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06/10/2010 The Hybrid Age

Last year I started writing about the need for Hybrids in marketing. It was born from my experience with digital marketing; the speed in which things changed along with frustration at a slow, traditional advertising process. Hybrids capture a need for not only digital creatives, but also for anyone who enters into something now labeled "social."

I've met with a number of people over the years that have attempted to shift their organizations by hiring more hybrids. While the good news is that there are more hybrid individuals out there today than there were before, the bad news is that it's still a huge challenge to integrate them into an existing organization and create a culture where they can thrive.

One of the most interesting people taking on this challenge is Ben Malbon of BBH. First tasked with running BBH Labs, Ben is now right in the middle of BBH New York trying to transfer his experiences with his small group to a much larger group. How do you shift a culture to retain what is good but to change what needs changing?

Here's Ben's preliminary answer. While it talks about hybrids (or the term he prefers, T-Shaped people) it also talks about how to create a space in which hybrids can thrive. That last point may be the most important. Hybrids have existed for a while, but they only succeed when they have people around them who can recognize their hybrid talents.

Take a look at this presentation and then read Ben's blog.

Are You Ready to Form Voltron? (June 2010)

View more presentations from Ben Malbon.

I'm looking forward to hearing a lot more on how this effort plays out. Hopefully others can be this as a model for their own organizations.

Just remember, Ben's not alone. There are lots of people out there trying to help create a culture of change and hybrids (Edward Boches, Faris Yakob, and Adam Cohen, to name a few). We need more of them.

What we're seeing is the start of the Hybrid Age.  May it last long and be prosperous.


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