Ogilvy’s Toby Harrison on finding ‘good people, then a way to make the magic happen’

Ogilvy Toby Harrison

“That’s quite refreshing for a lot of people, if you can just be human about stuff.”

“I seldom do any work on my own,” Toby Harrison, consulting, growth and innovation lead at Ogilvy ANZ, has said.

“I tend to get good people to work with and then to try and find a way to make the magic happen, and giving people space and oxygen to be the best versions of themselves is what I’m all about.

“The thing I’m good at is helping bring out the best of other people in a way that makes a team absolutely hum.”

Harrison was speaking on the most recent installment of The Growth Distillery vodcast, with News Corp Australia’s director of the Growth Intelligence Centre and independent think tank The Growth Distillery, Dan Krigstein

Harrison emphasised the importance of meeting people on a human level wherever possible.

“In my world, and in the world of strategy, there’s a lot of people who are highly intellectual, and real powerhouses of logic. I’m not that like, I’m just a pretty normal bloke who tries to think about things in a relatively common sense way, and then put a bit of creativity in the mix. I think that’s quite refreshing for a lot of people, if you can just be human about stuff,” he said.

Speaking to Mediaweek after the episode, Harrison added that there was one question in the interview series he found particularly “tricky.”

“He said I really want to get your perspective on leadership and understand who you are as a person. And I’ll be honest, that’s quite a confronting question to be asked. 

“I did a little bit of soul searching and went, ‘okay, I’m going to do this, but I’m going to have to think really, really hard about it’. It was an interesting exercise for me, because I think sometimes you really need to figure out your opinions on things.”

Ultimately, Harrison said that there are a few key themes he hopes people take away from the episode.

“Don’t be cynical, the world’s way better place than we probably give it credit for.

“It’s okay to make mistakes – you learn from mistakes, and there’s a resilience that has to come from all of that.

“The other really important piece of the puzzle is that we have to invest in growing, and developing, and nurturing talent – and being okay to accommodate for how different that talent can be. I’ve always tried to find different people to be part of our business, because the business certainly doesn’t need another one of me.”

Top Image: Toby Harrison

To Top