And then we are a teenager.
We are the communications consultancy Maverick that turns 13 this month. Fortunately, as an organisation we’ll not be subjected to the mood swings, moods and hormonal surges of human teenagers. I suppose, however, that 13 still represents a landmark of sorts as we grow out of the first flush of “startup” years into an ever more established business – with all the attendant challenges, dangers and opportunities that this brings.
Looking back, it has been an exhilarating, frustrating, gratifying, teary and joyful journey rolled into one that saw Maverick grow from a 6-person outfit to what it is today – a communications consultancy with over 75 employees and a reasonably handsome profit.
The most exciting aspect about Maverick, however, are the people who have been and are the Mavbros and Mavchicks. For my business partner Lita and me, there is no greater reward than to see the Mavbros and Mavchicks – who are usually fresh from university – take their first tentative steps and then blooming into formidable and thoroughly first-rate consultants and trusted advisors once they have gone through the Maverick treadmill.
I think we have seen dozens of young men and women come into Maverick, stayed for a while – some shorter, some longer – but almost all of them taking away with them new-found hard and soft skills and friendships that will last them a lifetime.
Many who left went on to great jobs with multinational companies and established institutions. Others opted for the family life and still others went off for further studies. very few consultants – I think three or four in 13 years – went straight to our professional rivals. Even then many of them usually profess to have very fond memories and visceral feelings for Maverick.
In the early days we tried very hard to retain people. These days, however, we realise that the impulse to move on to new things comes with the age group of the people we employ. Gen Y, Z and Millienals have this instinct to seek new pastures every two or three years. That’s life and we’ve come to terms with that. So what we now do is to develop a process of on boarding new recruits very fast and have them nurture, mentor and train new recruits to step up to the plate as they near the time when their Millennial instincts give them itchy feet.
So far it has worked and we are so very happy and proud of the institution we have become. Maverick, if we hear what people are saying are correct, is virtually not only a training centre but also a finishing school for those who aspire to become the best communications professionals after school.
When they join us they not only get the training but they get a buddy to make sure they fit in. After that they come under the attention of supervisors who double up as mentors and friends to help them make the most of their talents. Yet for all the supportive culture we have it is not some la-la land type of organisation. When we work, we work very hard and insist on the highest standards.And then we play hard.
The result is a self-renewing crop of bright talents that would be the envy of any creative consultancy not only in Jakarta but anywhere in the world.
We are very proud of them, these Mavbros and Mavchicks, so proud that we think that their loved ones should also share in some of our pride. That’s the reason why we’ve chosen to hold a “Carnival” – complete with cotton candy floss, popcorn, clowns and magicians – where the Mavbros and Mavchicks can invite their spouses, partners or families along.
We want them to know of these incredible young men and women who work for us, to give them an idea of the office and atmosphere where our consultants spend 8 to 10 hours of their day away from them (we discourage our staff from spending any more time in the office as we believe that the best consultants are those who have full lives outside the office).We want them to share in the experience of our consultants, for their children to know where their father or mother works, for parents to know where their daughters and sons disappear to every working day and the kind of company they keep in the workplace. And also the kind of work they do (a real challenge since very few people outside PR know what we actually get up to – try devising a way to explain PR to the kids).
But now the music has started up, the families have begun to arrive and I have to go celebrate the achievements of Mavbros and Mavchicks present and past.