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How “Barn”-storming changed the way we work

We’ve just come back from our first ever global team retreat.

Yes we climbed trees. Yes we built rafts. Yes we had fun. It was a brilliant few days in an old converted Barn.

Most importantly we spent time with each other. Something that isn’t that easy when we are just 12 people with 4 offices spread over 3 continents.

Which is why we spent a good deal of those oh-so-precious moments zinging ideas around. Bouncing off each other’s suggestions. Forging new processes. All around what we do for our clients, how we can improve.

“Barn”-storming we called it… forgive the pun, it was a long few days.

So as well as the bruises and aching limbs, we made some leaps, bounds and strides that we believe will really benefit our clients. Such as…

  • Our Communications: We analysed what clients found valuable, what they didn’t think added much. How that varies in different regions. We worked out the kinks and clients will now receive better, more focused, relevant information.
  • Smart Searching: we came up with a multitude of ideas and plans to help clients get the most out of the consumer insights being put in front of them. Creatively using searching, editing and sharing to animate key insights, hammer points home, yet free up time.
  • “Tentacling”: we’re based on 3 continents; have worked in 42 countries – so we worked out a way to use our global tentacles – small, sleek, but supercharged as they are – to get better at bringing clients insights from left of centre. Curve balls, oddballs, balls-ups… especially with packaging 🙂
  • Curating: after“the barn” we’re now even better at this. While throwing ideas around we found new ways of garnering content which we can now share with our clients to show the value of challenging assumptions. Tick.
  • Client focus: We don’t spend money on sponsoring shows or using gimmicks to get publicity. Instead we invest in product improvements and client support. But a 360 analysis that we did in the Barn showed if we’re going to get it right, we need to be asking faster – and more articulately – what is wanted: from our clients, by our clients, for our clients.

All the above are now in play. Some of our existing clients are already seeing the benefits.

And we haven’t even got round to implementing the ideas that will take us a wee bit longer to build…

Fun few days together? Yeah.

Productive? More than we imagined.