Thas Naseemuddeen, Partner, Chief Strategy Officer and Managing Director at Omelet, brightens the podcast with her genuine love of what she does and useful takeaways from her career. Hear about the innate traits of strategists, one of the biggest conversations about talent development that no one is talking about, why brand positioning today is anything but "traditional," and the art and science of getting to an insight (without getting formulaic about it).
Heads up: You'll hear a little AC hum at the beginning, but it fades and you'll stop noticing it. :)
- Pivoting from child developmental psychology, to organizational development, to getting hired as a planner at an agency and figuring it out along the way.
- The innate traits of strategists, and being lucky to be able to talk and work with people who are different than you.
- The diversity of Omelet’s clients and its team, and getting the right mix of maintaining an agency’s culture while bringing in new ideas.
- One of the biggest conversation about talent development that no one is talking about: should everyone become managers?
- How she makes decisions in her career, owning her experiences at the agencies she’s been a part of, and thinking about what you want to get out of a job before you’ve even started.
- The kind of work a strategist encounters, and why upstream brand positioning today is anything but “traditional”.
- The art and science of getting to an insight (without getting formulaic about it), and remembering to bring others into the process.
- Taking interactions out of a group setting to get comfortable with voicing your POV as junior talent.
“What we do, you don’t find in textbooks. […] How can you learn how to do this in school? So much of it is hands on. That’s where I think you’re totally right that it’s bringing up the new generation through learning and sharing of your knowledge. And I would say that a lot of my junior strategists probably have a better perspective of what you need to learn than I do when it comes to an intern coming on. I probably give less relevant information than one of our junior strategists do.”
“I learned where my edges were, and I think that’s an important thing that strategists have to come to terms with is figuring out where your edge is. And pushing yourself as far as you can possibly go, but not going overboard.”
“Being humble enough to know that you’re not the smartest person in the room is really important for strategists. Because there’s always been that bit of a stigma with us, like, 'You’re the smart ones!' But we all are. Everyone in this agency should be strategic, everyone in this agency should be creative. We all have our disciplines that we’re responsible for, but that is critical in understanding that it’s not just one person’s job to be smart. Everyone here is smart.”
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As Managing Director and Chief Strategy Officer at Omelet, Thas is responsible for ensuring her groups of strategy, brand management, new business and corporate development are running smoothly and better yet, smartly. Her eye is keenly focused on building the creative company of the future - not just on the things that are made, but how the agency makes them.
Thas has been on a journey of advertising agencies and loved (almost) every second of it with the strong belief that the journey of several agency experiences (including but not exclusive to - BBH, Chiat Day, and Deutsch) gave her the grounding she needs to try on different creative and managerial styles.
A strong advocate for representation, she continues to beat the drum of equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Until the last breath in her body, this will be core to how she uses her role not only in her company, but the industry at large, to help move these incredibly important cultural conversations forward.