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Journalist, humorist and consultant comes to Business Exchange

18 July 2014


Renowned humorist, business leader and journalist Guy Browning will be speaking at Teesside University’s next Business Exchange.

Businessman Guy, who has written for The Guardian for 26 years in addition to presenting Small Talk on BBC Radio 4, will be sharing his dual career in the media and in business at Teesside University’s Darlington Campus on July 24.

Guy is the founder and Creative Director of Smokehouse – an innovation consultancy that helps organisations to brainstorm new products and services, discover new ways of working and create new ideas for communication.

He said: 'I’m really looking forward to coming to the Business Exchange to meet the businesses and to share some of the things I have learned in my career in helping businesses to come up with new ideas and creative tool kits - and to have a laugh while we’re doing it.'

Guy started writing comedy while he was at Oxford University and has continued writing humour ever since for The Guardian and in a series of books. His 13th, ‘How to Be Normal’, will be published this autumn.

At the same time as his writing career Guy also developed a highly successful business career developing the use of creativity in business.

He said: 'I started my business career as a copy writer in an ad agency then I went to a big marketing agency called Added Value. There I got more and more interested in ‘blue sky thinking’ and so I set up Smokehouse 17 years ago.

'What Smokehouse does is get people in rooms and get them to think differently to spark innovation in their business.

'It really isn’t that separated from the comedy work I do. With Smokehouse I often work to shock companies into thinking in new ways with a few truths. You use a similar method when you use humour – you are reconfiguring thoughts in a new way.

'There are three things you need to help stimulate creative thinking - you need the right people in the room, the right process and then the right energy.' The Business Exchange is a monthly event for senior business leaders in the region featuring a high-profile national or regional business speaker who shares their business knowledge. This is followed by a question and answer session and networking time. Guy will be sharing many of his secrets at The Business Exchange in front of an audience of business leaders from across the region.

He said: 'I hope that the audience will take away some new knowledge on how to be creative within their businesses.

'Being in business is very, very difficult but being creative can really help – it is about new ways to expand and develop.

'In my experience accountants and engineers are some of the most creative people you can meet – but it is about recognising that creativity, stimulating it and then using it to your businesses advantage.'

The Business Exchange takes place on July 24, at Teesside University’s Darlington Campus from 8am to 9.30am. Spaces are limited so early booking is advisable.

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