22. Nimble Thinkers

What do you think of when you imagine someone in advertising? Creative—yes. Strategic—duh. Mad Men? Sure. And yet, there is a component to the creative world that is often overlooked, and that is being very nimble.

Being nimble has many facets. One obviously must be able to adapt to various situations—say your equipment malfunctions, sudden scheduling conflicts arise, or your client changes his or her mind without warning. What do you do? You must think on your feet, assessing the situation to quickly solve the problem. Quick thinking leads to quick resolution. People who work in management and strategy do this on a daily basis. However, this nimble nature does not only apply to the strategic/management side of the advertising world. It affects the creative side as well, in a very different way. It has to do with ideas.

In the creative world, you must be selfless—the most nimble are. As I’ve quoted before, from 72andSunny, “Ideas over Ego” must come into play. People in the industry must be able to lay their egos aside for the advancement of the project and of the team, letting their ideas go if it isn’t “the one.”  There are times where you need to contribute, knowing that your name may not be cited on the end result. Generosity of ideas is a necessity in a team environment, and ultimately leads to better results.

With this nimble lack of ego comes the ability to take criticism and get right back to work without taking that criticism personally. The enthusiasm to learn and to create the best work possible must override the love you may have for what you have created or what you’re imagining in your head.

Thirdly, there is a level of risk with being nimble, which comes with a quick decision. Once you’ve reached the perfect idea, run with it. During the Superbowl, Oreo showed the world how nimble its creative team truly is with an ad put out right as the power went out in the stadium.


The ad was put out on Twitter and received extremely positive feedback, mostly for how quickly it was made and published.

As a creative, the work you do is extremely important. However, the way in which you do this work is equally important.


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