Modern Workplace | Teamwork in Action

Modern Workplace | Teamwork in Action


[MUSIC].>>Teamwork for me is about a
group of individuals coming together as a collective, with an
objective to get something done, and a big part of that is
being able to bring different, diverse skill sets together
whether it’s creatives, whether it’s data technologies, whether it’s commerce specialists, all of these things make up a multifaceted dimensional team that help us get the best
outcome for our clients. [MUSIC]>>Team work drives
our world through. The differences,
communications barriers, and ineffective work environments
can make team work hard. So how does one of
the world’s foremost digital and creative
agencies succeed? Today, we are going to see the
principles of teamwork in action, at Wunderman Thompson, and find out how diverse teams drive results
for their customers. I traveled to Manhattan, to meet Courtney Gillis, where we
talked about her role in helping orchestrate the teamwork across one of their largest
accounts. Hey Courtney.>>Hey Alex.>>Lovely to see you.>>Lovely to see you.>>I can’t believe you get to come in through
here every single day.>>Everyday. It’s amazing.>>So we’re headed to the offices. Tell me a little bit about
your specific role at WPP.>>Sure. WPP as an organization has been going
through a lot of change. Our agencies used to be very siloed, and now we’re trying to
be more collaborative, open, and client-centric
in everything that we do.>>What does that mean when you say the agencies used to
be really siloed?>>They were very functional, so they’re in competition
with one another, so competing for business, competing for different
ways of working, and now we’re trying
to really bring the best of our talent across the organization for the best
interests of our clients.>>Wow, so it’s not as simple as it, it’s not like five people. You’re marshaling a lot
of different people?>>A lot across all countries, all of our agencies,
thousands of people.>>Wow, and you have to bring those people together to work
on behalf of that client.>>And empower them to be able
to want to do that and give them the tools to enable
them to do their work.>>That’s pretty cool.>>Yeah. It used to be so hard to work and now we’re just
making it easier and simpler.>>Amazing. Well, before
we head to the offices, do you have a favorite spot
here at Grand Central Terminal?>>Well, the favorite is just
being able to walk in here every day on the way to Wunderman Thompson,
which is right this way.>>Let’s head out.>>Okay. [MUSIC]>>So how far have we got to go?>>A block and a half, two blocks.>>From Grand Central Terminal, we made our way to Wunderman
Thompson’s offices where we met up with Jamie McLellan, Global CIO for the agency.>>Good to see you.>>Good too Courtney,
thank you very much.>>Absolutely. I’m
heading to a meeting, but I’m sure I’ll see you guys later.>>Thanks great.>>Thanks Courtney, take
care. Should we head up?>>Definitely. It’s good to see
you Jamie. It’s been awhile.>>Sure, it has been. A huge amount has changed since you
and I caught up last. Since then, WPP has
merged Wunderman and Thompson together to create Wunderman Thompson.
So, our organization is effectively doubled
in size and therefore, go-to-market principles
have changed tremendously. The way that we team, the
way that we network, the way that we collaborate is
changing tremendously as well. So, big challenges ahead and
we’re facing them head on.>>You can tell.>>Yeah, have a seat.>>Thank you. So what were some of the challenges you
faced doubling in size overnight?>>Well, I think that the
biggest challenge was how do we come together
in a unified way? Everything from which
office are we going to base people out of,
and all the way through to the tooling and
technology that we would have to department integration
and amalgamation. So a real lot of challenges and some of the
things we tried to do with technology was trying to make it as simple for people
to understand what the Wunderman Thompson toolset
is going to be moving forward and how they can build
that into their way of working.>>Sometimes people have
this perception of, ‘Oh no, we all need to sit around the campfire and everybody agrees.’>>Yeah.>>When in reality,
it’s actually sometimes people’s differences and
different points of view that can lead to better outcomes. So I’m interested in what
the experience has been merging these two different companies
and different organizations. Have you experienced that?>>Yeah. I think actually it
probably know we’ve merged the businesses in a perhaps bigger
way than we did previously. That cognitive tension
or creative tension was probably already there
within both agencies, but I think you should
bring it together, and that diversity of
skill set increases because we not only are
we a creative agency, we’re a technology company, we’re a commerce company,
we’re a growth business, and all of those things coming together has amplified
the points of view, the perspectives, the insights
that all need to come in to get, to drive to the right outcome. Our business process to get to
this is actually called “collision,” and one of the things is now that just signifies that something
is going to happen, and the reality is we can’t
get to the right outcome without actually really pushing through and banging off each other.>>I’m fascinated by
that. So the very process and methodology or
the way of your thinking, you’re calling it “collision.” Like you’re almost explicitly saying like, ‘There’s going
to be a crash here.’>>Yeah. That process and that
methodology is a managed process. So it’s not that we just don’t put a dozen people into a
room and say ‘scrap it out.’ While it’s called “collision,”
and it sounds aggressive, in reality it’s a managed process. But what were actually
saying to everyone, ‘Have a point of view,
have a perspective. Don’t sit back and don’t leave the room thinking you haven’t
had the input you need to have.’>>Is that where someone like
Courtney and her role comes in?>>Yeah. I think
there’s two aspects to this. Courtney and her role are
really the big challenge of how do we keep consistency as we go
forward, and at the same time provide a mechanism to be highly collaborative as well. So, the aspects, the technology that we give
and the tools that we give to our people, need to support how we co-collaborate, how we co-create. It’s not really necessarily about getting in a physical room anymore.>>Now, last time we spoke
as we were finishing up, I asked you what were
you excited for, what are you looking forward to, and at that point you were
just deploying Microsoft Teams.>>Yes.>>It was in trial, I
believe. It’s been a while, it’s been three years. Same question.>>Yeah. I think at the
time we were probably an early adopter of a lot of
the Office 365 technology, and I think I’ll be
really honest and say we’re still on that adoption curve. There’s definitely
bits of our business that have taken a little
bit longer to get there. But ultimately we’re all in. We’ve seen the maturity of Teams
allows us to do more within that, but at the same time,
the behaviors in our own organization change to
match those two things really well. That’s been really comforting
to see our challenges, how we then manage and
orchestrate at scale, and how we keep that going
within the organization at large, and you see people teaming, people leveraging Surface
Hubs to collaborate, etc. It’s just comforting to know that the strategic investment
we made to lean into Microsoft Office 365 heavily
has stood as in good stead, and what’s really interesting was as we brought Wunderman
Thompson together, we’ve managed to
harmonize that because both businesses were all in. Really what we’ve tried hard to do is make sure that as
well as being all in, we’re all in a single tenant, we’re all working well together, we’re all moving forward. It’s been a couple of years
since you’ve been around. We’re a different business now,
we’re in the same address, why don’t we walk around and see what it looks like now and you can get just a sense for
how the agency works.>>I love that, cool.>>Let me just start to show
you some of the things. We’ve got guiding principles so we’re on the south side
of the building. There’s a couple of
things I’ll show down here. But ultimately, the space is about trying to give our
employees the right experience. So we wanted people to
have a home to come to, so around the building, everyone, even if they “hot desk” are part of a small neighborhood that
they connect into. A pod, so to speak, and that helps a lot with a sense of being and
a sense of belonging, which we think is critical to
them being part of that team. But at the same time, everything is open, as you
can see and therefore people, if they want to have a different experience
one day over the other, they can do it as well. The other thing I want to
point out again is just, you know what better the
mantras then togetherism? We’ve got that aspect
of constantly reminding people that you are a
part of a small team, a part of a big team, and really to contribute
in their own way.>>Now, a lot of the meeting
rooms have a mixture of more formal space,
softer space, screens.>>Yeah, and that’s deliberate. So some are what you’d say is
your classic meeting rooms with screens and tables and
desks and boardroom-style. Other ones are soft seating with
no technology in it at all. There are areas where we’re saying, ‘No tech. You’re going to go in there, you’re going to dream, and let’s do it
without technology.’ What was really interesting was, once we adopted Surface Hubs, the demand in the
non-technology rooms to pull them into the dream
sessions became critical. Hang on. I know you
met Courtney earlier, but let me introduce
you to Christina.>>Fantastic.>>Hey Christina, can I
introduce you to Alex?>>Yeah, how are you?>>Christina, Alex.>>Nice to meet you.>>I’ll catch you later.>>Awesome, see you then.>>Okay. Thanks guys.>>Bye Jamie.>>Thank you for the time.>>Okay.>>No problem.>>Christina, tell me a little
bit about yourself and your role.>>Yeah. So I run
Inclusive Design and Accessibility at Wunderman
Thompson global. What that is, is we
create so many products, so many ads for our clients. How do we make sure it’s not ignoring the 20 percent of people
who have disabilities?>>That really resonates with one of the themes as it
pertains to teamwork, which is this notion
of diverse teams, and that diversity can mean gender, it can be people with mixed abilities, it can be racial and ethnic
minorities, for example. But when you bring different
groups of people together, you’ll get to better outcomes.>>Definitely. I have
a physical disability, both my arms are paralyzed and I have friends that I
work with who are deaf, and because we have technology, we can communicate better in
that if someone had an idea, someone else was able to pick
holes at it to make the idea better so that we can really
move at the speed of light.>>How does that relate back to the work that you’re doing every
day based on your account team?>>Sure, very similar. Changing mindsets and changing
behaviors in all that we do. Most recently I was in our
Wunderman Thompson DC office working with the team
and really trying to understand what is the
purpose of their team? Who are the people that work on it? What is their daily process
and what do they need? So really understanding the
needs of any person working in general is where you
need to start and technologies and tools and
enabling them comes after.>>So it’s interesting. You,
I’ve heard you say today, this notion of employee-centric, you’re saying human-centric, and
in reality it’s the same thing.>>Yeah.>>People first.>>Absolutely. Now obviously
the agency has come together, and so you’ve brought these
different groups of people together. What’s next? What do
you both working on to improve teamwork and
outcomes for your clients?>>We’ve just begun I think, right?>>Yeah.>>Now that you have everyone
you’re breaking down the silos, I think of the, from a physical building or
maybe a technology structure. But you’ve got to
really figure out how. How do they need to
work, what do they need?>>Asking that question
and I think we’re so used to just doing
that one way because we’re so client-focused and it’s taking a step back and
asking everyone in the room, ‘How best do you work?’ Because we really want to invest
in all our new employees to say, ‘Hey, how do you do the best work?’ and, ‘What environments
are great for you?’ So really thinking
about the complexity of being a human and finding
ways to work together.>>Well, great to meet you Christina. Thank you for letting me
the gatecrash the meeting. I’m going to go
catch up with Jamie.>>Nice to meet you.>>See you Alex.>>It was great to meet
Christina and chat with her and Courtney. I loved hearing
examples of teamwork in action, as well as the importance and success when you include people
of all abilities. Thank you so much for
setting up the time with Courtney and Christina. I
really enjoyed meeting them.>>No, it was my pleasure
and as it’s been said, we connected things have changed so much that I wanted to reintroduce you to Wunderman Thompson for you
to get a sense of the business.>>Totally. Well, it’s amazing
how much has changed in the last couple of years and I can’t wait to see what you do next.>>Well, keep coming back to see us. I love everything we do with Microsoft and hopefully
we can do more.>>Jamie, it was nice to see you.>>Alex, thanks.
You too. Take care. Cheers.>> Reflecting on my
time with Wunderman Thompson, I left incredibly impressed by how uniform and sincere the
focus was on their clients. Courtney showed me how bringing
together a team from across agencies has lead to a stronger
culture and better results. Christina’s personal journey
and professional success showed the power of including diverse
perspectives and abilities, and I couldn’t think
of a better example of constructive tension than when Jamie shared that one of the core business processes
is called “collision.” True teamwork in action. [MUSIC]

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