Why I Believe Energy Can Transform Companies and Communities – Angela Ahrendts

My greatest challenge and I’m sure it’s the same for many leaders today, is to continue to rapidly evolve Burberry to keep pace with as fast as the consumer and technology are changing. Regardless of this market dynamic, one thing has stayed the same:

The Power of Human Energy

I’ve been a leader in the fashion industry for over 60% of my life – and from a big family and small mid-western town, 100% of my life. Inspired by my philosopher father, spiritual mother and great global leaders, I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts, ideas and inspirations with you on this amazing new platform.

We are all at an incredible inflection point today – living and working in fast-moving, digitally-driven and globally connected societies where change is constant and we must thrive in ambiguity.

In many ways, digital must be this generation’s greatest gift. There has never been more creative freedom and potential, or more opportunity to connect and learn.

But the pace of change also presents challenges: feelings of fear, distrust and uncertainty are pervasive. So, how can we respond?

The answer might be surprisingly simple. A powerful force we’re all born with – Energy.

Not oil, natural gas, wind or solar. Not ways to conserve or sustain. But the transformative potential of the energy each and every one of us is born with and take in and emit like the air we breathe. Think of it as ‘emotional electricity’ that powers and connects people, and their collective spirit, to achieve extraordinary things.

Passionate, positive human energy can provide a counterbalance to the disruptive negative forces of an age of unprecedented change. Through it comes confidence, inspiration and the power to transform things for the better.

This concept of energy is at the heart of our culture at Burberry and comes from a deep core of shared values, based on:
•Trust – the basis for all human relationships and where we derive our greatest strength and power. Trust is single-handedly the most powerful source of positive energy and once in place, unlocks a freedom and peace to explore.
•Intuition – usually more right than wrong, intuition is the wisdom formed by feeling and instincts – a gift of knowing without reasoning. Intuition teaches us to use our natural inclinations to protect the possibilities rather than simply accepting the probabilities.
•Belief – ignited by hope and supported by facts and evidence, belief builds alignment and creates confidence. Belief is what sets energy in motion, and creates the success that breeds more success.

This TED talk reflects on why we need energy, what makes it work, how it can be communicated and where it takes us. I hope its lessons are timeless and universal.

Perhaps they are best encapsulated in a quote from American poet Maya Angelou, who wrote: “People will forget what you did, they will forget what you said, but they will never forget the way you made them feel”.


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