Bridging the gap

between corporate content and entertainment

                   

Don Packett is a raconteur, MC, professional speaker, stand-up comedian, author and CEO of strategy design and dissemination firm, Missing Link.

Speaker

Don brings a fresh perspective to conferences and events by sharing his experiences with audiences, related to a number of hot topics, assisting CEOs and organisational leaders drive specific messages home. Every talk provides educational and entertaining anecdotes, tales, metaphors, analogies and a healthy dose of recapitulation for good measure.

Comedian

Building a comedy career balancing between underground clubs and big, flashy, corporate stages has built Don’s style into one focussing on everyday preoccupations that make him, and now you, think a little differently about life, love and everything in between.

MC

With a wealth of deep-set knowledge and appreciation for the corporate beast, Don is hellbent on ensuring that the gap between organisational content and entertainment is not only bridged, but firmly set in order for all audiences to engage with speakers’ content as effectively as possible.

Facilitator

Having co-built an innovation consultancy a decade ago, and working closely with organisations on their strategic intent for twice as long, Don’s magic power is to not only ensure objectives are measured and met in facilitated engagements, but to also ensure that participants are pushed to their paces on the road to excellence.

Clients & testimonials

“Don didn’t just present ‘Speed Kills’, he told a fantastic story which resonated with our audience, provoked thought and inspired action. Great energy and objective achieved!”

Jaco Markwat – Wonderware: Sales and Marketing Director

“We invited Don to talk at one of our regular ‘Heavy Chef’ events, on slowing down in the speedy era of digital. It was one of the most popular sessions of our calendar, with Don providing a strong mix of scything humour and fresh insight.”

Fred Roed – World Wide Creative: CEO

“I’ve been working with Don and his team for close on 10 years and not once have I been left thinking, ‘Wow, that’s exactly what I asked for’. The reason for that is I have always got so much more.”

Shaun Edmeston: FNB Commercial

Featured in:

Through business, comedy or off-the-wall strategy summits, Don has been featured in a number of online and print publications including Fast Company, Entrepreneur and Khuluma.

Latest from my Blog

Keeping your eye on the (right) prize

Lessons from missing a flight.

I fly a lot. I enjoy not only the seeing-new-things side of it, but also watching this beast of an industry, with so many moving parts, achieve what it does every single day. Regional, international, double-deckers, 4-seaters, I’ve experienced all kinds of aircraft and all shapes of airports. And, until recently, I had a 100% attendance rate in getting to my aircraft and in my seat on time. Have I been called over terminal intercoms by name? Of course. But never, until a few weeks ago, have I actually missed a flight.

Now, most people I know have missed flights because of traffic, or delayed meetings, or problems with check-in. These are all completely understandable, which is why I generally like to leave home earlier than necessary in order to combat any unforeseen circumstances. This occasion was no exception.

My flight was scheduled for 06:00 leaving Lanseria, boarding at 05:30. I arrived at 05:00, pre-checked in, walked through security and headed straight to the SLOW XS lounge. I grabbed a coffee, some granola, I had plenty of time. I sat at the window and watched the people around my plane getting it ready. I even took a photo of the plane and posted it on Instagram. I watched the pilots enter. I watched the crew enter. I watched the engineers doing what they do. All while working on my laptop and admiring the view. 05:30 came around and I saw no passengers walking toward the plane. Strange, I thought, but maybe the crew were having a problem and there was a slight delay. These things happen. I continued to work, and continued to watch my plane. 10 minutes passed, no passengers. Another 10 minutes passed, no passengers. At this point I figured I needed to go to the gate, downstairs, to find out what the problem was in order to potentially plan my day differently. I walked downstairs and saw a line of passengers ready to board my plane at Gate 5. Except it wasn’t my plane. My plane was at Gate 4, and as I turned my head towards the correct gate, I watched as the door was securely closed, and my plane, my actual plane, was pushing back – without me.

The boarding information was on my ticket. It was also on the screens in the lounge. It was also – almost certainly – shared via intercom that boarding for my flight had started. Hell, they may even have called my name. Information on what I needed to do was everywhere around me, but none of it mattered because I only had one thing on my mind: Keeping an eye on my plane, which turned out to be the wrong plane entirely.

Why should this story matter to you?

We often get so stuck on one thing, and aggressively focus all our energy and attention on that one thing, that we forget everything else around us. Now, is focus a bad thing? Of course not, but what is a bad thing is not realising when your focus is indeed on the wrong thing.

So what should you do?

Think about your 3 big focus areas right now – whether personal or for your business – take a step back and consider if these truly are the right things to have your eye on (or, as in my case, is it headed in the wrong direction entirely).

 

Originally published on LinkedIn.

Why you need to surf at sunrise

I’ve just popped up to the 32nd floor – the roof – of the Maharani Hotel in Durban to take the sunrise pic above. The view is spectacular from up there. What I’d noticed more, though, than the sun rising to start a brand new day, were the multitude of surfers in the water. I posted this pic to my Instagram feed, jokingly hashtagging “#dontthesepeoplework?” But I know they do, and this, for me, is their balance.

Last night Rich and myself were chatting to Chris, one of the guys in our team, about hard work. We all agreed on one principle: We give 100% when we’re working, but we realise that we need to give 100% to time off too. Each person’s balance, though, is different.

Missing Link started with a bang this year, with the whole team putting in crazy hours on a number of projects we were running. Today is the last event of a Mugg ‘n Bean roadshow we’re a part of, and Chris is taking some well-deserved time off, in Durban. Why? Because he’s worked his tail off from the beginning of the year, and now he’s going to reap that reward.

I speak to a lot of people about the subject of work/life balance and always get varying results. My personal view is simple: I work my ass off when I need to, but I take solid time off when I need to as well. However, much to contrary belief, this is not only reserved for December holidays. It’s small little breaks during the year, exploring a new part of our country over a weekend, for example, that are my balance. So I’m at a 95% work-focus when working (adding reading and exercising to the mix), and a 95% holiday-focus when I’m off (because with some perspective by being out of the office, I often find solutions for problems currently on my plate, or come up with new ideas, which is a win). Others I’ve spoken to prefer to have a different approach: Not working too hard during the day, but not waking up early to surf or planning little weekends away either, because they feel they’re pretty chilled in general.

I personally believe the surfers have it right. They wake up early to get a few good sunrise rides in, then get showered and changed and start their work day as usual. They’re refreshed, invigorated, and ready for action.

How’s your balance? Do you hit work and play aggressively? Or do you have more of a 50/50 all day every day mindset?

 

Originally published on LinkedIn.

Forget Uberising. LEGOrise your business.

Last week I found an old box of LEGO in a box in my garage. It still contained all the necessary ingredients (the box with a picture of the end result, the instructions and, of course, all the pieces). As a self-proclaimed completionist, I felt the urge and duty to build this once again. Which I did. After an hour I had the perfect rendition of a LEGO Batmobile. It was beautiful. I excitedly showed my wife, presenting it with an accompanying backstory and next Bat-adventure it would take. She was enthralled (not really, but go with me here). For that day I walked around feeling well-accomplished, and the Batmobile sat displayed in the lounge for all (both of us) to marvel at. It was a beautiful thing. Which got me thinking…

As much as I love the concept and personal usage of Uber, if I hear one more keynote speaker, CEO or any other business leader talk about “Uberising” their business, I may throw something at them. Uber has done an amazing job at linking the do-er with the need-er, facilitating transactions between them with great efficiency. So too have Airbnb and so many others. But this leaves Uber and their cronies as the heroes of the story.

My question is: Why shouldn’t the user, you, be the hero? So while “Uberising” is certainly one business model, my feeling is that organisations need to consider who the real heroes need to be: You and I. LEGO has certainly done this. Here’s a basic recap of my Batmobile story:

  1. I obtained a set of tools and instructions
  2. By viewing the end result in its glory (on the front of the box), I felt the need to replicate it myself
  3. I followed the instructions using the tools that were provided
  4. Hey presto! Look at what I made!

To be fair, I didn’t actually make it. I didn’t even have to think or work too hard to do it. I merely assembled it, but the overwhelming sense of accomplishment was something that no-one could take away from me. I did this. I made this. LEGO’s goal is for me to buy it, make it, and buy some more so that I can make some more. Fulfilling my sense of accomplishment over and over again. It worked.

For years I’ve been speaking to audiences about the ever-growing DIY mentality. How not only do we want to create our own things, but the opportunity to do this is far greater than ever before, because we have the wonderful world of the internet to access, in order to learn.

LEGO facilitates that DIY mentality amazingly well. What’s more, you don’t have to remove yourself from what they’ve given you. You have a picture, instructions and the pieces. They have your full attention from start to finish.

To put this into a business context: You have your end result of the picture (or the Victory Condition as we like to call it), the instructions (strategy) and the pieces (tools).

These are the core building blocks we’re using to develop LeadrSpeak. LeadrSpeak is an online platform that helps turn managers into leaders, giving them the tools necessary to deliver messages to their teams which are relevant, timeous and memorable. Not only has our POC produced phenomenal feedback, but, more importantly, it produced better speakers. Better leaders. High fives to us.

Why should you care about this?

Well, are you giving your staff or clients LEGO-esque tools, which gives them that sense of accomplishment, while still achieving your strategic goals?

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Copyright Don Packett 2018