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With so many plans and budgets in the air right now, what are you seeing with your agencies or clients for leadership, diversity, enrichment sort of programming?

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My boss came from a network agency (he’s an owner now) and said when there’s a downturn or finances are bad, leadership is more likely to be even more risk averse and rely on people and business practices that worked in their past out of panic rather than focus on implementing progressive policies for the long-term (shareholders want to see immediate results). I worked at one of these name brand agencies more recently and when they started hemorrhaging business, POCs and those not part of the in-crowd were the first to go. In fact, all the POCs in my department were let go and replaced with less experienced juniors who graduated from the new SVP’s alma mater. Since people who wanted to debate ideas were seen as troublemakers, no one would speak the truth. Loyalty was rewarded over innovation and relationships with clients were based on pleasing them at all costs, which ironically pushed them to shop around for better ideas. They’ve been shrinking ever since.

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I want to see more of this, especially now. I'm curious how leaders are focusing in this uncertain time. Hopefully development of our people and communities doesn't have to suffer.

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