By North Kingdom
New year, new us. As an old year ends and a new one begins, we have a natural tendency to look back at what has just been and to try and predict what’s ahead of us.
2018 was a year of significant transformations for North Kingdom. Working independently since 2003, we were acquired in 2018 by The North Alliance — giving us a new context, family and stronger muscles to take on bigger challenges for our clients. We’ve gained new wonderful colleagues, both in Sweden and Los Angeles, and we’ve worked hard at pitching smarter. One of the key mistakes we’ve learned from is taking on a brief without it specifically matching a team members passions or what we call their ‘mastery’. So during 2018, we looked into our organization, asking ourselves what passions and mastery live within our walls and how we can shape this into helping our clients. Also, North Kingdom turned fifteen years old which we celebrated big time!
When we predict what our 2019 will look like, we have decided to step away from speculating on trends and technologies for the coming year, and instead look inside our organization and make some promises — or new year’s resolutions, to ourselves, our clients and our industry. We look forward to seeing what will happen in 2019, which resolutions we will keep, which will change and how North Kingdom will keep on evolving.
Explore Creative Play
In 2018 we asked ourselves; how do we define our mindset, team culture and our way of working? What happens between our walls is easily felt but rarely put into words. The answer was right in front of us — Creative Play! It is the constant search for balance between structure and artistry that makes us push the boundaries of what can be done, strive for excellence… and start over (and over) again without giving up.
In 2019 we hope to be more self-aware and spend more time reflecting about how we do things, to try and face our ever-changing business and world.
Share more mistakes
With every challenge a client presents to us, a solution is designed. But to reach the solution, it takes a lot of twists and turns first to get there. We’re working on changing the attitude around mistakes, and instead seeing it as a necessary work-in-progress for a great end product, service or experience. These “mistakes” tend to stay within the team, or hidden in a draft folder. Everyone else only sees the polished results and wonders how we got there. For 2019, we will do our best to share more mistakes, work in progress, headaches and imperfections, not because we are afraid to make them, but because we want to support a culture of continuous learning and collaboration across teams.
Be Experience Design thinkers & doers
Quite an ambitious goal for starting 2019, but if you don’t set “big hairy audacious goals” you won’t get anywhere, right?
We have been using the term Experience Design internally for a few years to pinpoint what North Kingdom focuses on, but we have realized that it means different things for different people and even industries. Holistic design, interspace (connecting the digital to the physical) are only some of the words characterizing what Experience Design means for us. For 2019 we have the ambition to define externally what Experience Design, is and share that view with the rest of the world.
When work-as-usual strikes, we often become absorbed in the next task, team or client and we forget to celebrate. In 2019, we aim to become better at setting aside the time to celebrate. Not necessary successes or accomplishments, but milestones, whatever they may be. So here is to the future toasts, special “fika”, tennis table tournaments, or whatever we will come up with! Let them be an occasion to create new memories, reflections, and connections between people.
And finally… in 2019 we hope to be better at writing more content. Let’s hope this will be the beginning of a long series of articles. Stay tuned!