Phil Lynagh is regional managing director at Tag: MENA
“Nothing will change in this region if we sit back and wait for change to come knocking on the door. The same old leaders that preach motivation but practice demotivation, will demand agencies full of self-righteous, old-fashioned thinkers, who believe they’re cutting-edge, not realising the brave new thing they stand for so vehemently is, in fact, already old school. They will continue to create environments of scam, greed and profiteering, resulting in mediocre work, as well as a disillusioned and impotent workforce.
People at the top do make change happen but more often than not it’s enforced, driven out of a people.The best people do tend to migrate to the places where change is both happening and is supported. This migration is great for the industry and has to be welcomed. So why doesn’t it happen more often? Well, to manifest real change you need a popular revolution. You need a meeting of sympathetic minds, while still answering a commercial demand and you need some very brave souls, who are not just prepared to question the status quo, but are ready to overthrow it. Basically, an awful lot of stars need to be aligned and perfectly so, but that’s no excuse for not trying.
The most important industry lesson I’ve learnt is this: don’t wait for the old school management to embrace the bright new future, it hasn’t happened yet and won’t ever happen. The responsibility to change lies directly with you. You, the energetic second jobber account manager and, you, the ‘twentysomething’ graphic designer, you are the future of this industry and you must drive the change. You encourage change every time you move somewhere new that practices business principles you believe in. So, if you’re unhappy with your lot, it’s time to make things happen. Stop moaning about the industry, stop taking a pop at your management, and stop moving agencies for extra money alone. Put your money where your mouth is, introduce your mouth to your feet, and go walk the talk.”