Lionel Lodge – Revolutionizing the Music Industry

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I have worked in and been involved with the entertainment industry all my life. My father was a fairly big name in the UK in the 60’s and so I grew up in that world.

Not by design but by circumstance I have had a diverse and very interesting career in the entertainment industry, in music and business management. From a young age, I developed a passion for both creativity and entrepreneurial pursuits. It started with a passion for music, and playing instruments such as the piano, saxophone, and guitar, but I also had a passion for business management and exploring what some saw as boring, math, and bookkeeping.

I started my entrepreneurial journey early, starting my first business at the age of 10. Over the years, I have worked as a musician, performer, songwriter, producer, and engineer, while also founding and managing several successful companies. The combination of these experiences has given me the gift of clarity on the mechanics of the industry and an understanding of the needs and challenges within.

  • Tell our readers about your current leadership role at the company.

I am the CEO of SyncLodge, which is a very innovative tech company focused on empowering creatives in the music sync licensing industry. You could say that I am the captain of the ship but the team at SyncLodge all work closely together, collaborating, discussing growth issues, and bouncing ideas off each other. I am one of the team, though I do shoulder most of the responsibility for the company’s long-term success.

I believe in the importance of open communication, transparency, and collaboration. I believe that every team member’s opinion is valuable and that by working together, we can create a profound impact on the global creative industry.

  • Can you share an example of a significant challenge you faced as a business leader and how you overcame it?

All challenges are significant and none are. It is a matter of perspective. At first, the big challenge was to have honest clarity to the needs of the sync sector of the industry, not just my views of what was needed. So, we talked to hundreds of industry stakeholders in many countries who gave their opinions on what was needed. Then the problem was that there was a large, diverse, spectrum of needs and perspectives. This told us that the system needed to be intrinsically versatile and cover all the ways the users preferred to work and address all their needs. It also showed us how big the need for a digital transformation of the industry workflow was. We spent over 3 years building the system with direct input from these hundreds of industry professionals, some on a weekly, some on a monthly, some on a quarterly basis. Building, showing, feedback, building, showing, feedback… That was a tough and frustrating few years but well worth it and certainly needed. But then I believe if you are going to climb a mountain, why climb a small one?

  • In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, what strategies do you employ to stay ahead of the competition and adapt to new market trends?

First of all, I believe in cooperation over competition. The entertainment industry is, like most industries, in a massive transitional period. It is a very exciting time. There is a lot of speculation as to which initiatives will develop in which way. There are also a lot of companies making some really outstanding new tech. We work with a lot of them, have become friends with their teams and look at ways of cooperation that will not only benefit each company but more importantly the industry as a whole. It is simply about staying open to possibilities while keeping clarity on our objectives.

  • How do you create a positive and inclusive work culture that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion within your organization?

We are a team. Every member, regardless of their position in the team, is just as important as any other member of the team. We share what is going on, we discuss and look for the outside perspective. It is never about the ego, whose idea it was. It is about serving our sector of the industry as best we can, collectively. Humans used to think the world was flat (some still do but that is another discussion). When we collectively accepted that the world was round it made navigation and exploration a lot more efficient. At first, the view that the world was round was an outside perspective not held by the status quo. The status quo on that point, we see now, was really quite unaware of reality. It is reality that we want to have on the table regardless of who on the team puts it there. With this we keep all the members of the team involved, inspired, and feeling valued.

When considering a new team member we do not consider anything but their ability, attitude, and willingness to work together. If any member of the team has a problem with something, we, I, want to know about it and find a way to resolve the problem. Small cracks can have the tendency to grow and make for large divides. When we work as a team that cares about each other on a human level, cracks become beneficial tools for moving forward.

  • When making key business decisions, what factors do you consider most crucial, and how do you ensure they align with the overall company vision?

When a company has clarity on its objectives, vision, large decisions are easy. We are going towards that goal so we make this decision. It is the many small decisions along the way that can be the difficult ones. That is why we have a diverse team and a very large group of international advisors. We all believe in the importance of reaching our main goal. So, we discuss, we throw it out there, people chime in, discuss, disagree, and we come to a conclusion on what makes the most sense, collectively.

  • As a business leader, how do you foster a culture of continuous learning and development among your employees?

Fostering a culture of continuous learning and development is vital for the growth and success of both employees and the organization. By fostering a culture where learning is valued, encouraged, and supported, we create an environment where employees feel empowered to enhance their skills, embrace new challenges, and contribute to their fullest potential.

  • What is the most important takeaway/lesson from the COVID-19 epidemic, in your opinion?

There will always be something unexpected coming over the horizon. Expect it. Don’t let it knock you over. From every negative is the potential of a positive, find it. This basic balance is a law of the universe. Covid shut down a lot of visual productions but it gave a lot of people in the industry the chance to consider their route, the work they were doing and how they were doing it. Besides the health issues, I think it was a very positive thing for the industry and the human race. Without Covid remote working wouldn’t be normal, video meetings wouldn’t be normal and it brought on a new awareness of taking care of others. In a way it made us more collectively human.

Our development team now works remotely and so does our management team. We all are openly happier this way and we find people are more productive. Plus, with our network of advisors and the many companies we work with, everyone is more comfortable to just jump on a vid meet to discuss an issue. It seems communication processes have become a lot easier.

  • What advice would you give to aspiring business leaders who aim to make a significant impact in their respective industries?

I think it is all quite basic. It is your life, live it. What are you passionate about? Find a way to make a living doing that. Learn as you go, seek advice and accept criticism. You will make mistakes, own them, recognize them as yours. Everything that happens to you, in one way or another, you have let happen to you, you are responsible. Your path might change but keep your end goal in focus. Adapt to what comes, and walls are made to climb. The main thing is, enjoy it, even the frustrations, this is what makes the journey interesting.

  • What have you envisioned for the future regarding your role at SyncLodge and for your personal ambitions as well?

I envision a lot more climbing, discussing, building, re-building, hearing perspectives I don’t like to hear but need to hear, long days and short nights, but more than anything a building feeling of community and shared support. The future is tomorrow and next decade. I focus on tomorrow but know next decade will come. We need to be ahead of the curve when it does arrive but most importantly, feel proud about the route we took to get there. My personal ambitions are the same as my ambitions for SyncLodge. I do not see them as separate things. Be a positive force in the world.

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