Charlotte Beers¡¦ Aspiration
With declining revenues and gloomed outlook facing Ogilvy, Beers was determined to seek a ¡§new course¡¨ to inspire client confidence and restore glory of the ¡§beleaguered¡¨ brand.
Main forces in the industry challenging Ogilvy (Robbins p644) included reduced advertising budget, growing competition, and demands for centralized global campaign (p2-3). Ogilvy¡¦s struggles with the new economy were exemplified by losing several key accounts. Also, lack of financial discipline and cost control and absence of collaboration between headquarter and local offices exacerbated the situation (p5).
Beers was tapped by WPP as an external change agent (Robbins p647) to lead Ogilvy through this critical period. Although disadvantaged by an inadequate understanding of the agency, Beers quickly established her presence in an organization that ¡§rejects outsiders¡¨ with her enthusiasm for the brand (p5-6).
Beers recognized that to revitalize the Ogilvy brand, a planned change (Robbins p646) is needed to shake up a complacent organization that had a tendency for working ¡§within the old framework¡¨ (p5). To manage such planned change she aspired to develop a vision, forceful enough to improve Ogilvy¡¦s ability to adapt to the changes associated with the new economy and change employee behavior.
In crafting a new vision, Beers and her team initially failed to effectively implement change in the ¡§unfreezing¡¨ stage (Kotter, Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail). Beers and her team shared the view of taking ¡§no baby steps¡¨ (p8) at the outset, which created an illusion that the agency-wide vision can be easily developed.
Examining Kotter¡¦s eight-step plan for implementing change, Beers first failed to create a powerful enough guiding coalition. Although Beers catalyzed the initial urgency and rallied people who accept change (Robbins p649), only ten senior executives attended the 1992 Vienna...
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