#BehindtheSelfie with... Elaine Rumboll

This week, we go behind the selfie with Elaine Rumboll, managing director and professor of play at the Creative Leadership Consultancy, and keynote speaker at the upcoming 2019 Nedbank IMC Conference.
Rumboll captions this: “Everything is unfolding as it should."

1. Where do you live, work and play?


Sea Point, Cape Town, South Africa, the world!

2. What’s your claim to fame?


I use playfulness to build more present, agile and curious leaders.

3. Describe your career so far


My first gig was as a creative workshop facilitator at maximum security prisons. I went on to being an internationally published poet, performance artist, and blues singer. I skilled up with an MBA and was dean at Damelin, then director at UCT, then business owner, master Lego practitioner, and professor of play – in that order.

4. Tell us a few of your favourite things.


My whippet, Ori; my muse, Dave; and my Xbox rig.

5. What do you love about your industry?


The opportunity to collaborate and experiment with new ways of sense-making and leading in the world.

6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.


Thinking, imagining, laughing, panicking, stressing, doubting, connecting, reimagining, laughing, building, facilitating.

7. What are the tools of your trade?


Lego; Japanese incense; glue guns; a kite-making kit… models of doing from many disciplines.


8. Who is getting it right in your industry?


Those who are willing to experiment, laugh and try again when it doesn't work the first time around.

9. List a few pain points the industry can improve on.


We’re suffering from a pandemic of over-seriousness. Evidenced by cynicism, burnout, and depression.

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We don’t seem to understand that it is only in slowing down that we can make sense of and create impact in an inherently volatile and uncertain business environment.

10. What are you working on right now?


I’m tinkering with different smells to build a workshop offering on discovering the olfactory essence of an organisational brand.


11. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry at the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself.


“Math men and mad men”; “thick data and big data”; “story-making and storytelling”; essentialism; impact; practice… slurp.

12. Where and when do you have your best ideas?


When I am playing Elder Scrolls Online (ESO).

13. What’s your secret talent/party trick?


Bursting into blues standards.

14. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?


I’m a technophobe when I need to design processes, and a technophile when I want to think, play, collaborate and connect.

15. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?


Pictures of my whippet catching frisbees on the beach mid-air. Band - an app to organise groups for multiplayer trials and farming dungeon runs online. Recipes taken from magazines. Screengrabs of awesome playlists. Twitter. Instagram. Chess app for endgames.

16. What advice would you give to newbies hoping to crack into the industry?


First, spend time experimenting and exploring in as many disciplines as you can. Knowledge from other places will really set you up well when it comes to helping others build impact. Do the work until you know yourself in all your multiplicities before you attempt to help others know themselves.

The Integrated Marketing Conference gets Nak*d with Nedbank

The Integrated Marketing Conference (IMC) has announced Nedbank as the naming sponsor for its 2019 event, "Marketing Gets Nak*d", which takes place on 14 March 2019 at the Fox Junction in Newtown, Johannesburg...

Issued by IMC Conference 10 Oct 2018


Simple as that. You can email Rumboll on and be sure to follow her on Twitter, and LinkedIn, as well as the Creative Leadership Consultancy on Instagram. Also click here for more on the IMC Conference, taking place on 14 March 2019 at Fox Junction, Newtown. Follow the IMC Conference on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.

*Interviewed by Leigh Andrews.
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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. She's also on the Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, was an #Inspiring50 2018 nominee, and can be reached at ...
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