It’s been said often, but I can’t resist: the world is getting smaller and smaller. I saw so many proof points this week as I traveled through Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and Singapore and Tokyo (airports only for the last two), getting to know Zeno’s teams and clients here. Whether it was the little girls in Delhi wearing “Frozen” t-shirts, the Manchester United gear on Kuala Lumpur’s Petaling Street, the quest to capture the perfect selfie (and laughter at every failed attempt) in Jakarta, the same beloved brands from home filling malls and concourses throughout Asia. Despite our considerable differences, it’s the similarities that are most remarkable: the pride when we talk about our kids and our accomplishments at work, the fierce protectiveness we feel towards our teams, the sheer bliss over a perfect piece of sushi or decadent dessert (try the prehistoric green Zeppole at Jakarta’s Sapori Deli).
Familiar concerns and aspirations punctuated every client conversation here, too: how do we evolve what we’re doing as marketers? How do we better demonstrate the impact of what we do, to internal stakeholders? How do we help our brands break through the clutter, both online and offline? For me, this trip reinforced the incredible opportunity we have as communicators to be the ultimate alchemists, helping brands and companies mix global insights, human truths and universal values with local know-how, relevance and relationships. That’s how you drive real business transformation. And there’s nothing like global travel to inspire a bit of personal transformation, too.