Round peg – square hole

23 Nov

We often talk about square pegs and round holes when it comes to people fitting into roles/profiles. This is an obvious parallel as we know a square peg won’t fit, unless you force it to shave off the corners. Now whilst we could psychologically spend hours discussing making changes and adjustments and whether the square peg should adapt I wanted to talk about the opposite. And something I feel happens particularly to people who can fall victim to the imposter syndrome.

Round peg – square hole. I mean with this is a round peg will fit in a square hole. No problems. So at first glance no worries. However the round peg doesn’t fit snuggly, isn’t exactly right. And whilst initially you fit in as there are no sharp edges you’re not quite in your place.

I’m not suggesting that this couldn’t be a very happy relationship – nor that one shouldn’t be looking for diversity as maybe those square holes could use some reshaping. But it’s about trying to make yourself or that new hire to be something you’re not.

In the end, even though the peg is round, there is friction. That subtle sub-cutaneous feeling that it isn’t 100% but you can’t quite put your finger on it.

And there is exactly the moment for growth. Why did you hire that round peg? Why did you as round peg take the square hole position? Is it absolutely insurmountable or can things be re-aligned? We keep talking about diversity but do we really mean it? Because it means re-evaluating the holes not necessarily the pegs.


Baking & Open to Work

1 Nov

Thank you #linkedin for creating the #opentowork frame for profile images. It not only makes it easy but also helps unify. I have recently revised my profile and added the open to work frame to my image. And whilst I would ideally love a role for 3 -5 years at a brand who wants to grow internationally a smart woman keeps all of her options open including freelancing & consultancy.

In my freelance career, I baked cookies for my clients and agents to deliver as an end of year gift.

In my role at the Affordable Art Fair, I baked pink cupcakes to share with partners when we had sealed the deal.

With 2 more months to go in Covid20 I am looking forward to 2021 and doing some more baking. Need some sound advice? Solid content strategy, planning and production? Give me a call. 

Eating soup with a fork

5 Sep hot chilli soup

Part of my pandemic/2020 goals has been to increase and improve my knowledge in Digital Marketing. Put your money where your mouth is and check what you know and put a certification against it.

Wonderful courses at the #digitalmarketinginstitute which include a great library of resources.

One of these is the podcast series ‘Ahead of the Game’ hosted by Will Francis. Podcasts are fab – bite sized chunks of information to listen to whilst doing the grocery shopping, driving someplace, weeding the allotment.

Today’s podcast was Digital Transformation with #clarkboyd. Being a webosaur and a digital marketer I do so appreciate that it is often a thought ”ooh shiny” and ”if we digitize that we are digital”. Also that in digital marketing the fact that analytics are easily available is often confused with strategy.

Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should. And conversely just being online or adopting a digital tool doesn’t mean that you are conversant in digital marketing or transformed.

Having been both at the leading edge of helping teams adopt the landscape of digital marketing and being internal at some boring training about the latest shiny digital tool I wanted to shout ‘YES’ when Clark talks about lines of reporting and non-adoption. Which is like trying to eat soup with a fork.

Listen for yourself, it is well worth the 40 minutes. And please share what you think both about the podcast, digital marketing and digital transformation.

Keeping up to date

8 Apr

In the corona age whilst we work from home I’m sure that several people are also considering using their ‘extra time’ for some self-improvement.

I had luckily already signed up for the Digital Marketing Institute’s Cetified I had luckily already signed up for the Digital Marketing Institute’s Certified Digital Marketing Professional program and am happily crunching through the modules.

Great stuff! Good to refresh what a marketing professional thinks she knows and to learn what you don’t.

Today featured a great webinar offered by #DMI. Luckily here in NL, we aren’t quite as restricted as other countries, and I am super fortunate to have a lovely outside space. So 1+ 1 = webinar in the sun!

#dmimember #continuingeducation #cdmp #digitalmarketing #corona #wfh

Imposter Syndrome

13 Mar

Celebrating women this month and one of the thing we often fall prey to – the Imposter Syndrome. I wrote this piece for the Amsterdam chapter of SheSays and blatant self-promotion am sharing it again here:

I was flown into Milan to help the Wunderman Microsoft Team. I had only spoken with the MD via email before arriving in the office. She had basically said yes when can you start after our first conversation based on the recommendation of hiring me by our Global Director within the Paris team. I literally went out there armed with my phone and my laptop and only my solid knowledge of how to get Microsoft campaigns out the door. When Friday came I hopped in a taxi to Linate (because Milan public transportation was having a strike) and waited for my plane. Literally, as I walked across the tarmac to board I was terrified that my telephone would ring and the MD would say, “fraud! Don’t come back on Monday!’’ But that call didn’t come. I went back on Monday, and the following Mondays for several months and no-one ever said I wasn’t a fabulous Global Advertising Director with a solid knowledge of how to get Microsoft working with Wunderman and producing great campaigns. Why? Well because I wasn’t an imposter. I was fabulous, I am fabulous. I can do it.

So, what would I tell my younger self… this year’s self? Believe. Not just I think you can, but KNOW you can. Because I think we all fall prey to these fears more often than we care to admit. And that is I believe one of the biggest factors in holding 51% of the world back.


2 Jan
Image courtesty of

It’s that time of year again ! In between all the fun and interesting articles on predictions for 2020 we also have our resolutions. Next to our personal resolutions (mine is to master horseback archery) we could also make business resolutions. For example to be more of a leader, or even to step back and not be the 1st volunteer all the time. To listen more, to encourage and nurture more…Mine is going to be use less negative language. Not talking about being less direct – sometimes we just need to cut through the noise – nor a firm no or incorrect when needed – but negativity when you don’t need to be. Think before you speak/write/app. In this age of polarisation language is so key – and a non-negative use of language can lead to building bridges and alliances rather than immediately dividing.

It could be just the way to better understanding and relationships (and business). So worth a try? At least until the 3rd Monday in January when we all forget every resolution! Have a great 2020!

#newyear #resolutions #positive #business


10 Nov

I have a fab talent…I can make anything about my hobbies. Because gardening and horseback riding have a lot of life lesson analogies in them.

You may have seen/heard that there are all kinds of animal mindfulness or leadership workshops out there.

Fabulous! Everyone needs to play with goats or try to trek with llamas. No seriously.

That’s the mindfulness side. Always good.

On the leadership side there are several and my favorite is of course working with horses.

Working with any animal is great because most animals will not do what you ask when blustered or shouted at. Nor do they respond well to huffing, being ‘big’ and totally not to big physical gestures.

The old adage of lead by example is something to always keep in mind.

Instagram is my new blog…

21 Jul

Who would have predicted? Well maybe Dr. Who and the emoji robots. But with the < millenials using social media as search and messaging portals, combined with a US president addicted to instant twittefication I realized that most of us are becoming instant response addicts. And the beauty of Instagram is that it’s visual so fewer pesky words to type, let alone spell correctly. I share more often but smaller tidbits. On the one hand it’s fabulous because I feel like those I care about can share whatever excites me at the moment. However it remains a tidbit, so shallow.

Don’t just embrace a channel because there is an audience if your message doesn’t fit. For those who know me, they know what they’ll find on my instagram feed.

What is Omnichannel? p.s. it’s always all about the messaging!

28 Apr

Omnichannel is the next great step since multi-channel. Wonderful – except that so many marketeers and products never fully embranced multi-channel. Sure there were some attempts to cross channel the message. My favorite being the omnipresent ”key visual”. But unless you truly embraced cross-channel messaging and plotted out the journey it’s always just plopping an add across multiple media.

Omnichannel , multichannel, crosschannel isn’t easy. Because you truly have to sit down and think about who, what, when, where and why with relation to your (different) target groups, message platforms, times, market lifecycles etc etc.

And then when you have it thought out you have to go and do it!

That’s often where we see the brilliant ambitions at the start of the project/productlaunch etc fall down. Because along the way we got caught up in everything else, decided that certain channels weren’t as prio as others, that they could be variations of etc and suddenly you’re set to go live and have no idea what the 2nd week messaging on Facebook let alone Instastories should be.

Not a problem as there are so many great shops out there to help us all get great thinking into live. However discoordinated management of messaging and partners still means that you’re set to go live and have no idea what the next steps are. And with agile firms you might not even be the one responsible suddenly.

It’s always all about the messaging – who, what, when, where, why. Basically everything Drayton Bird and David Ogilvy ever said ever is always true.

Gardening (both literal and metaphorical)

13 Apr

18 months ago we bought an allotment – for those in the US a city garden. Truly a great plot of 200sqm within the city proper and only a few minutes from the house. I commented recently whilst enjoying an afternoon of sun that the garden we had taken over was a metaphor for my career.

It was a mess when I first viewed it. Unloved, uncared for and with some slight attempt at order. Now 18 months later there is form, order, grace and beauty. If I do say so myself.

All down to planning and execution. The execution through sheer grit and determination (and planning) being the key point – professionally.

The one downside of gardening – professionally – is that one never gets to stay and harvest. You can only hope to see how it goes by following the collegues and projects you worked with/on.

The other downside, even if you see the ‘harvest’ one year – is that you expect to move on to new pastures. Nothing is quite as exciting professionally as tilling new soil and making new plans.

I think I’m a sheer grit & dertermination (execution) junkie…