Collaboration: the secret sauce of successful firms
21 August 2019
When Dustin Cohn spoke at the Financial Communications Society’s CMO Monthly Series in August, the head of Brand Marketing for Goldman Sachs’ Consumer & Investment Division surprised the sold-out luncheon audience with a management insight about his firm. He talked about the critical role that collaboration plays at Goldman Sachs – and specifically how it drove the successful launch of its personal lending/savings business, Marcus by Goldman Sachs.
Cohn emphasised that, through collaboration, the marketing team focused on building consensus among themselves and their business partners, as well as with their agency partners. He noted that decisions were not dictated by management. He further explained that their collaboration in no way resulted in a dilution or compromise of ideas. Their consensus was not the limiting ‘design by committee,’ but an opportunity to surface best ideas and bring to bear best practice to support those ideas.
Collaboration can far exceed the success of a single initiative and become the driver of a long-term relationship. At Living, we’ve been working with Lovell Minnick Partners (LMP), a US-based private equity firm, on a communications project to celebrate the firm’s 20th anniversary. Our discovery sessions revealed that the ‘secret’ to LMP’s longevity – and premier position as a PE shop dedicated to financial services – is its inherent approach to collaborating with the management teams of its portfolio companies. As seen at LMP, across its offices in New York, Los Angeles and home base Philadelphia, this success begins with a collaborative culture within the firm. “Three offices, one team” is a mantra that the firm’s leadership instills across the ranks of its employees. And that spirit translates seamlessly to the relationships LMP builds with the clients who’ve engaged the firm to help them achieve strategic growth plans for their closely held businesses. With clear goals identified, a partnership on both sides of the table is formed and collaboration drives the unified team forward.
Thinking of your partners – both internal and external – respecting their opinions, learning from their insights, challenging each other to deliver the very best, that is the key to collaboration. And marketers should expect it from their agencies without question. At Living, we know to rely on collaboration to elevate the creative solutions we deliver to our clients. Just as we collaborate among our three global offices, in London, New York and Hong Kong, we look to join forces with our clients to create difference for their brands.