In the past I made the point that one of the pillars that build this company is Nakama, friendship. But it’s only now that we’re a 5-headed team that I realize why I wanted that, and what it entails. People I work with appreciate that I’m open, direct, and honest, sometimes so honest and direct that I even risk a project. As I see it, it’s sometimes bold, sometimes pure stupidity.

“The goal, then, is to uncouple fear and failure—to create an environment in which making mistakes doesn’t strike terror into your employees’ hearts.” ~Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.

The reason I wanted Nakama, is that I believe that when people connect somewhere below the surface, they can work so efficiently with each other that it has a direct effect on the physical output of the company. As we’re a creative agency focusing on video, that connection means that people can let their creativity go, without fear that what they produce could be wrong. How to handle failure could very well be another topic here on this blog. I think it is important to make mistakes, but it’s wrong not to, and it’s even more wrong to doom people for a failure.

Come, as You Are. Stay, as You Are

Come, as you are. Stay, as you are. You’re welcome here, with warts and all. It’s become almost a credo people talk about. They appreciate that they can give their best, without the fear that, what they produce, is a total failure. People who are not comfortable with the creative process sometimes neglect this. They see the first version of a thing and feel like that’s what they get at the end. That’s (one of) the (many) reason(s) why creative people have such a hard time. They produce a first version, and it’s shit, and so people, i.e. their customers, say they’re shit.

“Failure isn’t a necessary evil. In fact, it isn’t evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new.” ~Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.

Of course we’re creative people, we’re used to that kind of “feedback”. That doesn’t mean it’s nice though. You have to have a thick skin as creative person. People don’t see the thing that’s already in one’s head when we start our work. But it’s that picture that allows us to eventually realize it. That kind of “valuable feedback” however, be it from our parents, dear friends, or other groups close to us, leaves scars. Deep, ugly scars. After 30 years in the business you must wonder why would you still keep up with this shit?

I can tell you why. Because it’s who you are. You got all those warts. Those scars stuck with many of us for such a long time that they’re part of who we became.

Find the People You Need

Which brings me back to Nakama and team building. When you have a team where it’s okay to show those scars, people start to make deeper connections. To make this easier, people need a place where they feel free to talk about personal topics. We’re a connected team, and so I feel there needs to be a thing that let people share personal thoughts and chitchat. It’s that kind of freedom and peace that builds Nakama.

“Getting the right people and the right chemistry is more important than getting the right idea.” ~Ed Catmull, Creativity, Inc.

Finding a place where you have found other folks who are just as you — with warts and all.