What is holding agencies back in the new world of creativity?

The state of creativity is changing and this comes as no surprise. Creative industries are undergoing a massive changes at the moment at an unprecedented pace, with consumers at the core. Creativity today is no longer just a craft it is a means to orchestrating new constellations of value in a business, design, and social sense.

To address the new world of creativity, the 4As Malaysia is organising a summit co-funded by the Astro group, with the aim of providing industry guidance and leadership.

The summit, which targets CEOs, MDs, directors, vice presidents and individuals leading change from advertising, digital, media specialist and hybrid agencies, aims to equip them with pragmatic tools to reinvent business models to stay relevant and competitive. It will provide leaders with insight into current triggers for change, both in the industry and the region.

In a conversation with A+M, Stuart Hardy, executive education faculty director of the Berlin School of Creative Leadership who is also one of the speakers at the conference, said via a process of facilitation and discussion, participants will explore potential business models to drive both talent development, and competitive edge.

He added through the summit, the organisers would like to create a sense of both alignment and urgency in the Malaysian market to embrace change. Hardy said:

The clock is ticking for creative agencies to both transform themselves and their clients in the face of new technologies, and social trends.

Hardy added silo-ed behaviour and a lack of transformational leadership skills are some of the biggest resistors holding back agencies. Overall, there is also a reluctance to take risks with new ways of working.

“Brands are now being created ‘outside-in’ not ‘inside-out’, so someone has to orchestrate new ecosystems of value to drive the creation of new products and services client-side,” he said.  Brands are fast responding to the increasing demands for innovative and disruptive solutions, and need the support of agile agencies to help them orchestrate new ecosystems of value for all stakeholders.

Hardy added that agencies need to take advantage of the new ‘outside-in’ brand revolution, and facilitate value for clients in new ways. This requires more agile, consultative relationships with trusted clients.

“As clients re-invent themselves, agencies too will need to respond with new ways of working to drive performance. At the Berlin School we believe that agencies with an understanding of consumer behaviours, social, digital and society are the best equipped to do this – they are the consultants of the future,” he said adding:

Agencies need to get up the food chain and become trusted advisors rather than preferred suppliers.

When asked what would be different about this summit, he added that previous collaborations have focused on the development of leadership skills – the ‘how’ of change and transformation. This summit is an opportunity for senior leaders in the region to also consider the ‘what’ and ‘why’.