I’ve worked in a few different studios in my career, ranging from environments with hundreds of people to very small and intimate offices of 4. Each experience, environment, culture has been different for one very obvious reason – the humans that inhabited the spaces.
The influence people have on work and life is so critical. Establishing and maintaining the correct mix in any given office or studio can be the making or breaking of a good business; the right balance of cultures, skills, drive, motivation, mood and experience is so critical and often so hard to achieve. A room of like-minded individuals may well sound like the perfect solution, but without variety and the occasional (healthy) difference of opinion, I believe you don’t get the very best out of the talented people you have around you.
Across our Amsterdam, and Birmingham studios we’ve been on a journey of transformation, from the traditional skills that were required for a retail design consultancy, to developing a newly evolved skillset, required to deliver a world-class, human experience design business.
In the last year since we took our fresh new thinking (Invested in Human Experience) to market, as well as creating emotionally connected impact for our clients, we’ve also been cultivating our own teams to develop a potent mix of process, people and pace to further sharpen our craft, our experience of the world around us and our collective ability to add commercial value for our clients.
How have we been doing in AMS?
Proud of our growing and truly multinational studio here in the heart of city’s Historic Nice Streets. We comprise a fine selection of European nationals, boosted with some Southern Hemisphere brilliance – origins include Dutch, British, French, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Australia and New Zealand. With this diversity comes a fantastic range of backgrounds, cultures, expertise and skills. This balance has repeatedly proven to be a robust barometer for testing the theory of human experience.
Couple this with backgrounds in architecture, product design and environmental issues, through advertising and small start-up experience, and as an outfit we start to feel like have not only the ability but the expertise to offer our current clients (and new ones) the very best solutions and team, equipped to quickly get to the route of their ever-changing challenges.
So, with a pool of varied skills and genuinely talented individuals such as this, how do we motivate and challenge ourselves to get the most out of each day and each other?
Here are 3 simple principles we’ve adopted to help drive productivity and allow people to grow.
1. Allow people to have ownership
2. Allow time to be social
3. Be creative together
Regardless of role, we want to encourage ownership of everyone’s experiences. This can simply come from allowing creatives to be part of the whole process – from costing a job, all the way to presenting it, to owning a creative passion internally and encouraging its development alongside the day to day.
Allow time to be social
Yes, we all spend a lot of time together. We like to think we are a family but like all families, we need to spend quality time together; socialise, eat together and allow time to see each other in other states of being.
Be creative together and get outside!
From creative lunches where the studio or individuals can share their work to the wider team, to external inspirational speakers that come in to explain the hows and whys of their businesses and passions. By sharing and being open to new and different content, we help expand our own thinking and importantly our human connections (sharing and learning).
All rather simple right? – not always the case you’ll not be surprised to know, given the pace of the environment we work in, and certainly not with the added daily stresses and strains of client projects and delivery deadlines.
We’re far from perfect, and wouldn’t claim otherwise, but we are willing to push our creative thinkers to be the best they possibly can be. Just like in any business, some days it doesn’t all come together and it’s not quite as much fun, the good thing is we know that the fun days heavily outweigh the less fun! For us it’s all about the humans that help create the experiences.