Queen for a day: Isobar's Dani Brown on why she'd encourage collaboration, downtime and office dogs

If you were in charge of the advertising industry, how would you do things differently? In a recent issue of The Drum, seven women told guest-editor Cindy Gallop how they would tackle the issues holding the industry back if they ruled the roost. Here Dani Brown, creative at Isobar, explains how mass collaboration sessions and compulsory office dogs could improve the workplace for the better.

Being in charge isn’t to be taken lightly.

People are the most important asset to a business and the more people at the top who realise this, the better. We really need to develop businesses that work for people and not the other way round to encourage people to want to work to the best of their ability for us.

Tapping into human nature is a way in which we can do this. As humans we enjoy each other’s presence and collaboration between peers can be used to our advantage. So I propose mass collaboration sessions, where a number of key team members plus other people of various skill sets are used for quick and efficient problem solving instead of everyone going away and thinking on their own.

On the flip side of that it’s important our brains get a chance to rest and rebuild themselves. An ideal solution would be to put aside an afternoon per week for ‘downtime’ so people can do anything else that they love, which may or may not be related to the business.

My third point if I were in charge would be to somehow monitor the mood of our agencies and then act accordingly. We could use this data to make our businesses function more efficiently by gauging when people are most productive, what work they respond best to and then enforce change to make people happier as the reasoning would be driven by data. For example: if a lot of people get more stressed on a Wednesday, then why not practise some ‘mindfulness’ before meetings midweek?

Last but not least… I’m a huge animal lover and I think every office should have a dog or some kind of fluffy animal running around. We work in a fun industry and we sometimes forget that; animals can really help to manage stress levels and ground us in our busy lives.

This article was originally published in the 1 October edition of The Drum, edited by Cindy Gallop and available in The Drum Store.

Check out what Deloitte's Carly Donovan would do if she was Queen for a day.

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