There’s more than one “I” in Imagine

A selfie of two women at an industry event.

If you’ve been following Imagine Communications for a while, you may have noticed that we do not operate like a stereotypical marketing firm or advertising agency. Long hours and inflated egos are replaced with flexibility and a true team approach.

In a team meeting last month, we were discussing the CEO of Coinbase’s claim the company came up with their Super Bowl commercial on their own without any help. Except that wasn’t exactly true. Turns out the idea stemmed from an agency that pitched the idea to Coinbase in August 2021.

The CEO thought he came up with the idea, but when all facts were in, it was a team effort.

The “what if that happened to us?” question was posed and the immediate response was something along the lines of, “If the client paid for it, it’s theirs and credit doesn’t matter.” That statement is very much in alignment with Imagine’s culture.

It is very rare that you’ll hear anyone at Imagine claim credit for a great idea or for a team member to want to be in the spotlight. And that’s not because anyone is shy or humble. It is because so much of what we create is the result of a team approach. One person is never fully in control over every aspect of a project.

Because we work as a team so often, it does not occur to us to claim individual credit. For example, a website build or redesign typically involves all departments at Imagine — Account Services (client and project management), Public Relations (writing and copy editing) and Design and Development (design and website construction). That means we all get a pat on the back when the client compliments the work.

There are many articles and blogs that instruct individual creatives how to take credit for their work. Tips include: promote yourself, stand out, blow your own horn and make your successes known to management. In a teamwork company culture, none of that has to happen, because without the talent of a single person on the project, results would be very different. If shout-outs, compliments and aforementioned pats on the back are part of a company’s culture, employees feel appreciated every day and don’t feel the need to make management aware of their individual success. Because they understand it’s already known and appreciated.

Does a teamwork atmosphere work for every creative company? No. Talking to other colleagues in the industry, it does not appear to be the norm. Co-workers often go up against one another for projects or clients, and everyone looks out for themselves. A competitive nature can grow well in a company or it can create discontent, and that avenue can turn on a dime, depending on the project.

That sort of edge-of-your-seat anticipation can be fuel for some companies, but it can make others fall. We wanted to offer up the opposite as food for thought — a team culture where competitiveness lies in trying to top our last success — as a team. Which one works the best for your company?

This blog was jointly authored by Director of Account Services Nadia Zerka and Director of Public Relations Tiffannie Bond after Nadia realized she didn’t know how to finish her original thought and knew that Tiffannie could bring it home, showing that the “I” in Imagine sometimes stands for “I need help.”


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