Formulating a Future Perspective with Powerful Teams in Kickoff Meetings
dnaunion Group hosted a Kickoff Meeting or the 1398 (2019/20) Strategy Formulation Meeting participated by eleven teams from different companies on the last days of the Fall. The eleven teams had gathered to formulate their company vision for the next Persian calendar year (1398 starting March 21, 2019) through exchange of views and partnership. In these teams, experienced people, senior executives and newcomers gathered together. The newcomers were present at strategic planning sessions. We visited the strategy Formulation participants at their sincere and friendly environment and interviewed some of them. In these conversations, we asked the audience about their achievements in developing the strategy of the dnaunion group.
Let’s read what they had to say.
Q: Tell us about your first encounter with strategy formulation sessions?
Kiarash Kamrani; Lemon Account Manager: It was the first time I was attending the strategy formulation meetings. Participating in the strategy formulation group sessions was an exciting experience for me. In these meetings, the main and final goal was introduced by the mentor and the group: A goal, which was first well-known and well-defined, but the way to reach it was delegated to us. This was a great point that was a pleasure to learn. The point that developed creativity and teamwork, and made each team perfectly aware of its strategy plans.
In addition, there was an interesting synergy between teams from different companies, which was another issue that attracted my attention. I hope that next year, members of our company will be present at these meetings and will enjoy the experience.
Azadeh Nazari; Magnolia Strategy and Account Director: It was my first presence in dnaunion group strategy formulation sessions: The presence of teams from group companies in one place was one of the most interesting topics: A presence that boosted the sense of sincerity and friendship amongst the teams and had forged coherence of all the people present at the meetings. This sense helped the members to maintain an active participation in the teams.
In addition, the process of meetings was well-defined and targeted, and was a very valuable experience for the newcomers. Also, the strong points of the people were well-defined in those meetings and this could be used later to influence the selection of individuals and the recognition of their abilities.
Maryam Jalali; Media Sources Media Buyer: In the strategy formulation sessions, we became familiar in an operational manner with all the aspects of the strategy formulation of a company. We learned the issues that came to light after becoming familiar with them and learning how to use them in tangible and practical ways. Moreover, it was interesting to talk about the strengths, weaknesses and threats facing the company under the current economic situation. Also, the presence of senior executives, especially the group’s CEO, in these meetings was an opportunity to use more experiences in the path to succeed. In sum, the information obtained from these meetings is functional and operational.
Shahrokh Moeini; Eshareh Creative Manager: Different topics were shared among people at strategy formulation meetings. Things that we already knew about them, but their review was interesting. One of the distinctions of the dnaunion group is holding such meetings in relation to the rest of the Iranian advertising industry. Meetings are an exciting strategy for collecting and using each other’s experiences. A period in which the policies and goals of the group are expressed or reminded. Policies and goals that people in the group contribute to its formation. Such an approach would motivate teams. The group’s approach has made people realize their efforts to achieve their ultimate goal.
Nasim Baghchehban; Certius Research Consultant: The job of Certius is to develop a strategy for the rest of the companies. So, I’m working out strategies every day, but attending the dnaunion group strategy formulation sessions is another experience I enjoyed. In these meetings, I learned step-by-step designing and formulating a company’s strategy, and factors that should be considered in the compilation. These meetings were very helpful, and I think that those who did not attend the meetings missed important points.
Q: What are the benefits of dnaunion group strategies for members and companies?
Saeed Nabavian; EMRC Qualitative Researcher: It is important to hold meetings for strategy formulation. Because the views of those present will be focused on daily activities in two days. This shift will make the companies look at issues that they may not consider at home meetings. Such an approach will give companies incentives and direction to achieve their goals. This motivation and direction leads to synergy and added value. This synergy will lead to better prospects by companies. In addition, companies are part of the group and have a feeling of empathy. The teams will also be informed of the angles that can help each other.
The teams were more competent and professional at this year’s strategy formulation sessions than last year. The methodology and objectives were also more specific. The sessions were also sincere and stimulating. These meetings are a great surprise for newcomers. They feel empathy and will have motivation to help the group’s goals.
Atta Parsa; Magnolia Managing Director: In these meetings, the strategy of influential people in companies is to look at the subject with a general view. For example, they are like someone who rides a helicopter and looks at the issue from above. They look at the origin and destination of their journey with this view. A look that helps them find out the obstacles that prevent accomplishment of the goals. Therefore, they are looking for innovative solutions by detecting obstacles in their way. The strategies that make them reach the main goal. On the other hand, these meetings also build up teams. Individuals present in the teams consider their role very significant in the events that happen in the company.
In the strategy formulation meetings, the individuals from participating teams of different companies get closer together which is an added value for the group and affiliated companies and for the customers. When individuals from different teams get to know each other, they will definitely have joint projects implemented among group companies with the least challenge: Projects that will bring good results.
Sometimes during their activities at the company, the people present in these strategy formulation meetings mention points they have examined during previous years. They compare the goals of last year with this year and propose to develop programs. Interestingly, the members of the company each have a different outlook at the goals of the past years and come up with new ideas this year. Their goal is to develop the company and the business they are working in.
In these meetings, people with influential impact on others are present. These people usually take the initiative in doing jobs, business development, building teams, and … companies. Taking a pioneering role and being active are one of the values of the dnaunion group. The outlook and participation of these people in these projects is very important.
In general, strategy formulation sessions do not merely lead to the formulation of untapped strategies, but also discover talents and provide for their career development.
Pooya Ghaznavi; DMN Managing Director: These meetings bring together top executives and strategy members from all companies. It is a gathering to interact with other members of the group and ask for their opinions on various topics. However, all members of the group, especially senior executives, are less likely to find opportunities to work together because of their busy work. An opportunity provided by the strategy formulation sessions. On the other hand, at a meeting, top executives are also referred to as macro policies. The policies we are trying to try to reach out to the company. A company that needs a compass to navigate a ship like a ship and routing it. In these meetings, we sometimes face challenges and sometimes disagreements, but it is important that at the end we are united. This correlation enlightens our path.
The results of the meetings will not end on these two days, and we will also benefit from them during our work. Overall, these meetings are the best place to exchange views and perspectives and accurate path for the future.
Mehdi Hatefi; Media Sources Managing Director: These sessions help to better identify the company’s policy direction. In addition, by participating in these meetings, you will learn how to formulate a strategy, with a variety of markets, activists and companies in your business neighborhood. By attending these meetings, you will also become aware of the new achievements of the group companies and staying on track. The path that you can join the rest or create conditions that others would accompany you. If you make the right move in this path it will lead to the success of the group. In addition, the presence of experienced mentors will open up a new look for the audience at these meetings. This effect, though small now will be profound and lasting in the long run and in high volume.
By attending these strategy formulation meetings and working alongside bigger teams, people will have a share in building up the future of the company they work in and where work and activity heavily depends on their personal life. In fact, they actually decide for their own future. By attending these meetings, they identify different responsibilities in their company. The responsibility they can assume and increase their experience. People are more responsible than attending these meetings. They realize that profit, loss, success and failure of the company depend on their performance. People also learn that they must be responsive to higher organs. The emergence of an accountability culture in the organization will bring people together in order to achieve a goal. As a result, such meetings create more coherence and synergy between companies and group members.
Saeed Zanjani; dnaunion Finance & Shared Service Manager: Such strategy formulation sessions will allow companies to analyze their position on the market before the start of the new fiscal year. Additionally, companies are reviewing their market and their competitors and gaining useful information. Such an approach would identify goals and integrate with organizational aims. These meetings are matched to the goals of the group based on a specific pattern of corporate strategy plans. A very interesting approach that makes these meetings different.
These strategies form a sense of responsibility in individuals, especially in newcomers. An increase in team spirit is another benefit of these meetings. A spirit that helps companies achieve their ultimate goal. Strengthening the team spirit requires the premises that the group is trying to create. Team morale will make things work better.
Kamyar Emami; Managing Director EMRC: This year’s meetings have were more coherent than the previous years. The attendance of the mentor in these meetings helped teams to go on a specific path to reach the goal. People attending these meetings feel more committed to corporate affairs and are more successful in their efforts to succeed. Everyone at these meetings will express their opinion, this approach will make the programs better implemented next year. Also, people find that there is no up-and-down look at companies in the group, and everyone is involved in the decision making process.
Farid Shokriya; MD & Marketing Director Four Mind: Participating in these meetings strengthens the sense of commitment towards the goals of the group. In these meetings, various issues are reviewed and examined from different angles. The reviews that will make us start the year 98 with more power. People attending these meetings feel committed to the strategies developed. When such a sensation exists in individuals, they will surely try to run the programs.
In complex and unpredictable markets, agility of companies is more important. Agile companies respond quickly to market reactions as they investigate information quickly. So repeated reviews of the formulated program in these strategy formulation meetings will help companies react more quickly to market changes. A review that makes the company’s moves be accurately measured and find out how well they are moving in the market.
In addition, the presence of a mentor, who has had a good record in the market and worked outside the scope of advertising business, helped to recognize the customers’ outlook. Sometimes customers are indifferent to issues that matter to companies.
In the end, I hope we will come up with the results of the programs that we compiled in our session this year.
Ali Araqi; Lemon Managing Director: Achieving the ultimate goal is important for any company. The goal is to boost sales and other issues. These meetings help companies find a good way to attain the ultimate goal. It also motivates people to have a strong presence in the programs they contribute to their compilation. Such people will help develop their business.
Strategy formulation sessions also help one learn different subjects. People attending these meetings will be informed about the topics of the company. Such a move creates a sense of responsibility and commitment in people. Individuals with a sense of responsibility consider the company their own and will strive to achieve its goals.
Also, the scientific and professional outlook of these meetings makes the group different from the rest of the advertising industry activists: A perspective held in few companies. The group has shown that a service provider can also play an important role in the rest of the market.
Q: How would you describe the achievements of the strategy formulation meetings?
Babak Kazemi; Eshareh Brand Unit Director: Transparent exposure of the internal issues of the companies has always been challenging, especially their financial matters. The challenge comes when companies should talk about such issues outside the managers and shareholders’ meetings, something that in my opinion rarely occurs in Iran. Nonetheless, the dnaunion group has implemented such transparency and creates mutual trust with its members. In these meetings, the participants are informed about the most important and confidential issues of the company and have the opportunity to comment on them.
Naturally, when people are told about each and every topic they feel more affiliated with the company and this is one of the important benefits of strategy formulation sessions. Another advantage is the multidimensional attitude about the topics and infrastructure reviews. Infrastructure that most Iranian companies are indifferent to. Such infrastructures make successful projects run smoothly. Such benefits are fed into the organization’s body in 2-day sessions.
Of course, it’s true that all the programs developed at these meetings should be revised many times, but the synergy created between teams and companies is extremely valuable. Businesses also benefit from accuracy, performance and experiences of one another. At these meetings, an experienced and international CEO and mentor are present which is noteworthy.
In addition, I think that this year, strategy formulation meetings were organized in a more systematic and better manner. In this year’s sessions, patterns and questions were clear and the people answered them within a specific timetable. They must ultimately reach a specific format. In my opinion having a specific pattern to achieve a goal is more important than creativity. Once the pattern is clear, you can add creativity to the goal. With creativity alone, you cannot make plans properly.
Parastoo Rostami; Eshareh Media Business Unit Director: The presence of different teams in these strategy formulation sessions led me to look at different issues with different perspectives. The glances we may have paid little attention to. Also, these sessions provide teams with comprehensive information about the market and its active competitors.
In these meetings, we identify and focus on market supply. This identification will take tighter steps towards the ultimate goal. This year’s meetings were more specific than the previous year. The path we need to move step by step. These goals set out where the companies move from one side to another. Also, the participation of new people in these meetings will motivate them to formulate strategies. They consider themselves part of the company and are working more than ever to reach the ultimate goal. After attending these meetings, they will find out what a complicated process is being undertaken to achieve the goals.
Q: What is the difference between the group’s strategy formulation meetings and the performance of the rest of the Iranian advertising industry?
Afsaneh Zarrin Kafsh; Certius Senior Consultant: I have had years of experience in foreign and international companies. In these companies the general policies are determined by the main company and sent to the rest of the companies. The rest of the companies implement policies in line with their work environment. This is also due to the distance international companies have with different branches. Therefore, strategy formulation is the key issue that is being implemented in such companies, and the dnaunion team also executes this compilation with regard to the work space and type of outlook. Such a performance will make the group a pioneer compared to the rest of the advertising industry in Iran. With this perspective in mind, the meetings will be of great help to the growth and advancement of the group members particularly the newcomers. Everyone in the group is made up of well-known, well-integrated goals among members. Such integration will make everyone in step with the goals of the group.
Nasim Dana; Eshareh Brand Studio Manager: In these meetings, the development of a one-year-cycle corporate strategy is identified. The path that identifies them should be how they move in the market for their business. In these meetings, the market of the field of activity of the companies is carefully measured and the process of competition of the competitors is scrutinized. Such an achievement leads to the formulation of corporate strategy plans and, ultimately, the definition of their one-year goals. Of course, all of these activities are defined according to the goals expressed at the beginning of the meetings by Senior Managers and Mentors. Objectives that are generally expressed, but each company in the form of a team must determine their own plans to achieve them. Each company tries to be loyal to the designated strategy plans and to determine next year which one has been completed and which one needs to be completed.
Each year, new strategies are being set up at these meetings, the faces that will bring with them new ideas and help them advance their company. The meetings give them confidence and courage to attend the important decisions of their company. The dilemma that they make is that they take it for granted and they are trying harder to achieve the goals.
In the meantime, team spirit and innovation are growing among older people every year. People attending these meetings understand that they are contributing to the fate of their company. Such an approach motivates the effort to achieve success, and it enables managers to make such an incentive to their colleagues. Learning to stay in these meetings is more interesting to me than anything else.