Major consultancies announce partnership to help… | Gagen MacDonald

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Major consultancies announce partnership to help clients advance organizational agility

Oct 17, 2018
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Washington – October 17, 2018: In an effort to help clients prepare for and seize opportunities created by massive global disruption, four major consultancies have announced a transformative joint offering born of a research-driven point of view that curious companies are more agile, and therefore better positioned for success.

The integrated partnership, which includes APCO Worldwide, Gagen MacDonald, Oxford Analytica and the Boswell Group, brings together leading experts with diverse perspectives and capabilities in the areas of stakeholder engagement, geopolitical risk, public affairs, culture change, leadership development and employee advocacy. Their combined services will allow clients to quantitatively assess agility across several dimensions and a robust set of underlying core attributes and leverage holistic solutions to address gaps in performance.

“We all know that the world is changing at a disruptive rate,” said Brad Staples, CEO of APCO Worldwide. “For leaders of organizations and corporations to stay ahead, they need to be insatiably curious and bold. That curiosity—a new brand of agility—can mean the difference between success or failure. We’re proud to join with these incredible partners and look forward to working together to bring powerful solutions to clients.”

An in-depth study conducted last month by APCO Insight asked 520 executives from Fortune 1000 companies across the United States if they were prepared to handle key disruption points facing organizations. APCO’s research showed that executives are feeling less confident about handling the major challenges of today—such as recruiting and retaining the best talent, addressing increasing societal expectations, facing the challenge of new and unexpected competitors and responding to geopolitical threats.

“Companies built to perform with change as a constant hold a distinct advantage,” said Maril MacDonald, Founder and CEO of Gagen MacDonald. “What’s needed is a new organizational mindset—one that can fuel innovation, handle disruption and surprise and keep pace with the speed of the market. After 20 years dedicated to transforming companies, we are thrilled to collaborate with our partners to build and promote this much-needed capability across industries.”

In addition to identifying the readiness of organizations to deal with significant change and disruption, APCO Insight also determined which key factors are seen as true measures for success by leaders. The result, called the “APCO Agility Indicator,” will provide a quantitative assessment of an organization’s ability to thrive. The score is derived from the organization’s rating on the three key dimensions of active leadership, enterprising culture and shared advocacy as well as its overall importance in driving business success.

“We work with clients every day to ensure they understand the pivotal issues that impact strategy, operations, investments and policy,” said David Young, CEO of Oxford Analytica. “That work, building agility for clients to seize opportunities, comes from over four decades of developing deep fluency about the forces of change in the world. We’re proud to join this effort and are excited to build upon this work with our new partners.”

Respondents to APCO Insight’s survey who scored highly on the Agility Indicator reported significantly better business performance throughout 2018 than those with lower scores. The research found that those with higher scores were significantly more likely to report that their companies had exceeded revenue expectations and increased their stock price in 2018 compared to organizations with low Agility scores.

“We understand that leaders today are under more pressure than ever to deliver results,” said Kerry Sulkowicz, M.D., Managing Principal of the Boswell Group. “For leaders to do this, they need to be more self-aware and curious. Joining our partners by working with leaders in these organizations will help our clients stay agile.”

To learn more about APCO’s Agility Indicator and the “Stay Curious. Stay Ahead.” partnership, visit

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