Monday, June 30, 2008

The Industry Project

Our students work with real clients all the time, but as a part of the first year, they get to work as real companies too. We call it TIP, or The Industry Project. Ola Möller was the CEO of his company, and I decided to ask him some questions about the project.

How was it to work as a real company with real clients?
- We have worked with real clients before but it is always a challenge. Every client is unique and has it's own needs and problems that we need to solve. Our main target has been to understand them fully! Only then we can deliver what they really want (or things that they don't know they want).

What did you do?
- As the CEO of the company my first task was to create a functional and effective organisation. I had an idea of creating a dynamic organisation that made everyone come to their full potential. We chose to work very horizontal when it came to concept and ideas. The production phase was more vertical to maximize our production efficiency. It worked fine as an organisational model. Later I delivered reports to the board, was eg. in charge of group process follow-ups, worked with company strategies and had responsibilty for the budget.

What was that like?
- To work as a CEO is a new experience to me. It's been difficult, fun - a real challenge! I saw myself as a facilitator. After all, my task was to help and make the group work as easy and as friction free as it possibly could. I studied situational leadership and that has been a great source of learning for me. I have learned to adapt my leadership style depending on which phase the company/group is in. Especially when it came to autoritarian leadership in the beginning of the process - that's quite new to me.

Who were your clients and what did you do for them?
- We worked with four different companies. Two publishers, one artist and one IT-security company. The work we made ranged from digital web strategies to web sites to campain videos.
How did that work out?
- No bigger problems. I take my hat off to my co-workers! The company was full of focused and competent people. Thats probably why it went so well.

Were the clients satisfied?
- Totaly! Probably because we understood them and their needs.

What did you learn from this project?
- That my team is everything! Make them happy and motivated. Fix the organsation to fit the team and help them to smash as many of the obstacles as possible. This experience gave me new perspective on how I would like to work as a project manager continueously. Good debriefs, documentation, understanding for the client's needs and to keep a good communication with the client are the most important learnings.

What will you do this summer?
- I've been working with the recruitment for the upcoming Stockholm Digital Media class and the Interactive Art Directors this week. I can't tell you more right now. We are in the middle of the process. I will spend the rest of the summer working with a photo project I started last summer before I got into Hyper Island. We got EU funding accually. The idea is that young swedes send in pictures of how life is in Sweden. We will print up a book with those pictures. Check out http://fotobokenomsverige.se/ (It's in swedish though)

Have you decided where to do your internship yet?
No accually I haven't, but I'm working on it this summer. Feel free to come up with suggestions! And check out my site!

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