Rosie Lee Evolution

Me

I’ve been planning to start a blog for some time but have struggled to get started. Maybe it’s because I’m not a natural writer, maybe i didn’t have a clear reason of my own to write, or maybe i was just plain old ‘too busy’. Now that Rosie Lee is about to begin a new phase of our evolution, it feels important to write about it and share the journey.

Original Rosie Lee Logo

In 2001 Rosie Lee was born, started by Mark Fleming with an aim of continuing his great creative work for clients.

Mark

If you’ve met Mark then you have probably heard some of his inspirational phrases that carry meaning beyond day-to-day business (Its very possible that you’ve also heard some phrases that are difficult to decipher as well — but he’s our Creative Director so we’re not supposed to understand everything he says!)

Dave White’s Air Max 95 painting for the ‘Wet Paint’ exhibition

I joined Rosie Lee around 2004 with a view to securing New Business for Rosie Lee. What actually happened is that Mark and I complemented each other’s skills nicely and Rosie Lee started off on a new path with a foundation of disruptive creative thought backed up by solid processes for planning, tracking and delivering work.

Our First Company Strategy

After years of growth, admittedly with a few blips here and there, we were approaching the end of 2013. We were 13 Staff, had a successful, stable business and Joe Maloney had been promoted to sit on the Board of Directors. Each of the 3 directors had ideas about the future — some discussed, some verbalised and some just thoughts. We hadn’t ever created a solid plan to work to, as we were primarily focussed on creative and delivery of projects.

Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Retail Campaign, Oxford Street

We committed our ideas to paper, compiled them into our 2020 Strategy and set about creating a long term financial forecast to enable us to plan and track progress.

Air Max Day 2016, Hong Kong

From then onwards the company seemed to grow exponentially…in 2016 we work with clients across the globe, our staff numbers have doubled, and we have studios in London, New York, Amsterdam & Frome. The company is in a very different place to where we were in 2013 and so we decided to refresh and revise our 2020 Strategy.

Infinite Objects launch photography

In the first stage of our strategy review we looked back at what had happened between 2013 and now, and it turns out that the strategy setting exercise really did work. We hit around 70–80% of the things we had set out to do and are generally on the way to achieving most of the rest. Good news…but then we began a process of setting a more meaningful strategy for the future.

One of the main problems with this kind of exercise is that it becomes easy to look backwards and see issues — everything you did before suddenly feels ‘wrong’. After a few days of research, the direction became clear — we realised that we need to step backwards instead of forwards, and look at the heart of the company. We need to align on values, purpose, vision, etc.

Up until recently, all of these words sounded similar to me but now the fog is starting to clear, it makes sense and we’re ready to take it on.

RL Value Pyramid

It may take some time, but we’re better armed than we ever have been to tackle this. When the time comes, we’ll reset our group strategy with clear values and a solid purpose in mind…and these will carry us in the right direction wherever we choose to go.