Six Years Strong

smith & beta is now 6 years into our research of the capabilities and ways of working at agencies.

Our research started almost accidentally. We knew that we needed to understand how employees felt about their actual skills. Particularly in areas of digital – data, social, mobile and such. We also knew that leaders often have an inaccurate view of the capabilities of their company. But at first, we didn't know why.

So we decided to start asking employees to tell the truth (anonymously) about their skillsets and mindsets. They started sharing all we needed to know (and sometimes more than we needed to know). In addition to skills, we've collected opinions about agency culture, leadership, process (always the processes) and how to change the way their agency should work to produce the best ideas and win clients. Most leaders want to know the truth about capabilities, some do not. 

The data in our 2018 State of Industry Talent and Digital Transformation means something. The results point to a deficiency but also an opportunity. It's time to shift our thinking about "training" and start investing in those who are running the business. 

Share the results with your boss, co-worker, CEO and have a discussion about the actual capabilities of employees. And then call us so we can help you navigate, assess and map the skills of your organization. 

https://www.adweek.com/agencies/agencies-need-to-invest-in-existing-talent-versus-recruiting-outsiders-study-finds/

Did you read these already?
Talent Development, Experts and Mindsets. Let's Go.

Our business at smith & beta has always been focused on the development of people walking in the doors each day. We believe that if a company focuses on the current talent, what they know today and should know in the future, it can make all the difference to the bottom line. But some leaders aren’t familiar with talent development. It’s new. It feels unmeasurable. It seems foreign compared to hiring a few new experts. It’s a mindset and strategic shift. Yet we know talent development works. We also know that experts don’t scale. Often those superheros we hire land at the new job only to find that no one at the company understands them. They get siloed into a back room. They are change agents without support. They eventually leave. It happens time and time again. Take a minute to consider your budget for hiring experts this year or even a single leader and then compare to your training dollars. Is there a big difference? Do you operate as “training is nice to have” but not required? If so, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to scale and distribute capabilities beyond a few people at your company. Digital is not a department. Digital is shared knowledge, common language and collective understanding. When we design talent development programs, we work with industry leaders directly to lead content design. They are the experts. They know what should specifics should be covered. They walk in the room and own the conversation with employees. Below we’ve included a great workshop to get started this year.

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2017 Greatest Hits

Welcome to the Greatest Hits 2017.Each year, at smith & beta, we publish our “greatest hits” for classes, workshops that we completed. This year, we noticed a preferential trend for content that focused on mindset development. No big surprise given how important mindsets, behaviors and habits are for learning in the workplace.

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What's the Difference Between Blockbuster and Amazon?

According to smith & beta’s 2016 report, 62% of industry professionals say their clients are asking for more advanced digital work from them and 43% of respondents said they were unprepared to provide more advanced work. When a company does not have the knowledge and talent to give their customers what they expect in the current technological climate, they fall behind and often cannot catch up.

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The Millennial Shift: Products vs. Experiences

Millennial spending is constantly under scrutiny. Major news outlets are reporting millennials spend too much money on dining out, traveling, eating avocado toast, and even prioritizing paying off student loans. Leaving the philosophical dilemma about what millennials should spend money on aside, what are millennials spending money on? Simply, young people are often paying for experience rather than products.

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