After 25 years in the game, it’s time to do the status. Valtech’s managing director, Carsten Brogaard Jensen, shares his experiences of full service, diversity, and agility.
Valtech Denmark is home to one of Holmen’s old cannon boat houses, literally located at the end of the water crust. The office, on the other hand, can almost go on the water. Valtech has doubled itself in size over the last three to four years. And then Forrester Wave has just rated Valtech to be among the four best-sized digital agencies in the world.
However, Valtech is much more than digital. But it’s probably a little too well-kept secret, says managing director Carsten Brogaard Jensen:
“Basically, Valtech Danmark is born as a company with all three skills – communication, strategy, and technology. And is it still. It pains us a little to bear the name Valtech because it insinuates that we are more tech than we basically are. That’s only half of our revenue, which is technology. “
Carsten Brogaard Jensen has a problem with silos. It permeates his speech, Valtech’s history, the agency’s specific casework and the interior of the Canoe boathouse itself.
“Luckily, a move has begun from calling an advertising agency that many today call a digital agency. My call to the bureaucracy is that you should not stop here. You must take the step further and get full service. It provides a much better user experience for the customer, “says Brogaard Jensen, and continues:
“Keep it, it also gives more competition to us, but peace be with it. As an industry, we need to prove, for ourselves and our customers, that the millions invested to receive a return. And we must do so enough for the next budget to be legitimized on the basis of the results. “
Silone degradation is taken to a new level at Valtech. This is not just about getting more office services under the same roof, but about implementing the burea disciplines across the traditional departments. It’s not just the creative ones that need to be digital; The digital should also be creative:
“Creativity is misunderstood if it’s just something they creatively monopolize. Creativity is also tied to what you can innovate with technology, “explains Brogaard Jensen.
The marketing community has long advocated not to use the word ‘digital’ as a prefix to everything, as it is implicitly that everything is digital today. Carsten Brogaard Jensen believes that the same setting applies to creativity:
“It’s only when you get the innovation strength to bump into the imaginative, creative UX thought company that you create something that breaks the norms. There are not many such successes to retrieve if you give the monopoly the creativity of one proficiency profile. So we’ve done that very early. “
Agile teams, transfer windows and a Paris meeting
Valtech meeting rooms carry names for the cities to which they are represented. During the interview,w we were in Paris. Next to was Singapore. And so, it will continue in the adjacent premises: New York, Stockholm, Madrid, Geneva, Munic, and Ukrainian Kharkiv.
Looking out into the open office landscape and at the 170 employees, you will find a corresponding crowded crowd. Someone is particularly proud of Valtech.
“Back in 2001, we were probably four relatively Nordic nationalities employed in Valtech Denmark. Today, we have 26 nationalities from around the world, “says Carsten Brogaard Jensen, who emphasizes that such a variety of flock comes with as big challenges as benefits.
“In Scandinavia, you are given confidence by the trust. It disappears first when you break it. The reflex is not found in so many other cultures, and it presents challenges when we have people gathered from all over the world. In addition, the flat, anti-hierarchical structure that typically occurs in Nordic countries, the many dark and cold months in the Danish climate, working hours 9-17. It can be challenging for our Indian and Italian employees. “
If you set the cultural challenges to a moment, there are also a lot of insights and opposites to pick up, Carsten Brogaard Jensen insures:
“We Danes can be really, really clever. But we are typically also more schooled than we will probably be. If you set the same dilemma to ten Danish digital advisors, you will most likely get about the same answer. However, if you set the same dilemma to ten digital advisors, who have different national and cultural origins, you can get very different tips for your advice. “
“We are a bit restricted as Danes, though we claim to have different national views, that we are all proficient in English, and we understand how to move out of the world, so we are also quite homogeneous.”
And there is nothing that kills creativity and innovation as uniformity. Looking back at the office landscape on Kanonbådsvej 2, not only are the many nationalities that break homogeneity. Valtech’s employees are in small agile teams of 8-16 people, each having different skills.
“Breakdown in silos and departments generates a lot of accumulated luggage, long processes, and regular meetings. And it only creates delays and frustrations. For example, our teams have launched a 100% digital subscription model for Heineken beer enthusiasts in six months, which would usually take a year and a half, maybe two. “
At Valtech you shake the bag twice a year. Team rotation is win-win: The employee remains in constant professional development while increasing efficiency in the agile team constellations.
“Carefully tuned when the Transfers Window opens in football, we allow people to change teams. And it’s not just a standing offer, it’s almost an expectation. Because we, first of all, learn from each other the tasks we are being given and the challenges it brings. And that combination must always be in motion – otherwise, you will be able to, “says Carsten Brogaard Jensen, explaining that such rotation is not limited to the office at Holmen, but as well as an employee of Paris or Sidney.
“The gods will know where we are in 25 years”
When asked Carsten Brogaard Jensen, what he sees in the office’s crystal ball, he believes that Valtech has set the right course for the next 25 years. The rest takes digital development.
“It’s just right to stay in the track. It has not gone the mainstream to offer the orchestrated user experience. And at least we will use the next five years. And then there’s always some new technology that surprises. “