?What If! Innovation

  www.whatifinnovation.com
  www.whatifinnovation.com
There are newer employer reviews for ?What If! Innovation

9 people found this helpful  

It's All About the Image

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

I have been working at ?What If! Innovation

Pros

This review is generally for Support roles: Producer/Coordinator

Great benefits and amazingly talented (and mostly genuine) people. Excellent parties, vacation time (25 days), free food, beautiful building, open work environment. If you get on the right team, you'll have a fun time and develop useful skills for the future. There's a lot of eye candy.

All in all, its a good entry-level job, with amazing perks, but only stay for a short while - don't plan on developing your career there (unless you're an innovation consultant, but even then...).

Cons

Where to start...

Everything at What If is about how you look on the outside. If you don't constantly have a smile on your face, you're OUT. If you express frustration, even to HR, you're OUT. You show feelings of discontent to the wrong person, you're out. Many that I have spoken to in a support position is dissatisfied with their role, yet nothing is going to change because no one is allowed to voice their opinion. Those in the support role are in a state of fear for losing their jobs.

The company has used the recession to hire very talented, smart, fresh out of school/grad school people, misleading them into positions way below their qualifications, underpaying/under-appreciating/undervaluing them. There is no track for growth unless you come in as a Consultant ("Inventor"), which in that case is clear: Junior, Mid-level, Lead, Director. They refuse to promote anyone in a support role, even though (generally) all of those employees are well-suited for a more content-based, higher-level position. It's just that they don't acknowledge college-graduates have aspirations and don't wish organize their life around being a career admin. If you go in as a support person (Producer or Coordinator), beware that you will be stuck in that same role for as long as you are employed with What If. In the interview however you will be misled into thinking you can move up into whatever position you desire. (Just ask them how many Producers/Coordinators have been promoted to another role in all of What If NY's history: Research, Junior level, etc.) - it will be ZERO. Discontent is rampant throughout...
Morale is at an all-time low...

What If is a company that preaches to its clients: "You can build up anyone in your company, just develop a more transparent, open, encouraging environment." Well, model this yourself. Don't put your full trust in the People Team (HR, Recruiting) - they want you to think that it is okay to come to them when you have a problem. This is true, they do, but it is not to render solutions, it is to harshly evaluate and develop a superficial opinion about you.

The company has grown rapidly, doubling in size since last year, so financially, we're doing well, but it's not sustainable. There is no infrastructure to support this growth. Some Directors are underutilized, while others are way overworked. Business practices are misguided and solid foundations are just not there. Maybe this will develop over time, but not until Senior Management acknowledges the issue.

Besides the above question, ask the following in an interview:
1. What is your turn-over rate for Producers/Coordinators?
2. Why did the person before me leave?
3. Don't ever accept the first offer -it's shitty.
4. What position could I realistically grow into and how long would that take? or How long do you expect me to stay in this role?
5. What skill set would I gain from my role - concrete examples?
6. What percentage of the Producer role is packing suitcases and blu-tacking boards on walls?
7. How many hours does a Producer REALLY work? (it's not 9-6 as advertised)
8. Can I speak with a Producer/Coordinator solo?
9. Who has hiring/firing power over me?
10. How has the company culture changed within the past year? I understand there have been a good number of lay-offs/firings and hirings.

Don't get distracted by the great benefits or all the beautiful people.
Advice: If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. (cliche, yes)

Advice to ManagementAdvice

You're building the pyramid upside down and if you don't Realize, it will soon topple over. Promote! You say you care about the people, then actually CARE about them! Stop hiring so many Directors until you can develop a structure to support them!

Doesn't Recommend
No opinion of CEO

18 Other Employee Reviews for ?What If! Innovation (View Most Recent)

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    A business dedicated to supporting my personal excellence in support of our clients' business.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at ?What If! Innovation

    Pros

    Highly creative and based in sound business principles, everyday we are on the front lines of innovation. We have the privilege of escorting our clients into the future businesses they want to be.

    Cons

    Innovation is not for everyone. It is taxing and often frustrating work, and it often takes years to see market results.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We have to always, always stay focused on the people who are the heart of our offering. It is our collective talent for which we are hired, never any single process or point-of-view.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Should not have joined on reflection - would have been better suited to smaller outfit with more hunger

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Inventor in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Inventor in London, England (UK)

    I worked at ?What If! Innovation full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great building (recently refurbished), good clients and good spirit -people genuinely care for each other. Gentle atmosphere. Very good pay and benefits.

    Cons

    Basically a USA business now and uk takes all direction from NYC office.
    Hq is in NYC now and leadership style different now.
    Global transfers one way only (NYC to London). The management team lacking spirit since some key people "left" .
    Sleepy and lacking in edge now - can't describe it but lack of edge/fight left

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire some fresh leaders in uk -too many people who are comfortable and not looking to generate new approaches,
    Start again - divide into two companies and compete against each other to get some energy

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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