How to HarnessCultural Momentum    January, 2013
the basic idea•   This work is intended to create momentum within the agency: the    invisible force that results in produ...
What Is Culture?     Wild Alchemy   3
CultureCulture is not something that is passed down from top to bottom, but createdamong individuals who are of a like min...
Culture = un-policed        Beliefs      Behaviors      Language      Interactions        Wild Alchemy   5
Signs of a Poor Culture• No laughter in hallways or meetings.• Self-policing on the ‘little things’ and not on the work. N...
Real Examples•   What kinds of situations call for this work?     – Mid-sized ad agency OM = wants to double in size and b...
What is the Context for      Culture?         Wild Alchemy     8
Brand is Do, Be, Say What we do,what we make,          Do: our products         Product           Be:                     ...
How We Express What we do,what we make,          Do: our products         Product            How we express               ...
Who We Are    What we do,   what we make,    our products        What We                       Do: Product          How we...
Role of Branding: Port of PDX•    If I may, Id like to relay a quick story...I was doing a micro (1 hour) branding     wor...
Four Steps to A Better Culture1. Audit Your Culture and ID Key Levers2. Audit Your Clients’ Wishes and Actuals3. Fix What ...
1. Audit Your Culture• Send out an e-survey to understand the answers to  these questions will help you know which levers ...
AUDITING BELIEFS• What does success look like?• What is a sin at this company?• What am I rewarded for?                 Wi...
AUDITING BEHAVIORS• What am I spending my time on?• What doesn’t get done that should?• How motivated am I to come to work...
AUDITING LANGUAGE• What gets said in hallways?• What gets said when brainstorming?• What is our collective mantra?        ...
AUDITING INTERACTIONS• What do people support each other on?• What are sources of strife/unrest?• To what extent is fun al...
2. Audit Your Clients• If you are game and able, talk to your best  clients to find out what they love and what  they woul...
Looking at actual         $$$ revenues and PROFIT    MARGIN and plot                        profitable  clients on the $ a...
Your Goal is to Identify Each         Clients’:   Relative Revenues (high margins)Ideal/Efficient Processes (best practice...
$$$ Not a lot of fun or                         A lot of fun/respect,respect, uninspired                          great wo...
$$$                                           Lions                                      Feed Your Lions         Work Your...
Feed Your Lions• 80% of revenues come from 20% of  customers.  – BUT sometimes you may think they’re    profitable because...
Work Your Horses• These are the ones that will require a  concerted effort to figure out which side of  the fence to put t...
Shoot Your Dogs• This means firing them. Or letting them  know they’re on probation. Or actively  looking to replace them....
3. Fix What You Can Today• As the Eastern saying goes, ‘big things are little, little  things are big.’ Put someone (or a ...
Cultural Change Elements  Elevate language to incite invitations (e.g., yes, let’s)       Cultivate efficiency (e.g., stan...
Examples Wild Alchemy   29
Elevating Language• In most agency brainstorming sessions, people often will  say, “The client will never buy it”, “It’ll ...
Elevating Language• What gets said in hallways is a huge indicator of  culture. And what gets said gets done. I’ve audited...
Cultivating Efficiency• One good example of how a small change can  have a big impact is the swipe we took at  ‘meeting he...
Inspiring EnvironmentAnother YRG example illustrates the need to createan inspiring environment. This was a place thatespo...
Identify Common ThreadsMost organizations, but especially those in the advertisingand design fields, must understand that ...
Inform/Fall in Love with CustomersOne of my clients was a NW ski resort. During aworkshop, I discovered that a few staff m...
Inform/Fall in Love with CustomersDoing relevant, interesting research is a huge pieceof doing smart, effective work. It i...
Charge for Strategy Many clients I’ve worked with are doing goodstrategic work but without discipline – and often without ...
We Don’t Have Time for Briefs When I worked at Omnicom (both at BBDO and    DDB), the teams did not fully understand the n...
4. Address Additional Needs• Hiring/Resources – Juicy recruitment  ads/defining criteria• Unity – Defined tribal taste and...
These expressions can be an immediate   result of previous work or they can be a secondary area of focus. The key is to no...
Case Studies    Wild Alchemy   41
experience•   Extensive work has been done across a variety of categories but with a    similar mission: to create greater...
What follows are summaries and quotes fromvarious clients. They are intended to provide anoverview of the type of Wild Alc...
Young & Roer                  Small Tech Agency, PDX, ORThis agency was in crisis when I was asked to help. New management...
Y&R Client Testimonial“Having Lynette and Wild Alchemy work with our agency was the mostproductive and enjoyable thing we’...
Columbia Sportswear       Outdoor Apparel Company, PDX, OR   Columbia Sportswear has many teams working across multiple pr...
Columbia Sportswear/Sorel       Outdoor Apparel Company, PDX, ORAs a foray into ‘thinking about their brands more creative...
Columbia Sportswear/SOREL        “Killer Briefs has transformed the way we work together.             Briefs are clearer, ...
DoveLewis     Emergency Animal Hospital, PDX, ORAfter successful rebranding work and capital campaign, this non-profit was...
Agency Client Testimonial“Having Lynette and Wild Alchemy work with our agency was the mostproductive and enjoyable thing ...
Clarity Coverdale Fury    Creative Ad Boutique, Minneapolis, MN A staff audit helped identify equities in the current cult...
Clarity Coverdale Fury    Creative Ad Boutique, Minneapolis, MN A staff audit helped identify equities in the current cult...
The Source of My CulturalFascination and Gold Standard            Wild Alchemy        53
The Richards Group My perspective is based on having worked for, what I  believe to be, the cultural Holy Grail: The Richa...
The Richards Group TRG was my first agency job. It is to this day one of the largest privately held agencies in North Amer...
The Richards Group    When the agency nearly doubled in size from 150 people to    300, we had an issue with fueling conve...
Ways to Engage     Wild Alchemy   57
If You Like What You SeeLet’s discuss how we can work together. I’d behappy to chat with you about the best way to workwit...
classic audit + recalibration  E-Survey to All Employees + 2 Moderated Listening Sessions  Leadership Sessions to Debrief ...
2-day retreatDevelop and send an e-survey to all employees/analyze for presentation   at retreat. Note that a key client c...
muse sessions   Meet with Leadership to walk through agency audit exercises and       provide direction for and ways to ga...
Other Wild Alchemy Resources            (Training DVD + Handouts Available)• How to Write Killer Creative Briefs• BrandThi...
AboutWild Alchemy   63
Lynette Xanders is Wild Alchemy’s Founder/CEO and Chief      Strategist. Her extensive marketing and consumer research  ex...
Food & Beverage   Wild Alchemy :: Fiction   65
Agency            Financial        Non-Profit         Wild Alchemy :: Fiction        66
Sports/Outdo   Luxury Home   Tourism   Shoes                               or                                             ...
Luxury    Technology   Retail     Cars                          Leisure                                                   ...
Education   Healthcare          Senior Living   Travel                   Wild Alchemy :: Fiction           69
Nice Words
As Cultural Alignment Partner    “Having Lynette and Wild Alchemy work with our agency was the most productive and enjoyab...
As Agency Strategic Partner“Wild Alchemy is our go-to strategic partner. They bring energy and enthusiasm and extensive ex...
As Research Partner/Moderator    “Lynette produced insights that were creative, smart, AND actionable.” - Doc Martens“As a...
As WORKSHOP Leader/Speaker“I am still drawing energy and benefits from those remarkable two days.” - Creative Director    ...
JOURNAL Quotes  “You’ve produced an outstanding journal. Thought-provoking, intelligent, and very well art             dir...
wildalchemy.com               Lynette Xanders          Lynette@wildalchemy.com                206.755.6800:: Creative Rese...
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Cultural Momentum

  1. 1. How to HarnessCultural Momentum January, 2013
  2. 2. the basic idea• This work is intended to create momentum within the agency: the invisible force that results in producing more with less, creating exceptional outputs more efficiently, and helping people have more fun in the process.• Momentum requires addressing several different elements: – Illumination: research to identify issues, truths and opportunities. (Issues can be very specific in nature and it helps obtain buy-in.) – Focus: a clear and cohesive strategy (one vision, one voice.) – Alignment: total understanding and engagement of purpose, process and permission to play by all (common language, expectations.) – Propulsion: ignite cultural levers to improve creative flow, individual empowerment and buoyancy (on a company, team and individual level.) Wild Alchemy 2
  3. 3. What Is Culture? Wild Alchemy 3
  4. 4. CultureCulture is not something that is passed down from top to bottom, but createdamong individuals who are of a like mind and temperament, with a commongoal and language. If these elements are not present, culture is theagreement that is made that keeps the proverbial ball rolling and everyonefrom killing each other.Culture is made – with intention – to create efficiencies while generating the‘juice’ that enables conversations, ideation, courage, leadership andultimately, a magnet for other likeminded people and businesses. It is self-sustaining organic growth that isn’t painful or counterproductive. It results inautonomy, less policing, firing on all cylinders…in a word, momentum.Agencies that have it get more done with less. Agencies that don’t can’tseem to keep the wheels on the rails.Culture is critical in organizations that engage in creative developmentbecause the process must be organic to some degree, because it’s anindustry of taste and because of the nature of the individuals involved. It canbe nurtured, managed and recalibrated with the right handling. Wild Alchemy
  5. 5. Culture = un-policed Beliefs Behaviors Language Interactions Wild Alchemy 5
  6. 6. Signs of a Poor Culture• No laughter in hallways or meetings.• Self-policing on the ‘little things’ and not on the work. No desire to ‘swing for the fences’ or do more than is necessary.• Leadership feels they need ‘bed checks’ to manage staff or constant supervision.• A bad habit of scarcity mentality (not taking vacations) which shows in ‘no light behind the eyes.’• Shutting down (lack of engagement) and quiet brainstorm meetings.• General inefficiency (fretting or re-doing work vs. producing.)• Unhappy staff, unhappy clients.
  7. 7. Real Examples• What kinds of situations call for this work? – Mid-sized ad agency OM = wants to double in size and be more efficient (profitable) – Mid-sized ad agency CEO = wants fewer day-to-day hands-on client/agency responsibilities – Start-up = wants systems to streamline, grow – New leadership team at established company = wants a vision to unify efforts and stimulate new thinking Wild Alchemy 7
  8. 8. What is the Context for Culture? Wild Alchemy 8
  9. 9. Brand is Do, Be, Say What we do,what we make, Do: our products Product Be: Say: Culture Expressions Wild Alchemy 9
  10. 10. How We Express What we do,what we make, Do: our products Product How we express ourselves internally and externally Be: Say: Culture Expressions Wild Alchemy 10
  11. 11. Who We Are What we do, what we make, our products What We Do: Product How we express ourselves internally andWho we externallyare, whywe care Be: Say:and how Culture Expressions we do things Wild Alchemy 11
  12. 12. Role of Branding: Port of PDX• If I may, Id like to relay a quick story...I was doing a micro (1 hour) branding workshop for the Port of Portland (100 or so people.) A man raised his hand said, "I am a Marine Biologist and I dont know why Im here." I said, "Do you go to cocktail parties? He said he did. "And do people ask you where you work?" Again, a nod yes. "And you say the Port of PDX, right? Yup. And then they say, "what does the Port DO?" Lots of laughter. A nod yes. "And you answer them, right?" Yup again. "Well, then, Mr. Marine Biologist, you are in branding. If everyone says the same thing at cocktail parties you have a strong brand (and in a connected way, a strong culture.) If everyone says something different, you have problems." He was happy to stay and enjoyed having a collective way of talking about his company and having points of connection with his fellow staff members.• Brand, culture and business are all inextricably intertwined. Brand is badge of the tribe. It’s not about the WHAT it’s about the HOW and whether people believe if it is authentic’. Brand affects new business, recruitment and a shared sense of tribalism and purpose (one vision, one voice) with all contributing to its definition, expressions, core strength and longterm health. Wild Alchemy 12
  13. 13. Four Steps to A Better Culture1. Audit Your Culture and ID Key Levers2. Audit Your Clients’ Wishes and Actuals3. Fix What You Can Today – Big Rocks4. Address Additional Needs - Ongoing Wild Alchemy 13
  14. 14. 1. Audit Your Culture• Send out an e-survey to understand the answers to these questions will help you know which levers to turn.• Conduct a workshop to illustrate lifts and drains. Seek to increase lifts and decrease drains (examples in the back but overall it’s about turning the levers to get more of the things that inspire us and less of what brings us down/gets in the way.) Wild Alchemy 14
  15. 15. AUDITING BELIEFS• What does success look like?• What is a sin at this company?• What am I rewarded for? Wild Alchemy 15
  16. 16. AUDITING BEHAVIORS• What am I spending my time on?• What doesn’t get done that should?• How motivated am I to come to work? Wild Alchemy 16
  17. 17. AUDITING LANGUAGE• What gets said in hallways?• What gets said when brainstorming?• What is our collective mantra? Wild Alchemy 17
  18. 18. AUDITING INTERACTIONS• What do people support each other on?• What are sources of strife/unrest?• To what extent is fun allowed?• What would they change if King for a day? Wild Alchemy 18
  19. 19. 2. Audit Your Clients• If you are game and able, talk to your best clients to find out what they love and what they would love more of. And then talk to clients you pitched but didn’t get.• At minimum, pull up past 2 year financials and in a workshop setting with the leadership team (or as homework), plot clients on a perceptual map as follows Wild Alchemy 19
  20. 20. Looking at actual $$$ revenues and PROFIT MARGIN and plot profitable clients on the $ axis based on what they’reworth to you financially (top/bottom sides of page.)Hate Love not profitable $ Wild Alchemy 20
  21. 21. Your Goal is to Identify Each Clients’: Relative Revenues (high margins)Ideal/Efficient Processes (best practices)Fun/Respect Quotient (best relationships) Work You/Clients Are Proud of (best outputs) Burnout Factor (worst relationships) Wild Alchemy 21
  22. 22. $$$ Not a lot of fun or A lot of fun/respect,respect, uninspired great work and/or awork and/or people vibe/process thatburn out working on makes people want to this account. work on this account.Hate Love Subjectively evaluateeach account based on the factors above andput them on the abovescale (right/left sides of page.) $ Wild Alchemy 22
  23. 23. $$$ Lions Feed Your Lions Work Your HorsesHate Horses Love Shoot Your Dogs Dogs $ Wild Alchemy 23
  24. 24. Feed Your Lions• 80% of revenues come from 20% of customers. – BUT sometimes you may think they’re profitable because of the volume of work or the amount of squeak. – Make sure it’s based on actuals. Make sure they’re happy and see if you can get more. Wild Alchemy 24
  25. 25. Work Your Horses• These are the ones that will require a concerted effort to figure out which side of the fence to put them. Work with them to: – Fix poor processes that keep them from being efficient/fun and/or profitable. – Fix poor relationships that keep them from being fun/respectful/producers of great work. Wild Alchemy 25
  26. 26. Shoot Your Dogs• This means firing them. Or letting them know they’re on probation. Or actively looking to replace them. – Agencies made money firing bad clients. – Be sure they’re not game to change first before letting them go. – Being vocal about intentions to replace can help morale. Wild Alchemy 26
  27. 27. 3. Fix What You Can Today• As the Eastern saying goes, ‘big things are little, little things are big.’ Put someone (or a team) in charge of ticking off easy things and removing drains. Not only give permission for change, encourage the spirit of breaking old ruts/bad habits/stagnant air. As Harvard Business Review espouses, “manage your energy, not your time.”• The following is a list of ‘small things’ that made a huge difference in the energy, enthusiasm, efficiency and effectiveness of ticking small irritants off the list. It’s empowering. And that’s contagious. Wild Alchemy 27
  28. 28. Cultural Change Elements Elevate language to incite invitations (e.g., yes, let’s) Cultivate efficiency (e.g., stand up meetings) Create an inspiring environment (e.g., matching forks) Break bad habits (e.g., hotel bells) Identify common threads/goals (e.g., ‘deviate’)Inform/fall in love with your customers (e.g., poster child) Use and value creative briefs/process (e.g., reward) Wild Alchemy 28
  29. 29. Examples Wild Alchemy 29
  30. 30. Elevating Language• In most agency brainstorming sessions, people often will say, “The client will never buy it”, “It’ll never work”, etc. which shuts down conversations.• At Cole & Weber, we had a self-policing rule to use ‘Yes, and…” and “Yes, let’s…” to transition to new thoughts in every interaction – even with clients. This language shift was instrumental in fostering ideation and collaboration (learned from invitation language espoused by improv groups.)• At an agency that had a bad habit of negative language, we put hotel bells around the office to provide a way to break the negative spiral. Hitting the bell conveyed to all ‘let’s start again with better language.’ Wild Alchemy 30
  31. 31. Elevating Language• What gets said in hallways is a huge indicator of culture. And what gets said gets done. I’ve audited many agencies over the years and have found a typical mindset that is indicative of the vibe/culture: most say, “I’m so tired” or “Do your timesheets.” Not inspiring and often exhausting. And worse, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy.• Conversely, at Apple, their mantra is: “[Is it] insanely great?” I believe it plays a key role in the success of this organization – and any organization. Wild Alchemy 31
  32. 32. Cultivating Efficiency• One good example of how a small change can have a big impact is the swipe we took at ‘meeting hell’ at YRG. The agency was paralyzed by endless meetings. To counteract this, we put in clocks and took the chairs out of meeting rooms. At the end of the habit-changing time, they overwhelmingly decided to keep it this way and now call their meetings ‘huddles.’• Writing briefs is also a critical step and a core component in cultivating efficiency. Wild Alchemy 32
  33. 33. Inspiring EnvironmentAnother YRG example illustrates the need to createan inspiring environment. This was a place thatespoused the value of aesthetics, yet the furnitureand even the forks in the break room were cheapand unmatched. The effect of this on designers isvisceral and while others couldn’t put their finger onit, when we changed them out for decent ones (notexpensive), the mood, morale and atmosphere liftednoticeably. Other changes were made, such asthrowing out old files, based on key tenets increating good Feng Shui. Good space matters. Wild Alchemy 33
  34. 34. Identify Common ThreadsMost organizations, but especially those in the advertisingand design fields, must understand that theirs is an industryof taste.To create a sense of cohesion (one vision, one voice) it isimportant to define the collective taste. What is great workand what is less than? A great exercise to begin thisdiscovery is to create a ‘wall of fame’ and a ‘wall of shame’.Publicly showcase both your work as well as any out in ‘thereal world’ that lives in these buckets – and then discussthemes and ultimately put words to them. At C&W our short-hand for what was great work was if it ‘deviated’ fromtraditional category communications. Wild Alchemy 34
  35. 35. Inform/Fall in Love with CustomersOne of my clients was a NW ski resort. During aworkshop, I discovered that a few staff members haddisdain for ‘people with new gear’. They didn’t feelthey were part of the tribe and they definitely didn’tlove them. I’ve seen this in other categories/industriesmany times since.Imagine how this might impact the experience forcustomers. Imagine if the people in charge ofmarketing don’t respect the customers. A strongbrand radiates the connection they have with cultistsin word and action (and weak brands don’t.) Wild Alchemy 35
  36. 36. Inform/Fall in Love with CustomersDoing relevant, interesting research is a huge pieceof doing smart, effective work. It is a key to doinggreat work efficiently. It also helps everyone fall inlove with the customer and understand their love forthe brand -- keys to doing good work, building strongbrands and successful companies. And doing goodresearch helps the agency be more powerful(knowledgeable and confident) in the agency-clientdynamic. It is a referee. It helps reduce or eliminatestupid fights. Most successful companies talk to theircustomers – and I believe most successful agenciesdo. Wild Alchemy 36
  37. 37. Charge for Strategy Many clients I’ve worked with are doing goodstrategic work but without discipline – and often without getting paid for it. Most need to find a way to not ‘give away the gold’. One branding agency I worked with said that 40% of their revenues came from strategy work alone – outside of creative work. Making it a clear partof the process with a clear deliverable is part ofit – but believing you should have the time and money to do it right is a bigger part of it. Wild Alchemy 37
  38. 38. We Don’t Have Time for Briefs When I worked at Omnicom (both at BBDO and DDB), the teams did not fully understand the need to make the time and allot the budget to do research and write a brief before beginning creative work. At the end of my tenure,leadership understood and summarized their new perspective as, “We never seemed to have the time to do it right, but we always seemed to find the time to do it over.” Wild Alchemy 38
  39. 39. 4. Address Additional Needs• Hiring/Resources – Juicy recruitment ads/defining criteria• Unity – Defined tribal taste and language• Brand Expressions – Refreshed look/feel• New Business Presentation – Refined pitch• Documentation/Sharing – Launch/Onboarding of newbies Wild Alchemy 39
  40. 40. These expressions can be an immediate result of previous work or they can be a secondary area of focus. The key is to not jump the gun and go straight to outputs as the work must be done internally first (with reminders and rewards to make sure it sticks) before putting it out to clients orprospects. Expressions must be authentic – and without buy-in and real organizational change, these outputs may be rendered hollow at best. Wild Alchemy :: Culture Cases 40
  41. 41. Case Studies Wild Alchemy 41
  42. 42. experience• Extensive work has been done across a variety of categories but with a similar mission: to create greater flow, improve employee engagement at the workplace and better work as a result.• Similar work has been conducted for: Young & Roer Columbia Sportswear Grady Britton First Independent Bank Nemo Oregon Shakespeare Festival Liquid Agency Perkins Accounting AHA Writers Group Patagonia Citrus Adidas’ Global Innovation Team Clarity, Coverdale, Fury DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital• A client list with reference quotes is appended and a full list can be found at wildalchemy.com. Wild Alchemy :: Fiction 42
  43. 43. What follows are summaries and quotes fromvarious clients. They are intended to provide anoverview of the type of Wild Alchemy’s cultural alignment work with them and the resulting success achieved. It should be noted that the specific workshopsand/or cultural activities each undertook varied by client – from a single workshop to more intensive and specific alignment work whichaffected the scope of impact, but all found relief from major pain points. Wild Alchemy :: Culture Cases 43
  44. 44. Young & Roer Small Tech Agency, PDX, ORThis agency was in crisis when I was asked to help. New management was brought in by the Board in order to keep the agency from becoming insolvent. Internal discovery sessions revealed areas of latent pride and sources of frustration and inefficiency. Workshops provided a common language and sense of purpose and process but there were a few speed bumps that had to be addressed specifically.To reduce ‘meeting hell’, clocks were installed in meeting rooms and chairs removed. Hotel bells were installed around the office to signal a ‘change of language’ to break bad habits of negative communications. Small changes were made to the décor to improve inspiration and clutter was cleared out. Common goals were posted to redirect energies to nobler goals. The cultural changes affected the tenor of the office as much as the workshopsdid (to provide a new framework.) Excitement was palpable immediately and momentum fed on itself. Wild Alchemy :: Culture Cases 44
  45. 45. Y&R Client Testimonial“Having Lynette and Wild Alchemy work with our agency was the mostproductive and enjoyable thing we’ve ever done as a group. Aside fromgreat teambuilding and exercising some creative muscles, our businessimproved immediately and dramatically. The team gained new confidenceand began to enthusiastically approach clients and prospects with an“anything is possible, let’s figure out how to make good things happen”mentality. Our new business win percentage hovered in the 70% range,margins went up as team members figured out how to provide great workand service at lower internal cost and, in the year following our sessionswith Lynette, our revenue, margin, and net profit all exceeded theprevious 10 years combined.” -Mike Heiser, former Managing Director of YRG (note: YRG was successfully purchased) Wild Alchemy :: Culture Cases 45
  46. 46. Columbia Sportswear Outdoor Apparel Company, PDX, OR Columbia Sportswear has many teams working across multiple productlines and brands across the globe. They had great innovations but seemed to be at a plateau in terms of market share. A new brand manager opened the door to addressing some issues she saw with their brief writing as an easy point of entry.While they thought they had the brief nailed, a ‘pop quiz’ showed a lack of unity and understanding in the brand promise (and benefit to theconsumer.) In addition, several process issues were causing undue stress and undermining positive behaviors – resulting in heated tempers, late nights and missed opportunities (inefficiencies) in communications. Recommendations from internal surveys and workshops addressed both process and cultural issues as well as branding and brief writing skills. Wild Alchemy :: Culture Cases 46
  47. 47. Columbia Sportswear/Sorel Outdoor Apparel Company, PDX, ORAs a foray into ‘thinking about their brands more creatively’, the CreativeDirector of CS wrote a Haiku for the brand which helped create a commonplatform/language around the brand’s essence that the organization foundtruly inspiring and easier to share/refer back to Warm Dry Cool Protect Active Outdoor Persona I Have No Worry Post-workshop, new trafficking software was installed, briefing processes augmented and briefs reworked (to be more creative and brief.) As a result, they are enjoying newfound cohesion, impact and momentum across all product lines/teams and have seen great success from recent global marketing campaigns for several brands. Wild Alchemy :: Culture Cases 47
  48. 48. Columbia Sportswear/SOREL “Killer Briefs has transformed the way we work together. Briefs are clearer, more potent and purposeful. The work is more compelling. Inspired, brand right and market right. Lynette started something remarkable that we have seized upon andamplified; she helped us quickly and efficiently uncover our brand’s core truths.Our collaboration is more meaningful, we have more more fun embracing challenges, and the work is better.” ~Kimberly Barta, Senior Global Brand Director Wild Alchemy :: Culture Cases 48
  49. 49. DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital, PDX, ORAfter successful rebranding work and capital campaign, this non-profit was able to focus on the last piece: issues and drama amongst medical staff.After one-on-one ‘counseling’ conversations with all medical staff (and leadership), several small things were uncoveredthat led to a full cultural recovery (staff started getting along,showing up to meetings, having conversations, not calling inHR, etc.) One example: medical staff were often running at a pace that prevented them from taking breaks (and eating.) Allocating budget to have high protein snacks on hand (vs sugar) was a pivotal lever in changing the tenor of the floor. Wild Alchemy 49
  50. 50. Agency Client Testimonial“Having Lynette and Wild Alchemy work with our agency was the mostproductive and enjoyable thing we’ve ever done as a group. Aside fromgreat teambuilding and exercising some creative muscles, our businessimproved immediately and dramatically. The team gained new confidenceand began to enthusiastically approach clients and prospects with an“anything is possible, let’s figure out how to make good things happen”mentality. Our new business win percentage hovered in the 70% range,margins went up as team members figured out how to provide great workand service at lower internal cost and, in the year following our sessionswith Lynette, our revenue, margin, and net profit all exceeded theprevious 10 years combined.” -Mike Heiser, former Managing Director of YRG Wild Alchemy (note: YRG was purchased) 50
  51. 51. Clarity Coverdale Fury Creative Ad Boutique, Minneapolis, MN A staff audit helped identify equities in the current culture: aclear sense of what doing a good job meant that happened to be a mantra (a phrase one heard regularly in hallways was ‘grow your clients’ business’.) This led to a retooling of the agency’s brand as a Growth Company (vs. ad agency) and subsequent case studies/new business presentations. Leadership interviews helped identify a good ‘cultural fit’ for the agency and found a one word description: earnest (in what they’d look for in a potential new hire.) This clarity andrefocus helped them gain new, better clients and streamlined processes internally – resulting in a fat bottom line. Wild Alchemy :: Culture Cases 51
  52. 52. Clarity Coverdale Fury Creative Ad Boutique, Minneapolis, MN A staff audit helped identify equities in the current culture: aclear sense of what doing a good job meant that happened to be a mantra (a phrase one heard regularly in hallways was ‘grow your clients’ business’.) This led to a retooling of the agency’s brand as a Growth Company (vs. ad agency) and subsequent case studies/new business presentations. Leadership interviews helped identify a good ‘cultural fit’ for the agency and found a one word description: earnest (in what they’d look for in a potential new hire.) This clarity andrefocus helped them gain new, better clients and streamlined processes internally – resulting in a fat bottom line. Wild Alchemy 52
  53. 53. The Source of My CulturalFascination and Gold Standard Wild Alchemy 53
  54. 54. The Richards Group My perspective is based on having worked for, what I believe to be, the cultural Holy Grail: The Richards Group. This agency is one of the biggest, most profitable privately held agencies in North America. From mytenure there, they have grown from 60 people to 600+. The culture not only helps this agency create award-winning, effective work for clients such as Corona, Motel 6, Home Depot and Hyundai, it does so with efficiency (profits are awe-inspiring) and fun. Great people –especially creatives - who worked there in the early 80’swhen I was there are still there 30 years later, producing outstanding work. And that, friends, is priceless. Wild Alchemy :: Culture Cases 54
  55. 55. The Richards Group TRG was my first agency job. It is to this day one of the largest privately held agencies in North America and the best agency experiences I’ve ever had. I credit much of their success to the wonderful cultural tenets Stan put in place. One of the keys to his magic was cultivating efficiency at every turn. Everyone had a Mac. He created a word processing center to clean up all documents and ensure consistency (we were onlyresponsible for content.) He instituted bowling lunches every otherFriday (mandatory) and invited us to discuss ads we’d seen in CAwith creatives (establishes taste, language and trust talking about creative that wasn’t their creative.) He defined our task. He sent us home at 6 pm and encouraged us to come in at 4 am instead.He created an environment that demanded excellence…and fun. Wild Alchemy 55
  56. 56. The Richards Group When the agency nearly doubled in size from 150 people to 300, we had an issue with fueling conversations. Email was new (yes, I know I just dated myself) so he banned internal email. Clients only. Because ideas happen in hallways. He created telephone lists with pictures and first names only. Heheld all agency ‘teaching’ meetings once a week (an hour only – rotated 3 disciplines to chat about what they were doing for 20min each.) We had an all-agency status meeting (2 minutes for each representative from each department) which made usaccountable. We had ‘stairwell’ meetings to address ‘news’ and ‘rumors.’ I have so many more examples (ask me sometime ;) but the idea is that he did everything around creating efficiencywhile also inviting conversation and sharing – often at opposing ends for many organizations. Wild Alchemy 56
  57. 57. Ways to Engage Wild Alchemy 57
  58. 58. If You Like What You SeeLet’s discuss how we can work together. I’d behappy to chat with you about the best way to workwith you to conduct all or part of this process.There are three general scenarios for budgeting withvarying degrees of autonomy/facilitation: Classic Wild Alchemy Audit + Recalibration Two-Day Retreat Muse Wild Alchemy 58
  59. 59. classic audit + recalibration E-Survey to All Employees + 2 Moderated Listening Sessions Leadership Sessions to Debrief / Discuss RecommendationsBrand and Culture ‘Training’ Workshop with Agency for CohesionSet up cultural anchors for change and metrics to measure impact 59 Wild Alchemy
  60. 60. 2-day retreatDevelop and send an e-survey to all employees/analyze for presentation at retreat. Note that a key client can be included in the following. Set-up and Conduct a 2-day Retreat (including defining the ideal, discussing lifts and drains and possible cultural recommendations as well as brand/brief training to get on the right path.) Reconvene with Leadership to agree to critical changes and establish reinforcing anchors, metrics and rewards to gain momentum. Provide input as needed to resolve any lingering issues (e.g. software solutions.) 60 Wild Alchemy
  61. 61. muse sessions Meet with Leadership to walk through agency audit exercises and provide direction for and ways to gaining agency buy-in Develop and send an e-survey to all employees to understand motivators and obstacles to flow/ help with listening sessions Recap findings with Leadership to assess key levers to be addressed (cultural elements that impact success)Present summary of key recommendations, cultural anchors for changeand set up metrics to measure impact. Conduct agency presentation of recommendations (if desired.) 61 Wild Alchemy
  62. 62. Other Wild Alchemy Resources (Training DVD + Handouts Available)• How to Write Killer Creative Briefs• BrandThinking and Creative Research Techniques• Stellar Account Service• BrandYou and Creative Momentum (for Individuals)• Entrepreneur’s Boot Camp Wild Alchemy 62
  63. 63. AboutWild Alchemy 63
  64. 64. Lynette Xanders is Wild Alchemy’s Founder/CEO and Chief Strategist. Her extensive marketing and consumer research experience comes from being a 20-year Account Planning veteran of advertising agencies such as Cole&Weber, DDB Seattle, BFS/Chiat Day, BBDO Vancouver and The Richards Group as well as an external partner for some of the best agencies in North America (such as W+K.) She isthe author of the Chaos Creativity Journal and teaches at the Art Institute of Portland. She and her family live on Mt. Hood, Oregon to appease her skiing problem.
  65. 65. Food & Beverage Wild Alchemy :: Fiction 65
  66. 66. Agency Financial Non-Profit Wild Alchemy :: Fiction 66
  67. 67. Sports/Outdo Luxury Home Tourism Shoes or 67Wild Alchemy :: Fiction
  68. 68. Luxury Technology Retail Cars Leisure 68Wild Alchemy :: Fiction
  69. 69. Education Healthcare Senior Living Travel Wild Alchemy :: Fiction 69
  70. 70. Nice Words
  71. 71. As Cultural Alignment Partner “Having Lynette and Wild Alchemy work with our agency was the most productive and enjoyable thing we’ve ever done as a group. Aside from great teambuilding and exercising some creative muscles, our business improved immediately and dramatically. The teamgained new confidence and began to enthusiastically approach clients and prospects with an “anything is possible, let’s figure out how to make good things happen” mentality. Our new business win percentage hovered in the 70% range, margins went up as team members figured out how to provide great work and service at lower internal cost and, in the year following our sessions with Lynette, our revenue, margin, and net profit all exceeded the previous 10 years combined.” -Y&R “Lynette has the whole package: Creative. Innovative. Senior. Hard-working. Andfun to work with. She helped refine our new business platform and get us all on board which gave us a great sense of unity.”- ClarityCoverdaleFury “Lynette helped our agency clarify our positioning and reconnect with our staff. She truly understands the creative business and It was great to have her independent observations.Her client and employee surveys gave us insights that have changed how we do business. Id recommend Wild Alchemy to any creative shop needing a fresh outside perspective.” - Nemo Design
  72. 72. As Agency Strategic Partner“Wild Alchemy is our go-to strategic partner. They bring energy and enthusiasm and extensive expertise to the table, and never disappoint when it comes to really insightful recommendations or thoughtful analysis. Wild Alchemy is neither wild, nor do they make gold, but they do provide brilliant insight and thoughtful recommendations that are wildly successful and result in real value for the client.” - Rick Braithwaite, Partner, Sandstrom Design.“I’ve been a client of, and partnered with, Wild Alchemy on numerous occasions over the past 10 years andI can honestly say I’ve never had a more inspiring or truly collaborative experience as it relates to consumer insights or brand strategy. Plus, they have really great taste in wine.” - Rebecca Armstrong, Managing Director, North “Lynette is the kind of planner creatives love to work with. Not only is she creative herself, she knows how to find an insight and mold it into an interesting place that’s ripe with creative possibilities.” - Jim Elliott, ACD, Cole&Weber “Lynette gets it. She’s smart. She cares about the work and helps make it better.” - Tony Lee, ACD, Leo Burnett Toronto “Wild Alchemy’s immersion into Outward Bound, and their ability to see deep into the possibilities of the brand, allowed us to make meaningful change, fast. Wild Alchemy has the ability not only to gather criticalinformation, but they create the stories, paint the picture and provide the tools necessary to motivate people and catalyze action.” - Craig Trames, Executive Director, PCOBS
  73. 73. As Research Partner/Moderator “Lynette produced insights that were creative, smart, AND actionable.” - Doc Martens“As a marketer, I would never think of doing positioning work without enlisting the help of Wild Alchemy. They are true partners in discovery, creativity and brand strategy.” - Nike “Wild Alchemy led a series of engaging, productive and insightful branding meetings with theboard, staff and patrons. Armed with our shared understanding and alignment, updates to ourwebsite, facilities and materials were extraordinarily successful and much more cost effective.” - Artists Rep Theatre “Lynette is more than a market researcher. She is an expert in using research to guide andimprove a creative process in a way that both clients and agencies can get what they need tomove ahead with confidence. She is wonderfully objective and honest, and makes the rest of us look a lot better.” - Meredith Publishing/Nestle “Lynette is the best qualitative researcher Ive ever worked with. You would expect her to be extremely smart about understanding the issues and opportunities underneath the researchbrief. What is even more useful, however, is the way she employs her great interpersonal skills to disarm, charm, empathize and relentlessly pin down her respondents without everappearing more showy or threatening than a really nice, interested friend. It’s a wonderful skill to watch and I can recommend her without any hesitation as a joy to have on the team. - Cole & Weber Agency Head
  74. 74. As WORKSHOP Leader/Speaker“I am still drawing energy and benefits from those remarkable two days.” - Creative Director “One of the most thorough and inspirational introductions to brand analysis in which I’ve ever participated.” - Managing Director “Love working with Lynette. She can make an all-day workshop actually work, with great results.” -Senior Copywriter“Your collection of wisdoms and exercises is outstanding. Very functional, yet mysterious and curious and challenging.” - Business Owner“One of the best speeches on branding I’ve ever heard.” - Gov. Conf on Tourism attendee “Suffice it to say I found it wonderful, extremely helpful and it gave me the motivation I desperately needed to start making the baby steps on the way to solving bigger problems. I just think you’re the cat’s pajamas.” -Microsoft employee“There are workshops and there are experiences; there things that make you think and things that inspire you. Spending a day with Lynette Xanders in Brand You was an inspirationalexperience while unlocking a level of insight, clarity and creativity that is inspiring me in every aspect of my personal and professional life” -Business Owner/Author
  75. 75. JOURNAL Quotes “You’ve produced an outstanding journal. Thought-provoking, intelligent, and very well art directed. Congratulations.” - Stan Richards, The Richards Group “It’s my touchstone. My brain. My diary for what others call ‘work’.” - Susan Bladholm, Port of PDX“[This] journal is unique in its inherent capacity to invoke thought, intention, and action. I have found it to be a remarkable tool for stimulating creativity, decision-making and strategic planning. It is a place to foster personal exploration and development. The journal is very inviting, interactive and engaging.” - Sharon Kitzhaber, Kitzhaber Communications“The Creativity Journal has such a sense of playfulness that is so helpful for creative business thinking and strategizing. I’m a huge fan! Thank you!” - Ryan Buchanan, eRoi
  76. 76. wildalchemy.com Lynette Xanders Lynette@wildalchemy.com 206.755.6800:: Creative Research :: Brand Strategies + Copywriting :: :: Culture :: Workshops ::

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