I walked into my work space this morning a little later than usual. Most often when I get in prior to nine, the place is a ghost-town. I sing a little spoof to myself, "Nine is the Loneliest Number," but today there was a gaggle of project managers and account people gathered around a project manager's computer.
They were allocating hours.
Moving things around.
Making sure we are "on scope" on our various projects.
The soul of the modern agency today is no longer one of creativity; it is of accountancy. But the sad fact is this: accountancy only makes sense--it only serves a purpose, if you are not accountable. You don't need an accountant if you pay your bills on time.
George Parker, with his usual incisiveness blasts the worn and tired lie that is "the agency of the future." http://adscam.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/11/the-oxymoron-of-the-future.html
The concept of the agency of the future has been around since agencies began. The notion is as full of hogwash as oil company advertising.
An agency can become an agency of the future not by adding systems and departments and disciplines or (now that we're infected by consultants) practices. The agency of the future is simple.
Writers and art directors who can think and sell their work.
Account people who can help put client problems in simple English.
Just as Jobs threw out the extraneous in creating the world's most valuable company,
agencies would be well-served to do the same.
Put the best minds on the biggest client problems. Solve them. Then move on.