Friday, October 28, 2011

being digital (or... why digital talent doesn’t want to work at your agency)

I've said all along that 'being' digital is not about the technology or using every social networking tool or about being anti-analogue, or anything like that.

Being digital is a mindsest. A philosophy.

It involves being good a sharing, being inquisitive, poking the box, being generous, being interested and interesting,about wanting to make things and experiences that have value, that make a difference.

Likewise any agency that wants to 'be digital' should concern itself first with freeing it's's ass will follow.

Well, If i didn't fall off my chair in amazement at the simple truth of an article in Fast Company by Aaron Shapiro, CEO of Brooklyn NY based agency HUGE.

The article is titled:
Why Digital Talent Doesn’t Want To Work At Your Company..

It could just as easily be:
Why Digital Talent Doesn’t Want To Work At Your Agency..

Here's an adaptation of the meat of the sandwich, I've changed a few bits to suit '' purposes but the point is the same.

'The attributes of a soul-crushing, Sisyphean, anti-digital workplace run deep.

Digital talent won’t want to work at your [agency] if:

Every element of their work will be pored over by multiple layers of bureaucracy.

Even if that’s how the rest of the company operates, it can’t spill into the digital [work].
In a technology environment, new products and businesses spring up daily and a new endeavor can go from conception to launch in a matter of months.
Reining in the momentum will be read as inaction and a clear signal the company isn’t willing to grasp the new way of the world.

Mediocre is good enough.

While [clocking on and off] is attractive to some, it will discourage [those who]
want to be expected to do something great.
[They live and breathe this stuff anyway, it's embedded in their lives] They want to be pushed.
They care about their work.
Their leadership, and those they rely on to [create an environment where they can] get things done, must match their appetite for success.

Trial and error is condemned.

The freedom to try out new ideas allows employees to take initiative, make decisions, and learn from their mistakes.
It also demonstrates an attractive and inspiring entrepreneurial spirit.

Your company is structured so it takes
a lifetime to get to the top

And as such there are no digital experts in company-wide leadership positions. Digital talent--often in their 20s and 30s [and 40's, c'mon] need to see a clear path for uninhibited career development that’s based on merit, not years spent, and that’s beyond the confines of the digital department.
If they don’t, they won’t see a reason to stay with the company in the long term.'

As I said, any agency that wants to 'be digital' should concern itself first with freeing it's's ass will follow.

Your thoughts?

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