I recently became a proud owner of the book 'Be More Pirate'; an exploration of the revolutionary culture and society which evolved in the golden age of pirates and what lessons and tactics we might adopt in our modern-day lives and work.
Part cultural history, part self-help guide it's the sort of book you should read with a highlighter to hand. The author, Sam Connie Allende, makes a strong argument for a reappraisal of these vilified characters and their place in a turbulent time in history as he charts how pirates banded together to become the ultimate disruptors of 18th century society. In doing so, he explains his beliefs that pirate culture set the scene for such radical ideas as social enterprises, branding, LGBT rights, racial equality – even democracy itself.
For me, the thread of the book and the pirate society it describes, is the idea of togetherness as well as the environment that engendered this. Always the lover of a good analogy, I thought it would be interesting to explore how this applies – albeit in the humblest manner – to the Creative and UX team in our Edinburgh office and it's spirit of togetherness.
A year ago we set the vision to join our Creative and UX team into a new, combined space within our Edinburgh office location. Based in the Leith (the port area of the city - and with its own history of piracy), we formed a long bank of desks where we could all sit as a group. The idea behind this was part cultural, creating a social environment where we could all get to know one another – and part practical, a layout purpose-built for collaborating together on projects and pitches, getting an insight into what everyone is working on and creating opportunities to share ideas and ways of working on a daily basis. It's a work-in progress but collectively we think the change has had a positive impact on the team's enjoyment of their working environment and it's definitely had an improvement on the manner in which we deliver work.
Bringing together a wealth of experience from previous agencies and in-house teams, with clients and projects close-to-home and far afield, the crew comprises a team of experts all with their own specialist skills and areas of expertise. From Pete (Jolly) Rogers, our long-serving Senior Motion Designer – to our newest recruit, Kat (o' nine tails) Nowotny, they form a unit covering the full spectrum of Creative and UX specialisms. Humility, curiosity and a can-do attitude are the shared characteristics of the team which can combine together to create a powerful, disruptive force.
Our projects and clients can see members of the team working away for periods of time, whether visiting international clients or other companies within our group or taking their place in an embedded project team with a client – they're always welcomed back to the home base where we eagerly await the stories of their travels and experiences.
Collaboration is ingrained in the layout of our workspace. Our desk space is surrounded by breakout areas for the team to work together, socialise or just to get some time away from their desks.
The only constant on the ship is change. Changes to the type of projects we're working on, the clients and their locations, the tools we use and the way we work together. This is the nature of a fast-paced agency environment in a rapidly evolving digital industry. Our team is built to flex and respond to these changes and to embrace the challenges they bring.
This is probably where the pirate analogy ought to end, but the idea of togetherness extends far beyond our bank of desks – with the coming together of AmazeRealise it reaches across four UK locations – and as the bonds within the Kin+Carta family grow ever stronger it encompasses a global group of companies heading in the same direction. A whole flotilla of pirate ships, if you like.