When Did Don Draper Lose His Magic?
By Darrell Minards, Head of Marketing and Communications, Xerox Europe
Many moons ago, Mad Men’s Don Draperwas a creative genius, but he seems to have lost his mojo in recent seasons and I have a theory as to why. Many will say it’s down to his changing relationships with people, alcohol, and money, but I think it’s all down to his time on the sofa (couch for US-based readers). He used to spend hours with the office door shut, laid out on his sofa thinking deeply and undisturbed to find that gem of insight and creativity that would floor the client in the pitch.
In our world of open-plan, 24/7, constantly interruptible and online, the ability to let your mind actually “think” is being severely challenged. Everyone wants a piece of your time whether you like it or not and they expect to get hold of you and your answers in an instant. So when I need to clear my mind and find that piece of insight that can take us forward, I know it’s time to hit the sofa. Now, unlike Don, there aren’t many of us with our own spacious office complete with a three-piece suite, but this world of the cloud and mobile working can set us free if we just learn when to disconnect and focus.
Should we work from home all the time or adopt Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer’s strategy? As with everything, it’s a question of balance and judgment, but when you need to think, write, and create…fire up the tech, turn off the e-mail, let the voicemail take the strain and engage the sofa for some hardcore thinking time. Its where all my best ideas have hatched! Don, I hope you’ve been listening?
I guess we’ll see if he has with the return of Mad Men on April 7. Of course, I know where I’ll be.
Darrell has a keen interest in all things marketing, car and cuisine related. You can follow him @DarrellMinards on Twitter.