It’s Friday, and I have a few tabs open in my browser that I’d like to share.
As you might know, I’ve been in a bit of a transition. I have an entire new group of collaborators to work with, a longer commute, a new neighborhood to explore, and the new environment has me quite introspective about what I value in a workplace as well as team structures.
Which is why these three links have resonated so much with me, and I thought they’d be worth sharing here. Perhaps it’ll give you some things to ponder over the weekend.
Lisa Smith of Wolf Ollins shared some thoughts on how to build a creative team: Places: Create a space to make a mess. Process: Don’t conform, be disruptive. Skills: Unexpected mix of skills will make better stuff. People: A melting pot is exciting and will bring unique perspectives. That’s just a nugget, read the entire post here…
And this AdAge article hit home when I read it on the train this morning. A line in my (work-in-progress) manifesto reads: The value of a collaborator is equal to or greater than how much you empower them. This goes for anyone you manage, and if there is anything that kills empowerment it’s poor management. Jack Skeels shares a few steps agencies can take to survive this kind of operations crisis in, “Why Growth Is Killing Digital Agencies”
Agencies lose accounts when they stop doing the thing that got them hired – developing great ideas and executions. In most cases, management has gotten in the way of winning.
To solve the operations crisis, agencies need to learn a new way to work and manage. Here are three steps they can take:
- Create smaller teams that know everything that’s going on around the work and business of the account.
- Eliminate client confusion by slowing down, so everyone always knows what’s happening on an account and why.
- Empower teams to set their own directions and priorities, because they’re smarter on the accounts than their managers are, and they’re intrinsically motivated to do great work.
Management needs to abandon the traditional roles of gatekeeper, director and allocator in favor of letting teams own the work and run themselves. To managers, this may seem like chaos, but it actually provides clarity and power. It brings everyone together in a way that typically only happens during the pitch process.”
Lastly, I found this post from LinkedIn founder, Reid Hoffman, interesting. His solution for retaining top talent is that acknowledging that your employees might leave is how you build the relationship that convinces great people to stay.
“A few of the managers we spoke with when writing The Alliance worried that the tour of duty framework, by talking openly about time horizons, might give employees “permission” to leave.But permission is not yours to give or to withhold, and believing you have that power is simply a self-deception that leads to a dishonest relationship with your employees. Employees don’t need your permission to switch companies, and if you try to assert that right, they’ll simply make their move behind your back.”
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