As a cutting edge communicator, you need to know what is happening. You need to understand the changes. You need to see how they will impact on your own creative thinking process, because they will.
Strategies and briefs
The joke goes something like this: a copywriter and an account director were visiting a client in Paris. The copywriter asked the account director how to get to the client's office, and the account director handed him a map of Europe.
Too often, conventional agency methodologies produce strategies and briefs which are meaningless. Strategy is probably the most abused word in advertising.
A strategy is not a request to produce a campaign. It should be the blueprint for the campaign, the path through the mine field.