I was going through my files the other day and came upon a folder that contained a newsletter from my father’s architecture and planning firm. My father, Henry Sears, specialized in museum and exhibition planning and design. He was at the forefront of the first wave of visitor-centric museum experiences.
It was fascinating how the same process of discovery applied to ventures as diverse as marketing and exhibit design.
I recall at my father’s funeral, a colleague of his (Lou Levine) gave a eulogy that summarized Henry’s approach. He said it always started with his innate curiosity – a hunger to know all he could about a subject being exhibited. It was all about “the story.” Once you had the story, you could begin the design.
But most fundamentally, Henry fostered a highly collaborative approach, both inside his office and with his clients. It was very non-hierarchical. In short – a great place to work and a great place to develop new ideas in a non-competitive environment.
There are so many lessons in that for all of us in the marketing agency business.
A couple of highlights. He referred to the group representing his team and the clients’ as “our own peculiar family.” And he described the outcome in these terms: “Each finished project carries the collective imprint of the combined Sears & Russell and client teams.”
Isn’t that an elegant way to look upon our work – as a “collective imprint”?