Creative account handling

I don’t think creativity belongs only in the so-called creative dept. In fact, that’s often the least creative place.

As Edward de Bono said, “There are lots of people calling themselves creative who are actually mere stylists.” Creativity isn’t a particular discipline. It’s the quality of originality and unexpectedness that you bring to whatever you do.

So what forms can creativity take in other departments? In Kung Fu they have an expression,”Wu Wei”, translated as ‘action by inaction’. (Meaning, if possible it’s always better to get your desired result by doing as little as possible.)

Amanda Walsh used to be our CEO and head suit (or frock). One day she got a call from a new business prospect asking if we could help them sort out their strategy. They weren’t a client, but it was an obvious carrot for us. If we helped them sort out their strategy, they’d issue it as brief for a pitch and we’d be on the pitch list.

They asked us because they knew we had Murray Chick as a partner, one of the best strategists in town. For me, this was a great chance to get an unfair advantage over the competition. If I got Murray’s strategy before the other agencies, then our creative dept. could start work earlier.

A bit like starting a race before the other competitors. So I kept pestering Amanda and Murray:

Me (week one): “Is the brief ready yet?”
Amanda: “Not yet, the client hasn’t had a chance to read it.”

Me (week two): “Hey, is the brief ready yet?”
Amanda: “Not yet. The client’s still thinking about it.”

Me (week three): “Where the fuck is the brief?”
Amanda: “The client still hasn’t made up their mind..”

Me (week four): “Well that’s brilliant, well done. You’ve just wasted
four weeks when we could have been working on the

Amanda: “Look, calm down Dave.
We’re not hassling the client because, while they’re
dragging their feet they’re running out of time.
The whole process has gone on so long that that
they’ll suddenly realise they’re about to miss their
They won’t have time for a pitch and they’ll have to
give us the account, without one.”

And that’s exactly what happened.

Wu wei.

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    good things come to those that w…

    hold on a minute, somebody’s been here already.

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    Wu wei indeed.

    As opposed to ‘Wu Tang’ which would have demanded you pop a cap in Amanda Walsh’s ass, mutha f*cker.

    Hmm. Perhaps some cultural references don’t travel as well.

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    Hehe. Good one Richard.

    There are two good points you raise here Dave.
    Yes as in the Art of War – the greatest accomplishment is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

    The other is the broader aspect of creativity. Yes you have the ‘creative’ or perhaps more specifically the ‘artistic’ process itself – but in itself – that doesn’t add up to a product. Planning, execution, presentation, sales, accounting .. are all important sides of the broader creative process.

    I have to relate to my own experience again, as a music producer. The process of music production is perhaps the artistic side – but this is the side that so many people can do these days – the world is full of ‘music producers’ – its often in the ‘non-artistic’ areas where you have to be really creative in order to be a professional, get out of the bedroom and derive actual income !

    … now where’s my other pillow ..

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    There is a time to act and a time to wait.
    The D-Day landings is a good example of perfect timing.

    I was incredibly impatient at one time and wanted to change something that would have had drastic far-reaching consequences for myself and those around me.
    I happened to pass a little black roadsweeper in the street who out of the blue said to someone ‘hey, give time time…’. It was as if I was meant to hear it even though I was simply passing through. I changed my decision immediately.

    I believe God gave us two ears to encourage us to listen twice as much as we speak. Admittedly I fail miserably at this and reconcile myself in the knowlege that it is good to be human. I also recognise some people do a lot more listening than others because they make the effort to talk to a lot more people.

    Right now, I’m having to wait in what I call my ‘corridor of life’. I’m having to wait for technical things beyond my reach and control to sort other things out, and I just have to ‘lump it’ and be patient. That little black roadsweeper told me another thing I have cherished all my life…’it’s okay not to feel okay’.

    However, I still like to make hay while the sun shines.

  • If you wait long enough, suddenly nothing will happen.
    Page 29 WANT

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    I wouldn’t be so sure about that Jack:

    12 Year Old Scotch Whisky

    Rommel getting a phonecall to say ‘The Allied forces have landed in Normandy’.


    Global Warming.

    The ascent of man.

    I’d change ‘nothing’ to ‘something’. Nothing remains the same forever.

  • We are still waiting Kevin. That’s all.

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    Jack & Kevin – you are both making completely different & equally valid points !