Image courtesy @freephotocc

Creative [X] Factory

People + Business Change Management

Business: Creative [X] Factory
Mission: Driving transformational change for organizations and brands. Helping young people discover their full potential for a meaningful career.
Francesca Mastrogiacomi, PhD
Founded: July 2017, London, UK. Brexited to Fano, Italy
Team: Founder + associates
Stage: Seed

Why did you found your startup? My background includes a lot of work across the digital landscape, including 12 years at Google, and exploring the connection between learning and organizational change.

Francesca Mastrogiacomi, Founder

Now, Creative [X] Factory feels like the fruition of my experience and expertise to date, namely through two goals.

Firstly, we partner with businesses to support their organizational development then scale their HR, people operations and strategic functions accordingly.

We see ourselves as bespoke partners who guide businesses through specific change management projects from design to implementation.

When implemented correctly, those projects have the potential to drive continuous digital transformation for their business and as an evolving digital brand.

Secondly, we’re also excited to be supporting consumers through an in-house project, the “School of My Dreams.”

This workshop helps youngsters hone in on their skills and own potential for creating a happy life in future.

We hope it’ll be the starting point for equipping a new generation with the skills they need to find what’s important to them in their future career but also how to do what makes them happy.

What problem is your startup aiming to solve? We want to make sure people harness their full range of “superpowers” to lead change and innovation. We want to turbo-charge individuals’ creativity, empathy, teamwork skills as well as the culture and diversity of a business.

The goal is to focus on the people-part of the digital world and make that more sustainable.

We believe innovation is human driven.

We aim to create sustainable professional growth for everyone and foster working environments that nurture that too.

What’s been the best part of your startup journey so far? Stakeholder engagement by far!

I’ve met some fantastic people out in the “real” world. From smart technology partners, creative content developers, caring and inspiring coaches, facilitators and agents of change, enthusiastic teachers, amazing youngsters, start-ups, incubators, educators, leaders, free thinkers, outliers, dreamers and believers — it’s been amazing!

It’s been refreshing to breathe a new air.

What’s been your worst startup experience to date? Having to take a “reality check” and move my business from the UK back to Italy. It felt like going backwards in terms of my business’ evolution. Once I headed home I needed to start from scratch, re-explore my concept and retest my hypotheses.

Image courtesy @zal3wa

It’s been a long journey to refine that vision and perfect different aspects like branding, shooting videos, scripting and honing crisp communications.

It’s been a painstaking process to iterate the sales pitch in front of real people, translate abstract futuristic concepts into words that get through and inspire people to believe change is possible!

In the end though, I firmly believe that work is worth it.

Did your experience at Google inspire or prepare you for this new role? I was lucky enough to have a very diverse 12-year career there based across a number of European offices. That experience helped me discover the business areas I was most passionate about, my own strengths and how to apply them to help others.

What did you do at Google?Initially I started off supporting sales teams with digital marketing strategy for their clients in Italy. Then I led sales operations and strategy first for Google Italy followed by the entire SEEMEA sales region.

After that I moved to the London office to design innovative new learning solutions for brands to educate and engage with their customers in the digital realm. Those sets of experiences gave me the inspiration to continue helping brands and people grow.

Image courtesy @alicegrace

How has your time at Google helped you in your new career? I learned how to analyze a business need through to implementing strategic projects at scale that have a global business impact.

It’s all about asking powerful questions and learning how to lead as an outsider.

For me, the secret is staying close to your target user and believing anything is possible by applying a little creativity, perseverance and good project management!

Google is a fantastic platform that helped me build this set of skills. It’s given me a business network and reputation.

Ultimately, it’s given me the confidence to go out there and do whatever it takes to make this world a better place.

What does being a “Xoogler” mean to you? I’m ambivalent. Being at Google for 12 years means I feel very attached to the community. However I’m also striving to reach beyond those boundaries now. To quote Groucho Marx: “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.”

Image courtesy @tobiasc

The “X” is in my logo stands for the “X factor” in each of us. That element that needs to be expressed more fully to achieve true personal happiness. I’m happy embracing this unknown quantity in myself right now too.

How can the Xoogler community help you accomplish your future business goals? I’d love to connect with anyone developing engaging AI learning platforms or techniques for fully personalizing the learning experience.

Thanks Francesca!