Seeing the world through new eyes

I watch podcasts from @ThoughtfulChina. Some good insight into marketing industry issues happening in China. A recent show ( was an interview with Johnny Galecki, during his recent first trip to China. Johnny is the star of the US TV sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” produced for CBS. The interview discussed the rise of popularity of US television programs in China, and the potential value to celebrities in engaging with the fan base in Asian markets. Although Johnny was a bit time zone challenged in this interview, he offered some insight into how he sees the opportunity to connect with people in China beyond using digital social tools.

Toward the end of the show, the host asked Johnny what he would take back home from his experience in China. I think Johnny’s response offers a valuable perspective for all of us. He said that the comedian/actor, Lewis Black, once told him, “When you travel, it’s not what you experience when you are there. It’s the new eyes you come home with, and how it’s influenced you, and how it will change your life once you come home.”
This quote touches on an aspect of why Taan Worldwide is built around a group of experts around the world, and why we believe it is important that our meetings are held in locations in all corners of the globe. Our success goes beyond the sharing of trusted expertise within the group. We also have the opportunity to meet people and experience cultures far beyond our home towns. We learn what makes each of us the same and different. We each bring home with us the new eyes with which too see our world.
The sharing of expertise among the members is very important to each of our members. Beyond each agency’s specific talents within the profession that are shared among the members, there is a sense of participating in a global community of like minds. We all share our cultural views, our experiences, and ourselves with our fellow members. This collective experience strengthens each of us as communicators because of the wealth of experiences that are brought together.
We stage our gatherings in new places, surrounding ourselves with an environment that fills all of our senses. This can never be experienced in any other way. Digital connectivity serves many purposes. The speed of access, the ability to connect to just about anyone, and the simplicity of finding answers. But the act of “being there” offers so much more in growing each of us as global citizens. It opens our eyes, hearts, and key to our work, minds.
I speak with many agency executives around the world about their business, and potential interest in joining Taan. The occasional negative comments I will get about joining Taan is the requirement to travel and attend meetings. I will hear, “It’s too much time away from the office.” “Every minute is precious, and these trips are not billable.” “We don’t have clients that market in other countries, so what is the value to us?” These people are missing the point. I believe it is exactly what the leaders of creative communications firms should be doing. Get out of the office, and away from clients and assignments. Embrace the world and those willing to share theirs with you. Learn. Then bring back to the office a mind filled with new perspectives.Through regular engagement with cultures and people outside of our own, we learn more about what makes us who we are. This opens up the possibilities of new ideas for growing.
The members of Taan Worldwide understand this “why” of membership. It’s not the cost that matters, it is the value of the investment that pays back as an annuity of new insight. Our meetings are filled with content that will better the agency. But the aspect that should not be forgotten is the wealth of the experiences in new cultures that will grow within each of us. When we open up our eyes to all that is new in our world, we are better communicators. We become better people.