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Assume The Role Of An LB Employee

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What is your everyday environment like (assume this would be normally involve face-to-face teams)? Specifically, consider how you would fill your day, what the office environment would be, what would determine your work priorities and the nature of your relationship with your colleagues and your client(s). Leo Burnett has a multidisciplinary team structure serviced each brand. Employees are responsible to provide full advertising service to meet client’s requirements on daily basis. The formal supervisor from home department is responsible for managing employees. Employees are often selected /assigned to work on specific project to support two or three different client’s brand team at a time. In these cases, they will report informally to the project team leader. Due to the volume of work and project deadlines, it often required working up to 60 hours per week and late nights at the office. Most LB employees are young and they are willing to put extra time/effort to fulfill client’s needs, to meet the aggressive schedules and exceed client’s expectation. LB has an open communication environment which involves in a lot of face to face interaction.

Employees spend many hours to handle client requests. They also spend quite a lot of time to discussing projects with colleagues to learn and get inputs. In LB, employees are working in a fast-paced, high pressure, long hours and high expectations environment with positive camaraderie. The work priorities are mainly determined by the client needs and project deadlines. The nature of my relationship with my colleagues is positive camaraderie. Socializing together after long office hours and working on common goals help us develop the positive work relationship at LB. We put a lot of efforts to develop and maintain good client relationships. OBC is a Significant Client for LB. LB has appointed expanded and strengthened global team to better serve OBC. b) How is this different from your role as part of the Forever Young virtual team? Forever Young is a new skin care line in OBC. It also considered as the first foray in the premium priced skin care products for this company. Forever Young virtual team was formed to perform the global advertising and communication for this new product line. This is a critical project for both OBC and LB. Three teams were formed for this project.

Global brand team in London and two satellite teams in Toronto, Canada and Taipei, Taiwan. The role of two satellite teams is to better serve the local geographical project needs. From my role as part of the Forever Young virtual teams, the first challenge and different is the communication. The London office has a strong face-to-face open communication environment which is the key for many successful projects. However, due to the location restrictions, the communication between the London office and two satellite office could be an issue. The team has determined to use video conferencing, phone calls and emails to communicate between offices. In fact, the Toronto team was facing problems on communication which includes the ineffective videoconference meeting. The whole team is facing the lack of communication issues as project goes. Trust level has been decreased due to the ineffective communication. This negatively affects the work relationship with the colleagues and clients.

What are some of the difficulties that the Forever Young global advertising and communication team faced throughout the launch process? To what do you attribute these difficulties? The first difficulty that the Forever Young global team faced is the inefficient communications. Toronto Office complained the bad videoconference meeting experience which ended up with frustration and lack of clarity on the creative concept. This could cause misjudgment and bad decision making. Trust level has been decreased due to the ineffective communication. Unlike face-to-face teams in London office, where trust built based on social contact and interaction on daily basis, virtual team develop trust based on predictable performance such as following up on commitments and responding to email in time, etc. Toronto office was having difficulty to connect directly with Annabelle to input on the photography before it’s taken. The reason is because Annabelle is on the road and it’s hard to catch her. The team should establish the reaction mechanism to avoid this kind of situation from happening. Team member should be responsible to responding to all emails from team and clients within 24 hours. If she/he was not reachable at that time, the backup personal is responsible to respond and make the decision based on the best known method to ensure project progress.

Besides, the London office should closely work with Toronto office to improve the understanding and build trust. Team leader should travel to Toronto office to meet with the team and better understand their needs and help them with the difficulties. The second difficulty that the team faced is lack of clarity on how/who to make decisions and unclear roles and responsibilities. London and Toronto office were both hoped that the other would adapt their creative look and feel. Team seems failed to define how to make the decision and deliver the result. As the result of unclear roles and responsibilities and fail to follow the team communication protocol, Team leader Carmichael repeatedly had to explain the basic project component to the senior managers which is Toronto team’s responsibilities. 3) As Janet Carmichael, do you now decentralize the team? Why or Why not? I suggest decentralizing the team to the Toronto office. We have seen successful story in Taipei office that had the significant amount of autonomy due to the cultural differences present in the local market. Toronto office has a better knowledge of the local customers’ preference; they know the Canadian market better than anyone in LB.

They should have more autonomy to explore the local Canadian market, to determine the creative look and feel and media methods. LB London office may assume that Canadian markets are similar with European markets at the very beginning. The failure of the Toronto test launch shows this assumption may not be right. The leader needs to support failure analysis and lead the team to learn and recovery from the failure. London office should give Toronto team more opportunities to speak up, to make their opinions and determine the project directions on a certain level. This will help to build the trust between offices and increase the confidence level of Toronto team. I would not suggest to decentralizing the whole control to Toronto team because there are numerous personnel changes in both London and Toronto office. In Toronto office, Powell and Jacobs are lack of expertise and experience in their new roles. London office should still control the final decision making. As the team leader, Carmichael needs to focus on more training to the Toronto team to help them become more competitive and learn and grow from the failure.

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