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Conor Pierce, Vice President, West Europe at Nokia (INTERVIEW)

— March 24, 2012 — Tech
Conor Pierce is the Vice President of Nokia in West Europe. He began working as a Managing Director and built an expertise worthy of his current position at the world-renowned mobile telecommunications company. Conor Pierce’s thoughts on the mobile industry are well respected and followed throughout the globe. Alongside telecommunications, Pierce specializes in leadership and consumer technology. Trend Hunter had the chance to get his thoughts on innovation and creativity.

3 Questions with Conor Pierce

1. How do you keep your work on the cutting edge?

Reinvention and variation is important in any career. The turnaround of Nokia in the last 12 months proves that there is already renewal, we just need to ensure that we are constantly applying fresh thinking. As I like to put it, I throw a spanner into the machine to make the necessary change that allows it to be rebuilt.

2. How do you reset yourself to become creative (do you have any rituals?)

No, I don’t have any rituals, however as mentioned above I like to break the mould and take myself out of my comfort zone so that I am positively uncomfortable. One instance that springs to mind is when I visited the renowned Forty Foot drop on the southern tip of Dublin Bay at Sandycove. My Marketing Director and I climbed to the top and jumped right in. Nothing like a plunge into the freezing cold Irish sea followed by a pint of Guinness to get the creative juices flowing.

3. What is an example of a time where you have thrown away an existing idea to force yourself to find something new?

Every year my wife challenges me to buy her the most original present for her birthday. Last year, I came up with some great ideas, but I wanted to really surprise her. The result was a peacock. She absolutely loved it and it now rules the roost at our new home in Windsor.

On a more serious note though, over the last few months we have pioneered a new way of getting our staff connected to our customers through the retail channel. Operation Coalface has seen our staff in the UK adopt a store each (in some cases more than one) and make it their business to pop in and help the staff and customers on a one to one basis. What ivory towers there were at Nokia have now been pulled down; it has been hard, but now we are all committed to the same goals and success.
Trend Themes
1. Renewal of Legacy Brands - Nokia's renewal in the last 12 months suggests opportunities for revitalizing and updating established brands.
2. New Customer Engagement Techniques - Operation Coalface's one-on-one customer engagement strategy presents opportunities for novel customer outreach and interaction methods.
3. Innovation Through Discomfort - Conor Pierce's willingness to step out of his comfort zone and take risks suggests potential for encouraging innovation through discomfort.
Industry Implications
1. Mobile Telecommunications - Nokia's success in revitalizing their mobile business suggests potential for disruptive innovation in the telecommunications industry.
2. Consumer Electronics - Conor Pierce's experience in consumer technology suggests opportunities for innovative product design and development.
3. Retail - Operation Coalface's customized in-store outreach strategy presents opportunities for innovation in the retail industry's customer interaction methods.
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