Born: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Worked in: United States
Describe an innovative idea or business solution of which you are most proud. With the help of my team, we streamlined the buying process across 20+ markets while enlisting the support of local/regional clients and agency offices. Having 30 people agree on the same global strategy and media plans not only engenders pride, it’s a miracle!
Why do people see you as an innovator? My MBA Professor Sander Flaum, the former CEO of Euro RCSG Life, pointed out to the class: “Advertising becomes a commodity business unless you realize that it is truly a business of managing relationships.”
I listen to people. That is the beginning of any good relationship.
What role does innovation play in your marketing strategy today? Innovation means nothing if it doesn’t translate into business success. Innovation is not an idea; it represents the way we should be doing business in today’s rapid-changing environment. Innovation is just my day-to-day job.
What is the biggest challenge you face in applying innovative thinking to international projects? Working with different cultures across international offices and consolidating local country recommendations into one voice is a challenge. Yet, transnational thinking fosters excellence without a concern for borders or locations and relies on interpersonal relationships. As a result, this challenge can also be an interesting way to find new ideas.
Internationalist Trivia: I used to be in a funk rock band and switched careers after realizing that advertising can be as creative as rock & roll (and a bit more stable).