Our Innovator In Focus today is Laura Maness, CEO of Havas New York, the North American flagship of a global advertising and communications agency.
Laura’s agency has done more than create memorable, impactful advertising for a number of major clients: Havas New York has also been recognized for the quality of its work environment, including an award for Most innovative Culture, bestowed by Digiday magazine.
Laura has made her agency the very model of a committed, caring, 21st century company. That’s innovative! So is the fact that Laura has shown that in an ethos once dominated by males — if you watched the show Mad Men you know what I’m talking about — women can be just as effective, just as creative, and at the highest levels in advertising and marketing communications.
It wasn’t always that way. “Over the past three decades,” Laura says, “I have often found myself one of the few females in the room — be it in meetings with staff and clients, in the Board room as a director, or in the start-up world where I consult, advise, and invest in what I believe can be world-changing ideas.”
So, Laura is an innovator in a creative business, who wants to make the workplace and the world a better place. And she just happens to be a woman. No wonder I asked her to write a foreword for my book, The Innovation Mindset! Women in innovation is a major theme of my book. In addition to our principles or Laws of Innovation, we include a chapter on how women — like Laura — are helping break down some preconceptions about who are the innovators and inventors, industry by industry.
In this video interview, I ask Laura for her insights on all this. I think you’ll find her answers insightful and inspirational!
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