Listening and Learning
Published on: 30th May 2009
Listening and Learning
At various points of our development as a company we have been lucky enough to talk with people who have helped us move forward and take on the next challenge that has presented itself. We've also had situations where conversations with people have revealed more about what we do than we'd given ourselves credit for. Over recent months this has been very true of our conversations with Regine Jong.
Working in marketing as her day job, she has given us the benefit of her insights and understanding to help us get a better grasp of what we do at Alacrify and how we do it. Her input has been two-fold, firstly in helping us to improve how we present ourselves as a business, and secondly to help us understand the value of what we offer more clearly.
The benefit of improving our own presentation is pretty obvious, and to some extent the appearance and content of this website is inspired by Regine's advice and comments. But the most helpful part of her input has been to help talk through all the different things we do when we meet and work with a client.
Regine's perspective has meant that we've been able to see that what we do is often only partly about making a website, or printing a brochure. In fact what we often do is spend a good deal of time helping our clients to understand themselves (much as Regine has done for us) so we can clearly understand what the client wants to happen. We can only do this by spending time getting to know our clients' businesses and then reflecting back what we've learned to them. Aside from the enjoyment of sharing in their enthusiasm for and interest in their own work, we find that this gives us a much better chance of finding the right approach to the design project we're working on.
This bigger picture thinking has become a hallmark of most of our work and even in the past week several of our clients have said (without prompting!) how helpful it has been for us to have "drawn out" this big picture from them; revealing the depth and breadth of their expertise and their hopes and ambitions for the future. As we've found, it's can be a transforming experience to be listened to and understood. It gives you a chance to take stock and a little well-earned satisfaction from your efforts, and then use the understanding and enthusiasm as a platform for new growth.
This is really the meaning of Alacrify. As a word it means "to rouse up" or "inspire". When we chose it as our business name I don't think any of us realised how appropriate it would be.