The IPA asked me to write a few words for a piece on how we encourage creativity. It's been published here.
Here's what I wrote:
We’ve got all that wacky creative cultural stuff at Wieden+Kennedy. Yes, we have a padded cell meeting room, we have office baking competitions, wild parties, free booze on a trolley, in-office band performances and art exhibitions. We encourage and enable people to do volunteer work in our local community and send people as far afield as Rwanda to enable them to achieve things they never thought they could do. We have furniture made out of dodgem cars and junk stall finds. We have a Dude of the Month award that bestows a special ceremonial jacket upon the winner.
We have sing-songs, and pie-offs, and stitch and bitch sessions, and art outings, and portrait painting, and interactive window installations. We have creative bursaries to help everyone broaden their minds, we invite in all sorts of interesting visiting speakers and, yes, our reception is so filled with bric-a-brac it looks like a jumble sale and we have to keep turning away passers by who mistake our office for another Shoreditch vintage store. We even have the obligatory agency table football table somewhere under all the junk.
We have all of these things, but they don't happen by management design, they just evolve organically out of the environmental slime. They are the products of our culture, not the cause of it. Everyone knows we’re here to do the best work of our lives. That’s what W+K was founded to do. It’s our promise to our people and our clients. We have remained fiercely independent so that we can stay true to this principle. It’s what we are and it affects everything we do.