(Please note, this vacancy is no longer open: I opened a vacancy yesterday for a digitally native project coordinator for our team.)
As the co-founder and chairwoman of the board, I wanted to dot down few lines about what it will be like working at Emine from the strategic and leadership points of view. I will start with a key issue that I was just faced with:
Someone challenged me on Facebook whether I’m discriminating people because ”the word digitally native refers to a certain age group”.
I apologize for using a word for which the media has created a certain reference point. For me digital nativeness is about an attitude, about an existing awareness and a tendency to naturally develop one’s skills and knowledge about the digital world and what it offers to us. I was not referring to age by any means. I am 40 and consider myself digitally native. Nativeness is of course subject to relativeness: depends to whom or what you compare it to. I’ve seen digitally native or ”savvy” people in all working age groups. As said, I consider it to be as much as an attitude than actual digital skills. As an attitude it is about having adopted the digital mindset, living in the new digital era, welcoming with excitement all it brings, following the latest trends and topics of the digital world, testing new products of the digital world and continuously developing one’s skills required to cope and make most of the digital world . That’s what digitally native is to me.
Then about working at Emine.
1. Being part of the e-family
One of the most common misunderstandings are the relationship between Emine and Heebo. Most people think they are one company. They are not.
I first founded Heebo in 2010. Emine is a spin off from Heebo, founded in 2013. Emine and Heebo are two separate companies with different owners, different teams, different strategies and also different core cultures. Emine is a family owned business and will stay that way. Heebo is owned by myself and investors, and will most likely stay that way.
I am the link in between being the main owner of both. The two teams together form what we call the ”e-family”.
What we share:
- The same office space
- Same or similar internal processes and practices (what we have so far)
- Same perks & benefits
- Company parties and gatherings
- Atmosphere and some values
- Some customers
Together we do form a great combined unity! At the time of writing this, we are all together 8 people of which one eminator is currently on maternity leave. Emine employs currently 3 full time and Heebo employs 5 full time employees. I have been shuffling in between with most of my time going to Heebo.
What we have separate:
- Business strategies
- Visions & missions
- Core cultures and some values deriving from the core culture
- Team and business goals & KPI’s
- Team meetings
2. General atmosphere
I guess you could describe the general atmosphere as focused when we are busy, and we often are, but also informal, humorous and friendly. As a leader I have my hands in the same mud with the rest which means we do not have supervisors for supervisor job only. I am the final decision maker, but that doesn’t mean I want to make all the decisions. In fact, I encourage and wish everyone to suggest more solutions and introduce new options and opportunities for the way we do things. In fact, I quite value people who are proactive contributors!
Both companies are still young, and the immaturity, going forward and experiencing the occasional hickups between the ups are visible in our culture. Most of the internal processes and practices are being formed as we go, even though we try to keep them the same for both companies mainly for my sanity’s sake.
As these two companies develop and grow, I cannot say that we will stick together forever, but thus far this has been more beneficial for us.
3. Things that I value as a leader
- Getting things done: Taking responsibilities and carrying them to the finish line and a few meters past, delivering results is what keeps the business going. When things need to get done, they need to get done. I always love to notice people who spot the difference and go on full steam!
- Wit: I really enjoy people with ”hoksottimet”! It’s about seizing the moment!
- Suggesting solutions instead of introducing problems. It seems there will always be problems and never enough problem solvers.
- Understanding the big picture and what’s important: This guides, helps to make decisions and take actions, and see what actions need not to be taken and what problems are really not problems at all.
- Talent: That hunger for growth, willingness to do what it takes and the raw abilities pushing through just waiting to be fed. That’s a wet dream for any leader.
- Loyalty: I tend to take care of people who are loyal to me and to each other, who care for the good of the team, the company and the customers, and are not second guessing about putting their personal benefit aside and focusing what’s best in the big picture.
- Team engineers: The relentless taking care of each other, boosting the morale together, taking care of the atmosphere, the surroundings, pitching in.. This is what I value in individuals. Especially in a small company like us, if you don’t do it, someone else has to. Why could it not be you? I don’t want to see this being the responsibility of the employer or of some single person in the team. Which they usually end up being. I love being proved different!
4. Our shifting strategic emphasis will change how we work
This picture below maps Emine organizational culture (mapping is done with the Heebo App) and the required changes as our strategy is shifting from the strategy of a new company to a strategy of a growth company.
Over the past years, and mainly due to my commitments with Heebo, Emine-team has turned into a team of individuals who each focus on their own projects and tasks.
As our new strategy & vision for 2020 kicks off at the start of 2016, the people in this team need to start grouping and engaging more as a unit. I encourage each existing and new team member to be a catalyst for team engagement in any shape and form that seems suitable.
The key elements of our new strategy:
- Growth: We are looking to grow our business in numbers and gain more market share in the chosen markets
- Human Expertise: We need to share and grow the professional skills and knowledge inside our company, and develop new skills and angles that support our mission, business goals and strategy.
What this requires from the Emine team (and you if you apply for our jobs):
- Being much more focused on professional as well as company growth
- Having a stronger achievement orientation and more drive to push past the finishing line. More umph!
- Learning to be more self autonomous. This means taking more control over problem solving and decision making about one’s job, and about learning and developing as a professional in our company.
- And finally, more activeness in the area of team engagement and team work in order to build one entity instead of an entity of individuals.
- And we also need to figure out who’s going to lead this party, as my time running two companies simultaneously must come to an end sooner rather than later.
But be warned: This is not an easy shift. There are certain habits and practices that have rooted into our DNA which we need de-learn (if that is a word), and when a culture is transforming, it can be painful. Maybe not for the newcomers who are chosen with the characteristics suiting the envisioned strategy and culture, but more with the older team members who are used to a certain way. And this of course affects the general atmosphere. But together, we can conquer anything!
5. It is still a small, but busy company
This culture requires a lot of self learning and self steering abilities from the team members.
I want to address this, as this always comes as surprise. We have yet no resources to properly classroom train and sit side by side with new comers. Each new employee that comes in will still require the rest of us to work twice as hard to cover the costs until the new employee becomes productive. So how you cope with this:
- Use the self learning material we’ve put together (you do need to take the responsibility over it)
- New comers are sucked into projects fast to ease the learn by doing
- Sparring is always available at a request, you just need to ask for advice
Getting real responsibilities that matter in the big picture
Once you get your own tasks and responsibilities, you will for sure not be micro managed! We put a lot of trust in the hands of eminators to produce good quality services for our customers, keep them happy and help the company to fulfill it’s mission. The better we do this, the more opportunities we have on investing in ourselves.
Everyone’s input really, really matters
The great thing about a small company is that every one’s input really matters, and each person is able to put their footprint into the DNA of the company. The bad thing is that the support structure is you. You and me and the rest of the team. There is no one else who’s going to come fix your your broken desk light, or put your dishes into the dish washer or go buy more toilet paper from the supermarket when we run out. It’s all you and me and the rest of the team. But what a great team it is!
I keep mentioning our mission, so here they are:
In 2021, Emine will be recognized as a leading European Organizational Culture Design & Storification Agency.
We help our customers to create more competitive value through strategically designed organization culture, employee experiences and irresistible employer image.
We help our customers to be more eminent and irresistible.
And who’s doing this? I trust the Emine team. Growing from a itsy bitsy to a proper player is going to be a proper growth exercise and a learning experience for the entire team!