Going into this past Factory Week, we had a sense that "Analog Friday" was the wrong name for what we want to accomplish on Fridays. We'd been using it as a placeholder, hoping we might have some space and inspiration during Factory Week to come up with something more fitting.
At the heart of it, we want to get lost in our work, to do nothing that drains us and to challenge ourselves to work differently. Analog Friday was challenging on a few fronts. For some of us, playing with designs in Illustrator or learning a new coding language is exactly where we want to be. While we want to be working with our hands and making stuff, it won't always be analog. Analog gave the impression we might ignore an emergency. No way would that happen ever. We care too much about our work. What we don't want to do is get sucked into responding to every email we get as it pings through, or to be crunching through laying out a large deliverable or report. And we decided we would not work on new business on Fridays, so no sales meetings. We want to be present in our community, to hang with our existing clients, to learn new stuff, to explore, create and rejuvenate.
During our inaugural "Analog Friday," Elizabeth and I partnered up to ideate on a new name that might capture all of that, yet not be too prescriptive. We started by listing out some of the words the team has used to describe what they want out of Fridays. We mindmapped around those words to generate new ones and talked about some of the themes that came up. Then we split up for some independent ideation and sketching.
When we came back together, we had a few handfuls of good options, and between the two of us, only one identical idea...
While there were some other interesting concepts, we both liked this one the best. I landed there because Elizabeth had been talking about a project her daughter had at school that required her to do some field research. That had put "field" in my mind, and I loved that it conjured up both a more serious research side, as well as playful connotations like outdoorsy field days or field trips. Elizabeth arrived there by a different means. I had brought up school-related words as a potential theme, citing Free Period or Study Hall as examples. This prompted her to ideate on what was fun about school, which led her to Field Day. I loved the spirit in this – that we arrived at the same idea, inspired by something the other person said.
As we talked about Field Day further, and how people refer to things they loved as something they "had a field day with..." we felt pretty sure we had a winner, but we wanted to gut check with the team. We put the concepts on a flip chart and walked around the office to ask everyone what name they felt captured what we hope to accomplish. And you know what? The 8-9 other SmallBoxers who were around chose Field Day as their top pick. Every. single. person. So, there you have it. Analog Friday is now Field Day.
We're changing the way we work on many levels. We will plan our projects to have no deadlines on a Friday. We're giving up our Monday lunches for the first time in our ten year history to try out Friday breakfast together. We're not setting up a lot of rules – we're just going to keep playing with the format, embrace what works and change up what does not. The first one was a lovely start. Some people took an online class together, a couple of people colored because they needed a creative and mental break, a few people talked about our business model and attracting ideal clients. Elizabeth and I namestormed.
There's no telling where all we'll go on Fridays, but we do know it'll be a journey.