I know what connections is…what now?

My last post talked about my understanding of connections planning. From there you might ask how it can be applicable to an agency, especially a big agency. I recognize that I do not have experience in agency management, but I do have a perspective from the bottom of the totem pole. I have also had the opportunity to interact with and meet people who are founded the connections planning initiative in their agencies. I have pinpointed 3 practical things that contribute to successful collaborative strategy.

1. Be selective in who you hire. It is important to hire the best talent, but some times talent goes hand and hand with pride. Pride can deteriorate a collaborative mindset. I would be on the look out for people with humble intelligence. As difficult as it may be, it will contribute to a connections attitude. When interviewing try asking interviewees how they function in team, or even a basic question like how an ad agency works. It will give you insight into how they see the agency model and how the disciplines function together.

2. Encourage departments to work together that don’t already have an established relationship. Even if it is just a simple project that doesn’t directly deal with a campaign, it will still put a face to the work. Also, if they are coordinating schedules, they will be able to identify with the daily routines of each department.

3. Give employees in all departments, time to do personal research, even if it is only one hour a week. As ad agencies we are a big part of American culture. Therefore, we need the opportunity to stay in tune with the culture we are influencing. The research should be relevant like exploring technology and trends, but it will also give the members of your team a break from the fast-paced deadline driven world they work in.  You should also encourage them to share what they have learned, further facilitating interaction and team work.

As always, let me know what you think! I love feedback.

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One Response

  1. Hey lady – these are awesome good ideas. MindShare officially announced today it’s re-structuring. Think connections planning 2.0: Business Planning, Client Leadership, Invention (big ideas), and The Exchange (strategic ideas). This is the new layout of MindShare, no longer 18 different little niches (ex: Interaction, Entertainment, Insights, etc.) Just the four over-arching groups, and people working as hybrids (and having specialties). The kicker: trying to become an even stronger business partner through business and marketing consulting. We are no longer just a media agency – we will now be competing with McKinsey Consulting and other agencies. How are we implementing? The moto around the office is “No Rules, Just Results.” Everything should be in place by the end of ’08. Craziness! I’m excited :).

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