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The Agile Mindset: Experimenting, Empowering, and Empathizing

March 24, 2023

TRANSFORMING
WORK

WITH
SOPHIE WADE

The Agile Mindset: Experimenting, Empowering, and Empathizing

The Agile Mindset: Experimenting, Empowering, and Empathizing

Eric Ng, Senior VP of Marketing at Two Chairs, has an agile mindset which has enabled him to keep adapting to the significant changes brought about by technology developments in the marketing discipline—including many new channels, formats, and granular measurement tools. Eric shares insights about screening for a flexible mindset when building teams, and how trust, empowerment, and co-creation are key for nurturing growth. Eric explains how his flexible attitude has allowed him to adapt to new hybrid/remote working arrangements.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[02:58] Seeing the Apple 1984 commercial in grade school, Eric knew he wanted to do marketing.

[03:30] At college, Eric co-founds Student.com with friends which goes well, he learns a lot when his second start-up fails completely.

[05:01] Eric joins Apple’s advertising agency Chiat/Day which was a dream job for him.

[06:27] Marketing is about resource allocation or figuring out how to make (increasingly informed) bets.

[07:24] Flexibility is essential in an ever-changing industry—mixing testing and iterating with renewed use of broad-based ideas to drive fame.

[10:02] Eric reflects on his experience building teams, and how screening for mindset is paramount.

[11:27] Eric’s methodology to consolidate his team’s learning is that they must teach others in turn.

[13:02] Working for a mission-oriented organization makes motivation, branding and recruiting easier.

[15:30] Two Chairs offers a diverse group of therapists to serve market requirements as people’s needs and relationship with therapy evolve.

[16:37] If connection with your therapist—the therapeutic alliance—is the best predictor of success, having a diverse therapist offering increases potential matches and outcomes.

[19:02] The pandemic reduced mental health-related stigma along with willingness to be vulnerable.

[20:12] Eric never worked remotely prior to the pandemic, but his perspective has shifted significantly.

[21:05] Rethinking many aspects of work in hybrid situations, including how to recognize people’s successes.

[22:18] The dial tone, a remote version of the high-five!

[24:24] Meetings are important, they just need to be well thought out.

[26:09] Shifting your mindset to manage distributed teams starting with trust and empowerment.

[27:20] Empathy is essential to understand who each person is, what they are doing, what their needs are.

[29:00] Cultivating trust requires a safe space, time to adjust, and guardrails to avoid the worst.

[30:24] People do best when they can discover on their own and co-create.

[32:30] Eric sees potential of simplification in the future, especially in healthcare which can be overcomplicated and confusing.

[35:00] Eric asks Sophie what excites her—understanding better how we each work, how we can come together effectively as a team, and what we learned by about what we are capable of under pressure.

[36:55] Technological and societal changes are bringing additional layers of diversity we can address in different ways.

[40:16] IMMEDIATE ACTION TIP: If adapting with an agile mindset becomes overwhelming, take one small step that you haven’t taken before and explore the new experience.

QUOTES

“I think that's one of the things when you're growing where everything seems to be going well if you don't hit a roadblock, you don't grow.”

“I'm hoping that the team members who are learning are also going to teach others. It gives them that opportunity to solidify the things that they're thinking about and really learn. There's nothing like teaching something in order to learn it!”

“That connection with your therapist — this idea of a therapeutic alliance — is perhaps the best predictor of having successful outcomes for mental health. So if you match really well, you end up having a great outcome. I'm obviously interested in user experience as a marketer, but in this case, the actual outcomes for a patient or a client really, really matter.”

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