Getting the most from agency relationships

2 minutes to read by Gideon Hyde

A successful agency relationship is like any other. It needs to start with a shared vision, be based on core values, and be allowed to evolve.

It starts with passion and inspiration …

When you are passionate about your creative challenges you naturally attract others that are drawn by the same challenge.You should “feel” the crackle of creative energy when you share and discuss your challenge with likeminded agency people. It must never feel like a process. You can tell when it’s right when you come out of discussions excited, with a fresh perspective or new ideas … sometimes even when your views are challenged or the challenge itself has been reframed… but always … and here’s the important word, energised.

Don’t feel the energy? … don’t progress.

It’s built on commitment and collaboration …

For relationships to be enduring there must be commitment. Creative problem solving is never a straight line. It’s uppy downy, zig zaggy, sometimes loop the loopy … but never just straight. In fact if it is straight something is probably amiss and you’re probably reskinning yesterday’s solution. Sometimes you’ll wake up and feel you’ve conquered the world and sometimes you feel the world is on top of you. That’s just the way of it. You get through it all with a commitment to the agency and the team, and to collaborating and going together. Successful teams win because they maintain momentum and lean on and learn from each other.

Ensure this is the enduring dynamic.

It thrives on fun and challenge …

Now here’s a paradox. For creativity to thrive and solve serious problems it must act with a carefree spirit. Sometimes that’s a hard one to trust. To act childishly or foolishly when there’s a big grown up and important problem to solve. But here’s why. You cannot design abetter tomorrow by analysing today’s data. You need to be able to explore. To ask silly questions, like … but why do hotels need buildings for people to stay in? And to make leaps of faith. Where games can be played and thought experiments can take place. And where challenges can be explored.

Create environments where your agency can thrive.

And ultimately it’s proven through outcomes and growth.

Deeds not words. Show don’t tell. Outcomes not outputs. Treat creativity as a verb not a noun. Something is created, not I am a “creative”. The joy of the journey is to produce something new and exciting. That stops and makes people think, or better still, feel. Something that moves the game on, or ultimately that changes it all together. And then there’s growth. What have we learned together? What knowledge have we discovered? And most importantly maybe, how have I grown?

Reach for and celebrate successful outcomes and take time with your agency to explore how you’ve grown together.

Good luck!

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