Serial Entrepreneur/Consultant, Award Winning Author & Keynote Speaker
Minter Dial is a professional speaker, storyteller, author and consultant, specialised in branding, new tech and digital transformation. He is the author of two award-winning books, Futureproof (Pearson 2017) and The Last Ring Home (Myndset 2016), the latter of which was turned into an award-winning documentary film he produced and that was shown on PBS (US) and History Channel (ANZ). His newest book entitled, Heartificial Empathy, Putting Heart into Business and Artificial Intelligence (DigitalProof Press) bowed in December 2018 and was shortlisted for the Business Book Awards 2019. He’s a renowned blogger and podcaster on topics of branding and new tech. A repeat entrepreneur straddling a 16-year career at L’Oreal (MD Worldwide of Redken, MD of L’Oreal Canada Professional Products Division and ExCom worldwide of the PPD), he also worked as investment banker, zoo manager and tennis pro. Minter has given over 500 talks and seminars to audiences in five continents. He was voted Top 3 out of 150 speakers at the Adobe Summit EMEA three years in a row (2014-2015-2016). He is passionate about the Grateful Dead, Padel Tennis and languages. Find more at www.MinterDial.com, or listen to his weekly podcast running since 2010. On Twitter: @mdial.
I feel like change is my middle name, having moved countries 15 times and homes 34 times in my life. I can get by in 8 languages (only 3 fluently). Professionally, I have explored a host of different activities, from teaching tennis, to working in an investment bank to creating four startups, two of which failed with style. Thus, I can say that I am a jack of all trades and master of none, except perhaps for storytelling. I am the author of three books and produced an award-winning WWII documentary that has been shown on national television in North America, Australia and New Zealand. I love to connect dots, patterns and people. Connecting my own dots, the theme of my life has been to seek consciously to elevate the debate.
I worked in the cosmetics industry for L’Oréal – in the division serving the professional salon hairdresser — for the largest part of my career (16 years). I entered L’Oreal right out of INSEAD business school. The whole purpose of going to business school was to change country (I wanted to move to Europe), to enter a new industry (fashion/beauty) and change métier (marketing). It was a tall order to change all three aspects at the same time. L’Oreal and Louis Vuitton were my first two choices. L’Oreal hired me before LV even answered my application letter. How did I get the job? Once I got an interview, before the appointed day, I spent a full day in a local hairdressing salon, learning all aspects of the business. I discovered a world I had never properly known, how a salon works, the incredible passion of the hairdresser and the importance of the products. It was the human experience of the salon that seduced me most.
In the beauty industry, the “giants” continue to dominate, but the opening for smaller, more agile and authentic brands is gaping wide. Brands that aren’t afraid to stand for something, show an ethical backbone and are prepared to disrupt the traditional frontiers and distribution channels are set to break through.
As far as the hairdresser clients (who are buying our products to use as services or sell on as retail to the consumer) are concerned, they are both artist and business person. Listen to their needs, recognize their efforts and achievements, and bring them valuable advice to help them succeed and fulfill their dreams. The products will sell thereafter.
The most important way to motivate others starts with listening to what they want. If you can understand what their fears and wants are, it’s far easier to find ways to motivate them. A second technique has been to lead by example. If I hold myself accountable, it becomes easier to ask others the same. Last ‘technique’: be bold, be fair, be you. This means saying things clearly (especially for objectives). Be fair in the way you treat others (i.e. treat others the way you’d like to be treated). Finally, be you. In other words, bring your whole personality to work. Sometimes, this can mean showing vulnerability.
In the beauty industry – perhaps especially true at L’Oreal — you want to love the products. As I climbed through the marketing ranks, I paid particular attention to nourishing my relationship with the sales teams. I also spent a lot of time with our hairdresser clients. Best to be genuine. To wit, I’ve stayed friends with many of them since leaving…
I want to be known for being a storyteller who moves people, by connecting ideas, patterns and people, and always seeking to elevate the debate. It’s both a personal and a professional ambition.
Otherwise, I hold out a dream of finding my grandfather’s long lost 1932 Annapolis ring (the subject of my film and book, The Last Ring Home).
Producing the film and writing the book, The Last Ring Home.
Working on the future of Redken, 5th Ave NYC, in the days following 9/11/01. I was running the company worldwide and my office was overlooking the twin towers. I was present in New York and watched the second airplane fly down the length of Manhattan into the south tower. The weeks following brought my focus on the importance of meaningfulness and purpose.
Change is for sure. Growth is the option.
I have long been impressed with Howard Schultz (prior CEO/Chairman of Starbucks). I am deeply inspired by two sports figures: Wayne Gretsky and Roger Federer, sporting geniuses, both of whom had incredible grace off and on the ice/court.
My Daily Thoughts:
Goal of the Day: Meet one new person IRL and give away one piece of content of value.
Thought of the Day: You make your luck.
Action of the Day: Start with the most important.
Deed of the Day: Pay it forward.
Tip of the Day: Take a short nap.
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
I live between London and Paris. In London, it’s the civility and diversity. In Paris, it’s the baguette and city beauty.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
Fresh fruit, goat’s milk yogurt and a selection of nuts.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – If I’m not up already, I start each day with meditation.
10:00 AM – Probably writing.
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
Somewhere different every time.
7:00 PM – Dinner at home with my wife.
11:00 PM – Fast asleep.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Three coffee cups but never after 3pm. I love a single malt at the end of the day.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Overcast for my podcast listening
What should everyone try at least once?
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
In cities I’ve not visited before.
What Else to Know?
I have attended over 500 concerts in my life, with around 200 of them by one single group (or members of the group): The Grateful Dead
Speaking next at The Real Time Club (April 16 in London), Queens Club (May 8 in London), Brand Impact Summit (May 24-25 in Boston).
Recent article: How improving empathy can help grow your business. https://www.bytestart.co.uk/how-improving-empathy-can-help-grow-your-business.html
Recent podcast interview: Putting heart into your business on MarketingProfs with Kerry Gorgone. https://www.marketingprofs.com/podcasts/2019/40777/empathy-AI-minter-dial-marketing-smarts
Question to answer:
How would the world be worse off if you (and/or your company) didn’t exist?