Eleven years ago I left my job at a big agency to pursue a personal, and in my own mind, a more self-fulfilling career path. I had visions of building a creative shop where the art of design was as strong as our ambitions as young entrepreneurs. So, what started with two friends back in 1998 has reached a threshold that our agency will cross over tomorrow morning, Monday July 13th. We open the doors of Modern Climate, and we open the doors of opportunity for everyone who works here.
When we began to design the new space we wanted what every creative shop wants; open spaces, lots of light, meeting rooms, whiteboards, foosball of course, and the list goes on. But what struck me was even more exciting than a list of wants, however important they are. I saw an opportunity to empower the creative staff in new ways. I am huge believer that if you put technology in the hands of creative thinkers it’s like handing a brick of clay to a sculptor. And conversely, if you give the technologists access and open invitations to creativity the whole thing really becomes interesting. It’s the future of collaboration across any agency that wants a strong digital offering. It has to be this way.
The new Modern Climate creative workspaces are designed with collaboration as a central theme. And when I say “creative”, it stands for direction, design, copy, IA, UX, development, production, and any mind that shares ideas and helps deliver the solution for our clients. We have 4 mammoth tables. Each table has 6 areas. There are no wall or partitions. There is limited storage and oodles of horizontal surfaces to spread out the work. Work where you want. Sit next to someone who can influence you in ways you can’t imagine. A designer can sit between a developer and a copywriter. Feedback is done with conversation not email. Problems are solved as a team, not as individuals. Real-time collaboration is three times faster than the traditional siloed approach. The goal is to have each role understanding the problem and solution so strongly that they have a passion to bring game-changing ideas. Marketing is no longer linear, and the ideas have to come from all angles.
We don’t have a creative department, a development group, and a team of copywriters. It’s all one group of creative problems solvers. In some ways this new work environment is a bit of an experiment. That’s the exciting part. We can learn and evolve.
I hope to share more insights and outcomes of this approach as we move forward. Please share any thoughts, ideas or experiences you’ve had where your work environment has inspired you do brilliant and effective work.