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A workforce ready to disrupt in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

How TBWA\ South Africa's investment in data, content, digital and culture is essential to continuous learning and skills development for the 'agency of the future'.
The belief that ‘ideas which have the power to disrupt our world and advance it forward’ is embedded in TBWA\ South Africa’s organisational culture and comes to life through the award-winning work of the group’s collective of agencies. In keeping with this, TBWA\ South Africa recently hosted its second annual digital week; DCDC, which celebrates the speed of culture through a three-day interactive festival, dedicated to the pillars of data, content, digital and culture.

This exploration of unimagined opportunities where technology intersects culture attracts TBWA\ agencies who convene in Johannesburg, to collaborate with industry heavyweights which this year included Facebook and Google. 

Sean Donovan, group CEO of TBWA\ South Africa, says that by 2020 the change in business systems that we have been experiencing for the past few years will have reach a tipping point. 

“We will need to consider how this impacts communication, personal privacy and the methods of personal interaction with the world around us. We also see that changes will not be incremental but rather broadly disruptive, with fluctuations to entire systems and across sectors.” He continues that, “DCDC is one of the ways which TBWA\ South Africa is gearing up to becoming the agency of the now. Through interactive learning opportunities, which will align associated skills with the needs for change, we are well poised to grow our business and the business of our clients.” 

According to a World Economic Forum report, over one-third of skills (35%) that are considered important in today’s workforce will be impacted by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With creativity and coordinating with others (collaboration) becoming some of the top five skills workers will need in order to benefit from the avalanche of new products, new technologies and new ways of working. 

“TBWA\ South Africa is already living this paradigm and imparting knowledge and systems among our clients to up-skill, re-skill and build solid foundations,” concludes Donovan. 

DCDC 2018 Programme

This year, the event programme included a ­­full day at Facebook Africa, led by the social media giant’s Head of Agencies in MENA, Ian Manning. A regional creative agency programme that will see over 1,500 TBWA\ employees trained to use the Facebook and Instagram platforms, as well as benefit from monthly interactions with the Facebook team was launched. Called the TBWA\ Facebook Foundry, the programme will take place in Dubai, South Africa, Turkey and other key offices in the MENA region. The first South African session, rolled out during DCDC, is structured around the three pillars of inspiration, learning and creativity.

Other collaborative sessions included the local TBWA\ collective sharing insights across a number of topics such as:

-        Data for the collective

-        Content in culture

-        Digital ways of working

-        Disruption Live

-        Disruptive content 

Other TBWA\ Learning and Development Programmes 

D\Learn is a TBWA\ e-Learning platform that is designed as a means of scalable up-skilling within the collective. Created and developed locally, the platform allows all employees to access course material at a time and pace that suits them, to accommodate at scale what physical event-based teaching cannot provide. The courses tap into expertise within the collective such as Surya Emmy Linda: Head of Data in Germany, David Uribe: Regional Data Director, Noah Khan: Regional Head of Digital and Innovation - CEE, Africa and Middle East, TBWA & DAN and Des Jones: Chief Strategy Officer in South Africa. 

Course topics range from Becoming a Digital First Agency, Data as a Creative Ally, an Introduction to Data in Advertising, our New Approach to Content and a framework for building Strategic Led Solutions.

TBWA\ Young Lions is a new South African programme launched and designed to assist in developing bright young talent in becoming future leaders. Developed in partnership with Duke Corporate Education, the aim is to provide participants with additional skills to help further leadership and career growth within the TBWA\ collective.

Candidates that excel and show high potential are selected to participate in one of the regional development programmes.

TBWA\ Sea Legs is a regional development programme, for emerging leaders at a career mid-level, to assist them bring forward their best selves in order to increase their seniority, manage their high-pressure roles and overcome their complex work challenges. The programme is designed to unleash the best of relationship management – both within the workplace and in one’s personal life - using tools such as influencing, managing, negotiating and communicating effectively.

TBWA\ is a leading global advertising agency known for its Disruption® methodologies and innovative brand ideas.

TBWA's press office

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