Exclusive: ‘Cool Consultant’ – Sharon O’Dea, Lithos Partners in “Swashbucklers 2020”
We adore Sharon O’Dea’s approach to work. She’s a swashbuckling serial founder with a healthy amount of swagger and heart of gold. Best of all, she has a special jumper which says, “F**k You, Pay Me”, which she wears for her badly behaved clients. We love that. And uhh… Where we can we buy one…?
O’Dea’s refreshingly honest. She’s also next-level cool, living in Amsterdam with two robo-dogs (!!!) and her husband. Oh and did we mention, she’s jaw-droppingly brilliant at Pokémon Go, a level 40 player! O’Dea, we chose you! Best of all, she’s unbelievably good at what she does, as an edgy consultant for digital marketing.
Jump aboard our swashbuckling ship O’Dea! Oh, and bring the jumper, robo-dogs and Pokémon Go skills with you. We’ll definitely need them.
Publishing, politics, philanthropy and more…
O’Dea’s wonderous career… We don’t know where to start. There are some fantastic dips and dives. She’s weaved through publishing, politics, councils, charities, and banks. A merry-go-round of awesomeness. Luckily, she was able to sum it up for us in three words, “Chronically lacking focus”. See what we mean? Funny and refreshing. Today she’s an advisor to the Cabinet Office, as well as being a panel member on the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices and a consultant.
We specifically picked her to be our Swashbuckler because we’re impressed with two main organisations she’s founded Lithos Partners, which is a digital communication consultancy. And 300 Seconds, an event series designed to help women and other underrepresented groups find their voice. Both have picked up a lot of traction, making waves in the industry.
We asked O’Dea more about her unique approach. “My superpower is understanding how things work inside large and complex organisations and how to make stuff happen inside them”, she explains. “It’s all well and good turning up and telling bankers they’re doing everything wrong, but if you want to help them change you need to understand why things currently operate as they do”. We couldn’t agree more!
What’s next on the horizon?
We like to keep track of where our Swashbucklers are heading next, so we couldn’t resist asking O’Dea to fill us in. “This is a really interesting and fun time for me”, she reveals. “With the sudden switch to home working this year all the work I’ve done on internal comms and collaboration for the last decade is very much in vogue. I’ve just wrapped up a big transformation programme for a global bank. Over the next few months, I’m working with a handful of organisations on how they find the right mix of tools, channels and capabilities to turn their short-term WFH (work from home) changes into a coherent comms approach for hybrid working”. We have a feeling we’ll be hearing a lot more from O’Dea in the future. One to watch! ν