David Brabbins
February 10, 2022

Uninstalling: Business as usual

Vision
Launch

We launched Studio Everywhere in 2018 with the belief there was a better way to work. Our vision was - and is - to harness the world’s collective creativity to providing ambitious clients with bold direction in fast changing times.

The idea was born from long experience of working in traditional firms in a fast changing industry, the desire to curate the best team possible for every project (from a global talent pool - rather than the people available in-house). As well as the possibilities that innovative digital technologies were affording for distributed work, in the form of new ways to connect, communicate, collaborate and co-create from anywhere on the planet.

And how times are changing! Twelve months ago, who could have foreseen that a global pandemic would accelerate these trends to quickly make this radical new way of working… mainstream. However quickly the world comes out of lockdown, it’s already clear that not everything will be quite the same as before. Business as usual has become business as unusual. The remote working boom has been one of the few positive things to happen this year for the many who were perhaps never truly performing at their best in an open plan office in the first place.

The creative agency of the future will consist of account managers, support staff, and a seasoned leadership team to provide strategic & creative direction. Where production itself will be distributed to individuals and small teams around the globe who are at the top of their game – highly expert at their craft. The same applies to corporate marketing departments and other creative firms.
Scott Belsky, Behance Founder, Adobe Chief Product Officer

We think a lot about the future of work, and especially how to make the work output and the experience of working together better for both clients and our team mates alike. Here are four major shifts that we are seeing - and embracing - as we build Studio Everywhere:

From Present to Productive

Work is transforming. Remote work and collaboration were already gaining momentum, and for obvious reasons. While companies may have started changing how they worked out of virus-related necessity, many are now seeing the merit of these new ways of working. Gone are the irritations of office life: meetings about meetings, noisy open plan distractions, office politics, desk lunches and long commutes. Instead, teams are learning how to be productive ‘together apart’, and organisations are accelerating their digital company operating system upgrades to facilitate this. And in our view, this includes new measures of performance - moving away from rewarding time spent - to value delivered. We have made a conscious choice to escape the tyranny of timesheets, in favour of output-related measures. And it’s a better deal for clients and the teams who work for them.

What have we learnt?

  • Work is transforming
  • Remote work and collaboration
  • New ways of working
  • Teams are learning how to be productive
  • Escaping the tyranny of timesheets

From Captive to Creative

The creative workforce is fragmenting, and large network agencies (whose business models were already under pressure) no longer have a monopoly on talent. The best talent continue to strike out on their own in pursuit of more personally satisfying, entrepreneurial ventures as individuals or small firms. We salute their ambition, and enjoy collaborating with them as part of a growing networked ecosystem of like minds. We have found that better results can be achieved by curating the very best teams for a job, wherever the people on the team happen to be based. And we designed the global operating model and platform to facilitate this: which also brings other benefits, such as being able to provide one point of contact for clients, customised structures of team, talent, size and speed, and the ability to work around the clock (when needed).

  1. The creative workforce is fragmenting, and large network agencies (whose business models were already under pressure) no longer have a monopoly on talent. 

  2. The best talent continue to strike out on their own in pursuit of more personally satisfying, entrepreneurial ventures as individuals or small firms. 

  3. We salute their ambition, and enjoy collaborating with them as part of a growing networked ecosystem of like minds. We have found that better results can be achieved by curating the very best teams for a job, wherever the people on the team happen to be based.

From Established to Experimental

In every industry, change is accelerating faster than ever before. And the brand advice business is no exception. New models, methodologies and technologies are emerging almost monthly that enable insights, ideas and outputs to be delivered in smarter, swifter ways. This is bringing in a new era of multi-disciplinary experimentation, agility and co-creation that feels very different. When ideas can come from anywhere, insights can be unearthed in real time and teams can be assembled, modified or disbanded elastically as needs change, the linear, siloed, hierarchical command-and-control agency structures and processes of old start to feel very antiquated.

From Groupthink to Divergence

Our view is that bringing together diverse minds from around the world and working with truly divergent thinkers leads to bigger, bolder breakthroughs and better outcomes. And because we are unburdened by legacy HR policies and corporate infrastructure, we have the opportunity to build the most diverse company in the world as a core feature, rather than a long-overdue obligation. We believe that better work happens when mixed teams work together in a climate of radical honesty, where people feel unafraid to speak their minds and make their cases, so the best ideas win. It’s why one of our values is ‘Diverse by Design’.

Over the past year and half, we have been overwhelmed by the spirit of collaboration happening in this new space, and the results for businesses, their brands, products, teams and cultures across the US, Europe, and Asia. And today, we are more optimistic than ever that in bringing the creative community together around a shared passion for doing great strategic and creative work for ambitious clients and the world. We remain committed to doing our part to help uninstall the old ways of working and upload a new, better operating system for the creative community instead.

What clients want is the best people working on their business and they don’t care where they come from. So making sure you have a unitary structure, that’s not fragmented, that’s not vertically driven, but which is horizontally driven is really important.
Martin Sorrell, S4 Capital

So if you’re a client looking for smart solutions to your brand and business growth challenges, or a like-minded freelancer or small agency who believes in this vision - we invite you to join our network at https://www.studioeverywhere.com/network

We look forward to speaking with you soon.