It’s been nearly a year since The Richards Group was shaken up by a racist remark its founder, Stan Richards, made during an internal meeting in October. Since then Richards departed, but he left behind a mess for the agency to clean up. Glenn Dady, who worked under Stan Richards for 40 years, took over as CEO last year. According to Dady, 15% of the agency’s staff and 40% of the agency's revenue were lost due to the incident and another 15% of employees departed due to the pandemic.
Now the agency is Stan-less and nonprofit-owned, but what has actually changed?
“I'm such a different kind of leader than Stan was," Dady says. “He'd been here forever. I'd been with him for 40 years, but we're different people. I tend to be extremely collaborative and I want different opinions. We spent the first six months [since Richards left] just listening to the people in this agency, trying to figure out where we wanted to go, then the last three months have been about putting all of those thoughts together.”
So far Dady has focused on recreating the agency’s internal team structure into six different divisions that include innovation, growth, strategy, creativity, a collaboration group, and people led by Nikki Wilson, its first-ever chief culture and talent officer, hired in April. Dady also helped create its first-ever HR department.
The agency also implemented a number of programs and groups such as a leadership council made up of young rising talent in the agency that meets with the leadership team twice a month and a Rebuild With Us program that allows employees to send anonymous feedback to agency leaders.
“[Before] It was three creative guys and Stan in charge of the entire agency,” Dady says. “All of us had been with Stan over 40 years, all of us were white and all of us were men.”