3 minute read
Because the kind of leaders that come on Invent are busy people, always in the middle of a constant stream of demands from clients, investors and their teams, I was keen to make sure that every element of the trip was as refreshing as it was inspiring.
After an early start at Manchester airport with minimal (but annoying!) security drama, we all get to Berlin in good time and high spirits. 17 heads counted – Success!!
These next 3 days are all about inspiration and possibility.
We’re visiting four of the most recognised creative & tech companies in Berlin; MoreSleep, A Colour Bright, Ogilvy & Mather, AJ & Smart. They’re generously opening up their doors to all seventeen of us from the UK so we can listen, learn, interact and ultimately impact the way we all do life & run our businesses.
After a quick turn around at the hotel, we’re off for lunch before MoreSleep – an agency that has done work with international hotel chains, sportswear manufacturers and publishing outlets. They’re a short taxi trip away and we arrive at a conspicuous looking location. There is a torrent of plasterboard for neighbouring building repairs, which we do well to avoid.
We make our way up six flights of dark, graffiti clad stairs before knocking on a door that has the MoreSleep sign on it in the form of a one-inch sticker!
We’re welcomed by our new friend Torsten, MD & founder of MoreSleep, and enter an office space that couldn’t be more removed from what we’ve just walked through.
The caffeine is beginning to wear a little thin after lunch so a few notice a gleaming coffee grinder and espresso machine tucked away in the corner. He catches our glances and comments that every employee has 2 hours of training from a professional barista in their first week.
It’s a throwaway comment, but one that speaks volumes of the culture they have created here. They care about the little things. When these details are consistently considered they add up to create an environment that isn’t just another office. The enjoyment, quality of work, and ultimately, contentment of the staff are all affected.
They produce some of the most visually stunning work I’ve personally seen. It’s not surprising that companies like Adidas use them for digital storytelling as their use of photography and language is exceptional. They really get under the skin of what story the client is trying to tell and then represent that in strong compelling copy and imagery.
They create an environment of openness & transparency for us all to listen in. We spend the next 2 hours hearing about their victories and struggles. The mistakes they have made, the scars they have picked up and what lessons have been learned through it all. He shares this in the middle of the open plan office for all to hear. They are in this together.
We all listen to what Torsten shares through the different lenses and perspectives. What one person finds invaluable, to another it won’t resonate. Here are some of my takeaways:
“We genuinely believe that to create something awesome requires trust, honesty & establishing a real common ground”
“We care about the content and the story, no matter the medium or the format”
“Make space and time to work on your own projects and you never know where these will lead you”
The value of this last comment really struck a cord when they showed us how they created Freunde von Freunden. Their website now has millions of views each month and is a significant channel for new business. The project began as a personal side project to hold an event and create a book – there was never the plan for it to get to the reach it now has, but it grew from a space that they intentionally created to have fun and do something meaningful.
The agenda for the next two days is rich, but hopefully not packed. We’ll eat, laugh and learn together for the next 6 months, hopefully longer. But these strangers are now a community, and the lonely walk just became a team pursuit.
We’re hugely grateful to Torsten and all the team at More Sleep for hosting us so generously. You can learn more and see their latest (inevitably stunning) work here.
Invent is Form’s six-month growth programme, crafted specifically for leaders in the UK’s creative and digital sector. If you’d like to know more or save your spot on the next programme then click here to learn more or email firstname.lastname@example.org.