the good, the bad
and the good
By Wellison D’Assuncao
Part A: The essay
Competition brings the best and worst out of us. For a start, our obsession to get ‘one up’ over rival businesses and colleagues has created a dog-eat-dog mentality that’s prevalent and sometimes encouraged in today’s corporate world. Everything for a win, right?
But when managed properly, competition can be the catalyst for amazing things. Business owners, senior management and team leaders hold the key. It’s their role to create a positive and nurturing competitive culture in a business, supported by unbiased opinions, collaboration, corporate transparency and an ethical approach to internal and external dealings.
In my experience, when these values sit at the core of a business, you can truly see the positive effects that competition can have on an organisation’s culture. People working in such environments not only thrive, but so does their work. This type of competitive spirit also tends to attract the right talent to an organisation. Employees who share similar values and standards as yours are more likely to stay in your business for longer, riding out the peaks and troughs with you. Like that old saying goes “I’d rather eat crumbs with bums… than steaks with snakes.”
When it comes to creativity, managing creative teams and maintaining a positive competitive spirit in an agency is no mean feat. The business of creativity has levels of complexity that most industries don’t—for many other industries a problem might have one clear answer, but for us there might be a hundred valid solutions. When you think of the current equation in most agencies, a few creative teams will work on a brief, each of whom might deliver a vast array of different ideas. You can see how quickly it can get out of hand. (No wonder so many of our creative leaders have no bloody hair. I’m thinning quickly btw L.)
This is one of the reasons why good creative management is so important. Great leaders cultivate a positive and fair competitive culture in their department and they make every decision based on the idea. Period. These are people that pull their own ideas aside… even if it means eating a little bit of humble pie. More importantly they know when to draw a line between personal relationships with the teams they manage and the team’s actual contribution to the brief at hand. They champion ideas and not internal politics.
In an environment like this, where employees realise they will be given have a fair go, creative competition can produce amazing results—and creatives will leave their knives at the door.
Part B: The Poem
You rob us of our nights.
Dragging us from our dreams
as we plot and scheme.
Outthinking our every move,
your subconscious shadow
taunts our insecurities sending us
on spiralling dances of doubtfulness.
You bring out our worst,
feeding the wolves that hunt on
life’s peripheral. Cunning opportunists,
that thrive on your mayhem.
But you also give birth to greatness,
fuelling the appetite of those who
see beyond defeat and gain.
Delivering admiration and respect
to the delusional, you turn their
illusions into realities.
You create the new, the unseen.
Inspiring the chase for those that
no longer look over their shoulders,
but focus on carving an untrodden
paths with you.
You are formidable,