At Geonetric, we came up with an inventive way to tackle some of those projects. It’s called innovation time, and roughly modeled after Google’s famous 20 percent time and Atlassian’s ShipIt Days. But like everything we adopt here, we Geo-fied it a little bit.
Innovation time gives each team a set amount of time every quarter to focus on whatever we want. Pretty cool, right? Here’s eight hours. Go innovate.
So off go the project managers to bring efficiency to a process in need. Off go the designers to set up a fun photo shoot. Off go the interactive marketers to make infographics. And then everyone shares their innovation time deliverables at a company meeting and we all ohhh! and ahhh!
One of the best parts about innovation time is that cross-department collaboration is encouraged. I’m all for breaking down silos, so when I was invited to join our content strategists and content writers for their innovation time I said sign me up. And I’m so glad I did.
I think we’re kindred spirits because at our core, we’re all writers. But at the same time it’s a little like Jane Austen having lunch with Kurt Vonnegut. Content strategy and MarCom – where my background is – isn’t the same. We’re both all about engaging the reader and bringing order to the printed page… but while they’re talking content audits, I’m thinking about the benefits and features of content audits.
But just like I’m sure Jane and Kurt would have had a fun and informative lunch, we had a fun and informative day.
We spent the morning discussing ideas discovered at the Confab conference and how to balance content around what the organization needs to say and what the audience needs to read. We talked about the difference between a stakeholder and a subject matter expert – and who you interview when to get what information. We ate at a cute café in a hip part of town and then spent the afternoon reviewing content work we’ve done for clients and putting processes around the steps. (While I took notes for future case studies!)
It’s good for me – someone that lives on the marketing side of things – to have the opportunity to ‘look behind the curtain’ sometimes. It gives me a new appreciation for what I’m promoting to know how much thought really goes into it all.
So thank you, content team, for inviting me. I hope I added a little something to your discussions and didn’t distract you too much. Thank you Michelle for making me iced coffee and to you Karla for that delectable cheesecake. And thank you Geonetric, for giving us all an opportunity to spend some quality time with team members we don’t get to see on a daily basis.
I’m sure this isn’t the last iteration of innovation time. As with everything at Geonetric, it will evolve and change as we do. But as long as whatever this time is called can be used to build some cross-department bridges, I’m all for it. Because the best part of innovation day, regardless of what gets improved, changed, or built, is when you look around the table and think…wow, I work with some really smart people.