We’re late posting this – and maybe we don’t need to post it all – but I felt we should explain why we’re not entering any of the usual awards this year.

So here it goes…

We’ve told you all the story of Harvard’s growth many times before, so you probably don’t need reminding of that. But it is worth saying that this will be our 10th year of consecutive growth. That’s a stat we are all incredibly proud of. It’s also a milestone that made us take a second to reflect and look at what this year, and a new decade, held for us.

And it threw up two key things: culture and growth.

Making our culture count

We know, we know. Everyone talks about culture –  and everyone says they’ve got it.

So this year, we wanted to put our money where our mouth is and put some of that budget into making sure we cultivate our culture as we continue to grow.

We are refreshing our Never Stop Learning programme and we’ll be able to offer a bigger pot of money for the teams to individualise their training even further. Each Harvardian will have a pot of cash to spend as they wish; and we’ll invest even more in agency-wide training that gives them the chance to learn new skills, and hear new perspectives.

We’ve already made great strides with our Diversity and Inclusion board, our green initiatives and our CSR programme. Taking the focus away from awards means more time and more budget on all of those things.

It might even mean more breakfasts (a Harvard favourite) and Harvard socials.

We know that, without great people, we won’t succeed. At Harvard, many of our senior team have been with us for more than 5 years, and as an agency we have an average tenure of around 3 years. Much of that, we attribute to our culture and our commitment to creating lasting change, not just for clients but for our people too. 2020 is all about reinstating that commitment and ensuring we’ve aligned everyone’s individual growth with the agency’s.

Growing pains

The second truth is that as we grow we need to prioritise some of the big growth challenges we are going to face this year. Our new marketing MD (spoiler!) starts in a few weeks time and that side of the business is scaling rapidly. We recently launched our consumer brand, Eat The Fox, and we are continuing to see double-digit growth in the B2B PR side of the business.

At the same time, we are doubling down on our collaboration with Method, our US sister agency, to explore how we can come together to do global differently. We’ve got big plans and we want to bring our teams together to create a winning team that challenges the status quo of the networked agencies. That’s a pretty big job, and one we need to commit our senior teams to, to ensure success.

That’s all, folks

And that’s it really. It will definitely mean there won’t be any gold added to our shelves, and it may mean a few less Harvardians hitting the dancefloor, but hopefully it will ensure a year of WOW work, of cultural growth and a little more competition for you all on the global stage. And let’s be honest, it’s likely we’ll still find plenty of opportunities to get our gladrags on and celebrate the moments as we go.

We’ll see you in 2021!

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