Over the last couple of years, we had to unlearn a lot of the things that we took for granted.
Sometimes I ask myself, how did we do it? And how do we manage to keep driving forward Uniplan’s spirit of innovation, when we are constantly recharting the team’s key competencies in this ever-changing market?
It comes down to the following factors:
Embrace change and break up silos
Promote a workplace culture that emphasizes collaboration within the agency and with all external / partners
Be transparent and foster open communication
Be connected, approachable and people-centric
Perhaps, one of the principles that have motivated my team is our staunch belief that change is exciting. It is what brings us into the future. Therefore, we have taken each challenge head-on and literally reinvented ourselves, pushing for a breakdown of barriers between disciplines, both externally and internally.
As we moved away from clearly defined business areas, such as events, roadshows, and tradeshows, towards a more holistic approach embracing digital, live and hybrid brand experience, we found that the range of skills we needed went way beyond the usual categories. While expanding our partner network to cover the latest technologies, we realized that we had to fortify our in-house knowledge of disciplines such as strategic consulting, digital strategy, and content production. This also meant restructuring our teams to accommodate new talent and forming the right synergies, so that we could maximize benefits from each individual’s knowledge and expertise.
When change gathers pace within the organization, it is important to maintain a steady stream of communication reaching out to the whole team with openness and consistency.
We encourage our leadership to keep updating Uniplaners about new functions being introduced, restructuring of teams, and innovation-focused initiatives. As we do this, we place a lot of attention on making sure that change comes from the inside, rather than from the top, and welcome every team member to make their contribution and raise a hand when in need of support.
As creators and makers of brand experience, we believe that empathy is the driving force to understand brands and their audiences. This is why we emphasize leadership as something which is at the heart of each individual, no matter which role they play within the organization. To achieve this, we have started connecting our colleagues from eight locations in Asia and Europe more frequently through a range of digital platforms and sharing events, where each team can showcase their work, passing on their knowledge and setting up opportunities for cross-office collaboration. We don’t spoon-feed our employees, we inspire them and provide them with the tools to win the business and deliver excellence.
It’s all about people and the exchange of positive energy.
Our offices are designed with this in mind, and we offer a flexible environment where teams can create, discuss, collaborate, and also enjoy a cup of coffee and a good party. During the pandemic, we had to adjust and hold most of our internal events through digital technology, but we believe in the power of presence and are optimistic that we will soon be back to a new – and even better – normality.
Finally, I would say that there is no prewritten script on how to build the perfect team, what makes the difference is the willingness to actively listen to each candidate’s story and be a point of reference whenever colleagues need advice. Everything keeps changing, and so do we. What doesn’t change is the essence of who we are, and the enthusiasm and professionalism that we seek in our people.