Change at Clemenger BBDO

Topics: Culture, Organizational studies, Creativity Pages: 6 (1956 words) Published: May 10, 2014
Change at Clemenger BBDO


Enacting change in an organisation can be the most difficult and problematic task a manager carries out in the course of his/her career. To make matters worse, the need for organisational change usually occurs three or four times throughout a manager’s career in today’s business environment (Frederick et al 2014). Machiavelli claimed that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things (Graetz et al 2011). He speaks of the inevitably of change and the challenges it poses for leaders; a conception which resonates with business happenings unfolding since the early 1990s in modern capitalist societies (McGuire & Hutchings 2006). In the case of Clemenger BBDO, a man named Peter Biggs was brought in to try and resurrect the failing business. This essay will analyse the manner in which Biggs turned the business from almost bankrupt to thriving and prosperous in relation to change management.

The Drivers of Change

In order for change to be considered in an organisation, there must be factors influencing this decision, providing reason for the need of a different approach to conducting business. This is referred to as the drivers of change. In the case of Clemenger, problems persisted with the business that led to the loss of customers and even the threat of bankruptcy. The case is not detailed in stating what the problems were that caused customers to cease using the services of Clemenger, however, it can be assumed that there was a lack of trust and confidence being shown towards the company. There would also have been damage caused to the image and reputation of the company from the large loss of their clients, so it was obvious change was needed to try and recover this loss. In can be concluded that the overall problem in the case was the lack of creativity which Biggs had to provide for. The outcome of change Biggs enacted on to Clemenger can be analysed in many different ways. In this essay, two of the ten perspectives on managing organisational change (Graetz et al 2011) will be used to discuss the change seen in the case. This will be followed by an analysis of strategic and cultural change in reference to the organisational change set out by Biggs.

Perspectives on Managing Organisational Change

The first perspective which will be used to analyse the organisational change experienced at Clemenger is the political perspective (Graetz et al 2011). This perspective states change as being driven by the “desire of individuals and groups to introduce new philosophies, approaches or ideas into the organisation” (Graetz et al 2011). This was the case with the changes Briggs made to Clemenger, as his main intention was to change the approach the employees had to their work, particularly by enforcing new values and beliefs which in effect changed the culture of the organisation. In order for the political perspective to take effect, a powerful figure must be at the helm of the changes in action (Graetz et al 2011). The figure must be influential and carry authority, in order for the instructions to be followed, and also to be convincing enough that the change will work (McShane et al 2013)). Briggs’ employment history gave him the influence and authority necessary to enact change on the workers of Clemenger. His time at the highly successful advertising company Ogilvy and Mather gave his actions and ideas reliability, validity and credibility from his peers. “It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night”, says David Ogilvy (2013), founder of Ogilvy and Mather. This reflects the change enacted by Biggs surrounding the elements he implemented in order to produce creativity throughout the organisation. This leads to the use of the cultural perspective...

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