Why I Started Chinatown Bureau

After almost 5 years at leading the digital organization for Hudson Rouge and reviving the Lincoln Motor Company brand and experience, I decided to make the jump and start Chinatown Bureau.

It wasn't something that just happened, but more of a calling from within. I learned a lot in my tenure at Hudson Rouge and wouldn’t change the experience for the world but there were two things that kept creeping into my psyche that I felt compelled to explore. Issues that I see as problems, if not solved, could become a detriment to our society.

We live in an interesting and uncertain world, especially for business. We are in the midst (if not just the beginning) of a digital transformation globally that is redefining most industries and creating a world of confusion and reaction. Albeit opening up tremendous opportunity. However, when this confusion happens at a business level, it trickles down to society as a whole. Employees get lost in the churn, consumers become agitated which all makes the markets fluctuate.

Two things keeping me up at night.

ESTABLISHED CORPORATIONS NEED TO LEAD THIER CONSUMERS: Companies who lead their consumers change culture and change society through creating great places to work, philanthropy in the community, and meaning for consumers, something we desperately need, especially on the global stage. However, since the proliferation of digital in our daily lives, many companies have fallen into a position of reaction and following their consumers which is not a good place to be. I hear a lot of organizations say “we need to act like a startup” which, if we dig a little deeper, is saying that companies want to have a leadership position with their consumers. And at its very essence of “act like a startup” is building that leadership position with processes and organizational structure to be nimble in the marketplace and deliver simple products, services, and experiences. Companies like Uber are successful, not because they created a new industry, but because they solved a consumer unmet need and democratized their core value proposition, “Where to?” This brand promise is fulfilled each and every day, millions of times over, which becomes extremely powerful.

Leveraging the digital transformation, how can established businesses start to form a leadership position with their consumers?

TALENT NEEDS AND SOURCING: In our current business environment, we’re at a crossroads when it comes to sourcing the right talent for the right projects. We’ve been brought up to believe in creating organizations surrounding specialization where employees are automated parts to a larger machine. However, today’s business problems are requiring a different type of worker. A more holistic worker that just so happens to have specialized talent. Someone who breaks the norm and is used to solve a specific problem or set of problems. Today’s business challenges need to be solved with the right mix of workers on a project team, not a refurbished specialized worker because they’re on a payroll. The main issue now is a lot of that “holistic view” talent is living in the gig or nomad economy, working on a project basis, not as an employee for established corporations.

How can we provide a way where companies can access and activate the right talent for the right project while maintaining a culture of authenticity in the workplace?

What is Chinatown Bureau?

At the very essence, we believe that digital transformation is inevitable and to capitalize on its power, we need to act differently.

Chinatown Bureau is a new kind of consultancy + product studio focused on solving real business problems with digital means — anchoring results in real time. This is Rapid Digital Transformation.

With a bespoke team of senior consultants and access to dynamic talent, we combine strategy, design, and business modeling into a series of two-week sprints. This allows us to deliver immediate results while developing a future-proof position for our clients.

This framework and approach offers the right tools and processes to solve real business problems. Some of the problems we’re hoping to solve:

  • The gap between the communication of a brand's promise and the tactical fulfillment of that promise in digital.
  • The future value of Luxury, where time and well-being are the new hallmarks of prosperity.
  • The evolutionary structure and fallout of the massive transformation in the mobility industry.
  • The transference of values through the designs of objects.

If you or your team have been trying to solve a problem or capitalize on an opportunity and need a kickstart, feel free to drop me a line. Please stay in touch and follow along with the Chinatown Bureau story.