I’ve worked at several agencies where the management routinely asked staff to clean up their desks and workspaces before an important client entered the building.
I never understood the impulse. Why not show the messiness, the madness, the scramble for solutions?
I think it’s time for Marketing to stop wishing it was Engineering or Accountancy and to embrace a new approach as the source of competitive advantage. It’s time to unprofessionalise.
I love the contrary nature of this statement in The Age of Measurement. Mawdsley’s premise rests on this insight:
Professionalism is about reducing variation. It is about creating a predictable and correct way of doing a given thing that can be repeated by anyone who has that professional qualification.
For the creative industries, this is a very, very bad idea.
It’s a bad idea because advertising is not made on a factory line. If it is any good, it’s completely custom.
None of this is to say we should be unprofessional in our conduct toward clients or one another. The point is to recognize who creative people are and what makes us run. Asking creative people to behave or conform is pointless. You can’t herd squirrels.