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Anne Dobey

  • Programme: Strategic Branding
  • Nationality: Irish
  • Job Post-programme: Head of Media Solutions, Northern Europe, Middle East & Africa, LinkedIn

“LinkedIn is growing incredibly fast. It’s innovating all the time. But every now and then, you need to stop and think.”


Meetings with 20 or more people aren’t always effective. And creative brainstorms don’t always provide that ‘aha’ idea. But with the help of London Business School’s (LBS) Strategic Branding programme, Anne Dobey put both to good use at LinkedIn where she heads up media solutions for Northern Europe, Middle East & Africa. 

Anne’s the first person to admit that she's all about the practical application of ideas. Theory alone just doesn’t sit right. That’s just one reason the programme segued neatly into her personal and professional goals. 

Decoding creativity 

At LBS, Anne learnt the OIIC – a framework taught by Richard Hytner, Adjunct Professor of Marketing at LBS and Deputy Chairman, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide. Once she was back in the office, she kicked off 2016 by sharing the framework with her team.

“LinkedIn is growing incredibly fast. It’s innovating all the time. But every now and then, you need to stop and think,” she admits. The toolkit helped her team capture their best thinking, forced simplicity and put insights at the heart of new ideas. It put a structure behind brainstorms, creating powerful and applicable new ideas. 

“One particular project really stands out,” she says. “We used the OIIC to crystallise our thinking and ask: what are our issues? What are our objectives? What insights will ensure we work better with our cross-functional partners? And on the back of that, we received a commitment from our partner to deliver a project that goes into many millions of US dollars, equating to about 20% of our total revenue goal for the year.”

Success doesn’t stop there. “My team are applying what I learnt at LBS to their business challenges. Just the other day I got a message from a consultant to say they’d used the OIIC to problem solve on a diversity project. That’s satisfying.”

A week to rejuvenate 

Answering the question: did anything surprise you about the programme? Anne says: “Yes. I took a week out of the office, at the busiest time, and left feeling energised.” 

Why? Because the class was full of diverse, experienced executives who offered collective insights on industries outside the technology sphere. “My class travelled from all over the world and worked in many areas – like FMCG, hospitality and finance. I benefited from the questions they asked. They offered fresh perspectives on sectors outside my specialism.” 

Sitting in the classroom, Anne knew exactly how she would apply the theory from the classroom back at work. To anyone thinking of taking Strategic Branding she says:  “Make sure your diary’s free for the week. It’s energising, but intense. The results are worth it.”