Archive for the ‘Positivity’ Category

Profit without Passion?

April 12, 2015

Passion

These two guys came into us, full of confidence about their new project.

They were introducing a new range of ready made meals to the Irish market, which they reckoned were going to be a huge success.

The market in Ireland was huge and growing and according to them poorly serviced with inferior products. They were going to bring restaurant quality meals with recipes designed by a high profile chef using the best of Irish ingredients.

These meals were going to be well packaged and would be ‘on shelf‘ at competitive products – this was their recipe for success!

By their reckoning they would conservatively capture a share of the market and even with moderate success they would make a fortune, it was guaranteed.

They had the listings with some of the multiples and our job was to launch the new range of products. They also had a good budget for the promotional campaign – success guaranteed?

I had a few nagging doubts ..

These guys had no history in food or experience in the industry. They had no passion for food – I tried and I tried to find it. I couldn’t see a genuine love for Irish ingredients and great food – this was just a way of making money and they reckoned they had all the necessary ingredients for success.

The high profile chef was equally unimpressive – I started to get the feeling that his ‘name was on the box‘ and that was about the extent of his passion for the project.

Of course he did the interviews and said all the right things but I just didn’t feel the passion for the project.

The launch date arrived, there seemed to be trouble with distribution, the products didn’t look well in the packaging and there was nothing special about the taste. It certainly wasn’t the superior restaurant quality ready-made meals that we were promised.

In no time at all the partners were fighting and the chef pulled back from the project. Effectively before the whole project got going they shut it down and many people including ourselves went without payment.

If there was genuine passion you would taste it in the end product, you would work hard to overcome any problems and you would dig deep and do everything to keep your dream alive.

Without passion you just give up ….that’s easier!

Passion is the single must important ingredient in your meal, your restaurant, your products, your service and your organisation.

Profit without passion? … I don’t think so 

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Mr Motivator

March 28, 2015

Mr Motivator

There is just one Greg Canty and he is special and don’t you forget about it” he said

Just keep being the best ‘you’ that you can be” ..ok, I will.

It had been a while since I had chatted to him but it is always great when we do. He always leaves you feeling ten feet tall and better about yourself than before you had spoken.

I called him out of the blue just for a chat but he always has this knack of saying something that makes you feel better about yourself.

I remember years ago we had him over at the house for grub and at the time we were feeling a little but low because we were struggling to get some sponsors signed up for our Catwalks event. This was a high end fashion and beauty event that we used take on tour around Ireland.

I think he picked up that we weren’t as positive as we usually were and after a while he grabbed a flyer in his hand from a previous Catwalks event that we had run and he gave us one of his magical pep talks.

Do you see this?” he asked “You and Dee created a national event from nothing. You have already signed up some top brands and its been a huge success to date. Never forget that it is only you two who could have pulled something like this off

After he left we were punching the air, feeling special, full of motivation and determination, ready to take on the world … sure enough we signed up more sponsors.

We all need people like that in our lives, the ones who make you fell better about yourself, the ones who you can call if you need that little gee up …they are precious.

Pat Dolan Thank you Pat Dolan..

Who is your Mr Motivator?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Risk taking – are we all playing it too safe?

February 1, 2015

Feel Food Lost - Take me to the Church, Hozier

Back in August 2013 my son Brendan Canty was telling me about a music video he had been working on that he was really excited about.

He had done a video for a guy called Hozier and he felt that the song was really strong and on top of that they had a cracking, possibly controversial concept for a storyline. The song had been ‘out there‘ for a while but this video might just take it to a new place. Brendan was really excited about it as he believed he had produced a special video.

As always he pulled in a bunch of talented volunteers (check out the cast below), family and friends and both he and as his partner in Feel Good Lost, Conal Thomson gave it everything. He reckoned it was his best work to date (strangely I disagree – he has done even better in my view).

I remember that day in the Fuzion office in September when he showed us the finished product. He was right, it was a really powerful, brave, fantastic, thought provoking music video. “This is going to huge” was the collective view.

Brendan uploaded the video to YouTube that day and sure enough the views came tumbling in almost immediately. Every day we watched the numbers rising and rising and then the media started featuring it. I remember at an early stage the US online news platform The Huffington Post reviewed it. Wow!

16 months later across all video platforms ‘Take me to the Church‘ has been viewed over 100 million times, Hozier is a world wide music star and the rest is history.

His follow up music video’s ‘From Eden‘ and ‘Sedated‘ attracted four and three million views respectively. These are huge numbers but obviously nothing like ‘Take me to the Church‘.

We were travelling back from Dublin by car last week with Brendan and I was asking him about his work with Hozier. Hozier is a great guy who always credits Brendan/Feel Good Lost when he is asked about the video but for some reason they have not worked together since.

I find this incredible – surely the collective team that struck gold on this video should work together? I pressed Brendan about this. He was asked to do the next video and between the jigs and reels between Brendan, Hozier and the record company they couldn’t settle on a concept.

In the end he was asked to produce the video but he wasn’t comfortable with the chosen concept so he declined. I find this to be incredibly brave and I must admire his artistic conviction. This was after a huge conversation I had with with Brendan that went something like “Are you totally nuts??!!“.

Brendan Canty - Feel Good Lost, Take me to the Church, HozierI was asking him if he thought he would work with Hozier again. He wasn’t sure but he said a very strange thing, which really struck a chord with me.

An approach like ours would probably be considered to be too risky for him now. He is huge and he probably wouldn’t be allowed to do anything like what we did on the ‘Take me to The Church’ video as it could damage his following“.

I understood what he was saying but it didn’t stop me asking “But, isn’t that what brought him all the attention in the first place?

Why is it that when we have nothing to lose we take risks but when we have it all to lose we end up playing it safe?

..are we all playing it too safe?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The Volunteers and some background info..

Notes from the director:

Brendan Canty: “As Take Me to Church is such a powerful and thought-provoking song we felt the video needed to be the same. We wanted to create something that challenged the audience and made them sit up and really think.

“The song is about sexuality, humanity and liberation, so after many discussions between us and Andrew (Hozier) we came up with a concept drawing on these themes and on the current situation in Russia – i.e the widespread ostracisation of homosexuals and the widespread condoning of their torture and murder. It was a real challenge for us and with a story as big as this, and a subject so topical we had to get it 100% spot on.

“The casting was crucial and our two leads (Daniel Coughlan and Emmet O’Riabhaigh) and the main thug (Patrick Sheahan) gave phenomenal performances in this video. With the help of them, the rest of the amazing cast and crew, Roger and Niall at Rubyworks and Andrew (Hozier) I feel we nailed it.”

Credits:

DIRECTOR: Brendan Canty
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Feel Good Lost
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Brendan Canty
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Conal Thomson
1ST AD: Emmet O’Brien
PRODUCER: Adam McCarthy
PRODUCER : Emmet O’Brien
PRODUCER: Damien McCarthey
DIRECTOR’S REPRESENTATION: Chloe Page
ACTORS: 
Emmet O’Riabhaigh
Daniel Coughlan
Patrick Sheahan
Christopher O’Flaherty
SPECIAL THANKS:
Diarmuid, Aidan & Val O’Donovan
Niall and Roger at Rubyworks
Caoillian Sherlock
Denise Heffernan
David Maloney

Emmet O’Riabhaigh

Emmet O' Riabhaigh, Hozier, Take me to the Church

Daniel Coughlan

Daniel Coughlan, Hozier, Take me to the Church

 

Patrick Sheahan

Patrick Sheahan, Hozier, Take me to the Church

“Done it all before” versus a fresh perspective and sparkle

January 25, 2015

Bored Accountant

I left the accountancy practice because I knew I had gone stale, working on the same clients in the same environment and now I wanted to get stuck in and get more involved so I decided to move into industry.

I started with Moog, an American multinational at the age of 22 taking on the role of financial accountant, reporting into the financial controller.

I didn’t have experience of working for a multi-national before but I was a bright, enthusiastic qualified accountant looking for a new challenge.

For six months I was learning, soaking up this experience with fresh eyes and a new perspective and after that initial period I really got into gear and they got the best of me. The financial controller went off on maternity leave after I was there just over a year and I was asked to take on her role and mine – not a bother, I took it in my stride. When she came back I knew I couldn’t slip back to the supporting role so I looked for a new challenge.

I then took on the role of financial controller of a drinks wholesaler and manufacturer, a subsidiary of Guinness.

I didn’t have experience of working in the drinks sector before but I had worked in practice and I had been the financial controller in a large multinational. For six months I was learning and soaking up this experience with fresh eyes and a new perspective and after that they really got the best of me.

Music Store

After a few years in this role I was going stale, I was repeating myself and the job was more of the same. I had always wanted to start my own business and I loved music so I recruited a manager and opened a few music stores around the country while I still stayed working. I had never worked in the music industry before nor had I operated retail stores but I brought a fresh perspective and bucket loads of enthusiasm to this new experience.

Out of the blue I was asked if I was interested in the General Manager role, which I gladly accepted.

I didn’t have the experience of managing a large business but I was a bright, enthusiastic person with a good understanding of the company and I had a solid background in finance.

For six months I was learning, soaking up this experience with fresh eyes and a new perspective and after that period they really got the very best of me achieving the best results ever for the company.

Guinness

I then moved to Guinness in Dublin taking on a number of different roles, none of which I had done before bringing fresh eyes and a new perspective to all of them.

After three years I became the general manager of a subsidiary of Heineken bringing fresh eyes and a new perspective to the role. I really drove on the performance of the company but in truth I had done a similar role for the Guinness subsidiary and after three years I was getting bored and I should have moved on. I lasted two more years and left to join Deirdre Waldron at Fuzion, which has been brilliant.

Everyday in Fuzion we are faced with new situations and fresh challenges. We often work with new clients from different sectors and we achieve great results by bringing fresh eyes, new perspectives and enthusiasm and applying all of our collective experience and learnings to their challenges.

I have learned in my 32 years of working that to get the best of anyone in a role there must be some element of a challenge in it, something new the whole time that keeps them challenged, fresh, inspired and motivated and at the top of their game.

I have also learned that after a while of doing the same thing over and over people will get stale as that sense of challenge disappears. Despite having all of the experience and knowledge a big opportunity will be lost by not handing over the mantle to someone who knows less but has a sparkle, a freshness, a hunger and a desire to learn and take on a new challenge.

The next time you are choosing someone for a role or you are putting your project out for contract try to resist the safe temptation of going with the person or the company that have “done it all before” and instead look for the fresh perspective and grab that sparkle.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

We had a great 2015 because ..

January 1, 2015

Cool Runnings

For the last few years we have been doing this simple little exercise at the start of the year to help get focused around things that are important both personally and professionally.

We have found it to be really useful and one that has made a big difference.

Making plans and actually achieving them is always challenging and at the start of the year we find ourselves at the start of that loop all over again making promises that often will never materialise!

Benjamin Zander - The Art of PossibilityA few years ago we were inspired by a book about goal setting in a different way called “The Art of Possibility” by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander (a really interesting motivational book by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and his wife who is an executive coach).

Benjamin Zander, the conductor has the task every year of bringing out the very best from a large group of very talented musicians for his orchestra.

His approach is rooted in the power of visualisation – the simple idea behind this is that if you visualise what you want to achieve then there is a much better chance of it actually happening (unbelievers ….stop reading now !!)

This year instead of doing it individually (definitely do this as well) why not as a team take on the task for your business or organisation.

Imagine the last working day of the year just before you switch off the lights in the office, before you exchange office presents and head out the door to do some last minute shopping and enjoy a well-earned rest, you have a chat about the fantastic achievements during the year.

Here goes ..

Take a flipchart and simply write your achievements in advance for the last working day of the year to come..

Wednesday, 23rd December, 2015

We had a great year because ….

Be as specific as you can including business and developmental goals and when the team are done get everyone to Sign it!

Once you have done this take some time out with your team and work out the detailed planning and action plans that support your 2015 wish list and then track progress during the year.

…grab just 30 minutes with your team this week before things fully kick off again and do it!

Happy 2015!!

(the pic at the top of the post is from the fantastic movie, Cool Runnings the last featuring the comic genius John Candy about the Jamaican bobsleigh team making their debut at the 1988 winter Olympics in Canada)

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

That’s a lot of responsibility on a New Year

December 31, 2014

Be happy today

We just bumped into a neighbour of ours at the cash desk in Aldi with her two daughters.

It was obvious from our shopping trolley that we were buying in provisions for a New Years Eve party, which we pretty much do every year. It’s nothing fancy just friends and family to ring in the new year.

We asked our neighbour if she fancied popping in with her girls. Their faces lit up at the thought of a ‘party’ but she politely shut down the invite.

After the year I have had I’m going to bed as early as possible and getting the year over and done with. The sooner next year can come the better

Her girls knew she was serious and said nothing but they realised they had no choice but to stay in, go to bed early and get rid of this year.

Without knowing the detail they obviously had a bad year and are putting faith in a new calendar year for a change of fortunes.

In a way it’s a real pity their mum feels like that because she could have fun on this last day with her girls and the rest of her family and start the new year with smiles, hugs and fun from the very first minute.

Then again are we all putting way too much responsibility on the new year or any year for our good fortune?

Happy New Year? … I certainly hope so

Happy today? … that’s up to you and me

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The Power of Compliments

November 21, 2014

Compliments

I was checking my emails just now and I came across a fantastic message from a contact I have on LinkedIn, which cheered me up no end.

The very lovely and very generous Valerie (Ryder) O’Hanlon had picked up on the changes I had made to my LinkedIn profile and left me a message that put a huge skip in my step.

Thank You

Not only did she pay me a compliment, which is always great to receive but she also grabbed my attention by being nice, generous and friendly – in a sweep Valerie has moved to the top of my ‘nice people to deal with online‘ league table!

If we ever have a requirement in the HR Consultancy sector we know who to go to.

Paying a compliment is a really easy thing to do but it can also be  incredible powerful.

If you see something you like, think someone has done something worthwhile, noticed they have just got a promotion then take those 30 seconds to say well done!

Try it ..if you have a compliment to give, don’t hold back

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

 

 

 

Cynical won’t do a job for me today

November 4, 2014

Cynical

A few things happened yesterday that left me going to bed feeling quite tired and cynical.

I woke up this morning with that same feeling.

Cynical isn’t going to do a job for me today or any day for that matter so I need to make a choice.

Cynical ..forget it

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

What I didn’t know about the 9/11 Memorial

September 11, 2014

911 Memorial

We were very recently in New York (late August 2014) and on a very sunny, gorgeous Saturday we decided to visit the 9/11 Memorial site, which is nearly fully completed.

We had mixed feelings about going there as it feels a little ghoulish and after all when you are on holidays do you really want to visit some place that could upset you?

For those who haven’t been there the site is dominated by a nearly complete huge new building, One World Trade Centre, which will be the tallest office building in the US soon to be occupied by thousands of workers. Alongside this building there are other smaller new office buildings along with the Memorial, which consists of two pools set in the footprint of the original twin towers with a museum close-by. These pools feature 30 foot waterfalls each descending into a centre void. The names of the victims are inscribed in bronze parapets, which surround the pools.

The idea is simple and impactful even though  I felt the centre voids were quite depressing and should instead have captured something more positive and uplifting. This didn’t stop the huge crowds visiting and taking photos, some strangely posing as if it were an exotic holiday location and not a place where victims were being remembered.

The whole development unfortunately turned out to be a well documented troublesome political football. The final design was selected through an international competition that received 5,210 submissions. This must have been an impossible task – how can you properly and respectfully remember the victims. highlight  the awfulness of the attacks and at the same time capture a resilient and positive spirit that will comfort and inspire all who visit?

Much of what I saw I was expecting but a few things really surprised me, which I felt were really worth sharing.

The Victims

The memorial features the victims of both the September 2001 attack and the attack on 26th February, 1993. In 2001 there were 2,977 victims from over 90 nations. The oldest was 85 years old and the youngest was two. More than 400 of these were first responders who died performing their jobs. Six people died in the 1993 attack.

Meaningful adjacencies

When we walked around the two pools we noticed that there seemed to be no obvious sequence to the names that were inscribed on the surrounding bronze parapets. Reading the names you get a sense of the huge mix of nationalities that were working together on that tragic morning including plenty of Irish names. Some names had flowers inserted in between the lettering and some of the names were women who were carrying unborn children who were specifically mentioned, which was very poignant bringing home the reality of these terror attacks.

We discovered that the names were arranged carefully based on what was described as ‘layers of meaningful adjacencies‘. People’s names were arranged depending on where they were on 9/11 and the relationships they shared with others who were killed on that day, honouring requests from victim’s families for specific names to be next to each other.

This must have been a very complicated undertaking but it is a beautiful sentiment that reflects the togetherness of the victims and their surviving families.

Survivor Tree, 911 memorial

The Survivor Tree

In between and around the two pools there are swamp white oak (I read the brochure!) trees carefully planted softening the whole area. In the middle of all of this there is one particular tree, which is a little different as it stands there with some unusual straps and supports around it.

This tree is a Callery pear tree, which was found after 9/11 by the workers who were clearing the wreckage at ground zero. At this point in time it was reduced to a eight-foot-tall stump. This stump was nursed back to health in a New York City park and with much care it grew to 30 feet sprouting new branches..

There is a discrete little sign near this tree, which is rooted in its new home and it is attracting a lot of attention. Many of the visitors take photos near the tree but there is a huge desire by everyone to touch the ‘survivor tree‘. We touched it ourselves and it feels strangely reassuring and uplifting as it embodies the story of survival, resilience and hope.

In some way maybe this simple tree is the very best way to remember the 2,983 people who perished in 1993 and 2001?              

The 9/11 memorial site will no doubt attract millions of tourists every year reflecting on the victims names around the two pools and reliving the tragic events as shown in the memorial museum. Next to them the offices will once again fill up with thousands of ‘suits‘ going about their busy jobs, just as the victims did before them showing how the world and New York does move on.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

 

Figuring out the Cloud

July 12, 2014

Painting by James Malmgren

I need to admit it to myself ..I’ve been a little down for the last month or so and it has affected me, my form, the way I have been towards others, my general outlook towards things and how I have reacted to some stuff that has gone on.

That cloud seemed to drift in from somewhere without me spotting it and it seemed to get a little darker and it managed to park itself right over my head.

I’ve tried to figure this cloud out and I put it down to a bunch of things, each in their own way probably feeding into the next thing.

I reckon it all started with Stevie Gerrard slipping against Chelsea in a crucial match, which led to a defeat and a Liverpool title win dream shattered. This stupidly got me down..I guess we invest emotionally in the things we care about and even though its just football it got to me. It makes no sense that a football team in a different country can mean so much to you but ..there you go!

Then there is the really irritating sore knee that came along out of the blue one day we were walking the dogs about two months ago. I thought it would clear up by itself naturally, I thought resting up while we were on holidays would sort it out but it didn’t.

This soreness has made the simple walks I took for granted every Saturday and Sunday with friends a misery, it has caused lots of irritating discomfort, it has limited what I have been able to do lately including what we were able to do when we were on holidays. The stupid thing still hasn’t got much better, which truthfully is making me feel like an old man. “Wear and tear” is what the doctor said after x-rays and an MRI. I’m trying all sorts of vitamins, ointments, exercises and shoe inserts to try to sort the damn thing.

A few other normal everyday work things got me down that I would normally just deal with and not let bother me. I’ve been cranky and those around me aren’t getting the best of me and I know it.

This is a strange place for me as I am normally very positive and can see the bright side in most things.

Logically I know everything is great and I know that I am one of the luckiest people alive. I have a great life, a fantastic wife, two incredible kids, a terrific family, great friends and a thriving business, that I am really proud of.  My stupid knee I’m sure will be better in no time (hurry up will ya!) and Liverpool post Suarez ..lets see.

The cloud has cleared away and no doubt it will find someone else to park itself over, possibly someone with a lot more serious stuff going on than me.

Watch out for that cloud…

Note: The gorgeous picture ‘Man on a Pier’ is by an artist from Sweden called Jens Malmgren – check out his website for this and much more. 

Greg Canty

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

 

 

 

 

 

 


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