MEC’s Christine Stack on a Company’s Most Important Asset: People

Christine Stack headshot1 Christine Stack was recently promoted to “Head of People & Culture at MEC, the fifth largest media agency  network in the world, with domestic and international clients generating global billings of approximately $20 billion. The Makegood recently spoke with Christine about her promotion and plans with the new position.

The Makegood: Congratulations on your new promotion. Can you tell us about the process that went in to creating this position and why you view it as vital to the company’s success?

Thanks so much!  It wasn’t a process focused solely on my position, but rather a rethinking and restructuring of the “Human Resources” function.  It started with a hard look at our historical and current successes and challenges, and culminated in identifying some fantastic opportunities for us to evolve.  This evolution is intended to impact our most valuable asset, our people; that’s why it’s vital to the success of MEC.

The Makegood: “Head of People & Culture” is an interesting title. How will your duties and responsibilities change after this promotion?

People and Culture aligns with our global commitment and competency in this area. Like-minded people make an organization’s culture (not mantras, not departments, not management); it makes perfect sense to partner the two elements. Beyond the cultivation and implementation of our recent restructure, my responsibilities now extend to developing and delivering meaningful initiatives and services that enable our people to thrive at MEC, every day.

The Makegood: What is the biggest challenge that stands in the way of you doing your job the best way and how have you been overcoming it / hope to continue to overcome it?

The misperception and misuse of People & Culture, and at times a lack of employee accountability, are recurring obstacles across this industry.  Hiring, training, developing, retaining people – at times it’s assumed these (and more) are solely the role of “Human Resources”.  But every single employee is responsible for managing and leading, and helping both their colleagues and themselves thrive.  It’s on all of us to make a positive impact to the people with whom we work.

There’s also the resistance to change and simple apathy.  We can develop the best initiatives or systems in the industry, but if they’re not embraced, supported, and utilized by our people, change is incredibly difficult to provoke.

The Makegood: At such a prestigious company, the amount of talent in the applicant pool must be immense. How do you separate those that will fit in with MEC’s people and culture from other qualified candidates?

Over the past year, we’ve established and defined core competencies for both existing and future talent; these competencies are woven throughout critical initiatives within People & Culture, including our Leadership Attributes, our role descriptions, and our interviewing guides. This alignment works to ensure we’re attracting and developing the people whose behaviors and attributes are aligned with MEC’s culture and values.

The Makegood: Moving forward, how do you see this new role benefiting MEC in a way that your previous position could not?

The beauty of working within this function is that it enables and empowers one to always benefit his/her organization. While I love the Talent Acquisition element of this function, I’m thrilled to have this amazing opportunity.  I’m able to marry my knowledge of and passion for the media industry with a role that positions me to have a broader impact on empowering our people be happy, and drive a culture within which they can thrive at MEC.

The Makegood: Thank you, Christine