Eating Your Young


Collaboration. From this morning’s CMO round table to last night’s hungover creative winners who just woke up to grab a late lunch, everyone at Cannes seems to be talking about collaboration. How important it is to succeed.  How hard it is to achieve.

So why exactly is it so hard to achieve? Many talk about process.  Even more talk about people. People and their egos.

In order to truly collaborate, you have to give up your ego and truly commit to better.  When you see an idea that outpaces your own, you have to choose better.

No politics. No excuses.  No “not created here”. Because the only way to get better is by being honest about what is better. And your babies aren’t always better.

That’s what I learned once again from Wade Alger, whose team won 4 Lions last night for Geico, bringing his personal career total to 21.  You may remember seeing Wade present last year at Provoke University.

“Wegs, you’ve got to be willing to kill your babies…eat your young”, Wade once told me.  Words that sounded a bit jarring coming from the mouth of such a devoted family man. But what Wade meant was that the sooner we give up our early ideas, the sooner we get to the good stuff. The better stuff.

And no matter what role we play on our team, the sooner we get to the best answer, the sooner we can make  it better yet. Even great.

So go home and keep giving your sons & daughters, nephews & nieces the unconditional love that they deserve. But when it comes to your work ideas, it’s time to stop babying them, and time to show the little bastards a lot more tough love.