Change is hard but it can be amazingly powerful

Agency business management is ripe for change

Being an advertising agency maven for a long time in this volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguity world — gave me an urge to start doing something about business creativity and change management in the marketing and advertising ecosystem.

While marketing has become more complicated and CMOs are asking to do more with less, the agency business model and management have stagnated for years or even decades. It is overwhelmed by hierarchical culture, internal competition, bureaucracies, and extrinsic motivation that interfere with business creativity, innovation, and agility. Add to these creativity killers — usually systemic practices so widespread that they are rarely questioned.

Pritchard is now one of the growing chorus of CMOs that calls for a reinvention of the agency model, stating that advertising hasn’t changed much in decades and that agencies still operate like an archaic “Mad Men” model.

Today a new suite of organizational elements offers the opportunity for a step change forward. New technology has lowered the cost of communication and radically shifted the economics of a business. The workforce is becoming an inverted pyramid and talent diversity should be the source of an innovation drive. This implicates the way of work and rigid (hierarchical) structure will be replaced by networks so we will see more coordination and less planning.

Creativity is no less challenging or exciting when the mystery is stripped from the creative process. The most beautiful flowers grow under careful cultivation from common soil. — Herbert A. Simon

Today’s agency business model and management is ripe for change. Leading change in the agency will come from managing social capital and extended collaboration. New communication technologies are a marvelous enabler, but success will be fundamentally an issue of talent and organizational management.

Change is hard, but it can also be amazing.

Agency should not be obsessed with reinventing themselves by reorganization, rebranding, and extrinsic motivation. Conclusively change management is a better answer — learn new skills, ignite intrinsic motivation, match talents with jobs, ensure autonomy around a process, break silos and layers with networks, nurture diversity for brand stewardship, consider pricing instead of cost, deliver value, collaborate more, plan less and coordinate more. Start today with the first step:

  • have courage, agility, and patience
  • re-think and re-design
  • be positive and create meaning
  • collaborate and use different knowledge effectively

The agency of the future is the one which will mobilize intelligence. It’s the agency with a passionate dedication to foster creativity and leverage change into business leadership.

One finds limits by pushing them. — Herbert A. Simon

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Marketing and business executive with PhD in Business Economics, marketing advisor AndreaRubik.ch, co-founder Resyfy.com

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