I’m marking today on my calendar. I have the flu and a fever, but for a few hours I completely forgot about it.
Why? Because this morning I met someone truly remarkable. His name is James Morrissey, president and co-founder of Edmonton’s The Met Agency.
The Met Agency is a full service advertising and design studio with an active portfolio, which includes Boston Pizza and Alberta Health Services. They’re a posse worth hiring; they’re hip, savvy, and totally devoted to their clients.
Many advertising agencies still suffer from Mad Men nostalgia – days long past when ad agencies dictated terms to customers, and bosses treated subordinates like unruly children. Not James Morrissey, and certainly not The Met Agency.
In the world of business relationships many agencies seek one night stands; James Morrissey is looking for marriage. ~ And he promises to be a good husband: he’ll listen, make suggestions based on research, and run everything through his team. He and his clients (or his team) might disagree from time to time, but there’s always a resolution and no one goes to sleep angry. In fact, many of The Met Agency’s clients arrive embittered by past ad agency experience. Occasionally, they have to polish clients tarnished presumptions, but they end up gleaming all the more for it.
I listened for nearly three hours as Morrissey spoke on advertising, branding, his customers, and his team. I learned how The Met Agency’s decisions are finalized as a group, not unilaterally decreed. It was truly invigorating. I was impressed by the passion Morrissey exhibited for his craft, for his employees, and especially for his clients. This was the Utopian workplace culture I knew must exist somewhere outside of Google, and he was the president of Utopia.
After his class, I asked James Morrissey if I could spend more time learning about his business. He said he’d have to run it past his team. A creative, ethical president who truly values his staff and is completely customer focused? Well, I still have a fever….
Wait. Whew. His business card. It wasn’t just a phantasmagorical hallucination.