Monday, 11 May 2009

When will worlds collide?

This post is a bit of a scattered brain dump, but here goes. I've been thinking a lot about agency structures, especially since I am on the prowl for the right fit/next move.

There has been a lot of talk about new structures or ways of doing business when it comes to Adland and beyond (should there even be ATL planners, or just integrated planners, should planning teams have new players?) should there be such a wide ocean separating creative and strategy?

From my perspective (especially since I work in a brand-centric comms agency, the small arm of a large European outfit, which necessitates the donning of many hats), the walls between creative and strategy should start to crumble, and new folks (user-experience, interactive/engagement specialists) should also come on the scene when it comes to the development of creative concepts and ideas. Hybrid roles would suit the changes that the industry is undergoing (I won't reiterate here as much as been written about these shifts: see here and here).

I find something immensely appealing about smaller, independent creative shops that forge a different path, approach or develop seemingly loose team structures. I'm not calling for anarchy, people need to have specialisms and fields of expertise, but it seems that we are entering a slash/slash period - where new skill-sets and approaches are required.

Do we need more jacks in this trade? More people to be the half-backs or the glue? Do we need to replace departmental walls with small hurdles that are easy to jump over? Is this economic climate the ideal time to restructure or rethink? I'm seeing some companies and agencies making redundancies, but then making strategic hires/placements...

What kind of structure or type of skill (people) do you need for this redefinition/growth/change?

How is your agency adapting to industry shifts in a financially challenging market?

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