Oxford-educated, Lucy Jameson, recently stepped down as chief executive officer of Grey London.
The Drum asked her about her adult gap year and her “expert internship” at Facebook.
I found it fascinating to observe the difference between how people react to you when they think you’re just a random intern vs when they know you’re CEO of a 500 person company. You can get a far better feel for what’s really going on, when no one’s bothering to impress you. And, if you want to make a mark, you just have to find a different source of authority – like having a useful point of view, instead of having a big title.
While at Facebook, Jameson also observed new and different operational modalities for creative companies.
Agencies claim they have different cultures but actually most of them feel largely the same. Facebook felt genuinely different. Engineers, not creatives, drive the culture. Creatives at Facebook have to fend for themselves, deal with clients directly, manage their time efficiently – no suits, no producers, no bag carriers. It’s incredibly lean. They get in, do their work and get out again.
Incredibly lean is not the way most ad agencies run.
May I ask, what would happen if your agency stopped having so many meetings and restricted email to two days a week? Maybe chaos would reign down. Or maybe a new pathway forward would be forged.
An agency is a reflection of its owner’s beliefs, and the owners either believe in perpetual experimentation or repeating winning formulas over and over. Bloated and self-important is the old way. It’s good to see more and more ad people find a new and better way.