a fantastic few days and a really brilliant training exercise!