Monthly Archives: July 2020

100: Branding Architecture with Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy UK

Landmark episode this week as Business of Architecture UK reaches episode 100. Massive thank you to everyone who has been listening so far and a special thank you to Forza who let us use their beautiful showroom space in Great Portland Street.

To mark the occasion I have an extraordinary guest, Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy UK, a world leading advertising, marketing, and public relations agency. Rory is one of the world’s most influential thinkers in marketing, branding, consumer behaviour and advertising.

Rory, is also a self confessed architecture lover, living in the former home of Napoleon III designed by Robert Adam although as Rory says ‘unfortunately in the attic’. He also is a trustee of the Benjamin Franklin House in London and a Patron of Rochester Cathedral. Rory co-founded a behavioural science practice within Ogilvy.

He works with a consulting practice of psychology graduates who look for ‘unseen opportunities’ in consumer behaviour – these are the often small contextual changes which can have enormous effects on the decisions people make – for instance tripling the sales rate of a call centre by adding just a few sentences to the script.

Before founding Ogilvy Change, Rory was a copywriter and creative director at Ogilvy for over 20 years, having joined as a graduate trainee in 1988. He has variously been President of the IPA, Chair of the Judges for the Direct Jury at Cannes, and has spoken at TED Global. He writes regular columns for the Spectator, Market Leader and Impact, and also occasional pieces for Wired. He is the author of two books: The Wiki Man, available on Amazon (“at prices between £1.96 and £2,345.54, depending on whether the algorithm is having a bad day”), and the best-selling Alchemy, The surprising Power of Ideas which don’t make Sense, published in the UK and US in May 2019. This book is phenomenal and an absolute must read, as Robert Cialdini said “Veins of wisdom regarding human functioning emerge regularly and brilliantly from the pages. Don’t miss this book.’

In this episode you will discover:

  • The 4 different types of property value and how architects can utilise these
  • How ‘cool’ is the currency that can be used to compete against wealth to create desirable services, products and property
  • The important role maps play in determining property value


Discovery call with Rion




099: How to Supercharge Your Virtual Presentations with Adam Scott, FREESTATE

During lockdown I had the good fortune to meet once again with Adam Scott who is the founder of experience master planners FREESTATE.

In this episode Adam discusses the art of choreographing powerful virtual presentations. Adam is an architect and pioneer in brand experience having worked with some of the world’s most innovative brands and city makers including Melbourne Airport, Virgin Atlantic, Samsung and Sony to name a few.

Adam has been working remotely with his international portfolio of clients for many years and has developed a simple system to ensure all presentations connect with his clients.

In this episode you will discover:

  • Adam’s 5 step formula for creating powerful online presentations
  • The pitfalls many of us make when conducting virtual presentations and how to avoid them
  • How to create connection and collaboration as if you were in the same room with clients who maybe thousands of miles away.



Discovery call with Rion


098: Leadership in an Architecture Business, Sue Austin, Sue Austin Consulting

This week I spoke with Sue Austin of Sue Austin Consulting about leadership in an architecture practice and how practice leaders can be planning for re-emergence as lockdown lifts.

Sue is has experience of everything from global organisations like Mars and PepsiCo to small-scale businesses going through rapid and disruptive growth curves. Originally Sue obtained a degree in engineering and then cultivated a long career working across operations and supply chains.

Sue discusses what is leadership, what are the common challenges leaders of architecture businesses face and how they can overcome them as well as dispelling some of the mythology around leadership such as whether great leaders are born or can you learn to lead.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How to plan for re-emergence out of lockdown
  • The importance of innovating and experimenting
  • PLAN – DO – CHECK – ACT the 4 Step formula for commercial leadership


Discovery Call with Rion Willard

Sue Austin Consulting

Sue Austin Contact

097: Technology to Reliably Source Project Teams with Greg Keane and Linden Dover, Weaver

In this episode I visited the offices of Weaver to speak with co-founders Greg Keane and Linden Dover.

Weaver’s mission is to empower project teams with software that is game-changing, beautiful and time-saving.

The platform allow architects and building professionals to reliably source and build their project teams. Weaver was founded by Greg & Linden, who developed a passion for construction when they studied Architectural History together at university.

Whilst Greg went into the management of an architectural & interiors studio and qualifying as a Surveyor, Linden was getting hands-on experience as a building site manager, and subsequently as a developer. Out of these experiences, the founders believe that success in architecture is defined by the calibre of professionals who come together to create something unique – people make a project. I

n this episode you will :

  • Hear the deep insights Greg and Linden have uncovered about the obstacles of traditional tendering processes
  • Hear Greg and Linden’s own entrepreneurial journey and how they have developed their technology platform and business
  • Learn how architects can assemble project teams more efficiently



Discovery Call with Rion