Seeing Through the Fog: How Motiv Embraced Change and the Unknown


I don’t remember a feeling of denial—only dread. It was Monday, March 16 and we had just made the decision to have our employees work from home. In a very real way, everything was about to change.

What we didn’t know at the time but have learned in the seven months since, Motiv is remarkably well-positioned to weather the storm. Part of it is our agility—we’re used to inventing and re-inventing as parameters change. Part of it is community—we’ve always relied on a close-knit team. And part of it is luck—because, let’s face it, luck always plays a part. Here’s how we’re making progress in this challenging time.

Keep the Culture

When it comes to agility and flexibility, well, we’ve got that in spades. We’re rapid prototypers and improvisors. But we’re also people who usually spend a lot of time together, tossing ideas around and building off each other’s half-baked notions. Back in the pre-Covid days, we’d start our mornings caffeinating around the office coffee bar—so we kept it going with our morning Zooms. At first, it felt a bit forced and unnatural, but with time it became a way to open up and share, and eventually evolved to different topics and even games. We became more open, more vulnerable and more empathetic. We knew we were there for each other and had each other’s backs.

Welcome the New

The line between client and friend is mighty blurry at Motiv. When a client reached out to us and others in his network solely to bring us together and talk regularly about business, life and the challenges of both, we gladly accepted. Together, we discussed finding opportunities of all kinds in the crisis—operational opportunities, collaborative opportunities and new business opportunities. We shared our epiphanies, and even more importantly, we shared our fears. The external support network became a cherished part of our day-to-day, and now it’s a permanent part of the way we work.

Build Your Own Luck

Years ago, Motiv made the decision to focus on home-related products, and consumers have never before spent this much time at home. When people discover they lack culinary skills, our hot sauce client can help. When they realize how messy a stay-at-home family can be, our robot vacuum client is there. When they need to pack some more nutrition into their bodies, our blender clients have it covered. No doubt, we got lucky—but there were pitfalls: supply chains were interrupted, consumers weren’t filling stores and our clients were shifting gears to amp up their direct-to-consumer offerings. But we stayed the course, creating packaging and products to bring consumers what’s next. Because we know: there will be a next. People have an innate need for creature comforts, simplicity and an environment around them that works.

Imagine What Can Be

That’s our tagline, and it’s never been more relevant. It doesn’t mean we get to ignore reality—but it means we have control over how we react to it and shape it. Staying true to our culture, forging deep connections with clients, and seeing opportunities through the fog of uncertainty has made us a better team. We’re not sure what’s next, but we’re sure we’ll be a part of it.

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