A numbers-driven person comes face-to-face with KC’s culture of creativity. (Gasp!)
I had only been at KC for 3 months when I went to my new co-worker’s baby shower. I was a little anxious about it, I didn’t know everyone going, I didn’t have any responsibilities to keep me busy at the party, and I was going to be a bit late. For all my worries, though, the party was actually really fun and welcoming. We ate delicious food and there were these adorable llama themed cookies. After lunch they set up a station to get your picture taken with the mom-to-be. This is fun, I thought. But then they showed us what to do with the picture: create and scrapbook page and write something memorable about parenting. Panic. Despite working at a creative agency, I’m not a creative person. At all.
Creative people seem to have this innate ability to walk into a space and see all its potential. I really admire them for it. As someone who works on the business side, I come from a more historically focused data driven space. I walk into a space and want to understand its history, when was it built, what has it been used for, if anything in the space is original. This is perfect for what I do because finance is often digging through records and retracing where money is coming from and anticipating where it should be going. And reporting. Lots of reporting. Creativity in finance is generally frowned upon, Enron anyone?
This also means finance people don’t usually throw the best parties. In a previous job with the Tax Commission, my coworkers threw me a baby shower. It was a bunch of middle-aged accountants in a room with no windows, sitting around a conference table. No games, definitely no scrapbooking, a no-nonsense potluck. The topic of conversation wasn’t about what I was going to name my baby, but whether or not I was going to keep working after the baby came. It felt like a going away party.
The KC party felt completely different. People were genuinely excited and happy. There was no “Goodbye!” just “Enjoy your time off, we’ll cover for you until you get back.” There’s a community in our creative agency that I haven’t experienced in more traditional finance organizations. And that means that even though I’m on the business side I get to hear all kinds of interesting things about what people are working on, what’s new in the industry, and what’s working for our clients.
But this isn’t the atmosphere of just any creative agency, it’s a culture that’s unique to KC. Where anyone—from any area of the agency—is invited to contribute ideas to help solve our client’s problems. Or to share something that inspires them. Or even to write an observational blog post for the agency website. (Wink, wink)
So, back to scrapbooking. After subtly eyeing the work of those around me and making motions of gathering supplies and trying out different designs. I finally gave up and looked for inspiration on the Internet. Much to my surprise a few of my coworkers were turning to the Internet too. Looks like we aren’t so different after all.