Having worked in the creative sector for 20 years now, I’ve delivered a whole heap of training events, brand and values workshops, but our recent Idenna 20/20 Vision Day was, by far and away, the best I have ever had the privilege of attending. Why? Because we unearthed a very powerful unifying principle in our business that had never really been articulated, a principle that will no doubt be an important rallying cry and help our team become true leaders. What is it? No bellends!
So, why am I so smitten with this new addition to our team fabric? Well, let me provide you with some context and some ideas as to where we are, how we got here and where it might take us. Idenna is a creative agency in a very interesting chapter of it’s story. In 2013 two smaller teams combined their talents to form one stellar team, which has now grown into the current Idenna line up of fourteen. Rather than constructing a new brand from the ground up, Tim (MD) and I, took the view that we would keep the Idenna name and promote our services aligned with the principles of storytelling, something we both believed in. We felt that the language and visual identity of our brand would become apparent as we settled into our new formation.
So that’s what we did; we’ve spent the past three years creating amazing stories for our clients, with social media campaigns, blogs, press release, films, radio, TV, commercials, re-brands, websites. We’ve been telling just about every kind of story… except our own. It wasn’t until a recent road trip with a client, working through some of their 2020 vision materials that I thought “Actually, Idenna really could do with telling the world a little more of our own story.”
Our own 2020 Day soon followed, and we took the team off site for a day, with the purpose of taking a brief from them that would enable us to tell our own story and take the business to the next level by writing our own ‘future truths’. The Idenna brief taking process is a simple one: who, what and why? Who are we talking to? What do we want them to feel? Why should they?
Taking our own brief, was really cool. After a series of conversations we agreed that the ‘who’ was a hybrid of our clients, future clients and ourselves and the ‘what’ was simple – we want them to be inspired. The ‘why’ is where things became a little more interesting. Why are our clients inspired by Idenna? Why should we as individuals continue to be inspired by Idenna? The team are a collective of talented producers in their own right, they are all driven by mastering their own talents, by becoming the best that they can be. They are also incredibly driven by our collective power and our ability to form a team around our clients projects. A campaign with creative, copy, images, design, and distribution from one team is really exciting and creates a really powerful work environment.
However, there was more to Idenna than that and we hovered around it until our buyer, planner and researcher Becky made a comment that not only summed it up but really resonated with the team: “I really like it that there are no bellends.”
An innocent comment (and a fun late 80’s sweary phrase) which had a deep connection to and with the team. Here’s the thing; we all love what we do and in simple terms what we do is we tell stories. We also all love the brand we are building and central to that is our character, our values and our culture. As part of our 20/20 vision day we gave our core values – Open, Honest, Fair, Professional, Unconventional and Fun – a lot of discussion and in the end made only one change – adding “Courageous.” It’s these values that have helped create an environment in which there are no bellends in the team.
It was decided that having no bellends on the team was incredibly important and that, where possible, we should try and avoid bellends generally. As a team I am sure we will be vigilant and determined and we will continue to be bellend free. I suspect I will have moments where I continue to be a bit of a bellend and get things wrong, so will others in the team. What’s important though is that we are now very clear on what’s important to us: no posturing, no office politics, just good people always working to be the best they can and making the most of life.
Idenna Creative House, Stories with Character (and no bell ends)