Posts Tagged ‘culture’

I was chatting with my mentor, Dave Trott the other day.

It’s always an enjoyable refresher course in many things.

In June 1980, he opened Gold Greenlees Trott.

Very shortly afterwards, I was fortunate enough to be the first creative bod Trotty hired (it was a serendipitous event but that’s a story in itself).

I worked for him until late 1989.

He taught me pretty much everything I know about advertising.

But only a fraction of what he knows.

However, he also taught me about many other things.

If you read his brilliant blog or equally brilliant books, you can’t fault his unerring logic and common sense.

They relate to advertising, for sure, but they’re lessons in life, ways of being.

I soaked all this up for almost ten years.

But he was never my boss.

He reminded me of that the other day – “I wasn’t a boss, I was a coach, that’s why it worked for you. I didn’t make you do anything, just showed you how to do what you wanted to do – the rest was all you.”

A big distinction, and I’ve experienced ‘bosses’ subsequently.

They boss people around, tell them what to do and what not to do, bollock them if they do something wrong (and are usually stingy with praise if they do something right).

Trotty never did that.

He didn’t FORCE any of us to do ANYTHING.

Instead he hired people who wanted to do what he wanted, and showed them the way.

If anyone, for a second, doubts the validity of that management style, the GGT he created went on to be voted by USA’s Ad Age magazine as ‘The Most Creative Agency In The World’.

I’m incredibly proud and blessed to have played a part in that, and it’s a lesson I’ve tried to live by as a manager of people.

It sure beats trying to bully people into doing things they simply don’t want to.

So maybe the expression shouldn’t be “Like A Boss”.

But “Like A Coach”. (more…)

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Stardate December 9th 2555

It’s that prediction time of year again.

Ad agencies are especially adept at producing overblown documents (often for sale believe it or not!!!!) trying to prove how cutting edge they are by telling us How We Will All Live In 2013.

Well, the Mayans predicted there won’t actually BE a 2013, so let’s get over that minor hump first.

It’s really, really, REALLY difficult to predict the future, so I won’t even try.

I’ll leave that to the hyper-intellectual planners, social media analysts and Trendistas who’ll tell us with great authority what we’ll all be doing for the next decade.

The fact that not a single one of these smug self-important Nostradamus’s (is the plural Nostradami?) predicted, er… The Internet – the single biggest thing to happen to communications since the invention of television – shows how much notice you should take of them.

I mean, if it’s your job predicting things, how could you miss predicting the biggest fucking thing to happen to our business in our lifetime?

I’m reading killer pearls of prescience such as Mobile communications is going to get bigger! Well duh! I really need an i-crystal ball to see that coming. Surely that doesn’t count as a prediction so much as a blindingly obvious evolution of what’s been happening?

You can’t predict the future. It just kind of happens around you with trillions of variables (actually probably a bigger unit of ‘illions) .

Who predicted a moronic dance from a South Korean ‘burb would become the number one YouTube hit EVER?

Who predicted the rise and wobble of Facebook?

Creative people learn to adapt to and deal with things happening around them and are generally cool with a chaotic, unpredictable environment.

Whereas a certain insecure faction feels the need to try and turn advertising into a science, and spend millions of dollars on incredibly bright people to waste a lot of time trying to mitigate errors.

But they’ll always get fucked over by the sheer unpredictability of human beings.

No-one really knows what people will like next. And I mean ‘like’ in the original sense, not the ‘thumbs-up facebook like’ or the ‘double-tap heart Instagram like’ sense.

And THAT’S what makes the ad-business stay so interesting.

Blog off.

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