Why collaboration is the key to success

I often get asked what I believe is fundamental to success in business. We all know that investing in the right team and arming them with the right tools and support to get the job done are essential, but there’s another aspect of business that I believe plays a bigger part in the overall productivity and success of a business... and that’s collaboration.

simon-iredale-motionlabBy Simon Iredale, CEO, Motionlab.

We started Motionlab twelve years ago and as we outgrew our original premises, we made a conscious decision to move to a new building that was not only bigger, but that was open plan.

I’m a firm believer in collaboration, and I believe that an open-plan working environment is an essential part of this. Across our office, clients can physically see the people that will touch every phase of a project. From the marketing team through to our creative studio, our staff can move across the office with ease and keep a close eye on projects as they pass through one phase to the next, right up to completing. This gives a higher standard of output for our clients.

The open plan layout allows us to deliver campaigns in a fully agile way. Our PPC managers sit alongside our SEO, content, social and email teams, our creative team sit alongside our software and web development teams. Heads of department have full view of a client’s campaign across all of these channels. It allows us to be proactive and reactive at the same time.

If we notice that one channel is not performing as well as another, we can jump straight on the tools, adjust the strategy and redistribute the budget accordingly. It means that clients get the best results, without having to wait for us to set up an internal performance meeting to flag up potential issues or opportunities.

By segregating your staff, you can create extra barriers for internal communication and deter knowledge sharing and collaboration across the teams. The open plan environment allows for free flowing communication. We have breakout rooms, but these are used by various members from across all of the teams. There’s no whispering behind closed doors, we operate in a transparent way which means staff know what is happening across the business.

When you separate teams physically, you are automatically creating silos within your business. Businesses that operate in silos deliver projects in isolation. Our collaborative, joined up approach to marketing is embodied through the physical layout of the office.

Lastly, it’s more fun. I don’t want me or any of the directors to be siloed off from the heart of the agency. I absolutely thrive off the team we’ve built at Motionlab. I sit in the thick of it and this means that I can learn and take inspiration from the team around me, as well as offering my knowledge and experience where needed. I can also keep a close eye on the overall output of the agency - this insight means that I can speak to each and every client about the latest campaigns that we are delivering for them. Open plan and collaboration have been fundamental to Motionlab’s success.