Insights from Our Workshop with Saatchi&Saatchi's Former Chairman - Smith

Insights from Our Workshop with Saatchi&Saatchi’s Former Chairman

Insights from Our Workshop with Saatchi&Saatchi’s Former Chairman

Last week, Smith embarked on a transformative journey during an away day in Grasmere, guided by the wisdom of Kevin Roberts the former chairman of Saatchi&Saatchi and owner of Red Rose Consulting. This excursion was not just a retreat but a deep dive into the realms of peak performance.

Our Creative Director, Oli, has been under the tutelage of Roberts for nearly three years, absorbing the nuances of peak performance. This time, the entire team got to experience the essence of this program in a one-day workshop.

The intense all-day workshop was a blend of interactive sessions, where each member delved into their personal purpose, and learnt various creative and strategic frameworks.

Key to the workshop was the introduction of powerful techniques and thinking frameworks. The OODA loop, a military strategy for decision-making in high-stress environments, stood out for its relevance in our fast-paced industry. It taught us to Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act with precision and clarity.

We also explored the Four Agreements framework, a tool for personal growth and freedom. This philosophical guide aided in reshaping our perspectives, fostering a culture of respect and openness within the team.

Strategic and creative thinking frameworks were also at the heart of the workshop. These sessions challenged our conventional thought processes, pushing us to innovate and think outside the box.

The day was not just about learning; it was about transforming. As we left Grasmere, we carried with us not just memories but tools and frameworks that would redefine our approach to work and life.

In essence, this workshop was a turning point for our agency. It was an investment in our team’s collective growth and a step towards realising our potential as creatives in a dynamic industry. We’re excited to apply these learnings and see how they unfold in our future projects.


Here’s a few insights we all learnt from the day:

Will Smith

The Power Of Presenting
One of the key takeaways from the day was the art of presenting effectively. Kevin delved deep into the power of communication, emphasising the importance of clarity, engagement, and confidence. He shared techniques to captivate an audience, making every word count and every moment impactful.

Mastering The Art Of Persuasion
Perhaps the most transformative aspect of the coaching was learning the skills to be more persuasive. Persuasion is an art, and Kevin Roberts is a master at it. He broke down the process into understandable and applicable strategies, from understanding your audience to crafting compelling narratives.

Personal Growth And Professional Application
This coaching day was more than just a learning experience; it was a journey of personal growth. As I absorbed these lessons, I realised how these skills are not just beneficial for me but also for our clients.


Danny Stead

It’s better to do your research, ask questions and all other preparation before taking action. This applies to presentations as well as the design process etc. The implementation is easier when all things have been considered.
Question the answers

You don’t have to always be the best – just better than the next person. E.g. the metaphor of you don’t have to outrun the bear, only your mate

Work harder at 3 things rather than 20

Have a dream, keep it simple, and not necessarily achievable – it doesn’t matter if you don’t achieve it, just that it’s pulling you in the right direction


Amber van Rooyen

Reflecting on an amazing experience, my top three takeaways which deeply resonate are:
Firstly, the staggering impact of emotions on IQ, I learned that emotions can halve our cognitive abilities – this is something that will stick in my mind.

Secondly, the transformative power of the OODA framework—Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. This is so important, especially in high-pressure work situations, a lesson solidified through practical application with Kevin.

Lastly, the significance of openly expressing personal beliefs and values, fostering stronger connections with the team and ultimately enhancing both personal and professional collaborations.


Luigi Amitrano

Your emotions can impact your IQ and have a knock on effect to your cognitive abilities.

Never make assumptions. Listen, and don’t assume.

Clients have the answers, it’s our job to extract them.

OODA – Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. Simple but massively effective, as we demonstrated practically throughout the day.

Orientate to your audience! This really resonated with me, as I feel this is something that I can personally incorporate in my work. Audience first.

Think it and you become it – think bigger ‘you only live once’ You die once, but you live every day

Look is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Your dream should not be measurable or necessarily achievable, but it should make you happy.

Money doesn’t make you happy but it gives you choice.

Fire in the belly, ice in the mind

Ask questions and question the answers.


Matthew Skinner

I believe my biggest takeaway from this experience is the importance, and power, of a personal purpose. I think it is something that everyone should think about, as really thinking deeply about who you are and what you believe in, I found, was really eye-opening and therapeutic. I’ve noticed the difference already in following a personal purpose and how easy it is to stay motivated when you know what you’re doing is inline with your purpose. I think it’s a great mindset to have as everyone has the days when it’s harder to get going but being able to remind yourself of that personal goal is a great way to stoke the fire.

Key phrases:
– Strong ego, not a big ego
– Rules: know when to break them, flex them, move them – and when not to
– Fear of fear is the biggest fear
– Understanding the 4 Agreements and how to use them
– Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance

Finally, I think the best note to leave it all on was when, having learnt these lessons, Kevin Roberts told us “Now, get to work”.


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