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New governance system @ VO

05 August 2022
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Last October, the majority shareholder base at VO changed following a management buy-out. The takeover was carried out by internal stakeholders, who had known the company for many years and therefore had a clear vision of VO's needs, potential and culture. Full of ambition for the future, Alexandre Velleuer and Xavier Vincent have specifically begun by rethinking the group's governance system, in order to move towards a more participative, inclusive and empowering model.   

With this approach, VO intends to intensify its role in the transition towards a society that is fairer, more respectful of the environment and more sustainable for future generations. The governance system and decision-making levels within this framework needed to be adjusted.

 

A more decentralised system

VO currently has three levels of decision-making:  the shareholder base, cross-functional bodies comprising the group's various skills, and the management team, which is in charge of operations. This arrangement has been in place for several years, and has been strengthened since the new shareholders took over. The aim is to consolidate the engagement of and assumption of responsibility by VO employees.

A new feature in 2022 is the congruence committee, which will ensure that the strategy is in line with the values promoted by the agency. The first meeting will be held at the end of the second half of the year and will be composed of staff and management members as well as a former shareholder.

 

An opportunity for everyone to get involved in the management of the company

Another new feature is the cross-functional (or transversal) task forces. Six task forces were launched in the first quarter of 2022, each with a specific mission: Finance, Communication, Future, HR, United and CSR. These task forces are managed autonomously by people with different but relevant functions, who are accompanied by volunteers, regardless of their function, age or seniority, in order to contribute to the development of VO in a collaborative and participative manner.

These task forces decide on their priorities and the means needed to achieve them. Their action plans include a large number of projects linked to the group's vision, such as employee well-being, the implementation of agency-specific CSR plans, the preparation of the training plan, the improvement of synergy within the group, etc.

 

New operation, new functions

This decentralised, transversal management method has led to the creation of new functions such as Transition & Communication Adviser, Lab Facilitator, Lab Coordinator, Transition Assistant within the Group, and, within the agencies, Head of Creative, Head of Strategy & Business, etc.

This means that, within the agencies and teams, there are ambassadors who can dedicate time to thinking about the group's future, implementing actions and following them up. In other words, they are involved in the decision-making and changes at VO in a practical and real way. This whole system is designed to demonstrate the ability of each individual to contribute to improving the company's future.

 

A tangible result

After a busy first quarter, it's clear that VO's model is working! The task forces are full, and the ideas are flowing and taking shape in ambitious projects at all levels. Several cooperative groups are working in parallel on a number of subjects that are crucial to the development of a company: environmental impact, training, the satisfaction at work index, evaluation documents, digital transition, innovation, productivity, team synergy, IT tools, brand image, etc. We are convinced that this new arrangement will help VO with its development and in achieving its vision.

 

“It all started with a very simple observation: VO's main asset is its staff. These men and women face highs and lows on a daily basis, and are constantly looking for the most appropriate solution to make their projects a success. It made sense to take advantage of their creativity and commitment to enable VO to make further progress while respecting our values and vision.” - Xavier Vincent, CEO

 

“It was important for us not to be involved at every level in order to leave room for the employees. Our vision and ambition will be realised through the involvement of all VO staff members, using a system and model that will increase loyalty, responsibility and motivation. We didn't dare imagine that it would happen so quickly. Everything is moving forward in unison and in a well-thought-out way, in line with the strategic directions and the needs and values of the employees. We are looking forward to seeing all these projects come to fruition.” Alexandre Velleuer - CEO