How can we be intentional about making ourselves better? We ask that regularly around here. Ah, precious time — that finite resource that always seems in short supply!
We designed this thing called Factory Week to set aside one week, twice per year, to knock out our ever-growing wish list. We plan ahead to put client projects on hold for the week, and devote the whole team to things that challenge us and ultimately improve our client work. While we’re at it, we share our progress openly, with our full team of brand ambassadors blogging and tweeting as we go.
“Factory Week gets stuff done. It creates efficiencies across the board, the team loves it and I can promise you — it's a great all around investment. Don't be afraid, you can do it!”
- Jeb Banner, CEO
Factory Week gives everyone a deadline. At the beginning of the week, we’re usually overwhelmed. It builds leadership across our entire team because everyone’s pushing toward big, shared goals. By the end of the week, we’re celebrating our accomplishments (a party at the end is a must if you ask us!).
Fact: this website was mostly written, designed and built during our January 2013 Factory Week.
One day, as we were thinking about ways to focus on ideas and projects that’d make SmallBox a better company, we thought: Wouldn’t it be great to get away for just a week — like we’re going to camp? We started thinking about Andy Warhol’s studio, the factory. It was famous for groundbreaking gatherings between artists and musicians. We loved the dynamic that image produced — coming together and collaborating in ways that produced great things. And thus, Factory Week was born.
With a whole slew of unrealized ideas and projects in the queue, CEO Jeb Banner committed the SmallBox team to the first Factory Week in June 2011. We tackled almost a dozen projects including the creation of a company manifesto, the design and development of a content gathering tool, formalizing our own marketing plan, redecorating (and cleaning) our offices and, most importantly, uniting the team with a stronger sense of purpose. We've been hooked ever since.
"That sounds amazing - I want to do that too!"
We actually hear this a lot. So much that we've begun to facilitate Factory Week (or even Factory Days) for other organizations. You're free to take the idea and run with it on your own, or you can contact us about designing your own version.
Discussing Creative Collaboration... Collaboratively
I was recently in a Twitter conversation with my buddy Ken Honeywell from Well Done Marketing. We were debating how bad creative gets made and then run, and run, and run... I argued that a healt