Management POV: Cultivate a Big Ideas Culture and Reward Success

Mike McDougall

Taking some time for reflection, I thought that maybe it was just me. Was I being too critical of a profession that I love? Perhaps I had read too many business books lately that promised the world but were disconnected from the day-to-day grind.
But then others in the industry started sharing the same thoughts as me. They began as whispers, but have turned into more groans, growls and even eulogies.
The culprit? The death of the big idea.
A couple years into my career, I worked with an agency creative director who preached the concept of the big idea—no matter how small the project. Without a killer concept, he reasoned, everything else was just a commodity.
Nearly two decades later, that thinking has become even more relevant, especially as communications channels have proliferated. Since when has throwing tactics at the wall, hoping at least some of them stick, become a substitute for a differentiated strategy?
Who’s to blame?


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