Find time to be inspired by each other

July 7, 2009

By Dan Henry, Senior Business Manager @NYCA 

In a prior life, I was in a band.  We worked hard, had fun, and at times made decent music.  Unfortunately, our regular practices weren’t always as productive as we’d have liked.  The stress of staying up all night getting ready for the next show, or trying to put the finishing touches on the new song before a recording session made us crazy.  Once, when we were at each other’s throats and things were close to a breaking point, we decided to try somethfriendsing new – spending time together outside of the garage.  It had an amazing affect.  We got to know each other outside of the instruments we played and when we sat down to prepare for the next show we did it with more patience and passion.  We even came up with ideas for some of our best music when we weren’t plugged in.  

Naturally all of us buy into this idea – we make sure to have lunch with friends or catch a dinner and a movie with our significant others when we can to stay close. But what about our clients?  

Today we are lucky to offer instantaneous service to clients who are located 1700 miles away and beyond.  Our relatively small agency can coordinate with far-off branches and vendors to launch global campaigns. Even more important, brands can work with the right agency team without having to worry about their office locations.  

But email, or cell phone video, or 140 character segments can’t replace the need for real human connection.  

Yesterday, while our distant clients were in town, we shared assets and ideas and org charts, but we also shared good food and pictures of our kids. In all the rush to meet launch deadlines, there was a short pause where I remembered that business relationships, like our personal relationships, can grow stronger and richer when we don’t just share spreadsheets and text messages, but also time.  It is well understood that time is rare and valuable.  But so are the ideas and learnings that naturally bubble to the surface over a drink.  Ideas like how to communicate more effectively or how to better utilize the skill set of a particular team member. It doesn’t have to happen every day, but once in a while there’s nothing like a good ol’ fashioned handshake or high five at the end of the day.  It’s good for the soul, and it’s good for business. 

It’s a busy business we’re in and too many issues begging for time.  While I’m not making music anymore, I still see the value of getting outside of the garage with your team when you can.  I’m reminded of all the good people I work with and for, and that invigorates me and makes me ready to face the next impossible deadline.