Griffith grad relishes role combining creative and corporate expertise

Alumnus Adrian Letilovic’s career shows the arts sector has much to contribute to the corporate world in today’s changing environment.

He is working in a role he could never have foreseen when he completed his Bachelor of Communication at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus 15 years ago.

Adrian’s theatrical flair combined with his passion for diversity and inclusion have found their perfect match at one of the Big 4 accountancy firms, Deloitte, where he is Manager of Customer Strategy & Experience Design, at Deloitte Digital.

“I think any of us who’s worked in communications or has a journalism background knows that, I think the times of the old spin doctors are really, really gone, and to be successful in comms that authenticity really needs to come through,” Adrian said.

“Deloitte is the most amazing organisation to work for. I could be leading a design led workshop in the morning and then helping craft narrative for some of our executive team members during the day.

“I’m leading our virtual office engagement at the moment, which is all about helping our teams to be agile and pivot to remote or virtual working when they need to.”

A still from the Deloitte Many Voices One Song video project

One of the highlights of his time at Deloitte has been creating the Many Voices One Song video for Deloitte as part of the company’s gender diversity strategy.

“Jonathon Welch of some fame was also the musical director on that and it was just an absolute dream come true,” he said.

“When I first started at Deloitte, one of the goals that I set myself was to just create an amazing film that showed rather than told what diversity can achieve if you have an inclusive culture. That video was the final product of that.”

He says Deloitte is leading the way on gender inclusion initiatives, with the Many Voices One Song video achieving 25,000 views on YouTube, and more than 250,000 views on Facebook.

He says such projects show how important creativity is in a corporate environment, where his inventive approach to problem solving is called on constantly.

“I work alongside people who have artistic backgrounds, who have backgrounds in sculpture,” he said.

“I have a background in theatre and creative writing. These creative script skills are increasingly in desire by traditional kind of businesses.

“Design thinking is absolutely the term of the day. So whilst obviously there’s still a great need for people in more traditional, I guess schools of thought, the creative ones are really, really coming to the fore.”

As the head of the company’s LGBTI network, called Globe, Adrian says its interesting to see how far the Australian business community has come.

“If people need to feel that they have to cover any aspect of their individuality in order to come to work, then that’s energy and focus that they’re expending on covering whatever that might be, so that they feel that they can fit in,” he says.

“Organisations that have great diversity but provide inclusive cultures really allow people to forget about all of that and just be who they are.”

Deloitte’s emphasis on inclusivity also extends to working from home, as so many were thrown into doing as the Coronavirus pandemic spread around the globe.

“We’re very conscious … this can have a significant impact on people’s mental wellbeing. We’re social creatures by nature,” he said.

“We’re working closely with our human capital teams to understand how can we be inclusive in virtual environments what are the daily rituals that we can bring from our usual life and inject those inject those into virtual settings.

“One of the things that my team do when we’re not face to face is the first call of the day we set it up we’re all on skype we can see each other’s faces, we grab a bowl of cereal and we just have a chat without even talking about what needs to be done. It’s that bonding over food, that ritual we’re used to, it sets the scene for the day and helps everyone get on with the day.”

Adrian says Griffith provided the key stepping stone to his career.

“It was 2002 I enrolled there, I still recall being able to select tutorials and everything using an online system so when I came to do my masters at University of Sydney a few years later I was shocked I had to come in to campus to do a lot of that stuff it was completely mindblowing,” he said.

“It’s very much a leading university and one I hold dear to my heart.”

Hear more of Adrian’s story on episode 40 of the Remarkable Tales podcast.