London, 05/10/2016

Fresh Wind from the United Kingdom

Subject: Employees
Country: Germany
Category: Project

Britain is considered one of the most creative markets in the world. From TV shows to novels, from music to services, many creative ideas from the United Kingdom have gone on to conquer the world. And many of the ideas developed in Britain have found their entrepreneurial home at Bertelsmann. The six finalists of the latest "Bertelsmann Fresh Perspectives" session in London recently demonstrated how creativity at our British companies benefits the entire Group and can make Bertelsmann even more innovative. Employees from Penguin Random House, Fremantle Media, BMG and Arvato presented their exciting business ideas to Bertelsmann Chairman and CEO Thomas Rabe and the participants of the Bertelsmann UK Country Coordination meeting.

Outstanding ideas put into practice

The second round of the project was launched last October. It was initiated by Gail Rebuck, Chair of Penguin Random House UK, and implemented by Claire Thomas, Head of Organizational Development, Human Resources at Penguin Random House, in association with the other UK divisional HR directors. Young talents were called on to develop a vision about how to think or act "differently," whether at Penguin Random House UK or in cooperation with other Bertelsmann companies. The six men and women who set out to prove themselves in this round of "Fresh Perspectives" had big shoes to fill. The participants in the first round of the project in 2015 turned two ideas into tangible achievements. Darryl Foster from Fremantle Media had the idea of a multi-platform gaming vertical, which has now become "Sandbox." And "Fresh Perspectives" participants Matthew Young and Claudia Toia came up with Caro Rovelli’s successful digital marketing campaign for "Seven Brief Lessons on Physics."

Creative online community

Collaboration and the concept of sharing ideas ran through all of this year's "Fresh Perspectives" proposals. Darryl Foster of Fremantle Media, who had presented the proposal for "Sandbox" last year, presented his new idea "Loop: Dating for ideas," which involves creative minds at Bertelsmann exchanging and developing ideas in an online community. This idea was twinned with MindMatch created by the Bertelsmann Corporate Center Development Circle (represented by Katharina Kerl and Johannes Ziehe) and will be mentored by Ian Hudson CEO Penguin Random House International and Deputy CEO Penguin Random House UK.

Ben Brusey of Penguin Random House UK presented his idea "Penguin Scribe," a service that represents Penguin Random House authors as prospective gaming writers to games developers. Tom Weldon, CEO of Penguin Random House UK, will support Brusey in this project.

Millennial audience

Joshua Wheeler of Arvato pitched "Task," the winning idea of Arvato’s Innovation Competition. The system is designed to help companies manage important tasks, jobs and activities by addressing some fundamental challenges many businesses face, such as compliance reporting, heavy email traffic, and collaborative working.

Sam Hill of BMG pitched his idea for a "Digital Marketing Hub" that Bertelsmann divisions can use to work together to share and optimize advertising data, reducing their dependency on third-party companies. James Stafford, Vice President Stylehaul will mentor the project.

Finally, Kate Sinclair of Penguin Random House and Jessica Bray at Fremantle Media explored ways to capture the attention of millennials. They plan to bring books to a new audience on Penguin Random House’s YouTube channel with short animated films on emotional topics. Hannah Telfer, Group Consumer and Digital Development Director at Penguin Random House UK, supports the two in their project.

"For the participants of the annual Country Coordination meetings, this was a refreshing insight into how young colleagues develop new business ideas," said Gail Rebuck, summing up the successful second edition of the "Fresh Perspectives" initiative. "It was a wonderful and certainly very interesting experience for the finalists to pitch their ideas to all the UK CEOs and senior group of participants around Thomas Rabe."