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How we live our values

Podcasts and Audio | 21.07.2017

Everything we do at Kineo is shaped by living and breathing our values. Whether that's giving back to our communities, committing to quality, being innovative or serving our clients to the best of our ability, you'll see our values running like a golden thread through our work and our actions. For our clients and for our people, we're shaping futures.  

Paul Westlake  0:00  

Hi, I'm Paul Westlake solutions consultant at Kineo. This afternoon we're gonna have an open discussion around the work we do with the local community. I'm pleased to say I'm joined by...

Adrian Day  0:09  

Adrian Day, Global Creative Director.

Sam Spencer  0:12  

and Sam Spencer, Production Manager.

Paul Westlake  0:14  

So, Sam, if I can come to you first, what do we mean by working in the local community is not just like, what do we do,

Sam Spencer  0:19  

We do lots of different things. So we run a Work Experience Program, which also extends to working with City and Guilds group, as well as other strategic partners that we have. We also run our community events, which Adrian heads up where everyone in the company has time allotted per year, to take part in a number of different events that cover lots of different things.

Paul Westlake  0:40  

and do companies come to us for those sort of events? Or do we go looking for those?

Adrian Day  0:45  

A mixture really, we search every year, we try and find new opportunities, on average, we do around about sort of 10  or so events

Paul Westlake  0:55  

and what what was what things were done in the past?

Adrian Day  0:57  

Doing up old bicycles that are then been sold at a cheaper price to people locally, we've been involved in food banks, local food bank, so cooking and making food and distributing it to homeless people.

Paul Westlake  1:12  

So what, what's our driver for doing that, Sam?

Sam Spencer  1:16  

I think that there's two different reasons for it. So for the community stuff, I think it really helps to make us a kind of purposed like organisation. So it's really great for people that work here to feel engaged, people care a lot about what happens in their communities. And so it kind of really adds to some of the staff engagement that we have. So that's kind of that part in terms of the community side of it. And with the work experience, I think one of the really strong messages, which is quite different is that we're trying to give people that don't necessarily have those networks opportunities. So we do a lot of work in schools and colleges where Adrian and I and you Paul, have gone have gone in and talked about our industry, which not many people do know about. So it's kind of people don't know what they don't know, and going in and talking to people and then giving them a really great experience when they come here, which is tailored to them and what they're interested in and then at the end of it, we kind of help write their CV for them. And that's partly because it's it's great work for us to do that kind of locally and building Kineo as a brand. But also, it's it's good from a business perspective in that it helps to grow kind of our talent pipeline. And you know, we talk about kind of apprenticeships within City and Guilds group and other opportunities that people can have, because we're lucky enough that there's so many kind of organisations that are part of the group that we can actually kind of point people off in different directions. 

Paul Westlake  2:34  

You're right, when I've done those with local schools, I think the one thing always surprises me is how I think people have a preconceived idea of what working in our industry means and what a role working for us would also mean and it there's these preconceived ideas, I've got to be particularly technical or I've got to be a programmer, or it's aimed at a certain type of person, whenever I've done those in the local schools, you know, the amount of, you know, artists / people whose passion is story writing, for example, you know, how we can get them involved with scripting, or whatever it may be. So it really gives people a better understanding of maybe some of the things we can offer. I think there's that that idea of they know what our industry is about. But in reality, I'm not sure these people always do.

Sam Spencer  3:14  

I think it's exactly that. And I don't think people really understand like how kind of people's careers work either. So one of the things that we've done in talks, when we've had work experiences, they interview people, and they hear like such like kind of crazy stories of how people ended up in this job. And I think that's a really nice way of opening people's eyes up that you can have different careers in your lifetime. And there isn't a simple same route in. And I don't think they always realize what some of the roles entail, or that it can actually be quite cool, because we work with so many companies that you get experience of working with really big names, even though you're kind of working in a smallish office environment.

Unknown Speaker  3:52  

So Adrian you said about the the community days that we do, and people could put their name down to do those. So today, is that part of their work day? Or did they do that in our own time? How's that work?

Adrian Day  4:03  

It's part of their work day, I mean, they can be self initiated as well, it doesn't necessarily mean that we have to always organise it as a as a group. So if people want to get involved with something, maybe at their children's schools or things like that, they can go ahead and do that.

Sam Spencer  4:20  

So I didn't join some of the community days that were organized, but I use the time that I kid to go and volunteer as a mentor for the girls network. And I did that across the year. Because yes, it tallied up to be the same amount of time that someone would spend if they were going to do one of the kind of pre arranged or community days.

Paul Westlake  4:37  

So why would we, if it's not daft question, why would we invest that time though? What's in that for us as a business to do that? I mean, we're obviously these people aren't doing this in our own time. We're still paying these people with potentially losing work time to do that. Is it just it's the right thing to do or is there a bigger picture here?

Adrian Day  4:54  

Partly but you know, that that element of brand awareness, you know, we go out there we talk to people they're interested in why are we doing it? They asked the same question you're asking really, and I think we've never come out with an ultimate answer. It's, I think it was it was inspired by, you know, other, I suppose a lot larger corporate companies, having seen them around places. And I just thought, well, it's something we should do get involved. You know, we do lots of things like you say with schools, you know, and, and it's just sort of worked. I think over the years.

Sam Spencer  5:32  

Kineo has always been kind of a really values driven organisation. And actually, it's really important for the culture and the people that work here to be part of their community. And that's not just in Brighton, that's kind of wherever anybody lives, I think Adrian made a great point that, you know, it's self initiated. So if someone has a really good idea that they want to do something here, and we can also do kind of fundraising and things like that, you know, it's part of Kineo, it's part of our culture, and has been for a really long time. And in a lot of the recruitment that I do is the question that people are asking, what do you do around kind of community? And so actually, from a business perspective, it's a really great sell to get really good people to come and work with us.

Adrian Day  6:10  

People don't just want a job, like in all these other industries, they want an experience. So you know, it really adds to that, you know, when we certainly when me and Simon have interviewed people. And we've often said to them, I you know, and we do this, and we do these activities, and are you any good at volleyball, you know, so we, there's so many different arms to it really, you know, it's, I think it's really good.

Paul Westlake  6:36  

And I think that culture comes across to our clients as well, which I think could only be a good thing. So we do come across as that almost always that trusted advisor that you know, someone who can be relied upon, you know, is all of the work I see us doing with the community. In some ways, it's building into this sort of Trust Bank, isn't it? You know, you never know when you might have to make a withdrawal on that trust. And, you know, you don't know what's going to happen, but it's not. It's doing it for the right reasons. I think as soon as it's the right thing to do.

Sam Spencer  7:05  

Definitely. And I think we've also strengthens the partnerships that we have as well. So we've had people that have approached us for work experience, but they want to do video, so we kind of put them in touch and arranged it with one of our kind of video partners. And the same for VR. So it's also strengthening the connections that we have with our strategic partners as well.

Paul Westlake  7:24  

So do we take that step further? Should we take people from colleges and bring people in? Have we done that sort of thing in the past?

Adrian Day  7:30  

Yes, we've even brought in some some of our clients, children as well, you know, if they've asked do you run any of these sort of programs, my son is a graphic artist or is, is into programming, and we brought them in, you know, and really given them an insight into what it is like to work in an organisation.

Sam Spencer  7:53  

I think the the days that we've had so we were part of a talent 2017 program that was run by Wired Sussex, and we ran two programs where we had kids coming in from City Colleger, but also from Deviate, which is an apprentice kind of training provider. And we ran kind of a creative brainstorm session. But I think what's different with what we do is that they, people that come in, don't kind of make tea and coffee run errands, you get them doing real work, real project work. That's kind of structured around kind of their skills and capabilities. So in the creative sessions that we ran, we did a brainstorm on an old RFP that we had. So actually, we create a safe space for people to feel creative. And they took huge amounts away from it as did with the people that are involved in running it. 

Paul Westlake  8:39  

In some ways by doing that, I guess we gain a different perspective on some of the stuff we're creating, you know, if you bring in a group of younger people, or maybe looking at an RFP that we've completed in the past, maybe we get a different look at what's going on in the industry anyway.

Unknown Speaker  8:52  

And sometimes those people are the target audience, actually the content that we're developing. So we've also broadened out from a business perspective where we've got people to do user testing for us. And that has been really great actually getting kind of getting real young people that would be using our content to be testing it and working with us.

Adrian Day  9:10  

We did that with one of the people that came in, he got to work on some Adapt Photoshop work. Having had contacts with the local college, we got a few people in the helped us do some of the programming on our website. And then from actually going out into the local colleges, we've got a member of art team guy, Willis, who I did a talk to about four or five years ago, and he remembered that and when the job came up, he applied.

Paul Westlake  9:40  

I think we do a lot of stuff internally as well that maybe we don't make big song and dance about. And in fact, I think it's fair to say we don't make a big song and dance about most of the stuff we do in the community. We do it because we believe it's the right thing to do rather than doing it because we're looking for the publicity off the back of it. Now obviously there is some you could argue some sort of free marketing on the back of that, I'm sure anyone who's been on one of those sessions has gone home to their parents, I'll get a really good day with Kineo, we'd hoped they would had a really good day with Kineo today, and they, you know, who knows what question they're gonna ask, you know, who Kineo? What do they do? So that's one way to, I'm thinking as an example, I know we do a photo competition, don't we, where, you know, people can vote on those, based on a theme each week. And, and again, it's not just doing it, because it's a fun thing to do. But we do that and raise money from the back of it, don't

Adrian Day  10:27  

Yeah, we do quite a lot of fundraising, I think that's something we've always done, it does add that sort of fun element doesn't mean, it's great to have a break from the norm of just constantly doing the work side of things. And I think it really gives people that sort of break, I don't think you often get that I think people really love that collective sort of getting together to, to do something for the good of someone else.

Sam Spencer  10:54  

And our clients really like that as well. So Adrian I and a few others did our 10k obstacle run last year to raise money. I was chatting that to a client. Turns out, he's really into it, he done it in Yorkshire. And what we might do is the two teams, so his team and the Kineo team that he's been working with for the last year, we might all go and do it together kind of in September. And that's, that's amazing. And that's just through kind of informal chatting.

Paul Westlake  11:17  

No, you're absolutely right.  One of my clients was exactly that, interested in coming down to Brighton as well, I can't do that they were doing one of our community days, and they want to join us on it. As a client, they said, Well, can we come and join that community day, you know, one of their internal drivers is that they should go out and do work with local charities and the like. And I think in some ways, because we've almost organized it, they're quite happy to jump on the back of that. And it's actually a really nice team building opportunity between myself and that client as well. And it can't do any harm, you know, in the picture it paints of Kineo.

Adrian Day  11:50  

Good point there about the team building, I mean, you you know, we're in a company that's got 130 hundred and 150 people and you don't know everyone, yeah, so it does break down that barrier, you know, going out for a day with 10 other people to put up a tea tent and you know, and mucking in it's just it's just great to see people come back, Having different discussions and you know, cross team cross disciplines

Paul Westlake  12:17  

Whatever initiatives we get involved with them.

Adrian Day  12:19  

So we do, we did a Mental Health Awarness Week. That was really good, really interesting. So we put on a lot of events. Like we did lunchtime yoga, lunchtime Tai Chi sessions, we did a mindfulness course, you know, to raise awareness and obviously to, you know, give that give that break to people there again, formulating new groups, new bonds, and having that shared interest, getting people to talk about it a little bit more. 

Paul Westlake  12:49  

So Sam if someone was listening to this, and maybe would like their group to come and visit us or work with us, or they're looking to maybe looking to get a work placement for one of their children, or how do they get involved, what can they do?

Sam Spencer  13:02  

Just need to pop a quick email, so they can send it to And that will get shared with kind of myself and Adrian who run a lot of these programs, and then we'll get in touch.

Your speakers are

Adrian is Creative Director at Kineo and oversees all creative output from concept to delivery across a range of disciplines. He manages and mentors Kineo's graphics team as well as being hands on in the creation of interactive learning material.
Paul was previously a Solutions Consultant at Kineo.
Sam worked as Kineo's Learning Content Production Manager, looking after all aspects of production in the UK and supporting our overseas offices. As one of our most experienced and competent project and programme managers, Sam specialised in the setup of large and complex programmes of work. She worked at Kineo for over nine years and also ran the work experience and community projects for Kineo.