Issue No. 133 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting is a remarkable book on back-to-basics advertising about the king of Madison Avenue, David Ogilvy. Bring Ogilvy to your next staff meeting and give team members a taste of pre-Internet brilliant copywriting. And this reminder, check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
Good to the Last Page
When Author Kenneth Roman was a 33-year-old account executive at what was to become the storied Ogilvy & Mather ad agency, David Ogilvy (the king) wrote a letter to one of Roman’s clients. “After listing eight reasons why some ads prepared by the company’s design department would not be effective, he delivered his ultimate argument: ‘The only thing that can be said in favor of the layouts is that they are ‘different.' You could make a cow look different by removing the udder. But that cow would not produce results.’”
That word picture was classic Ogilvy. Advertising must produce results—they must sell products. His sales background (door-to-door stove sales in England) fueled his impeccable copyrighting talent. His distinctive ideas on ad design and copy (including his 39 rules of advertising) earned him a spot in the Advertising Hall of Fame. He was mentored in excellence by a French chef and this book is a feast of ad wisdom, insight and a back-to-ad-basics for new and experienced communicators. His body of work was memorable: Hathaway shirts (the black eye patch man), Maxwell House Coffee (good to the last drop), and the most famous auto ad of all time (“At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.”).
I often skip boring chapters. Not this book. I read every page. I underlined insights and ideas on more than 100 pages. This inside-advertising love letter was good to the last page. More than 35 years ago, having read Ogilvy’s 1963 best-seller (one million copies), Confessions of an Advertising Man, I was immediately hooked on advertising. Author Kenneth Roman, who rose to chairman and CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, understands leadership. His page-turning anecdotes in this week’s book, peppered with Ogilvyisms and astute management commentary (how you build an organization), put this on my “must-read-again” list.
Start by reading “The True Church,” Roman’s chapter on creating corporate culture (the color red was the king at Ogilvy & Mather). Then you’ll find the biography chapters more interesting. Ogilvy, Scottish kilt and all, messed up his personal life frequently (three marriages), but he was big on integrity. Go figure. Today there are 359 offices in 100 countries and the Ogilvy & Mather corporate logo is Ogilvy’s signature.
To order this week’s book from Amazon, click on this title: The King of Madison Avenue: David Ogilvy and the Making of Modern Advertising, by Kenneth Roman.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) On the importance of research, David Ogilvy preached, “The most important word in the vocabulary of advertising is TEST.” What advertising approach have we neglected to test in the last 12 months?
2) Another Ogilvyism was, “You can’t save souls in an empty church.” Discuss the fine line between advertising and manipulation. Spotlight one of your print ads or brochures that generated remarkable results recently. Why did it work?
The D.W.M.Q.A.T. System - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
One of the big ideas in the Systems Bucket, Chapter 18, in Mastering the Management Buckets, is to train your team in tickler tracking. Every team member can create a fail-proof system for tracking their daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual repeating tasks.
Payroll is one of those repeating tasks that must be flawless. The same devotion to details that you require for on-time paychecks can also be routine throughout your organization. Creating a systematic process for repeating tasks is part of systems thinking.
Tracking systems run the gamut from sophisticated software to Post-It notes on the wall. Start by listing your repeating tasks on a spreadsheet so that you can sort by deadline date, point person, department, task, and so forth. Create at least five major sections: “Daily Tasks,” “Weekly Tasks” (by day of week), “Monthly Tasks” (by day of month), “Quarterly Tasks” (by date) and Annual Tasks (by date).
Your systems thinkers already have binders, tabs and tracking systems, but you might suggest this system for your less organized team members (see Ball #6 in the Operations Bucket):
1. Ask each team member to assemble a binder titled “My Operations Binder.” (You may want an acronym other than M.O.B., but your graphics guy will love it.)
2. Each person then designates tabs for their personalized “Daily,” “Weekly,” “Monthly,” “Quarterly” and “Annual Tracker,” otherwise known as the DWMQAT. (I love easy-to-remember acronyms, don’t you?)
3. When repeating assignments are made in staff meetings or one-on-one meetings, they can be immediately listed on the DWMQAT.
Let’s say that a team member is hospitalized or a family member dies or is ill. If that person is in charge of payroll, you likely have a Plan B. But what about the zillions of other details that few others know about? When a team member is absent or on vacation, the DWMQAT system kicks in and it’s all there in black and white for another person to handle.
Similarly, when team members are promoted, the DWMQAT is an excellent training tool for their replacements. Train your team in tracking, and cast the vision for both the short-term and long-term benefits.
For more resources, visit the Systems Bucket page of my website and download the Excel spreadsheet template, Daily-Weekly-Monthly-Quarterly-Annual Tickler Tracking: “The D.W.M.Q.A.T. Form" for Repeatable Tasks.
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6 Best Board Practices Templates Now Online. If you missed the one-hour TeleSeminar on March 27, hosted by Christian Leadership Alliance, on “Six Best Practices for More Effective Boards,” you can now download my PowerPoint and the six very practical tools and templates for improving your board governance practices and speeding up board meetings. You can also order a recording of the TeleSeminar. Visit my Management Buckets website.