By placing an organisation in a dynamic environment it is forced to respond appropriately in order to survive. 1 Now that we appreciate the key influences that contribute towards an organisations culture we can discuss the types of practical measures that should be taken to achieve our objective. From what we have studied it becomes clear to us that the steps that we take should aim towards manipulating the seven key influences that we have just mentioned. To begin therefore we must ensure that the reason for our advertising agency’s inception is made clear.
From the outset therefore it will be made known that our agency is to be source of creative and innovative products that ensure our good reputation. Linked with this will be our philosophy and values, which will centre on the need to take risks to be bold and brave. This can be accentuated in slogans such as “Be bold! Be brave! Be right!! ” or in a mission statement elaborating upon the importance of creativity and innovation.
From this it will become known necessarily that our primary function is to produce adverts that are creative and innovative.This primary function will determine the nature of the technological processes and the methods of undertaking work, which in turn also affect structure and culture as Mullins points out. 2 It is also necessary that we set out our goals and objectives clearly.
We must for example make clear that whilst survival undoubtedly is one of our objectives it must not lead the agency away from taking risks and being brave to ensure our goal of a reputation for creativity and innovation is reached.Since it is by achieving our goal of a reputation for creativity and innovation that we will ensure our survival. So the point that is being made here and the practical measure it necessitates is a list of goals and objectives that clearly display that, which is extremely important from that which is not. From the objectives that should not be one of our priorities not immediately or in the mid term at least is the achievement of size. We do not need a large organisation with a number of separate departments in order to be creative and innovative.
Our concern initially must be quality not quantity. By maintaining a small size in the initial stages of our development we can ensure a greater degree of communication and cooperation crucial to developing creative products. However we should not forget the benefits for research and development once our agency has ensured a reliable base3 and has developed something of a reputation that will ensure any slackness setting in will not be punished too severely. In order to attract the type of employees that we require and to ensure a solid customer base we must pick our location carefully.It is also crucial that we locate ourselves in environment that is conducive to or goal of establishing a particular reputation. We do not for example want to locate in an area which is well know for antiques dealers if we want to produce an image of creativity and innovation in the minds of our clients. With respect to first point concerning employees and customers we will want to locate in an area which is not only known for being a source of creative people but is also an area were such creativity is in demand, these two factors are most likely to be found infashionable city centre type areas such as the West End of London or Central London.
By taking this measure we would have ensured both a positive location and environment for an innovative and creative advertising agency. The final key influence that we have to consider and perhaps the most important influence is the type of management and staff that we recruit. The success of an advertising agency will undeniably rely upon the type of people who work in it, since so much of the production process is in their hands.As a consequence of this therefore we must pay a great deal of consideration into our recruitment process. We will have to carefully examine the credentials of future employees and only choose those people who have the type of qualities that are essential to creativity and innovation. As such the main feature we are looking for here is not academic qualifications, by rather particular qualities or a proven track record. However we must also ensure that we employ skill-full people as well to ensure that our ideas can be executed with precision, accuracy and flair.Once the foundations of our organisational culture is built we must ensures that the culture is kept alive.
This can be done in one of two ways the first of which is a structured socialisation process. Without this socialisation process new employees “are potentially likely to the disturb the beliefs and customs that are in place. “4 This can result in conflict and a breakdown in communication, to avoids this therefore it is necessary that we have some degree of socialisation to ensure that our staff are upon the same wavelength.Having that this process must not be too excessive like the socialisation process of The Royal Marines for example because this may damage the individuality of employees and subsequently their ability to produce new divergent ideas. The final measure that must be taken is to ensure that our employees learn the agency’s culture. Stephen P Robbins mentions four ways by which employees learn the culture of the organisation: Stories, Rituals, Material Symbolism, and Language.By developing, remembering and repeating stories that are in accordance with our culture employees will be given a model of what is expected of them that is easy to understand. Rituals are also important in indoctrinating employees with our philosophy, we could for examples have awards ceremonies that celebrate both achievement and failure such that there is no fear of taking risks and being creative.
Material symbols are also important among the most important of them is the layout of our headquarters and offices. It would be desirable for example to have an open plan office to encourage communication.It would also be a good idea to avoid a strict dress code so as to convey to our employees that individualism is encouraged. Finally we must pay attention to language, by making use of particular language and jargon a degree of assimilation can be achieved that does not affect the creativity of the firm. By taking such measures it is hoped firstly that a creative and innovative organisational culture is developed and secondly that it is maintained to ensure that the advertising agency achieves the required reputation.
1 Adapted with my comments and abbreviation from Pgs 804 – 805 of Management and Organisational Behaviour: Sixth Edition 2002 by Laurie J Mullins 2 ibid 3 I. e. A base of reliable and proven employees who fully understand the nature of the agency and of its goals we did this base we can sure that any further development in size will built upon firm foundations.4 Pg. 607 Organisational Behaviour Eight Edition; Stephen J Robbins A small advertising agency is seeking to establish a reputation for creativity and innovation. Sketch out some practical measures that might be taken to develop an organisational culture to support such and effort.