Advertising

On the heels of Havas, if you were starting a new agency what are three ways you would ensure a positive culture?

likeupliftingsmarthelpful
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I would mandate the agency be 50/50 men and women at all levels. No one gets hired from the Ivy League or from Google. Everyone leaves by 8, no matter what. Kicked out the door. I’d like that to happen at 6, but sometimes you need a little extra. Wednesdays are meeting-free (unless you’re in production) and no other meeting can be longer than 45 minutes. And we do not accept client meetings the day before or the day after holidays for any reason

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likeupliftingsmart
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Where can I send you my resume?

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What’s wrong with hiring from google or the Ivy League if they’re well qualified, kind and respectful people. I’m sure they exist.

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likefunny
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1. Only one meeting a day, no matter what. 2. Eliminate titles in Creative Dept (1 ECD / 2 CDS to handle day-to-day that ECD trusts / rest are creatives doing the work) 3. One team per project unless it’s a pitch

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CD1 let me know when you start an agency

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1. Treat employees like adults and trust them to get their work done how/when/where they want. 2. Keep workloads even - this would be done by only holding on to employees who take responsibility for their work and perform at high levels (helps with item #1) 3. Don’t hire assholes - keep a fun, relaxed work environment

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likesmart
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I would mandate training for everyone in a supervisor or manager position. In creative at least, there are a lot of people promoted on their creative talent, but who have no idea how to manage a team or give direction to people they're supposed to be managing. You might be a super talent designer and great at coming up with amazing ideas, but if a designer brings you something and the only direction you can give is "I just don't like it, try something else", you don't know how to lead a team. And I have heard that kind of creative feedback from more creative directors than I care to count.

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Only take on clients who understand that an agency is a partner, not a vendor. Educate them that the agency saying no sometimes helps them. Don’t hire any account people who think their only job is to take orders from the client and convey it to the agency. Dont focus on Cannes Lions at the cost of everything else. And yes, no assholes. What we do is not important enough to have to deal with assholes all day

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1). Emphasize empathy 2). Mandate a culture of respect. 3). A no “great man” policy (check that ego at the door, bro, you ain’t shit w/o your team) 4). Manage client expectations (no “yes and” account directors who drive great creatives to jump ship) 5). Create a collaborative environment that allows everyone to be part of the strategic and creative process 6). Equal pay for equal work, work/life balance, effective/affordable health insurance, paid parental leave. 6). Monthly anonymous criticism submissions where people can voice their complaints w/o threat of retribution and, I don’t, have those complaints actually addressed

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likesmartfunny
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Give Account Management bonuses for creative awards won

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I don't have 3, but one big one...All dept leads influence partnership and collaboration. Lead by example. Seen so many dept leads with bad behavior which their reports then start to imitate or think is acceptable.

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Don’t hire Jason Peterson

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likefunny
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You guys are overthinking it. It’s simple. Win every pitch and outpay the rest of the industry

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likesmartfunny
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Just my top four: Honesty above all - even if it makes you look bad in the moment. Generosity - offer benefits that actually make people’s lives better. Freedom - give the smart people you hire the chance to shape the place too. Diversity - put people who aren’t like you at the table and ask their opinion.

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likesmart
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Not have 2 wealthy white dudes run it.

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Rule #1 mandatory hiring of exact American demographics. 77% white, 13% black, 51% women, 49% men. This would ensure the exact demographics of America to create perfect advertising to America. Everybody in the agency needs to approve of every creative!

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likefunny
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Naive . Myopic. Depends on what you are targeting. Assumes all departments have that breakdown. Depends on size of agency. Etc. Utopian bs oh , interesting you forget the fastest growing and youngest demo...Hispanic. Tribalism is bad

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Snacks. Got to have snacks

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All of these sound amazing compared to what I’m used to.

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you can’t ensure anything. but basic respect goes a long, long way.

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Stop all the emailing. Like by 80%. Occasionally say, “No” to clients when they dream up something they need right now—which means employees miss dinner with their families (again), have to sell tickets to evening shows they’ve been planning for weeks (again). Stop pretending you’re starting a revolution and realize you’re starting ad campaigns to sell catsup. Or shoes. Or flu shots. Stop thinking the world can’t live without you. Stop obsessing about Cannes—so gross. Be less bro-y. Stop doing pro bono that only benefits the agency’s image. Stop having so many meetings. Stop with the quick turnaround internal presentations. Give more autonomy and demand more accountability (at least with creatives). Be better at project management. Hire PMs that protect creatives. Demand loveliness. Kick people out by 6pm. Et cetera

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@CW1 I’ve had less-than-stellar experiences with the Ivies. They all wind up with their noses in the air at some point

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