When a fifty year-old model is destroyed by a massive seismic shift, it’s inevitable there will be some confusion about how to replace it.
In the advertising industry this confusion has manifested itself in hyperbolic and frenetic re-invention, with Library of Congress-like amounts of exposition on “the new model” and the “agency of the future.”
Both quests depend on defining a fixed point of reference and then building towards it.
Which is like building a skyscraper in a known earthquake zone, and worrying largely about how to make it look compelling to prospective buyers.
The flaw in which is that when the ground shifts again - as inevitably it will - the structure we had so painstakingly built is suddenly as unsafe as the old one. And the buyers suddenly realize that for all the granite counter-tops, there’s no long term security here.
Which is a simple case of fixing the wrong problem.
From here on, building creative companies capable of delivering extraordinary work, exceptional performance and long-term stability requires a fundamental shift in perspective by those charged with their design.
One that focuses not on rigid departments and precisely defined capabilities, but on building flexible foundations.
Experience shows there are three:
- Organically collaborative environments
- Geographically agnostic systems
- Entrepreneurial practices
Transparent, authentic, ubiquitous, responsive.
A natural extrapolation of the world in which we live, consume and connect.
A world that shakes our assumptions on a daily basis. And in doing so provides limitless opportunity to those agile enough to take advantage of the uncertainty.