Stop. And Think.  

I disagree* with companies, bosses or managers who believe that the length of time you stay in the office or your busy-ness determine how good you are as a worker. Well, probably they are right, if you are a work-er, of course you need to WORK to demonstrate your value. But doing does not mean you are producing value, many times we need to stop, to read, to reflect and to think in order to better our work.

(*I actually wanted to use despise, but it seems like an overly strong word only the world famous marketing guru could use to criticise and challenge the norms, for a young, little, yet to grow marketer, I choose to be modest and humble – so I disagree…)

If you were on the client side, when it comes to agency management, please be aware your agencies (the good ones) are charging you a high price for a reason. They are not just charging you for the actual head hours spent on your project, but also the time they stop to read, to explore, to discover and to think, so they can come up with better ideas, move faster and produce work that makes a difference.

If you were on the client side, function like an agency, an agency that is willing to invest in their people, an agency that understands the importance for the motivated and talented ones to read, explore and discover continuously so they can fully unleash their potential and produce best work for your business.

If you were on the agency side, make sure you learn, and learn more, and be open and talk about it, as to show your clients you are providing world class knowledge and expertise to them, so all the big bucks they pay are all worth it.

If you were on the agency side, if you failed to provide best practice to your clients, if you thought your clients were all stupid, if you thought you clients just wanted you to keep producing work work work for them, you are wrong. Clients look for value-add, they look for partnership, they look for opportunities to grow together. Clients (the good ones) are willing to take calculated risks with you and try out new things as long as you share your thinking with them, consistently and constantly.

Clients and agencies, instead of just doing more, think more and talk more, with each other.

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Meet Seth Challenge – Half Failed. Plan Tweaked.

I had a plan of making the challenges accomplished one at time so I can create a leverage to sell myself to Seth Godin when he’s in town in Sydney later this year. Apparently it failed – I stopped writing since last December. Main problem is that it is hard to maintain writing daily posts with full-time work commitment plus with ministry and social work on the side, my previous plan also requires me to fully absorb someone else’s work, then find opportunities to apply what I learn, then evaluate the success of the outcome and learn from it so it becomes beneficial for my next project – It was not quite a practical plan, that why it failed.

But anyways, Seth is who inspire to write short pieces to inspire my own thinking, and I’d like to continue on that journey and tweaked my plan to something extremely simple – so simple that it’s just writing I believe is right, writing things I learn or get inspired by my experiences and observations, writing about changes we need to make, writing about things I want to voice out but there’s no channel for me to do so. And hope that my thinking gets through the crowd and the noises and goes straight to Seth, and other amazing marketers out there who deliver insights, who are not afraid to challenge the status quo and willing to change, and change fast.

One of the goals in my professional life is to work in one of Seth’s projects – it’ll be my privilege.

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Creative Leadership – Client and Agency Relationships

Keith Reinhard, the advertising legend emphasised again at Spikes how agencies not only need to read their client’s mind, but actually read beyond their mind – don’t give them what they ask for, but give them what they need, or probably what they never thought they would need. Also agencies should somehow carry an entrepreneurial spirit to work with clients -give directions when clients are not sure, and bring them onboard, and work together to come up with and ship amazing ideas.

Also, timesheets and head hours are the nightmares for both agencies and clients. They are the two key things that kill initiatives and creativity. Not starting the work until you know client would pay for your time, or not spending extra hours on a project because you know you won’t get paid for it, or clients keep thinking that agencies literally bullshit about their timesheets (whilst sometimes they really do) and become petty about the freedom (including financial freedom) they give to agencies, all these are roadblocks for us (clients and agencies) to build trust, to work together and to bring the best out of the collaboration.

Probably great work can only be produced when agencies humble themselves a little and not care so much about money, and clients bring up their game and play a creative leadership role so agency people won’t look down upon you and think that you are idiots, but rather be inspired by you, led by you and therefore willing to deliver the best they can for your account.

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Agency and Client, Strategy and Execution

Back in the agency days, we kept talking about strategies, strategies and strategies. But now on the client side, all of a sudden, we just execute ideas and move really quickly. How to get the balance between strategies and execution? Do we need to have a thorough strategy planned out for every single idea we have? Do we have to have a solid purpose and objective before we execute something? Or we just think of the solutions along the way. Pros and Cons?

Going to explore this further.

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