In Conversation with Jim Antonopoulos

Where do you work and what do you do?

I own a brand and innovation consultancy called Tank. We do most of our work in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane. And from time to time, we fly overseas to work with clients. Our key focus areas are strategy, culture and innovation.

Tell us about yourself.

My career began in the early days of the internet and navigated creative and strategy leadership roles in digital, technology and brand strategy consulting.

I’ve owned Tank since 2007 and we’ve transformed some amazing organisations through brand and cultural transformation programs with a strong human-centred focus in both delivery and outcome.

We are slightly different in that we are all part-time, work 9:30-4:30 most days and we lead with our values.

I author a weekly journal about creative leadership, as well as a weekly leadership briefing for people who aspire to be more authentic, mindful and creative leaders.

I’m currently editing any first book on creative leadership and also built an online course for creatives. More importantly, and above all, I am a father of three amazing children.

What changes have you seen in the Branding/ Design industry since starting out? The good, the bad and the ugly.

So many since 1991.

Technological innovation aside (this is obvious) I’ve seen a fundamental change in so many roles within our industry.

Clients are now more astute buyers of creativity and the more mature ones are in-housing talent in a big way.

I’ve seen clients trust the role of strategist more and more, if it’s backed up with evidence and insight. I’ve also seen the visual (graphic) design role find itself in a landscape that has shifted underfoot. Constantly seeking to reinvent itself to stay relevant and find revenue.

I’ve also seen the rise of purpose-led organisations who want to do much more than build a nice app, ad or website. They seek meaning and internal transformation. They want their people to have something to believe in that is directly links to head, heart and bottom line.

This has been the most exciting change I’ve seen above all.

How do you stay relevant today?

I try to add value where I can and not seek anything else in return.

Tell us what you are currently working on?

I just completed a transformational culture program with a global team for a technology business in Europe. I’m helping a private girls school build and execute on their seven year strategic plan. I’m mentoring a startup founder. I’m writing my weekly journal and MarchFirst, Weekly! I’m trying to be a good father.

What would your advice be to a Designer looking to break into the industry in 2019?

Read, I answer this question every Tuesday.

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