Helen West, Director, WDC Creative

 

It’s easy to think about business achievements in a very tangible way, but I’d like to take a different tack. Having been in business (agency, clientside and business owner) for over two decades, I feel that my biggest achievement has come over the last few years, where I’ve started to look at things more holistically.

Taking the time to reflect away from the hectic day-to-day is such a valuable (and rare) luxury, but it is a technique I’ve been consciously trying to prioritise at the end of every week, month and year. Being able to step back and ask ‘what have we achieved for our clients? or ‘what impact have we had?’ or ‘what difference have we made?’ is something which underpins real progress when you force yourself to answer the question honestly.

This process highlighted a number of challenges for WDC Creative. Firstly, I had to consider whether we were doing enough to develop our creative business beyond the sectors and types of work we had always supported. Inertia is dangerous and there’s plenty of evidence out there to suggest that sticking to the familiar rather than pushing ourselves to try new experiences leads to a reduction in impact and effectiveness over time.

An outcome of this more reflective approach highlighted that we had the opportunity to develop new and better ways to articulate our concepts for commercial environments, leveraging emerging technology to take our clients on a compelling visual journey and to provide them with the tools to help them share that story with their stakeholders.   This move out of our comfort zone required investment in systems, software and people, but has built a much stronger platform for the business going forward.

The other key challenge I needed to address was to ensure WDC Creative was doing enough to encourage sustainable and inclusive design, aiming for our creative output to always be mindful of the wider impact. To this end we have developed three guiding principles which we use to assess every project:

 

  1. Is the solution sustainable?
  2. Does it need to be physically produced or could it be translated virtually?
  3. Can it be recycled, repurposed or re-used?

 

Taking this ‘green’ perspective enables us to challenge our clients on behalf of their customers and prompts us to develop more environmentally responsible design solutions.

This focus on sustainable design also sits well with the campaign theme for #IWD2020, which is drawn from a notion of ‘Collective Individualism’ – the belief that we are all parts of a whole. And that our individual actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society. That collectively, we can make change happen and can each help to create a gender equal world.