Give back to your community



During my time looking for a new job, I’ve had the chance to do a few things I have always wanted to do. Going back to school was one and giving back to my community was another.

Over the years, our local Little League helped my son build his confidence as well as grow into an amazing baseball pitcher all the way into college. Over the last few months, I was able to give back a small part of the adventure by using my baseball pitching experience to help our team win the championship!

I have created award winning In-House creative teams and have been a mentor to many people, but that does not compare to being able to give back to your community, watch boys and girls work so hard and have so much fun growing and achieving amazing things.

Take some time to give back and maybe you too will be lucky enough to receive a small plastic trophy. Mine means the world to me!


#littleleague #leadership #inhouseagency #mentoring  #community  #givingback#charity#coaching#teamwork

Succeed in College Without the SAT or ACT

This week I’m changing my vibe a bit and jumping into a totally different topic of discussion. If it strikes a chord with you, please feel free to share my post with your friends and family. 

As your soon-to-be college kids prepare to take the SAT or ACT, I want to share a personal story which may help relieve your stress in addition to making you rethink the entire process. Five years ago our family was in your shoes. My son was set to take both the SAT and ACT (Must cover all of the collegiate bases!). After months of classes, studying, tutors and practice exams, we felt we had done everything within our power to prepare him for this momentous step in the college process. The first test results came back disappointing…more prep and tutoring. Second and third test results came back just a tad better but still disappointing. Time and again the results were just not what we had hoped or planned for. The stress on my son and on us, his supportive parents, was overwhelming.

With a strong interest in engineering and the desire to play college baseball, we visited a total of 26 universities on our journey. Each college big or small was an adventure, but one thing was becoming abundantly clear, the lack of importance that many of these school put on standardized tests. College after college focused on the uniqueness of the individual and what he/she could bring to that particular university’s community. It was so obviously not about what his capacity to take a test said about his ability to succeed. A select few seemed uninterested in looking past the all important test scores, despite the fact that he was a straight ‘A’, honor student with an amazing talent on the baseball diamond. They passed on him and we on them.

During the COVID pandemic last year many top universities made the decision to stop requiring standardized tests and will not be returning to them when things return to normal. If COVID taught higher education one important lesson it was that the value of a test does not compare with the importance of possessing a diverse student population.

To get back to my personal spin on this story…fast forward four years. The drama and stress surrounding our experience with testing has become no more than an unpleasant memory. In less than a week our son will be graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a 3.8 GPA and a BS in Mechanical Engineering. He has been accepted into their Masters program for Aerospace Engineering, no small feat!  I’m sure there are thousands of students who, like my son, may have been turned down by a certain university or didn’t apply to another because those test scores made him/her think they wouldn’t stand a chance.

To all the budding college students and parents out there please know this, SAT/ACT scores are not what make your kids great. Each young person has his/her own unique skills and talents which, like in the case of my son, will play a more important part in their college success. Continue to reach for the stars and never let a test be the judge of the person that you can be!

For your reference here is a list of Non-SAT Colleges:

#tesprep #collegeprep #collegehumor #college #collegeapplication #collegeadmission #SAT #studentlife #collegeready #notestagram #RPI

Technology & Marketing Campaigns


This week I attended the Adobe Summit conference to keep abreast of the latest technologies in use today. Session after session one thing became abundantly clear – if you’re not looking to automate your campaigns and understand the full scope of your marketing funnels, you’ll want to take some time to rethink that game plan.

In this ever-changing landscape personalized targeted content has continued to remain in the forefront of consumer engagement. Throughout the event, the message was unequivocal – your campaigns must resonate with the consumer by providing clear, personalized content, which is scalable, targeted and delivered to all platforms in a timely manner, providing data with measured results.

Throughout the Summit, speakers provided examples of challenges they have personally overcome, but the importance of both partnerships and a correctly structured team was crucial. To ensure success, internal creative and marketing teams must be on the front lines, understanding the consumer strategy while maintaining access to the data analytics. Presenters stressed the importance of the Creative Operations role in bridging the gap through this ever-changing landscape.

It was enlightening to learn how this position has become a focal point in balancing both left and right brain solutions. Finding people who have the ability to jump from creative to technology, while at the same time understanding marketing strategy can only benefit the success of your in-house teams.

As you move toward the optimization of your In-House Creative Agency, the divide between the marketing and creative silos is getting smaller and smaller. The ability to have measured results for your campaigns in real-time will always drive better creative content which, in turn, creates a positive experience for the consumer.

As a long-time user of Adobe products, it was great to see how they continue to remain on the cutting edge, integrating both outstanding creative and workflow applications which expertly use data analytics to close the loop on the whole marketing funnel.

#adobesummit #digital #marketing #socialmedia #inhouseagency #ad #adobe #CMO #creativeoperations #digitalmarketing #adobelife


Do you focus on qualitative and quantitative data
for your In-House team?

An associate of mine posed a great question which I felt might be of interest others in the operational realm. She asked – “Based on your experience, what are the qualitative and quantitative differences between a small, mid-sized and large in-house agencies (IHA)?”

 I think that trying to define the differences, at any scale, is one of the many challenges that managers often face. Rather than taking the ‘size/scale’ approach, I personally believe it’s better to focus on three central areas which will work for any size IHA.

1) Senior Management Support

2) Building an Environment for Success

3) Providing the Resources to Make your Team Successful

Senior Management Support:

This is critical for a department of any size. I’m sure you’ve noticed, when senior leadership is not providing support to the team or has a clear understanding of what it needs, teams will often fail. Senior management sets the tone for the team allowing for that vision to filter down. I was very fortunate to have leaders who understood this and provided the optimum level of support needed for our team.

Building an Environment for Success:

This is what makes the difference between success and failure. Creative teams thrive in an environment that fosters free thought and creativity. They collaborate and process ideas differently than the rest of the team, and that needs to be addressed. If you’re seeking to develop a premium brand, take a look at the creative team’s environment and see if it inspires them to greatness.

Create a mission statement which sets your team’s aspirations, giving them a guiding light to the end goal. My last team had a 98% retention rate and the highest employee satisfaction in the company. This was not solely because of how I managed but because we, as a group, understood the importance of how our environment, both mental and physical, impacted our success.

You MUST also allow your team the space to fail. Exploring and pushing boundaries should be an accepted and promoted practice. This practice encourages greatness and reduces the stress of failure, cultivating a team that is both stronger, better and more resilient!

Provide the Resources to Make your Team Successful:

This encompasses areas from budget, to facilities and technology. The ability to provide the proper resources, at the right time, positively impacts a team of any size. Your use of technology and the latest applications can make a positive impact for your team. It’s your ability to push these boundaries, partner with vendors and stay abreast of new solutions which can provide winning solutions.

Their are many more metrics which you may need to be aware of but focusing on these three areas it will surely set your team on a winning path!

If you would like more information, please check out my articles covering this and other topics for people building In-House Agencies.

#qualitative #quantitative #inhouseagency #creativeoperations #creative #marketing #leadership #CMO #operations #greatteams

Do you focus on qualitative and quantitative data

How your in-house agency technology
can impact subscriber growth



It has always been my goal to understand how the creative work we do impacts the entire marketing funnel. We’re often stuck in the day-to-day grind of getting projects off our desks, but fail to consider the larger impact our work can have on the brand. The ability to track a single idea from its inception, throughout the campaign and finally to the ROI, has been the holy grail that I aspire to provide for teams. The challenge has always been with understanding how this process impacts subscriber growth, and at what cost.

Marketing and Creative teams now have solutions which can accomplish this. However, many have a difficult time understanding the value of the collected data and how it definitively impacts the brand. In today’s social media-driven world, speed to market often outpaces measuring the data or getting it into the hands of those that need it. Companies who value data and educate their creative teams about this find this information invaluable.  

Let’s take a moment to focus on integrating workflow and marketing funnel technologies to mine for invaluable data. The solutions and technologies I refer to should be used as a reference for research purposes only and not considered a recommendation.  

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Project Management:

This is a very busy field with lots of players. Rather than focusing on cost, here you should concentrate on collaboration, agility and time management. Your system’s ability to keep the creative team focused on the task at hand without impeding creative thinking is most crucial. The ability to manage digital approvals in a seamless manner is so important in today’s remote world. Tracking time, project data and building API integrations giving you access to the whole marketing funnel is a critical component of your overall solution. Rich data for many uses live herein- so be sure your tool allows you to retrieve and repurpose reporting information.

Here are a few available PM solutions in no particular order:

AsanaAtellioHiveInmotion igniteJira,Jobsuite,MondayRoboheadSmartsheet,ScreendragonTrelloWrike,Workfront

Remember that your goal is to understand the whole marketing funnel, so be sure to select the solutions which you feel will allow you to be most successful.

Creative Suite of Tools:

Your ability to focus the creative teams on producing work at a very high level is often based on the tools they have at their disposal. In the optimal creative environment the team’s ideas emerge, and flow seamlessly into the application you use. The right solutions give them the ease and opportunity to allow this to happen. Adobe Creative Suite has been the leader in this arena, not because every one of their products is the best at what they do, but because their products allow for seamless integration and they work extremely well in tandem and through the whole marketing funnel. 

Additional companies, including FigmaSketch, and Axure, are players in the field because they similarly make it easy for teams to work and collaborate. Googleand Microsoft have various cloud based solutions to consider based upon the type of work you do. Your creative vision should not only account for the work you’re doing now but needs to be flexible enough to meet the demands of your brand’s needs tomorrow.

Companies are using automated AI solutions to do more template work than ever before. This once taboo creative process has now gained more acceptance as we move toward producing more digital and social campaigns. 

Here are a few creative automated solutions in no particular order:

CeltraCanva,Chili PublishDyspatchEmmaKnak, LitmasLiveclickerStensul,Shakr, SendGrid

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Digital Analytics and Automation:

As our technology continues to evolve, collecting data analytics and understanding its impact on your marketing funnels become vital to your success. More and more teams are aligning their creative paid and organic media to an overall Marketing Strategy. Having these measurable results is crucial to your brand’s success. The massive volume of data and the ability to present it in an actionable way will oftentimes drive your brand’s ability to meet your consumers needs.

Selecting solutions to measure that success is no simple feat. Are you a large enterprise that needs to measure data across multiple funnels focusing on driving paid or organic social ads? What are the end goals for your consumer interaction? Google and Facebook’s Suite of tools provide strong platforms to build your analytics upon, but you may need additional Customer Relations Management (CRM) solutions to strengthen your end-to-end marketing solutions. Brands can no longer construct siloed marketing and creative teams, but instead must collaborate to build consumer awareness for their brand’s success. Your ability to understand the whole customer journey, have a flexible response will clearly put you in a great position for managing your subscriber growth.

Here are a few analytic and automation solutions in no particular order:

Act-OnAdobe Marketo & AnalyticsDripHubspotHootsuiteKeap,Microsoft DynamicsNetsuiteOracle EloquaSalesforce Pardot

Digital Asset Management:

What was once an afterthought now becomes center stage for companies to better manage their brand assets. The ability to store, reuse and understand the ROI on a single asset has gained importance. The power you harness in being able to monetize that one single asset across many different platforms, and track how it contributes to your brand’s success, is what has changed over the last several years. DAM has filled a variety of roles for many successful companies over time.You’ll find that DAM’s fuctionality with video assets continues to be more front and center. In today’s fast-paced world when you partner this asset with your CRM and creative/social media applications it begins to close the loop in your team’s ability to understand the total picture of your marketing strategy.

Here are a few available DAM solutions in no particular order:

Adobe AEMAprimoBrandfolderBynderBrandmasterExtensisGlobaleditNuxeoOpenTextTenovosWiden

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Collaboration Solutions:

With the seismic shift brought forth by working remotely, collaborative solutions must seriously be considered in your overall plan. We’ve all learned the importance of flexibility and giving people the ability to work without boundaries is impacting your culture. Having solutions which seamlessly help your teams stay connected, engaged and working as one cannot be understated.

Here are a few collaboration solutions in no particular order:

BluejeansBluescapeFacetimeGo to meetingGoogleMicrosoft teamsmeetingsSkypeSlackWebexZoom

For some, the solutions mentioned in this article might be out of reach or may not play a role in the success of your in-house teams. For others, the ability to seamlessly integrate all of these platforms, mining for data analytics to use in the creative process will create a complete marketing strategy and place you at the head of the class in driving subscriber growth and help you build a premium brand.

As always, feel free to reach out if you have questions about building a best-in-class, in-house agency.

#chiefmarketingofficer #creative #creativeoperations #inhouseagency #digitalmarketing #socialmedia #subscriber growth #projectmanagement #agile #scrumaster #marketing #changemanagement



“The Times They Are a-Changin‘ ”

In today’s marketplace teams are challenged to manage their in-house marketing and creative capabilities. There is a real need for organization and having systems in place to help overcome these hurdles.  Potential solutions often get lost in the shuffle of the day-to-day project madness. One often relies on email chains, excel spreadsheets, hallway conversations or even the good old sneaker network. However, as Bob Dylan famously proclaimed, “The Times They Are a-Changin‘ ”, and understanding the importance that harnessing your workflow plays in your success can’t be understated.


As I work with both traditional and digital marketing and creative teams, my first set of questions are: What type of projects are you planning on doing, how will they come into your department and what metrics do you want to capture? These very basic questions can greatly impact the success of your team. Following the ‘deer in the headlights’ look of panic, a solid smile and a few minutes of discussion normally brings calm back into the room. Today’s food for thought will help you understand how to select a project management system that will set you on a winning track. Many teams are challenged with understanding the new digital and social media worlds. Maybe your team is in a transition period or moving from print to social projects. All of these elements come into play in your selection process.

Let’s begin by outlining the five steps which will place you on a solid path to workflow success.

Step One: What do we need? What do we have now?

The stock answer is almost always – “Call IT” or “Get whatever is cheap!” If you have been down this road before, never fear.  I’ll provide you with a path forward to fix it. Think about your Project Management System (PM) as the pivotal tool to your success. Much like your marketing  software or the use of the Adobe Creative Suite by your creative team, having a robust PM software can save thousands of dollars and, more importantly, return valuable time to the team. Let’s start looking at how you can begin building your guidelines to success.

  • Have a core team and involve one person from each area in researching and selecting the software. They will be the point people in training your team.
  • Create a list with three columns: 1) Need to have, 2) Nice to have and 3) Cool to have.
  • Once you have the list, organize it by high, medium and low needs. 
  • At this point we are not concerned about anything outside of building a defined list of what is needed. This is also the reason to have people from each department, as needs change and can impact others.

The timeframe on this can vary from a month to several months or more, depending upon the length of your list. There are many other challenges to factor in, but we want to keep this to a five minute read.

Step Two: I have my list, now what?

After many hours of debating and going back and forth, you have created a long list of items. Now it’s time to begin researching vendors and reviewing software. This is the difficult part of the adventure. Some team members will have most likely used a PM software before and have an idea of what’s out there. Do your homework and take time to find the best solution. This market is changing very quickly with new players coming in and disrupting the field every day.

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Red flag here!!! As you compile your vendor list take note of free or very cheap software. Remember, this is going to be core software for your team so take the time and do your homework. As you research, begin building  a vendor questionnaire that will allow you to compare vendor responses and information. Depending upon the size of your department this may or may not be needed, but as a general rule include: IT, Procurement, Legal and Security questions. It’s essential to get those departments involved early and often in the process.

Step Three: Meeting the vendors.

This is a big step forward for the team. Once you have selected your vendors make sure to discuss the candidates with the team. Understand the differences between the ‘must-haves’ and the ‘nice-to-haves’ and be sure your conversation focuses around those two areas. First and foremost the PM system they offer must be easy and flexible for the creative team to use, and second, it must work well for your project managers to manage schedules and run reports.

Once the ground rules are set it’s time to begin interviewing vendors. Before they give you their demos, provide them with your master list so that they clearly understand the important items to focus on. Try not to get too excited by cool things that ultimately do nothing for you. Focus on your list first and if other items come to the table then that’s an added bonus.  At this point, when you see new technologies and solutions, you may need to adjust your list. Although that’s to be expected, always focus on your core items first.

Step Four: The bake off

You have spent the last several months looking at software and listening to presentations about all of the bells and whistles it could provide. You’ve also intelligently narrowed down your selections. This is where you begin considering  your software pricing and how it will affect the bottom line. This is the difficult, but crucial part of the equation. It’s essential to avoid selecting something based solely on the fact that it’s the cheapest solution. If the software doesn’t do the job that you need it to, then the cheap software is costing you valuable time which is an asset that most teams just don’t have. Focus on creating a few groups based on pricing, such as low, medium and high. This way it’s much easier for you to compare your trade-offs and how they might impact your selection.

Once you have narrowed the selection down to two or three, have each vendor give you a demo version or ‘sandbox’ to play around in. This will allow your team the opportunity to get the feel of what it can and, more importantly, cannot do.

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Step Five: Our new system

The big day has arrived! You have done everything in your power to purchase the right system, however you didn’t plan on enough time to roll it out. Yikes! This process is hard to do and it gets harder as the teams get bigger. In your rollout plan be sure to schedule extra time for testing and training. Most people forget to do this and the negative impact is substantial.  It’s best that you take extra time to do it right rather than to rush in and do it wrong. No matter what you do over the next several months you will be changing your workflow.  Make sure the team understands that this is a work in progress and will continue to evolve as your team evolves.

Now you have the five-step, abbreviated version of how to select the right PM system for your teams. There are many more steps, lists and items embedded in these five steps, but this will, at the very least, set you on the correct path. Remember to stay calm and understand that no one gets this correct right out of the box. It is your ability to communicate with your people, involve them in every step and value your team’s input which will help you in your journey and set you up for  a successful outcome.

As always, reach out if you have questions about building a best-in-class, in-house agency.

Just remember Teddy Roosevelt Quote.

“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

#chiefmarketingofficer #creative #creativeoperations #inhouseagency #digitalmarketing #socialmediamarketingagency #projectmanagementsoftware #projectmanagement #pmp #agile #scrumaster #marketing


Staying Positive = Success


As my circle of friends and I gather online to touch base, many find ourselves suffering the effects of losing our jobs for one reason or another. The difficulty of moving on from the comfort of one’s work family is challenging at best.

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An important thing to remember is that you’re never alone and can always lean on your friends and co-workers to pick you up when you’re feeling down. There will be days when you just need to take a break, step away and regroup. Have trust in yourself and leverage the power of positive thinking to get you through the challenges ahead.

Make a plan to continue learning. It doesn’t matter what, but be sure you put in the effort to learn something new each week. Maybe it’s a skill to help you in your job search, something to make you a better person or a class on the thing you always wanted to learn but never had time to in the past.

Although we are no longer physically connected, our former in-house creative team of 60+ strong, stays in touch with one another on a daily basis. It’s been almost six months and the power of the bond we created is still alive and kicking. People jump in and out of Webex all day long. How’s that for team chemistry!

I thought I would share a few of the things we all seem to miss, that have come up during the conversations we continue to have during our online chats. Each comment brings back a terrific memory. Each of these things is sorely missed:

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The account team walking into my office 30 minutes after sending me an email, just as I am about to respond, saying, “Did you get my email?”!

Those 15 minute strolls around the office asking “How are you doing?” which turned into a full hour because I was pleased to hear a story or two from everyone I connected with on my walk.

The entire team who reported to me because I always knew they had my back and I had theirs (And they know I still do!).

The afternoon movie in the studio, which was always a blast from the past, B-rated film that never failed to end our day on a lighter note.

The giant, personalized birthday cards for everyone’s special days, signed by all in the group.

The team’s monthly staff meetings which updated us and always called out people’s achievements and celebrations.

Explaining why we really, really needed that random, new photography toy for “research” while trying not to have the drone that we bought fly by at the wrong moment in the conversation.

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More than anything, I freaking miss my team and the amazing process we created together.

I miss the banter, the laughs, the disagreements, the meticulous process, the political chats, the madness in the kitchen, tea and crumpets, hot chocolate by the fire, karaoke Christmas and most of all my peeps. I hope that each and every one of you know that I love you, I miss you and although we may NEVER find another group like this, I am thankful for my memories and your continued friendships.

These days I have Zoom meetings that are very corporate and productive. It gets the job done, but it’s so different than the unique culture our group developed over time. I guess you can say that I am more than a little homesick for our team.

When you have those down days, and they will come, remember the great times we shared. If you need a little boost, reach out to your friends and former co-workers. Doing this always brings a smile to my face and I’m sure it will have the same effect on you.

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I repeat this quote from Teddy Roosevelt quite often, but it really speaks to me:

“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

PS- Big thank you to the in-house team (you know who you are) for letting me share your comments online.

#CMO #positivevibes #happiness #creativeoperations #love #success #inhouseagency #friends #digitalmarketing


When your In-House Agency is too big to fail, it just may

One of the advantages that experience brings is an understanding of how to side step the land mines while remaining razor-focused on your vision. As more and more companies jump into building in-house Creative or Marketing teams, the ability to position talented leaders in the key roles plays a crucial part in the team’s success. The ability to provide guidance, leadership, empathy and remain calm under pressure, sets the tone and is pivotal to your success.

In our complex and ever-changing world, study after study shows that these skills trickle from the top down and across each level of your organization, yet we often time lose sight of this as our organization increases in size. The ability to quickly scale in effort to meet business demands often takes precedence and this, over time, affects the cultural of your department. You may find that this challenge may have increased exponentially with the migration of teams working remotely or the formation of smaller sub-teams at your client’s offices. The dynamics of teams will evolve as they mature. You will need to be very conscious of this.

As more and more companies bring their digital marketing needs in-house, they may be required to change team dynamics, learning on the fly and possibly even losing sight of the end goal. In the rush to stay ahead of your competition you may forget the importance of building solid business fundamentals. It doesn’t matter if you’re big or small, this will be the downfall of your team.

Digital marketing, although presenting a great variety of challenges, still follows the same basic business principles as everything else. The fact that things are changing at warp speed, does not mean you shouldn’t take the time to build your team correctly.

No alt text provided for this imageAs we all know history has a way of repeating itself. Back in the Stone Age, when the internet was first being introduced, we experienced things very similar to that which is happening today — new technology, fast growing companies, big budgets, hiring at lightening speed. Many companies failed, yet learned important lessons in the process. Consider those lessons, focus on people and doing the right thing, and then apply these principles to your present challenges.

Last July, when our large, in-house team closed its doors for the final time, I shared some valuable advice that I had learned throughout 14 award winning years. In speaking with companies over the last several months, what I wrote then is even truer today.

Building great in-house teams

Just remember this quote from Teddy Roosevelt

“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

#CMO #creative #creativeagency #leadership #changemanagement #creativeservices #inhouseagency #operations #management #managementconsultanting #digitalmarketing #inovation


Do You Need a New Year’s Resolution?


As January comes to a close, there’s a very good chance that you’ve made a sparkling New Year’s resolution that’s beginning to fade. Often our good intentions get mixed up with our day to day busy lives. As January 1st came around I reflected upon how lucky I have been, and decided it was time to give back. I thought long and hard about my new normal of working from home and the flexibility it affords me. My lovely wife came up with a great idea – why not do something to help make our planet a little better? But what exactly? 

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Like many of you, exercise is a part of my daily routine. I’m fortunate to live by the beach and walk the shoreline almost every morning. You may have seen some of the many sunrise photos I’ve posted to my Instagram page @charliebory. But with all of that beauty, I’ve also noticed an ugliness on my lovely beach and it’s ocean garbage. That was when the light bulb came on and I discovered my New Year’s resolution. That’s when I began my weekly journey of walking four miles in my new balance sneakers, tracking 10,000 steps on my Fitbit watch while picking up beach litter.

Bright and early, on the first Saturday of the new year, I began my self-appointed mission. With a large garbage bag in hand and my lovely wife at my side off, we went to the beach to pick up garbage. We filled our trash bag with plastic bottles and caps, bags, balloons, and pretty much anything else you can think of. After about a mile, the collection bag was so heavy that we had to turn back. Not the best start! It was time to put my Creative Operations skills to work!


Round two…time to bring forth the big ideas. Years ago we purchased a Radio Flyer wagon for our son. After a great deal of kid use and abuse, we made a few monster truck modifications, rebuilding it from the ground up. It can now hold hundreds of pounds with its new structure and baby monster tires. Bam! Problem solved! Don’t let its looks fool you. This is a battle tested wagon, more than qualified to help me on my new quest. 

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The following week, wagon in tow, I once again proceeded to the beach. With headphones on the time just flies, getting in my steps while making a small dent to save our oceans. Many times in life we rush along and miss small opportunities to make a difference. Little did I imagine the amount of garbage that I would pick up weekly. After one month of my New Year’s resolution, I’m sad to say that I generally pick up about 50 pounds of mostly plastic bags each week. It was extremely eye opening to me that all of this could be floating around in our oceans and being ingested by unsuspecting sea creatures. I can only imagine that if I’m picking up 50 pounds in just four miles, how much more garbage there is on the world’s beaches and seas. 

This year’s goal is to continue what I’ve been doing each month and hopefully make a dent in keeping my little slice of the world clean, which brings me back to where I started. If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution that might be easier to stick to, please join me in keeping our earth a little cleaner with the added bonus of getting healthier as you do it. My 10,000 steps take about 1 to 1.5 hours of time and can be completed anywhere. Walk around your neighborhood, a park, a ball field, take a hike or if you’re lucky like me, take a walk on the beach. Just be sure to wear a good pair of sneakers, carry a sturdy collection receptacle and have a good playlist to pass the time. Before you know it you will be walking with a healthy spring in your step, knowing that you’re making a positive impact on our beloved planet earth! It’s a win win!!


No alt text provided for this imageLet’s help save the planet for our kids and future generations. Please take a minute to share with others so we can make a great impact!


#saveearth, #gogreen, #savetheplanet, #ecofriendly, #environment, #plasticfreeocean, #environmentallyfriendly, #globalwarming, #climatechange, #plasticpollution, #newyearsresolution, #oceanlife, #cleanocean, #townofhempstead


Building an in-house team to
today’s ever-changing landscape

So, you’ve made the jump to building an in-house team, or maybe you’re working with an existing one. During this ever-changing time period you may feel as though you’re learning how to reinvent the wheel. The important question is, with the changes in the business landscape, how do you adapt to keep your teams engaged while producing amazing creative? 

With the explosion of working remotely, our world has pivoted. No longer are we limited to seeking talent from one source. This new landscape has opened up endless opportunities to build much more dynamic teams then ever before, however, it comes with some tradeoffs. Building an in-house agency years ago involved the need for creative collaboration, brainstorming or even the informal water cooler gathering with which to formulate new ideas. Developing concepts was often driven by these one-off team meetings. The need for vast creative space, computer systems, support, and the normal day-to-day running of the office must now be re-imagine.

This is where the magic of an effective Creative Operations team comes into play. Chances are that you and your team have already been planning on just how to evolve your internal processes. You’ve worked out the details of connecting everyone remotely, updated or modified your PM system and of course accomplished the most dreaded change of all, migrating from internal servers to cloud base storage. It is your Op’s role to accomplish this as seamlessly as possible, with minimum impact to the overall team. Your goal is to make the transition essentially effortless so that the team can remain engaged and connected. This is no small feat and should never be executed alone. It can be successfully accomplished by establishing a clear vision.

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Internal process migration completed, your next challenge is in shifting your marketing messaging from traditional print-based to one which incorporates more digital and social media campaigns. Is your team prepared for this? What tools and resources will they need? Will your team need training? Do you need to focus on personalization?

Each in-house team is unique and may or may not have the resources to manage this process, but there are a few key ingredients which can greatly impact your team’s success at any budget level.


Replacing the watercooler meeting is hard work but must be done. This is the #1 pitfall which often can be solved in a number of simple ways. Imagine yourself in any one of the following scenarios: the single employee, living alone, at home all day in a one-bedroom apartment, or the parent working from home who has their children and possibly pets to deal with. Make the effort to schedule team meetings, just as you did in the office. slack, webex, microsoftteams are all good communication solutions to help break down that loneliness. Invite the kids, dogs, cats to participate in the meetings. This effort will form lasting memories for everyone involved. How great is it when a  child can say that they went to work with mom and dad, and really did!

Senior leadership must be proactive and understand that their role is to create a supportive community for the days when the team is up and equally when they’re down. It is essential that no one feels isolated or misunderstood.

Account Manager vs. Project Manager:

Both roles are very different and equally important to your company’s success. One opens the pathway to communication with your clients and the other makes sure the donuts get made and delivered on time. I’m often told that there is not enough money in the budget to hire both, but at scale these two-positions work in sync to manage the team’s success. This is even more crucial when you’re working remotely, so take great care to have strong individuals in these positions.

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Creative Ops:

These people are the great OZ behind the curtain of your team’s success. They’re the ones figuring out what is needed before someone asks for it. Their ability to set up project management systems such as workfrontasanainmotionnow will keep your teams on point. Adobe’s Creative Cloud, AEM, @Figma solutions make for the seamless creation of the remote working environment. For digital email marketing stensul builds software to streamline email creation. Remote storage with Amazon AWS,Google DriveBox and gosimian help with external file storage. For video, Frame IOIPV are savvy solutions. The ability to have solid remote IT support to assist with everything from setting up systems and internet speeds cannot be understated. It is important to make certain that the digital approval process is not an obstacle to success.


Creatives are the all-stars that make the biggest impact with your clients. If they are unable to deliver, everything else falls apart, which is why it is so important to understand and support their needs. You must build your systems and processes to streamline and not impede them from focusing on their creations. During your digital transformation this becomes even more of a challenge as you may need to develop several different workflows. 

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Large or small, I have had them all. Success most definitely comes with a price, and one needs to invest in their team. This is often one of the hardest nuts to crack, but experience proves that there is a downside to skimping in this area. If necessary, begin by focusing on the items that will move your needle the most and build on that. Leverage your clients’ successes as an argument to advance your cause. By all means don’t make the classic mistake of budgeting for the lowest amount. Always budget for 30% above what you think you need so that you don’t have to go back for more. Yes, that’s right, 30%! 


Leaders come in many forms but the great ones know when to get involved and when to stay out of the way. They don’t pretend to know it all and surround themselves with smart people. Most importantly they give credit to the team for their successes, and support a positive mindset when things don’t go as planned.


I want to give a big shout out to my old AT&T team for being a shining example of what amazing work the right team can accomplish. I thank them for always making my day a little brighter and for adding their thoughts to this article.

If you’re challenged with figuring out your solution, you’re not alone and I’m available to help you find your way.

#learning#creativeoperations#aboveandbeyond#teambuilding#inhouseagency#chiefmarketingofficer#creativeservices#advertisingagency #saveouroceans

Sand between your toes

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For most of us this has been an unexpectedly difficult year. All of our lives have been turned both upside down and sideways. The challenge of this year for me, has turned a simple routine that I developed to help keep me sane, into an opportunity to also help others.


I started working remotely in March and needed to find a way to get in my 10,000 steps a day.  Because I live by the beach I figured what better way than to take a stroll each morning. Up at sunrise, why not use my photography skills to take a few photos of the sun coming up on each new day. Every morning, at the start of the workday, our team would touch base over Webex. I used this forum to share the morning sunrise photos that I continued to take.


At first I felt that people might be troubled by how lucky I was to live in such a great place, but my fears were quickly dispelled. As the weeks turned into months I began to get comments from people who looked forward to seeing my pictures. Many of them didn’t live near the water, so viewing a new photo each day brought them a little bit of happiness. They didn’t feel as isolated and it brought back memories of fun times shared with their families. After a month, I started to post my photos on Instagram to share this happiness with even more people.

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As time went on, through the cold, rain, snow and sunshine I would try to upload a few pictures and a line or two to make people smile. I never imagined that this simple act could create such a positive impact.

Today, as we approach the end of 2020, and hopefully the start of a more positive new year, I look back and marvel at what I have accomplished.


–      Over 600+ photos taken in 10 months.

–      Over 300+ sunrises!

–      500 miles of early morning walks on the beach through all kinds of weather.

–      Hundreds of smiles, comments and fun times shared with my extended friends and family.

–      So many stories of family trips to the beach and people wanting to take road trips to my house.

–      And finally, a simple way for us to care for someone else during this difficult time.



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As we welcome in 2021, I’ll continue posting my photos on Instagram each day @charliebory. For my New Year’s resolution, I challenge myself to one walk a week dedicated to picking up garbage on the beach. I can only imagine that if my photos alone can make such a positive impact on people, then maybe I can do the same to help our planet.



Wishing all of you a safe and wonderful 2021!


#savetheearth #2021 #keepourbeachclean


Working Moms . . .

Every Sunday my wife and I watch a morning show that presents an assortment of uplifting segments. Today’s show was a bit different. A story came on explaining how the Corona virus has greatly impacted working mothers. As I sat there listening to these amazing, hard-working women, struggling to keep their families afloat while taking care of their children, I felt compelled to do more to support them.

Each emphasized the lack of support from their bosses, co-workers and companies, as well as their lack of understanding how difficult it is juggling work while caring for their children. In story after story each woman outlined the absolute lack of compassion, even though they personally excelled at their jobs. Because they had children, each was placed in the difficult position of choosing between providing the necessary financial support or needing to resign to care for their families.

Throughout my career I have always understood that diverse teams make a company stronger and more successful. It is the ability to look beyond and see how each person, including women with children, add their unique point of view to problem solving. If you think you can multi-task, you have no idea until you walk in the shoes of a woman who is juggling all of the responsibilities that today’s moms need to tackle. If you’re a manager that sees mothers with children as a problem, you need to hang up your managerial hat immediately!

Great leaders have the ability to adapt to their teams. As I have pointed out in many of my articles – leaders empower their people to do great things. Your ability to support these hard-working women will only make your team more successful. Over the years the companies I’ve worked for have embraced this concept rather than perceived it as a problem. During this unique time, while most of us are working remotely, consider involving children in their parent’s success. Just imagine how the simple act of allowing a child to briefly participate in a meeting or letting them add their ideas to their parent’s project would bring so much joy and satisfaction to their family and even the team. Undoubtedly this may require a bit more time and patience, but I can assure you that it will be worth the effort.

To all of the companies and managers out there, I urge you to do better where families are concerned. You must look beyond the challenges of building diverse teams and build a network of acceptance and support for working mothers.

To all of the wonderful women and families out there, please know this…you are not alone. Although it won’t be easy, there are thousands of companies and people like me who want and need you. We need your abilities to think outside the box. We understand how difficult your job is and hope that your inner strength will help you overcome these challenges. Continue to look beyond the roadblocks of your success because we are all proud of you!

This article is my personal opinion and in no way a reflection of any company that maybe affiliated with me. 


The Experienced Club


To all of my friends and colleagues who possess years of experience but are having a difficult time adjusting to this ever-changing business environment, don’t sell yourself short. Businesses today need people who have the ability to predict what is going to happen, think fast on their feet and sidestep the landmines. We are often told that time is money, but sometimes even more important…experience saves valuable time!

Throughout my years in business I have impressed upon my co-workers the value of developing transferable skills, which will help, leverage one’s experience in a variety of areas. Little did we know that this year, in ways we never could have imagined, would test that thinking and necessitate putting it to the ultimate test.

I’ve had the privilege of building strong in-house creative teams throughout my career. As I grew older and my team grew younger, I felt I wore a badge of honor when given the moniker “Father Time”. Some would perceive this as a negative, but I embraced my new title wholeheartedly. I used the daily challenges that my young managers would bring to me as mentoring opportunities to impart my fatherly wisdom and help make them stronger leaders. These learning opportunities became so popular that we scheduled monthly “Lunch & Learns”. Little did I know that a simple change of mindset could make such a sizable impact to everyone.

These Lunch & Learns transformed from business teachings to life lessons. As time progressed the most wonderful thing began to happen. Not only was I sharing my lessons, but the team also challenged me to do better. With their inspiration I brought an open mind to learning the digital marketing world and gratefully added to my knowledge base. Class after class I vowed to dedicate myself to more fully comprehend how social media marketing functioned and embraced my new world as an eager college student at Columbia University.

If you happen to find yourself living in the world of Father or Mother Time, embrace this new title. When meeting and working with new people, have fun with your ability to see the future before it happens. Be a mentor but even more importantly be a mentee and partner with someone younger than you. Seek the knowledge you require from today’s technology wizards who are most happy to share. You will be surprised at how it will energize and inspire you to be a better person. 

As you seek to reinvent yourself in this new world, remember to take a step back and turn a perceived negative into a positive. Write articles, reach out to your network, be a mentor and remember my “look beyond” motto. The ability to reinvent yourself using your unique personal perspective will help get you over the challenging times that we all find ourselves in right now.

Over the last year my first article on LinkedIn had few people reading it. As I educated myself about how social media performs my readership increased to 1,000. After listening to my good friend @ericdrumm I was able to more fully understand the power of the social media platforms. Today I’m amazed to report that my latest posting had over 13,000 views! I’m humbled by my ability to make such an impact and hope that this outreach has helped others.

If you find that you need help, join me and become part of “The Experienced Club”. Embrace your fatherly skills, empower companies to think differently, but even more importantly, have the confidence in yourself to make this a better world.

Next steps for Father Time…20,000+ views so pass it on.

The Experienced Club….

This article is my personal opinion and in no way a reflection of any company that maybe affiliated with me.

#digitalmarketing #columbiauniversity #learning #collegestudent#peoplemanagement #leadership #changemanagement #creativeservices #inhouseagency #remoteworking #creativeoperations #experienceworkers #lookbeyond


Great recipes for a best in class In-House creative team

As companies proceed down the path of building in-house creative teams, everyone starts searching for the “secret sauce” that makes teams successful. After creating dozens of PowerPoint presentations, charts and graphs, ROI, KPI, and executive meetings you get the go ahead to spend A LOT of money to make this happen.

 With so many challenges ahead, what are the most important items to focus on to get things off the ground in the most successful way? Here are some of the most common ones:




How utilizing data can save money

How to build a winning mentality

Selecting the right people

Your ability to impact the environment

Investing in career paths

Softer skills that must be focused on

How utilizing data can save money:

Data, data and more data. The first challenge that needs to be addressed is figuring out what data is most important to your business group. Analyzing data to determine how much your department is going to cost is always the big driver.  The most important key metric is how you will be managing your brand more effectively with this data. The first and perhaps biggest mistake that people make is in focusing on spending the least amount of capital to show a savings by using outside agencies. This method positions the internal team for failure right out of the box. All great internal teams understand leveraging their brand asset data across many different channels yields a larger savings and ROI for the business. It is this goal that you should be striving for, then build metrics to measure against this.

How to build a winning mentality:

Mission Statement

Each of us has some level of anxiety over doing the wrong thing. To avoid this it’s very important to develop a strong mission statement. Creating one allows you to set a North Star for the team and establish the level of professionalism you expect them to reach. Involve your team in its creation. Senior management leads the way, but this will be a team objective which everyone needs to understand and live by daily.


Why do we try and set goals? Are they really needed?

Goals are often created as a baseline for judging peoples’ successes and failures. Although establishing goals is very important, it is even more critical to understand that if people don’t achieve them, they have not failed. They simply need to continue trying alternate solutions for success. This establishes a positive mind set for your teams. Focus on top down management support and promote open door policies at all levels. Each employee needs to work with his or her team to promote the importance of this. Pick various levels of goals to help employees succeed. This is part of the out of the box thinking you will need to establish. Remember that goals may change over time, so be flexible with your teams while communicating this message.

Start Up Mind-Set

Why is this so important?

It is necessary to look for people who have worked in startup companies or embrace change. Those that don’t understand this will have to be led by example. Make sure the process and workflow you design enhances rather than impeding your creative teams. Again, approach this with the mindset of not being afraid to fail.

This quote from Michael Jordan outlines the road map of success for your team.

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Selecting the right people:

Look Beyond

Checking off all the boxes and finding people who are willing to learn.

Look for people who have multi-tasking skills and out of the box thinking. Will they fit into your existing culture or do you need to build one?

A great example of this is how engineering universities are changing how their students learn. They’re partnering liberal arts students with engineering students. Each brings a different mindset for problem solving, which makes the team stronger and more nimble. It is that out of the box thinking which will also help your internal teams.


Empower people. What is driving your success? Is it money, bonuses, gifts in exchange for loyalty and productivity? Understand what most effectively drives your success and focus on this. How do you go about managing people who do not see this vision? Can you get them to add value to the team?

Experienced vs. inexperienced

Experience matters but trust in people matters even more. Don’t be afraid to mix people with differing skill levels together. Understanding gender, race, and college vs. no college, plays a greater role in the dynamics of the team. Rock star vs. specialist. Be aware of how each can impact you. Giving people the opportunity to learn will make them your next leaders! Is your team going through a change? Maybe your team is changing from a print workflow to a digital one. The dynamics of this are great but your ability to impart a positive message for team success will pay off in the trust you gain from them.

Building an environment of success:

 Successful environment

After people, we need to understand how creating the proper environment impacts a company’s success. Before Covid-19 the important things to consider included workplace layout, workstation set-up, furniture and equipment design, the quality of the space, temperature, ventilation, lighting, noise and air quality. Each of these create either positive or negative for the team. Small wins can go a long way – a new chair, desk location, etc…

When building a new space, create a task force to help design it. The creative process is very collaborative, so you need to foster that. Understand how technology can help. White boards, touch screens, mobile devices, and larger monitors should be considered. Understanding the pulse of your team is what will help drive you to create a positive environment. It’s important to remember that people are spending almost 50 hours a week in this space, so atmosphere matters.

Challenges building the environment – Budget vs. need

When building a successful environment you must budget for where you are going not where you are now. What type of work will you be doing and how will that impact your team’s success? Do you want to be the best in the industry or just help the company be successful? Are you planning on making a statement? Will you be giving tours to help drive business to your team or want to give it the WOW factor? This impacts recruiting people. No one likes to work in depressing office. Covid-19 has proven that people can succeed with remote access so plan for it, but understand the challenges it creates.


Technologies are the building blocks for your success. Embrace & invest in it, and ALWAYS purchase the best equipment you can. The return on investment will always pay off in time saved getting marketing materials out the door. Time is money! Budget for things you may not even know that you will need.

Environment changing over time

Building teams comes in phases – year 1, 2-3, 5-7, 10+.

The team’s needs will change as it matures. They will gain experience, understand the value of leadership and their role in developing it. How will you plan to address this? Your business needs may change. How do you stay ahead of the changing marketing needs? Internal teams are often seen as a company resource, so you need to foster a vision of how other groups see you. Embrace and plan for this rather than fight it.

 Investing in career paths:


The single most important thing you can develop with your team is their trust in you. Understand diverse teams see trust differently. Your ability to BRIDGE THE GAP” is what will develop your new leaders. People want to know you care for them. Managers need to show that they’re invested in their people. Do you have job descriptions? Are they correct? Are your salaries in line with industry standards? Do not let the dreaded review process dictate how you help employees grow in their careers. It is your ability to show empathy and desire to help people that shows them you care. In turn they will also care.

Single vs. multiple jobs

Often jobs are driven by budget so be sure to take this into account while planning. One job – one person. You think you’re saving money but you’re wasting project time. Teaming up the role of Account & Project Manager is a good example of this. Time is saved by hiring one person to do this role, but calculate the amount of time, which is wasted by the rest of the team waiting for direction or instructions.

What happens when you have no career path?

This is one of the most difficult conversations to have. Be honest with your people. Help them understand that even though you may not have an opportunity in your department, encourage them to look to other departments or outside of the company. Your goal is to build trust by being honest and truthful. How do you keep people focused when they don’t have a path? This is where the environment you build helps you.

 Teaching to be a leader

One thing I teach is what I like to call “BRIDGE THE GAP”. The Creative Operations role is not always a technical role but more of a people skills role. Often team members have never been managers, so there needs to be a learning curve. This harkens back to the mission statement and your team’s ability to understand it. Encourage mentoring roles from the top down, but just as important from the bottom up. Remember that the best leaders are not always the flashiest, loudest or most talkative.

Soft Skills:

Engage your team

Engaging your teams forms bonds, earns trust and promotes positive feelings. It helps you understand what excites people outside of the office.


I love this quote from Teddy Roosevelt

“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

 In conclusion, I have built and rebuilt multiple, successful teams over the last 30 years. The following is what I’ve personally found will impact your success above all else:

If you’re seeking to build a winning team try my unique approach. I “look beyond” to help others first because in the long run each of them will do the same in return. I “look beyond” and give people a chance because they will remember this opportunity when it’s their turn to manage people. I “look beyond” to find the people who will see the bigger picture and want to be successful leaders. This is the magic sauce that is instrumental in building great teams. It begins with you and rolls down hill.

This article is my personal opinion and in no way a reflection of AT&T.

#peoplemanagement #leadership #changemanagement #creativeservices #inhouseagency #aboveandbeyond #remoteworking #Advertising #greatteams #teambuilding #creative #creativeoperations


Does Creative Operations make your team successful?

If you have an in-house creative team or if you’re in the process of building one, this is a question that will most likely come up. As the wave of companies begin to understand the value that in-house teams bring to their brands, they must also  wonder what these creative ops people do. For years many in this role, myself included, had the wonderful title of “the guy who fixes sh*t”. But more and more people have begun to understand the importance this role plays and how effectively it can impact the success of the team.

It’s not that other leadership positions are more or less important, but we are beginning to see a new level of professionalism in this area. Years ago those in charge didn’t understand that the CO job, when performed correctly, could have a significant impact on the day-to-day running of the creative team. Small successes over time add up to large ones, which can significantly impact the bottom line.

As one explores the reason behind this success, looking behind the curtain at what skills are required, one begins to see a person who has the technical skills of MacGyver and the patience of Gandhi. These skills include but are not limited to:

·     Thinking on your feet – a.k.a. the ability to walk in, assess a problem and find a solution that no one else has even considered.

Being able to scan the playing field and locate the land mines, which can push a team off course without missing a beat, happens daily. The ability to focus on these potholes and get them efficiently repaired is a skill that comes with experience.

·     Understanding that not everything you do is going to help you win a popularity contest.

Rebuilding teams is coupled with difficult decisions which require equally difficult choices. Often you must explain your vision because it’s your job to see beyond the obstacles when others cannot.

·     The ability to see miles down the road and find the speed bumps before the team.

Often you must be a fortuneteller with the forethought to predict what will happen without yet knowing why it’s going to happen. The challenge is to keep the wheels moving forward and drive that bus down the road.

·     The capacity to break down complex technical information and reconfigure it in a way that ordinary people can better understand.

Your skill at being able to communicate clearly on any subject matter makes you a walking Google Search Engine of obscure, yet important knowledge.

·     Possess amazing listening skills and the ability to reassure your people that, although it looks otherwise at the moment, everything will be ok.

The door to your office is always open. The ability to gain your team’s trust makes you the doctor on-call when guidance is needed. This is the softer side of the job, the side which often goes unnoticed. When performed effectively one cannot calculate the impact it has in the success of the team.

·     Be a guiding light that goes beyond those that you manage.

In large and small companies this role spans departments beyond those in your direct realm. The ability to partner with your teammates, help them see your vision, and reassure them that they possess an important voice at the table, makes you the magician you need to be.

The above is just a small fraction of what makes Creative Operations such an exciting and integral role to any organization.

Why does this role make the difference between the success and failure of a department or organization?

Creative Operations transcends the technical skill and is more importantly a people skill position which, if done correctly, often goes unnoticed. When done well no one will barely realize that you are there. When done well things run smoothly and the normal day-to-day problems seem to vanish. The ability to be the “Mister Fix It” of the department and get people to eat their veggies is an effective skill, which brings every team to new levels of success.

So, the next time your team is under the gun and crashing through the night to produce outstanding and award winning creative, remember to thank the person who stood behind the curtain thinking about what was needed before you even considered it. Our greatest success is not in being the one on-stage holding the award, but rather being the person standing stage right, waiting to give you a big hug and a beer.

 Building better In-House teams, one company at a time…..

This article is my personal opinion and in no way a reflection of AT&T.


Is working remotely faster?

As a Creative Operations geek, I’m always looking for ways to reinvent the wheel and find smarter solutions. Sometime small changes can make a big impact. For years, we were unable to work remotely for a multitude of reasons – we don’t have a process, everyone needs to be able to do it, security will not let us, and on and on. After having no other option and proving that the model works, management still questions if it’s possible. Companies tend to take the easy way out rather than challenge the norm and push for winning solutions.

Today’s businesses need to dictate the solutions for their successes. Over the last several years the accessibility of remote tools has changed the dynamics for creative teams. Project management, digital reviews, DAM, Creative Cloud and Cloud storage are just a small part of the technological solutions that improve speed to market. Marketing and creative teams understand that business does not stop at 5pm and the ability for your in-house teams to meet growing demands will allow your business to stay ahead of the curve.

But why, if these tools are available, do we still work in the antiquated way? Is it the comfort factor, or might it be that changing habits just does not come naturally? I think both play an important role. Teams generally may only apply remote technology solutions during emergencies. If one takes advantage of these emergency situations, goes back and learns how these changes can be applied it will put them in a much stronger and prepared position.

This leads us to the main question – Is working remotely faster and more efficient than working in the office and, if so, why? We can use the Corona virus as a way to answer this question. Most companies followed protocol requiring their employees to work from home however, with no formal training, teams had difficulty using tools they were unfamiliar with for an extended period of time. Why do some teams succeed while others fail? It may be more about focusing on changing habits rather than worrying about not having the right tools.

When we work in an office, we depend upon people to remember things for us. If I forget something important a project manager is on hand to remind me, so there is no need to look at the PM system. We’ll do rounds of changes until we get it right. I don’t need to follow the workflow process. There is a clear pattern of depending upon others while working on-site, which has a way of increasing production time.

When one looks closely at the process of working remotely a different pattern emerges. People must rely on themselves as there may be no one available to ask. The use of PM systems is a must as others depend upon the regular updates. Multiple rounds of revisions are reduced because jobs have more team calibrations. It is surprising how much more work can be done with so many fewer rounds of changes while working remotely.

 The following are some ideas to help implement successful remote solutions:

  • Work with your teams on becoming less dependent upon others.
  • Find software which complements the creative process rather then focusing on process only.
  • Make your teams as mobile as possible.
  • Foster a positive environment which embraces change.
  • Integrate digital processes into your workflow daily.
  • Invest in technology, which not only works in an emergency, but every day.
  • Understand that change creates stronger teams and work environments.

Remember that embracing habits and providing better solutions to empower teams with remote mobile solutions will allow your teams to work better together.

This article is my personal opinion and in no way a reflection of AT&T.


#peoplemanagement #leadership #changemanagement #creativeservices #inhouseagency #aboveandbeyond #remoteworking #workingfaster


Your kids make you a better leader…

As a parent, I can honestly say that there is no better feeling than having a child. From the moment they come into your life every day is a learning experience. I was lucky enough to have one boy, but I’m sure with every addition that feeling just multiplies over and over again.

I had my son later in life, so I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time watching him grow up to be the amazing young man he is today. As he grew older, I noticed that we both shared many similar challenges. His first days of heading off to school were much like mine going off to work. Each day brought with it a different challenge and something to learn. We’ve had happy days and frustrating days, but always knowing that we’re able to come home to the unconditional love of our family has made it all bearable.

Middle and high school brought new schools, friends and experiences. Children begin to understand and become comfortable with who they’re maturing into. They learn to take and apply the gifts God has given them to make themselves better individuals. The challenges become more difficult. As a parent you want to jump in and solve things for them, but you know that if you do your child will never learn how to overcome adversity. It is no surprise that in the workforce we face the very same dilemma. Finding the right balance that allows your team to achieve great things is not always easy. Understanding when it’s the right time to help or just sit back and let them learn is no different than the challenges you face at home as a parent.

The day comes when it’s time for your child to move on and begin his or her own life and career without you. You both understand that this is a part of life, but it is never an easy thing to do. They’ll still face difficult challenges, but the lessons you have shared will forever remain in their life’s arsenal. Your team members will have the same experiences while moving on to other companies, getting promoted or managing people for the first time. If you have done your job well, you’ll know when it’s time to let them go with a smile and a few tears.

I’ll close with a few thoughts to remember from your kids. New adventures bring forth learning experiences from your past. Some things will take time and others will come easier. Don’t be afraid to be a leader or teach someone else to be one. Leaders lead by example. They’re able to stay positive when things become difficult and motivate others to do great things. These are abilities that each of us possess and can draw from if given the chance.

Keep in mind that when your child does something that makes you think, smile, frown or want to give them a hug, they may just be showing you the way to be a better leader.

 Your kids make you a better leader….

This article is my personal opinion and in no way a reflection of AT&T.


I miss my Peeps…

Looking back, today marks sixteen weeks of working remotely with my team. As companies have shifted to this new working arrangement, I spent some time to think about how this “new normal” has affected me. I am fortunate to have an amazing family supporting me through this difficult time, but it’s incredible how the world has changed for so many of us.

– No more Long Island Railroad train rides into the city. I have commuted for over forty years!

– Instead of walking twenty minutes to the office, I spend that time walking on the beach.

– I still start my day at 8:30am but work a lot more hours.

– I’m home for dinner while it’s still light out.

– I never before worried about my internet speed at home, but I do now.

– I didn’t care how many devices were connected to my Wifi pre-COVID. That has significantly changed.

– I’ve been reluctant to go out in public for months, but I’m emerging a bit more recently.

– I worry about the people I work with who are home alone.

– I have used just about every communication software on the planet at this point.

– Like millions of others, for the first time in twelve years I’m looking for a job.

– I find that helping others during this tough time is much more rewarding than anything else.

– My blood pressure is at a new low for me.

The most important challenge I’m experiencing is that I miss the fun I had with the peeps in my office– The daily challenges, eating lunch together and the endless meetings we shared. I’m certain that many of you reading this now are feeling much the same. Meeting over the airwaves is just not the same, but it does help.

To my friends who are trying to adjust to this, please know that it will all be ok. As you get more accustomed to this new way of working, great new opportunities will emerge. Change is already taking place to allow you to spend more time with your families while at the same time being more productive at work.

Empower yourself to find better solutions that will improve the way things were done in the past. This is the time that companies need and want ideas to help them succeed as they find ways to be more flexible. My team’s mission statement has always been “don’t be afraid to fail”. I share this with the knowledge that ideas are what make us stronger as people and as leaders.

 To my peeps and anyone taking the time to read this, I close with a thought – This may be a speed bump, but it’s also the perfect time for each of us to learn, grow and do better. Pick one productive thing to accomplish each day no matter how difficult that may be. Start small, then turn your small ideas into big ones. You have it within yourselves to do amazing things. Most importantly, remember that we’re all in this together, even if we’re geographically far apart.

I miss my Peeps…


This article is my personal opinion and in no way a reflection of AT&T.


Looking Beyond

As I begin my job-hunting adventure, along with millions of other professionals, I’ve noticed some patterns emerging. As a creative operations person, I’m always looking for ways to improve and not let challenges get in my way. I scan the online positions and before I can blink fifty additional people have applied. Powered by my thirty years of experience I check off nine out of ten boxes but never receive a reply. How can that be? Did I get lost in the mountain of resumes? Using all my years of experience I track down the hiring managers of each company but again silence.

Week two I decide to take a much different approach. As I have done throughout my career I reach out to my vast network of connections. I don’t specifically ask them to help me find a job but take a more subtle approach. I update them on my status and ask that they keep me in mind if something arises, but more importantly ask them to help others in need on my team. I have been fortunate enough to hire hundreds of people over the years and most have gone on to do great things. The vast majority of these people live paycheck to paycheck, and they’re the ones who need the help first. Success begins arriving in waves of support.

For those who are fortunate enough to be in the position of hiring, I say – “look beyond”. Look beyond checking off boxes. Look beyond age or inexperience. Look beyond sifting through the pile of resumes. Look beyond all of those things to find your next leader. It could be the person who doesn’t check all of the boxes but is willing to see what other people cannot. That is what great leaders do. They have the ability to see more in others than they do in themselves, even if it’s at their own expense.

With this in mind, and with years of experience under my belt, I recommend this – If you’re looking to build a winning team try my unique approach. I “look beyond” to help others first because in the long run each of them will do the same in return. I “look beyond” and give people a chance because they will remember when it’s their turn to manage people. I “look beyond” to find the people who will see the bigger picture and want to be successful leaders. This is the magic sauce instrumental in building great teams. It begins with you and rolls down hill.

I don’t know where my next adventure will take me, but the one thing I do know is that each day I will spend time helping someone on my team who I know is in need. Someone who has never been in this position before and may not have the experience or resources that I have developed over time. Someone who is alone, discouraged and has no one to tell them it will be ok. I have no doubt that this positive mindset will not only help me but more importantly help others who really need it.

“Look Beyond”

This article is my personal opinion and in no way a reflection of AT&T.