Task Definition and Common Sense

This post has two parts.
The first part is on the London Mayor’s “Say Maaate to a Mate” summer campaign and Ogilvy Consulting work. Although I find the visuals awkward, I do not have a clear opinion about the campaign. First, I am not a Londoner, and second, I do not know the whole story of the client (the Mayor) and the consultant (Ogilvy) cooperation – what had been initially proposed? Did the client ask for changes? Etc. However, the idea was good, and the discussions were rich, so I wrote a summary and cited some publications.
In the second part, I write about my own consulting experience. In most cases, the client and I worked together on the task definition, and I would often propose a different angle.
The connection between the two parts is the question: can one influence the task definition when a project has high visibility and one’s client is a Mayor?

Found in Translation

My friend Ole Jorgensen has recently released a video “My Life as Inventor, Designer and Explorer”, the latest in the series of videos about his life. Ten years ago, Ole and I did a project together, the Russian Film Music DVD. My part of the job was the English subtitles. Dreaming of literary research in my young years, I ended up working on more down-to-earth things like financial services. I am a good reader, though, and I love talking about literature. Today, I lead groups for the learners of English, including one on translations of classical literature. The project with Ole, as I see it today, helped me to connect the two professional domains, international business development and language studies.

SQM Remedy system, best in class

In this post, Vera Kolpakova (Senatorova) speaks about the time when we worked together. SQM Remedy system was one our first important initiatives. “Agile” and “scrum”, these words were not known then. Someone probably watched us in 2006 and coined the terms to describe our approach. We asked Vica Alexandrova and Marina Kodryan to contribute, and so they did. And there are more stories to tell about that time and our SQM team!..

Burning Bridges

 On June 22nd, 2022, I posted the article “I will burn this money on Crimea Bridge” on my Russian website. Let the title not mislead you: the customer I quoted had referred to the Crimea bridge in Moscow over the Moskva river. The quote dates back to 2008, when Crimea was part of Ukraine, and that bridge to the island of Crimea did not exist.  The June post “I will burn this money…” told the story of my bank account opening in Portugal. That little victory over the red tape is now past, so the English version is more about banks’ rules and compliance procedures in general.  Nothing new for bankers but might be interesting for bank customers. I am finalising this English version much later. I have not heard a voice approving the war among my close friends and relatives. Yet there is a vast country out there. Some people are in shock and enduring reality; others accept sick ideas and follow criminal orders. Two months ago, young friends from Moscow came to stay with me, medical doctors who did not want to be mobilised. They miss their dog and their flat; they keep working online for their pharma companies doing business in Russia. One can blame them for not being interested in politics but I do not see that they differ much from European young people I know. The posts I write here and in social networks are my way to stay connected with my own voice and with others. Life is with people. Transparent, accessible, and fair financial services connect people.