Creative Pioneers: Sir John Hegarty on collaboration, creativity and what’s killing great work

In this extract from his interview for our Creative Pioneers series, Sir John Hegarty discusses the problem with ‘collaboration’, tissue meetings and why when agencies tell clients they follow a patented, unique process “it’s all bollocks”

The following is an extract from a filmed interview with Sir John Hegarty created as supporting material for CR’s first online training programme, Mastering Creativity. More details about the course, which you can sign up to at any time, at the end of this post.

CR: There are quite a few agencies and design consultancies who like to talk about having a unique, patented process – ‘This is the way that we work, which is distinct from anyone else’. We wondered whether you followed a particular process in your work and, if so, how that worked?

I think that there is a process that the business goes through. At BBH we talked about – and I titled my book – ‘Turning Intelligence into Magic’. We believed that great strategic thinking aligned to magical creative execution, created fantastic, successful work. And that work converted into sales for its clients. So, we did sort of have a process and I think strategy is fundamentally important and it helped us enormously in getting to a different place that is and could be very successful for a client and its business. Because, then it allows you as a creative person to explore different ways of solving that client’s problem. But that is as far as the process goes.

I have sat in a thousand meetings where the agency has said, ‘We’ve got to have a process and let’s explain it to the client: we do this and we do that’. It is all bollocks. Honestly, it’s all bollocks.

Why am I being asked to register with CR?

Every month, hundreds of thousands of people visit us here on our website. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. We just ask you to provide a few details about yourself and what you do. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so. In return you can:

Submit your work

Send us your latest projects, which we will review and consider to be featured on our website or in print.

Access our full archive

This site contains over 10 years’ of CR content, including magazine articles. Register to gain full access to everything.

Receive our newsletter

Our daily email of inspiration and insight from the creative industries, curated by the CR editorial team

The Photography Annual 2017

Creative Review’s Photography Annual seeks to
celebrate great images – those who take them
and those who commission them. View all the
winning work in our current print issue

Buy the issue

The Annual 2018

The Creative Review Annual is one of the most
respected and trusted awards for the creative
industry. We celebrate the best creative work from
the past year, those who create it and commission it.

Enter now

SENIOR DESIGNER

Farringdon

SENIOR CREATIVE DESIGNER

Northamptonshire

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Gloucestershire (GB)