Feb 6, 2018
How our company culture increased our growth.
“Moving to a new office”. Yes, that was the initial topic when I first started writing this piece, nothing exciting for an audience -sure- but then I asked myself: what it means for us? It’s not about the physical space, and not even about the related PR and Marketing, and it’s not even about the budget invested in it. It’s about us, simply because we work & live here. For us, it deeply means “culture” (full stop). At INDEED we constantly focus on “humans as innovation drivers”, we continuously remind each other of it. And so here we are, the people.
“We are the people that rule the world / A force running in every boy and girl / All rejoicing in the world / Take me now' we can try”
Empire of the sun - We are the people -
In an era where people sometimes stop being humans and start being tech-devices, it’s important to remind ourselves that we are all connected by culture, which is a core concept of anthropology and which is defined as “the social behaviour and norms found in human societies”.
You can perceive our “culture” here, you can clearly see it everywhere, even at the restrooms doors (as some pieces still have to be fixed)! The signs are not even coming from a fancy designer but from our engineers.
My former boss -when I was part of 3M- used to push me -almost every day- with a powerful keyword: “enthusiasm!” And here, now, as you can find the vibes of fun even at the toilet door, it is clear that what is needed are the people and nothing else. As well, there is a wall lamp that I’ve co-designed -with my very first boss- for Artemide almost 10 years ago, and seeing it here - in the office where I now work - is like closing a circle (or a decade). And when I saw it on the wall, I found myself connecting the dots. It’s like evolving from a waterfall design process to an agile/iterative one. The path is not linear, but circular and continuous. As well as time, in fact, if you look at your analogue clock you’ll see it’s circular and continuous.
“The wheel has come full circle.”
William Shakespeare (Edmund, in King Lear)
Back in Shanghai, I used to be involved in Workplace Strategy, operating at the intersection of service design and interior design with a lot of learning on the strategy and business sides. During the last months, I’ve co-designed the first-floor plan of this office with my CEO, Karel. After narrowing down multiple locations and solving countless puzzles, finally being in our own space comes with a completely unique satisfaction compared to that of designing an office for someone else.
As the concept of “material culture” covers the physical expression of culture, this is how I found my desk on the very first day in the new office.
That is what is meant by boosting culture. We aim to locate people at the heart of our daily work by designing with an inclusive approach, also for ourselves. And as I arrived here on my own personal journey, it continues, because the circle has no beginning and no end. So at this point, I find myself reconnecting the circle, not the dots anymore.
Here we go, officially celebrating our new start, because life is circular, and this new path has just started. Welcome to the new INDEED.