This advertising executive reflects on Gagnon Associates’ consulting support to a critical and delicate organizational integration challenge:
Some time ago we asked for your help in re-chartering, aligning and mobilizing our newly-reorganized Ralph Lauren Advertising function here at Polo. It has been five months now since the last of the interventions you designed and conducted for the group in response to our request. I’m writing this to say that the progress we have seen in terms of collaboration and respect since then has been significant.
These two sessions – first for the entire department (60 people) and then for the leadership team (18) – had a variety of positive results. First, the newly formed department, undergoing a very difficult transition, was able to realize how important it was for us all to come together and help to fulfill our mission. Second, the senior team came away with a better understanding of how their individual areas relate and must work together in order for the agency to work. Third, the group saw the value in articulating issues and concerns in a positive way that encourages solutions rather than placing blame.
What you helped us accomplish is, of course, critical to us. But, just as important, I want to recognize that it was how you went about it that facilitated our success. As a creatively-driven company, it was very important for us to find a consultant who understood the nature of a creative environment and was able to work in a way that made both business-minded and artistically-minded people feel comfortable. You were clear in your objectives and in your delivery of information and you were highly effective at keeping the discussion on course, and managed to do all of that in a diplomatic way.
I would recommend you as a consultant for a variety of reasons, Ray, but all of this brings to mind what I find most distinctive and “recommendable” about you and your work. And here I’m speaking beyond the recent Advertising conferences to include other work we’ve done together. You are an extraordinary listener who not only hears what we tell you but who also processes it and uses it to inform everything you do for us. You never stray from your objective. You deliver what you promise. You offer perspective and recommendations with a combination of well-informed perspective, good instincts, experience, and candor.
Thanks for helping me and my team at a critical time. I look forward to working with you again.