We work in a challenging industry. The demands are relentless, the challenges endless and the requirements for success daunting at every turn. Never have so many had to know just enough about so much to spend so little creating something worth a damn. It’s hard to sustain a high level of performance and keep a smile on your face.
So take a minute and "snap out of it."
Thank you David Brooks for your recent New York Times column whose title I’ve lifted. He writes about the endless evidence of the awfulness in our world. And then he stops to offer a strong assertion of what’s good and massively improved in our world. He does this "because of the despondency and passivity and talk of unraveling that floated around this summer. Now there is a mood of pessimism and fatalism evident in the polls and in conversations — a lack of faith in ourselves."
He made me think about us — the marketers and advertisers (and of course I’m thinking of Creative and creatives in particular.) Without being too Pollyannaish, I think it’s helpful step back, snap out of it and remember:
- We’ve never had so many tools and toys we can use to express ourselves.
- The pool of people and organizations we can partner with to win has never been larger or keener to play in our sandbox or invite us into theirs.
- Extraordinary innovation in our world has never happened so fast and so often. If you can embrace it, surf the waves of innovation and not get crushed too often, the effects are exhilarating. The people I admire most in our business as using everything they can access to be better and push work to the next level.
- We have never been so connected to friends, families, consumers, colleagues, strangers and communities. We can turn our connection points on and off at will. We can join in or simply admire it when like-mind people band together to change the world (whether it’s Occupy Wall Street, Arab Spring or linking together as protesters in Hong Kong with a Bluetooth app).
- We can Kickstart anything.
- We have provided millions of people so many places to share their art, their voice, their passions, their needs and their cat videos.
- We are living more and more as one world. We are beginning to use our collective might to make change and solve problems in ways that one generation ago would have seemed like science fiction. Perhaps we have all have embraced a lot more "do no harm" than we realized and in the process are doing a lot of good. (And yes, we have a long way to go.)
I wrote this down to remind myself (during a particularly grueling time period) why I stay with this crazy business and still love it so much.
Lincoln Bjorkman is Global Chief Creative Officer with Wunderman.