Creating a culture of sharing requires vulnerability. It requires a dedication to openness and transparency. Although some teams may find it difficult to achieve this, WeTransfer seems to have tapped into this from the very beginning. With a team fully committed to sharing work in progress and constantly changing direction for growth, it’s exciting to see how they’ve implemented this mindset to scale their organization as a whole.
We sat down with Laszlito Kovacs, Creative Director at WeTransfer to uncover ways their team encourages sharing and how they use Wake to do so.
What are some of your responsibilities at WeTransfer?
I spend a lot of time making sure that everybody in the company, every single department, is aligned and that we are sharing the same vision and values when we are communicating the different things we’re working on. We don’t work as “This is the design team. This is the tech team. And this is the internal team.” We work cross-functionally, which means I am constantly dancing.
What makes WeTransfer a unique place for designers to grow?
On the leadership team, we are incredibly open, and we expose our weaknesses. We believe that vulnerability is a great tool to build trust. We are lucky, in that our team really likes each other as well and there is a good component of serendipity between us from completely different levels. From junior designers to senior designers, we share a lot of things. We share a vision in a very unique and candid way. In my opinion that is why I am so happy to be with WeTransfer.
How would you describe the organizational culture of WeTransfer?
It’s not a top-down driven company. We give a great deal of room for people to make their own decisions. Although sometimes you have top-down decisions, of course, we try to involve every single person in the company so they can influence the future of where we are going. We are growing a lot right now, but we are also shaping at the same time what the company is inwards and outwards.
We are constantly asking everybody, “What is the kind of company that you would like to work in?” And this is the company we’re giving ourselves. We are not always going to be in this moment, so it’s a great time to be a part of this company and to witness what we are working on, not only in terms of products but also design and culture.
How has the role of creative director evolved since you’ve been at WeTransfer?
We were just talking today about how ten years ago it was all about the creative director. This guy is THE guy. Now, thanks to technology, we’re streamlining the structure of companies in a way that everybody can be “the guy”. Now, the power really comes from the team and not so much the individual anymore.
As your team grew, how did you prepare for scaling collaboration?
We have a set structure and foster open communication with everybody in the company. We are also really focused on the MVP. We don’t go for the finish line right away. You can’t start with being super sure about things; we always need feedback from users and each other. This makes the whole team creatively agile and creatively open in general.
We really value the developmental stage. We start with a basic structure, continue to tweak it, and then we put it in place. We start working out what we need and then we recover all the feedback. It’s very fast. In 2-3 weeks we are reshaping again and that’s how we run our cycles. People are constantly collecting and sharing feedback, and the core structure of our interdisciplinary teams supports this ongoing flow of information and sharing from different perspectives.
What brought you to Wake?
When we found Wake through a colleague, we felt it was a tool we needed immediately because of its simplicity. It’s very easy to use, much like WeTransfer. You can do less things while getting more out of the tool. Wake serves such a clear purpose for our team and allows us to look at designs and capture snapshots of progress.
For me, it’s great to have a sense of what’s going on within each team. Wake serves as a brand compass. It’s always alive – that’s the thing that is beautiful to me. I can always see how an idea that was created in a kickoff meeting evolves from sketches to prototypes to final design iterations. You can see how it’s all put together in an organic way. I love that.
Why is it so important to be able to see the entire process?
It’s very important to me because I am in between many departments. We are building an in-house studio because we want to help brands get the most of our platform. This studio serves as an in-house agency for everybody in the company – sales, marketing, product, everyone. That means in my case, I am constantly dancing around, sitting in different meetings and trying to be able to keep in my mind the continuity of the brand narrative.
With Wake, I can quickly glance at all the moving parts, see where we are going, and connect with designers. It’s great to see this intangible beast.
We really appreciate Laszlito for taking the time and sharing his insights about design at WeTransfer. You can follow him on Twitter, and see what he and the WeTransfer team have been building at wetransfer.com.
Wake is a design collaboration app built exclusively for teams. It was designed to fit seamlessly into a designer’s workflow to encourage fast and frequent sharing throughout the entire design process.