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Opinion and Insight
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Ideas Academy: An Inspirational Creative Workshop at Saatchi Germany

Christian Rätsch, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Germany, on the keynotes, training and panels that took place over the week-long event

Ideas Academy: An Inspirational Creative Workshop at Saatchi Germany

'Nothing Is Impossible' is the mantra of Saatchi & Saatchi.  But the real power of this message unfolded at Saatchi & Saatchi Germany during our week-long Ideas Academy, with one important addendum: 'Nothing Is Impossible – TOGETHER!'  The word ‘together’ was the key to success during the Saatchi & Saatchi Ideas Academy in Dusseldorf.  This inspirational week was characterised by exciting keynotes, training and panels.  Saatchi & Saatchi Germany staff were invited to develop proposals and ideas that strengthen the team as a whole, and further assert the already existing creative excellence in the agency.  

The format of the Ideas Academy is an ideal instrument with which to actively address the changes in the industry, whilst strengthening creative competence and agency culture in our Dusseldorf office.  This is particularly pertinent to us, as we are currently integrating more than 30 new colleagues in our team here.  The week-long Ideas Academy in Dusseldorf was designed to set every colleague on fire with the Saatchi & Saatchi spirit, and encourage the agency to take to the road together.

Every day during the Academy there was a so-called 'Morning Inspiration’, where well-known national and international guest speakers including Erik Heinelt, Co-Founder and Member of the German Startup Assocation, Philipp Maiburg, Founder of the Open Source Festival in Dusseldorf and Will Sansom, Director of 'Contagious Insider', provided a basis for a successful workshop week.

Topics such as 'How to start a music festival’, 'About endurance and pivoting’, or 'How contagious work gets done’, gave food for thought on how creative people inspire themselves and are open to new ideas, as well as what agencies can learn from startups when it comes to fast and agile processes.  All keynote speeches had one theme in common: the time of classical advertising is over.  Today’s advertising is not just about advertising a product in the traditional sense, it's more about finding a way to develop ideas that move people and change their lives – communication becomes service.

International colleagues from the Saatchi & Saatchi network including John Pallant, Regional Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi EMEA and David Hackworthy, Chief Strategy Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi and Fallon, also got their messages across. 

John Pallant emphasised in his keynote titled 'Dynamic Creativity' that the courage and endurance of all colleagues is necessary in order to create something completely new.  David Hackworthy’s presentation about the Saatchi & Saatchi Credo 'Nothing Is Impossible’, impressed the participants and made it clear to long-serving members of staff, as well as new members of Saatchi & Saatchi, what the agency stands for. 

One further element of the 'Ideas Academy' was to work together on creative briefs.  Therefore colleagues were put into groups – mixed from controllers to the project managers. Every team passed through different creative exercises prepared by the workshop moderator Jonathan Howard, Director at Fun & Games, and also developed creative ideas on briefs for clients like T-Systems, Toyota and Merck.  The aim was to show that a collaboration between people from different department backgrounds brings about the best results.  The format was immensely successful and engaging, and there are plans to organise similar Ideas Academies with clients. 

Alexander Reiss, Executive Creative Director Saatchi & Saatchi Dusseldorf commented: "Our business is being dominated by one topic: speed. Only when everybody in the team knows how to play in his or her position, and how to support their colleagues’ skills, can we achieve consistent quality, and create the best ideas for our clients.“




Christian Rätsch is CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Germany