A year after our trial of the six hour day, Jeanette and Rick from the Agent team were invited to the BBC Breakfast red couch to talk about how we can find new ways of working. In case you missed it, here’s the full clip!
At last week’s Echo Regional Business Awards, we came away with two more awards to hang on the Agent wall.
Agent won the Jaguar Land Rover Corporate Social Responsibility Award, and Paul, our Managing Director, was named ‘Young Business Person of the Year.’
This comes just weeks after Paul received the honour of being named ‘Leader of the Year’ at the national Guardian Sustainable Business Awards. It’s been a wonderful year so far for Agent, and a spectacular way of marking our tenth year in operation.
The Corporate Social Responsibility accolade was awarded to us following all our efforts to change the way we work for the better, and inspire others to follow suit. The judges drew attention to all of our workplace wellbeing initiatives, such as the six-hour day experiment and the daily meditation, weekly yoga and monthly massages that make Agent what it is.
They also applauded our pro-bono work for various charities and social enterprises across the region.
With six months left to go of the year, we’re looking forward to doing even more to change the way people think about work, and do all we can to make our workplace somewhere energetic, inspiring and welcoming.
I am now into my second month as a fully-fledged member of the Agent Marketing communications team, but my journey to this point has been an interesting one.
I was first acquainted with Agent back in October 2015, when I was lucky enough to get a place on Agent Academy as part of their third cohort of budding marketers in the making. Before my foray into the Academy, I graduated University in July 2015 with a BA (Hons) Fashion Brand Management degree, so had always had a love for all things brand and marketing.
After three years of hard graft, and throwing myself head first into a variety of job roles – from social media and interning to leading stadium tours of a certain well-known local football club that wear red – I found myself at a loose end. As much as I had pushed myself to achieve throughout University (being shortlisted at Graduate Fashion Week was a massive highlight), I just did not connect with the corporate hard sell that dominates a lot of the industry. What can I say: I was looking for something a bit different that allowed me to be, well…me?
Cue, Agent Academy – Agent Marketing’s sister social enterprise. It’s a three-month intensive program for young people like myself, who may have all the qualifications, but just need that extra bit of experience. I absolutely loved my time on the Academy! I got to liaise with business leaders and build contacts, all whilst relishing a continuous marketing education. Basically, we got our faces out there, gained confidence and had the rare opportunity to actually acquire hands-on experience without sacrificing our ‘personal brand’.
January 2016 was then the Academy graduation. It was a proud day to complete my time at the Academy, and I really did take every opportunity that was thrown at me. From there, I began to juggle my many jobs with community engagement work via Agent Marketing. This allowed me to collect primary research for clients, whilst doing what I love best: talking.
I worked within this community-based role for three months, before I was given the unexpected opportunity to step further on the career ladder. I can now actually say I am a full-time, permanent member of the Agent Marketing team! Working as Campaigns Executive within the communications department, I will be at the heart of campaign development, but also still have the chance to get out there and engage with clients and stakeholders.
It is still extremely surreal to start as a member of Agent Academy, and now be a real-life part of Agent Marketing. I cannot wait to see what the future has to hold, and am extremely grateful for not just the opportunity but the continued belief in me from Paul and all the team.
Agent HQ is a very unique environment, where no day is the same. It really suits my personality, as I flourish in unconventional settings that still hold a strong work ethic. Whether it’s partaking in weekly yoga sessions, monthly massages or general camaraderie discussing the latest episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race – every day is motivating, and each day I really look forward to coming into work.
I’m learning more and more every day, and thriving in a place where I feel valued, looked after, and – more importantly than anything – gives me the space to be who I am. For this, I am grateful. Here’s to a bright future as an honorary Agent!
“The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all.” – Aung San Suu Kyi
As part of Agent’s 10 year anniversary in 2016 (where have the years gone?!), we’re starting off a year of activities by hosting a special event to mark International Women’s Day. The event will bring senior business leaders together with young women from across our schools, colleges and universities.
We’ll be creating a space for young women to meet, connect and get to know the very best of talent from across Liverpool city region. Through exciting conversation, mini challenges and inspiring short talks, the event will be fast-paced, energetic and creative, with guests leaving feeling energised, optimistic and ready for action!
Hosts Zoe, Jeanette and Sarah from Agent will narrate the event as we work collectively to bring to life a new conversation around women, leadership and success.
And here’s where you come in… If you represent a school/university and want to bring some young women along to be inspired and motivated, then please get in touch with email@example.com. Places are limited.
Event details: Tuesday 8th March 2016 from 4-6pm
Agent HQ, 43 Jordan Street, Liverpool L1 0BW.
Women of all ages, stages and walks of life: We hope to see you there!
British pop sensation, Take That, are known for a lot of things but profound lyrics isn’t one of them. Yet after a week of working to understand and reflect on the nature of changing behaviours I find that the 90’s number one hit single prompts an interesting question.
Why in a world that is ever changing, working in environments that are ever evolving, are we all so stuck in our ways?
I have been working with a group of students from Rainford High Sixth Form, teaching them about the principals of behaviour change marketing. We have a challenge ‘to stop students littering in and around the school.’
As we explore the motivations of students who litter we are finding that it is not as straightforward as we might have first perceived. We are faced with a complex issue but by employing a behaviour change model and basing everything we do on research I am confident that the students will identify some innovative and creative solutions to a problem that has, for a long time, been the bugbear of staff at the school.
Supporting us on our quest to understand and change behaviours are experts in this field. This week we visited Can Cook Studio and were privileged to have an enlightening talk from Robbie and Laura. We witnessed first-hand how changing behaviours is no mean feat.
We were so grateful to be involved in a blind taste test experiment; tasting one dish of mass produced, processed food and then it’s home-made, fresh food equivalent. We all voted on the dish we preferred, the results were surprising. Some of the students actually preferred the salty taste of the mass produced option. An example of this was Calum, who found the pre-packed sausage and mash (aka smash) to be his preferred banger.
After the experiment we explored why these conclusions were reached, we had a chance to educate ourselves on the ingredients in the prepacked dishes. Calum may like the flavour of the inferior product and its soft texture but on inspection of its ingredients does he know what Beef Collagen Casing or Maltodextrin is?
Our session with Can Cook was a great way for us to understand first-hand the nature of behaviour change as we were engaged in a campaign activity which was designed to change ours.
We are just over half way through our behaviour change marketing programme and here are some of the things the students have learnt along the way:
‘Sometimes facts aren’t enough, you need to show rather than tell’ Alisha, Year 12.
‘The shock factor is a good way to get people’s attention but rarely has a long-term impact.’ Misha, Year 13.
‘Tell a story. It brings a subject to life and people remember and share stories.’ Alana, Year 12.
‘People learn in different ways, a staggering statistic is sometimes the thing that sticks with us.’ Calum, Year 12.
‘Education is powerful but the psychology of change is more complex than simply knowing.’ James, Year 12.
‘Change takes time, it won’t happen instantly, but lots of triggers over time can effect change in behaviours.’ Matthew, Year 12.
We are looking forward to sharing the results of our behaviour change campaign later in the year!
Be honest, I won’t judge you, but tell me is your CV 100% true?
Did you really get the A-C GCSE grades you boast? Are you really a great team player who can also work well alone, unaided? Do you honestly go to the gym 3-4 times per week, read avidly and enjoy socialising with friends?
You answered yes? You and the other 12 million people with exactly the same CV then.
Ok, some of your CV may be fabricated (I will let you decide how much) but when it comes to skills and talents, for every line you do add how much do you actually leave out?
So this morning when we got to chatting about our secret skills, it got me thinking about the things that we can do, yet never share. With that in mind, I thought I’d play a little game as part of my blog. So without further a-do, introducing…Whose Skill is it Anyway?
The task: match the Agent team member to the secret skill* Good luck!
The prize: a warm glow of achievement!
The Secret Skills
- This Agent can do a very good John Bishop impression.
- This Agent can quote every one of Sean Connery’s lines from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, in order and with the ‘voice’.
- This Agent is a master yo-yo handler. Go-go!
- This Agent is skilled in the art of Japanese ink printing.
- This Agent can dislocate their left arm out of its socket, after making life-changing chocolate biscuits.
- This Agent can ride and jump a horse bareback. Sustainable transport at its best.
- This Agent is a talented long distance runner – even competing for their county.
- This Agent can lick their nose with their tongue (preferably not in the office).
- This Agent is simply the best at Tina Turner dancing impressions.
- This Agent knows how to handle a rifle – make sure you don’t turn up late to their meetings.
- This Agent can hold their breath for 2 minutes. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.
- This Agent has won many medals and competitions for their swimming skills.
- This Agent can go over 24 hours without needing the toilet.
- Leo the poodle
Email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org – remember there is a warm glow of achievement up for grabs!
*they certainly didn’t have these on their CV’s