The purpose of this paper is to analyze the Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide case study. The analysis will focus on the leadership of Charlotte Beers in the company. Specifically, the objectives that she tried to achieve will be analyzed. This will include the process that Beers and her team used to create a new vision.
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What Beers Tried to Achieve
The main objective that Beers tried to achieve was to create change to enable the company to regain its leadership position in the industry. Her mission was to transform Ogilvy and Mather from a beleaguered organization to a rejuvenated company that was capable of satisfying market needs (Ibarra & Sackley, 2011). Beers believed that the company lacked a clear vision and values that defined what it stood for.
She also believed that the company would only succeed if it helped its clients to manage the relationship between their customers and products. Thus, Beers focused on encouraging her team to change by adopting brand stewardship as a philosophy that would enable them to utilize their talents to address market needs.
Getting the Vision Right
The new vision statement created by Beers and her team was “to be the agency most valued by those who most value brands” (Ibarra & Sackley, 2011, p. 11). This vision statement was effective because it was based on the brand stewardship philosophy, which was expected to improve the company’s effectiveness in satisfying market needs.
The vision was likely to improve the competitiveness of the company by facilitating client acquisition. Nonetheless, the vision was not realized because of ineffective implementation strategies. There was no consensus on the importance of brand stewardship among managers. Additionally, the company’s organizational structure and compensation system were not aligned to the new vision. This means that Beers and her team got the vision right. However, they failed to implement appropriate strategies to achieve it.
Creating the Vision
The main strength of the process used to create the new vision was that Beers was able to create a sense of urgency for change (Mind Tools, 2015). She was also able to establish a powerful coalition of managers and employees who believed that the company needed to change by adopting a new vision. Nonetheless, the process was not effective in harnessing the ideas and concerns of the coalition. Ogilvy’s organizational culture promoted informal debates, which occurred outside meeting rooms. Beers did not take advantage of informal interactions to get genuine feedback from her team. Consequently, she merely challenged the team to support the vision instead of seeking alternative ideas to improve it.
Effective communication was not used to achieve the required buy-in. For instance, the significance of brand stewardship was not clear to most workers in the company (Ibarra & Sackley, 2011). This led to resistance from middle-level management and employees. Poor communication was caused by the fact that only a few top managers were responsible for creating buy-in.
The aim of Beers was to turn around the company by creating a new vision that would inspire employees to develop and provide effective services. The new vision was excellent because it addressed market needs. However, it was not realized because the company failed to adopt effective implementation strategies. Most employees did not understand the vision. This led to conflicts and resistance to change in the company.
Ibarra, H., & Sackley, N. (2011). Charlotte Beers at Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.
Mind Tools. (2015). Kotter’s 8-step change model: Implementing change powerfully and successfully.