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Susan Credle: “Process - not the death of creative brilliance”

The One Club Executive Creative Summit Berlin kicks off on Wednesday, 11 October at Soho House, Berlin. While it's a closed-door meeting, we checked in with a few of the creative crème de la crème speakers on what they're most looking forward to and plan on sharing - Susan Credle is first on the list.
Kevin Swanepoel, CEO, The One Club for Creativity, explains:
Kevin Swanepoel.
Kevin Swanepoel.
The Executive Creative Summit is in line with our new mission to support and celebrate the success of the global creative community. The One Club for Creativity is the only organisation of its kind to provide professional development and educational programming for people in the industry of all ages and levels. Our programmes target, among others, high school and college students who are just starting to think about their potential career paths for the first time and the mid-level multicultural professional looking for guidance on how to climb the agency ladder, all the way up to the founders and creative leaders challenged with how to successfully manage the business side of a creative agency during a time of rapid change.
It’s this upper rung of the creative ladder that’s the focus at the Executive Creative Summit, with the small group of attendees having had to apply to attend, and all industry founders, CCOs or managing partners.

That’s understandable when you consider the ‘discussion leader’ list alone:
  • John Butler, CCO, Butler Shine Stern & Partners (BSSP)
  • Brian Collins, CCO and cofounder, Collins
  • Susan Credle, global CCO, FCB New York
  • Tove Langseth, CEO and partner, DDB Stockholm
  • Nick Law, vice chairman and global CCO, R/GA
  • Philippe Meunier, CCO and cofounder, Sid Lee
  • Chaka Sobhani, CCO, Leo Burnett London
  • Doerte Spengler-Ahrens, CCO, Jung von Matt/Elbe Hamburg
  • Iain Tait, ECD, Wieden+Kennedy London
  • Stéphane Xiberras, president and CCO, BETC Paris

Speakers at Executive Creative Summit Berlin © .
Executive Creative Summit Berlin accepting applications to attend

Exclusive one-day summit open to select group of top-level global creative leaders to engage in confidential discussions of the business issues affecting agencies...

8 Sep 2017

They’ll discuss issues beyond the scope of creativity that affect their businesses, in 30-minute idea-exchange sessions. Susan Credle, global CCO at FCB, is set to lead the discussion on how to implement a process to get to better work.

Susan Credle
Susan Credle

Here, Credle lets us in on the importance of sharing and learning from peers across the globe, as well as what she’s personally looking to get out of the Summit.

BizcommunityWhy is it important to attend this type of international creative summit where you can share and learn from peers across the globe?

It’s important for people in the business of advertising to support each other. There is so much noise out there: White papers. Panels. Key notes. All claiming to know the future of advertising and many of them declare the future is death. Just last week, I read that perhaps advertising agencies should no longer be called advertising agencies.

We’re caught between semantics and diverse companies desperately trying to differentiate what they do. Often, these new specialists justify existence not by saying what they can do, but by declaring what traditional agencies can’t do. Yes, more classic agencies need to always evolve. But we also need to recognise, celebrate and believe in what we provide to businesses, products and services. This smaller forum focused on learning and sharing creates richer and more earnest conversation.

BizcommunityElaborate on the confidential/closed-door aspect of the summit and how this frees up the conversation.

The confidential/closed-door aspect of the summit is interesting. With mobile devices put away, it’s more intense because people are more focused. When you promise confidentiality to your peers, you create an environment of trust. In a trusted space, people become more generous, more vulnerable and more honest. Instead of a person declaring a truth, each person is opening up and starting a conversation. The summit isn’t about speeches; it’s about speaking with each other. Sometimes, knowing that your peers have questions (many of which you are harbouring, too) is empowering.

BizcommunityShare a brief snapshot of what you'll be discussing in your summit session.

I will be discussing whether putting process into the creative journey can help people be even better. If you embrace that process, do you sacrifice the chaos, the messiness that often leads to creative brilliance? Can a process or a unifying language help young people in our business learn how to develop a better gut for recognising great work? In global networks, can a creative process help answer the recurring question – what makes you global besides the name on the door?

BizcommunityIntriguing, would love to be a fly on the wall for that! What are you personally looking to get out of the Executive Creative Summit Berlin?

I’m looking forward to taking back a few fresh ways of looking at challenges in our business. At the last summit, I brought back a new way of thinking about new business pitches that actually makes pitching inspiring for the agency versus draining. I also was buoyed by a conversation about having the confidence to do what is right for the agency versus desperately trying to hang on to or pitch businesses that ultimately might not be a good investment. Having been a part of this business for almost three decades, if I come home with two or three intriguing ideas, the trip was worth it.

Susan Credle, CCO at FCB Global.
“Show up and stop bashing yourself!” Industry reflections with Susan Credle

I chatted to FCB Global's CCO Susan Credle post-One Show Creative Week about the creative industry in general as a preview for Cannes Lions 2017...

Leigh AndrewsBy Leigh Andrews 9 Jun 2017

Click here for more from Credle, here for more from the One Club, and visit their Twitter feed for the latest updates.

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is former Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality, and of course, gourmet food and drinks! She can be reached on Twitter at @Leigh_Andrews.
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