"The chef always eats last"
It's hard to get your own stuff done. We have gotten really good at client projects but we stink at our own projects. Ok, maybe we don't "stink" but it is so easy to put off something we want to do when there is a client (paying) project needing our attention. Our clients appreciate and value our services. That's a wonderful thing. But we have trouble staying as focused on our own projects and ideas.
So this June we are taking a week (6-10th) off to work on internal projects. We are calling this Factory Week after Andy Warhol's Factory in NYC which was perhaps the first modern co-working space that also focused on artistic collaboration and production. Making ideas happen. The Velvet Underground rehearsing next to a film being shot next to a screen printing operation.
SmallBoxers are currently submitting their ideas to a Basecamp project. Conversation threads are refining the ideas. The Monday after next we will vote on the ideas via a web form sent out to the team. We may even send a clone of that form out to the public to see if they are excited about any of the ideas. So far we have several small/medium suggested Apps, enhancements to our website, redecorating our office and many others. It's been fun to discuss these ideas at our weekly lunch meetings.
Taking a week from billable work won't be easy or cheap but we are committed. We are notifying our active clients and making sure, in advance, that no projects will suffer. We will be providing our usual support to clients that need help during the week. We are also looking for a space to relocate for the week, preferrably near Broad Ripple. Let us know if you have any ideas. Needs to be able to accomodate 15 people, have really good wi-fi and preferably some white boards. If you have this kind of space let us know what you need for our 5 day invasion.
On Friday all the teams will present what they worked on during the week. We will also spend some time working on our company Manifesto which has been in process for the last month or so- see our Word Cloud experiment.
Our goal is to leave this week as a stronger, united team. One that has also done some creative and innovative work to show the world. So yes, there is a marketing angle to all of this. We will be posting our progress via Twitter and this blog and maybe via a Tumblr account as well. If this week goes well I hope to do it again on a regular basis.
Stay tuned and let us know what you think!