By Allen Broome, Chief Technology Officer, MediaKind
Last year I was interviewed by Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading to discuss the importance of agile thinking, the way we apply it to our internal workflows at MediaKind, and the initiatives we have worked on with our customers and partners. The world has irrevocably changed since then, but my goal remains the same – to ensure that MediaKind operates within a fully agile end-to-end model.
As a proponent of this way of thinking and as a member of the senior leadership team at MediaKind, agile transformation means enabling generative cultures with free-flowing information across the entire organization. By applying agile-lean methodology and thinking to our team culture and our approach to work, we can accelerate product development and the innovation of new technologies. We can also apply this to the way we deliver initiatives with our customers and partners to tighten all processes, shorten feedback loops, deliver more value and ultimately help our customers outpace their competition.
Ultimately, agile thinking boils down to the importance of human relationships and the supporting communication patterns. At MediaKind, we understand the paramount importance of investing time and energy into our most valuable resource, our people, giving our people purpose and autonomy to deliver on our mission. Together, we have a collective power to share enormous amounts of knowledge, inspire one other, unlock innovations, and thrive.
Embracing team culture and thriving on change
You may see #TeamMediaKind appear on our social channels from time-to-time, but for us, it isn’t just a hashtag – it’s the embodiment of our entire culture and mentality. We are one team; we collaborate, grow, and move forward as one. Every team member, in whichever country, office, or bedroom they are working in, regardless of their level of seniority or experience, should feel empowered and ready to drive us forward in the next chapter of our young history.
As we said on the day of launch just over two years ago, media is in our DNA. It’s our passion. And this year, we have had to draw upon that DNA more than ever before. We have all been forced to adapt, evolve and in a sense come together while socially distancing. Sharing information, smiles, and our sourdough recipes in order to embrace the broader global events. As my colleague, Lisa Aussieker, commented back in April, “home has been the birthplace of some pretty incredible things.”
But regardless of the global context this year, change is always a constant. So while COVID-19 has dominated our work and home lives, it has also helped us to streamline our work processes, improve the environment and refocus the way our talented team has utilized its skills. As another of my colleagues, Damien Montessuit, perfectly summarized: “constraints are good for innovation and creativity!” Change is the constant that ensures relevance and effectiveness, and this is what the best, most successful businesses and organizations do to achieve and ensure their longevity.
The MediaKind team has achieved success in this period thanks to our shared ethos and a common set of goals. We are all focused on enabling our customers to create and deliver immersive media experiences and helping them to bring the power of media to communities. Significant advances in our technology and the efforts of MediaKind’s stellar team have played a fundamental role in uniting billions of people all over the globe, at a time when we are all physically apart from one another. Together, we have helped people to discover, interact, and experience these unique times, on any screen, anywhere.
Realizing the power of communication
Of course, this is all good in theory – but to execute effective agile thinking requires communication. It’s not just a case of the person who speaks most wins! Nor is it a case of using myriad buzzwords as window dressing to affect positive reinforcement. It’s about delivering and articulating a clear message and vision that is sincere, consistent, and designed to unite team members and build trust. It’s about understanding various ways of working and the different parameters and restrictions each individual has to operate under.
At MediaKind, we deliberate. We listen. And we trust our teams to find the best solutions to achieve desired outcomes. This way of working is fundamental to how our leadership teams, at every level, operate to make the best decisions. Together, we work hard to be open and transparent in our communications with one another, and over the past year, I have seen first-hand how this has helped to foster a collegiate spirit and built morale.
We have already seen some incredible innovations come to fruition in the past few months. At a product level, we’ve seen the launch of Aquila Broadcast and Aquila On-Demand; we have reimagined media with the launch of our virtual experience portal; we have collaborated on a fantastic project to bring the Chattanooga Film Festival on to a digital platform. All of these achievements are the result of careful coordination and effective communications with our colleagues, customers, and partners. Through agile-lean thinking, we are #teammediakind.