A Look Back at Our Future

A Look Back at Our Future


It’s 2015. And 2015 is a very significant year for a number of reasons. For starters, 2015 is the year Marty McFly traveled to in Back to the Future Part II to prevent his future son from going to jail, his father from being murdered and his hometown from being ruined by the evil Biff Tannen.

As it turns out, the movie’s predictions of the future were just a tad off. Thirty years after the movie was made, 2015 has arrived, but the teens on hoverboards or World Series championships for the hapless Chicago Cubs are nowhere in sight.

Here at Lawrence & Schiller, 2015 is significant for another reason because today, we look to our past and our future as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of re-organizing our agency into directed teams.

For those of you who haven’t worked with L&S, a directed team is basically a mini-agency, with account executives, writers, artists, media, research, digital and financial specialists all working together on the same accounts in the same physical space. We currently have four of them under our roof here at L&S. This is in stark contrast to the traditional departmental agency structure, where account service sits with account service, artists sit with artists, writers sit with writers, and de facto teams gather together to communicate information to one another on whatever account they’re working on whenever they’re able. If it sounds like chaos, it’s because it was.

It was late 2004 when Scott Lawrence returned from an agency conference in California and declared that he’d seen the future, and the future was directed teams. His declaration was met with initial skepticism and apprehension from the staff, myself included. Change would be hard, even if it meant letting go of chaos. Visits to agencies in Florida and Pennsylvania already working in directed teams answered our questions and confirmed that this was the right direction to go.

We gulped hard, and on February 25, 2005, we completely re-organized the shop, moving nearly every employee into a new space, and eventually redesigning the entire building to maximize the team concept. Ten years later, the directed team approach has created new levels of creative quality, client relationships, industry knowledge, operational efficiency and camaraderie for our agency and our clients. Lawrence & Schiller has become a dramatically different company over the last decade, with a litany of accomplishments and agency growth that we couldn’t have dreamed of in 2005.

At the end of Back to the Future Part III, Doc Brown tells Marty, “Our future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one.” On the tenth anniversary of dramatically re-writing our own future, we can’t wait to see what the next episode will bring.


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