How To Build A Duck, And More!

Did you know that these six LEGO bricks can be configured into 950,000 different combinations? Neither did we—until last week’s IHAF Conference, that is. In fact, we learned a lot over the course of the two-day event from leadership challenges to organizational strategies to techniques for rapid-fire brainstorming. Here are a few of our favorite sound bites and the lessons that went along with them.

“Open-mindedness allows for creativity,” said keynote speaker and conference opener Tom Monahan of Before & After. Tom’s highly energetic, highly entertaining interactive session,Defy Gravity, pushed the boundaries of ideas and ideation. Throughout the session, Tom stressed the importance of being open to new ideas, the ideas of others, even bad ideas—teaching us how to embrace them as “fertilizer” to feed more generative, bountiful thinking.

Kent Thomsen, head of The Shopper Marketing Agency at LEGO, went on to inspire and enthrall our audience with gems like, “Perception is reality. If you want to be perceived as an agency, act like one,” and “Saying ‘no’ allows us to focus—to be really good at something, you need to focus.” Kent shared six compelling principles that have enabled the success of his team, all packaged in a presentation that was as visually stimulating and creative as the LEGO brand itself.

Our CMO panel was equally rich with all three speakers converging on the integration of digital as “the big, hairy, audacious goal,” as Margaret Coughlin of Boston Children’s Hospital so aptly put it. “Digital isn’t just something that needs to be integrated into Sales & Marketing,” added Rand Harbert of State Farm Insurance, “but the entire corporation.” Jim Davey of Timberland rounded out the conversation by describing what his team is doing to bridge the digital divide.

Not only did this year’s conference attendees walk away with key learnings from our featured presenters, but from one another as well. Our roundtable discussion groups were packed—with standing room only at some tables. And those who attended our brainstorming breakouts left with a list of ideas (or at least a pocketful of Post-Its) on how to prove the value of an internal agency, how to help clients embrace big ideas, how to promote in-house teams, and how to collaborate with external agencies.

People tell us all the time that they come to IHAF for the content and stay for the community. Well if you’re not part of our flourishing community, don’t wait until next year’s conference to join. IHAF offers member benefits all year long. Learn more by contacting IHAF today.

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