Andy Howard is a creative dynamo, having delivered successful digital campaigns for clients including Sydney Airport, Harley-Davidson, Smirnoff and The Royal Bank of Scotland across web, mobile, branded content, search and social media.
Co-Founder of The Village of Useful, Andy is a champion of working in collaboration and his leadership style is best suited to trusting those he is leading, to allow them to achieve their best.
- How do you ensure effective leadership in a collaboration with another creative agency?
Working with other agencies is a reality of advertising and technology today – we’re used to working with and enjoy working with a range of partners.
We founded the agency with this is mind – to be village-like, be friendly and collaborate well with others. We go into collaborations in a village-like way and it plays out nicely.
- What is your leadership style?
I like to work with great people, trust them and help them achieve their best.
I’m a digital leadership mentor with the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association and approach leadership like I approach mentoring – I like to share vision and attitude, team up with great people, and help them develop their expertise and instincts.
- What is one action or task you ensure you incorporate into your diary each week?
I read a lot, exercise a lot and enjoy being around an interesting group of friends. Each week I dedicate time to learning, mainly by reading books and blogs. Saturdays are my most valuable time each week – I like to surf, skim over business books, research, re-read blog posts, work on projects and think hard about the next quarter. It’s my best time to focus. I buy new books every month and read new blog posts every day. Saturday is my best day for taking it all in and actioning what I learn.
- What do you believe makes business in the Hunter unique?
We’re just close enough and just far enough away from Australia’s largest economy. I love that we can dip into Sydney when we need to but mostly keep some distance from the bustle. It feels like the Hunter’s good for doing business and good for different thinking.
We invest a lot of time in strategy for our clients and they tell us how valuable and commercially effective this thinking is for them. There’s something about Newcastle’s pace and personality that helps us take a step back, carefully research, think hard, and go about things deliberately and with certainty.
- What local businessperson do you find inspiring?
My business partner, team and clients inspire me. I’m lucky to do what I do every day.
Working on ideas and strategies with my business partner Adam Lance is loads of fun. Adam is an awesome creative director with world-class experience and awards, and he inspires me to never settle and to unlock the commercial power of creativity.
We have a cracker team at the Village and are fortunate to work with local talent like our client Joel Goodsir and film director Steve Pasvolsky. Joel is Head of Marketing at Inspirations Paint and an extremely capable, successful and well respected marketer. Steve is an Academy Award nominated film director we’ve worked with for years. These guys all inspire me. We enjoy being around everyone we work with and my team at the Village makes every day a good day.
The The Village of Useful is an advertising, marketing, digital technology agency. We are based in Newcastle, but work with clients in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
The Village was founded on two principles; firstly, be more village-like, be friendly and collaborate well with others. The second principle is helping our clients be more useful to their customers. Being useful to customers, we believe, is the pursuit all great companies demand of themselves constantly.
We help clients explore their inner useful with digital and traditional advertising and communications.