Saatchi & Saatchi CEO’s Emotional and Provocative Speech

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Saatchi & Saatchi CEO’s Emotional and Provocative Speech

I love articles that make me think and react.I encourage you to read the article “Marketing is dead” in The Drum. The article covers a speech made by Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi.

(I don’t know if what he says about strategy being dead is true, although tidy five-year plans seem downright dangerous during these times. And I can’t imagine organizations of any size operating without managers. And, where I live, we sure had a recession.)

Aside from that, I very much like Roberts’ argument that we need to add emotion and “dreams” into the work. Provocative, yes, but look at all the comments he is receiving. He got our attention.

He focuses on the market. My own work focuses on why people support change – and why they resist it – inside the organization. So I started to think about his ideas and what it would take inside an organization to bring his dream to life.

1. In order to inspire people inside the organization, people at all levels must know what’s going on. Sounds obvious, I know, but I am constantly amazed at how far out of the loop people are. No one provides the big picture in ways that they can see it. Or quickly enough so they can do something with the dream and the Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats.

2. Insist that people at all levels focus on – and measure their performance – on how well they move the organization toward the dream. (This is not a terribly hard thing to do. Read any of the books on Open Book Management especially those by John Case or Jack Stack. They tell you how to connect the dots so that people are aligned and working toward goals that matter.)

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