We’re proud to introduce to you Holly Brittingham, vice president of global culture & inclusion of FCB. From her love of books and reading to the introduction of innovative new programs at FCB and her first job in advertising, get to know Holly a little bit better.
Tell me about your first job in advertising.
Technically, this is my first job in advertising! Right after college, I worked in a few boutique agencies, but I was on the PR side of the house. Then I got interested in the internal dynamics of our client organizations, so I left to get a master’s degree in Organization Development. My career since then has included stints in the entertainment, financial services and enterprise IT industries. However, I’ve always loved the creativity and fun spirit of the advertising world, and so I’m thrilled to be back.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Be good to yourself.
Tell me about a transformational moment in your career?
When I gave a speech about the importance and value of authentic leadership to the graduating class of a leadership development program my team and I had designed. The chairman was in the audience, and the event helped us to secure funding to keep the program going, despite tough economic times.
What five things would you bring to a deserted island?
My husband, an e-reader loaded with books, a journal and pen, hiking boots, dark chocolate.
What do you have in store for FCB?
The Diversity & Inclusion initiative, which has been limited to our U.S. offices, is transforming to become Culture & Inclusion, a global effort focused on creating the kind of workplace conditions in which groundbreaking creative work and innovative solutions will flourish. It’s about everyone and it’s about looking at ourselves and the world in new and different ways. I’m also working on creating a success profile for FCB leaders that will connect our everyday work behaviors with FCB’s new purpose statement. And, I’m excited to be able to do some work in our various offices such as delivering a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) workshop in San Francisco and facilitating a strategic planning session for the leadership team in Shanghai.
What are three things most people don’t know about you?
1) When I was 12, I became the Maine State Monopoly Champion and won a trip to Beverly Hills to compete in the national tournament (where, unfortunately, I went bankrupt).
2) I’m very competitive.
3) Without contact lenses or glasses, I can only see things clearly about one inch in front of my face.
What songs are on your “Top 25 Most Played” list?
Counting Crows – “Omaha”; Alison Krauss – “Restless”; Dave Matthews Band – “Ants Marching”; John Mayer – “Gravity”; KT Tunstall – “Other Side of the World”; Lenny Kravitz – “Fly Away”; and CSN – “Southern Cross”
Tell me about your favorite vacation.
Traveling to Nigeria with a grad school classmate was incredible. We went to the small village where she grew up: small shacks, outdoor kitchens, no running water or electricity and the most beautiful, kind and welcoming people. It was the one-year anniversary of the death of her father, who was the chief of the village. The celebration of dancing and drumming was nonstop for three days straight.
What is the most fascinating thing about the human brain?
The brain is like the Wild West – there is so much we don’t know. Recently, scientists have begun to realize that the brain is more malleable than previously thought. In other words, “old dogs” can indeed learn “new tricks.” This is exciting, since other research reveals the tremendous impact of the unconscious brain on virtually everything we do. The great news is that we humans have the ability to literally change our brains to expand the ways we see and think about things.