EPMEPM: Feature InterviewEPM: Leadership

The value of communication: Ashley Fell

In a four part series we drew inspiration from Tim Ferriss' Tribe of Mentors and asked ARPM 2018 speakers about their leadership story. Part 4 features McCrindle Head of Communications Ashley Fell.

What is the most important thing you are working on and how are you making that happen?

I have a few international conferences coming up, so developing new content for these is a priority at the moment, using research to update and individualise the content.

Where do great ideas in your business come from?

The great ideas in our organisation come from collaboration, whether that’s within our team or with our clients, to create and design solutions. As researchers we also use research and insights to help drive strategy and idea creation, using the tools at our disposal to identify the trends impacting our industry and how to be responsive to them.

Who are your leadership mentors and what do they do to inspire you?

Lisa McInnes-Smith is someone I have drawn inspiration from for a number of years. She is a phenomenal communicator with a powerful message. I also have the privilege of working alongside Mark McCrindle, whose leadership, generosity, humility and ability to inspire people I really admire.

I think there is merit in persevering through the times when we may not be ‘Loving’ something, and seeing it through

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success?

Early in my career, I learned a valuable lesson when I under-communicated with a journalist who was running a story we were supplying data for. When I realised, I went to the journalist and explained the missing details and why I had overlooked them. I learned through this the value of communicating, even the tough or negative information, and why it’s important to establishing trust.

What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?

Delivering my TEDx talk last year was such a great experience and, although a little stressful, was so worth the time and energy I invested into it. While I was a bit nervous in the lead-up, when I was delivering it I loved every minute.

In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most improved your life?

With the rise of digital devices and their presence in our lives, I’ve tried to reduce how much I use my mobile phone when spending quality time with people, or when trying to accomplish a task. Research suggests that even the sound of a message can distract and disrupt, so I’m trying to be more present by limiting my mobile use, which I’ve found really helpful.

What commonly given advice do you think people should ignore?

‘Love it or leave it’. Whether it be in reference to a career or something else, I think there is merit in persevering through the times when we may not be ‘loving’ something, and seeing it through (for a time) to see if this sentiment changes.

You can find our other exclusive interviews with ARPM speakers and coaches here.

Ashley will be speaking at ARPM 2018 at The Star in Sydney on 19-20 August. For more information visit arpmconference.com.au

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