CTC in 2018: Pass the Ball, Not the Buck

Common Thread Collective

by Common Thread Collective Collaborator

Jan. 17 2018

Last week, we shared our biggest wins of 2017, and promised to keep you posted as we embark on whatever adventures 2018 holds for us. In light of that, we wanted to share the stars CTC is using for guidance on our continuing voyage toward ecommerce gold.


The original notion of “corporate culture” goes back to the 1980s, when organizational psychologists sought to put a name to the way that companies inevitably developed a shared mindset. Much like other groups of human beings—from primitive tribes to ship crews to sports teams—a company becomes something greater than the sum of its parts. Or, perhaps more accurately, the company becomes only as great as the sum of its parts. So it’s vitally important that any company worth its salt makes sure that the corporate culture equation adds up to something you actually want.


So brace yourselves for a hard metaphor shift—it’s back to CTC’s favorite source of inspiration and symbolism: the world of professional sports. Here are the twin principles we’re aspiring to define ourselves by over the next 4 quarters of the digital ad game.


Stockton to Malone


One black, one white. One tall and buff, one short and wiry. One wearing normal shorts, one wearing distressingly short ones. On paper, Karl Malone and John Stockton went together about as well as, y’know, Utah and jazz music. But despite the fact that they couldn’t have been much different, Stockton and Malone formed the most productive duo in NBA history, playing a record 1,412 regular-season games together, with Stockton finishing his career as the NBA’s all-time assists leader (most of which were dished to Malone), and Malone within shouting distance of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time career points leader (most of which were scored because of Stockton).


In 2018, we’re working to model ourselves after the NBA’s greatest team-up. In order to run an effective ecommerce agency, you need to bring together many different kinds of personalities, skill sets, and strengths; as a group, you must be as intuitive as you are analytic, as creative as you are practical. And that’s where we hope to evoke the spirit of the 90s’ most dynamic duo—like Stockton and Malone, we’re making a point of building incredible interpersonal connections that cross disciplines and job descriptions, allowing a diverse group of minds to unite around our common goals and the goals of our clients.


You Are the Process


“Trust the Process.” That was the watchword at the Philadelphia 76ers front office as the Sixers tanked every single year after the departure of Allen Iverson. What questions do you ask yourself once the Answer has left the building? As a lifelong fan of all sports in the City of Brotherly Shove (I even pulled for the Philadelphia Kixx when it became apparent that indoor soccer was the only sport we’d ever excel at), I can tell you that the fans were almost certainly asking themselves “Could I get away with the murder of the Sixers’ ownership?” and “Am I drunk enough to beat this guy in a fistfight??” (Attending Sixers and Phillies games as a child taught me early on that adults don’t necessarily have any idea what they’re doing).


Meanwhile, the Sixers were asking themselves, clearly and honestly, how to rebuild. And thus “The Process” was born—the methodical, data-driven pursuit of new talent, combined with the humility to adjust what wasn’t working and an understanding that the growing pains inherent in re-examining process would take a while to pay dividends.


Today, the Sixers are the most exciting young team in the NBA, electrified by Cameroonian center Joel Embiid and Australian guard Ben Simmons, both of whom were the result of the Sixers much-vaunted Process.


At CTC, we’re committed to adopting the same approach to our processes—constantly refining and re-defining until we’ve developed a system of communication and production that is both efficient and inspiring. As Embiid said, “I feel like I’m the Process. The Process is about me.” Every member of our team is responsible for making the entire machine work—ultimately, we trust the process because we are the process.


New Year’s resolutions, more often than not, are made to be broken. But—please forgive the non-pun—we’re more interested in New Year’s evolutions. That is, we’re dedicated not only to achieving goals; we’re resolving to change the way we think about change. We’re resolving to learn how to resolve, then re-resolve, then re-resolve again; to become the best agency we can be—until we become better. And in honor of John Stockton and Karl Malone, we’re resolved to become a place where all skill sets and talents are valued and encouraged—no matter what length you wear your shorts.


More From CTC:


How To Win (Or Lose Miserably) With Facebook Messenger Ads

The Greatest Hits of 2017 (Or 4 Awesome CTC Ads)

Is Brick & Mortar Dead? | DEC 2017

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Common Thread Collective

Common Thread Collective is the leading source of strategy and insight serving DTC ecommerce businesses. From agency services to educational resources for eccomerce leaders and marketers, CTC is committed to helping you do your job better.

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