How PHD profited from constraint

This excerpt form "A Beautiful Constraint" explores how PHD applied "can if" thinking to its business

New book by Adam Morgan and Mark Badden.
New book by Adam Morgan and Mark Badden.

Adam Morgan and Mark Barden's new book, "A Beautiful Constraint," discusses how to find solutions to constraint-driven problems. This excerpt details how PHD overcame the challenge of competeing for business and winning awards against larger agencies.

PHD is a global media planning and buying agency, a division of Omnicom, with a strong industry and client reputation as a thought leader in the business. They recognized, as they pitched for large global clients against the giants of their own category, that they would never be able to compete like for like with the size of the account teams and resources that these larger companies could offer.

Their solution was to offer a client not the same or a slightly larger team to work on their business, but everyone in the agency worldwide — over 3,000 people.

They did this through the development of a proprietary technology platform called Source, which allows clients to share a brief with everyone within PHD, and motivated responsiveness in the company through gamification, including a leaderboard of the most active contributors.

Read now: Campaign's Sarah Shearman talks to Adam Morgan about the beauty of constraint

The innovation offered the additional benefit of developing locally relevant solutions to global briefs, thereby circumventing regional "it won’t work here" pushback from the local markets. Unilever, GSK and VW Group are just three of the clients that have given PHD large global contracts in competitive pitches since the introduction of Source.


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