Alex Butler is Founder of recently launched KindredHQ.com, a brand new start-up community of people who work freelance and independently. She runs twice weekly pop-up coworking meet ups for Londoners all over the Capital. I am a regular at these meet ups and they are a great way to informally meet new people, kick ideas around, enjoy good company and also get lots of work done. And if you can't get to the meet ups, the website has a wealth of information for fledgling and experienced freelancers.
Until 2010 Alex led the transformation of the UK Government’s approach to and use of digital. Responsible for the original service proposition for Directgov, the UK Government’s citizen website, she also established and ran a new digital delivery division, the forerunner of the UK’s Government Digital Service. Her background is in marketing, from Saatchi and Saatchi and Interbrand, to large-scale brand marketing in large organisations, such as BT and Cable & Wireless.
In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?
I'm extremely lucky. I've had a very diverse career, in very different organisations large and small. I started out in advertising at Saatchis, and the urge to always ask how I could make it better has always stuck with me since then. I love being able to meddle in all sorts of innovation challenges.
Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?
A few! Paul Arden - the compulsive creative director from my time at Saatchis who went on to set up his own film production company. MT Rainey, the most inspiring and creative planning director with some incredible campaigns under her belt and Horsesmouth, the online mentoring platform, and now on the board of Channel 4 and Chair of Think. Oh and Marc Lewis who resurrected the School of Communications Arts, democratising creative education and taking on established thinking about higher eduction. Am I allowed 3?!
What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?
'Why should anyone give a ****'. Great advice that has made me go back to the drawing board many times to try and articulate why you should give any attention at all to my idea...
If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?
A good walk round the block and stop trying to solve it on your own.
And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?
I'd be your trusty loafers. Comfortable to be with all day. Molds to your shape, With you in all terrain.