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&Co. / NoA: Securing the optimal work environment for creating great ideas

March 27, 2024

At creative agency &Co. / NoA, they decided to dedicate some of their working hours to dancing ballet. Not to help employees nail a plié, but to make sure that going to the office also meant being challenged, achieving personal growth as well as those great human experiences, you’d normally seek out in your time off. They danced ballet for 6 months before performing publicly on stage in Tivoli Gardens.

Securing the optimal work environment for creating great ideas

Creativity is fast becoming a priceless currency to any kind of company.

But creative ideas that change businesses and bottom lines require the right space – not only to work but also to thrive. At the creative agency &Co. / NoA, years of lockdown hadn’t made it any easier to create that space. In order to reclaim and redefine it in a way that went deeper than ping-pong tables and funky hangouts, they decided to do something drastic: They formed an in-house ballet company. For six months, ballet took center stage during office hours, igniting personal growth and work-life integration.

Stripping away titles and experience – and spending more than 2500 billable hours – it became a collective experiment that challenged and reunited the agency. Not only because they had an unusual, shared experience. But because the essence of that unusual idea was to jump out of everyone’s comfort zone and into the deepest of waters they could think of. Together.

To continuously create world-class creative ideas, the psychological safety of the work environment is fundamental to &Co. / NoA. If you don’t dare to share your half-baked and potentially ridiculous ideas, you won’t share those half-baked but potentially brilliant ideas either. Sharing those ideas, you don’t just need courage – you need the safety in knowing that it is okay to fail.

Ads rarely reach greatness if you can figure them out in advance. There needs to be an element of something that hasn’t been seen before. And in order to reach that point, those half-baked ideas are crucial. You must dare to explore all sorts of strange ideas, even those you have no idea how will end up. And dancing ballet was, in a very concrete way, serving as a reminder of just that.

At &Co. / NoA, there's an understanding of the fact that they, as a creative agency, don’t win international awards because they, for example, dance ballet. They create awarded creativity because they have a culture that allows for (and encourages) initiatives as unconventional as dancing ballet during office hours. A culture where both coworkers and management support those ideas. Because, essentially, it all comes down to two components when securing an optimal environment for creating great ideas: Openness and psychological safety.

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About &Co. / NoA

&Co. / NoA was founded in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2000. Over the past decades, the creative work flowing from the agency has continuously been awarded and praised internationally. In 2022, the agency was even named the best creative agency in the world. An accolade that takes dedication and a relentless belief in the power of creativity. A belief, that creativity is the fastest way to grow businesses, change hearts, and transform society. And it is through the combination of strategy, creativity, unselfish collaboration, and brave clients that &Co. / NoA is able to create work that both secures business results as well as travels the world.