Week 81

Running a company is not only about having cool clients and doing a great job. It’s also about having full control about the financial situation.

It is amazingly easy to start a company. Yes, even in Germany.

I will admit that before we started Third Wave, I was heavily biased toward believing that the bureaucracy will be a pain in the ass when it comes down to formally start a GmbH, the German version of the Limited. It is not. The process – yes, I will dare say it – feels almost slick and requires a healthy amount of involvement. After all, it is not completely unreasonable to require a certain commitment of somebody to actually start a business.

Where it gets more tricky is the actual maintenance of a company. Besides getting all the cool projects that you are be looking for, and then executing the task in a way that exceeds expectations, you also need to understand how to create a financial plan that will help you do all this.

For a long time we didn’t manage to create a system to provide us with a quick overview of our short, mid and long term financial planning without much maintenance. By now, we’ve figured it out, step by step. So based on that information, we are able to plan our upcoming weeks and month more easily. When the books are full, we can shift slightly away from focusing on acquiring new business and invest some of the time in our own projects or publications (as you have seen over the last few months).

While we feel quite comfortable with how our systems works right now, there is still room for improvement. That’s why we gladly took up Peter’s father offer – who is a financial auditor with more then 30 years of experience – to take us through some of the basic and more advanced methods of running a company on a financial level. While we usually are the ones who give workshops and tell people how things work, it was a rather good experience to be sitting on the other side of the table and get some input that instantly felt actionable.

Third Wave meets Deutsche Postbank AG

Today we are happy to announce that Deutsche Postbank AG has commissioned us to be their lead agency for the development of their Social Strategy.

We hinted in our week notes that we won a big pitch and today we are happy to announce that Deutsche Postbank AG has commissioned us to be their lead agency for the development of their Social Strategy.

Pitching

As you very well know, we usually do not participate in pitches. Previous experience taught us otherwise. At first, we were reluctant to even participate in this pitch, but fortunately Postbank had good arguments for wanting us in this pitch. Our one condition to ourselves for this pitch was: no compromises.

Not that compromising is per se something evil. But pitches have often a very specific dynamic, and we wanted to use this one to show our full expertise, our conviction of how to approach Social as something that is substantial, complex and not only focused on technology (as in choice of platforms) or campaign-based.

The fact that we won certainly emphasizes that we are on the right track, but it also shows how much Deutsche Postbank AG understands what needs to be accomplished. Our commission comes with an extraordinary display of commitment and trust towards us. We are very well aware and excited about that.

What we will do

As you would imagine, we cannot go into details. There is a lot of real strategy work to be done. That includes an in-depth research phase, getting to know the company, communicating our decisions in a way that is understandable to every party involved. Big corporations are complex entities, full of individuals. Often enough the best strategies fail due to lack of explaining. To put in the words of our friend Matt Gierhart:

Don’t blame clients for not “getting” it. You didn’t tell the right story.

We are fully committed not only to tell the right story, but to create a fully operational framework for a strategy that works as a living organism and evolve over time. This will be a challenging task, no doubt about it. Globally, the future of finance is uncertain – and that is why now is the right moment to prepare, change and adapt. So far, we’ve experienced the work with one of the largest consumer banks in Germany as immensely gratifying and we are looking forward to collaboratively shaping the future of how social is applied in the finance sector.