Lessons Learned

Nancy Jenner

As January 2020 approached, it seemed every media source shared their take on the best and the worst of the year and the decade…movies, music, news, photographs. As we look back, we find ourselves sometimes smiling and too-often cringing as we recall events that have shaped our lives. We are saddened as we remember the loss of people we admire and awed by the richness of their talents and intellects. We think about our own lives, our pasts and futures. We prepare.

At Minelli, we used the pause between 2019 and 2020 to reflect on insights gained from recent work. As we prepare to advance into 2020 and beyond, we bring these lessons forward, understanding that they will continue to evolve as generations age and technology advances.

We are grateful for all that we’ve learned working with diverse clients, talented interns and dedicated colleagues.

Young people inspire

Greta Thunberg and Emma Gonzalez are amazing examples of the focus, commitment and strength of today’s teens. In addition to being inspired by these public role models, we’ve had the opportunity to interview and learn from college students and work with educators who are committed to closing the achievement gap in US high schools. Additional research on what motivates Gen Z keeps us informed and inspired by the truth-seeking, diverse, inclusive and take-no-prisoners energy of the young. The more we understand, invest in and empower the young, the stronger we are.

Nature nurtures

We have been fortunate to work with several nature conservancies. Creating sanctuary, providing access to nature for all, enhancing the understanding of the power of nature to heal – both the planet and ourselves – is important work. We must all do more, as individuals, communities, companies and countries, to support a sustainable future.

Celebrate good work

We have done extensive work with non-profit organizations that rely on the generosity of individuals and foundations to support the work they do. Just as donations have often been anonymous, many long-standing organizations have done their work quietly, behind-the-scenes. As foundations become more vocal and visible in their philanthropy, so must the organizations they support. As organizations become savvier, they have begun sharing their good work through dynamic communications, curated experiences and rich storytelling, raising awareness and support.

Distraction reigns, emotions rule

As we all know, it is difficult to be heard or seen in the current media storm. We are inundated with content, some of it very good, much of it forgettable. It is difficult to stay focused with so much information on so many devices. That said, we can still be moved, sometimes to tears, by a story, photograph or song. We are hard-wired to remember the things that evoke our emotions. It’s less about shock, more about clarity. Less is more. Be true. Speak from the heart.

We are more alike than different

All voters, indeed all people, rank being happy and healthy and enjoying life at the top of their list of goals. We all want to be safe and provide for our children. All companies and organizations, for-profit and not-for-profit need to connect to customers, nurture employees, use resources efficiently, realize surpluses. Baby boomers are not nearly as diverse or as inclusive as Gen Z but they share many traits. Both generations are pragmatic, careful about money and care about social justice. There are times to focus on differences and reasons to focus on similarities. Empathy drives equity.

Purpose-driven resonates

While faster and cheaper remain key motivators, purpose, social responsibility and transparency increasingly factor in decision-making. Millennials and their even-younger Gen Z neighbors value authenticity and reward socially-responsible brands with loyalty. As important as demonstrating purpose, transparency is critical. Saying one thing and doing another has never been a good idea. In today’s viral-media society, the truth will be exposed. Count on it.

Art and relevance

We are lucky to work with diverse cultural organizations including both performing and visual arts. If there’s a shared goal among them, it’s relevancy. Arts organizations of all sizes and types are re-imagining what it means to be truly accessible and inclusive and create programs and exhibitions that both reflect and engage our increasingly global, diverse and ideological-fractured population. Evolution is happening. Watch for it and support it when it comes.

Commitment matters

At Minelli, we believe that dynamic brands can make the world a better place. We are motivated and energized most when working with organizations and companies that are purpose-driven and committed to a sustainable, equitable, joyful world. We look forward to ongoing relationships and meeting new clients in 2020 and beyond.