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Saturday, September 16

Creative Strategists : Unsilo the agency

When I look at life around me, I find a world where highbrow and lowbrow, producer and consumer, mass media and blog media, technology and design, work and play are all coming togther and morphing!

Yet in most ad agencies the creative department and the rest haven’t yet morphed. Formally or even informally! The suits are shunned and the few planners in the system have a defined turf! I think this is a primitive way to solve the complex communication and business problems of today.

Ad agency creative units have some similarity with a software program – which is a combination of science and art, blue-sky-thinking and disciplined-coding! And both are served well by ‘fusion thinking’.

The silos in an agency exist because they haven’t been questioned! They exist to perpetuate turf. They exist to prevent scrutiny. I think this silo working is producing gross inefficiencies and mediocrity in the system. In an industry reeling under a talent crunch, the present silo-working only exacerbates the situation…

Agencies in the modern world must be modeled like design firms, marketing and strategy consultancies. Where all members are equal partners Ranked only by project experience and domain expertise. Leadership roles are shared by rotation and based solely on project needs and individual strengths.

The communication solutions of current and future industries will require a lot of enmeshed working between strategy and creative, between deep understanding of complex client businesses and inspired thinking. The existing silo system is not geared to solve retail, telecom, new technology and new media problems. It can never have the understanding, the ownership, the speed and the holistic thinking of a creative-strategist team model. Any believers?

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