Inspirational leaders – Sonoo Singh – lessons learnt from 2020 and reasons to be positive for 2021

As a continuation of our leadership talks we had the privilege of welcoming Sonoo Singh to give us her refreshingly frank perspective on the industry, the lessons to be learnt from 2020 and the reasons to be positive for the future.

2020 has been extraordinary for everyone, and every individual, business and brand has talked about ‘change’. For Sonoo change meant leaving her post as associate editor of the Drum to launch Creative Salon with her long-time friend, colleague and sparring partner, Claire Beale. As a journalist Sonoo has always been driven by a responsibility to influence and affect real change and launching a start-up in the current climate is certainly testament to this.

Sonoo believes the core principles of challenging and driving change are traits that the most successful leaders share. Her thinking is that leaders who can bend, flex and change their opinion are as a result able to avoid complacency at all costs and in doing so act as catalysts for transformation across the industry.  There has never been a more important time for leaders to behave in this way, as now more than ever, brands and businesses must be brave. At the same time they must be careful not to forget or alienate their people, consumers, employees. Sonoo believes that leaders, in any capacity, must display a generosity of spirit and transparency in all they do if they want to be truly trusted and respected. This is just as true for how brands interact with their customers.

Sonoo has witnessed first-hand how the technological advancements of the last decade have turned the advertising industry on its head and these changes have only been accelerated through the pandemic. And whilst undoubtedly these advancements will continue to move our industry forward and shift the agenda it is Sonoo’s firm and fundamental belief that creativity is still the biggest commodity in our industry. Data, AI, machine learning are all incredible tools but are only truly brought to life and therefore able to transcend to culture via beautiful story telling. Sonoo stressed therefore how important it is for the leadership of any business in our industry to make sure that creativity is always at the top of the agenda and that the C Suite enable a business culture which allows creativity to flourish and not be stifled.

Sonoo is clear that the time is now for the industry to reshape, reframe and be better. This belief gives her great optimism for future of the industry and the diverse and incredible talent who work within it. If 2020 has taught the industry one thing Sonoo hope its that it realises the time for change is now. We will all look forward to the Creative Salon holding the industry to account and inspiring and driving conversations that encourage us all to evolve for the better.