Marko Sverdlik: Creativity Puts People in Focus

“If there is still a question whether creative industries can add value to your business,” says Proekspert’s lead Marko Sverdlik, “then I may clearly state that my company’s experience has been very positive.”

“You must remain open to possibilities, dare to change, and be patient when awaiting results,” Sverdlik contended at the June 7 MELT forum, where creative service providers interacted with a variety of representatives from other industries.

Sverdlik drew attention to the proper use of external creative resources and their impact on business development, as well as a company’s profitability.
“Customer orientation and customer friendliness often remain theoretical ideas within an organization,” he said. “The principle of service design is to put a human being in the center of the process. Thanks to creative industries, our company now puts the focus on the person: the client, the end-user, the worker.”

Flat organizations: improved competitiveness through design

“We reached these conclusions primarily through Design Bulldozer, a project with the goal of improving our competitiveness with the aid of design.

“In the beginning we considered the design process as a way to refresh our brand, but we delved deep into our business and learned what it truly means to step into a client’s shoes. We discovered that our organizational structure until that point was too process focused – in other words, how to fill orders in the fastest way with the highest quality. We changed procedures in our organization with the result being a bossless organization. Our new structure has given much more decision making power to teams. Many decisions which were previously made at a manager’s desk are now delegated to the teams. Management’s role is to support the teams and to see the big picture.

Sverdlik believes an inspiring work environment is also a critical factor for producing professional and innovative solutions.

“For almost three years we gathered ideas for our new office. Working with the architects from Kuup Disain we sought a solution which would fit our green way of thinking. The result was a honeycomb solution abstracted from the legendary architect Christopher Alexander’s book, A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction.

“Working in a honeycomb means that the teams pursue one thing. They understand what is their client’s business, what his end-user actually needs and uses, and how to work together to get to the root of the problem. At the heart of the honeycomb are spaces for both meetings and relaxation.

Design team emerges in new business structure

“In my company we have seen that design helps us with innovation and user-friendliness, and it increases customer satisfaction which creates added value for the business. The thrust we got from Design Bulldozer in revamping our business model, and the organizational changes derived from this, have helped to create and grow Proekspert’s own design team. We are able to offer clients turnkey solutions, including UX design and design services.”

The MELT forum took place June 7 at Tallinn’s Kultuurikatel (Creative Hub). Fifty presenters and 600 participants explored practical examples of cooperation between creative professionals and business people, proving that the joining of a variety of fields can create innovative quality.

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