In a recent Adweek article, Bob Greenberg held forth on the ideal agency structure for the electronic age. Not surprisingly, the model he favors is the same one adopted by his own firm, R/GA. Their “integrated structure,” he writes, “combines nine departmental disciplines: planning, analytics, media, interaction design, visual design, copywriting, technology, account management and production…” By organizing his employees around skill sets –– rather than client or accounts –– Greenberg claims to have eliminated “siloed” thinking –– the kind of “but-we’ve-always-done-it-this-way” mentality that trips up many agencies.

This issue I take with Greenberg’s article is not with his proposed agency structure –– in fact, it closely mirrors the one we use here at Movéo. No, what bothers me is the notion that this integrated structure is a kind of panacea.

True integration –– that is, getting individuals to work as seamless whole –– takes interaction. And interaction is a function of people, not org charts or management models. Interaction takes commitment and effort. It takes getting up from behind your desk and going out of your way to share ideas and information. And no agency structure –– no matter how brilliantly conceived –– can make that happen. Only hard working people can.

And now, at the risk of sounding like Bob Greenberg, I’m going to toot my own horn. One of the things that makes Movéo successful is a commitment to working together. To making sure that everyone has the information they need. And to encouraging great ideas, no matter what quarter they come from. Like agency structure, hard work isn’t foolproof approach to integration. But it’s still the best I’ve seen.

Irene Westcott, Associate Creative Director