1% Idea, 99% Action


There is something special about humans gathering together. Even more special when it is from all parts of the world. You see, last week I had an opportunity to join 99u at Lincoln Center within the energetic streets of Manhattan, New York City. This conference, 99u, is really about making ideas actionable, which I happen to get very excited about.

Whether the people came from education, insurance, business, or advertising, creatives from all parts of the industry gathered seeking insight in connecting with fellow creatives. Over the course of these 3 days I had an opportunity to explore. From the idea of super powers to dots outlining an entire lifespan, here are a few thoughts I’d like to share.

Team work.

Let’s be realistic, working with other humans can be difficult. There are managers, supervisors, directors, and of course executives. How about co-workers? Office drama? Gossip? Working with teams is especially interesting. However let’s focus on two elements. First, confidence, and second, commitment. I’m very fortunate to work in a group that is both confident in each other and in the work we produce as well as committed to the team and overall vision. You see, when there is a sense of trust and confidence in each of the team members we are able to focus on our individual roles while playing in the bigger scope. With commitment, everyone has a mature understanding that each is giving it a 100% effort. As a result, this allows for good work to be created in an enjoyable environment. I hear that it is not always the case in our industry.

Superpowers. Each human is different. Each has a strength and a weakness. This is not rocket science, however realizing that each member has a superpower helps our team work together. SY Partners created a wonderful exercise that involved a simple deck of cards. Playing this game you identify one or multiple super powers you may have. There is a downside. Just because you have a superpower, doesn’t mean you are a superhero. Superheros tend to think they can fix everything themselves without the need of anyone. We all know that can bit of an issue within a team.

Keeping the end in mind.

Within our agency there has always been this mentality of thinking about the end result. How will it play out in the end when we have completed the campaign or project. I was excited to hear this idea be voiced when a fellow Portlander, Ryan CEO of Treehouse got up on stage to speak about personal goals and imagining what people would say at his funeral. For our agency it’s important to keep the end in mind in any work we do. For example, when we run a campaign we need to be aware of the ripple effect it will have on society. I find all media especially interesting in how it shapes our culture. From the very seeked-after viral content to trends and messages we voice, we need to be conscious of our footprint in the minds of our society. Just because we have a megaphone, doesn’t mean we can scream whatever seems most profitable at that moment in time.

So how do we get to that state of mind where advertising and marketing is done responsibly? I think it starts small. It starts one project at a time. It starts when one person decides to make a positive difference in our society using the megaphone they have.

Today and beyond.

Looking ahead at 2016 I’m very excited. Not only are we living in a very opportunistic time, we have a team of people that are committed toward creating a positive change in our society. You see, it really is 1% idea and 99% action. The idea is great, but it takes action to create that change. It takes a sense of confidence, a sense of commitment. It might even take a bit of super powers, but I’m sure we can do this. I believe there are brands out there who are committed to this. Committed toward leaving a positive and lasting footprint in our world.