Great People: Introducing Mo Morgan

Great State is nothing without the Great People who do the work.

Standing amongst the ranks of certified Great People is Lead Strategist, Mo. If you're lucky enough to sit down with Mo for a chat; whether it's about music, Japan, his cat, your work or the bee that's in your bonnet... you'll walk away with a new perspective, new information and feeling all-together better about it.

Without further ado, get to know Mo.

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Mo; lead strategist. Research and analysis, creative ideation, planning, prodding, seeking truths and challenging received wisdom.

How did you get to be here?

I’ve been in digital and/or strategic roles since the 90s. I first joined an agency in 2010, and I’ve been lucky enough to work on some amazing accounts and difficult challenges. I’ve worked with huge consumer brands, nuanced corporate accounts and impactful non-profits.

What are you working on right now?

Many fingers, many pies, as usual. I have a few substantial projects where clients are looking at their digital estate and are curious to understand how it can work harder for them and their customers.

The era of digital-first marketing skewed attention towards tactics and measurement. These days, I’m finding clients are looking for more. Truths and insights about human behaviour have been the cornerstone of marketing for a century, and it’s great when clients lay down the challenge of incorporating these into their digital estate.

How do you know when you’ve produced something great?

I feel like it’s not for me to say. All strategists take pride in having found a glistening truth that resolves a knotty challenge. But it counts for nothing unless others can build upon it. Clear beats clever. When I see my colleagues and clients producing great things that sits on top of truths I managed to uncover, that’s my gauge of how well I did.

What excites you about your work?

I love nurturing teams and am hugely proud of what my teams have achieved through the years. And all my clients are exciting, without exception. I can’t do what I do without getting obsessed with what they do. My colleagues tease me for my love of a factory visit, but I love getting close to where the action is. I can’t have a good idea while sitting at my desk. Any opportunity put on the hi-viz and safety boots and I’m there like a shot.

What excites you in life?

Cable cars. Charity bookshops. Tirola Kola. Rhapsody in Blue. Shinkansen. Air Max 95s. Northern Exposure. Hendrix.

Why is strategy valuable?

Good strategy is about succeeding. And right now is a great moment because strategy was unfashionable for a time. Folks gravitated towards clicks and conversions at the expense of hearts and minds, and clients’ expectations are becoming more rounded again.

There was a misconception that a strategist’s work ended up sitting in a dusty lever-arch file marked ‘The Strategy’, like some boring instruction manual. Whereas now, clients expect the rigour and discipline it takes to get under the skin of things.

They want to make good decisions and well-rounded business cases, especially when there isn’t much to go on. They want something they can become invested in - something to be excited about doing that reflects their passion. It’s a great privilege to deliver that.

Ask a question back. What do you want to know?

Are ‘Friends’ Electric?

What next?

If you want to peruse the shelves in a charity bookshop whilst talking strategy with Mo? You can get in touch with him here.

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