10 Questions for Will Rolls
In our format “Oberwasser,” we take the time to engage with decision-makers and specialists in the communication industry, gaining thought-provoking insights. “Oberwasser” delivers substantial insights into the business and the industry from those who know it best, like Will Rolls.
- Name: Will Rolls
- Job / Company: Creative Agency Partner, Meta
- My Corona skill (things I learned during Corona): I learned to bake Sourdough bread and recorded many songs with GarageBand. And I learned how to successfully mute myself during video calls – a skill many of us didn’t realize could be so important.
- On which platform were you most active during the lockdown, and what content did you consume on it?
Apart from the Facebook platforms, I was a little more active on Twitter. Not because I had more things to tweet, but mainly to follow the news cycle there as well.
- How do you manage to stay professionally and personally connected despite the distance?
I got a Facebook Portal device, which is wonderful. It perfectly aligns the screen and webcam, giving my video calls a whole new sense of presence. Through the device, I feel a closeness to family, friends, and colleagues that I didn’t experience with conventional hardware.
- Since Corona, no day has been the same, and decisions made yesterday may not matter today. How do you motivate yourself daily?
I am motivated by knowing that there will be a ‘return’ someday. And then I want to be able to proudly say that I have moved forward.
- How will the Corona crisis influence your work environment long term?
Every travel decision will be observed more critically in the future. I’ve learned that not every meeting needs to involve travel.
- Do you think Germany needed Corona to advance digital transformation?
Yes, absolutely. And I’ve seen how Germany has consistently and systematically driven this change more than other countries.
- Who is your “hidden champion” in the Corona crisis?
My absolute hidden champions are the service colleagues, whom I now miss whilst being in home office: the cafeteria staff, the cleaning personnel, our security staff, and the friendly colleagues at the reception. Unfortunately, a situation like Corona had to happen for us to finally realize how important they are – they are more than just support; they define a company.
- Is Corona still a dominant topic for you, or are issues like #blacklivesmatters, Trump, or the next vacation more important?
Corona is a lens that has dramatically highlighted other events like #blacklivesmatter or election processes in other countries. I just find it unfortunate that in 2020, the climate crisis has slipped somewhat out of the headlines. In my opinion, it remains one of the most crucial issues.
- Do you think Corona has made you and all of us more critical? (Protests on the streets, criticism on Facebook, etc.)
- It has encouraged people to express their criticism. It’s important that every debate is conducted objectively and fact-based and that one is willing to change their opinion if necessary. Regarding the criticism of Facebook, I find it unfortunate that sometimes the many good things our platforms have done are forgotten. For example, we have taken several measures on our platforms to display trustworthy information about the Corona virus. And we have specifically helped smaller businesses overcome the challenges of the pandemic: with training, toolkits, and, not least, our financial grant program for 30,000 small businesses worldwide. We are aware that we have a significant responsibility and take it very seriously. We know we’re not perfect, but we are constantly working on improving.
- Do you believe brands/companies should react to these issues now, or is it better to ignore them?
A time like this is very challenging to ignore, and many people expect – especially larger companies – to take a stand. But from my perspective, not all communication has to revolve around these issues – better times are ahead as well.
- Your tip to stay afloat during Corona
My tip is always to find a creative project to look forward to.