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The Year Ahead x Natalie Graeme

'Frustration is good. It’s petrol for innovation' - Natalie Graeme, founder, Uncommon Creative Studio

"This is not a drill. 2021 was to be the year we built back better. But it wasn’t the clean shooting out of the gates we all wanted, was it? As the immediate Covid fog lifted, we all appreciated even more keenly what else needed fixing. Diversity is making painfully slow progress. The “Great Resignation” is upon us. And I write this as the great white hope of COP26 commitments fade away, with emissions quickly continuing to rise to pre-pandemic levels.

Sorry if this all reads like bad news. I’m actually super optimistic for the future. Because my hope is all this gets you fired up. Frustration is good. It’s petrol for change and innovation. I have to admit, I live off it. It sets out the hard lines you won’t return to. That you refuse to go back on. As an individual, a company, a planet. And fricking hell, the past 18 months have given us some fuel in the tank.

So, if 2021 drew the lines in the sand for all to plainly see, 2022 is not a drill. It is a chance to act with that knowledge we now cannot unknow. We should all feel the weight of responsibility to get it right. To use our incredible creativity as an industry to engineer a different future.

And as some of the tools we used to reach for pre-Covid come back thick and fast – being together for greater collaboration, getting to meet new colleagues and clients in 3D, or just noticing when someone isn’t quite themselves – we need to blend this with the amazing new tools and reserves we’ve found during this period. In particular, channelling my best Mystic Meg, below are a few things I hope we’ll see more of."




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