Dynamic Duos: The Works’ Damian Pincus and Douglas Nicol

In this week's Dynamic Duos, The Works' founder and creative partner Damian Pincus and partner Douglas Nicol tell Mumbrella about how they have managed to put friendship first over 16 years of running creative agency The Works, part of Capgemini.

In Dynamic Duos, Mumbrella each week asks two members of the same organisation with a professional and personal affiliation to share with readers the importance of workplace relationships in an increasingly hybridised world of work.

Damian Pincus:

Douglas and I have been joined at the hip for over 16 years as friends foremost and partners at The Works. Our friendship has always come first, which has worked well for us and the culture of the business. People first and then everything takes care of itself.

We met through Kevin Macmillan, my founding partner, who had been on a boozy re-union lunch with Douglas. They had worked at Patts together where Douglas led the start of their direct and digital offering. There were many funny stories and great times from their time together, and Kev said we should meet Douglas as we were looking for a third partner. “He’s a lovely Irish fella,” Kev said.

Douglas had a big reputation, but no Irish accent? I was struck straight away – there was zero ego, just a super smart strategic brain that loved great ideas. I felt immediately we’d get on, so we tried a honeymoon period, which didn’t last long as we married quickly and Douglas become an equal partner.

Over the 16 years, we’ve built an enduring partnership and are very aligned in our values, so very rarely do we not agree. Douglas has a passion for keeping up to date with the latest tech and innovation and has this crazy youthful passion for everything he does. It’s so infectious, his passion for people, doing the right thing by clients and caring for everyone he works with is inspirational.

The trust we have with each other is unspoken and allows us both to go do our thing and know without doubt the right decisions will always be made. The benefit for us both has been holidays where we are left alone and decisions can be made without bringing each other in all the time. What a relief.

Douglas Nicol:

I met Damian 16 years ago in a coffee shop in Milsons Point. Kevin Macmillan (our previous third Partner) had brought us together to see how we would get on and see the fit to become the third Partner/owner at The Works. In theory Damian is a completely different species to me, from a blue-chip advertising background and passionate about brand advertising. I am very passionate about data, CRM, and tech. We soon realised that although very different, we are the same. We love ideas.

We work well together as we both have a child-like enthusiasm for what we do: curious, excitable, and probably just a little bit silly. Consequently, we laugh a lot, every day.

Running The Works for this length of time together means we have seen some incredible highs and lows and have built a support mechanism for each other that shares the stresses and worries when things are going less well. It has developed into a relationship of total trust knowing that we are genuinely focusing on what is the right thing for the business and our people. It’s funny, because although we have sold the business to Capgemini, we still stress and worry about aspects of the business like we still own it.

We will often fiercely debate an issue and get quite heated about what the right thing to do is, but it is never personal, and we usually get to a good decision. After working together for so long I really value the fact that neither of us have become cynical about what we do.

I admire Damian’s ability to talk to clients about their brand in such an impressive way, he always has an intuitive grasp on the opportunity for a client, he shortcuts the bullshit attached to our industry in such a refreshing manner.

Damian is known for his outrageous sense of humour which l pretend I am shocked at, but secretly enjoy because it often is a circuit breaker in a meeting or a way to get people to not to take life too seriously.

Damian on Douglas:

Most memorable moment with Douglas: I can’t mention them as they are too inappropriate. Actually I can mention the vape smoking as his kids are old enough to know.

Describe Douglas in one word: Forever-young

Douglas’ annoying habit or endearing behaviour: He is the eldest member of the team but is more up to date with the world of technology and innovation than anyone in the agency.

Douglas on Damian:

Most memorable moment with Damian: The moment at an offsite in Wollombi way back in 2007 when we decided to blow up the traditional agency model and put creatives on the forefront of the client relationship

Describe Damian in one word: Energising

Damian’s most annoying habit: Some days his laugh can get a bit nasal and grating.


If you and a colleague would like to submit your story to Dynamic duos, please email kwelch@mumbrella.com.au.


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