#MeetTheTeam: Meet Lindy

Share this:

Meet Lindy-Leigh Swales, a pivotal figure at Matriarch. As the Head of HR and Compliance, Lindy’s role extends far beyond the conventional bounds of human resources. With Matriarch for over two decades, Lindy’s journey within the company is a testament to her dedication and deep-rooted understanding of our industry. Not only is she a Director and Shareholder, but her invaluable experience as the former Business Unit Director of our Johannesburg branch equips her with a profound insight into experiential marketing, client service, and the unique challenges our industry faces.

At Matriarch, Lindy is instrumental in overseeing a diverse range of critical operations. Her role involves shaping company policies, optimising systems and procedures, driving BBBEE initiatives, and providing expert oversight on legal affairs. Her multifaceted role ensures that our agency not only thrives in creating impactful experiences but also maintains a solid foundation on which our creative endeavors can be built.

On a more personal note, here are a few fun-facts about Lindy:

👧🏼👦🏼 First and foremost Lindy is a proud wife to a doctor of law, and a devoted (she says helicopter) mom to two very active children, three dogs, and a cat. Despite her exceptionally busy work schedule, she ensures she balances this with family life and her numerous passions.

🏆 Outside of work, you’ll find her obstacle training, sideline coaching at her children’s sports games, or rescuing animals. Last year, she and her daughter participated in the World Obstacle Championships in Belgium, where Lindy secured an impressive 8th place in her age category.

🐕 Lindy is the co-founder of Brenda’s K9 Funds, a registered non-profit organisation she established with her two sisters in memory of their mother, Brenda who they tragically lost in the 2016 floods. The organisation is dedicated to supporting South Africa’s heroic search and rescue K9 units, who were instrumental in the search for her mom.

We sat with Lindy to delve into her perspectives on the Experiential Marketing landscape and HR, gathering insights from her extensive experience and unique viewpoint.

What unique challenges do you face in HR within the experiential marketing sector?

One of the most unique challenges in HR within the experiential marketing sector is finding the right balance between creativity and practical execution skills. Our industry thrives on innovation and out-of-the-box thinking, but it’s equally important to have team members who can bring these ideas to life efficiently and effectively.

Another challenge is maintaining a flexible workforce that can rapidly adapt to changing client needs and project scopes, which often require quick pivots and innovative problem-solving on the fly. Ensuring our team members are not only creative but also resilient and adaptable is crucial.

How do you approach talent acquisition to ensure the team has the creative and dynamic skills needed for success in experiential marketing?

Our approach to talent acquisition is multifaceted, focusing on both the creative and dynamic skills essential for success in our industry. Firstly, we look beyond traditional resumes and qualifications; we’re interested in individuals with a proven track record of creative problem-solving and innovation.

At Matriarch, although we function primarily as a marketing agency, our team’s expertise extends far beyond traditional marketing realms. We proudly comprise individuals from diverse fields including education, the arts, project management, retail and beyond. This eclectic blend cultivates a vibrant culture, fostering innovation at every turn.

How has Matriarch adapted its work model to balance the demands of experiential marketing activations with the evolving expectations for workplace flexibility?

At Matriarch we have been pioneers in embracing work flexibility, a crucial requirement given the demands of our industry, where activations frequently extend beyond conventional hours. Our commitment to flexibility predates the global shift to flexible and hybrid work models prompted by COVID-19; we implemented flexi-time 15 years ago, setting the standard for flexible work arrangements and demonstrating trust in our team to effectively manage their schedules.

Since the onset of COVID-19, we’ve pivoted to a wider hybrid work model. This shift wasn’t just about keeping pace with global trends; it was about enhancing our existing commitment to time and place flexibility while also acknowledging the importance of in-person collaboration.

Given the nature of our work, where staff collaboration is key to bringing campaigns and experiences to life, we’ve found that balancing working hours and remote work with opportunities for the team to meet in person is crucial. These in-person moments enhance project planning, creativity, and team cohesion, which are all vital for the success of our activations.

Our commitment to flexibility, rooted in trust and focusing on output not hours, has created a positive and innovative work culture, positioning us as leaders in the experiential marketing industry. Our flexi work model, which combines remote and in-person work with flexible working hours, mirrors our ethos, enhancing creativity, innovation, and teamwork crucial for crafting unforgettable experiences for our clients and their audiences.

What key trend do you predict will define the experiential landscape in 2024?

While we saw a big growth in virtual experiences since COVID-19, for 2024, I anticipate a surge in ‘phygital’ experiences—blending physical and digital elements to create immersive, interactive campaigns. This approach will enable brands to engage audiences on multiple levels, making experiences more accessible, personalised, and memorable.

What’s your all-time favourite movie quote and why does it resonate with you?

“Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they’re gonna tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period” – The Pursuit of Happiness.

I firmly believe in the power of the mind and the importance of self-belief in attaining your goals. Often, we underestimate our capabilities. I find I have little patience for victim mentality, as I believe that there are opportunities for everyone if you have the right mindset. We simply need to explore them, maintain consistency, and have faith in ourselves.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done or would like to do?

I was honoured to be one of 49 people selected to participate in the 2021 Rhino Peak Challenge, where we summited Rhino Peak in the breathtaking Drakensberg mountains. Even more significantly, our collective efforts resulted in raising over R1 million for wildlife conservation in South Africa.

If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be and what would your hero name be?

I would have the power to compel people to only ever act with kindness. My name would be Empathy Enforcer.

About Us

For over 20 years, Matriarch has been delivering a wide range of effective experiential marketing solutions to South Africa’s favorite brands.

Recent Posts