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Mi diseño es su diseño

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    Michael Ball

Reflecting on Initiate’s journey, I can confidently affirm that our success is a testament to collective effort. This realization, simple yet profound, has taken me 15 years to fully grasp. Initiate is more than just an extension of my personal endeavors; it’s a collaborative enterprise.

Picture this, Ottawa, 2008…
Rewinding to 2008, I departed from a comfortable position at a small agency with a vision: to create a career, and potentially an agency, that mirrored my design aesthetic and cultural values while enriching my life experiences. With this ambition, I embarked on my journey.

The inception of Initiate was relatively smooth. I secured my first contract just before officially opening, a promising start. I diligently built new contacts and opportunities within a familiar industry. The business thrived, and I devoted myself to maintaining creative integrity and validating my decision, supported by an incredible network. However, the growing demand soon surpassed my individual capacity, leading to a pivotal decision – my first hire.

Kevin, a former colleague whose skills complemented and expanded Initiate’s offerings, was a natural choice for this role. Our team gradually expanded, evolving from a tight-knit group of senior designers operating like freelancers under one umbrella, to a more diverse collective.

As the company’s needs changed, I faced the challenge of hiring beyond my immediate circle. This shift marked a significant transformation in my understanding of the business. It wasn’t just about my design anymore; it was about a collective fusion of ideas, perspectives, and contributions from a trusted team. Recognizing the value of diverse viewpoints in solving our clients’ problems allowed me to focus on growing and evolving the business, alleviating some of the pressure to always be at the forefront.

That’s not to say I haven’t fought the change

Adapting to this change wasn’t without resistance. I often found myself critiquing approaches that differed from mine. Yet, I am learning to trust my team’s creative instincts, allowing them more autonomy in design decisions. My role now focuses on maintaining high professional standards through amazing relationships with our clients, while empowering the team to explore their creative capacities.

This transition from a sole proprietor mindset has been a crucial evolution for me. Acknowledging that the team is the backbone of Initiate is both liberating and motivating. It encourages me to contribute more than just my design expertise. The collective strength of our team is the bedrock of our design house, a daily reminder that the synergy of a talented group far outweighs individual effort. Why go at it alone when I have the privilege of working alongside such a gifted team at Initiate?