Archives for posts with tag: client

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Everybody is talking about creativity. When politicians start talking about creativity, you know we’re in the middle of a creativity bubble.

What does creativity look like? Where should it come from? Who’s responsible? How best to harness it?

In a client-agency relationship, the creative department is typically tasked to express creativity and keep it limited to that department. What’s the purpose of creativity within an agency?

Is the model of creativity a new idea support model that we can sell to clients? Is it a model focused on consolidating creative output within core, traditionally creative functions? Resulting in hiring ‘creative’ people who act different than the rest of us.

Or should we expand this model and give everyone in the agency the opportunity to be ‘creative’, whatever your title or rank? This model requires that creativity becomes more accessible, more within reach for those who don’t traditionally regard themselves to be ‘creative’ for whatever reason.

We need both.

I bet there’s no agency in the world that doesn’t want more creativity at its centre. At the same, viewing creativity solely as the preserve of a certain ‘type’ is all wrong, and probably cuts you off from potential value people can bring. Because a creative organization places creativity within the reach of everyone.

Creativity is about making new connections. And much more: Creativity is open-ended. Creativity is never finished, or a box you can tick. It relies on knowing more stuff so that you can make more connections.

Which raises an interesting question:

Do agencies really want creativity?

Creativity can actually be harnessed pretty simply given the right processes and a certain level of organizational commitment. If more connections come from knowing stuff, then agencies need to create a culture of curiosity.

Which is much harder.

Curiosity is an innate motivation. It’s established early in your childhood. You can’t brainstorm yourself to curiosity. It comes from people and can’t be engineered. It might be stimulated through feedback. It shouldn’t be considered as its own reward. It should be required as a basic mindset to be regarded for an agency job.

Should there be a Curiosity Director? A Curiosity department?

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via Alvin Diec

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I recommended blogging to a corporate client 5 years ago and he just looked at me and said “I don’t know anyone who reads blogs.” Nowadays, he blogs religiously each and every day.

I recommended tweeting to a client 3 years ago and encountered blank stares. Client has now more than 100,000 engaged followers.

I could rationalize these case studies as wins. But, they are not. They came around to blogging and tweeting not because of me. I recommended the right thing but I didn’t convince them. I didn’t have the right arguments. Stats. My pitch wasn’t good enough. Whatever.

There’s a difference between understanding what has to be done and convincing others. I knew what had to be done. But I lacked in my abilities to convince them. Don’t blame your clients when they don’t follow your advice. Blame yourself.