Advertising
Council
Australia

Thursday 27 August 2020

The challenges of running an ad agency during Stage 4 Lockdown

With Melbourne and much of Victoria still dealing with the harsh realities of Stage 4 Lockdown, running an ad agency presents huge challenges. But Belinda Murray, Managing Director of BWM Dentsu Melbourne, says there are also opportunities and surprises to be had.

We’re officially half-way through stage 4 and what I do know is we all have an opportunity to choose how we respond to everything going on right now. As MD of BWM dentsu Melbourne, it requires being my authentic self at all times, even on those vulnerable days or what I call the ‘crazy covid waves’ that come from nowhere and seem to hit harder than a ‘normal’ challenging day.

Life and leadership are a mutual exploration and whether it be my team, client partners, family and friends it’s especially important to reinforce and enact this connection constantly in iso.

At work I find that maintaining our collective rituals virtually, helps to continuously connect us, so we start and end the week as a team, we ease into Mondays with a mindfulness session before an entire group kick off, then on Thursday, we have stumps, where we celebrate our achievements over a drink and monthly we have breakfast club with team awards aligned to our values.

Here’s 3 key things I’ve learned and hopefully some tips for the 2nd half of stage 4 for you.

1. Perspective is everything:

You can choose to see these times as catastrophic or an endless opportunity, I personally choose the latter. Good mental fitness, leads to powerful and positive leadership, and productive, connected, courageous and collaborative teams.  But it must come from within, it’s where we find our wisdom, insight , strength, our wellbeing and real resilience to take anything on.

2. Avoid over-planning:

This whole experience is showing us there is no need to over prepare, no day is the same, and as much as it may feel like ground hog day, we’re finding out more about ourselves than ever before. By getting curious in the moment you realise everything is up for grabs​. That’s why more than ever creativity and listening is our superpower, each and every day, there is a constant need to take experimental steps forward​​.  By being open, it is allowing us to adapt to new ways of living and working and ultimately a time of personal and professional expansion.

3. New ways:

Developing an even deeper empathy and awareness of our client partners and each other in all that we do.

It’s only when you set and guard your personal limits can you hit your peak performance. We encourage our people to ‘create clear space’ finding pockets of the day for themselves, to disconnect from the screen and do something different, when you come back to work you’re reset.

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