Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What is Your Team's Body/Mind Ratio?

I'm a reflector.

I spend a lot of time analyzing past projects and what made them a success - or how they could have been improved. And it's becoming apparent that most projects I've worked on over the past 12 years had dismal Body/Mind Ratios.

Here's what I mean...In our industry, we throw teams together very quickly once a project is in motion. Everyone knows their role and how they fit into the team's dynamic. Typically, the strategist and account people whip up a brief, call the creatives into a room and hand it off, the creatives disappear for a while and then return (usually with not nearly enough time spent on it) with some ideas.

The problem with this process is that not nearly enough time is spent TOGETHER thinking. If you have 10 people on your team, that's 10 minds that need to be utilized in both strategic and creative capacities. More often than not, we use bodies to run the jobs, but don't respect the minds of all team members. It's not like the team's made up of people from different industries - we're all marketers. We live it and breathe it everyday. Not to mention we're all consumers who have a natural ability to judge brand experiences.

Some of the coolest ideas that I've been a part of have come from account people, production people and even interns. We need to get out of our silos and trust each other. For the good of our agencies and our clients.


  1. I think part of the problem stems from the "billable hour" model. Can the client or agency afford for everyone to be included in the project at all times? Perhaps there is a compromise...where the client sees value in having a "team" approach and where the agency makes efforts to be smart about when to pull everyone together and when to work separately.

  2. @noel +1

    not sure if you need 10 people on a project. i believe smaller teams equals faster results.

    i'm all for stirring things up from time to time, but to me, the problem is not more minds.

    instead, the most talented mind should be in charge—someone who has the ability to pick out the right concept at a glance. this person is traditionally known as the creative director, and should have the ability to cut through all the crappy ideas and pinpoint the right one. without a good creative director, the project becomes a free-for-all democracy.

    rather than involving more people, get the right mind on the job, that can operate the body. but seriously, what company needs extra fat on the body? why not trade up and get a smarter mind instead.