Helena Mcaleer
Helena Mcaleer 17 September 2015

An Interview With Inspiration Speaker Ross Sleight, Somo

Ross Sleight Chief Strategy Officer of Somo, a global leading connected solutions company, helps companies and brands to navigate the very fast moving evolving world of technology and helps them get closer to their consumers.


Who Are You?
I’m Ross Sleight, and I’m the Chief Strategy Officer for Somo. Somo is a global leading connected solutions company. What I actually do is I help companies and brands to navigate the very, very fast moving evolving world of technology and help them get closer to their consumers.


What Inspires You And Where Do You Look For Inspiration?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. It comes from doing an immense amount of reading, an immense amount of skimming, a lot of talking to people and a lot of understanding the big themes that are going forward. So what I look for when I look for inspiration is to understand very, very key themes and try and bring those out.


The real value for inspiration comes from connecting those themes together. If I have a problem, could I use X or Y theme to begin to help me to solve that.


What Do You Do When You Have An Idea And How Do You Go About Turning It Into Reality?
Everyone has hundreds, if not millions, of ideas in a year. In fact, the execution is everything when it comes down to making an idea a reality. You’ve got to be quite focused on which ideas you concentrate on.


I like to spend the time in there doing very, very deep dives, personally. I like to work on my own to do that, I’m not a great collaborative person. I like to be able to look very, very solo at problems and get my thinking straight before I then move into a collaboration mode with everybody or the whole team to be able to bring that into some form of reality and execution.


Talk Us Through An Idea Of Yours, From Inspiration to Realisation

One of the most inspiring ideas that I was involved with was when I was marketing director at Virgin Games. We had a key problem that constricted what we could do in our marketing communications. That was literally, we couldn’t say anything about the product that we were marketing. In doing so, I wrote a brief at the time that had a proposition that was very, very vanilla. It was in the fact that Virgin Games just had a casino.


In the pitch that ensued, many agencies pulled out because they found their proposition to be lacking, or very shallow. The thing there was that that constriction created amazing work out of it. The ability where you had very, very few things to be able to play with allowed the creative agency at the time, Lean Mean Fighting Machine to produce incredibly engaging humorous work that produced insanely high amounts of ROI, but also lead to Cannes Awards, it lead to D&AD Pencils. It was incredibly creative at the same time. That constriction was the part which actually made the quality of the work.


What Are You Going To Talk About At Inspiration?
At Inspiration, what I’m going to talk about is that value of constriction. In an ever evolving, growing exponentially world or technology, where we have thousands of opportunities, right? What the value of constriction is in inspiring us. Those constrictions could be everything from constriction of time, constriction of budget, a constriction of business or legal, or indeed, a constriction on focus around exactly what the problem is.

Ultimately, I’m going to talk about why the best value of inspiration comes from asking the question, "Why", rather than of "How", or "What."


Hear Ross speak at Inspiration 2015, book your place now


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