There are no short cuts to getting to know people and an organization. You have to be open and engaged, but the rest of it depends on “time in the chair.” In my first seven weeks at Undertone, I’ve been to London, Germany, Chicago (twice), and attended ANA Masters, DMEXCO, IAB MIXX, Advertising Week, and my first Executive Quarterly Business Review. Not to mention a thorough orientation and a very enlightening client lunch during Wine Week. In between all that I have tried to fill my calendar with internal meetings, immersions, and one-on-ones. The next phase will be a client tour.
My job these first 60 days has primarily been to listen, and I have really liked a lot of what I have heard. You define a company by WHAT, WHO, and HOW. WHAT do we do, WHO does it, and HOW does it get done? WHAT we do and HOW we do it have both evolved a lot this year.
I am really excited about that.
There has never been a more tumultuous time in the advertising industry. There are new players, new tactics, new measurement, higher expectations, and more accountability. We are very well positioned to compete aggressively in this new environment. It’s as if Undertone saw a very violent storm coming a year ahead of time and spent that time building a sturdy stone house up on high ground. Time after time when markets get disrupted like this, there is a flight to quality. We are going into 2015 with a credible position as a market leader in many of the most important areas in the industry: cross-screen, responsive design, mobile, high impact, real live human traffic, programmatic capabilities, and maybe most importantly, service.
That last one, service, leads me to the WHO. Nothing works without great people executing on these plans. Every company in the world talks about culture and says it is important to them. Culture is not cupcakes and cocktails. What matters is with whom you’re eating and drinking them. I have been blown away by the people here, and how teamwork and collaboration seems to be in the DNA. There are quite a few dotted line relationships and interdependent departments here at Undertone. That only works because everyone cares about the success of the team and wants to do good work.
I am so proud to be a part of this team. I am looking forward to working with all of the great people at Undertone to further strengthen our key value positions, while remaining a wildly creative and innovative company in the years ahead.
“If you get up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day. Otherwise, it’s not.” –Elon Musk