Euro RSCG Life
The situation: In her recently published book “The Art of Managing Professional Services: Insights from Leaders of the World’s Top Firms.” author Maureen Broderick highlights the success of the advertising firm Euro RSCG Life:
Euro RSCG Life is a diverse global healthcare communications network or 60 agencies and 2,000 employees worldwide. In 2003, the firm launched an initiative to bring together its network of agencies under one P&L to unify the organization and to harness and leverage the best ideas and services for its clients around the world. According to Donna Murphy, Worldwide Managing Partner, “Even though the agencies were all part of the same healthcare network, working under the same parent company, they all operated independently. We needed to pull everyone together under one management structure.” Once the global financial objectives were established, the firm began the process of creating a consistent overarching culture throughout the organization. To strategize and help implement the initiative, the firm turned to an outside consultant who suggested they launch a culture scan as an initial step to take the organization’s pulse. The scan provided an overview of the firm’s culture through focus groups, interviews, and an online survey. The goal was to identify and leverage the firm’s strengths and create a more coherent culture by soliciting candid feedback from employees at all levels about what the firm did well, what it needed to work on, and how effective it was at achieving its strategic priorities.
The approach: Each culture scan is carefully planned to encourage maximum input for employees; it takes about 2 months from launch to presentation of the results. As a first step, the leadership team sends out a brief e-mail describing the rationale and scope of the scan. They invite employees to participate by logging onto a special site and completing a 15-minute anonymous online survey that is monitored by the outside consultant. The firm supports its initial announcement with an internal ad campaign of frequent e-mails and signage in local offices to heighten interest and increase participation. In conjunction with the survey, the firm conducts regional focus groups that bring together people at all levels, as well as one-to-one interviews with about 50 employees from a cross-section of practices and geographies. The data from all three activities is analyzed and presented to management at a series of regional meetings. The report highlights results, identifies problem areas, and lays out a strategic framework for the future. Senior management then selects the top three cultural issues to address and maps out a game plan for implementation. The firm rolls out all the results locally by agency. In most cases, agency presidents present the findings and plan in a town-hall format so that employees can ask questions and make suggestions.
The results: “The results have been very gratifying,” says Murphy. Euro RSCG Life has made significant strides in creating a collaborative, unified enterprise from a diverse network of agencies, and employees feel much more connected to the company as a whole. The firm’s efforts have won recognition outside the agency as well. Medical Marketing & Media named Euro RSCG Life the 2010 Network of the Year, and Adweek named the firm the 2009 Healthcare Agency of the Year.
(Reprinted with the kind permission of the author. For more information please visit www.theartofmanagingprofessionalservices.com .)