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Harish Pal Singh on Communicating Culture

Harish Pal Singh, Editorial Lead at Maker Lab, about his reflections on leading his team and communicating culture in the creative industry

From Mechanical Engineering to Advertising

Hi Harish! Can you tell us about how you ended up in your current role?

I work at an agency in Singapore called Maker Lab, that specializes in building in-house teams (or microagencies as I'd call them) for clients! I'm currently the Editorial Lead for an in-house team that works on the social channels for Netflix Malaysia and Singapore. I handle the creative process and management side of things.

My job is to make people feel things - Whether they're happy, whether they're sad, whether they're hungry. I guess how I ended up in advertising is a little bit of a funny, long-winded story. I studied Mechanical Engineering throughout my time at university. But, I also did marketing jobs.

And then I realized, okay, this whole marketing thing is a lot more fun than engineering, and I'm pretty good at it. So let's give it a go.

That's kind of how I ended up in advertising. Honestly, by accident. Just purely out of luck and good faith here and there.

Reminding people of their “why” is the key to creative resilience

Interesting story! Currently, what keeps you awake at night?

Okay, I would say there are two parts. The first part would be whenever someone new joins, it would be to make them understand that the work we do is what it is - social at its core, lighthearted, self-mocking, and not so serious (or at least not as serious as other people in advertising) as people make it out to be. We're not saving lives, we're not building buildings, we're in advertising.

The second thing is we're fortunate enough to be doing the fun kind of advertising. Our job is to make people laugh, feel, cry, and talk about things.

Reminding people why we're here, why we're doing what we do.

Other than that, it's keeping people creatively motivated. Various people within the team have different ways of consistently refuelling their creative systems. Consistently learning and adapting to different types of creatives and what they require to be creatively resilient, ensuring I support them in the way I can best and they need the most.

Using the Eisenhower Matrix as a framework for Prioritisation

Is there a framework from the sprint that you’ve applied already?

The NC Feedback conversation guide was very helpful. Also, we always refer to the Eisenhower Matrix. Very early on, when people were joining the team, I'd always say look that up and learn how to prioritize your tasks using that.

The Eisenhower Matrix

A Safe, Respectful Space to Practice Leadership

Anything that you want to share with others reading this before we go?

I think the NewCampus program is a very welcoming space. Everybody gave each other space to speak. Everybody was super respectful of each other. Everybody gave each other time. No condescension, nothing. It was great to be a part of it, to help validate some of the stuff that we do.

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