PEOPLE   |  MOVEMENTS   |  TALK


Would it kill you to smile?

November 16th, 2016

What’s the go-to position of your face, and how that affects everything.
I’m a bit of a sulker. There, I’ve said it. I know it’s not an attractive habit, and I’m always trying to work on that. But the default position of my mouth isn’t always a smile. Which is perhaps why fate throws so many frowning people in front of me – to act as a mirror, reflecting myself back to me in a way that I can see myself through others. And you know what? It’s not pretty.

Read More →

The subject is not important. The people are important.

November 12th, 2016

A life lesson hard-learned but well-remembered.
I am an idiot. Why? Because I walk into every meeting, every presentation, every social interaction thinking that the subject is important. And that my value will be judged based on how knowledgeable, insightful or clever I cam demonstrate myself to be on that subject. But, in fact, it is rarely if ever the subject that is important, or even worth a damn. It is the people that are important.

Read More →

The trouble with the future is the past.

September 15th, 2016

That which is most likely to hold you back today and tomorrow is yesterday.
When you are in the change business, you quickly learn that your best friend and worst enemy is the past. Best friend because it informs you, thus preventing you from fulfilling Einstein’s well-known definition of insanity. Best friend because it excites you, thus providing the impetus to move forward rather than remain stagnant. Best friend because it reassures you, providing a comforting albeit false sense of security that your now-proven ability to survive yesterday is some sort of indicator that the same will continue to be true, provided you repeat that general set of actions. But the question you should be asking is not what’s right about something, but rather what’s wrong. And it is in the answering of that question whence came the realization that the past is something we could all do without.

Read More →

What We Know Is Not Nearly as Important as What We Don’t Know – Yet.

August 22nd, 2016

Reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb has set me to thinking that it is not enough to be able to predict Black Swans when you are in the business of creating them.

An advertising agency (for lack of a better term – but trust me, I’m working on it), at its most basic level, serves a single purpose:

To reflect the consumer back to the companies who are producing the goods they hope will be consumed.

(This idea in and of itself causes much consternation, as conventional thinking might jump to the conclusion that it is the other way around.)

As a mirror of the very society we serve, we are most successful when we produce work which reflects what is going on around us in culture and society. Work which simultaneously defines and is defined by the times.

Read More →

One For All and All For One

August 6th, 2016

Making sure that we’re all invested in each other’s success.

Skin in the game doesn’t just apply to Hey Harry’s relationship with its clients. Every team member at Hey Harry Worldwide also has skin in the game. What that means is they earn less on a base level, but they have limitless capacity to increase their earnings. What that means is they never have to walk past a Ferrari (or a house in Tuscany, or an opportunity to build a school in Nepal), and say, “It sucks that I’ll never have the chance to have (or do) that.” It also means that they won’t be working late on weekends so they can buy management any of those things either. It’s called mutual accountability for invested team members.

Read More →

If Small Is The New Big, How Long Until We See Multinationals Become Micronationals?

March 30th, 2009

Is small a measure of size or accountability, and if it’s the latter, how is that best delivered?

I have just finished reading Peter Bregman’s sanguine (and hopefully prophetic) article Why Small Companies Will Win in This Economy and I couldn’t help but ask myself the question, “How will the big publicly-traded agency behemoths respond to this bit of news?”. Being a bit excited, I inadvertently blurted out the question aloud, and Ray, who was sitting across the boardroom table from me, answered, without skipping a beat or even so much as an upward glance, “They’ll reinvent themselves as mini-companies and remarket themselves as a collection of smaller agencies, restructured away from the holding company that brought them together in the first place.”

Read More →