Building a Better Advertising Team
As we mentioned recently, OBI Creative is going through big and exciting changes. We increased our footprint by adding a team in Des Moines and most recently announced our big move to a new space in the Lumberyard District, a new multi-use development in Millard. Since we are a research-forward agency, we knew that the best way to maximize our season of growth was with a deep understanding of our strengths and weaknesses as a team. We turned to an expert in the field, Lori Stohs Consulting, to help us make the transition to a strengths-based organization and the payoff has been astounding.
“I think not only for ourselves but also for our clients, we are better able to help businesses organize around efficiency and success by having put ourselves through that process first,” says VP Operations and Leadership Lana LeGrand. “Working with Lori Stohs Consulting, who have taken many organizations through this process, showed us that if you only focus on processes or technology, and not people, you are overlooking your biggest source of strength and ignoring your areas of weakness.”
We found what so many other businesses and organizations have discovered through the Strengthsfinder process; when you put your brand on the couch, it reveals both strengths and inefficiencies you didn’t even realize were lurking beneath the surface.
Taking Care of Your Biggest Asset
“People are an organization’s biggest asset,” says Lori Stohs. “If you don’t get people in the roles they should be, productivity and engagement will never be as high as they could be. Strengths apply not only for individual engagement but they are incredibly helpful in revealing opportunities for alignment of teams as well as identifying gaps in roles.”
Going through the process helped us understand that burnout happens when we are constantly asked to operate outside of our strengths. “Happiness and high performance at work becomes possible when we focus on organizing our teams and our work so that our people can work in their strengths as consistently as possible,” says Lana. “There’s always going to be some tasks you don’t love to do, but using the strengths assessment as an essential part of our hiring and organizational processes has made us a more effective agency – both in the work we are able to execute for clients and the personal enjoyment of our daily work.”
Learning to Talk to Each Other
You would think that advertisers would be experts at communication; after all, that is a big part of our job – helping clients connect with their customers in meaningful ways. Since we really do believe that better has no finish line, we know that nothing bad can come from gaining a better understanding of how people operate. Knowing each other’s strengths (and non-strengths) helps us understand where we are coming from as co-workers; why we communicate the way we do; and what our preferences are.
We’ve gained the context we need to adapt to work and interact with each other more productively, which benefits our clients by making us better marketers. “Strengths are a piece of the picture here now,” says Lana. “They are a piece of a big and challenging puzzle when it comes to managing people, teams and hiring great talent; ultimately, the stronger we are, the more effective of a partner we can be for businesses and organizations looking to improve their own operations.”
Have you been through a strengths finder or Myers Briggs assessment as part of a work team? What was your experience like? What are your strengths?