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Go Slow to Go Fast


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Robert Berkeley  0:03  

Hello once again. And thank you for joining me Robert Berkeley for another episode of Inside Jobs, the podcast for in house agencies about in house agency leaders and brought to you by IHAF the leading professional association for in house agencies in partnership with KCS, who help in house agencies do more through outsource production. Now, I am absolutely thrilled with this particular interview because I managed to colour Jordan DeWitt from Capital One while I was at the I have conference last November, taking place in Boston every year this conference, an award ceremony is the must go to fixture in the calendar of any in house agency. So talking of in house agencies, while I was sitting at the IHAF conference, I had a chance to meet Jordan DeWitt, fresh off the stage Jordan, great presentation you did just fine. Thank you. That was, yeah, we were talking we were talking about workflow and implementing workflow systems and things like that we might touch on that later on. But definitely, you talked about some challenges that many people had seen and some solutions to those. So we'll dig into that little later. But first of all, let's get going. Let's talk about your role right now, where you work, what you do, day to day, and then we'll we'll find out a little bit about how you got there.


Jordan DeWitt  1:19  

Yeah, absolutely. I lead brand creative and identity for Capital One. And what that means is we are responsible for all of the brand architecture brand standards, how Capital One is represented in the market, and then all of the creative elements and communications out to consumers and customers.


Robert Berkeley  1:37  

Okay, and you're working kind of across the board sort of channel wise Yep and how big is the team that…


Jordan DeWitt  1:42  

212? Okay, internal good size? Yeah, six agencies?


Robert Berkeley  1:49  

Right. Six agencies within that. Yeah. Okay. Well, that'll be interesting. We'll learn more about that. So you're doing that now and tell us, let's go back to the beginning. Where are you from originally? And what kind of environment Did you grow up in? And was marketing always destined to be on your on your on your chosen career list?


Jordan DeWitt 2  2:05  

It definitely was not. Oh, okay. I am born and brought in Virginia, spent three years in Toronto, Canada as well. Okay. Definitely. From


Robert Berkeley  2:15  

Your family was moving around them? No, no.


Jordan DeWitt  2:19  

They just sent me there alone. No, that was part of the career. I have a three year stint up until I see. Okay. Yeah. So I'm from Virginia. And I always was interested in history, and learning why things happen to the way they did. The cliche of you know, if you don't know the past, you're destined to repeat it. Yes. Yeah, I was. I was just interested, like, how did we get here? What happened? So, you know, I did a lot of reading. I went to school. I fully intended to become a history professor.


Robert Berkeley  2:51  

Really? Yeah. Yeah. Which part of history was your main obsession?


Jordan DeWitt  2:55  

Early English? My thesis was on the Stuart dynasty, right. Okay. I went to school, I studied history. I had a marketing minor when I was there, but I do choose safety. So I thought I would be a history professor, and I thought I'd wear a tweed coat and sit in the elbow, elbow patches for sure. Pipe burbling? Yeah. And I would just talk about history all day. 


Jordan DeWitt  3:21  

Wow. Sounds great. Sounds great.


Jordan DeWitt  3:24  

It takes a long time to get a PhD. Yes. Yeah, I needed to get a job, I got married and needed to get a job. Fell back on my marketing degree.


Robert Berkeley  3:34  

So where did out of college then when you realise you have to add some proper money to create stuff.


Jordan DeWitt  3:39  

I looked my way into a role at Capital One on their brand marketing team. Okay, I started in brand marketing and brand strategy. 


Robert Berkeley  3:46  

So man and boy Capital One, right? Yeah. Okay, so you how do you say you lucked your way into it, give us some top tips for looking your way into a job.


Jordan DeWitt  3:54  

This was back in the day where you dropped actual real paper resumes. So give them a resume.


Robert Berkeley  3:59  

So you went there's an office locally or something or 


Jordan DeWitt  4:03  

they just put a box at the college? I just resume in there. Okay. Yeah.


Jordan DeWitt  4:06  

I don't really want to be a marketer, but I will if I have to be Yeah.


Jordan DeWitt  4:09  

And then you know, the same fake it till you make it. You know, pretend like you know about marketing pretend like you know what you're doing. So they called you and you had an interview and called me and had several interviews, made it through. And the rest is history. 23 years later, the


Robert Berkeley  4:24  

History is what we're interested in. Right. Why we're here, Jordan. So. So what was that first job?


Jordan DeWitt  4:29  

It was brand marketing for our partnerships, business.


Robert Berkeley  4:33  

And what did you know about brand marketing and partnerships at that time?


Jordan DeWitt  4:37  

Just enough to get by? Yeah, just enough to


Robert Berkeley  4:41  

do you remember your first engagement Listen, first things you do?


Jordan DeWitt 4:44  

Oh, yeah, we we at the time, had a co brand credit card with a catalogue that sold all sorts of different things. And my first job was actually pretty much doing the technical editing for the INS or that we put into this catalogue? Yeah. And that


Robert Berkeley  5:02  

little card things that Yeah, exactly. I'd like a Capital One card and yeah, tear it out and send it.


Jordan DeWitt  5:07  

I was a long way from strategy. I was reading copy looking at copy making sure that it all read the right way. Yeah, I started. Okay. Yeah, started there.


Robert Berkeley  5:17  

So So you started there, and you're here now, can you kind of guide us through how that journey happened? Was it very intentional? Or is it like, right, I am definitely going to lead an in house it within they probably didn't even have an in house agency, did they? They did not. Okay, that was a group of marketers, or you're working with external agencies like yes, yes.


Jordan DeWitt  5:35  

The path was not straight, okay, at all. Take us along that meandering path. The meandering path was brand strategy. And then I got an opportunity to go to supply chain management, which was quite a left or right turn whichever way you want to go. But I didn't know what I wanted to do. It wasn't a history professor. 


Jordan DeWitt  5:56  

So, it was a question of Sure. Let's try that. 


Jordan DeWitt  5:58  

Yeah, exactly. I don't really whatever it is. It sounds fun. So went over there did lots of different things over there from negotiating paper prices to working with our envelope providers to managing the relationship with the United States Post Office. I just had lots of different exciting roles over there, but realised I wanted to be back in the creative and the marketing.


Robert Berkeley  6:22  

Okay. All right. So then you another opportunity came up back in marketing, then 


Jordan DeWitt  6:28  

Yep, yep. So I did five years in supply chain, I realised I didn't want to, you know, spend the rest of my life doing that. An opportunity came back to move to brand marketing, it had evolved a little bit from when we started. So I moved back there, and essentially just had a slightly more senior role than I did before. Right. But same same leadership and same leadership, same department.


Robert Berkeley  6:50  

So you kind of knew the territory, and you were able to make a contribution, I guess, because you'd had that experience, you'd had external experience a little bit. And what role was it in


Jordan DeWitt  7:00  

It was it was it was back on the it was actually back on the partnerships team, just slightly elevated marketing role. And the business had evolved at that point. That way, we had more partners, we had larger partners, bigger brands that we had to work with. So it was it was beyond just technicality caliber.


Robert Berkeley  7:16  

So you were scaling up. Yes. And were you managing at this stage? Do you do you have people to manage


Jordan DeWitt  7:21  

In that role, I was not managing yet. At that point.


Robert Berkeley  7:25  

Okay. So so you obviously transformed into a manager at some point, how did that evolve?


Jordan DeWitt  7:30  

So I spent another five years in that role. And after probably a year, I started managing people. Okay, we started, you know, the department just kept growing. And so the team grew, and I started managing people.


Robert Berkeley  7:45  

And you were creating processes as well. 


Jordan DeWitt  7:47  

We were creating some processes, we were learning, working with external partners, is always a challenge. Yeah, of course, we were trying to match their processes. We were trying to integrate, we were trying to bring the brands together. That was one of the biggest challenge back in those days was how do you bring these brands together in an effective way? So it's equal or, you know, people know what's going on between the two brands? 


Robert Berkeley  8:11  

Well, it's about scalability, as well as if you if you can't have them all conforming to some signup, similar process, then you can't possibly scale it, you have to have something different for everyone else. So were you part of that making that happen? That I mean, obviously, you were seeing there was an issue there. 


Jordan DeWitt  8:27  

We were, we were actually part of building that function, that that marketing function of bringing two teams together, bringing different processes together and bringing brands together. We were part of building that and figuring out what does that look like? How do we make this work?


Robert Berkeley  8:43  

Tell us about how the in house agency came about then, as a creative unit,


Jordan DeWitt   8:49  

We we started with a relatively small team, probably 20 or 30, predominantly creative directors who were working with our external agencies. And as the company evolved, as the Department evolved, it just started growing, we realised some of these things we need to do in house because it's easier and more efficient. Some of these things we need to do in house because we can get the right kind of talent. So it just grew from there and and grew into a full sized full service in house agency.


Robert Berkeley  9:21  

So it seems that it it grew step by step. You started small and you built it out. And you built on those learnings and how I mean, how long ago did you start the in house agency?


Jordan DeWitt  9:34  

Ohhh, Let's see. 15 years.


Robert Berkeley  9:38  

15 years and the first kinds of work they were doing then this is this is great. There's a theme here and I'm going to come back to this later. It's also based on what you said in your presentation as well. But you started quite small. What did you start with specifically then what was the first bits that and why did you choose those?


Jordan DeWitt   9:55  

So for for Capital One, we primarily started With direct mail, and the reason we started with direct mail is the operational part of that is so critical, how you we use this, we still send a lot of mail, but you know how you get that much work out the door, and the connectivity that has to happen between the creative team and the marketing team and the operational team. That was just the logical place for us to start. It obviously needed.


Robert Berkeley  10:23  

What was the problem that you were fixing?


Jordan DeWitt  10:27  

Efficiency and effectiveness? How do you do this faster?


Robert Berkeley  10:29  

So you had an external agency that you were at? So there was another leg to this?


Jordan DeWitt   10:33  

Yeah, there was there was another group that we had to work through. And it wasn't that they were doing anything wrong. It was how do we get more efficient, though? How do we make this a smoother process? How do we make it a more effective process? How do we get results quicker? How do we work quicker? How do we make changes quicker?


Robert Berkeley  10:51  

That must have been a tough conversation with the agency if they weren't doing anything wrong? And presumably, they'd been around a while?


Jordan DeWitt   10:57  

It was we found other work for most of them. 


Robert Berkeley  11:00  

Okay. All right. Yeah. Okay. So you brought that in with? Well, how big a team initially


Jordan DeWitt  11:05


Robert Berkeley 11:06

And how, and that was transition, you have to plan the transition of the work, I guess you couldn't you couldn't stop the truck to change the wheels, right?


Jordan DeWitt   11:12  

That's correct. You, you well, and a lot of cases, you do have to keep the work going. And you just have to figure out how do you do that seamless transition along the way?


Robert Berkeley  11:21  

Yeah. And so you were developing processes to because you weren't used to doing that. And you're not from an agency or production agency. So you don't have that experience? Can you tell us a little bit about how that evolved that process?


Jordan DeWitt  11:35  

Yeah, a lot of mistakes.


Robert Berkeley   11:38  

Can you remember one in particular span


Jordan DeWitt  11:41  

Let's see some of the some of the biggest challenges or the biggest learnings rather than mistakes. 


Robert Berkeley 11:49

We learned from our mistakes.


Jordan DeWitt 11:50

You learn from your mistakes, it was probably something we still learn today, which is the importance of providing people with a role and a situation where they can do the job they should be doing. And they can do the job that they want to be doing.


Robert Berkeley 12:08



Jordan DeWitt 12:09

Don't ask creative directors to be project managers. 


Robert Berkeley 12:12



Jordan DeWitt 12:13

Don't ask copywriters to be process managers. You learn that quickly that if they don't want to do it, and they might not be the best at doing it compared to someone who's doing something else.


Robert Berkeley  12:25  

Yes, yes. It's sometimes efficient to get them to do it, because they're there. But it's not necessarily effective. But that's the fact right? You want people to perform at their very best, then you're going to have to make sure they're doing the task for which they're their most equipped. So it's interesting, you say that still challenge sometimes, right? And what does it sort of manifest itself that you find someone who's supremely qualified for one thing is spent the last week doing something they absolutely shouldn't have been doing then?


Jordan DeWitt   12:48  

Absolutely. And it it go. I mean, it exist from copywriters up to Executive Creative Directors, where you are exactly right. A lot of times it happens because it is easy and obvious, because I'll do it because it's in front of me. I'll do it because 


Robert Berkeley 13:05

I don't spend time briefing. 


Jordan DeWitt 13:07

I don't want to spend time doing that. Yeah, I don't want to explain to someone yet what what we have found is when that happens over and over, that becomes a habit. That becomes the standard. And so now you have creative directors who are doing project management, because they just started doing it. It was easy. It worked. But lo and behold, you hire creative directors, you hire copywriters, to direct creative and to write copy. You hire project managers to manage projects. They're all really good at that. And it doesn't work really well when you distract them. I don't want this creative director distracted with project management. But it can easily slide into your process. If you're not watching it, it can easily pop up.


Robert Berkeley  13:54  

Yeah. Well, back then you had this sort of new creative team, they were doing the direct mail, your cost of direct mail would have been huge, because it's print and it's post and so on. So the cost savings, I presume there were cost savings by bringing in house that wasn't really a driver, I would imagine wasn't because because it was such a small part of the whole, the whole cost right?


Jordan DeWitt   14:15  

That's exactly right. It was a small part of the larger call.


Robert Berkeley  14:20  

So it wasn't an ROI argument you made. It was a responsiveness.


Jordan DeWitt   14:25  

It was an ROI driver, in part because of our ability to move faster. Yeah. So what's the ROI because you can get results, get it back in market pdate things get data back quicker. There was an ROI component. It wasn't switching who was doing it. 


Robert Berkeley 14:41

It was time to market.


Jordan DeWitt 14:42

It was time to market it was learnings, that sort of thing.


Robert Berkeley  14:44  

Okay. Yeah. Well, that was clearly a success. Did you have to trumpet that success to anybody to move to the next stage or was it a natural evolution?


Jordan DeWitt   14:52  

It was pretty natural. Yeah, yeah. It was a this is working. Why stop there.


Robert Berkeley  14:59  

So Okay, next,


Jordan DeWitt   15:01  

oh, probably moving over to start doing email. This was, you know, when digital started being a big thing.


Robert Berkeley   15:09  

That most people 10 years ago.


Jordan DeWitt  15:11  

Yeah, we took the same learnings and said, hey, you know, we can apply this to other areas, it doesn't have to be direct mail. It's not channel specific. We can apply what we're doing here and the success we've had to other areas.


Robert Berkeley  15:23  

So you gained a lot of experience from there. And any idea what kind of size you were at this point, then? Five years in five or six years in?


Jordan DeWitt   15:30  

60, 70? Maybe 80? Yeah.


Robert Berkeley  15:34  

Wow. But the direct mail was reducing at this point, because


Jordan DeWitt   15:37  

It was it was starting to honestly, the death of direct mail has been exaggerated for years. 


Robert Berkeley 15:43

Yeah, I've noticed that in my mailbox. 


Jordan DeWitt 15:46

Yeah, you probably still see that other things are growing. Direct Mail is definitely reducing, but not as extreme as some people might think it is.


Robert Berkeley  15:54  

Right? Yeah. So it's still a large part of what you're doing. 


Jordan DeWitt 15:56



Robert Berkeley 15:57

And then after the EDM and the electronic direct mail stuff, where did you go from there? Because it was clearly you're not gonna roll when people started to think of you as an in house agency at this point?


Jordan DeWitt   16:07  

I don't think so. 


Robert Berkeley 16:08

You were just the department. 


Jordan DeWitt 16:10

We were just the creative and part of marketing. We were part of brand marketing. We were the creative department. And at that point, probably still referred to and thought about as the production department. 


Robert Berkeley 16:25

Okay. And you were leading it at this point as well. 


Jordan DeWitt 16:28

No, no, I was I was still middle management at that point.


Robert Berkeley 16:31  

What was your responsibility then?


Jordan DeWitt   16:33  

Oh, by that point, I had moved to Canada for three years. 


Robert Berkeley 16:38

They sent you there? 


Jordan DeWitt 16:39

So had this opportunity to go to to go to Canada to work in our Canada office. And lead at that point, the role was advertised advertising creative and brand strategy. So it was a bit broader role that I had when I was in the States.


Robert Berkeley  16:56  

Yeah. Did you screw it up?


Jordan DeWitt  16:57  

Some of it?


Robert Berkeley  17:02  

Oh, Confession our 


Jordan DeWitt 2  17:03  

Completely honest. Yeah, really? Probably made some mistake. Yeah.


Robert Berkeley  17:07  

Well, I mean, who doesn't make mistakes? That's very kinda W. But you you clearly were there for three years. They didn't fire you. Yeah, but your mistakes. Were not big enough. And I got fired. But you learned a lot. And you achieved a lot of short, I'm sure as well along the way. I hope so. Yeah. So you they the call came to come back to Canada or you needed to the US, US. So you you chose to come back?


Jordan DeWitt 2  17:28  

Again, candidly, it was a three year contract. It was a three year visa. Okay. And I ended so we had to go back.


Robert Berkeley  17:34  

Did you come back to the similar role in the department? Same department similar?,


Jordan DeWitt 2  17:38  

No no, I came back to a role. This was this was when, quote, content was becoming a big thing. So I came back into a role, which was help us figure out what content means how we get it done? And how you do it at scale. Okay, so I came back to help set up the content thing


Robert Berkeley   18:03  

is a marketing role.


Jordan DeWitt 2  18:04  

Yes, it was a marketing roles. Content. Yeah,


Robert Berkeley   18:07  

they call you that as well.


Jordan DeWitt 2  18:08  

I actually don't remember exactly what they called me. But it was like all sorts of people are asking for content. How do we do


Robert Berkeley  18:14  

this? So within the business, this is not your partner's, but you're within the business?


Jordan DeWitt 2  18:18  

Yeah. So this was a roll back in the brand marketing department. And it was both from a brand perspective, but also from from a business line perspective. Okay right. Just give me content.


Robert Berkeley  18:30  

So a whole new thing to learn, as well, a whole new thing to learn a set of skills, whole new thing to learn a whole new set of skills, whole new challenge, how to not just create content, but how to disseminate it. Another bit of recruitment going on there to lots of


Jordan DeWitt 2  18:43  

recruitment, both internal and external way, because we needed we needed folks who knew what they were doing, we needed to consider do we build an internal studio? Do we make all of this ourselves? Do we make some of it ourselves? What do we outsource 


Robert Berkeley  18:56  

behind those calculations and decisions?


Jordan DeWitt 2  19:02  

Cost was one thing, skill set and talent, it can be really hard to get the variety of skills that you need. How much are we going to do have a certain thing? Is it worth bringing it inside? Is it worth building a team? Or is it better to have this sit outside? 


Robert Berkeley  19:19  

But this was a spreadsheet based decision more than anything? Or was it a judgement that you were making?


Jordan DeWitt  19:24  

Art and Science? Yeah, yeah,


Robert Berkeley  19:26  

a bit of a combination combination. And you ended up recruiting some and using external freelancers, or Yeah, okay. And you built that out. So the in house agency is getting bigger and bigger at this point,


Jordan DeWitt 2  19:37  

it's getting bigger and bigger and the skill set and the you know, services are growing. Yep.


Robert Berkeley  19:43  

And the processes had grown organically to yes, there must be a crunch point coming at some point because it sounds it doesn't sound very, very sustainable to keep going that way. So am I right? Did it there's some sort of crunch point come and you had to kind of look at the whole thing and decide this is gonna be organised a little bit differently.


Jordan DeWitt 2  20:00  

Yes. prescient, told me. How could you see that coming? 


Robert Berkeley  20:05  

Well, yeah, so I was a bit of a guest about that. So tell us about that. What happened? And what was what was the kind of the straw that broke the camel's back as it were. And what did you do about it?


Jordan DeWitt 2  20:15  

Yeah, so the content role morphed into leading creative, creative lead at Capital One. And what we realised was we had a lot of different functions, a lot of different channels, a lot of different expertise, all operating differently, all operating independently, silos, a lot of silos. And we needed to bring that together. We needed to integrate, we needed to make sure we were being efficient, we were leveraging best practices, we were leveraging skills, because having all these groups operating independently, just wasn't efficient, and it wasn't effective. So there were opportunities being lost along the way, in terms of in terms of combining those skills and leveraging those skills, opportunity in silos. Yeah, opportunities being lost in terms of those skills and talents. And also opportunities being lost in terms of really taking a consumer view of things as well.


Jordan DeWitt  21:14  

Oh, yeah, look at


Jordan DeWitt 2  21:16  

lifecycle, right, look at the full lifecycle. We're hitting, you know, we're touching these people in all these different channels. Are we doing it consistently? Is the experience they have with Capital One consistent from one to the other? Right? For the most part, it wasn't Yeah, we were we were bandaids and tape. Yeah, to make it consistent. But it was there was an opportunity to improve it.


Robert Berkeley  21:38  

Did it seem daunting, because you'd grown so big. And again, you're in the truck, you're heading down the highway, and now you're thinking about not just changing the tires, but changing the engine and and some other things. So must have been quite a daunting task ahead of you.


Jordan DeWitt  21:53  

Yes. You want more? Yes,


Robert Berkeley  21:57  

you give too many one word.


Jordan DeWitt 2  21:58  

It was. It was it was daunting. But at the same time, it was exciting.


Robert Berkeley  22:05  

And you knew it was clear what you wanted to do, right? 


Jordan DeWitt 2  22:09  

In in some cases, it was clear, it was more clear, we needed to do something. And then what we needed to do, we just knew we needed to do something. And it was an exciting challenge. You can you could see the other side 


Robert Berkeley  22:22  

did so you had the vision for what it should be and how it should look. The sketches of it. Right, right. But nevertheless, you had that you knew where you were. And of course, this is where leadership comes in. It's taking the people from where you are to where you need to take the hill, right? It's very nice of you to say that and well, clearly you you must have. So did you lead this charge at this point? Yes. Yeah.


Jordan DeWitt 2  22:45  

Yeah, we, along with some others, I don't want to take full credit.


Robert Berkeley  22:49  

Oh, absolutely. Yeah, islands and Island and all that. But you, you then had to summon these leadership skills and had had your time at Capital One really prepared you for that? Or had they trained you or they sent you training or anything like that? He's laughing very loud for people who


Jordan DeWitt 2  23:07  

They did train me. Okay. But But I think a lot of it, when I look back, a lot of it was actually more about the experiences I had. I had been in different areas, I had done different things. So I feel like I was able to bring different perspectives. I had gathered a lot of different leadership practices. And I had a lot of mentors throughout my career. So I was able to take the best of all of those and apply it and I think that that variety of experience from supply chain to marketing to Canada to creative prepared you for and it prepared me for this this big effort.


Robert Berkeley  23:50  

Did you need sort of mandates and green lights from from senior management? Or? Yes, you did. You had. So you had to kind of come up with a plan, sell it in and tell them how wonderful everything was going to be when you got to the other side. Right and and tangible benefits.


Jordan DeWitt 2  24:04  

Yeah. And the other piece that we realised was we couldn't do it all at once. That was never going to happen. Right? It was too big of a task, it would have probably been crushed under its own weight. So we chunked it up. A this is this is the most obvious opportunity right now. Let's go solve


Robert Berkeley  24:24  

sprints. Yes, you might say yeah. And that transition happened when they when did you when did you kind of complete? I know, it's always a work in progress. But when did you forever? When was that kind of most sort of years ago, about 


Jordan DeWitt  24:38  

Five years ago, 


Robert Berkeley  24:39  

right. And a lot of people find change a challenge along the way. So I presume that there was some changing of the guard a little bit perhaps amongst the staff was there and what did you manage to carry everyone on this project?


Jordan DeWitt 2  24:51  

I think the important thing was openness, letting everybody know what we're doing, why we're doing it bringing them along on the journey made a big difference. You know, listening to concerns understanding where they were coming from. And yeah, allowing people to make their decision of Are you are you going to join us on this journey or not? Either way is okay. 


Robert Berkeley  25:15  

Right. So tell us just quickly, then what you ended up when you talked about it was all very siloed. What was the future? What how did it actually turn out what you know, just broadly describe the structure you have now,


Jordan DeWitt 2  25:25  

we have as as much as possible. I mean, we're evolving every day. But we have a single creative ecosystem. We support 15, plus different lines of business. We have 212 people, and six agencies. And we operate as one team, we operate with one workflow. So that's where we the vision was, frankly, there's a better way to do this. There's a more efficient and effective way to do this. And the way to do that is bring all of these people all these skills, all this talent together, and optimise within that


Robert Berkeley  26:06  

goes back to letting people do the things that they're good at,


Jordan DeWitt 2  26:09  

let people do the things they're good at create a sense of belonging, a sense of community, build this thing. And then you can optimise with it. But the vision was always there's a better way to do this. And that better way is together, it's bringing creative together. It's bringing the processes, the project managers, all of that together. So that you're operating as a really seamless fluid ecosystem.


Robert Berkeley  26:38  

So to do that, you need the support of a workflow. You were talking just an hour or so ago, a while a bit more, but this afternoon about workflow and the implementation of workflow system. When you did this that that you've done quite recently, you're talking about this being five years ago. So I'm really scratching my head. Now. How did you manage this from a workflow point of view? What was going on? It was a must have been part of your plan?


Jordan DeWitt 2  27:04  

How did we manage it? You come back to the band aids in the tape? Oh, okay. We probably were a bit naive and didn't know what we didn't know. Yeah, at the time. Yeah, we were five years ago, when when we were in the middle of this, we were also adapting to a lot of workflows and systems and processes that already existed within the company. So at that point, it was, well, let's get this thing built. Let's get these teams built. And we're going to have to plug into these other practices, we actually were in a position where we weren't leading the charge, we weren't on our front foot, we were the receivers of a lot of this is how we're going to do things. Within the past two years, we've evolved to let's let's be on the front foot, let's control our own destiny a little bit. In terms of work workflow platform systems, we use standardisation, how we get working on briefing, get from 19, creative brief templates to one that was part of the evolution, once we had this thing up and running, then there was an evolution of wow, we can control our own destiny. We can we can own how we do work, at least within our world. And we still have to plug in and work with lots of different people and partners and systems. But within what we control, we can decide how we're going to do it. And what's the best way to do it. 


Robert Berkeley  28:33  

So you had to sell this up as well. Yes. What were the benefits of moving onto a single platform that you that you sold into the into into the company?


Jordan DeWitt 2  28:42  

The simplest way to put it efficiency, effectiveness, risk and error free.


Robert Berkeley  28:50  

So subjective and objective reasons. Was it a difficult battle? Did you have to do a lot of persuading? Or was it pretty clear that this, this budget needed to be released and this plan need to be executed?


Jordan DeWitt 2  29:02  

It was it was relatively clear, because we already had a few places where we had piloted this. We had some proof points. Okay. We had we had small areas where trick


Robert Berkeley  29:13  

you test, you test you paella use the evidence of the test.


Jordan DeWitt 2  29:18  

That's right to build your case. Yeah. And it's a it's a gradual process, at least it was for us.


Robert Berkeley  29:25  

Well, this is where I'm going to come to the point that I was going to make earlier on pretty much everything you've talked about has been a gradual process. You're not a big bang kind of guy. It's things have moved sort of incrementally, and it reminds me of a question that was that was asked in the session about the question was something along the lines of what do you do if you implement the system? And it does so many things. And you've got to switch off these functions because we don't know how to configure them properly and that they're too time intensive just to support? Your answer to that was Don't switch them on in the first place. Is that right?


Jordan DeWitt 2  30:02  

Essentially, yes, switch them on deliberately. And switch them on with intent. Because if you switch them on, and you don't know how to use them, it does no good. It might actually backfire and hurt you. And if you switch them on all at once, I use this term quite a couple of times, it can die under its own weight. It's so big. And one of the things I've learned throughout this entire process and I Yeah, it's deliberate. It's gradual, and right or wrong. That's something we believe in, we believe in walking before you run, proving the case, testing it in a safe space, not turning on all the lights or going all in out of the gate, because sometimes you can actually destroy a great idea by going too big. If you go too big and it doesn't work. It's hard to go back to the beginning and say, Okay, now let me gradually get into this. Yeah, we have found go slow to go fast.


Robert Berkeley  31:08  

Yes, absolutely. Well, it seems to obsidian in very good stead, I think we're gonna have to wrap this up, because we're running out of time, and you've got a plane to catch.


Jordan DeWitt 2  31:16  

That is correct. I do have a plane to catch. But I'd love to keep talking to everyone. 


Robert Berkeley  31:20  

I do want to ask a few more things. I want to ask about your ambitions from this point on? Well, you know, you've it's been an interesting story. And it as you say, it's test Testing guy, testing guy, testing guy. And that's been reflected on a number of things you've done, what are you testing and going to now what's going on? 


Jordan DeWitt 2  31:39  

Well, first of all, we are still on the journey of workflow, operational excellence, getting to the destination that we put out there. So I don't want to imply that we're done, you're never done, we're always working to that. What I talk about with the team is I want to be in a place where both inside of Capital One and outside of Capital One, people are looking at our team, and saying, those folks know how to do it. Those are the people I want to learn from, they're doing it in an amazing way.


Robert Berkeley  32:18  

And that means that you become a more strategic part of the business,


Jordan DeWitt 2  32:23  

it means we become a more strategic part of the business, it means we are always upping our game when it comes to the work. The aesthetic that we put out there, the quality, the effectiveness, the efficiency, we are always striving to be the best. And I think that's how you get to the point that people are looking for you look into you and say, and you're doing it, you all are doing it in a pretty amazing way.


Robert Berkeley  32:48  

And you have the talent, it's about letting them


Jordan DeWitt 2  32:51  

I get in the world, we absolutely have the talent, because it's not me. Despite you being despite me being there, the talent is all around me. Yeah, it's just how do you deploy that talent? Yeah, where do you put that talent? How do you structure that talent so that it can really unleash the creative superpower?


Jordan DeWitt 1  33:11  

Is, is the company, your customer or your partner or your


Jordan DeWitt 2  33:15  

partner, partner? Partner? Absolutely. And that is, if we didn't have to get on a plane, we could spend a lot of time on that journey. Anyone who asked me, I would say try to change that perspective, if the perspective is that they are your client, or your customer, see what you can do to turn them into partners, bring them into the process, show them how it will make their business better. Show them how you can deliver better results for them. It changes the game when they're a partner versus a client or a customer.


Robert Berkeley  33:47  

Interesting. So you don't brand your in house agency doesn't have a name. Does it a


Jordan DeWitt 2  33:51  

Capital One Brand creative? Right? You have super exciting, but is that deliberate? Again? That that is deliberate to to again, reinforce we are part of the company, we are a partner?


Robert Berkeley  34:06  

Yes. Yeah. Because if you branded it, then you would be a vendor effectively, you'd be 


Jordan DeWitt 2  34:11  

Right. We don't want to. We don't want to be an either or, or an agency. Yeah, frankly, we want to be a strategic partner that people want to work with and need to work with. Right? If I don't work with them, I'm not going to get the best result. So yeah, we don't necessarily want to have another brand because we're all part of Capital One and we want everyone to see us as a strategic partner. Yeah.


Robert Berkeley  34:37  

I can't believe this interview has gone so quickly. But you've just lost your passion for this. And you know, you've clearly clearly the vision for this next step is very much there and I don't doubt for one minute you're going to achieve it. Very nice of you. And I want to thank you Jordan so much for for agreeing to take part in this narrow space between your talk and your flight back home. You've enjoyed the conference, right?


Jordan DeWitt 2  34:57  

Yeah, it was great. terrific conference great was and really appreciated talking to you. 


Robert Berkeley  35:02  

Oh, absolutely me you as well. Well, if you've not heard this podcast before, and this is your first time, very warm welcome to you, I take the chance to visit our website at IJ And scroll through the back catalogue of over 40 conversations. I can't believe it for the government. I think it's getting on like 45. Now, Jordan, and if you're on LinkedIn, reach out Jordan, I guess people can reach out to you if they got any questions about your


Jordan DeWitt 2  35:28  

absolutely or experience. They're happy to talk to anybody. I love talking about creative in house agencies and how we do great work. You're wonderful.


Robert Berkeley  35:36  

So feel free to reach out to Jordan do it on LinkedIn as well. And if you get the chance to recommend the inside jobs podcast to your colleagues, and one thing we'd really appreciate a review on on iTunes, help people find the podcast. You can tell them what they're missing if they don't. Till next time.