2023: artificial fears and intelligent learnings
The 365 days of 2023 brought us many opportunities to learn as a holistic team and as specialists in the different areas of our expertise. This is one of the objectives we renew every year: to capitalize on everything we experience to continue being good, happy people seeking digital excellence with sustainable ambition.
That's why we got together and made the typical seasonal reflections on what we have learned in the last 12 months. As defined by our CEO, Ismael Barros, over 2023, "there were drums of crisis, but we finished the year, and we still don't know where they are coming from or how many of them there are. The social, geopolitical, economic and technological situation has affected investment in intangibles just when they could and should have the most impact and relevance".
And being such a critical year, what have Soluble's areas learned?
Artificial Intelligence, the main challenge -and conversation- of 2023
If we think about transformations, changes or evolutions in this 2023 we must start talking about Artificial Intelligence. Its presence has been constant in the digital sector and is now a matter of concern and interest for all our specialties.
In the Visual area, our lead Anna Bohigas explained how "it has been a catalyst for debates, concerns and possibilities that generate all kinds of emotions". For Julia Vallina, Technology Director, the impact on web development has been direct and important: "We are still understanding its implications, but it is already changing the way we develop with tools like GitHub Copilot or Vercel AI SDK".
The footprint of AI goes beyond how things are done and also how they are managed, but, as Marta Factor, head of Activation, points out, "it changes the way we understand work, what we are going to spend our time on, what role we have, what our value contribution is... and that is a very important part of our life and our purpose as a brand".
This is not the only update that has kept us on our toes. For Ada Fàbregas, Product Lead, constant adaptation is a basic part of her day-to-day work: "We are in an industry marked by changing trends and rapid technological transformations. Some with a great impact, such as the evolution of Figma, which has led us to change the way we work".
This evolution is also experienced in the technology area, which in 2023 has managed to consolidate the foundations of its stack where we have consolidated the use of Nextjs, Vercel, DatoCMS and we have been able to explore and deepen in other areas, such as Framer Motion to build animations, the D3 library for graphics, and continue training the team with the new specifications of the base languages, for example the container queries or View transition API in CSS.
Intelligent and human strategy
Facing so many changes and novelties, there are two words that prevent us from getting lost in the noise: consistency and congruence or, in other words, strategy.
But what makes a strategy work despite the changing environment? Once again, authenticity. The more weight the artificial gains, the more we need to place value on what doesn't change: the essence of the people behind the brands, something we talked about in this podcast on authenticity in life and in brands.
The impact of authentic strategy is not only ethical, it also means significant efficiency improvements in process and outcome. This year we have learned to use strategy to not get lost in the FOMO of trying everything and go directly to the point of contact where things happen.
Work better and closer
While not new, we have learned to continue to use the combination of our human intelligences to go further. Without the integrated approach and the collaborative attitude of the different areas guided by the Brand Managers, we would not have achieved the valuable results of combining diverse skills and perspectives for our clients, and for ourselves as a team and as a brand. It is not just a matter of providing individual value, but of enhancing our joint collaboration with the aim of collectively adding value.
The management team is responsible for promoting and facilitating these synergies between remote and delocalized teams, as Estela Pedrero, lead of Brand Managers, had already told us in the podcast on Managing the holistic vision: "As managers we must apply coherence, consistency and common sense in the use of processes, methodologies, new ways of doing things, always seeking to facilitate the day-to-day and that the team can devote its time to what really matters".
But the truth is that improving the process is everyone's business and we share moments to reflect and/or question our working methods. A clear example is the ever closer approach to design and code, in which Figma has had a very positive impact on the workflow between Product and Technology. About these updates, Ada and Julia told us all their secrets and learnings in a Soluble Goes Live about this collaborative culture, a must for any professional in both areas.
We care about what always matters: people
Bringing out the best in each person so that they shine, however, is not a simple task and requires the sum of many decisions. For example, it has been essential to learn to accompany our professionals by promoting the career plan format with a very personal approach and following our Poder Ser philosophy. And an exceptional addition: Almudena Mestre joined the team as People Operations Manager, a role designed to maximize humanism in our organization.
It is essential to keep in mind the conversation between mental health and work, that we have enriched by alliances with brands that resonate with us, such as Mentiness, with whom we also spoke in one of our podcasts this year. But not only that: we believe so much in their purpose that this year we are investing in them and their future.
Caring for people is about the team and also, and very much so, about what we do and how we do it with our more than just partners. "It has been a year of confirmation, where we have reaped the fruits of relationships that we began to cultivate years ago. This is all about people and taking care of people in a genuine way," says Ismael, with an idea that reminds us of the post on the humanistic approach to brands.
And in 2024…
Experiences remembered, notes taken... and now? Let's capitalize on them with what we see coming in 2024. For the Activation, Visual, Product and Technology areas, the application of Artificial Intelligence as the main source of novelties continues in 2024. In the next 12 months, we are going to spend our time contributing value, gaining judgment and not getting carried away by the avalanche. Let technology make us more human at work so that we can make our brands more human. So it will be essential to join forces so that processes continue to evolve with a focus on facilitating the day-to-day.
To make this a reality, we will continue to improve the remote work scenario, seeking efficiency, taking care of our physical and mental health and training ourselves to be, every day, more autonomous individuals in an increasingly aligned team. In short, we are looking for the goal of a Teal organization - we will tell you more about this soon - that responds to the needs of today and tomorrow of our brands and our people.
This is our purpose for 2024, a year of transition and challenges that will surely bring us many more learnings. Ismael shares his vision of what is to come: "Although we will not see the recovery from this crisis that has not yet ended, I am convinced that we will see a return on the investments in intangibles that were made in 2023. Those who have taken care of their brand or their digital presence will remain stronger and healthier in the face of adversity".