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How to Effectively Stimulate Innovation at an Agency

Paull Peterson, Partner at Lime Wedge Media
Taylor Keefe
August 2nd, 2012
In the competitive realm of agencies, Toronto-based company Lime Wedge Media is making its impact on the industry through innovative marketing techniques, creative work culture and a stimulating environment. We discussed these topics with Paull Peterson, a partner at Lime Wedge Media, and got his perspective on what it takes to be successful and innovative in a startup agency.

5 Questions with Paull Peterson

1. How do you motivate your team to come up with good ideas?

The big thing is letting them know they're allowed to talk and allowed to contribute. We try to create an environment where nobody should be scared about their thoughts being heard or accepted. A lot of our staff is younger and can be afraid of new things. But a big thing is being open to ideas your staff comes up with. Most of the time, employees don't have that opportunity.

2. How significant are the topics of cool hunting and trend spotting to your business?

It's crucial for us. We like to stay on top of every type of industry. You don't want to be left behind because we're trying to do things no one else is doing. We want to be innovative and different. We want to stand out in a crowd. We like to be open and edgy but be smart as well.

3. Can you describe innovation at your company?

It's totally ad hoc. When something is too standardized it almost eliminates innovation. Very rarely does a good idea come from something standard. Making the process easier is the biggest thing for us. Ideas can come from nowhere and anywhere. To truly create something unique is what we're in the business for. Innovation is huge because our business model is partner affiliated and client-driven.

4. How do you create a culture of innovation?

Something we did recently that made a big difference was switching offices. At first, we were at a very corporate-oriented office. What was bad about that is that people were forced to be creative in a setting that didn't breed creativity. So we moved the office into Liberty Village, got into a loft space and just let the ideas flourish. We like to have a very open atmosphere. We let the staff know they matter and their opinions matter. We also do profit-sharing with staff and even their friends that may contribute. And another big thing is how you handle mistakes and what you can learn from them.

5. What are you doing to enhance your team’s innovation?

Try to make sure that we love what we do. It's hard to be innovative without loving something. It's also about being ready and having lots of research. You always be on top of it. Maintain a strong pipeline of clients. Stay connected to entrepreneurial-driven individuals. To me it's about making people successful. Once you have a good idea, see it through and evolve it.
References: linkedin, limewedge