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Our approach includes a four step process that ensures what we design for your organization and employees is a good fit. Each step of our process is highly collaborative focused on designing learning experiences that make a difference.

Organizational Growth: Evolve or Be Left Behind

“75% of our revenue comes from stuff Don Draper would not recognize” - WPP CEO Martin Sorrell. Evolution is a natural part of all living things and organizations. Over time people, plants, technology, organizations, and societies evolve. We are always adapting to our surroundings. As a business, we are constantly adapting to the needs and wants of our consumers and clients. In the marketing and advertising world, this evolution has been expedited significantly by the increase in technological innovation over the past decade.

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Renewing Digital Capabilities: How Companies Can Spring to New Heights

Spring has finally sprung. It is time to put the snow shovels away, bust out the sunscreen and start enjoying baseball season. But, unlike many of the plants that start to bloom in April, growth and success in business are not perennial. Often, organizations must shift their practices and take intentional steps to keep up with their constantly evolving industry. But before going anywhere in business or in life, it is imperative to first understand where you are today.

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How to Survive (or Catch Up) after SXSW

Inspired by SXSW? So were we. Feeling behind because your co-workers went to SXSW but you did not? Some of us feel that way too! Either way, endless opportunities abound to learn from, and rub elbows with, experts.

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Dear SXSW: A Few Suggestions...

SXSW 2017 gave us a glimpse into the future of tech. Innovative minds from big businesses and small shops alike left us stunned with cutting edge advancements. If technological innovation in 2017 is anything like it was in 2016, we are in for significant disruptions to our daily lives and ways of working. We sat down with Allison Kent-Smith, smith & beta CEO, to discuss SXSW and the future digital landscape.

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A Reflective Interview on SXSW: Rain, Robots, and Revolutionary Thinkers

We sat down with Allison Kent-Smith, smith & beta CEO, to discuss her experience SXSW. As a festival veteran, Allison has seen the workshop - its talks, events, parties, and food trucks - evolve considerably over time. SXSW 2017 was a unique smorgasbord of the expected - innovative tech, inspiring speakers, long waiting lines, and strong margaritas - and the unexpected - sideways rain.

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SXSW: Learn More, Drink More - What to Know Before You Go

The public image of SXSW is a fickle beast. At the mention of SXSW, most people can’t shake the image of millennials listening to edgy recording artists in the the blistering Austin, Texas heat; but that is just one small piece of the SXSW puzzle. If you are willing to weave through the maze of people, stages, and BBQ joints you will find a business and industry metropolis. There is an unbelievable amount to be learned at the yearly festival for those who make the pilgrimage to Austin. The list of expert speakers, panels, networking events may seem overwhelming which poses the question is it even worth it? The answer is yes. SXSW has given millions of people the tools information and opportunities to better themselves in their respective industries and take their careers and companies to the next level. Plus, if you need to network to advance your career, learn something new or make a sale or two – Austin is the place.

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LOVE Technology: The Competitive Value of Staying Current on Emerging Trends

This week in tech: Elon Musk announced SpaceX will send two very wealthy civilians around the moon in 2018; YouTube claims viewers watch one billion (yes - that is billion with a B) hours of footage daily; Jigsaw, a Google subsidiary, has developed a tool to sift through online comments which are disruptive to public discourse; Twitter is doubling down its emphasis on videos follow an abysmal $400 million loss in 2016; and Facebook is implementing more mid-video advertisements.

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LOVE Teaching: An Educator's Perspective

An interview with smith & beta’s Director of Learning Experience Dr. Lori Kent. At smith & beta, Lori ensures programming is appropriately tailored to meet the developmental and contextual needs of diverse learners. She is an experienced higher education professor with a passion for evolving workplaces to compete for more future-focused work.

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LOVE Learning [At Work]

Learning is as necessary as oxygen. After all, nothing is static --- no work context, no individual life and no profession. If we don’t continue learning, we lose credibility and struggle to adapt. “The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.” --B. B. King

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CoED: Addressing a Universal Concern of Agencies and Brands Alike

In the fall, dozens of employees from Denver and Boulder based brands and agencies took the plunge into employee education and attended the first two installments of the CoED workshop series. The workshops allowed advertisers and marketers from smaller, more nimble organizations to access relevant, practical and thought provoking content curated by industry leaders. Attendees left the workshops inspired by new perspectives on current trends and approaches to industry problems. For a more complete review, see the infographic below.

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Championing Inspiration, Creativity, Courage and Experimentation in the Front Range

smith & beta is proud to work with communities committed to reinventing how professionals approach new ways of working. Most recently, we partnered with the professional women’s community, SheSays, and participated in their inaugural SheSummits conference. The event brought local professional women together for an afternoon of networking and merriment. smith & beta’s Meredith Olsen and Morley McBride, a smith & beta instructor and local consultant, were among the local leaders chosen to speak at the conference. After the event we sat down with Meredith Olsen to get a speaker's perspective on the event, the community and professional experimentation.

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Future Proof Talent: How Employee Education Fuels Agency Evolution

In a recent article, smith & beta founder and CEO Allison Kent-Smith outlines four attainable steps for businesses to prepare for the future. Her take on organizational readiness? “Many agencies are blinded by past success and ignore the ongoing need to evolve and develop talent… If you hear ‘we’re too busy to learn’ in the hallways, ask yourself what is the alternative to learning – stagnation.”

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2017: A Year for Complacency or Progress?

“People will only pay you for what you can do with what you know.” - Thomas Friedman. The workplace – our skillsets and capabilities – is shifting. Many aspects of our past work life are now basically obsolete. Remember marketing prior to social media? In the not so distant past Facebook did not exist. To keep up with changes in our profession, we must invest in continual education for our employees and leaders. We must continue to evolve. Without continual learning, we’re adrift in this sea of change that is often overwhelming and difficult to navigate.

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Community Education - A Fresh Take on a smith & beta Staple

Community Education (or CoED for short) is a subscription-based professional training program for agencies and brands in our community. The monthly workshops offer continual education on critical digital topics to ensure organizations have the capabilities to rise above the competition. Our unique co-op model provides high quality talent development and content instruction to local, small and medium sized organizations through innovative, hands-on, connected-to-work programming that facilitates meaningful and substantive growth.

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Social Media: Brand Marketing or Personal Enjoyment?

Our world today is dominated by technology, an overabundance of online social networks and conversations about the next big thing. Social media can appear to be a confusing blend of likes, tweets, retweets, snaps, shares, and pins, seemingly better suited for a middle school socialite than a business professional.Though whether we like it or not, social media marketing is an integral part of how brands spread their message and communicate with current and potential customers. Subsequently, tweets and shares become a promotional strategy and take on an entirely new context.

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Survey from smith & beta Reveals Gaps in Agency Readiness, Identifies Talent Development Opportunities

Advertising agencies continue to create cutting-edge solutions for clients, but must invest more in talent development to compete in the fast moving digital economy, according to the findings of a proprietary survey conducted by smith & beta. The three-year quantitative and qualitative benchmark study, The State of Advertising Talent report, analyzed responses from more than 2,000 employees in advertising agencies in North America, EMEA, APAC and LATAM, and brought to light several significant findings

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Why the Agency "Busy" Excuse is BS

Anyone who has ever worked at (or with) an ad agency knows the phrase "sorry, I'm too swamped with client deliverables to help" well. Does it hold any weight?

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Digital Evolution, Let's Get Started.

Many of our clients come to us with goals of transforming people, culture, and business into one that is more digitally-centric. Although it almost seems silly to use the word "digital" in the year 2016, the practice of "digital" remains a critical skillset and mindset development area.

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Know Your Agency's Capabilities in 2016

I read all the industry articles on digital transformation, dearth of talent, competition from consulting, publishing, and everyone in between. As an industry, we do an excellent job talking about the problems, issues and challenges. In fact, a casual search will bring up dozens of articles on the issues or problems, often with very similar conclusions: doom, gloom, sinking ship.

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