The End of an Era


Pour me a double, we are weeks away from the end of an era. This Sunday AMC’s Mad Men returns to the airwaves for its final season.

It should come as no surprise that I – a student of advertising, lover of mid-century modern architecture, New Yorker at heart – was hooked from episode one. Beyond the glamour, intrigue and Don Draper handsomeness, Mad Men captured a real renaissance in the advertising world. The decade of the 60’s, this was the advertising’s big boom.

Seven seasons into Mad Men, I’m still surprised to see life in the early days of corporate America – the constant smoking, rampant sexual harassment, three-Martini lunches. It’s also a reminder of how much still needs to change – all those middle-aged white men at the top, not enough women and minorities in positions of leadership.

Speaking of Mad Men’s boozy, liquid lunches, those days are definitely over. Today’s business lunch is more likely to be juiced or blended than shaken or stirred. In fact, I’ve seen some colleagues skip the meal entirely, opting  to chat business over a spin class instead.

Because walking meetings are so 2013, aren’t they?

Actually, the walking meeting has been around a while and for good reason. Fresh air feeds inspiration. It’s scientifically proven. In my New York dot-com days we’d often take a team meeting or brainstorming session to Madison Square Park (even before Shake Shack). So instead of the boardroom for your next meeting, I recommend you head for the front door. For those in the entrepreneurial set (like me) I say we take the business meeting to a more pleasurable setting altogether, be it a tennis court, yoga studio or nail salon.

As long as you’re inspired and productive, who needs a boring boardroom?