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Every two years Cognito holds a conference for all staff. Later this month, we’re holding ours in Istanbul, the city defined as where ‘West meets East’. Colleagues from all over the world will fly in for three days of meetings, presentations and events. ‘Cognicon’ – as this bi-annual gathering is known as – is perhaps an unusual investment but an essential ingredient in our success. Here’s why. 

Strengthening Relationships

The quality of relationships in any organisation is a critical component to success. Having strong and diverse opinions, being able to disagree and make better decisions, while enjoying each other’s company and making improvements, matters most in developing strategies. When we work remotely and internationally you need to invest more in relationships to ensure a strengthened culture and togetherness. This is the essence of Cognicon.
As well as discussing the future of our industry, the company, and how we can add more value for clients and colleagues, we invest in Cognicon to improve our relationships. With many colleagues working daily with teams in different regions, three days spent together – in work and social/ informal situations – presents the opportunity to get to know people in a way you can’t on the screen. Travelling to an interesting destination provides bonding experiences and builds a collective history to help cement and evolve our culture. 

Excellence for Clients

The people and the ideas ultimately drive results for clients and the business. When relationships are better it enables our culture. Knowing people well helps develop transformational ideas, strategy and deliver better results. It allows us to cooperate by assumption rather than by negotiation. In a way, the culture can be defined not as what we say, but what we do without asking. Our intention is to ensure that the quality of our relationships within the business, means we can deliver better results and impact for clients. 
Our industry and markets are always changing fast – as is the media. Staying ahead of what’s next and what clients should be doing is always high up the Cognicon agenda. This year we’re also discussing our new brand (to be launched later in the year), what it means and how we imagine the next few years. But mostly, it’s about building a culture of excellent work, excitement about the future and fun. 
In working with Cognito, our teams in each regional and international colleagues, you’ll be exposed to the benefits of this collegial and cultural gathering that we prioritise as a business. We’re always keen to share the learnings and experiences with our clients and contacts, so be sure to ask your Cognito team how it went! 

Tom Coombes is the founder and CEO of Cognito