How clients benefit

Clients learn how to deal with leadership and incentives issues for creatives, refresh and expand their supplier base, assess the available resources to meet demand and understand how corporate attitudes and culture influence outcomes.

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Understanding creatives – dealing with environment, leadership and incentives issues for creatives

What we do

All organisations depend on their employees working to a common goal and make every effort to provide good leadership, the right tools for the job, and a suitable environment.

Creatives are no different, but not surprisingly they do not conform to the organisational norm. They are not primarily motivated by money; they like a conducive rather than business environment and do not readily accept leadership from those outside the creative sphere.

We help clients make significant improvements in the provision of creative services within their organisation by highlighting the special needs of creative people in the areas of environment, leadership and incentives.

Here’s a situation you may find familiar…

The first day in a new job is never easy, but designer Lily wasn’t expecting an office the size of an aircraft hangar and a PC on her desk. Ted, sitting at the next workstation, was sympathetic. “They’re not so bad once you get used to them. We’ve tried to get Macs, but the IT guys say they’re twice the price.”

Finding a solution

Lily was on a mission to persuade management to change their mind. Within a few weeks, she had convinced her Creative Director that outside help was needed to strengthen their case. Very soon, they had a report to hand that detailed a whole raft of improvements, including designating a meeting room as a break-out area for brainstorming, setting aside a small budget for buying books and magazines, and strongly suggesting to the IT manager that Macs were the most cost-effective tools for their kind of work.

Resulting benefits

Just two months after joining, Lily found herself in a completely different environment. With Macs in place and morale in her department at a new high, she knew that she had made the right decision in taking the job and taking on the challenge of fighting her corner.

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Supplier commissioning – refreshing and expanding the supplier base

What we do

There is a natural process by which organisations, over time, rely on a smaller and smaller pool of suppliers to service their creative needs. These suppliers enjoy all the benefits of a long-term relationship as well as in-depth knowledge of the client’s products and practices.

We live in such rapidly changing times that this is not always a healthy situation. New minds, new ideas are often required at short notice, which leaves clients little opportunity to try new and untested suppliers.

Setting up a sensible commissioning process that allows new suppliers to be gradually introduced to the client’s products and working procedures has the positive effect of increasing the supplier base.

To ensure that the client is not relying too heavily on a small number of creative suppliers, Town & Town work together with them to make sure that they have an increasing rather than diminishing pool of talented creative resources to draw on.

Here’s a situation you may find familiar…

“Next time, when we have more time and more budget, we’ll definitely give them a go.” How many times had Ben heard his boss say that? When Ben had joined the company there were at least six agencies working for them, but now they were down to just two, neither of which he rated. He was really keen to try this new agency, but he could see their excellent pitch being left to gather dust.

Finding a solution

Ben finally persuaded his boss to ask for external help. By outsourcing the selection process, Ben’s company was able to add another two agencies to its roster in just three months. They were also given a guide to trying out new people, and soon started experimenting with new suppliers and building working relationships for their ad-hoc requirements.

Resulting benefits

Faced with the time-consuming task of screening potential new creative suppliers and finding suitable projects to test their abilities, most companies find they have neither the resources nor the will to tackle the task, so it is much better outsourced. A programme can then be tailor-made to suit the organisation’s needs, taking into account the various stakeholders’ requirements.

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Resource assessment - assessing the available resources to meet fluctuating demand

What we do

Organisations need to be aware of the capacity of their creative resource. Whether there is a big project in the pipeline, a change in market forces or the impact of new technology to consider, requirements can be subject to rapid change. Unfortunately creative resources, whether internal or external, are not rapidly or infinitely scalable.

We help organisations optimise the creative resource they have and build new capacity where it is needed. When you are planning ambitious expansion, Town & Town make sure your plans are not thwarted by a lack of vital creative resources.

Here’s a situation you may find familiar…

“We’ll need to act quickly on this new product launch.” Marketing Director Olivia was addressing the creative team in her usual no-nonsense style. “You’ll probably need 15 additional designers. Facilities can have desks in place by Monday, IT can supply computers and infrastructure by Tuesday latest, so your people should be able to start on Wednesday. We have to launch this product on time.” Adam considered a response, but kept it to himself.

Finding a solution

Fortunately for Adam, his boss was well aware that the marketing department needed to become more agile and able to respond more quickly to huge fluctuations in demand. He also knew that getting new recruits up to speed takes longer in the creative services area than perhaps any other. By introducing an external specialist to assess the situation, he was able to develop relationships with new suppliers and put contracts in place in very little time.

Resulting benefits

Fore-warned is fore-armed, and a good understanding of the capacity of the in-house workforce is vital in anticipating a sudden rise in demand. With a range of alternative suppliers already briefed and contracted, an organisation is able to take full advantage of unforeseen marketing opportunities, and can put more fire-power behind product launches without having to gear up internally.

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Culture management - understanding how corporate attitudes and culture influence outcomes

What we do

How organisations describe themselves - and the business they believe they are in - has been a topic that has covered many pages of the most respected business books around. Less often discussed, but in our view equally important, is the organisation’s institutionalised attitude towards creativity.

All organisations like to think - and often believe - that creativity is at the centre of their business. Sadly, this is rarely true. While the most senior managers understand the importance of creativity, further down the organisation they fail to understand its relevance. They think of themselves variously as technology companies, retailers, financial institutions or service providers, and it is this misunderstanding that stifles creative entrepreneurship within the organisation.

At Town & Town we help our clients understand the culture within their organisation and its effect on encouraging or stifling creative thinking and entrepreneurship. It is our belief that creativity should be at the heart of every organisation looking to evolve and grow.

Here’s a situation you may find familiar…

“To be honest, I think all modern art is a con.” Sam could see that this away-day, designed to get to know people from other departments, was going to turn into an ear-bashing for him and his team in Creative Services. Maybe a trip to Tate Modern was not the best idea. It certainly wasn’t impressing the guys from IT.

Finding a solution

Back in the office, Sam tackled the issue with his boss. “How come we’re expected to act like creative entrepreneurs and outsmart the competition when anything ‘creative’ is up for a dig? Are they serious about this being a creatively led business? “His boss was sympathetic. “Maybe we need to get on outside view on our company culture.”

Resulting benefits

Understanding your company’s attitude to creativity is essential to its development, and you are unlikely to find out how people feel by asking them yourself. By bringing in an independent specialist you will quickly learn where any problems with the corporate culture lie, and you can then act to rectify the situation.

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