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10 Steps For Managing Change In Your Business

Change—some thrive on it, while others resist it. Why is it that two individuals can look at the same thing and think totally different thoughts? Some see change as essential, while others fear the worst. "Half full" versus "half empty"—possibilities versus consequences. We have a few ideas on managing change in your business. Here’s our basic behavioral profile—we’re optimists; we enjoy interacting with others, have a high trust level, sometimes talk too much, are generally quick to accept meaningful change and at times too direct. We share these behaviors with about half of the population. Our natural tendencies are to quickly accept change.  Keep in mind that over one-third the population is naturally reserved about accepting change and there’s an additional 14% who flatly resist change. (Figures based on DISC Behavior population norms.) While sometimes we control change, most of the time we are impacted by change and are expected by employers, clients, boards of directors or the government to accept change and support it. But if our natural tendencies are to be reserved or resistant, is it a fair expectation? Our answer, setting aside our personal tendencies, is “no.” Even for change “embracers” like ourselves, skepticism may set in if a change effort is poorly managed. For “change” to take place we need a large segment of the work force to accept, believe and support the change. Change needs to be accepted and ultimately viewed positively. If change isn’t accepted, it will become the kryptonite that brings an organization to its knees. The real questions are “Where?,” “Why?” and “How?” will an organization make critical changes. and "What are the implications if changes are not implemented?" Here is a change process designed to engage the [...]

By |September 25th, 2018|

3 Steps to Stop Inflicting Help On Your Agency Team

The aroma of vegetable soup wafted up the stairs to my office. Moments later, my wife called, “Dinner’s ready!” “Mmmmm … I love homemade soup,” I thought. Rushing down the stairs and past the pantry, I spied a tube of crackers, grabbed them, and headed for the dining room. My wife sat at the table, waiting for me, smiling. Her smile vanished as she saw the tube of crackers. “Oh, this isn’t good enough? I really tried to get everything you like. I even brought out the oyster crackers …” Confused, I looked at her. Then, I looked at the table. She had arranged a beautiful spread of crackers, sliced cheese, chips & dips, salsa, veggies and grilled sandwiches to go with our soup. And there I stood, tube of crackers in hand, inflicting help. Acting Without Asking Inflicting help occurs when the helper acts in a way they feel as helpful but the recipient does not. It often stems from the helper not asking if, how or when someone would like to be helped. Instead, the helper jumps in and acts without asking. “But, I was only trying to help!” I was trying to comfort her. “I didn’t know you had all this out. I smelled the soup, saw the crackers, and grabbed them to be helpful.” We quickly sorted things out and went on to have a great meal together. Looking back, it was an interesting interaction, and it holds some lessons for agency managers. Because too often, well-meaning agency owners or managers inflict help on their teams. And when we realize what we’ve done, we might exclaim, “But, I was only trying to help!” Step One — Stop and Look Inflicting help is almost [...]

By |July 31st, 2018|

How Can Agency Account Managers Build Better Client Relationships

Innovation doesn’t happen when you’re taking orders from a client. It happens when your agency and your client work together to build something groundbreaking and different. And that’s where every agency sets out to be: on the cutting edge of new ideas and trends. Today, thriving agencies aren’t just selling their clients marketing tactics; they’re helping them solve business problems and build better client relationships. The advantages of business savvy So, how can you begin to earn the kind of client relationships you’re looking for? You have to start by earning your clients’ trust and the first people to begin to build that relationship are the ones communicating with them every day: your Account Executives. It’s not enough for your Account Executives to simply be good communicators, though. They also need to prove that they’re good Business Advisors, and that means understanding every aspect of business, from finance to production to distribution. It’s simple: The more an Account Executive understands how business works, the more effectively he can serve his clients’ businesses. Here are a few proven benefits of Account Executives with real, working business knowledge: 1. It allows you to create better, more complex solutions to your clients’ problems. The best account management allows your agency to be a valuable resource for your clients, rather than just a vendor. Having smart, proven business knowledge to back your creative recommendations won’t just help you sell to your current clients. It will also differentiate you from other agencies that are still simply selling “marketing stuff.” 2. It allows you to charge a premium price because you can document the value you deliver. Your Account Executives won’t just run more profitable accounts. They’ll also be able to prove [...]

By |September 27th, 2017|

Advertising agency management tip — employees first

Looking for tips on advertising agency management? Look no further. I just attended a Disney Institute event where I was reminded of Walt Disney's business philosophy. I am paraphrasing here, but basically Walt said, "If you take good care of your employees, they'll take good care of your customers. And that takes good care of your bank account."  In other words -- employees first. Agency owners are so busy with advertising agency management, chasing after new business and putting out fires that it's easy to take the employees for granted.  (Unless they're the ones on fire -- then they occupy all of your attention!) The speed of agency life often gets in the way of an advertising agency owner really focusing on if they're setting up their employees to be successful. Now when I say employees first in advertising agency management -- I'm not suggesting they only work 35 hours, get foot massages at their desks and that you keep the fridge stocked with caviar. We all know that working at an agency is not for sissies -- it's tough stuff. The deadlines can be killer, the clients are demanding and when the work load is heavy -- the days are late and long. All the more reason to create an environment where your employees know that you have their back and you want them to be successful. What does an employees-first agency look like - it has vision/values that defines who they are The agency has a profile of the kind of person who thrives in the agency (hire for attitude, train for aptitude) The agency has a strong sense of its own traditions and heritage and a way to share/teach them to new recruits There's [...]

By |September 18th, 2014|
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