Case Four


Team Dysfunction: Companies Unable to Work Together

A major international pharma client indicated to the holding company leadership that the creative and media agencies’ inability to overcome their own differences was being noticed, and affecting the business itself.

What was done

Interviews with 11 creative agency staff, 7 media agency staff and an additional 5 interviews with staffers from other holding company agencies who also worked on the integrated assignment team.

Conflict primarily (thankfully) isolated to one category in a wider client relationship

Conflict driven by a structural issue – lack of clarity as to strategic roles and responsibilities and who was the ‘lead agency’

Compounded by weak leadership at the creative agency and exacerbated by clear personality conflicts

And by management ignoring or indulging an escalation culture & very bad behaviour on both sides

Wholesale leadership change at the creative/lead agency

Development of clear rules of engagement and decision rights

Client concerns allayed

Both agencies continue to work together on the assignment until present