What do you get when you offer BatesMeroners an opportunity to hear from creatives on their biggest takeaways from 2017? A very excited staff, that’s what. Last week, our friends at Palmer Printing offered us the opportunity to do just that—plus a surprise finale we’re excited to share with all of you!
Palmer celebrated their 80th anniversary with a shindig that brought together a panel of creatives to speak on their best successes and toughest lessons learned in 2017. So naturally, we gathered ’round a cocktail table, chicken wings in hand, eager to take it all in.
The panelists were casual and candid, touching on topics from methodology to trend-talk—but there were recurring two subjects that have kept our minds churning ever since.
Process is simply your way of getting shit done. From on-boarding to tackling complex projects, popular practice dictates that it’s important to have some kind of system in place to ensure that all the boxes get checked and progress happens. As one speaker put it, “Not having a process is a huge deal.” Without a clear and reliable course of action things just fall apart.
Throughout the Q&A, each speaker chimed in at various points echoing that 2017 has been a year of “process tightening.” At BMSD, we believe that a process should be dependable, efficient—and flexible. So, we have a 6-step cycle that keeps us on track, creative and steady for every single project—big or small. We share this process at pitches and act it out daily. Every bee in our hive knows these steps, giving us the freedom to work as independently or collaboratively as needed to get things done.
Culture was the star of the evening, with audience questions and panelists circling back to the topic at every chance. Nurturing the right company culture seemed to be at the top of everyone’s 2017 priority list—even above process. One speaker even said that “culture eats process for breakfast”—a little twist on the Peter Drucker quote, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
Culture is one of those intangibles, it’s a chemistry that’s tough to quantify and it translates differently for different people but it’s function to a company is critical. Because at the root, a company with a great culture = employees who enjoy coming into work, who work better together and produce better work with less inefficiencies.
One panelist said that her approach to creating the right culture is to consistently ensure that employees feel safe and open to share, creating an environment for taking risks and thriving curiosity.
But a company’s culture isn’t just important to the employees that work there. People on the outside see it and take note—great culture is contagious. It offers a tiebreaker for why people should want to do business with you, work for you, purchase from you, visit you, follow you (I’m talking social media, not down a dark alley), etc. At BMSD, our culture starts with our manifesto—our commandments for how we operate.
Our manifesto helps us navigate situations of all magnitudes. Should we make this call? Should we hire this person? Do we work with this company? Should we pause everything and have a ping-pong showdown right this second? Ok, so we would never need to consult our manifesto for that last one—but hopefully you can see that this credo does truly act as a compass for our agency, laying the groundwork for a culture that is honest, hardworking and fun.
And now, the finale!
As an added treat, Palmer put out a call for wrapping paper designs to be entered in a contest where the winner would receive 100 rolls of custom gift wrap (quite nice to have on-hand around the holidays). BatesMeron submitted an original design from 2014 that features our festive office pets—and we are thrilled to announce that we tied for first place!
Thanks to Palmer, we’ve caught the giving spirit and would love to share our wrapping paper bounty with you! Share this post, tag us and let us know your thoughts on process and culture—and we’ll have a roll of BMSD wrapping paper with your name on it!
Do you have any teachable moments from 2017? Tell us all about it in the comments!