Every agency and creative knows it: their best ideas are doomed long before the big pitch, before they’re ever even birthed. Everyone hopes their next project will be different. That when the client says they want the next great campaign, they’ll mean it, and that they’ll understand what that requires. But they won’t. Not unless there’s a dramatic change across the industry and within client organizations.

This year’s big Cannes champion, REI and their #OptOutside campaign, shows what that change looks like. It not only drove more than 1.5MM people to engage with the campaign in social, it also caused a 25% spike in online sales and won a Titanium Grand Prix for the organizations involved.

More importantly, it wasn’t “just” an ad idea. At heart, it was an organizational idea: closing their 143 locations and paying their more than 12,000 employees to go outside and enjoy nature, rather than suffer the dark bacchanalia that is Black Friday. It matched their brand, its values, and their commitment to the larger world — it was synchronistic with and an embodiment of their corporate culture, one that is envied by workers everywhere. No wonder the campaign’s resonance was so profound: it was greater than the idea of shopping on Black Friday. And it was a big gamble that paid off.

But when your clients come calling asking for their version of the REI campaign it’s very likely that they won’t be able to embrace it. And even if they do, it will likely fall flat due to how work in organizations happens today. Misaligned incentives, impenetrable silos, strategic confusion, political hierarchies, cultures of fear, unproductive meetings — all prevent companies from taking a chance on anything they haven’t seen done before. This internal dysfunction means that clients and creatives alike are losing. And it’s another example of why establishing a healthy company culture is crucial for business success.

REI’s culture (and therefore, the root of its success) is comprised of three key elements: compassion, authenticity, and courage. REI cares about its employees and customers. It’s not just a motto they paint on the wall, it’s a belief so strong that it bends the fabric of their very business model. The #OptOutside campaign is authentic. It reflects the company’s commitment to its employees and to nature. Not to mention, closing stores on the biggest shopping day of the year took courage. “Slap a bear in the face” courage. This campaign was not just a “stunt”; there is a clear connection between closing stores and the kind of culture that REI has cultivated since 1938.

Advertising is the use of culture to influence commerce, and culture begins inside of organizations. If we truly want big, bold creative ideas that result in large scale resonance, it requires more than a clever headline, script, or app idea. It demands a reinvention of how we work together; companies to take stock of their internal culture and how they would be perceived by those they wish to win as fans. Only then, when the values inside of organizations align with what they project into the world, will companies be ready for a new era of bold ideas that impact employees and customers alike, and thus achieve the next #OptOutside.

I left advertising because I saw a clear need to help clients redesign how they work by accessing the untapped creativity and capability within their teams. Cannes is an event where agencies take notice and follow the herd for the year to come. Here’s to the hope that agencies and clients can find common ground to innovate not only in how they communicate to the world, but how they work, too. In addition to gaining customers, loyalty inside and outside of their organizations, and increasing revenues — it might just win some shiny objects for them, too.