By Matias Jaramillo, Director of Digital Initiatives
I like to collect digital tidbits that I find while strolling through the Internet. Once in a while, I go back and look at my collection. While recently doing so, I found this quote by Alvin Toffler.
“The illiterate of the 21st century will be not those who cannot read & write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn & relearn.”
This little piece of information, a digital tidbit if you will, was a blog post dated September 10, 2012. Almost five years to the date. What I first liked about this quote was how well I felt it described my often eclectic professional life. This lifestyle has allowed me to participate in many forward thinking projects and to subsequently take part in transforming movements within agencies. It has also influenced how I look for connections with people and companies that I encounter, trying to find in them the potential of “learning, unlearning and relearning.”
During my quest to apply this philosophy, I have come close to people who are doing it but very few companies, or in my case, clients and agencies that are willing to take that path and apply it to their modus operandi.
At this moment in my career, I have found certain signals indicating that an agency or organization is, on a level that may be subconscious, allowing for this philosophy to take root and shape.
Here are some of the clues:
-People need to have a constant desire to learn and evolve
Having, in an organic manner, organized get-togethers where findings are shared is key. Actively inviting speakers to come and share their experiences or new products and services can expand thinking beyond this industry. Looking for and discussing the winning ad campaigns and inviting more people across departments to partake.
I have witnessed that collaboration is becoming the new normal at agencies, as it should be, but this is not always true. I have seen how work groups which would normally keep ideas or projects to themselves look for people outside their groups and ask for opinions, help, suggestions and even invite others to join the fun.
–Break from predefined roles
This one is probably one of my favorites since I love seeing how people can excel at more than just one thing. Yes, this means that there will be more and more “T-shaped” people, I believe that this one has a lot to do with how people collaborate. I have seen creatives think like account people, account people pitching ideas for social media creative, planners that become media people and so on.
–A desire to try new things
Be open to the possibility of experimentation. The objective is to test and understand groundbreaking technology. We do it by ourselves and for ourselves. We have nothing to lose. We sometimes share these experiments on social media. Most importantly, people can learn new and cool stuff that should or could become part of new campaigns.
–Don’t be afraid to make a mistake
By encouraging experimentation, talent is also encouraged to be wrong and make space for unsuspected outcomes. Yes, perfection is desired when we delivering to a client, but allowing people to fail when experimenting can lead to people becoming more resourceful. This yields work that can be executed without a multimillion dollar budget.
So, why am I sharing this with you all? My time at Dieste has shown me that this is an agency that is able to learn, unlearn and relearn. I believe that this is placing us to be an agile agency participating in the transformation happening in the “Advertising Universe” where companies like ours will be part of a world with lots of different shapes, forms and colors.