A Vision of Success

Objectives for Advertising Agency:

  • Increase consensus among the account team members
  • Strengthen commitment to team responsibilities and the agency
  • Bring clarity to the team’s unique story, i.e., its contributions to the agency

Suits In Pursuit of Support

It looks glamorous, but being a “suit” is a tough job. The account executive in an advertising agency, the suit is the person who meets with clients to sell the agency’s services, translates the client’s goals to the creative team, and then presents the creative concepts for client approval. The suit often is caught in the middle. The creative team may love their concept for an advertising campaign, but the client may not like it at all, or worse yet, believe that it totally misses the mark in fulfilling the goals. Each side usually holds the account executive responsible for the gap.

The Account Service team at the Seattle office of one of the world’s largest advertising/public relations firms was experiencing extremely high turnover. To address the situation, two senior vice presidents kicked off a retreat with a Corporate Storytelling session. The challenge was to overcome the intense frustration of continual communication gaps with the creative team.

The customized Storytelling session was focused on: 1) gaining long- term commitment to the team, 2) developing the foundation of an effective team story that would win support and enhance the perceived value of the Account Service contribution to the agency’s success.

By working together to create their story, the Account Services team experienced power of teamwork and achieved a transformation. By sharing their stories of the past, present and shared future, a team of 13, which included only three people with tenure of more than one year, became a cohesive unit.

A group who had started the day with extremely low morale became excited about telling their corporate story because they gained clarity on their individual and collective contributions consensus on their story commitment to their team.

The two senior vice presidents, who participated in the session, described Corporate Storytelling as the ideal launch pad for a successful retreat, and both enthusiastically endorse the Corporate Storytelling system for other work groups.