Burda International – Cooperation and innovation closer to the clients
Burda | Customer Stories

Burda International – Cooperation and innovation closer to the clients

Burda International PL is a Polish media group with some well-known magazines such as Elle, National Geographic, and FOCUS. But not only that. Burda in Poland transforms itself into a new media group by investing in new technologies connected to fashion. The best-known example is Showroom - a platform that brings together polish fashion designers to offer their clothes to clients.

The company constantly strives to develop in digital technologies, while valuing its own long-standing publishing tradition. It is an organization with over 20 years of publishing tradition, employing editors with many years of experience and job seniority. At the same time, it is a company with a complex structure having many editorial offices, products, and ways of making money on content.

Burda’s challenge

With 20+ years in publishing, people focus on their own products. For example, we focus on beauty, with lots of beauty journalists, but we’ve never consolidated the perspective.

Margaret Ann Dowling, Regional Director for Burda Poland and the Czech Republic

The main challenge of Burda is innovation in response to new, more holistic needs of clients. Traditional ways of making money on content such as publishing magazines and books are giving way to digital sources.

Readers want to have access to content in new forms - on websites or the phone. Meeting client needs should be holistic. When I read about fashion, I immediately want to have access to fashionable items that I can buy, to events that gather people around fashion, or to fashion creators.

To keep up with these needs and to be innovative, the potential and energy of employees should be released, and it is necessary to build a culture of agility, listen to the needs of customers, and experiment. And all this is among the complexity of many products and ways of monetizing them.

Network Perspective @ Burda

To build a culture of cooperation and innovation, it is worth building engagement, searching for new perspectives wile looking at everyday work, and unlocking the potential of employees. In the app, employees received feedback about their own work in the company. They know their closer and further cooperation relations, which allows them to quickly figure out who they work the most with, what can burden them, and which relationships they lack to create new solutions. They also know who appreciates them.

To capture the changing needs of clients and to respond to them efficiently, you need to build a client-centered culture. Data about the cooperation was displayed in terms of clients’ needs related in the case of women with beauty and lifestyle as well as home, garden, and food. For men, it was in the case of special interests.

In various categories, such as sales, digital, marketing or analytics, employees defined their skills and ideas for innovation. They also defined improvements and development needs to direct employees in directions consistent with their needs and the strategy of the company. This helped to create more effective working groups on projects and products.

Profiles of teams, editorial offices, magazines, portals, or people with the same skills made it easier to navigate the complex organizational structure and pointed out places where there is too much cooperation.

Effects

We’ve physically demonstrated to a large audience the missed opportunity by unexplored connections in the company.

Margaret Ann Dowling, Regional Director for Burda Poland and the Czech Republic

Data about the cooperation of all editorial offices gave a new perspective on thinking about created products and services. It was discovered where cooperation is missing and where there is too much of it. The missing connections gave space to create new solutions, and in places where there was too much cooperation, the internal processes began to downsize in the first weeks.

Based on this data, the company began to turn toward being closer to the client. New relationships were established by reducing employee engagement in internal processes. Thanks to the main views of work according to the needs of clients (for example, beauty, home, and garden), editors focused only on their product (for example, ELLE or FOCUS) began to work more outside the particular editorial office. They shared knowledge and ideas and exchanged created content, so it can work many times and in a variety of contexts.

Network Perspective is exactly what I was looking for to create engagement with the innovative process. It creates curiosity about other people in the company. Then they talk. When they talk, great ideas pop up, and they are enthusiastic. You can combine these people in new ways. I highly recommend it, it’s a good way to demonstrate the impact live.

Margaret Ann Dowling, Regional Director for Burda Poland and the Czech Republic

The network perspective also showed key employees: people supporting the work of others within teams and employees who were connectors within the office who were introducing digital solutions working between editorial offices. Also, people who have the most ideas for improvements and innovations and people who want to develop themselves. Thanks to this, the potential of many people was released, especially those young in terms of job seniority, who were previously unnoticed in the company.

We assume that the people that are the loudest have the most to say. In Network Perspective, you have quiet people, who have a lot to say. They have things to contribute. Full range of people.

Margaret Ann Dowling, Regional Director for Burda Poland and the Czech Republic

Feedback about your own work, changing cooperation paths, and the ease of reaching other people and teams have enabled showing the actual impact of each employee and each team on the work of the company as a whole. It began to build engagement.

I highly recommend Network Perspective; it’s a good way to demonstrate the impact live.

Margaret Ann Dowling, Regional Director for Burda Poland and the Czech Republic

Culture is developed and maintained in work habits and practices, information, and experience. In Burda, innovations indicated by employees began to be introduced, and connections that were created over 12 months about innovative projects became key in explaining how the work in a company changes as innovations are implemented.

Network Perspective has allowed me to see how our connections look after a series of different projects and events over 12-months, to see where new links are and connect them with product innovation.

Margaret Ann Dowling, Regional Director for Burda Poland and the Czech Republic

Data about cooperation was used when moving to a new office: cooperation of editorial offices, floors, and clients’ needs. Employees were located to facilitate cooperation, satisfy clients, share knowledge, and eliminate excessive cooperation in the implementation of internal processes.

Network Perspective helps us see the impact of our decisions and projects. We can quickly verify their effectiveness in building a culture of cooperation, innovation, and knowledge sharing.

Agnieszka Bieniak, Chief Human Resources Officer w Burda International Poland

The above text describes the cooperation we had with Burda International Poland in the recent past.

June 27, 2021

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