In today’s rapidly evolving corporate climate, innovative executives are driving the transformation that is required. They are aware that dealing with today’s issues calls for adaptability and futuristic thinking. These forward-thinking people don’t accept the status quo; instead, they change sectors and meet changing consumer and social needs with cutting-edge technologies, environmentally friendly practises, and innovative techniques.
This essay will look at how these progressive business leaders are affecting their firms’ and industries’ present and future by spearheading the most significant and critical reforms.
Featuring for The Entrepreneur Review’s this issue of The Most Iconic Business Leaders To Watch is a conversation with Mr. Lionel Lodge. Let us explore his and SyncLodge’s journey in this interview.
Brief us about your journey at SyncLodge and what inspired you to start the company.
SyncLodge is not the first company I’ve started, no, the first one was when I was 11 years old. And over the years I have started and exited a few companies in the entertainment industry but I have also been a music creator.
In the mid-2000s, I was living off my music, enjoying my life and the world I lived in, but CD sales were dying, so I needed to find a new revenue stream to replace or at least supplement the decline in my income. Someone suggested sync licensing (the legal usage of music in visual productions in which a license is paid) my music for TV shows and films. I checked into it, attended many industry conferences, networked, and started licensing my recordings.
Some independent artists and a couple of small record labels asked if I would represent them for sync placements. The next thing I knew, I had a sync licensing agency. Through building the agency, meeting and talking at length with many industry professionals, I saw an obvious need for a digital transformation. Many were drowning in paperwork, email ping-pongs, and phone calls and needed some “digital salvation”.
I could see so many points in the work processes that would benefit from innovative technology. At first, I looked for a system, a set of tools that would solve the problems I saw. I didn’t find one that answered the full set of workflow needs. So, together with my co-founders, we set out to build it. Now SyncLodge is empowering creatives, winning innovation awards, and growing into a globally recognized service for the industry.
What are the initial challenges you faced and what are the reasons behind company’s long-standing success?
At first, the big challenge was to have honest, detailed clarity on the needs of the sync sector of the industry, not just my views of what was needed. So, we talked to hundreds of industry stakeholders in many countries who gave their opinions on what was needed. Then the problem was that there was a large, diverse, spectrum of needs and perspectives.
This told us that the system needed to be intrinsically versatile and cover all the ways the users preferred to work and address all their needs. It also showed us how big the need for a digital transformation of the industry workflow was. We spent over 3 years building the system with direct input from these hundreds of industry professionals, some on a weekly, some on a monthly, some on a quarterly basis. Building, showing, feedback, building, showing, feedback…
That was a tough and frustrating few years but well worth it and certainly needed. I believe if you are going to climb a mountain, why climb a small one?
The main element behind our success is our team. We have a great group of people working hard to keep us ahead of the curve. We also have a very large network of advisors. Most are from the entertainment industry, and some are from completely different sectors of business. They generously allow us to benefit from their decades of experience.
What are the products or services the company focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?
SyncLodge is a highly innovative tech company focused on the needs of the sync licensing sector of the entertainment industry. We look at the whole industry, not just sectors. We look at how all the parts work together and how it is changing. We answer the needs of the industry with digital solutions. Our suite of tools is being used in many countries, but we are a small team that is slowly growing. I prefer lean and focused so we make careful choices on who will join the team.
Cooperation and collaboration are key. Through our network of connections, we dive in deep, meet, listen, and work with all we can in the industry to deliver the tools needed to answer the industry’s problems. Businesses can waste a lot of resources on idea protection, competitive marketing, and racing against another’s accomplishments. Our focus is to bring together the different sectors of the industry, bring together the many tech innovations delivered by other companies, supporting cross-industry growth and innovation. If you want to work in the sync licensing industry, regardless of your role, you want to work with SyncLodge.
How do you decide to take the company a step further?
We are taking steps further along our roadmap all the time. We always have a few initiatives in the works. It is a collective decision. A lot of times it is simply listening to our members and watching the changes in the industry. Plan, engage, justify, adjust.
Being a successful leader, please share your views on the current business scenario across the globe after the Covid19 pandemic.
Like all major social/economic impactful events, the Covid19 pandemic has had a very negative effect on many small and medium sized businesses’ financial health. This has had a domino effect that has brought us to the current global financial situation of rising interest rates, rising costs, and lower standards of living.
When it is a lot harder for the low and middle classes to make ends meet, it is harder for businesses to grow or even sustain the revenue needed to stay in business. It takes a dedicated team and creative management to survive. It might not seem it but everything is balanced, where there is a down, somewhere there is an up. It takes finding it, applying leverage, and using it to climb up again.
Why it is said that the workforce plays a vital role in every business’s growth? Please tell us about your team.
A business is nothing without its team. You might have a great idea but without a great team to make it into a thriving business, it is just an idea. There are millions of great ideas that lay unrealized. It is the team that brings the idea to life. It is the team that adds perspective, and creative ideas. One violin does not make an orchestra.
I am fortunate to have a great team at SyncLodge and a great global set of advisors. I believe in a collaborative and inclusive leadership style that empowers individuals, fosters a sense of ownership, and promotes a shared vision. The SyncLodge environment is one where everyone’s ideas are valued and encouraged. We are a team, we are friends. It is very important to recognize and respect each individual’s strengths and allow their view to be heard.
At SyncLodge we prioritize open communication and transparency to establish a culture of trust which leads to better ideas, stronger commitment, and generally a basic feeling of enjoying one’s work. It is with this that we produce award-winning innovations for the entertainment industry.
Can you please brief us about your professional experience?
I have lived in the entertainment industry all my life. My father was an inspirator and key person in the music industry. I grew up with it as my world. I started on the creative side, playing, writing, performing, recording, releasing, and touring. But I was also always very interested in the business element. I was a funny kid.
I loved taking music and theatre classes but also really enjoyed math, business management, and accounting classes. So, as I worked along the creative paths I would see business opportunities, needs in the industry, and I would start a company to answer those needs. Some were more successful than others but I always enjoyed the challenges and the learning processes.
I have worked in and founded businesses in many sectors of the entertainment industry including a live music venue, a live music booking agency, major event management, senior editor at an entertainment magazine, sync licensing agency, and now a tech company servicing the industry. Each role, and each company has taught me a lot, challenged me, and made me appreciate the value of strong, clear advisors.
What are the key achievements of your business journey?
If you ask a recording artist which release is their best, I hope they say their latest one. The key achievements of my business journey have been building the SyncLodge team, building the suite of tools, expanding into many countries, and seeing the benefits our members gain from the system.
‘Innovation is the key to business growth’, Please share your views.
Business growth is only through innovation. But innovation can be simply coming up with the key 3 words to introduce a new service or product. Innovation can be making slight tweaks to a process to make it perform better. Innovation can be how the conference room is set up for deeper, more linear discussions. If you are not innovating, then you are falling behind. There is no standing still.
Which one is your favourite quote?
I have many favorite quotes. Here is one:
“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”Will Rodgers