Collaboration in action at leading advertising agency OMD Australia

OMD Australia Great Place to Work Certified

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There are few better examples of collaboration in action than a company run by joint CEOs: Australia’s biggest advertising agency OMD Australia is one such example. We interviewed the advertising giant to hear their experience of collaboration and innovation since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are joined at the hip,” says co-CEO Laura Nice of co-CEO Sian Whitnall.

This kind of joint leadership is a proven model at OMD, which also features co-managing directors, co-trading directors and joint leadership of some offices including Melbourne.

And for good reason: “In a media agency where your product is largely servicing and supporting clients, you need to make sure you have got this deep executive support, otherwise somebody along the line feels that they are missing out,” says Whitnall.

The result is also deep insight into embedding collaboration throughout an organisation.

“There’s two worlds in our world — there is the work that the teams deliver day in day out for clients, and then there’s how do we innovate the agency business itself and the capability within,” says Whitnall.

OMD Australia — with clients including the Victorian government, fast food giant McDonalds and insurer Suncorp — offers a full range of media and communications services from planning and analytics to creative and trading. It ranked third in the medium category on the list of Australia’s Best Workplace™2021.

“The breadth is huge,” says Nice. “And where it used to be very black and white, now it’s very blurred.

“It’s become much more collaborative in terms of ways of working. You’ve got some very different talents — your creative people are looking more strategically [and] you’re now coupling them up with analytical people.
“So, you’re bringing the science and art together.”
OMD’s advice is ensure everyone has guidelines on the outcomes they are aiming for.

“Collaboration becomes even more important as long as you’ve got the right ways of working behind it so that everyone’s clear on what they’re all running towards,” says Nice.

Whitnall adds: “You have to be really clear on everybody’s role in a process – and everyone needs to be really clear on what their role is delivering.”

OMD Australia is a Great Place to Work Certified™ company – if you’d like to learn about certification, contact us here today.

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To be eligible for the World’s Best Workplaces list, a company must apply and be named to a minimum of 5 national Best Workplaces lists within our current 58 countries, have 5,000 employees or more worldwide, and at least 40% of the company’s workforce (or 5,000 employees) must be based outside of the home country. Extra points are given based on the number of countries where a company surveys employees with the Great Place to Work Trust Index©, and the percentage of a company’s workforce represented by all Great Place to Work surveys globally. Candidates for the 2017 Worlds Best Workplaces list will have appeared on national workplaces lists published in September 2016 through August 2017.