This is a milestone post for me – up to number 50 & still plenty to talk about. This debate is just getting started about futureproof suits.
I have to give a big shout out to the guys at Berghs who invited me into a debate this week around Den Tredke Kreatören (the third creator).
The basic premise up for discussion was the role of creative problem solving/account handling in a world where idea is king.
I argued that good ideas, at an early stage are VERY fragile things. They can have a very short life unless the right conditions are set up. Getting from good to great is about creating the conditions that enable this delicate process to happen. This is the account handlers core awesomeness in the T (combining project management, organizational wizardry, problem solving, people management, team inspiration with client relationship management).
I also argued that our role is to help make sure that when the group has an idea (and has discounted a lot of stuff too), that as the good stuff emerges from it’s cocoon that it gets the best chance to turn into a butterfly.
That we won’t let time/budget/the word NO pull the wings off but that we’ll help the idea take flight, travel & grow. Planners can make the work work. But the remastered account handler has the responsibility to make it fly. And then help it explode through a connected experience.
The collective, colloborative experience of making an idea is kind of like making a jazz record. We all have our roles & our core awsomeness – our instruments & musicianship. We know that we need to play a tune. But how we play & what we play to deliver a unique experience is around timing, trust, respect, honesty, without ego, embracing failure faster & combined with a natural team dyanmic/flow. It’s not rigid. But fluid. And evolutionary.
I think clients have always looked to the agency world because we’re smarter & more creative than them.
But today, more than ever, the demands are so high & clients are so confused about the landscape that we need to know more about the future than them too.
This is probably the greatest opportunity for the account handler ever. Without being a generalist – you can take control of a meeting conversation & be the most plausible voice in the room around the next step.
Having great insights & great creative isn’t enough. We need to lead in futurology & bring whatever resource we need (behavioural psychologist, architect, scientist, designer, customer, client R&D expert, technologist) to help us make an idea that will change the future direction of a brand.
Once the idea is in place it’ll be all about what I’m starting to call the three C’s: content, content & connection. More on this in a later post.
These guys are going to be the real change agents of the future & will inspire the agencies that they land in to do great things. I am sure of that. They are being tutored by the excellent Charlotta Rydholm & I wish them all the very best!
What struck me the most about the evening was the energy, enthusiasm & raw talent that is buzzing around the place. It’s infectious, inspiring & the very best thing about today’s landscape is that they’ll have the opportunity to take on leadership earlier than ever. The best idea making agencies have figured out that creatives don’t sit on a floor on their own. And that digital doesn’t sit in a department.
No hierarchy & a flat structure means that everyone has a stake in making the idea. Even the client. The future agency model will soon figure out that taking 6months to develop a TV spot feels like sending a fax rather than an email.
Here’s my advice: look these guys up & they’ll probably teach you how to keep learning.