The Next Round: AAR's Business Innovation Podcast

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THE NEXT ROUND BLUE 300Px

The Next Round:

Transforming UK heritage brands from the inside

Each episode is a conversation with a leader sharing their experience; their views on what disruption they’re facing in their industry, what they’re doing about it and what they’ve learned. They share their insights, various challenges within marketing and advertising, combined with practical business advice for listeners.

Episode 1

Tuesday 20 October 2020

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The fight for the future of agencies with Karen Blackett OBE

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Featuring Karen Blackett OBE, UK CEO Group M and UK Country Manager WPP

In the opening episode of The Next Round Series 2, Robin has the pleasure of speaking with the inspirational Karen Blackett OBE. Karen juggles two extremely senior roles at Group M and WPP with being a single mum and championing diversity and inclusion throughout the industry. Here, Karen talks about how WPP is in an evolution not a fight; the key learnings about leadership in a pandemic, her hope for more equity in top global roles, how diversity is good for the soul and for the bottom line and why now is the time for every organisation to put race on their agenda if we are to achieve sustainable change. It’s a call to arms and a fantastic listen, and we can all learn something from Karen’s authenticity, passion and experience.

The fight for the future of agencies with Karen Blackett OBE


Episode 2

Tuesday 27 October 2020

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Blending consumer expectation with digital: The new secret recipe at KFC

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Featuring Ira Dubinsky, Director of Innovation and Customer Experience at KFC

In this episode, Robin gets to chat with someone from her home town! Robin and Ira Dubinsky, Director of Innovation and Customer Experience at KFC, have a fun and very warm chat about food from home, where his inspiration comes from, the importance of a true founders story, what modern customer experience should be and how to start a movement to get poutine on the menu at KFCs in the UK.

Blending consumer expectation with digital: The new secret recipe at KFC


Episode 3

Tuesday 03 November 2020

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Barclays Fight featuring Alex Naylor, MD of Communications

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With over 300 years of legacy proving both a blessing and a curse, Alex Naylor, MD of Communications at Barclays, is fighting on many fronts: with neo banks around CX; with other big retail banks for their very survival and with the threat of financial services aggregators transforming customer relationships forever. In this episode of The Next Round, Alex talks about the power of ideas, how creativity is about joining the dots in unexpected ways and how COVID has reinforced his belief in the art of the possible and the triumph of human endeavour in the hardest of times.

Barclays Fight featuring Alex Naylor, MD of Communications


Episode 4

Tuesday 10 November 2020

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Vodafone's Fight featuring Pamela Brown, CMO of Smart Tech

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In this episode, Robin talks with CMO of Smart Tech at Vodafone Pamela Brown about the challenge of launching a brand new product in a pandemic; her hatred of the term “Internet of Things”; the fight to keep a heritage business relevant in a hugely competitive market and her vision for the future of telcos and smart devices. Pamela also shares why keeping calm, staying grounded and having fun are vital, especially in these difficult times.

Vodafone's Fight featuring Pamela Brown, CMO of Smart Tech


Episode 5

Tuesday 17 November 2020

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Centrica's Fight featuring Margaret Jobling, CMO

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In those heady days before lockdown, Robin spent some quality time with “girl crush” Margaret Jobling talking about the challenges of ‘turning the oil tanker’ that is British Gas ‘into a speed boat’ in her then role as CMO of Centrica (she’s now CMO of NatWest). How do you keep a 200-year-old institution as market leader in a sector disrupted by nimble, tech-lead innovative brands? How does a product first organisation pivot to become customer first? And how do you change the culture of such a large, complex business to embrace their ‘Here to solve’ mantra? All this and critical advice on paw-renting two very different dogs in this week’s episode of The Next Round. 

Centrica's Fight featuring Margaret Jobling, CMO


Episode 6

Tuesday 17 November 2020

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Co-op's Fight featuring Alison Jones, Customer Director

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In this episode, Robin has the pleasure of speaking with Alison Jones, Customer Director at Coop. A cornerstone of our high street since 1844, the Coop has encountered, and crucially survived, many challenges over the years, largely thanks to its clearly defined brand purpose and values. Hear how those values helped support both colleagues and communities during the pandemic, how they’re actively taking the brand to a younger, health conscious, socially aware market and how the pioneering Coop Live Arena project in East Manchester ties innovation with those core Coop values around ethics, community member value and benefits.

Co-op's Fight featuring Alison Jones, Customer Director


Episode 1

Tuesday 22 October 2019

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From shopkeeper to customer keeper: willful disruption at Boots

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In this episode, Robin interviews Rich Corbridge, Director of Innovation and Dave Robinson Head of Data and Personalisation at Boots. In this lively chat, they talk about the future of the high street chemist and their recent launch of in store video GP consultation; their “willful disruption” innovation approach; the cultural changes they are spearheading including the permission to fail; their work with the NHS; their approach to data and loyalty, and how they work with partners from Microsoft to startups to win their fightback. They finish up with a few predictions and a wish list of innovations they wished they’d been part of.

From shopkeeper to customer keeper: willful disruption at Boots


Episode 2

Friday 29 November 2019

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NatWest Ventures and the importance of the growth mindset

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In this episode, Robin speaks with Jeremy Smith from NatWest. It’s an amazing glimpse into NatWest’s unique venture model, as well as an important lesson in having the right executive buy-in and sponsorship and a great discussion about why London is the world leader in fintech startups. We also touch on how Open Banking is driving innovation, how to grow new brands both from the inside and through partners and why co-location away from the mothership is super important.

NatWest Ventures and the importance of the growth mindset


Episode 3

Tuesday 05 November 2019

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How to disrupt yourself from the shed in the car park – the story of Homeserve’s LeakBot

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In this week’s episode, Robin speaks with Craig Foster of Homeserve where we find out what happens when you have an ambitious CEO, a curious new MD and a marketing guy that moves to the shed in the car park. We talk about the importance of being clear on what business you are truly in, and the failure that can come with ignoring the changing market around you as well as ways to overcome the sucking sound of the core.

How to disrupt yourself from the shed in the car park – the story of Homeserve’s LeakBot


Episode 4

Tuesday 12 November 2019

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Beyond pills, potions and lotions – the story of what GSK does next

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In this week’s episode we meet Nick Tate, Head of Next at GSK. We talk about finding meaning in your job, how large corporates such as GSK have a responsibility to impact the world around them in a positive way, and how being nosey is a foundational skill for success in innovation.

Beyond pills, potions and lotions – the story of what GSK does next


Episode 5

Tuesday 19 November 2019

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Innovating the model of innovation at Avios

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In this week’s episode of The Next Round, Robin speaks with Stephen Scott (Scottie), Chief Digital Officer at Avios. They cover off a whirlwind of topics including how the loyalty sector is evolving, why Avios is moving to a product led organisation, where Agile and Design thinking fit into their evolving target operation model and why it’s better to go through people than around them to drive change. Oh and how Scottie is not quite ready to trust in electric aircraft for a safe landing!

Innovating the model of innovation at Avios


Episode 6

Tuesday 26 November 2019

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Creating Future Brands at Sainsbury’s

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In this week’s episode, we have the pleasure of talking to Rachel Eyre of Sainsbury’s. As Head of Future Brands, Rachel and her team are bringing the best of startup food and drinks products to their 27 million weekly customers. We talk crickets to kombucha, and how Sainsbury’s scale and depth of marketing experience is one of their greatest assets. We also hear who’s keeping her up at night and why being able to lead change might well be the most important skill for any innovator.

Creating Future Brands at Sainsbury’s


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