Lockdown has reached its 12 week in the UK and this week I am discussing the affect of the Pandemic on businesses and individuals by speaking to Tania Ferreira, Co Founder of the Innovation and Customer Strategy agency Two Igloos.
1. Where do you work and what do you do?
I am the co-founder of Two Igloos, we are an innovation and customer strategy consultancy based in the UK and Canada.
2. What’s your career path been like and how did you end up where you are?
I have always been fascinated by understanding how people make decisions, so my career has followed that interest. I started in product marketing and branding at a large financial services company and then followed that experience by moving into consulting. We started Two Igloos to develop that understanding (particularly in products that involve complex decision making, e.g. where you invest your savings) and couple it with commercial realities to drive sustainable businesses.
3. Where are you spending lockdown and how do you manage your day?
Like all of us I am at home, which is in Hackney East London. For me it is all about having a routine, and lots of exercise to counteract all the sitting!
4. What are the biggest adjustments you’ve had to make in terms of you work, managing your teams/ clients?
Luckily for us the majority of our clients are used to working remotely, so that was a simple shift. However, consulting tends to rely on face to face interactions so having to think about moving to digital methodologies while achieving the same level of output has been interesting. Lots of trial and error of technologies such as Miro, Zoom, Slack and InVision.
5. How has your business been affected by and reacted to the crisis?
I think for all small businesses it has been a worrying time. We are trying to manage the near term effectively while keeping an eye on the future. We are also aware that our clients and partners are going through their own challenges and so adapting, being flexible and supporting other businesses where we can is important.
6. Do you expect that your company will return to BAU post lock down or do you think there will be some changes? If so what?
Hopefully, we will take this opportunity to learn new approaches and ways of collaborating that improves on what was there before.
7. Have you been impressed or put off by any particular brands in how they have responded to the crisis?
A few weeks ago I watched a montage of adverts that illustrated how many brands are saying the same things, using the same words and imagery. So, I have been impressed by brands, many of them small, who are having impact in a low key way, such as Edeline Lee, a fashion brand making masks for frontline workers and Medik8, a skin care brand making hand sanitizer for the community. What is great is that there are hundreds of examples from the largest to the smallest organisations of everyone pulling together.
8. What has been the hardest part and the best parts about lockdown?
This hardest is easy – not being able to see friends and family. The best part I guess has been the opportunity to connect more with people further afield such as friends and family who live internationally.
9. How do you find inspiration/ what gets you out of bed each day?
Breakfast gets me out of bed! It is the joy being sparked in the smallest things that make a difference.
10. There has been talk of massive changes to how we live our lives and how we work due to the lessons learnt from the Coronavirus – do you think this is true?
I think the situation will continue to be very different in the medium-term (who knows how long that is!), but it is hard to know what will continue longer term. I am hopeful we can take the positive learnings and keep those as we move forward.
11. What one thing do you hope will continue post lock down?
The increase in walking/cycling and reduction in cars has been a breath of fresh air.
12. Have you learnt anything about yourself during lock down that you didn’t know before?
How easy it is to quickly adapt to a situation that would have seemed impossible a few weeks prior.