As a CEO and co-founder, I take pride in being a forward thinker about our clients, our agency, and the advertising industry. I have to admit though, I didn't see this crisis coming. Expecting the unexpected has never hit closer to home. For the last several weeks, our leadership team has diligently drafted an action plan that prepared us for uninterrupted workflow and protects our employees and our clients' interests. Why? Because during this crisis, consumers are not going to stop buying stuff, they're just going to shop differently.
Over the weekend, it dawned on me that the decisions we made over that last two years to modernize and seamlessly integrate our business capabilities are making it much easier to operate in this COVID-19 crisis. Our "question everything" philosophy isn't just about creating world-class business solutions for our clients; it's about creating agile internal systems that keep moving even when the world stops.
1. We decided to move entirely to a cloud-based system.
By eliminating our servers and utilizing the cloud, we can easily access and share critical documents and files. We completely changed our outdated naming and filing protocols to better fit today's needs and escape from the "this is how we've always done it" mode of thinking. It wasn't easy, but now we are equipped to work remotely without missing a beat or losing productivity. By migrating everyone to a cloud-based platform, we were able to improve collaboration, share critical thinking in realtime, and create better synergies and efficiencies across the board. As an agency leader, it's a joy to jump into a shared document and witness firsthand, our amazing and talented staff creating magic right before my eyes.
2. We moved to a more agile remote-work policy.
Over the past few years, we’ve extended our remote work options because our staff — many with young families — needed the flexibility to manage the demands of home life and work life. Now, COVID-19 forces us to work remotely. And, voila, we already know how to do that without missing a beat. Our culture is priority number one — and even when we can’t be together — technology helps us keep it intact. Just this morning, I witnessed a collaborative brainstorm in our leadership team call, where we generated ideas on how we can make this “adventure” more fun and engaging for our staff. During these uncertain times, we believe it is everyone’s responsibility to use the tools we have to create unique opportunities that breed unity and build culture.
3. We tore down department silos.
Everyone talks about better integration, that’s why we spent the last 18 months blurring the lines between departments. And today, I am so glad we did. Now our teams speak the same language, and each department understands how the other functions and how to best interact to generate great results. Our staff is practiced and experienced in managing expectations and successfully collaborating without egos or traditional job roles getting in the way. I'm delighted to know Curiosity's staff will not suffer from a command and control approach that would stifle productivity when facing the effects of COVID-19 on our business.
Who knows what the next few months will bring? But it's comforting to me to know that all of the strategic decisions we made as a team and the hard work we invested to implement them will serve our clients and Curiosity well moving forward. We recognize not all businesses are set up to work remotely at a moment’s notice, and for some service organizations, it would be impossible. We are grateful to have the infrastructure in place while our employees and clients adjust to this new normal. It just goes to show, if you instinctively do the right things to improve your business, the benefits will present themselves in unimaginable ways when you least expect it.