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The secret to transforming talent into Swiss Army knives


As a highly successful creative agency, APV understands the importance of nurturing talent of the future to ensure the organisation is able to stay ahead of the game.

The company is known for its flat hierarchy, along with an open and collaborative culture, making it the perfect platform for employees from different generations to mix and learn from one another.

Earlier this year, APV launched Clubhouse – a mentorship and training department built on two-way learning between the younger and older generations.

One of the goals of Clubhouse is to equip younger digital natives with knowledge in project management and storytelling, video strategy and production – skills that are core to the content-led world of social media today, while the “old hands” acquire new skills and a very different perspective from the digital natives of the Millennial generation.

To begin with, Clubhouse gives young people a lot of autonomy. Members are trusted with the responsibilities of making high-level decisions, such as managing the profit and loss of projects and giving project pitches to clients.

“Having put so much on the shoulders of our young people, we provide them with a safety net, which is the keen support from senior management,” said Angela Cheung, APV’s managing director.

“The senior managers like myself try to provide as much mentoring for them as possible. They can call upon a senior manager to discuss anything they want every day.

“The model is not complicated, but it cannot be effective without this unique culture of APV to make it a high priority to mentor young talent.”

The chemistry and collaboration between Daniel Clarke, executive producer at Clubhouse, and his two young team members, Louise Lau, multimedia producer/director, and Jeff Chen, digital production assistant, is the perfect demonstration of two-way learning between the younger and older generations.

The foundation of Clubhouse is built on two-way teaching and the three are always bouncing ideas off one another, looking to cross-pollinate ideas and their experience.

“The idea is to train these young people to be digital Swiss Army knives. We don’t have a regular routine, every team member has their own pet projects. We trust one another and are comfortable asking each other’s opinion. We talk to one another constantly, we know what others are doing and how we can help to work better as a team,” Clarke said.

With so many different projects going on at the same time, it is easy for the team to be like a kid in a candy store.

The team at Clubhouse is a fan of the Pomodoro Technique. It tries not to concentrate on one issue for more than 25 minutes because that is when the brain maxes out. This method ensures the team will not get stuck on one project.

“No working day is the same. One day I can be on The Peak early in the morning shooting or I can be in the studio doing post-production or writing scripts at my desk,” Chen said.

ALSO READ: Banking on internal talent

Photo/ 123RF

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