Ireland Davenport (ID) Labs

This South African Advertising Agency had recently acquired a few urban digital marketing brands started from low income areas of Johannesburg. At the same time, there was a major upheaval in the company’s management, with the loss of major accounts, and one of the partners threatening to leave the firm.

Our first task was to facilitate improved communication between members of the executive team and foster understanding and perspective. Hurt, frustration, and worry combined to create the perfect storm for unproductive communication and the creation of factions. In the midst of the scenario above, the firm still needed to guide its fledgling incubator program. We set forth techniques for evaluating a company’s innovation culture

Below is a breakdown of the plan we gave them:

1. Culture Management & Design Thinking Tools to map out a path for transforming their company into a 21st Communications Company that solves real problems. They mapped the ID Culture using the following culture building blocks:

○ Stories: The ID story. Specifically stories told to new recruits and to clients. Those stories that communicate the ‘ID Way’. They identified stories that needed to be summarised and codified? They reflected on how these stories inspired the acquisition of the urban digital marketing brands and how the stories would also inspire ID to integrate them into the ‘ID Way’.

○ Organisational & Power Structures: They identified formal and informal power blocks within ID, which informal structures deserved to be formally recognised and which ones needed to be dismantled to help ID move forward.

○ Symbols: They told stories of what their logo represents to the firm, the partners, staff and customers. They identified ID’s Creative Spaces, their desks, the water cooler and the restaurant. They decided which symbols needed to de-prioritise and which symbols deserved company wide promotion. Each of these urban brands arrived ID with symbols that reflected their culture, how would ID use that symbol and what it stood for as a tool of integration?

○ Rituals & Routines: After mapping their weekly routines, they identified which activities helped them to churn out cool work. “The ID Way”.

○ Paradigms: Assumptions made about ID in common by staff, clients and incubated companies taken for granted in the organisation.

○ Control Systems: Which measurement and reward systems currently exist in ID? Which should we keep? Which should be removed in the new ID?

Follow-up Coaching Sessions

● We identified an Executive Sponsor Change Agent for each of the building blocks above and had follow-up coaching sessions.

ID Labs

● Using our Ten Weeks to Launch Programme format, we’ll work with you on a template for incubating start-ups within ID Labs.

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