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Opinion and Insight

New Year’s Resolutions from Adland’s Business Leaders

LBB Editorial, 4 months, 3 weeks ago

Execs from FCB Buenos Aires, Deutsch New York, Taylor James and more reveal plans for the coming year

New Year’s Resolutions from Adland’s Business Leaders

A New Year marks the time for New Year’s resolutions – losing weight, giving up alcohol, reading more books, doing more for charity, and so on. But while we grapple with those challenges in our personal lives, what do the business leaders of adland have planned for their respective companies and employees in the year ahead? LBB’s Addison Capper picked the brains of execs from FCB Buenos Aires, Deutsch New York, Taylor James, Alaskan-based Spawn Ideas and Argentine Metropolis Films to find out. 



Santiago Puiggari, CEO, FCB Buenos Aires

Setting New Year’s resolutions have been an enjoyable habit for me for many years – not only on the business side but also on a personal level. I split targets and goals by different categories: body, mind and soul – and use these to set up goals that I review quarterly and adjust like a business budget review process. It's been difficult for me to separate the personal goals from the business ones, so if I go back and take a look on my iPhone notes I can find that on the 2009-3 (resolution for 2009, 3rd quarterly review) ‘lose weight’ was next to a resolution like ‘develop a successor plan for my position’ at the agency at that time. 

I’d say that my resolutions for 2017 – still a work in progress as we speak – are based around having fun, making great and meaningful work and working to develop the people around me at the agency so they can achieve their maximum potential – both for themselves and the brand they work for. 

The meaningful work I mention above will be on my resolutions for 2017 and years to come. We work in an industry that needs to prove itself and in a world in which our work could have a positive impact. Entertain, make laughter, create a new utility, satisfy a need, change the world. Meaningful work for consumers, and us as ad people, is my resolution for 2017.


Maggie O. Connors, EVP, Head of Business Development, Deutsch New York

My resolutions may seem counter to the world as we know it … but they are what I believe to be pivotal for a truly successful 2017 …

RESOLUTION #1: FORGET TECHNOLOGY

Technology and innovation has brought us so many more tools: research, databases, LinkedIn, blogs, newsletters and emails ad nauseam. But it seems that the more we rely on these methods, the more we are truly disconnecting from our clients. An email, text or slack relationship does not a good client / agency relationship make. We need to remember to put the iPhone and Airbook down and go see a client in person. That’s right – LIVE. Talk open and honestly about their business. Listen. Banter ideas. Connect. And not virtually. Only this type of personal connection results in the trust clients need to make an agency a real business partner.

RESOLUTION #2: DO LESS

I don’t know about you, but every morning I have faith I can get the 78 things on my to do list done… but instead I look up, it’s 6 o’clock – and only three things are complete! For 2017, the key will be to do less – but do it better. More careful, more meaningful, more fleshed-out ideas and solutions for our agency and our current and prospective clients.

RESOLUTION #3: PUSH BACK

In this day and age, it’s so easy to get into ruts with what we believe our culture, community or clients ask of us. How many times have we heard ‘it’s just always been done that way’? We then take that as gospel… and rut ensues. 2017 will not be the year-above-all-years if we all don’t push back. Push back on the boring. Push back on the expected. Someone says, “there’s no way!”… you say, “just watch me”. Nothing is learned or gained in business without a little courage to break out of the pack.


Karen King, President & CEO, Spawn Ideas

I haven’t read Megyn Kelly’s book, but at Spawn, we’re going to ‘settle for more’. And that comes from saying ‘no’ more than ‘yes’ which I was recently reminded is the surer way to success. Saying ‘no’ means eliminating a lot of the distractions, busywork, and the other time sucks that prevent you from doing your best work on the initiatives, projects and other work that deserve a passionately carried out ‘yes’. Imagine the force you can be when your team unanimously has the confidence and conviction of the destination. That’s a ‘yes’ project.


Glen Taylor, Founder / CEO, Taylor James

My resolution for 2017 is very simple: to focus on what has made and continues to make Taylor James great – our people.

We work in a tough and unpredictable business; turnover of creative talent is usually less than 24 months. So, when I look around our studios and see people who have been with us for five to ten years, it’s humbling. These people are the reason we have expanded into three new regions in six months, campaigns we have worked on have picked up Cannes Lions, and we continue to have fun. 

They go by many names – the ‘staff’, ‘talent’, the ‘team’ – but it is important to remember that each member is an individual with unique skills, passions, creative outlooks, ambitions and professional goals. 

Nurturing individual talent has been a part of who we are from the beginning, but in 2017 it will be my main focus. I am taking a look inward at the real Taylor James: the 59 people who have gotten us to this point. I am focused on their growth, skills, continued development and, most importantly, their happiness, so we can continue to make inspiring, wonderful work.

Properly growing our business can only come from nurturing the team through staff-lead appraisals, detailed training programs with key learning objectives and specifically-tailored plans crafted for each staff member. 

Our team is everything at Taylor James and in 2017, they are my priority. 


Andrés Rosenblatt, Executive Director, Metropolis Films

These are changing and challenging times for our industry. As an executive director of a film and commercial production company, we have to make sure we continue to have all the creative and logistical solutions for our clients. We have to keep the same level of quality while watching our overheads, as work volume fluctuates from one month to the next. We will keep looking for new directors and new talent in the different areas of advertising and project / content development. We will insist on exploring the possibilities of giving agencies and its clients solutions and support for their application programming and interactive needs. We will keep looking to develop content with clients in the different regions in which we operate. We will pursue a new technical structure that will make us more capable in branded content and other types of production, making us more competitive and flexible.

Genre: People , Strategy/Insight