A few weeks ago, it was once again time for our Global AMIN meeting. AMIN is the network of creative and independent communication agencies which we at Campagne are a member of. It ensures that we, as a Dutch agency, have access to expertise and partners all over the world, so that we can help our clients develop. By now, the dust has settled and we’ve had the chance to think about the most important learnings from the AMIN Worldwide Conference in Antwerp. But most of all, we can look at what Challenge your reality can mean in our daily work.
The event was hosted by our southern neighbour, Intracto. Since 2001, the agency has helped brands and organisations meet tomorrow’s challenges. A trend-setting group with expertise in strategy, design, technology and marketing. During the three-day conference, Intracto presented AMIN agencies with the theme: Challenge your reality.
The basis for this theme was derived from surrealism. The 20th-century art movement, which included two Belgian surrealists, Magritte and Mesens: Ceci n’est pas une pipe. Is what you’re seeing what you’re actually seeing? Let your feelings speak and dare to express them. Look at your reality in a different way, that’s how you grow and develop.
By doing or approaching things differently, you stand out. This gives you room to operate in a much broader scope and make an impact. This means of course, that you’re more likely to take risks. But as an outsider, rebel or troublemaker, you have to disregard that. Nothing is impossible as long as you examine your reality.
Let’s move quickly on to my two highlights of this AMIN meeting. So what were the most important takeaways?
If we’re talking about AMIN’s added value, it’s that members are equal. There’s no room for egos and we share more than just the successes. People dare to show their vulnerability so that everyone can learn from ‘mistakes’. But what are mistakes? The agency Signal Theory shared an interesting business case about the loss of a client.
Despite a good business relationship, a client outsourced a major (re)branding project. During the pitch, Signal Theory politely answered the questions and submitted their concept. They expected quick approval but something else happened: they lost the pitch. Why? The final winner had approached the client differently and had presented the client’s reality differently with out-of-the-box ideas. Signal Theory didn’t linger too long over the loss, as CEO John January said: “Not only did we lose the pitch because the winner changed the way the client looked at the world. It also caused us to explore our strategic process. In other words, we don’t lose … we learn.”
During the meeting, there were also several presentations by people from outside the network. On Monday, we were surprised by a presentation by the futurologist and entrepreneur Peter Hinssen. His presentation was a series of examples that woke us up. Having a critical eye is important in helping our clients and ourselves to profit from the benefits of the digital era. The world is changing so fast that organisations today have to be constantly busy with the tomorrow’s work, while we’re still distracted by yesterday’s work. Still following? In his presentation, Peter showed us examples of people who, through change and technology, had succeeded in thinking about today and tomorrow, allowing them to grow and expand. A nice, concrete example came from Intracto’s Managing Director, Pieter Janssen: “If a task takes too much time, or is repetitive, automate it.” This gives you space and time to think about the day after tomorrow!
Want to know more about our AMIN network, or are you curious about how we can look to tomorrow together? Send us a message!