Article

Leonie Mercedes
Leonie Mercedes 12 October 2017
Categories B2B, B2C, Customer Experience

The digital cream of London: Interview with Andrew Grill, The Practical Futurist

As we prepare for the sixth Digital Leaders Banquet in London, which brings together the UK’s most influential senior marketing leaders, we invited digital transformation thought leader and speaker Andrew Grill to reflect on his career, and tell us what keeps him coming back to the event year after year.

“I wouldn’t call myself a [digital] whisperer,” Andrew Grill says, after describing what he does as he would to someone he’d just met. It’s not an unfair description, though. “I translate all this digital stuff… into meaningful, bite-size understandable language that people can engage with.”

Whisperer or not, over the last two decades, Andrew Grill has served as a digital transformation communicator of sorts, helping businesses get on board with their digital futures.

During his career, he’s spoken to and consulted for organisations all over the world, including IBM, British Airways and Unilever, to develop their digital strategies. As ‘The Practical Futurist’, he presents keynotes about digital disruption, the future workplace, and personal branding.

What do his clients, or businesses that are struggling on their digital transformation journeys need to know? “They want you to know that you understand their pain, so [when you speak to them], you’ve got to use the same language,” he says, adding that when he does talk to someone from a specific business, such as an airline, he can contextualise digital transformation in a way that makes sense to them.

Grill explains how joining the Rotary Club in Sydney as a 29-year-old prepared him for his future career in the boardroom: “I was by far the youngest person there,” Grill says. “But it meant for the next five or 10 years I could hang around people that were older than me but so much more experienced."

“I became completely comfortable, and when I walk into a boardroom, whether [it’s for] British Airways, or a bank, or whatever, I sense that I get them.”

For the sixth year running, Grill will be attending the Digital Leaders Banquet. Grill is a fairly well-connected fixture on the London digital transformation circuit (a position that he says means he’s often making introductions at the event: “Could you introduce me to X?”). So why does he choose to return to the banquet every year?

The evening is specially designed so that attendees can meet as many other people at the event as possible, as they are encouraged to move seats between meal courses.

“I meet more people that way in the industry in one place more than ever by doing that,” Grill says, adding that he meets new people throughout the afternoon, and sometimes has the opportunity to reconnect with former contacts.

“I think there’s no other event like it where you bring the digital cream of London together to actively network and there’s no expectation other than that you’re going to meet some interesting people.”

Grill concludes: “You know the people there are going to be high calibre, even if you don’t know who they are or haven’t met them, you know they’re going to be worth meeting. There is a sort of cachet that’s attached to it.”

The Digital Leaders Banquet will take place on November 30, at Ironmongers’ Hall in the City of London. Previous attendees have included Unilever, EE and Oracle. Apply to attend now.

DLUK-Winter-Banquet-Banner-for-article-2017-non-bold.png

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
Are virtual reality and augmented reality the next step for CMS?

Are virtual reality and augmented reality the next step for CMS?

In a fitting conclusion to a year many hailed as the “year of virtual reality” (VR), in December 2016, WordPress made it possible for users to create and publish VR content on any WordPress site. The change meant that users could publish 360-degree photos on their sites, and regular photos and panoramas could be viewed in VR.

Leonie Mercedes
Leonie Mercedes 16 October 2017
Read more
Collection Of The Best Email Testing Tools Online

Collection Of The Best Email Testing Tools Online

Don’t be afraid of email testing. There are many free or freemium tools online that can help you with testing your SPAM score, deliverability and even the rendering of your email. We feature 30 email testing tools in this article. Check out the complete list!

Roland Pokornyik
Roland Pokornyik 31 October 2016
Read more
Smash your customer acquisition targets with these AB tests

Smash your customer acquisition targets with these AB tests

Don't second guess what will work best to drive new customer acquisition via referral. Plan a program of AB tests to maximise results and you could benefit from a 5-7x improvement in results!

Angela Southall
Angela Southall 17 October 2017
Read more