My working life: a guardian of company culture

25 June 2018 -

LondonRebecca Robins CCMI is chief learning and culture officer at Interbrand. This is what it’s like to do her job

CMI Insights

What time do you set your alarm for/do you do anything before work?

Above all, the early morning is about those moments of looking ‘up’ and looking ‘out’ and reminding ourselves of the possibility of each day.

Of the larks and owls, I'm a lark. Early morning is one of the most energising times of the day; it’s a privilege to see the city as it’s still waking up. It’s a precious time for the must-reads (emails) and catching up with Interbranders in Asia.

Read more: early bird or night owl? How your chronotype could help you make your to-do list

Can you describe your role as chief learning and culture officer at Interbrand?

People are at the heart of everything that I do, from heading up the Interbrand Academy that helps our global community excel in the business of branding, to looking at how we are better connecting our culture to our business and to the brands that we are working with.

What is it about your role that’s most special?

One word – people. The magic of what we do is in who we are together. We are in an exciting new time of skills and capabilities coming together as never before. At our recent Global Summit, we worked together with our clients on shared challenges. One of the calls to action resonated deeply for all of us: "Learn something. Keep it real. And rock what you do – together!"

What does a typical day/week involve for you?

What’s exciting about Interbrand is that there is no typical day. A snapshot of this week involves gearing up for a residential Academy Masterclass for 20 Interbranders from 15 countries; preparing for the live-stream of our next Academy ON AIR session; and a workshop with one of our largest clients on the ‘future of learning’ inside their organisation.

Managing cultural change is a significant part of the work we do with companies going through the M&A process. It’s always particularly challenging as you’re carrying forward the legacy of two organisations into a united future. The process begins with consideration of what it means for everyone inside the new business and evolving brand.

Very often, one of the favourite parts of my day is the conversations I have over a coffee, on a call, or through exchanges on social. That's when you're really learning!

What is the Interbrand culture like?

We are an amazingly eclectic family. There's a real sense of togetherness across a network of over 20 offices. Above all, we are united by our passion to inspire and create great work. As we celebrate Pride Month, we are celebrating our D&AD award-winning ‘G’ AY Mate’ campaign. All kudos to our amazing team in Sydney who saw an opportunity for brand as a force for good and just helped to make history in Australia.

Read more: 20 award-winning cultures from the CMI/Glassdoor Top 20

What do you usually do after work for fun?

London is an ever-changing source of curiosity. I enjoy seeking new inspiration, from photography and art exhibitions, to new pop-ups, open-air cinema and some of the greatest music in the world.

Can you describe the events and opportunities you’re involved in through the Chartered Management Institute?

The CMI is truly remarkable in how it engages such a diverse and far-reaching membership. Being a member of any organisation is about a real sense of belonging, and as a Companion of the CMI, there’s a real sense of advocacy within the membership that is truly compelling and inspiring.

Over the past few months I’ve had the privilege of being part of the Awards Jury for the Higher Education Conference and attended professional roundtables, which offer a provocative series of debates through a diverse lens of people and expertise.

Rebecca Robins CCMI is a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute. There are many ways to Get Involved with the CMI.

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