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Judge Sessions with Synergy Group, AOK Creative and i4 Connect

16 September, 2022
Judge Sessions with Synergy Group, AOK Creative and i4 Connect | News | Pause Awards
George Hedon, founder and CEO, Pause Fest & Awards
George Hedon
16 September, 2022
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Welcome to the Pause Awards show, where we invite past winners and future judges to talk about their journeys, inspiration and lessons learned in their professional careers and beyond.

In this episode, George Hedon, Founder of Pause Awards, speaks with Jason Perelson (Creative Director, Synergy Group), Antonia Grimard (Founder, AOK Creative) and Taylor Tran (Facilitator, i4 Connect). They discussed key skills in business, their idea of success, industry expectations and more.

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Rallying them together for our first round of judges interviews, we delved deeper into understanding what they consider to be the most important skill in business. Their responses (rather unified) were centred around people skills.

I think you need a mix of different perspectives and skills. You need a visionary and an implementer. Someone who can see the market, and someone who can get to that market.

Antonia Grimard, Founder, AOK Creative

People skills, empathy, and self thought. You might be very good at people skills. And if you don’t have all the answers, that’s also okay. It’s about knowing where to find the right people, and the skill of being able to work with others.

Jason Perelson, Creative Director, Synergy Group

To be able to ask good questions and to be able to ask for help. And also to be able to listen, and the ability to learn from what you listen to. It’s simple – Ask. Listen. And learn.

Taylor Tran, Facilitator, i4 Connect

Chatting about what success meant to our judges, their responses included a mix of both personal and business focussed success.

For me, success is every project where the client achieves their goal. If I deliver what they need and it actually gets them.

Antonia Grimard, Founder, AOK Creative

Success is having that balance between personal and work life to keep going. Working to live rather than living to work.

Taylor Tran, Facilitator, i4 Connect

For me, success is feeling irrelevant. You feel relevant after having helped someone, but feeling irrelevant would push me forward. It would be a great experience and a crisis that I’m probably going to have to write a book about.

Jason Perelson, Creative Director, Synergy Group

We then asked for what business advice they heard or would offer someone:

If you want to have a structure for success, build a business like you would sell it.

Antonia Grimard, Founder, AOK Creative

For me, reaching out and asking for help is a huge one. And focusing on the problem that you are working on as opposed to the solution.

Taylor Tran, Facilitator, i4 Connect

I remember being told once that you should ‘eat the elephant bit by bit. It’s a really nice way of thinking about all these insurmountable problems that we often face, these big goals and objectives that we see in business.

Jason Perelson, Creative Director, Synergy Group

Delving into some foresight of the industries they work in, the trio said:

It’s interesting to see, Australia is seeking to be a leader in emerging technologies, like quantum computers, advancing manufacturing, digital tech and energy tech. There’s some great opportunities there.

Taylor Tran, Facilitator, i4 Connect

In the creative marketing communications side of things, there’s almost a trend of returning to basics — a homogeneity of techniques. Settling back to good communication and being creative. I think we are moving to a point where we will be less and less focused on the method and more about the message.

Jason Perelson, Creative Director, Synergy Group

There’s a sense right now of everyone niching down. Instead of having just range, really drilling down on one thing. But niching down isn’t necessarily a measure of success. For some people, you could be successful by being a generalist. But for me, I guess it’s less niching in terms of industries, and more in terms of personality and networks.

Antonia Grimard, Founder, AOK Creative

We also spoke of some personal aspects to their business lives, such as what they’d like doing more and less of in the future (and trust us, they had some brilliant answers.)

To listen to that plus an amazing quick fire round of questions, don’t forget to check out in the full conversation below.


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Creating a safe and open space in which everyone thrives and the collaboration flows through all levels and titles with the power of the one team. The entries should demonstrate how the transformation has been achieved across core business functions, that have delivered a positive impact and growth for business, staff, stakeholders and customers. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Celebrating commercial effectiveness through success in the marketplace by leaving a dent in the universe, no matter what the size of the company. The entries should demonstrate the highest levels of expertise, leadership and vision in the application of their business strategies. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Standing up for your purpose and going beyond together as a team aligned on the single mission to positively impact the environment, people and community. The entries should demonstrate ideas intended to change the world; work which sets out to positively impact ingrained gender inequality, social imbalance or injustice. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

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Elevating every voice in the ecosystem is not just important for its collective success, industry development but also for the future growth. The entries should demonstrate ingenuity which leads to the creation of new products and services, through leadership, by elevating the internal culture and communities they serve. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.


Categories


  • Diverse Co. (NEW)

    For nurturing an inclusive environment. This award recognises a workplace that has successfully and intentionally encouraged innovation among diverse employees.


  • Large team culture (NEW)

    For fostering innovation. This award recognises a workplace with over 1000+ employees that has outpaced their cohort in fostering a culture of innovation.


  • Medium team culture (NEW)

    For fostering innovation. This award recognises a workplace with 21-999 employees that has outpaced their cohort in fostering a culture of innovation.


  • Small team culture (NEW)

    For fostering innovation. This award recognises a workplace with less than 20 employees that has outpaced their cohort in fostering a culture of innovation


  • Work sweet work

    For a great workplace culture. This award recognises a company that has managed to improve or attain outstanding levels of employee engagement, retention and satisfaction.


  • Company of the Year (NEW)

    For the best company. This award recognises a company leadership, success, ambition to excel against all odds with the solid future development plans.


  • Defiant ones

    For new tech breakthroughs. This award recognises a company that defines the future of the industry they play in.


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  • Hammer

    For nailing it. This award recognises a company's success – on their own terms – in the market.


  • I wish I'd done that

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  • Indi

    For new and First Peoples. This award recognises a successful company with its founders from indigenous or ethnic heritage that gained success in the market.


  • On the rise

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  • Prodigy

    For being exceptional. This award recognises a young person with exceptional qualities or abilities.


  • Women in business (NEW)

    For breaking the mould. This award recognises a successful female leader and entrepreneur who is paving the way forward for the future generations.


  • B-Good

    For a good business. This award recognises a company that has done well to change our economic system to positively impact all stakeholders through their commercial practice.


  • Circular Pioneer

    For making a difference. This award category recognises a company that is pioneering their circular efforts.


  • Going green

    For delivering impact at scale. This award recognises a company that is actively leading and delivering impact and scale through sustainable efforts in clean energy, climate change, healthy environment, social and economic justice etc.


  • You've got ethics

    For the leadership in environmental social governance. This award category recognises a company that is promoting accountability, good governance, leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility and solving societal problems.


  • Design first (NEW)

    For design lead products. This award recognises a company that is using design to drive product innovation with the entire company onboard.


  • Inception

    For visionary thinkers. This award recognises a person that came up with the transformative idea that can change the world for better.


  • Out of the garage

    For scaling globally. This award recognises a company's global growth, expansion, and success.


  • Unexpected twist

    For a great pivot. This award recognises a company that has taken an unexpected pivot in their business or career.


  • Wildfire (NEW)

    For conquering a marketplace. This award recognises a company that has made a significant impact on the marketplace in the shortest amount of time.


  • Backbone (NEW)

    For backing the future idea. This award recognises a VC firm with a portfolio of companies that have made a significant contribution to the growth and success of the AU economy.


  • Brave Angel (NEW)

    For early stage support. This award recognises an angel investor that has garnered a portfolio of companies and has a good track record of helping founders succeed.


  • C-Suite (NEW)

    For the best leadership. This award recognises the highest-ranking executive that has impeccable leadership, management and interpersonal skills.


  • Do you know who I am

    For the silent achiever. This award recognises a person that has been responsible for the success of their company from the backstage.


  • Future builder (NEW)

    For grit to start a new venture. This award recognises a founder at any level and life stage who has decided to start jumping the hoops of their own business.


  • Hottest hub (NEW)

    For the best community. This award recognises a co-working space that provides boutique experience, world class facilities with community management.


  • Launch pad (NEW)

    For activating the support systems. This award recognises an accelerator that has a good reputation in providing the best startup program with industry connections.


  • Super connector

    For being the community champ. This award recognises a person for a significant contribution to the success of their clients or the community.

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