Are you a leader or a follower? This one question summarises for me the contrast between corporate and studio life. I naturally like to have freedom to be creative and innovative, which as a corporate employee for nearly 20 years at times conflicted between the culture and my own character.
The aim of this post is to share my experience of changing from a corporate-centric culture to that of a digital studio.
- Freedom: The studio environment tends to allow you more ability to “be yourself” and celebrate who you are as a person.
- Flexibility: The flat structure and lack of hierarchy allows team members to be competitive, innovative and find themselves through their work, with a focus on getting the job done.
- Direction: Quality processes, methodologies, policies and procedures are built collectively through mutual agreement between management and staff after brainstorming sessions.
- Openness: There is a keenness to expand knowledge and skills, with staff openly challenging the way we work and no deliberate behaviour to keep their work secret.
- Expression: There is a good flow of communication, as well as a place with personality and creative inspiration all around. Staff have the ability to express themselves through their workspace!
Challenges & Opportunities
- Taking the positive elements from enterprise methodologies without imposing them indiscriminately on a very dynamic, creative and small staff base.
- Position descriptions are more fluid to allow for the flexibility as staff roles change to suit project resourcing needs.
- A great benefit of the digital studio has been the ability to work across a variety of clients and industries of different scales. The diversity of work directly nourishing my core drive to be constantly busy and challenged.
- Likened to a small family business, over time you get to know each other through sharing personal interests, hobbies and aspirations, as well as building a shared interest in the growth of the studio and accomplishing together.
- Every Friday we gather together and have birthday cakes, biscuits or drinks, chatting about this week’s accomplishments and showing encouragement and recognition across the entire studio.
- Despite a fast pace work place, there is now a stronger balance in my personal life developing as I have naturally relaxed and became more social in the studio culture, with this seeping through into my family life.
It has been important to me along this journey of growth, to have a level of trust and backing of the studio to pursue my new role, but more importantly to be motivated and mentored by some inspirational leaders. The collective drive by everyone to inspire, engage and explore in ongoing discussion is refreshing and enlightening.
So in this new chapter of my career I am thoroughly enjoying the ride, continuously learning and discovering a more interesting work culture that offers endless challenges and opportunity for personal growth.