The Tangible Outcome

1. The most significant outcome has been the growing confidence and authority with which Ken Kaess has defined his leadership style and goals.
On taking over from the charismatic industry legend Keith Reinhard, Ken and his new management team had to focus on the financial and structural impact of changing client demands, government legislation, global recession, competitive consolidation and unwavering parent company Omnicom demands.
This had not afforded Ken any 'headroom' to define how his leadership would impact upon how the company would grow in the future. This in turn had led to few beyond his closest partners on the management board really grasping what his leadership meant to them.
As part of the dialogue with tcp, Ken decided to run a parallel strategy to ensure his leadership 'voice' was heard and believed in - so that action followed.

back continue...

1. (continued) Ken's decision was to bring together the top thirty operational managers across the worldwide company so that he could demonstrate his belief in collaborative leadership allied to personal accountability and establish them as a vital 'global community'.
In other words he took the apparent risk of defining his leadership by asking his key people (beyond his Executive) for theirs.
His method was to ask them to bring the best of their experience in creating new value for clients, so that that experience could shape the future direction of the company. At the same time, he asked his Executive Management Group - who by necessity had been operating in a more 'directional' manner and who by definition were unsure of the 'leadership risk' Ken was taking - to re-examine their Roles and Responsibilities in light of the changes that a fully-fledged 'People First' strategy demanded.

back continue...

1. (continued) This in effect, was the first phase in a process that resulted ultimately in the Executive Management Group producing a new 3 Year Plan for DDB which was not then 'passed down' to the Operational Management group, but which had in fact, been informed and shaped by them.
The 3 Year plan incorporates detailed goals and objectives, all of which have been assigned to members of the Executive to fulfil - all of whom require one another and members of the Operational management to meet their new brief.
This outcome, unimaginable at the beginning of the process only six months earlier, has ensured that any questions that even Ken may have had about the relevance of his leadership beliefs to the future success of DDB Worldwide, have been removed.

back continue...

2. Two core elements underpin this process and each represents a significant tangible outcome.
The first is that in addition to the 3 Year Plan, the Executive Group have collaborated to produce a 'Brand Foundation' for DDB Worldwide.
'Brand Foundations' is a proprietary DDB Tool that provides the architecture for any company to link their core/founding principles with their future vision for the business.
DDB's Executive, with tcp's participation, produced a 'Brand Foundation' that incorporates a new global methodology, which places the client at the centre of the strategic and creative development process from the outset.
Whilst this may be the norm in smaller boutique agencies, it has never been attempted on such a scale and is truly differentiating for DDB Worldwide.

back continue...

2. (continued) In addition, the new 'Brand Foundation' commits DDB to further differentiate itself from its competitors by entering the business solutions marketplace. This will require an overhaul of the company's core competencies, skills, systems, hierarchies and product range.
The outcome will be a far more matrix based organisation, with far less 'command and control' from the centre.
In effect, the Executive Management group have followed Ken's lead and committed themselves to a more collaborative, transparent and accountable style of leadership.
The second additional tangible outcome relates to the accountability of the Executive Management group. Without this accountability, the credibility of all that Ken's leadership stands for is open to question - especially amongst the key Operational Management 'community'. Each member of the Executive has produced new Roles and Responsibilities.

back continue...

2. (continued) These have been written so that no single member of the Executive can fulfil their remit without the significant contribution of at least one (and usually two) of their peers. In other words, this process has guaranteed inter-dependency, collaboration, transparency and accountability within the leadership of the organisation.
Every new Role and Responsibility has been written in the context of the 'Brand Foundations' and designed to deliver on the commitments of the 3 Year Plan.
Also, all incorporate a detailed set of implications, ensuring that real progress can be made against the vision/goals as a result of informed forward planning.
In other words, the tangible outcome is that Ken Kaess can now measure his own performance as well as that of his key Executive Management group, transforming therefore the potential to turn their vision for DDB Worldwide into reality.

back continue...