Graham Fink’s rallying cry – Baozi! Baozi! Baozi!
Anyone who was still standing after 4 days of talks and presentations and case studies and classes and parties (and then a few more parties) filed into the main auditorium to hear the closing talk from Graham Fink, Ogilvy & Mather’s CCO for Greater China.
Probably only less than a third of the audience was able to understand his opening gambit, but that wasn’t Fink’s fault – more like his intention. He delivered a poem in Mandarin, with very good inflection and complete confidence. Even more impressively, Fink was the poem’s author.
That was, apparently, the result of ‘3 years of struggle’ and it served to underline the point of Fink’s guided tour down advertising’s hall of fame: most of the truly memorable work from the last 80 years of the industry was the result of single-minded thinking, by single minded thinkers – often working alone.
Yet far from mythologizing and romanticizing the idea of the ‘lone gun’ creative, Fink recognizes that the reality of the business today (where campaigns encompass digital, PR, mobile, social, activation and so on), means working with more people – not less. His advice: treat people as talented players of a team, not members of a committee. Don’t forget the captain, however, whose main skill is their complete inability to compromise and the ‘balls’ to sometimes say no.
More on Graham’s seminar at Spikes Asia here.