Dino Myers-Lamptey’s company has worked with a diverse portfolio of clients including Pearl & Dean, Triumph lingerie and Croud.
His team offers an alternative to your average run of the mill creative company and their strategies drive growth through collaboration and purpose.
We met Dino for a quick chat yesterday, so that he could tell us more about his business ethos, and how he stays focused when working remotely.
Hey Dino, let’s start by learning a bit more about your company…
We are a strategy-led creative company that aims to solve the biggest business problems through data, distribution and disruptive ideas.
We collaborate with the very best specialist and trusted experts to provide unique and innovative solutions for businesses, executing them exceptionally and at speed, with a leaner team.
We offer both agency and consultancy services across media, creative and tech, serviced by senior strategic minds who know how to think as well as do. And we think globally, harnessing the power of distributed talent to provide always on thinking, executing & servicing.
We tend to work with brands that are driven by purpose and enrich culture through the pleasure they bring.
How did the idea for your company come about?
I’ve worked in the media and advertising world for nearly 20 years, and everywhere I’ve worked has been different in the way in which it has operated and serviced businesses.
I joined the last agency I worked at as the CEO and had a vision of bringing media, creative, PR and tech much closer together. This worked well as a vision but was difficult to implement in a large group which had been smashed together through mergers and acquisitions.
After I left, I had the idea of creating The Barber Shop, to work with good clients, whose businesses do good in the world. Using a network of talented problem solvers seemed really appealing.
Can you share any practical tips or processes to help people work remotely?
Firstly, know that everyone’s situation is different so expect different rhythms and times for work for yourself, and others.
Get a good chair and an SAD lamp to power you through the darker afternoons and get organised at the start of the day. I write lists of the things that I would love to achieve and work on, and I diarise uninterrupted time to work on those things.
Also, look to the weeks ahead and put in 45min lunch breaks, at least three days in the week. Try and go outside during these breaks.
Get a couple of people who you can work with effortlessly and book in working sessions where there’s no agenda, or requirement to work on anything other than your own work, but know the point is that you can talk, just as you would do, about other things, while in the office.
Embrace some of the better collaborative tools: Google docs, Miro, Notion and Zoom (definitely not Teams) and turn off notifications, at certain times of the day, but be sure to have breaks and check in if you wish.
Finally, be sure you recover well. Our industry can be hard, and we’re used to the balance being reset with nice socials and lunchtime escapes to the pub, being great means having the energy to do the next thing and the next thing, and this requires conscious recovery in between.
Remember to step away from the desk and do what makes you happy, which isn’t just making dinner for the kids, or watching another episode on Netflix.
How do you keep your team aligned?
Having a strategy which encompasses your bigger vision for the company, your purpose, and the way you ‘do things’ helps a great deal. Being very open and transparent about how the business and everyone makes money helps too. This gives the team more responsibility, which is empowering, all of which combines to give better alignment.
What is the biggest mistake you've made as an entrepreneur?
I think it’s hard as an entrepreneur to settle on ‘biggest mistakes’, until you get to the end of your journey and it’s time to write your book.
Small mistakes are considered part of the journey, and nothing should be considered too big unless the alternative choice was unquestionably better.
Even then it’s hard for someone other than the person to clearly know what was best. Since launching The Barber Shop, I’d say the only thing that stands out is having partnered with an agency to pitch and win a big client, only for them and the client to take our work and appoint someone else to execute it afterwards.
I guess you could say our mistake was in trusting, but trust and taking leaps of faith is the foundation of business, so it’s about what you learn from it.
Do you have a share or option scheme in place for your team? What impact has it made?
Yes. We have a few performance-related schemes which are designed to make everyone in the team as entrepreneurial as possible, whilst thinking longer term about the health of the business and client satisfaction.
The impact of staff with equity is predictably positive. As part of my role as Co-Chair of The Alliance of Independent Agencies we agreed that the power within independent agencies (that was the differentiator) was that the management owned a majority of the company.
Ownership compels and propels.
How would you best describe your business philosophy?
Working with genuinely good people and avoiding those who aren’t is probably the philosophy at its heart.
Out of that comes the importance of ‘Access’ which I define as the strength or your network and its willingness to open meaningful doors for you. If you get close to good people, this happens and you grow much more effortlessly than when you do business with the opposite.
Do you have any pets?
No pets. Two young boys can produce all the barks and howls I need for the average day.
What motivates you?
A number of things. Probably at the root of it is the love of ideas that can solve problems that people are battling with.
I also have kids that need feeding, and a mum that sacrificed a lot to give me more opportunity, and she hasn’t fully retired yet!
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