“The way a team works has an enormous influence on what it can do. The process, the methods, the practices, the approach, the discipline, the trust, the communication style, the pace. The way—the how—is foundational and fundamental.”
These are the first words from Jason Fried’s Shape Up, which I highly recommend to all of you for a quick read that packs a punch when it comes to internal processes and company culture challenges you may be facing. Since 2010, I’ve modeled much of our company’s internal ethos after that of Fried’s company, Basecamp (a tool we know, love, and use daily internally).
Transparency lies at the core of our brand identity. It’s why we put together our Playbook, a comprehensive peek-behind-the-curtain on our day to day processes, systems, tools, and values. We value this transparency and want clients, potential clients, and potential candidates to clearly understand what we do, how we do it, and why we do it, as part of their initial introduction to our company. Before they ever pick up the phone or send us an email, we want them to feel like they know and trust us, and jive with the way we do things.
I direct you over to our Playbook to learn everything you ever wanted to know (and then some). The “holy” trinity of how we work as a team is made up of collaboration, communication, and innovation.
We collaborate early and often every step of the way throughout each project we take on. We also understand the importance of not over-collaborating and value independent heads-down time. Unlike a traditional creative agency environment, we invite our clients to be true collaborators in the process. No, they’re not putting pen to paper designing a new logo, but through every step of the branding and creative process, our client’s expertise, perspective, and background influence the direction we take and the decisions we make. This demands motivated, invested clients that keep up the momentum and stay committed to the project.
We’re honest and direct with our communication. Don’t like something? Tell us. Love something? That’s nice too. We invest ourselves fully into the work we do but understand that the final product is for the people and clients we serve. Encouraging this direct, honest, at times critical feedback internally and in client-communication leads to the best final product and the most efficient result. Internally, we’re constantly communicating in-person, through Slack, by phone, and any other means necessary to limit confusion and inefficient communication.
We’d rather be challenged to create something better or new than stay the safe course on what’s been done before. We push ourselves internally through ongoing professional development by each and every team member and stay on the leading edge of the creative community in everything we do. We’re a small company that creates big results, and our size allows us to be nimble. Don’t know how to do something? There’s room to learn and grow from 9-5 and each of us is constantly bettering ourselves and our respective crafts.
Our “why,” what wakes us up in the morning and motivates us day to day, defines how we work together as a team and with our clients. Which is why getting to the bottom of that “why” with our clients is so critical to developing a purposeful brand. What makes them tick – what drives them and inspires them, all plays a huge role in brand development.