How To Boss It Like… Bonny Hall, innovation director at Lovehoney

There are a handful of business leaders and industry figures in Britain who are changing the world. From Cindy Gallop to Lauren Armes and Sally Gunnell, these smart people seem to get an incredible amount done, in an impossibly short space of time.

This morning we’re talking to Bonny Hall who is undoubtedly a productivity guru.

Bonny Hall has been at British sex toy retailer Lovehoney for over a decade, and it’s fair to say her days are jam-packed.

As product and innovation Director she oversees the creation of new products, managing the teams who deal with product development, and buying stock.

Not only does she travel the world checking out brand new sex toys, but it’s her business to make sure they get safely into your bedroom.

A busy woman, with big ideas, The Memo asked Hall how she gets it all done.

What time do you get up, and what part of your morning routine sets you up for the day?

On the perfect day I get up at 7:00am and fit in a 20 minute HITT session in my home gym before work. I’ll put a YouTube training video on the iPad and get it over and done with.

No excuses! It’s the perfect way to set you up for the day.

What smartphone do you have?

An iPhone 6 in Space Grey with 16GB of storage.

What apps or methods do you use to be more productive?

Bonny Hall’s iPhone 6 home screen.

I keep my organisation and planning pretty simple. I use Google Calendar to manage my diary and this is synced with my phone as this is run across the company.

I use Google Docs to manage a lot of my projects as it’s so easy for us all to access and update information. I find myself deleting apps on my phone to make way for more pictures.

I travel a lot and I love photography, so I’m a big instagrammer.

How many people, outside of family, do you meet in a day? And broadly speaking, who are these people?

Everyday I meet with my product development team to go through our projects. There are six of us in the team and we’re currently working in a small office space together.

I also meet most days with the other Directors at Lovehoney. At this time of the year we’re working on the company strategy for the next Financial Year so lots to plan.

Plus it’s Valentine’s…and as you can imagine a very hectic time.

What book have you read, either recently or in the past, that has inspired you?

This may sound a little geeky but while I was working in Hong Kong recently I picked up a book called New Packaging.

I’m interested in design-led books and I find it useful to sometimes look outside of the adult industry for inspiration.

We work on our own brand development here at Lovehoney and inspiration continually pops up in places you never expect.

Just some of the products that Hall and her team are responsible for.

What advice would you give for people who are eager to get into your industry?

My advice would be be prepared to work hard. Often people will assume that because we are working with sex toys that it’s not real work and it’s more fun than graft.

Yes, we laugh and have fun but at the same time we’re a serious business, making serious money and employing a lot of people and we all want to be the best that we can be. I’ve seen people come and go in the industry who haven’t been able to cope with the pressures.

The other thing is that it’s ‘nice to be nice.’ You never know in this industry when a competitor may become a customer or even a colleague.

A lot of people change roles and move companies and relationship building is very important.

When do you work until? Are you still sending emails in the night? Or do you have a wind down routine?

I’m in the office most evenings until 6pm. I try not to work at home in the evenings unless I have a specific project or deadline.

To wind down I take the dogs for a long muddy walk or read a book in front of the fire. I’m generally quite healthy during the week so when Friday rolls around I wind down with a glass of wine as a well-earned treat.

If you could ask your idol one question, who would it be, and what would you ask?

I wouldn’t say I have just one idol. I have a lot of respect for women who make it in a traditionally man’s world.

I travel a lot for my job, and come into contact with very inspirational women who are managing huge teams, or creating the most inspiring products making thousands of couples happy all over the world everyday.

I think I’d like to ask them-working in the global, fast-moving industry that we do, how they juggle their work/life balance.

Come back next Thursday for our next #BossItLike interview, and get in touch if you know a leader who’s also a productivity guru for us to talk to.

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