Insights From Some of the Industry's Mad Men and Women

Written by
Lindsay Stein
Advertising Age

Sep 30, 2016

Sep 30, 2016 • Author: Lindsay Stein

During an Advertising Week session on Thursday called Mad (Wo)Men Live, industry leaders from DDB Worldwide, CP+B, Horizon Media and Canvas Worldwide took the stage to share their insights and visions on the industry.

Check out some of these industry veterans' thoughts on leadership, diversity and the state of the advertising industry below.

Lori Senecal, Global CEO, CP+B: Creating a succession or series of high-impact moments that live up to a brand's promise ends up being more engaging for consumers and gets around that clutter issue.

Ms. Senecal: We're governed by the notion that the best idea is boss, not the biggest title. We put all the work on the wall -- everyone does. Anybody can participate, and it becomes much more of a meritocracy.

Chuck Porter, Chairman, CP+B: In broader terms, I think the people who are doing the most interesting work are the ones who are the most diffused. Hierarchies in creative, in general, have not produced the best work. What we've done as an agency is we've made every office autonomous and responsible for their own work and it allows us to do better work. Diffusing creative leadership has been great for us and it seems to me to be a smart thing to do. It creates some differences across our offices and that's okay.

Mr. Porter: Diversity enables you to do better work. An agency's population should reflect the audience they're talking to.

Mr. Porter: The last couple of years the talent we're seeing is really great and better maybe than it was before. There seems, at least to me, to be a renewed interest in the marketing business and really smart kids are finding it interesting.

Keith Reinhard, Chairman Emeritus, DDB: I can't count the number of times I've heard "unprecedented change" over the years. But when we think about those changes, and surely there are many, I think it's good to think about what doesn't change. The timeless things. Fundamental things in our industry still apply. Human nature is timeless. To be admired, to belong, to take care of our own are all timeless. And that means what else is timeless is great creativity and ideas.

Mr. Reinhard: A leader has to have followers. If you step off in a direction and turn around and no one is following you, then you're not a leader. If you can create a culture where people want to follow and they feel that by following you they will have meaning and fulfill their own wishes and career desires and have more fun -- and if it's about meaning, not just about money -- then when a task is complete, they will remark, "We did it ourselves."

Wendy Clark, CEO, DDB North America: We're very focused on building an organization and culture where people feel they can come and do the best work in their lives. It's a competitive marketplace. We have to create a culture and environment where people can do really great work.

Ms. Clark: We have to value how people work as much as what they do. As an industry for too long we have tolerated really bad behavior to protect someone's talent. They're very talented, but don't play well with others. If you're trying to move with the speed of the marketplace, and in an efficient manner, there is no way you can't have collaboration. Collaboration is at the root of trying to move quickly and efficiently. How we do things is as important as what we do.

Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO and Founder, Horizon Media: I believe people in the business world today are looking to create something new every day. Mr. Koenigsberg: We have digital detox days to allow our employees to switch off. Paul Woolmington, CEO, Canvas Worldwide: Our product is our trust. Our product is our people. Our product is our collaboration of this ecosystem and what we do. Mr. Woolmington: Eighty percent of what will help you succeed in the future will not come from your institutional knowledge.

The article Insights From Some of the Industry's Mad Men and Women first appeared on Advertising Age.

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