Values-Driven Leadership Matters Now More Than Ever

The six core values guiding Havas Media North America

The advertising industry and the world as a whole is facing extreme economic and societal pressure. As relentless as we must be in our pursuit of new business, we must also practice the same dogged determination to champion our colleagues through a culture of empowerment.

Across the entire Havas Group, we always go back to our six core values and use them as cultural touchstones during good and bad times. While company values often get posted and ignored, we use them at Havas Media as our guide and share them here in the hope that they can offer you some direction.

Collaborative: Better together

A great deal of personal and professional joy can stem from collaboration. Constantly developing and expanding a roster of colleagues and clients who you can overcome setbacks—and savor successes—with is rewarding and vital.

This year has highlighted how vital collaboration is for success. Understanding that we rise and fall as a community should give us pause to think about how our actions impact others and how we should comport ourselves. Through a workplace that puts a premium on gratitude and humility, we overcome challenges together.

Entrepreneurial: Act like owners

The healthy growth of an organization begins with its ability to develop an atmosphere where individuals feel they have an ownership stake. Cultivating entrepreneurialism means encouraging people to take risks. It means, in part, to treat success and failure as opportunities to learn.

Innovative: Strive for more

Overcoming fear of failure opens the door to innovation. As people undertake projects to improve or expand on existing ideas, other ideas will mushroom out.

Our team at Havas Media watched the pandemic drastically alter the commerce landscape as we knew it. We seized the moment to support our clients in every aspect of their business. We also developed a new offering—Havas Market—to create a more meaningful shopping experience. By encouraging our employees to not only identify problems, but develop innovative solutions, Havas Media created an entirely new revenue stream.

Accountable: We do what we say

To stand behind what we say and do is not only a hallmark of character, it’s good business practice. Through authenticity and sincerity, we can immediately make an impact with clients that rely upon our knowledge and expertise to drive success.

Internally, I have a no-drama policy. This serves as a reminder to always respect your colleague and their opinions. When you eliminate any potential tension, teams feel like everyone is in their corner and everyone makes space for bigger and better ideas.

Committed: Play for the long term

One byproduct of fostering a love of craft is the commitment to staying the course all the way through to the conclusion. Commitment to excellence is one of the greatest gifts that we can give to the next generation of marketers.

At Havas Group, we spent a decade exploring “meaningful brands” and realized media must also be meaningful so brands can cut through the overcrowded market. We launched a new operating system called Mx that allows us to craft the best media experience by using the most meaningful media to build more meaningful brands that last the test of time.

Playing for the long term also means committing to better the industry as a whole. We know that diversity is lacking in adland. At Havas Group we’ve committed to change and our holding ourselves accountable.  While we still have a lot of work to do, we are taking steps every day to build a more diverse and inclusive community.

Recently we launched our Social Equity Marketplace, made up of BIPOC and LGBTQ+-owned media businesses, so clients can positively invest funds in underrepresented businesses.  This platform is one of our commitments to exploring meaningful media and recognizing the need for equitable treatment of businesses that are traditionally underrepresented in the marketing industry.

Generous: We care

At the beginning of quarantine, I told our teams to be generous with their time. This year forced us to reimagine what work looks like in every aspect. Over-communicating with each other is a necessity. While we’re all working longer hours to support our clients, we’re encouraging employees to take the time they need to put their mental health first. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of others.

The art of keeping these principles in play is the balancing act that leaders must learn to create a culture strong enough for the times we face. Working with individuals inside a group requires an understanding of human behavior and a willingness to devote time and energy to make sure that everyone rises together. Only then can we make a meaningful difference to brands’ business and people…especially our people.

Colin Kinsella leads and consistently innovates the Havas Group’s integrated client offering. Throughout his career, he has been regarded as a visionary leader who has implemented strategic, client-first thinking that increases innovation and sustainable success.