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Lessons Learned: 2021


UME gets its name from “you and me”. As a collaborative design studio that brings  together independent strategists and creatives, we are continuously exploring this relationship between the individual and the collective. What does it mean to be autonomous, together? An essential part of this is in the very simple act of coming together, and doing so with intention. 

Every December we gather as a Studio to collectively reflect on the year past and set intentions for the year to come. We have found that creating space for celebration, sharing, and vulnerability is what reminds us that we are not alone. And that “you and me” are much more similar than we are different. Through celebrating the highs, reflecting on the lows, and cultivating lessons from them both, we help each other grow. We are brought back to the knowing that we are part of a larger whole. 

This became increasingly clear through how much overlap there was between our team’s individual reflections on the year. Even though the circumstances varied and members were spread across different locations, nationalities, life stages and beyond, we realized that we were all learning kindred lessons. And not only that, but those lessons are widely applicable far past the context of our Studio. As we all embark on a new year, with its new challenges, here are some core lessons for  navigating life and work.

  1. Trust yourself. This was one of the most common shared lessons among the members of our collective. The important reminder to listen to our instincts and trust our gut. In an over stimulating world that is continuously pulling us in so many different directions, we are reminded of how essential it is to reconnect with our inner knowing. 
  2. Let go of perfectionism. Another big one. Particularly as a team of high-achieving creatives, it can be tricky to navigate the fine line between a standard of excellence and perfectionism holding us back. In order to actually be creative we need to shed the fear of “not good enough” and be willing to experiment. Perhaps one of the most difficult lessons of all is being okay with making mistakes and “not knowing”. 
  3. Set clear boundaries. I can do it all, but do I need to do it all? Shifting the mindset that the only way to succeed at your job is giving 200% all of the time is something that our collective grappled with this past year. Similarly, we all kept coming back to how essential it is to set clear boundaries around our time and need for rest and regeneration. 

If you are working to transform your organization from the inside-out, reach out. The UME team is always here for you.

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