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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.

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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.

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Skin In The Game

August 4th, 2016

Nothing says “I believe in this idea” more than taking a personal stake in its success. That’s how we roll.

A few weeks ago, we were having one of the many meet-and-greets that have become part of our daily schedule since we opened our doors. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, and on this occasion we were meeting with the marketing director of the Canadian arm of an international car manufacturer. There was a pregnant pause in the air, the kind that inevitably follows when a client asks the question, “So, what do you guys think of our new ad campaign?” After a few moments of silence (we try to drag it out for maximum effect), I responded. “Let me ask you this, “ I queried. “Do you think that this is the solution your agency would have executed if their compensation was solely based on the results it achieved?” I assure you that the pause that followed was definitely not for effect.

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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.”

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