Mark Johnson, Mark Phillips, Boise Idaho discussed on Enhancing The Human Experience with Mark Phillips


Coming to you from Boise Idaho unseen the human experience a world of creativity a series of unique interviews with successful people from around the globe how they get inspired where the the ideas come from and how they apply creativity in their business and personal lives. Now here's your host Mark Phillips along with special guest interviewer marks Johnson welcome to another episode of a world of creativity this special series inside enhancing human experience I'm Mark Phillips Mark Welcome I'm mark Johnson and we have a terrific interview today and thinking about this idea of a world of creativity. I think there's a a nice double meanings that you know certainly the world there's global thinking global exchange of ideas and such but it's also the breadth of creativity in terms of you know how many things can you get involved in how many things do you work on how many experiences do we have to apply our creative thinking and our guest today on the episode just epitomizes that and we want to welcome Kevin Fox Kevin Welcome to the area well hello mark and mark thanks for having it does make it simple to know who to call out the brother but de que Kevin is running an enterprise now called Fox works and it's the real creative boutique kind of approach I'm sure he'll tell us more about it as we go but what I like about what Kevin's doing is really putting that sweater wet equity you know I I met Kevin when we were both working with a global communications agency concern so you know having that International Brett but being able now to sort of break away from the mothership but I should say that to say let's do it a little bit differently let's see about independently so that's what I like about what what Kevin's during we've shared some of those experiences in our careers well but Kevin Kevin as we get going I mean I I would be interested to know when we say a world of creativity what sort of international product you've lived in Toronto no no you you'll in Columbus now what other places and projects have you worked on that you know allow you to tap into that international aw sense of creativity well that's a great question I think it's been interesting to see when I first moved to Canada you know I'll be on it I I fell into this belief that hell different can it really be right that's just a little bit up north it's America's hat as we used to like But you know I was blown away actually culturally how different Toronto was from from the states not to mention than than how different Montreal was from Toronto in my time in Canada I was overseeing the Creator departments for both Toronto Office and Montreal Office and and the differences the stark differences between culture in those spaces was it was really impressive really interesting and they had very very different problems to solve and you know at my when I looked at a creativity and I look at what we do that's that's the way I frame what we do we solve business problems through tippety and yes it may it may end up being a TV spot or a website or an APP marketing campaign online or you know cast you know but it what it begins as a solution to a business problem and it was interesting one the business problems were very different from the states to Toronto to Montreal but then how you had to approach solving them was even more difference just the individual personalities the offices the cars trucks the local cultural norms just very very different approaches in it was interesting because it influenced the work while we had processes like you mentioned mark this is a giant global communications company but you know the the personnel you know we all know that advertising creative departments in particular your your product is your people and those people at those disparate personalities influence the work to such a great degree it didn't matter that we were putting the same processes on the work it still had a different flavor and it was important to reflect that local flavor in those different offices so I think it was really interesting to see those cultural differences in how to what one maximize the benefit from them but also be able to get them to communicate with one another because actually some of those cultural differences they actually they're at odds with one another and you know when working trying to create one singular communications firm you need to have some some common ground all speak to so again culture and in the local perspectives will there was a really interesting challenge beyond going in and breaking agency down putting a new processes new creative expectations that I knew I was getting into but dealing with the individual cultural differences was that was that was surprise and probably one of the more were exciting at that yeah interesting you say this because clearly now you know we we realize the importance more than ever of diversity and in this case we don't just mean diversity of race creed citizenship and so forth but also diversity of experience diversity the point of view how did you find when you're saying that kind of desperate you know but having different people look at a problem a business problem in so many different ways what what were the pluses and minuses of that well it's interesting I think there's nothing but positive that comes out of it as long as you put the right guard rails in front of it ahead of time and that was my biggest learning is to put the you know I wanNA give guardrails not handcuffs when I'm working with a creative team and we're solving creative problem you know one metric indifference yeah yeah you know you want them to be free but you know understand that we are solving a problem there is a box you know we can color outside the lines fantastic but know that there is a box for this problem to be solved with it and as long as you put those guardrails in their properly and that starts with so obviously a solid creative brief that people can execute off of but also your your creative expectations in process and making sure you're staying on top of it for mcrib director expected and as long as you have that these disparate point of views are nothing but positive fuel and I'll tell you what there's nothing that will kill creative energy faster than having a whole the group of people in a room agreeing with each other there's there is nothing there's nothing good that comes from that you know I I would much rather have vehement disagreements let's be polite right let's respect one another but let's have very vehemently disagree on points of view and you know what mark in our time together had some pretty vehement disagreement still having flashback moments and throwback year but no but I think you're saying the right thing is that you know respect being what it is and saying you know hey you're coming from a different point of view but you're right what if we all thought the same thing first of all the meetings would last five minutes but what would we possibly accomplish right I think that there are there are some folks who they like to structure their their departments in the region Z's they wanna they wanNA structure them with sycophantic head bobbers and those those aren't the type of agencies that I WANNA be a part of and have you had the situation where whether it be a Kleiner whether it be you know a creative director kind of above your year level say yes I'm open to your ideas and here's what I'm open to right well I know that you know I feel I may deal with it a little bit more as a as a lead creative director of that some other folks have in in my past I've had some wonderful creative directors and mentors in my career and I felt like the ones I learned the most from would one allow me to push back and think freely and and bring my point of views of things but also saying okay that's great but here's what we're GonNa do with that point of view we're going to carve off these edges and we're gonNA use this right but never spirits that I have you know I didn't I didn't have good experiences when when I wasn't given that freedom to think and freedom to push back and freedom to say one and in she progressive your career I really think that you get to the point where you're you're to senior you're paying too much money to say okay to everything right your job really is to push back into say one if and to bring that new perspective and you know I've had in my career I've had folks who reported to me that things were going very very well very talented creatives who I like personally respected professionally but we had a problem they would always agree and and in I want in particular a very close friend of mine actually who we worked on projects outside of the agency world together and there was a point in time when when he was reported to me it just seemed as though all of a sudden now he's agreeing with everything I say so I I had actually had to schedule a meeting in column into my office and asking to close the door and be very very very to the point I'd say hey man this is working he said he didn't understand why you're just agreeing with me all the time in this this is not how it ever worked with us in this wide thought was cited to work with them and once we got that out and understood that no I'm expecting you to push back you know when I'm solving problems I'm no different just because I've hired title different perspective than anyone else solving a problem once you start thinking about it you get your nose is against the right your noses against the screen the page you're too close to it so it's no matter where you are where you're coming from if you're down in the works trying to solve something you need someone to keep you in check and so I like surrounded myself with creative who are talented has strong points of view and aren't afraid to say yeah but how about how about we think about it this way yeah that's very good thinking about the people side of things you know it is too cliche maybe to say you know it's a people business and all our assets of the people that leave it you know at the elevator I was gonNA say Lee five o'clock but what what creative person Clark exactly what jared how how do you assess that people part and because certainly creative people and look it goes back to the painters of history and the writers of history you know I it's kind of a cantankerous bonchamps sometimes but how how do you balance that wild creative stuff with sometimes the personalities and the people that ah you're dealing with how how do you find that balance I think that's a that's a great question and I really think that those those personalities the key sankarist bunch if you will I feel like that's that is the lifeblood of a creative department and I really believe that that cantankerous much the lifeblood of the cream department and so often particularly when we get into these larger global communications concerns we like to we'd like to strip a lot of way right we wanna make sure that when we put these these creative in a room with a client they're not gonna say or do anything crazy right but yet when take them back to the floor and the clients aren't around we want him to be thinking crazy and providing a music solutions.

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