5 Steps for an Innovative Workplace

Is it time to throw the word “Creative” onto the trash heap of over-used industry buzzwords next to “outside the box,” “synergy,” and “disruptive?”

OK – we won’t go that far, but, by itself, “creative” is no longer cutting it.

Agencies with staffs segmented by ranks of creatives, media buyers, account directors, account managers, PR, and HR are being left behind by more nimble-footed agencies with cross-functional teams that are able to focus not just on ideation and creative, but on innovation and execution. And we know that.

Brandtailers has been committed to the idea that Insanely Smart Ideas can come from anywhere. We recognized years ago that innovation is not limited to a single creative department or a single employee, and that ideas without innovation are not effective. The rest of the industry is just now catching up.

A piece on Medium from 2018 commented that employee innovation is now a fundamental and necessary way to “expand sales opportunities, and distinguish your products and services from competitors.” Luckily, here at Brandtailers innovation is in our DNA. However, even if it wasn’t, we practice these five steps to make sure our good ideas keep coming:

  1. Open work environment – There are no offices at Brandtailers. The CEO sits next to the Account Manager, who sits next to the Creative Director who sits next to Digital Strategist. Inc.com says, and we agree, “that an open office improves office communication and office vibe.” No shut doors, metaphorically and literally, mean no barriers to communication. And for an innovation agency, that’s huge.

  2. Ask “And then…?” – A simple question that’s critical. How many ideas get too far down the road of execution before they hit an insurmountable roadblock? A roadblock that could have been avoided by simply asking the question “and then..?” By critically, and imaginatively thinking through the steps of an idea we’re able to polish gems and keep our clients’ money in their pockets–not on revisions and reposts.

  3. Design to the dollar – The truth is, it’s easy to come up with great big budget ideas. CGI and post-work make nothing impossible or out of reach. But that’s lazy thinking. Often the best ideas come within constraints. We can work magic with pennies.

  4. Hire diversity – How do we stand out behind the orange curtain? Hire diverse and experienced managers, directors and creatives to work with. We’re proud to be a boutique agency that’s woman-led, with employees from different schools, fields, and backgrounds. In a hyper-targeted, digital world, multiple viewpoints are not only needed, but they’re also expected.

  5. Share – Didn’t we all learn that in pre-school? Turns out your mother was correct. Share credit, share rewards, share burdens, share success. It would be great to say there is no “I” in Brandtailers, but there is, so we can’t. We can say, however, that as a culture, we’ve replaced “I” with “we,” “mine” with “ours,” and “I can” with “we can,” creating a collaborative environment where wins are shared, and roadblocks are overcome. Wennovatin session anyone?

In our experience creativity and innovation have to go hand in hand. And though the vocabulary might change over time, commitment to communication, execution, budget, insight, and collaboration remain the bedrock of our agency. If you have any questions contact us and we’ll explain more.

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