Saleh Ghazal, Managing Director of OMD MENA, discusses collaboration, processes and finding the right people.
How would you define collaboration?
Collaboration is much more than teamwork or collective work; it is having the right mindset, the right culture, and it doesn’t have to be within the same discipline or the same team. We are now at a time when, more than ever, collaboration is needed with a wider audience.
I really like the idea of ‘casual collisions.’ Pre Covid, we had people talking to other people outside of their teams – in the lift, in the pantry, while having a tea break – and bouncing ideas with individuals or talents outside their day-to-day job or direct team. Collaboration really stems from these casual collisions between individuals to deliver better work for clients. During Covid, we missed that.
How do you foster such a culture, especially in a diverse country in terms of ethnicity, language, religion, values, etc.?
It’s very difficult to build a culture top bottom. Culture comes from the people. So, you foster the culture by listening to people, understanding exactly what they want, hearing them out, and, to a certain extent, by trial and error.
Building a culture requires a lot of time, but it also requires the right tools. During Covid, we’ve invested a lot in tools like Microsoft Teams or Zoom because it was very hard for us to have that interaction with the wider people. But it affected the culture a lot.
This interview was first published in Communicate.
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