A week ago I attended my first Global Management Meeting for Havas. Overall, I was inspired. My experience is that most holding companies are centralized and efficiently managed to maximize the efforts of no one agency in the network but the whole. In that scenario most folks running individual agencies feel like the main part of their job is to “feed the beast” that is the holding company. Not a very inspiring job. While that might have been fine in a market that is stable and mature we’re living in a world that the culture is radically changing.
After this meeting I’m confident that Havas is correctly positioned for the future. First, the organizational structure is right. Havas feels more like a federation of independent companies that know how to work effectively together than an over engineered single entity. It also feels we’re more prepared and flexible for the uncertainty that the future will bring. Not only does the vision and leadership feel right, everyone on the leadership team is vested in making their part of the whole successful. There’s lots of healthy discussion and passionate debate.
Being here at Cannes it's evident that, like any organization, we have a lot to do and a lot to learn to prepare for the future. For instance, we need to become even more digitally and socially focused. Making the transition to the future of advertising takes an alchemy of vision, passion and good old fashion hard work.
For an entrepreneur the meeting felt very familiar and comfortable.