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Kalin Dimtchev: Creativity is the New Productivity

Kalin Dimtchev, the Country Manager for Bulgaria & Multi Country at Microsoft gave the welcome note at SlavConf Virtuality. He shared his thoughts on creativity, technology and culture and how they blend together in Microsoft.

The talk started with a question – what is more important: time being creative or time being productive? According to Kalin “It’s always been a compromise but the truth is they are the same, or at least they are now in the modern day. New technologies are transforming our efficiency. We are free to be more creative, to push our ideas further and to share them in a better way, but in essence this is productivity. So, how can we achieve more and do more by being creative? It is not always that when we achieve more, we need to do more. Too often when we focus on productivity it is seen as a barrier to creativity. In fact, our research shows that 75% of the people think that they are not up to their highest level of creative potential. Also, 80% of the employees feel pressured to be more productive, rather than to be more creative. Successful leaders nowadays in organisations of different sizes are the ones who build a culture where ideas are valued and are used in real life business.”

He shared some statistics based on Microsoft’s recent research which illustrate the link between creativity and business productivity and the conclusions of some of the current success strategies. 75% of the leaders now think that creativity is the new productivity. 90% of the same leaders believe that the culture in their organisation that encourages creativity is one of their top 5 investments. 84% of them believe that new technology will help to be more creative.

Kalin Dimtchev also presented the career opportunities at Microsoft and gave some tips and insides on what they would be looking for in a prospective candidate.

Here are some of the key elements a newcomer needs to join the creative team in Microsoft:

  •       Specific examples from the past jobs they had
  •       Be prepared to share your thoughts and show what’s on your mind
  •     Demonstrate a level of understanding of the company’s business, their core priorities and how the role contributes to the overall company missions
  •       Ask questions about the position
  •       The first impression is important, but it is not everything
  •       There is no need to impress or to dress up specially
  •       Show authenticity and unique perspectives
  •       Show integrity, ability to be resourceful and creative
  •       Demonstrate a growth mindset, always learning and showing curiosity

Another important aspect of the current work environment is the modern hybrid working model. Here is what Kalin mentioned about Microsoft’s strategy and plans for the future: “In the past couple of years we are starting to go more and more into a hybrid work environment. Most people nowadays prefer a hybrid work environment that provides flexibility to support individual work styles. For most roles the working time from home is almost 50% looking as a standard option, depending on a specific role. The past couple of years have left a lasting imprint of what is the requirement of how people work. Our latest research shows that employees are asking for flexibility in a hybrid way, the possibility to work from the office or somewhere else.”

In conclusion he stated: “Many managers and leaders that are now making their decisions for the future need to adapt to the way that teams work and to their requirements. They also need to establish and maintain a new digital corporate culture to fulfil the needs of their employees.

What would be a collaborative digital culture that can help bridge geographic distance, improve efficiency and drive innovation? This is possible to be achieved with the proper and most modern digital tools. For example, Microsoft has developed the first employee experience platform built for the digital era – Microsoft Viva. It brings together communication, communities, knowledge, learning, goals and insides right into the flow of teams to address key challenges in the hybrid work environment.

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