“To solve the everyday people’s problems”: Seminar in Yandex
On October 19, 2019, a seminar was organized at Yandex as part of the Mikhail Gershman’s course “Managing Creativity and Innovation”. It was led by Ekaterina Shor, Senior Key Accounts Development Manager, graduate of the Master’s Programme “Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation”.
The seminar consisted of two parts. During the first part Ekaterina gave a brief overview of Yandex corporate culture. Yandex is the leading Russian multinational company with 30 offices in 10 countries. It specializes in Internet-related products and services, including transportation, search and information services, eCommerce, navigation, mobile applications, and online advertising providing over 70 services in total. It was very amusing when Ekaterina asked how many Yandex applications the students had on their phones. The highest number was 7 which was a true-life illustration of Yandex mission – “To solve the everyday people’s problems”. Such key pillars as corporate values, free information flow, learning opportunities, facilitation of working process and great emphasis on human capital create a unique culture for self-realization at Yandex. The students were excited with the talk and asked Ekaterina a storm of questions regarding Yandex corporate culture and job opportunities.
During the second part of the seminar the students were divided into two teams. The task was to develop and present the principles of corporate culture for two startups – a video games developer and a creative agency. The students were given 30 minutes to reflect on such issues as: mission and vision, core values, hiring process, incentives and rewards for creativity, working place and communication with colleagues. The exercise was well facilitated, and the teams came up with great ideas, such as, for example, creating mid-terms – job internships with potential employment for middle-aged people.
The seminar ended up with the discussion of key drivers of creativity within the companies and of how creativity might impact corporate culture of such institutions as universities, banks or public sector organizations. Students agreed that major shifts in corporate culture will be “bottom-up” driven by creative individuals.
After the seminar, Ekaterina conducted a short tour within the Yandex office. The students asked questions in an informal setting and have found open and creative spaces were attractive.
Author: Ana Sandrovskaya, student of the Master’s Programme “Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation”.