Many of us know of the zen story of a pompous student who goes to the zen master for learning. Instead of listening, the student starts blowing his own trumpet. The master then asks for tea and when the tea arrives, starts pouring a cup for the student. He keeps pouring into the cup without stopping. The cup overflows and the tea spills onto the table. Irritated, the students says -"Stop, can't you see the cup is full?". The Master smiles, "And so is your mind. Unless you empty it, what can you learn".
I feel many of us in the ad industry are full with ideas of the way things should be done. And are brimming to the top with fixed notions of:
- the way to manage talent
- the definition of what is an agency
- the business model of an agency
- the definition and possibility of new media
- the capability and effectiveness of new media
- the relationship between old media and new media
- notions of the power of the 30 sec TVC
- the definition of creativity
- the value chain of the creative product
- the role of account planning
- the need for young blood and different blood groups!
- the need to diversify the search for agency talent
- the pricing model of our services
- the range and menu of our services
- the use of technology to increase productivity
- the way the different departments function in a agency
- clients' expectations from us
- training and skilling as a tool for competitive advantage
- the need to think about the larger business context and not just the next budget
But,in a flat & fast world, we need to empty our minds of old ideas and THINK anew. Because, if we don't the ground will slip beneath our feet. Digital, animation, design, Bollywood, mobile and gaming companies among others are all eating into our business! First in small nibbles and then in big chunks! The leaders need to refresh their thinking. Replace vendor thinking by bold, lateral, thinking!
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