Business is beautiful in Australia
On the east coast of Australia lies the Sydney office of Hearts & Science. It’s close to the Darling Harbour area, a bustling entertainment destination for tourists and locals, featuring restaurants, theaters and a thriving nightlife. And with a pancake restaurant up the street, what more could you want?
Within the beautiful brick building that they get to call their office, they share the space with other Omnicom Media Group agencies and benefit from this proximity.
In data we trust
With a background in professional services, Jeremy is no stranger to value-adding organisations.
When he came into the Omnicom Media Group six years ago, he was surprised to find a level of distrust in the media industry in general. Clients in many cases just saw agencies as order takers and a way to access cheaper rates with media partners.
In practice, agencies are usually close to their media partners, work with them at scale, plan media across channels and devices to meet objectives, and have access to more media data than anyone else.
Jeremy is now leveraging his years of consulting experience to focus on solutions and outcomes for clients. He works continuously to try and change the way clients and his team engage and operate.
“We get clients to a place where they trust us as their media partner. Then we can push new ideas and ways of working to try and maximise outcomes for them. Successful clients make for successful agencies.”
He believes that by leading with data, he can more easily build trust with clients. Data can reveal different ways of looking at things, new markets, support new product development and open up new opportunities that are collaborative, not confrontational.
Honing the perfect pitch
Jeremy and the Hearts leadership team work hard to maintain an engaging culture. Among the traditional social engagements there are lunches that are put on just before payday. The team has also instituted a few additional initiatives to provide opportunities for his team to communicate more across the agency and learn from each other.
“Proudly Presents” is an informal event he supports that occurs 2–3 times every few weeks. In it, each team is invited to stand up and informally present work they’re proud of to the agency. The work can take any form they like—it’s about being proud of what they do.
This initiative helps employees at all levels build confidence in their work and see what others are doing across the agency.
Another popular initiative is “The Beat.” Twice a year, the Australian office hosts a formal competition where employees submit their work and pitch it to the rest of the office for a reasonable cash prize.
“It allows people to present their work, but they have to show the results they’ve achieved. It helps get the team thinking in a data-driven way throughout the year.”
Australia through the eyes of what we hold dear
The objects in our lives hold meaning. There are stories behind them that bring back powerful memories, and the things in our offices are no different.
In this regional spotlight series, we wanted to create a visual narrative of every office, so we asked each team to select five objects that have personal meaning in their space. Each of these objects tells a bigger story about the leadership style of the regional CEO, what they value, the culture of their office and of the global brand, too.
I want to ride my bicycle
Jeremy confesses he might have a problem. (That’s the first step to recovery!) In fact, when determining the appropriate number of bicycles to own, he maintains that “n+1= the ideal number of bicycles” (where n is the number of bikes he already has…).
Needless to say, he currently has five bicycles. One of his favourites, a professional triathlon bike, has been his trusted companion through multiple races and has his name inscribed along the frame. It’s arrow fast and performs well with electronic gears for easy shifting.
Jeremy says, “Being a leader in business is highly stressful. There’s a link between exercise and mental health, so I try to get out there as much as possible and get my brain thinking straight.”
And it’s not just the competition or mental health benefits that appeal to Jeremy. He also appreciates building relationships with other people from different walks of life who are passionate about things outside of work. It brings a valuable diversity of experience into his life.
The picture of perfection
While on vacation in Italy, Jeremy took a picture of his wife using her phone. After playing with some filters, he found an artistic balance that made it look like a drawing and saved it as the background on his iPad.
Now, every time he looks at his iPad, he’s reminded of his wonderful family and everything they’ve been through. (And the importance of time away from kids!)
“She’s obviously a very special person. After all, she’s put up with me for 18 years.”
Hit the ground running
As an exercise enthusiast and triathlete, Jeremy is constantly looking for ways to stay healthy. During the week, he goes out for a run in the afternoon, and sometimes he’s not alone.
He likes to get some of the Hearts team members to join him.
Amidst the coughing and spluttering (depending on their fitness level), Jeremy enjoys the opportunity to talk one-on-one with his people in a more casual setting outside of the office.
“It allows me to close the loop with people across the agency. We talk about what they would do if they were in my place.
What are their priorities, what are they thinking? I want to know.”
When Jeremy launched the Sydney office, he wanted to do a presentation for the team around the importance of framing things—the business, structure and strategy.
To support with visuals, Jeremy asked for large pink frames. However, when he came into the office the next day, he was in for a bit of a surprise.
Standing in the middle of his office were life-size flamingo statues. (But actually.)
When he called to ask what happened, he was told the designer was unable to find pink frames, so they bought the flamingos instead! Apparently, they’re very curious birds… (Spoiler alert: He didn’t use them in his presentation.)
To this day, he’s not convinced that flamingos are the best way to convey a need for curiosity in the office, but he does recognise the importance of maintaining a curious attitude.
“Change is constant and accelerating. If you’re not curious, then you don’t know what you don’t know.”
He tries to encourage his team to remain curious. There are always new advancements in tech, so they need to constantly ask if there’s a better way to meet their clients’ needs.
Think outside the cage
The office also has another unusual decoration. On the same day that Jeremy arrived to discover flamingos instead of pink frames, HR had finished decorating their new office with a few other surprises.
One included bird cages hanging from the ceiling with the Hearts & Science lettering inside of them. Why, you may ask? Jeremy certainly did, but he found his designer had just run with the bird theme.
“When I initially think of creativity, I think of messaging and pictures. But we’re not a creative agency. It’s how we blend media channels and creatively use data to improve outcomes for clients.”
While Jeremy simply shakes his head when he thinks of the decorations and the number of times he has bumped his head on the cages, he does maintain that creativity always has a place at Hearts & Science, even if found in unexpected ways.
And now for something completely different
Hearts & Science is a company built around challenging convention—it’s in their DNA. Not just across the industry like in Forces of Change, but in the everyday too.
Jeremy says, “I encourage our team to ask questions like, “Why am I building this report? Does anyone look at it? What might be better?” Our client experience can’t simply be the experience of the most recent person that joined, but of what works best for each client.”
Want to do things a little differently with Hearts & Science? Check out our job postings and reimagine the future of media with us.