4 Strategies to Spark On-Demand Creativity

Back in the "Mad Men" days, only writers and artists were held accountable for driving an agency’s creativity. Today, that dynamic has expanded to include just about everyone. Whether it’s the account services team bringing fresh ideas to clients, the business development team finding new ways to engage with prospects, or creative services producing content, everyone has to be creative for the agency to succeed. Individual contributors also must be able to tie their creative efforts to measurable ROI. Why is creativity so important? Because for agencies, creativity is currency. The successful execution of good ideas separates top agencies from closed shops. The barriers to entry for marketing are lower than ever -- anyone with an idea and an hour can build a website or whip up a logo. Agencies must communicate their value proposition as the owners of the best ideas and know how to measure that value. But creativity alone is not enough. Agencies and the people within them must be creative on demand. To do that, every department and every employee must become part of a culture that excels at creative problem-solving. Bringing New Ideas to the Table Often, creativity is talked about like it’s a magical ability of the chosen few -- something we have little control over that strikes at random. But Jason Keath, founder and CEO of Social Fresh Conference, says universal creativity is not as hard to achieve as some entrepreneurs would imagine. I spoke with Keath recently, and he said that creativity is less about inspiration and more about learning to solve problems. “Anyone can be creative,” he says, adding that creativity is a process that we fail to teach in schools or in business environments. This is good [...]

Hey agency owner – want some fun company Christmas party ideas?

Are you ready for some fresh company Christmas party ideas?  Most agency owners feel kind of blah about their agency's annual holiday party.  They spend a lot of money on it but don't really feel like their employees really appreciate or look forward to it. Of course, when I ask them what they do, they sheepishly say "well, we have a nice dinner." Come on people -- you own an agency.  Surely you can get more creative than that!  Here are some company Christmas party ideas that Agency Management Institute's agencies have implemented over the years.  All of these could be augmented with food and drinks, if you want. Remember -- just because you love a fancy meal doesn't mean it's the only or best way to celebrate the season.   If you have a lot of millennials on your team -- they might like something with a charitable bent or something more casual. Why not mix things up with one of these Christmas party ideas? Give all of your employees $200 and take them to a local or specialty mall. Give them 2 hours to buy themselves something that they think Santa won't put under the tree.  Then, gather for lunch/dinner and everyone has to show what they bought (You can add a secret santa or charity twist too) Touring a winery/doing a tasting Adopting a family together and then delivering all the food/gifts together (and then usually going out to dinner afterwards) Having a party at one of those pottery/do it yourself art studios and everyone gets a set amt to choose an item to paint/fire etc. Renting a Hummer limo and doing a light tour (with snacks/champagne/hot chocolate in the limo or dinner afterwards) Ringing [...]

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