DDB has launched a revised version of the company’s guiding values, the Four Freedoms.
In 1987, DDB Chairman Emeritus Keith Reinhard composed the Four Freedoms to bolster DDB’s creative culture. Since their inception, the four freedoms – freedom from fear, freedom to fail, freedom from chaos, and freedom to be – have been a fundamental part of DDB’s values and a differentiator of network culture for decades. As the world evolved, DDB leaders felt it was important to update the Four Freedoms to reflect changes in culture and how exceptional creative work is produced. So in 2022, the network reinvented the four principles to further strengthen the culture and ensure that staff at all levels of the network embody these values.
While the original Four Freedoms were a guide to team management and leadership, the relaunch reflects both top-down and bottom-up ownership, including at all levels of the organization. The rearticulation of the four freedoms is a basis for establishing the right behaviors and cultural tone. And our culture does not live in isolation. We need the right kind of people and a strong culture to catapult us to become an integrated creative powerhouse of the future, the best creative agency in the world.
Marty O’Halloran, Global Managing Director of DDB Worldwide, said, “Clearly the key ingredient to a culture that inspires and fosters creativity is the presence of freedom. Inspired by the same Four Freedoms that Keith wrote down years ago, we empower all of our employees at all levels to embrace and live these values in their daily work and interactions with customers.
Rearticulation also includes a new element, a set of behaviors that individually and collectively describe the behaviors that will help us live and breathe these values. The five behaviors include; Empathy, Trust, Inclusion, Humility, Drive. These four freedoms and behaviors underscore our shared responsibility to each other and to our customers. They reset the bar of behavioral expectations in our culture.
Behind the reimagining and relaunch is a cross-functional global team. The team gives special thanks to Keith Reinhard for his contributions and approval of the re-articulation.
Nikki Lamba, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at DDB Worldwide, said: “The world as we knew it 35 years ago, when the four freedoms were originally written down, is unrecognizable in many ways. Globalization has created a more connected and interdependent world, where cultural and demographic diversity has had a significant impact on our daily environment and consumer behavior. Our ability to succeed in an ever-changing world relies on our ability to foster an inclusive culture that prioritizes freedom.
Roisin Rooney, Human Resources Director of DDB Worldwide, said: “For us, it’s not just words on paper. These key freedoms and behaviors are the foundation of how we conduct our business and inspire each other every day. Each of us will experience them differently, creating environments that truly allow our
Four freedoms to thrive and for all of us to do the best job of our careers. Together we will make them real and believable by holding each other accountable to live by these values.
THE FOUR FREEDOMS
Free yourself from fear: The most innovative work comes from brave thinkers, not timid souls. We will inspire each other with courage if we act with positive intent, share responsibility, and support each other when the going gets tough.
Freedom to Fail – To push the boundaries of what is possible and create unexpected work, we will embrace failure. Not with reckless abandon, but with the intent to explore new and uncharted territory. When an experiment fails, it’s an opportunity to learn, not blame.
Freedom to be – DDB is a place for personal and professional development. If we put our whole selves to work and combine our unique perspectives and passions, we will make each other more interesting. We will take advantage of the space for personal growth, laughter, joy and celebration. And it will show in the things we make.
Freedom from chaos – We all deserve to be treated as if our time and energy were precious. Together, we will strive to make goals clear, processes simple, and the workplace free of unnecessary drama, so we can focus on what we do best and love most.