I was five or six when I first knew my calling in life. My dad, who was a planner at FCB, took me into the agency’s creative department and something clicked. The environment was unlike anything I’d experienced before – colourful, vibrant and dense with the aroma of Magic Markers. People wore jeans and T-shirts and put their feet up on desks. This to me didn’t feel like work or how I imagined an office to be, and so I was hooked.
35 years on, and despite the seismic changes we continuously witness, there are still some things as true today as they were at any point in the history of creativity; your environment, culture and people define your output. This is simple really, yet so many companies neglect these fundamentals then wonder why they struggle to hold onto people, status and ultimately, clients.
My belief is that creativity thrives in an ideas democracy. That’s empowered people working collaboratively towards a shared vision and goals in an environment that conjures innovation, energy, entrepreneurship and magic - while shunning fear.
In the 10 years or so I’ve been an ECD, these values have all contributed to the creative and commercial success of the companies I’ve worked for. Seven Agency of The Year titles, in excess of 150 awards, dozens of account wins and strong financial performance are all testament to the above.