1. James Powell

    Ron,I love this post and couldnt agree more. Another reason I would add to your list is that most agencies and staff are very externally focused and haven’t done the work to explore who they really are. As an industry we are good with helping clients understand their brand values, positioning, etc. but when it comes down to doing the same work on ourselves we don’t put in the time. If agencies and staff spent just 5% of their time working ON their own business instead of spending all their time working IN their business we could be in a much better place.

  2. Ron Tite

    I agree, James. Maybe it’s the Cobbler’s Children theory. Regardless, an agency positioning usually gets thrown out the window the second an opportunity presents itself that contradicts it. Hey, we can be all about digital but this client will pay us a lot of money to do Direct Mail. While our clients wouldn’t bother chasing customers that are outside of their core strengths, agencies routinely pitch clients they have no business going after. Again, this was much worse in the past year as holding companies demanded financial performance in a down year. Thanks for reading!

  3. Lisa Baptista

    You are so right (and extremely funny) but lets face it the training is in no way sexy, and it is perceived as extremely corporate, In all my agency experience over the years, that alone is enough to kill any attempts at training (thus the lunch and learns). It just doesn’t fit how agencies seem to want to be perceived.

  4. Joel

    Have been there, and a lot of these points are dead on and loved the entire read. Could not agree more with the lack of training that most agencies see as no big deal. Good Creative Directors or Agency partners know how to teach younger creatives. Not just different creative approaches, but how to solve business problems. Furthering them in their career within the agency its self and giving them an opportunity of growth with out having to walk out the door to get their teeth sharpened else where.

  5. Ron Tite

    Admittedly, I don’t think training young creatives was ever one of my strengths… but I guess you’d have to ask them.

  6. Lisa Semerdjian

    I agree, there’s basically slim to no training in this industry and it’s very disappointing. This hit home for me.

  7. Leslie Ehm

    Thanks for the reco Ron!! My 2 cents on this is that there’s a dual challenge here. In the ad biz, we think we’re smarter than everyone else, so convincing us of a need for training us is a nightmare. Then our cynicism is usually justified when some shmuck with no point of reference for our reality comes in and bores the pants off of us for a day and then buggers off. The agency is then poorer, the people no more empowered and the budget is gone. Excellent. Meanwhile, the skills void continues to gape and the people stress themselves out faking it til they make it.(OK – so here comes a plug for me, but it’s kinda true). The secret is in finding the right training for ad people. If a training company has no experience in our business, forget ’em. If they wear suits and never swear, f*ck ’em, if they claim a single workshop as a magic bullet, mistrust them but most of all, vet them. Do they fit with your culture? Could you imagine them as a member of your team? Do you trust their philosophy? Do they have one? And for every moment they are in the room with your people, will they love them unconditionally and will your people be inspired to love them back. Great training is about trust and technique. Not everyone can do it and not everyone should. But it can work if the training is right. And your people will love you for respecting them enough to give them the RIGHT training and be even more inclined to stick around to see what’s next!

  8. Molly S

    Really loved this post. Especially love the theme that we all contribute to this mess from both sides.

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