“Clients come with specific objectives and it’s our job to deliver custom solutions”
Manhattan Beach, May 31st, 2018
Based in Los Angeles, digital agency Isadora seeks to change the way brands engage and connect with audiences, guided by human behavior and emerging technologies. It provides transformational visual identity, enterprise web products and digital marketing for B2B and B2C enterprises.
Web designer Isadora Marlow-Morgan founded the agency in 2009 and since then she and her team have crafted award winning digital experiences for clients such as Dow Jones, News Corp, Belkin, McKinsey & Company and Logitech, using progressive development and user-centered design.
In an interview with TIA, Isadora Marlow-Morgan describes her first steps in the industry that drove her to start her own agency. At the same time, she explains the company’s culture and the must-haves when working for Isadora, while giving advice for new leaders.
What important things or experiences that have brought you to where you are today?
Traveling at an early age helped me experience various cultures which allowed me to learn from various people from different backgrounds. I was also fortunate enough to get my hands on Adobe Photoshop from a roommate as a teenager! So, I remember exploring the software during my free time for hours at a time. That interest in trying new things carried through in my work career. In my early years I learned a wide range of skills and was able to quickly determine my strengths. I was also able to work alongside some very talented leaders who taught me a lot.
Do you focus more on problem-solving or opportunity creation?
It’s a blend of both with a greater emphasis on problem solving. Clients come to us with some very specific objectives and it’s our job to deliver custom solutions. Often times the creative solutions we deliver, they’ve never even considered.
How much time do you spend with customers?
I actually spend an extensive amount of time with clients through meetings and visits. I go out of my way to influence strategy, jump on conference calls and join in on group meetings whenever possible.
What is your approach to motivate and develop talent?
We actually start by hiring self-motivated individuals. Motivation is one of the many acquired characteristics we require when hiring. It’s also essential that we have the right people on the bus. So, we place a great deal of effort into securing the right individuals and ensuring they are working on projects that excite and inspire. With all of our projects we are always pushing ourselves as a team to think differently and craft something uniquely tailored to our client’s needs.
How would you describe your company’s culture?
We enjoy hiring intelligent and/or expert level individuals. In addition, we look for people that will enhance our positive and innovative culture. We take the time to invest in team building events often to allow for the staff to grow strong bonds with one another. It’s not uncommon for us to stay in contact with previous employees and even take them to lunch years after they’ve stopped working at our agency!
How do you help a new employee understand such culture?
New employees are immersed in our culture and team building events almost immediately and on a monthly basis. We also put a lot of effort into training and allowing new employees to grow and contribute to our culture. For example, every employee first day starts with a special muffin on their desk and a team lunch. We want our employees to become friends, and not just co-workers.
What upcoming initiatives at your agency do you find particularly exciting?
We have a marketing campaign that we will start working on to promote the protection of marine life that we are doing pro bono. We also have a very special initiative we are currently developing that will allow team members to work abroad for a few weeks. Thus far the entire staff is quite excited about it about the idea as some of the options under review are beautiful places such as Germany, Spain and Greece!
How does your agency treat people involved in failed projects?
It’s quite rare that a collaboration is unsuccessful, however we treat all our clients as preferred individuals with the utmost respect and consideration. It’s a privilege to be able to service and work alongside the talented professionals we work with daily. At no point do we lose sight of that fact.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
Take the time to build meaningful relationships with others at the work place (both internal and at with clients). Healthy relationships based on mutual respect are at the core of every successful leader.