David (formerly rmg david), a multinational advertising agency belonging to the WPP network, has rolled out a plan across its networks in Asia, including its two Indian branches, to identify and retain talent within the organisation.
The agency is adapting various best practices across all branches in Asia, and allowing its employees the freedom to move within branches in any country. Digby Richards, chief executive officer, David, and Judd Labarthe, head of planning, David, are currently in India holding workshops with David's Indian branches. According to Mr Richards: “We're here to formalise a culture and behaviour that represent David. We want people to realise that is the right place to work.”
David's senior executives have come up with 'Star of David', a plan to identify emerging talent within the network. Nearly 25-30 of David's top professionals will come together, and identify the potential stars in the network. These employees would then be allowed to work in an agency and account of their choice, and brainstorm with their creative heads.
Says Josy Paul, regional creative director of David: “Very few agencies allow such movement of their people across branches, especially across countries.” David's senior executives reckon this is an important step to convince their best talent that the industry, and David in particular, is the best place to be.
According to Mr Richards, the idea behind a uniformity in culture across the network is not to become cookie-cutter, but to have a common cause and attitude. Adds Mr Labarthe: “Look at Virgin for instance, they're into a whole lot of things - recorded entertainment, aviation and gaming.
But it still, essentially, stands for something. We would want to become that way.” According to Mr Richards, the companies that David would look to work with would also stand for something. He says: “For instance, there's a big shoemaker in China, and they want their brand to be well known by the time the Olympics come to Beijing in '08. We've taken that as a challenge.”Mr Digby and Mr Labarthe reckon that some of the best practices for the network emerge from India.