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Unshackling creativity: At JWT there are no NCDs on Thursdays!

29-May-2007
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Unshackling creativity: At JWT there are no NCDs on Thursdays!

JWT has decided that on Thursdays, the agency can really do without National Creative Directors, and instead just have plain creative thoughts, discussions and arguments flowing through the agency. In April 2007, the agency instituted ‘No Hierarchy Thursdays’. The idea is that anyone from the creative, servicing and planning departments can present an idea to the creative heads, Agnello Dias and Josy Paul.

The ideas can be for brands that the agency already has, and even for brands that the agency would like to have. This initiative is the result of a group creative discussion to which both NCDs instantly gave their thumbs-up.

Said Colvyn Harris, CEO, JWT, “I think this is a very refreshing way of developing ideas. More importantly, it actually establishes a culture where the younger generation of creative can discuss a brand in a frank manner and argue it out with their seniors and super seniors.”

“This is the day when the juniormost from the organisation can come into my cabin, stop a meeting if I am in one, and demand to spend time with me to talk on any idea -- the meeting would be stopped and we would discuss that idea,” said Dias.

Paul added, “Ideas have no hierarchy and we thought we should mirror that at an organisation level. You have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Children’s Day, so why not a No-Hierarchy Day every week! I think this is Raksha Bandhan for ideas -- ideas need protection too.”

Dias disclosed that this initiative was there in the agency for a while but it was not done in an organised manner and that came in the way of it being productive. He said, “Earlier people tried to get us and we would be in meetings, or there would be other commitments. Now, Josy and me keep ourselves free on Thursdays and hence there has been a very encouraging response to this.”

“In fact, we got a great idea for Spice Telecom on a Thursday like this that we would be using for the brand! We are in the mood for this and the response has been fantastic,” informed Paul.

The JWT offices have been divided between Dias and Paul for this initiative. While Dias looks after Mumbai, Paul looks after Delhi and so on.

Harris is quick to give all the credit for this to the creative heads, stating that the idea came up in a creative meeting, was agreed upon and executed. JWT believes that this frees even the juniormost person in the organisation and gives him a window to have a shot with the seniormost in the agency.

There is no gainsaying that this is a unique initiative and the industry could well do with more such initiatives if Indian advertising has to change the way it has performed on global platforms like The One Show, D&AD and the Clio Awards.

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Prior to joining Madison PR in 2012 Chaudhary was Group President Corporate Communications at Reliance Industries Limited.