May 2nd, 2015 By Jack Morton
Last week was the National Take Your Kid to Work Day and for the second year in a row, our Jack NY office created a fun day for our future
overlords leaders. After the chaos ended and the wine was poured, I reflected on how I learned quite a bit from the gaggle of amazing monkeys plopped into our bizarre agency world.
- The weirdest, simplest idea is often the best. We had a lot of great activities for the kids—all successful. The biggest success? A Mrs. Potato head who had a spoon for an arm that could launch Goldfish(TM) crackers at a target (or in a mouth). I kind of want to patent this thing.
- Create enough structure but allow for things to get mushy. We set up a schedule of activities, but purposely left enough room for the kids to go off script and think of something we didn’t. The winner? A very serious ballon game that involved keeping it off the ground (at ALL costs).
- Have snacks and variety. Seriously, when did we decide it was good to skip lunch and have 6 meetings in a row? Who functions like this? Just because we can keep our meltdowns inside (sometimes), doesn’t mean we don’t have them. Take a walk, eat a snack, chat up someone new, which leads me to…
- Surround yourself with people you don’t normally seek out. Most agency folks aren’t around kids much and as a parent of two small kids, I get it. But being around new people keeps our perspective fresh, gets us out of what we think is cool, normal or ‘on fleek’. Surprisingly, the next day, we all kind of missed the kids. Missed their energy, the letting down of our guard—a good reminder to not take ourselves too seriously.
- If you can’t explain it to a 7 year old, maybe it’s not the right idea. Sometimes we get a little too complex, we say things like ‘omni channel’ and ‘programmatic’ and lose the big idea. I don’t mean talk down to people (because, let’s face it, kids are smarter than we are), but don’t lose sight of the simply articulated, bigger idea vs. a myriad of tactocs. If my 7 year old can get it, we’re may be onto something (and perhaps I’ve finally condensed all the tactics, channels and platforms into a concise thought).
So, thanks Jack for the great day. And thanks Jack 2.0-ers for bringing some much needed chaos to our office. Also a bonus? I have one of those sweet 64 crayons box at my desk for future brainstorms and Goldfish for the bar cart.