Gadsby: collaboration is a must in any market
Gadsby: collaboration is a must in any market
A view from Robin Gadsby

Global viewpoint from New York: Forever Beta's Gadsby on collaboration

New York is where you can make it, baby.

Hillary Clinton knows this. The news that she has won a decisive victory over Bernie Sanders in the Big Apple has further cemented her position as the most likely to scoop the Democratic nomination.

Interestingly, at the heart of her campaign, there is something that no other presidential candidate truly has in this race. In one word, it is "collaboration" (and I’m not just talking about George Clooney’s fundraising – though that is one aspect). 

Clinton’s support from her family, the desire (politics aside) for history to be made by electing the first female president and her White House connections mean she is a product of collaboration. Synonyms for collaboration include alliance, partnership, participation. For better or for worse, the Clinton vote has this in spades. 

The agency world has been talking about collaboration for some time now. These days, it is a must in any market. Or at least the expectation is there from progressive brands such as PepsiCo, which is challenging its agencies to rip up the old, tired agency model and "design for disruption". Do I see this approach in the US agency/client landscape at the moment? Honestly, not as much as I would like.

In order to transform to what we shall call agency 2.0, it’s important to understand what it really takes to become a new-model creative company. 

It starts with culture: a place that has the right people, the right infrastructure and, more importantly, the right tools to collaborate with anyone, from anywhere. Powerful, right? For example, we operate on Google for Work. It allows our teams in any office around the world to collaborate, chat and share in real time, delivering faster, more dynamic ways of working for ourselves and with our clients, if they share the same values. 

I would say, across our offices in New York, London and Manchester, we are 30 per cent more productive since we changed the way we worked three years ago. So imagine what can be achieved for global business. As global employers, we need to adapt to a global economy, outsource for specialised excellence and, as technology makes it possible to be effective with global working teams, it brings complementary partnerships closer. 

This all needs to be embraced. It works. Trust me. It gets employees more engaged, sharing ideas and collaborating across departments and with brands. The results can be mind-blowing, as I’m sure Clinton is about to find out. 

Robin Gadsby is the global chief executive of Forever Beta

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