In early February, I made the transition from H+K Washington to H+K London for a three month work placement as part of the Dave Robinson Scholarship. The program itself is designed to let individuals gain experience in a new market, and also consider working in a new sector or pursue a passion.
I’m doing all three as I took this opportunity to get reacquainted with a long-lost friend – the world of sports. I always played sports growing up – and advanced as far as NCAA Division III as a volleyball player in college. As an athlete, you take for granted the synergy and collaboration that comes from working towards a common goal with your teammates. You learn to win, to practice efficiently and to lean on your teammates for support. But that synergy is not easily replicated in the workplace.
Since joining the Sports Marketing and Sponsorship group earlier this month, I’ve had the privilege of working with a team that is dedicated to its clients and to each other. From the morning coffee banter, to the numerous nicknames bestowed on each individual (which can frankly be hard to keep up with), there is a sense of camaraderie that runs from the top down and from the bottom up. In an office of 300+ people, the sports team stands out.
This spirit leads to a greater sense of collaboration, which in turn leads to sustained business with clients like adidas, who’ve been with H+K for more than a decade. From an internal perspective, it leads to growth and opportunities. Like any sports team, maintaining success is only possible if people at all levels are learning. And, though I’ve only been in London for about a month, I see the in-person coaching and development across the team.
In a world that’s moving towards increased teleworking and technological replacements, it’s been a refreshing reminder sitting with the sports team and remembering that people are and will always be the heart of our client solutions. The in-person piece seems to be the key to this team’s success.
On week three, there was a mandatory meeting scheduled for Friday at 5:00 pm. I couldn’t figure out what would take precedent for an EOD, EOW meeting – that’s a bit unheard of back in the U.S. It turns out this time was scheduled to celebrate and announce staff promotions, in which various line managers took two to three minutes to talk about these individuals. Accolades went beyond their writing or creative skills, or the work they had done last week, they talked about what this person brought to the team and the vision ahead. First impressions so far? Friday meetings are certainly worthwhile and I’m looking forward to another two months with the team.