It’s Human. It’s Nature. It’s Not Human Nature.

A tiger shark gliding gracefully past accompanied by a remora fish

Avoiding animosity in an agency setting can be tricky. Clashing ideas, looming due dates, and the never ending pile of work-I-haven’t-gotten-to-yet can lead up to a stressful environment, inhabited by coffee crazed creatives and account managers weaving through the ever-intensifying minefield of client questions. But, if we substitute out the ole’ thinking cap for our best Steve Irwin khaki cap, we find that biology can offer a pretty simple solution to the disparity that occasionally forms between the type-a account side and the sometimes barely type-b creative side. We just have to start forming symbiotic relationships.

Chlorophyll. Photosynthesis. Mitochondria. We’re not scientists here. But we can learn from the relationships formed in nature, and apply their wise teachings to our own agency settings. A symbiotic relationship is formed when two species can’t live without each other: The anemone protects the clownfish from predators, so the fish returns the favor. Bees pollinate flowers, and consequently are able to make their honey. Account managers ward off clients so art directors can continue to craft ideas, and are rewarded with quality work to impress their customers. The only difference in the advertising world is that it takes a bit more communication to achieve a relationship that benefits everyone. But evolution isn’t perfect.

So, instead of sitting at your desk stewing in solitude, make an attempt to befriend those strangers on the other side of the office. Make clear goals. Share all key insights. Explain your creative ideas and show how they match with client KPIs. Because when communication fails, so do we. Let’s be stronger together.

Schifino Lee

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