I don’t remember at what age it first started – but pretty much the earliest thing I can remember was that I wanted to draw.
When I woke up I would draw, when I was not riding a bike or climbing a tree I would draw. Sometimes I would ride my bike, climb up a tree and then draw. When people started to have conversations – I would draw. They wouldn’t notice because (probably) I covered it with my arm – as you do. Then slowly when people said it was good I would show them just a bit – and then a little bit more.
Words are the most important thing in our lives but words are really pictures too. I’m better at inspiring people when I can both draw and speak.
If I’m honest I would rather let my drawing speak for me even today. I think that we have lost the art of using words in some aspects of our life – they have become hijacked. And so I add pictures to fill in the the real meaning of – well what I mean.
Of course there were a lot of great things in there too. My career has been a great privilege.
Launching the BBC Microcomputer with Acorn Computer*. Running my own businesses since 1986. I’ve spent many years working with smart and influential people creating award winning campaigns and strategies for global brands. I sold my last company** to the WPP Group in order to form Group Partners. Whilst it had been exciting work, it seemed to make little real difference at all. I began to realise that much of it was pretty superficial.
Eventually I got so frustrated that I decided to change the way I was thinking and working.
In almost every business I worked with I witnessed misunderstanding and confusion around how stuff got done. I experienced real frustration and inefficiency in how companies thought about the future of their operations. From strategy to tactics – from transformation to change –there was an awful lot that needed to be thought through differently.
I’ve experienced a lot of things about business. Many of the observations are frustrating. Countless practices designed to help business solve challenges have been mediocre. A large proportion of them offer surprisingly low value and furthermore many of them were just plain stupid wrong – full of risk and expense.
In almost every business I worked with I witnessed misunderstanding and confusion around how stuff got done. I experienced real frustration and inefficiency in how companies thought about the future of their operations. From strategy to tactics – from transformation to change – there was an awful lot that needed to be thought through differently.
I decided that my experiences could serve business better.
I had learned that logical frameworks could help people ‘think’ with higher quality. I recognised that visuals could dramatically improve the engagement and understanding of teams and I saw that by being totally impartial business could avoid creating yet more problems. I started Group Partners to overcome all of these frustrations.
I’m an avid collector of what life teaches us. You can follow me on twitter @JohnCaswell and the many other links you will find here.
*Acorn Computer. In the 1980s, John Caswell was Head of Marketing at Acorn Computers, running communications, marketing and brand strategy and in the early 80s launched the BBC Microcomputer. During his time as Head of Marketing the turnover of the business grew from $2m to $240m. Acorn Computer was also the business that created the highly successful Arm Technologies, effectively one of the UK’s most successful technology businesses.
**MCW. This business developed strategies and implemented complex informational and communication programs for large enterprises. The business was responsible for many large scale campaigns including the entire Euro96 Football Championships and the global strategy for SAP. The consultancy also created major and award-winning strategic programs for IBM, Ford, Oracle, Benetton, Philips, Microsoft, Xerox, Time Warner, Sony, and many more.
A creative in a strategic world.
“I simply want to enable people to think and avoid doing the wrong things really well.”
Press – Print
- April 2012 – Mashable – Digital and Business Trends Shaping Consumer Experience
- September 2012 – San Francisco Chronicle – The New Digital Rainmakers
Video – Interviews