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Just Derring-Do it
Mark Fowlestone

Reviving the spirit of derring-do to make agencies braver

“The need for bravery and innovation has never been more critical for agencies – it’s time for them to embrace their adventurous side”

I came across a word recently that, for me, captured what’s lost in much of today’s business thinking: Derring-Do. Originally coined in the 14th century, to describe the brave actions of knights. Derring-Do is about being heroic, adventurous and brave. It’s about possessing a daring spirit, and of accomplishing valiant (sometimes reckless) deeds in desperate times. Put simply, it’s all about having the daring to do. In our ever-changing and turbulent world, the need for a derring-do spirit has never been more critical. We need bravery to think, express, create and do. From my perspective, existing corporate and creative paradigms hinder more than help.

But Derring-Do doesn’t just change the way we do things, it also influences the business, creative and social environments of which we’re a part. We live in an inter-connected world. What we do isn’t just about us; it’s also about those with whom we connect. As such, we all have a responsibility for our communities and the capability to dare to make a positive difference. This aspect of Derring-Do sits at the very heart of Multiply and our personal innovation plans. Each year we put aside an innovation fund so we can use our skills and insight to have a go and make a difference. Last year saw the release of our first wholly-owned NPD: Naturelly which is a jelly juice fruit drink aimed at giving kids healthy, filling refreshment. Our hope is that, in a small way, Naturelly influences the health of those around us for the better. Next year we plan on expanding our work with Naturelly by developing a new super healthy snack (good for the body and good for the soul) and we’re not afraid of failure – who’s going to tell us off? For us, success is measured in many ways – experiencing the journey of discovery that comes with bringing a new product to market is as much a driver as the potential financial benefits.

Without Derring-Do no one would take risks, try new things or experience the pleasure of seeing their ideas come to life. As encapsulated in the Marketing Agency Association’s #DoingDifferent campaign, it frees us to think differently, take chances, make a difference and maybe even find success.

© Multiply UK Ltd 2016

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