Mark Friedman, newly appointed EVP, chief creative officer at Harrison and Star, believes all great organizations require three things, “people, process and product.” While emphasis on those dimensions is important, he says, culture is crucial to a company’s success.
“The single thing that can unify and deliver on all three is an incredible culture,” he explains, “one that offers teamwork and stimulates innovative thinking and personal growth and fulfillment.”
While hitting all those marks is no small task, Friedman says the agency’s culture is not only diverse but also “already firmly entrenched,” leaving him to focus on two of those pillars: “developing people and making great products for our clients.”
“Both agencies have a shared ethos but very different vibes,“ he adds, referring to agency sibling Biolumina, which he says “feels like a Silicon Valley tech start-up, while H&S has the hustle and -bustle of a major metropolis. It’s very New York–like in that exciting and experimental things are happening here.”
Having been fortunate enough to enjoy a long and successful career, he gives back to those looking to learn the ropes of pharma advertising. Friedman graduated from Syracuse University’s Communication Design program, which he now supports as a guest lecturer—and also offers internships to the current program’s students.
For those newcomers, he recommends they pursue careers they find emotionally rewarding. “Some will tell you, ‘work to live,’” he says. “Others, ‘live to work.’ I say both are wrong. You need to ‘love to work.’ If you have joy and fulfillment in your job, you will likely find it in life.”