CN&CO bintan trip with Club Med 2018

Where were you at noon on 18 December 2019?

The CN&CO team is sometimes described as the “Scatterlings of Africa”, since we really are all over the place – geographically speaking, that is. It’s part of our lifestyle business approach: being able to work wherever we are and finding a balance that helps us to succeed in all areas of life.

So, this month we tried something different. Being December and with so many of us in different time zones and taking some time off, we are sharing where we are metaphorically speaking and reflecting on where we have been at noon this year.

Our events team in Sun City preparing for #AIE2019

Firstly, we asked everyone in the team what their “mood for 2020” is. If you don’t know what this means, it’s basically a word that describes how we want to be in 2020 or what we want for 2020.

Naturally, we have so many brilliant, diverse answers from three different continents and across numerous cities. Some of us even took it a step further and shared why the words are a mood for 2020 and two of us had (basically) the same word.

Allan (left), Rob (centre), and Kurt at one of the FIA Summits

Mood for 2020

Gianluca’s word: Diverse

Why: I want to think differently and open doors to different avenues that allow us to add value, build relationships, and grow.

Blake’s word: Growth

Thabs’s word: Resilience

Rob’s word: Resilient 

Josh’s word: Mindfulness

Carel’s word: Excitement

Rikus’s word: Happiness

Kurt’s word: Better

Colin’s word: New

Why: My word for 2020 is “new”, inspired by the fact that I’m in New York right now. I enter a new decade next year, we’ll move to a new home, and hopefully get some new pets. On the work front I look forward to partnering with a new client or two in 2020. I would also like to get a new hairdo, but that’s probably wishful thinking! Although there is a new tattoo forming in my mind… but we’ll have to see if and when it materialises.

Our two Italians Emi (left) and Gianluca

Noon blogs for 2019

As 2019 draws to a close we reflect on our noon blogs. While we were all in different physical locations we were also in all sorts of mental ones too – we were all working but it so interesting to see what that involves and how that works for each of us. We are all adding value to each of our clients in diverse ways it’s great to see snippets of that through these noon blogs and all our other blogs.

Our Blake in his happy place; exploring the great outdoors

In November we were all over social media. We were managing events (like Club Med’s launch of the 2019 report on French mountain holidays); having epic chats with teammates; watching our loved ones dancing in the rain; at Sun City attending the Nedbank Golf Challenge with our partner CIRCA; working at Motherland thanks to load shedding; working on newsletters; creating digital reports; changing the world with smart people; wrapping up a rowing documentary; preparing for the Tokyo Olympics; working with Imagined Earth in the Western Cape; and movembering.

In October we were in restaurants enjoying free WiFi and good breakfasts; fetching children from school; cuddling babies; catching up with clients like ASIB, MKTE, and the FIA; saying sad goodbyes to beloved pets; attending and running 2020 planning sessions; doing some of our own planning; churning out invoices; doing site visits for client events like Brolink’s awards; preparing for big events like the Tambo Foundation Memorial Lecture with Congresswoman Maxine Waters; and doing “top secret” things in Norwood.

Thabs (in the stripes) and the team putting their heads together for MKTE and Africa Showcase

In September we were at Club Med La Pointe aux Canonniers in Mauritius tanning and having fun in the sun; catching up with friends and clients like Summercon, Lombard Partners, and Sasria; discussing water research; fetching children from school; writing content about Kenya and worldwide travel; on our way to Dullstroom for the launch of Anna Pasternak’s Wallis Simpson biography; at DragonRisk developing data solutions for risk management, preparing for the awesome FIA education summit, supporting our partners at events like the PG Glass Expo, being offline, and geeking out talking data and digital journeys.

The life of a working mom

In August we were meeting amazing people like Nilan Morar and Amy from Econorisk; discovering cool spaces (like the Rand Steam Shopping Centre near the EasyEquities offices); preparing for strat meetings with clients like Lombard Partners; enjoying fast WiFi; shooting content for Makeup Revolution; talking makeup; helping people find new homes with Summercon, helping little children with ghost-pop basketball hoops (yummy!); working on the awesome Jozi Film Festival; preparing for #MKTE2019 – a major trade show in Kenya; understanding retail better with Yuppiechef; using What Three Words; celebrating and profiling amazing women (it was Women’s month after all); preparing for a job interview; setting up for the ASIB trade conference; and even relaxing at the Phi Phi spa in Thailand.

Carel in Mauritius for the relaunch of a Club Med resort

In July we were up early in Sun City preparing for the epic AIE conference; doing final preparations for AIE in various offices, coffee shops, and even on the highway; meeting a potential new client for DragonRisk; preparing to welcome a new baby; working various deliverables for clients like Brolink, Club Med, and the FIA; at Wang Thai getting some content (and enjoying yummy food); preparing for key trade shows like MKTE and The Wedding Expo; and sitting on a panel at the Bokeh Fashion Festival discussing sustainable fashion and behaviour change.

Colin and Josh working on AIE social media content

In June we were in Mauritius with the Club Med team for the global reopening of Club Med La Pointe aux Canonniers; in Beirut in Lebanon attending the Lebanese Diaspora conference; doing digital thinking and planning; research for the CN&CO festivals team; wrapping up some stuff after an incredible AIO conference; preparing for the AIE conference; attending the SAIA board meeting with our partners at the IISA; working on SA Women’s Hockey social media; pumping some iron in the gym and clearing the mind; doing our submission for the BASA awards; fetching children from school; working on the RMB rowing documentary; preparing client content; working on the FIA Insight magazine; and doing the 2019 RMB citations.

Kurt at the Lebanese Diaspora conference in Beirut, Lebanon

In May we were compiling beautiful messages by children of why their moms are super moms; working on CIB and Econorisk articles; seeing cute babies; reconnecting with partners like Five2Nine; enjoying great theatre at the Fugard in Cape Town; speaking at the Singularity event about the power of volunteering; discussing the future of construction, fire and risk with partners like Devan Kerr; strategising hard for our partner Club Med; preparing for the AIE, AIO, and FIA events; working on a new broker matrix tool; enjoying a two night sneak-away at Babylonstoren; sorting out fibre; catching up with partners like Consort and Lombard Partnerships; taking it easy after getting stitches redone; and planning digital marketing for partners like Makeup Revolution and Gemma Donnelly. 

Neo and Colin celebrating our BASA awards nomination

Whew! What a year it was, filled with various cities, continents, friends, and partners. What will 2020 bring and where will we be at noon in 2020? Keep an eye on our blog and social media to find out!