people. product. profit.

Doyle Dane Bernbach is a global advertising agency with a new vision. Doyle Dane Bernbach University is the global learning institution whose task is to educate its people in the new vision. Our task was to help DDBU's people align its activity with the new vision.

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DDBU (Doyle Dane Bernbach University) is the 'virtual' learning institution responsible for educating all levels of DDB employees in every aspect of applied skills, intellectual & cultural capital and proprietary tools.
Its' mission is to foster fellowship, spread a common language, share knowledge and inspire change.
DDB is a global communications/advertising agency with 206 offices in 96 countries, employing 10,000 people.

It is part of the Omnicom Group.

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The Key Task

The key task was to align DDBU with DDB's new strategic goal of being a 'People First' organisation - in other words, an organisation where the hierarchy is reversed from the norm to become 'people; product; profit', in that order. This required DDBU's management to reappraise their strategy, commitments, roles & responsibilities, systems, evaluation criteria and team ethic in order to ensure that they moved to the centre of DDB management operations. A shorthand for the task was that DDBU wished to become 'the central nervous system' for the global organisation.

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The Main Players

The main players in DDBU's management team are
James Best, Chief People & Strategic Officer
DDB Worldwide;
Raquel Suarez, Director;
Susan Gillette, Dean;
Paul Feldwick, Strategic Learning Officer and Brand Planning Director DDB Worldwide;
Stacey Prenner, Manager.

For the purposes of the research, James Best, Raquel Suarez and Paul Feldwick were interviewed.

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