Why producers are the in-house leaders you need

As in-house production gains more momentum, it’s critical for in-house agencies to be cognizant of producers as strategic leaders to provide value across this next phase of their growth, argues Pranav Arya

“Leadership is not a journey to rise in the ranks. Leadership is a journey to help those around us rise.” Simon Sinek

Have you noticed that the industry seems to be at an inflection point?

We’re riding the crest of an ever growing tsunami of new content that needs producing, for ever more platforms, for even less budget, and in even more truncated timelines, not to mention the ostensibly daily advances in new technology.

It’s apparent that production is becoming more and more integral as a way to lead businesses, in-house agencies and marketing departments through these shifting tides, since its core values align with both creative and business needs, connecting the entire process.

Yet production often gets relegated to just an executional and delivery function, brought onboard way too late to fix an already leaky boat instead of helping to build a watertight ship in the first place.

With brands increasingly looking to expand their in-house agencies with in-house production, it’s time to elevate your perspective of producers, engaging them as the strategic leaders they are, unleashing their skills to help you with the next stages of creative growth.

So how do you evaluate the leadership qualities of Producers?

If you think about it, you’re probably already aware of the leadership qualities of producers; great communicators, superb planners, adept problem-solvers and delegators, unwaveringly able to adapt to new challenges.

In a recent Harvard Business Review article by Rebecca Knight, exploring the work by Harvard Business School Professor Linda Hill – one of the world’s top experts on leadership, Rebecca outlines Hill’s eight essential qualities for successful leadership. All of which should frame your perception of producers and the value they bring to your business.

“As a leader, you must embody your best self — the version that’s not only highly effective but also capable of motivating and inspiring those around you.“

Producers need to earn the trust of a wide variety of people, connecting, managing and motivating different personalities and agendas in order to get everyone pulling in the same direction.

“It’s about looking around the corner, exploring uncharted territories, and trying to understand the art of the possible.”

Producers are always asking questions. Their innate curiosity drives them to investigate and discover entirely new creative methods to get sh*t done!

Analytical prowess
“Leadership requires the ability to break down complex problems, identify their root causes, and come up with fresh solutions.”

Productions are a series of interconnected complex problems to solve. Producers naturally develop an analytical mindset, leveraging data, their experience, and expertise to make informed decisions.

“Stakeholder expectations are evolving faster and [leaders] need to be able to adjust to these ever-shifting demands.”

Producers must be prepared for the unexpected. It’s inevitable that things will change, raising new challenges and opportunities. Being able to pivot rapidly and calmly is instrumental.

“Diversity of thought is the driving force behind true innovation, as each of us brings our own unique perspective and “slice of genius” to the table.”

Everything a producer does is rooted in creative thinking. Creativity is the ability to bring perspective to a problem, to see things that others can’t, to look at things from different angles and embrace learning from others.

Comfort with Ambiguity
“ [Leaders] need to cultivate a systems mindset, which helps [them] understand how things are connected and allows [them] to grapple with opposing ideas in the face of uncertainty.”

Producers always deal with uncertainty. They have to understand the cause and effect relationship between competing ideas and how they fit into the overall picture.

“[Leaders] exhibit the resilience to recalibrate if they’re veering off course.”

Production is fraught with constantly changing goal posts built on shifting sands. This environment forges a resilience and ability to pivot. If anything, constantly pivoting is normal in production.

“Leaders must foster relationships, build trust, and actively engage with their team members. You need to be able to step into the shoes of your team members, understand what matters to them.”

Producers deal with a lot of different people. They all need to be understood to ensure they give their best. Often relationships are fostered for the first time in high pressure environments.

In-house agencies are best positioned to lead the way

In the growing and exciting world of in-house agencies, the logical next step will be expanding or building more in-house production capabilities. It is imperative that brands hire and bring in people with production backgrounds to benefit from their experience and leadership qualities. Furthermore, access to production talent has never been better, with more producers wanting to work in-house at brands.

Harnessing a Producer’s holistic and complete skill set would help transform your business. Your team building should be centred around them.

Let these producers lead you to the promised land.


Pranav Arya is the co-founder of House Band a strategic production consultancy that works with brands and in- house agencies to optimize or establish in house production through production strategy and data analysis.

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