#10Q: Chris James on launching Uncle.Snitch
Chris James talks about launching Uncle.Snitch, a new creative digital consultancy.
Chris James has launched Uncle.Snitch, a new creative digital consultancy. James is focused on strategic thinking that helps accelerate digital business transformation and comes with over 15 years’ experience managing clients and brands across the three biggest advertising networks (WPP, Publicis and IPG), on three continents. For the past two years, James held the position of managing director for Digitas Liquorice, South Africa. He previously worked in London and Australia, where he held leadership roles at digital agencies AKQA, Spark44 and Jack Morton Worldwide. James describes his new agency as “fueling imagination with impact”.
1. Why the name Uncle.Snitch?
It’s all in the family here at Uncle.Snitch. The name is close to home for me as it is the name that my two beautiful nieces call me. Snitch comes from the fact my niece couldn’t pronounce ‘Christopher’, so my name evolved to ‘Snitch’ and the rest, as they say, is history (in the making).
2. Tell us more about your strategy?
Our strategy is simple. We fuel imagination with impact by assembling top-notch multi-disciplinary specialists around the globe to help solve our clients’ key business challenges. Our focus is on a truly combined effort between client, multidisciplinary specialists and technology.
3. What is your value offering for clients?
Uncle.Snitch is a remote creative digital consultancy and we offer our clients increased productivity and flexibility. The current pandemic has demonstrated the need for flexibility, with teams having to rapidly adapt their way of working to deliver key projects. Our approach to remote strategic delivery allows us to put more money back into the pocket of our clients and enables us to provide our teams with better technology to help solve challenges more efficiently. The key to successfully accelerating our clients’ output lies in defining the strategic roadmap and prioritised workstreams upfront, and we then assemble the best teams to deliver this.
4. What makes your business unique?
Access to the top-notch talent, globally. The success of each project depends on attracting the right multidisciplinary specialists to deliver on strategy and budget. Uncle.Snitch is not tied to a single location; we find the best candidate based on skillset, experience, and expertise. When the talent pool is more diverse, the better matched they’ll be to solve your problems. Therefore, culture and everything that influences our hiring policies is of utmost importance for us and we invite client collaboration during this project on-boarding process to ensure complete transparency and awareness.
5. Your greatest lesson under Covid?
Given that we now live in a truly connected world, we felt that there is a clear need to redefine the purpose of the office. The office is transitioning from a place to be productive, and process work; to a place to be creative and to facilitate spontaneous interaction and outputs. This is the exception, not the new norm for Uncle.Snitch and we do have access to flexible, open office spaces to support face to face interaction if the project calls for it.
6. How does your industry sector need to innovate to survive and thrive?
The digital consultancy space must continue to thrive outside the walls of the office environment. We have learnt a great deal over the last few months around how people and technology can achieve great things. As a digital consultancy, Uncle.Snitch put talent and technology side by side, creating a winning formula that allows our clients to move with agility to meet the demands of a highly competitive market.
7. Looking back, what would you have done differently in this pandemic?
I would have started Uncle.Snitch sooner. I’m inspired by the quote by Mel Robbins: “Start before you’re ready. Don’t prepare, begin.”
8. How do you inspire others?
My focus is on building long lasting relationships, be it with my team members or clients. I find that open, honest communication, paired with setting the right example, tends to inspire people.
9. Do you have a life philosophy?
Empathy with action. As Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
10. What is your superpower?
I’m known for team leadership, setting high standards and embracing responsibility with urgency. My passion for people, combined with my extensive experience working on global brand accounts, has allowed me to manage successful digital teams that create impact at pace.
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