When Charlotte Beers (CB) arrives in 1992, O&M, previously one of the most creative and successful advertising agency in the world, faced a major crisis. Major advertising assignments have been lost, as the agency was disconnected from the demand of its costumers, revenues are in decline, and staff morale is low. Above all, the company seems to have lost its identity. The network and culture was fragmented (whereas O&M was to be indivisible), and the agency's pride of creativity, "unorthodoxy" was falling apart. Beers takes over
Her first moves are for change, and to establish a clear vision, she first listens to client complaints and needs. The message was very positive: CB knows the problem is serious, but instead of trying to do like everything was ok, she said "we're not going to do that anymore, so let's talk about what we can accomplish together". From these meetings CB understood what clients wanted: an agency that understood the complexity and the strength of the brand. To restore confidence, both externally and internally, the agency needed a clear vision. It will be the brand: building the clients' brands and reputation. From this vision, the reorganization of the group takes place. With a small group of people she think could share her vision; she creates the first 3 strategies: focus on presents clients, "better work" and financial discipline. She requires more from the individuals, and implements a structure to strengthen these capacities with a reward system and other incentives. The idea here is to be more efficient, and all of this under the framework of her "vision". To be rewarded, the staffs don't only need to work more, but it needs to understand CB's vision and to advertise it: they must be both believers and missionaries. The senior executives who developed the 3 strategies also had this mission. The first tensions
This idea was very interesting, but Ogilvy's organization and culture...