Managing Organizational Change: Charlotte Beer’s Leadership

Managing Organizational Change: Charlotte Beer’s Leadership

1) Is Charlotte Beers a Level 5 Leader? Why (or why not)?

Charlotte Beers is termed as one of the best leaders in modern times as she broke the glass ceiling and applied a unique style of leadership. An evaluation of her approach reveals that she is a level, five leader. Beers’ values relationships more than work as she talked to clients and investors in the first months of working at Ogilvy. She also worked closely with the individuals that were interested in the change in the entity. Secondly, she conducts consumer research which gives her a comprehensive understanding of the market paving the way for her to make sound decisions. Beers acknowledges that one has to get uncomfortable fast prompting the needed change in the organization (Collins, 2016). She believes that successful leaders in the present times should possess asking techniques to get what they need. Finally, Beers deals with power effectively and acknowledges that it can be mismanaged resulting in failure in organizations.
2) How did she exemplify the Stockdale Principle?

Beers demonstrated that Stockdale principle during her tenure in Ogilvy. The principle states that optimism is critical in ensuring resilience when one is faced with trauma or a challenge. When Beer was first appointed in Ogilvy, she met a high level of resistance from the top management that viewed her as being incompetent for the position. They were concerned that she previously worked in small-sized business based in Chicago and perceived her to be incompetent to manage Ogilvy that is considered to be an international organization (Collins, 2016). Her leadership style was different from the beginning where she was seen to be a distinct leader. She was enthusiastic, full of life and inspired change in the organization. Her optimism contributed to her success in leadership and has been acknowledged as being one of the most outstanding female leaders.
3) What was her hedgehog?

Beers realized that she had to be different to do well as a leader. She realized in the first few months of working at Ogilvy (Collins, 2016). She asked the senior managers to identify the areas that needed change. She had come to the realization that her task was challenging and she would need help from experienced individuals in the organization. Beers admitted that she was wrong in failed to schedule an executive meeting on time and realized that she did not know that this would have a negative impact on her performance and that of the organization. This facilitated the discovery of the weaknesses in the organization. It follows that she established that people were not aware of their roles (Tidd,  Bessant & Pavitt,  2005). The executives were impressed by her honesty and supported her in implementing change at Ogilvy. Her approach was different as leaders fail to admit when they are wrong, and this adversely affects the outcome within organizations.
4) How did she gain momentum for her turnaround? (How did she create a flywheel?)

Beers started on the right foot at Ogilvy however, she did not maintain her momentum and faced diverse challenges in the management of the entity (Collins, 2016). It is clear that the company faced problems in brand stewardship and lacked a proper strategy on how to deal with it effectively. During one of the most important meetings, the team members disagreed on the best approach to handle it. It became evident at this point that the company needed change as seen from the displeasure that was expressed by one of the employees that asserted that there was no transformation in the company. Beers realized that she needed a unique strategy with the help of the employees to manage Ogilvy.



Collins, J. C. (2016). Good to great: Why some companies make the leap … and others don’t.    London: Random House.

Tidd, J., Bessant, J., & Pavitt, K. (2005). Managing innovation integrating technological, market and organizational change. John Wiley and Sons Ltd.