THE FLOORS OF PERCEPTION (PART 4/4)

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recent trend of breaking down department walls is KB&P. As it begins a redesign of its New York office, the company is preparing to separate AEs and creatives not just by walls but by floors. An "executive floor" will become the face of the agency to clients; Richard Kirshenbaum, Jonathan Bond and the account managers will be based there. The wild and crazy creative department will be on a separate floor. "One of the perceived qualities of this agency is that we're chaotic, but that doesn't mean we have to be chaotic everywhere," says CD Bill Oberlander.

Montague believes that creatives pick up on the signals that an environment is sending to outsiders-and it can affect the work. "If an agency looks like a bank, that suggests that it's being run more by the business side, and that sets the tone for the whole culture," he says.

Goldsmith, meanwhile, contends that an agency's culture will tend to be determined more by policies and personalities. "If the people running the agency have a style that breeds paranoia or politics, that is likely to spread whether you have an open floor or closed offices," he says. "On the other hand, you can be successful with any number of physical environments if the psychic

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