I’ll do this blog post in English, since I will send it around to colleagues.
I have this creative entrepreneurial spirit in me, that I feel like, any idea that comes into my mind, I can create and I can accomplish. But how quickly I started to care about the opinion of my superiors and my boss and what others thought about me. And I hated that feeling. And I hated the fact that my entrepreneurial confidence was beginning to die.
– Garrett Gee (Co-founder of Scan)
This is exactly what I’m trying to prevent by learning from small companies and entrepreneurs.
As part of this project I visited WebNL creative studios, a company that creates and maintains complete media strategies. From creating websites, videos, animations, to analyzing all the data and reiterating based on that data.
To give you a bit of background on the project; in the Netherlands, about 10.5% of those working, combine their day job with entrepreneurship. And there’s an upward trend. Their main reasons are intrinsic: work is varied and they develop themselves. I’m trying to find the energy of entrepreneurs and start-ups and channel that into Exact. How awesome would it be, if Exact facilitated their employees to be Exacters by day and entrepreneurs by night?
So back to WebNL. I came across one of their ads on Instagram and was triggered by ‘creative studios’. At the time their profile invites you for a cup of coffee, and so I took them up on that invitation ;)
Upon arrival I got a tour of the beautiful office, all the while talking about how WebNL works. They focus on informal collaboration; with each other, with customers, and, in my case, even with complete strangers.
They exude energy in the way their office is set up. Wide open spaces with just a few meeting rooms. Other meeting areas are right on the work floor. And even the closed meeting rooms are cozy in their setup.
Of course, promoting problem-solving and creative thinking goes further than just interior design. The short increments of agile and scrum are one way of achieving this.
WebNL creative studios works agile, in sprints, with milestones and a quick feedback loops with the customer. In this sense, the goal-setting is short-term: A customer comes over and within a week there has to be a finished product.
The thing that stood out most to me, was the difference in major goal-setting between WebNL (45 employees) and another company I visited and interviewed in December last year (3 employees). WebNL goes more with the flow. Less planning, more gut-feeling. While Bobbinhood was meticulous about goal-setting and how to get there. I would have expected it the other way around.
Visiting WebNL creative studios was super inspiring. From the office space, to the people I met, to the way they work. I hope to channel some of that inspiration and energy and put it back into my own work.
All images courtesy of WebNL creative studios.