Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sparks and Dentsu to go separate ways?

Come 5 months, I would have worked in Dentsu Utama for 3 full years. It's been an exhilarating experience to say the least. I've never interviewed so many candidates prior to joining this company. That's my belief - talents don't wait. So we seize when opportunity comes knocking for an interview. And from what little experience I have in sizing these hopefuls, to be very honest with you, I really wasn't interested in meeting those with a lot of agency experience in a short period of time. I wasn't interested in people who jumped around too much, spending a year here and there, barely touched the business but have a miraculously healthy growing paycheck. To be very honest with you also, my own resume wasn't that spectacular as well when I first started in the industry. I got bored so easily. Ha ha, so now I taste my own medicine.

Well, 3 years do seem like a good full period. One year you learn, one year you cope and the next year you give back value to what was invested on you. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

While, this still isn't a concrete idea for various 'push pull' reasons, I realized that I've been considering separation a lot lately. I hate to get my mind clogged with something that I cannot do anything about. And looking back, this was truly an awesome place to really being able to 'produce' high quality work. If you're from the creative department, you may think what we've been doing isn't anything fancy. Well, sorry, I'm not from that department. I'm from strategic management. And from that perspective, Dentsu Utama has been one of the most conducive place to grasp opportunities (for learning or creation) and for strong ownership of ideas (personal or collective), from conception to production regardless of which stream you're from. I have a lot of respect and awe for the Dentsu Tokyo many creative teams. And throughout my experience working with different planners and creative directors and personnel from Tokyo, it has truly resulted in me wanting to keep pushing to achieve higher quality work every time, in the most efficient manner possible. That kind of adrenalin to be able to compete 'internally' with Tokyo is... awesome and priceless.

The other three things which are pulling my heartstrings are obviously Honda, a culture which I've grown to love, respect and admire. My teams who are constantly pushing themselves to meet the required standards and who never said no to me, ever. And obviously the various initiatives that stemmed from our strategic communication R&D that are just beginning to take flight.

Then why separate ways, you ask?

I have a very peculiar personality. I pride values and methods above everything else in management. Be it talent management or business management, any sort of management and I suppose these values and processes are becoming more and more apparent that they may not resonate well in this environment after a reshuffling exercise in the beginning of this year. Working for a certain corporation is really like maintaining a relationship. This is the longest relationship I have had and I'm giving myself 8 months to sort out the resistance in me (also because I'm really looking forward to launching Honda's booth at the Kuala Lumpur Motorshow at year end). I guess it happens, you reach a point where you realize you want different things which will determine where you wanna go and how you're gonna get there and you start to drift and then break apart. In a good way, I mean. Because this is a very natural process, especially in this industry. The important thing is to be able to shake hands and be optimistic before parting.

Sparks is an entrepreneur and will challenge the norm. And it will not do well in an organisation which is afraid to do so. Its purest nature alone, doesn't allow self-containment. Its survival is based on its capability to continue igniting flamable passion which results to change, even if it's only 1 degree. Change for the better, remember? Always. 8 months...

Till then, I've got some self-reworking to do ;)

P/S: To those of you who are my colleagues and you happen by wonders of this world, stumbled upon this post. Do not ask me, do not probe me, do not console me, do not encourage me. Just do nothing. It's really not as serious and as dramatic as it sounds. It's just something I need to sort out.

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