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Seeing the Storyteq core values in action: team trip to Lisbon

In May, the Storyteq team went on a team-building excursion to the cobbled streets of Lisbon, one of the most charming European cities after our own beloved Amsterdam. The many hills and viewpoints there offer different perspectives of Lisbon, and seeking different perspectives, or frames of mind, is exactly what we aimed to do with each other on this trip. Read on to understand how these few days away helped us to anchor our team values and stay a unified force during this period of accelerated company growth.

Storyteq is in the business of scaling; we create, scale, and deliver digital content and creative assets daily for top brands around the globe. Lately, we are also scaling up our number of employees considerably. This means that we are seeing new faces around the office on a weekly basis, and it is important that these faces become familiar, fast. Especially as we mean to always uphold the values Storyteq stands for: 

Be bold
Move fast
Stay familiar

In order to do this, we believed it a good time to set aside some working days to create new memories, scale these new friendships, and deliver the fun which should complement our hard work of the last few years. We hoped that by dedicating this opportunity to getting to know one another we would make the team stronger and become even more inspired about our Creative Automation journey together. Connecting with each other is the main driver in creating the platform we want. 

So how did we observe these values in Lisbon? 

Be bold 

Snippets from our strategy session

Being bold is about taking the time to understand challenges really well, and then taking risks and executing a solution without hesitation.

In three days, we only “worked” for three hours, leaving the rest of the agenda for bonding. These three hours were allotted for a strategic alignment session, which took place at the artist space and restaurant Espaço Espelho d’Água

This gathering demonstrated our boldness in many ways. Firstly, the task assigned to us was bold: “Visualize Storyteq in 2026”. We needed to think big, and our whole team proved that we have no issue with aspiring to achieve big ambitions. For example, as Koen from Development has claimed, we will have an additional two offices elsewhere in the world. Where exactly? We don’t know yet, but it sure feels good to think about working from Hong Kong or Cancun.

But perhaps the boldest part of the whole event was the fearlessness that everyone displayed. The teams, which were purposely mixed with members across departments, were instructed to deliver the presentation in a creative fashion: maybe through a piece of artwork, as a song or rap, in a dramatic play, or whatever unboring medium took our fancy. We all stepped out of our comfort zone slightly in order to feel a closer connection to each other. And we had such fun as a result.

Bring on 2026, so we can see how accurate our visualizations were. You never know about the campaign-optimizing robot Bot-dan (our Partnerships manager Bogdan) and the Guardian of the Templates, current developer Matthieu.

Trying the local delicacies of francesinha, bacalhau, and cherry port liqueur was also pretty bold, if you ask us. 

Move fast 

Our Managed Service team hard at work at the beach restaurant

Moving fast is about staying ahead of the curve and adapting quickly to keep adding value for our clients.

After a late Thursday night on the famous pink street, in a bar which our whole team frankly took over, we moved fast on the Friday morning and retrieved all of the jackets and other belongings we left behind. But that of course is not what we mean by moving fast in Storyteq…

Staying ahead of the curve is easily achieved when our strategic sessions are as focussed and determined as the one mentioned earlier. But adapting quickly was proven in other ways. 

Our dedicated Customer Success and Product Development teams were on top of their game and quickly acted to solve issues for our top clients while on Carcavelos beach in Lisbon. Bringing a whole new meaning to “remote” working. Laptops were pulled out of luggage on the beach deck chairs; a seamless transition from ocean swim/piña colada mode to work mode. While this was a designated work trip, our priority was still those clients in need of our assistance, as the many phone calls taken in our transfer vans and taxis proved. 

Stay familiar 

Eyes on the road

Staying familiar means we can build an ecosystem of rich connections which extend to not only our solution but our clients as well. 

We definitely took the time and space to understand each other in Lisbon, undoubtedly. At least 25 of us shared a swim in the Atlantic ocean, we sang Backstreet Boys in a tight circle in the pink street bar under our siege, and we had a spontaneous group waltz to the sounds of a street musician, swapping partners across the Chiado tiles. If you don’t call that bonding, then we don’t know what is. 

One organized activity that helped people become familiar with one another was the GoCar scavenger hunt experience. This entailed driving in small quad-like cars with a map, working together to solve clues and accomplish tasks scattered around the city. Taking on this challenge in pairs not equalled lots of laughter and a memorable way to get to know each other.

To represent this sense of group cohesion, we were also emblazoned in Storyteq wares, from head to toe. A hat, a t-shirt, and flip-flops completed the look, and it meant no one was left behind, because they would be too hard to miss! 

The results

Three really is the magic number. In three days, there were three important takeaways:

1. A sense of belonging was felt:

New friends were made cross-departmentally, making office interactions easier for everybody, no matter the role. Daria, Junior Video Automation Developer, even said she would feel lonely without her Storyteq family when she got home to her own place in Amsterdam.

2. A shared vision for the future was conceived:

Throughout our team brainstorming afternoon, we asked ourselves “Where are we coming from? Where are we now? Where are we going? And how will we get there?” And then we plotted that route together.

As it was put by Jeroen, our AfterEffects product owner, we ensured here that our “noses are all pointing the same direction in terms of our goals”.

3. A deeper understanding of each other’s background was formed: 

Our unique experiences and stories about our cultural upbringings were shared abundantly throughout this trip, strengthening our bonds unequivocally. Knowing the challenges our colleagues have faced in their past gives us better insight into working with them day-to-day.

It also helped that Will, Customer Success Manager, is from Brazil and consequently had the best Portuguese food recommendations!

We are already counting down the days until next year, as feedback from the whole team has been hugely positive. But where?! Only one thing is certain: wherever we end up will be hard to top Lisbon, but in the end, the people are what make it special.

Join the team 

We are still multiplying in numbers and currently have many job openings in our Sales, Product Development, and Managed Services departments. 

If you want to take a deeper look into whether you’d be a good fit, check out our blogs about the yearly company outing and cultural diversity in our office. 

Jun 2, 2022
Jenni D'Alton
Content Marketing Writer
Jenni hails from Ireland and describes herself as an avid explorer, a sentimentalist, and a connoisseur of trash TV. When she is not consuming every latest film or collection of short stories in her midst, she is out discovering new places to dine or dance in.

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