Fridays at Switch
Did you know that the word ‘Friday’ was named for a Norse goddess who had a chariot pulled by two giant blue cats? We can’t think of any better way to get up the hill to the offices than that!
Fridays at Switch are kind of confusing. It’s the end of the week, so there’s a lot of panic about things that need to be done before the weekend or before the Monday 8:30AM opening time; but it’s also the end of the week, which means the weekend is here and it’s time to catch up on shows, books, recent movies, and blow-by-blow posts about pets on Twitter. However, before the office is locked up and everyone picks their way across the road to get to their vehicles and sink into traffic, we have The Meeting of the Minds.
The meeting of the minds is simple: it’s the end of the week, and whatever project is most prominent and at the forefront of everyone’s minds voluntarily barricades themselves in the boardroom with Pablo and sustenance (and a reminder to keep Pablo away from the sustenance because he isn’t getting any slimmer) and tries to outthink a problem that is determined to stick.
Brainstorm Fridays take the Maltesism ‘jekk mhux mil-bieb, mit-tieqa’ very, very seriously.
(Maltesism translation: if you can’t go through the door, go through the window).
How does it work?
The good thing about brainstorm Fridays is that everyone in the agency gets involved: it isn’t a one-person-leading, ten-people-following sort of situation at all. Instead, it’s more of a skirmish; designers, creative writers, project managers, social media managers, trend watchers – everyone has something to contribute, and at Switch, contributions are loud!
Have you ever seen a mindmap being drawn? First it starts out as little bubbles with lines spider-webbing off of them; then the bubbles get filled in, and it starts making a little bit more sense. Usually you go through a thousand sheets of paper trying to figure out how to make things start making a little bit more sense.
At Switch, we try to keep things a little bit more eco-friendly (it’s rumoured that if you throw recyclables into the trash bin more than three times, Tom will manifest in your home and haunt you until you learn how to recycle) so rather than pen and paper, we use the boardroom table and erasable markers. It does mean less food-space, but on the plus-side nobody ever loses the session notes!
Why does brainstorming work?
The theory behind it is simple:
- After a week of working more or less on their own, it’s nice to get together and put all our creative energy into solving one issue on one topic.
- We get to see how everyone’s creative process work – that means it’s easier to figure out whose skills fit what needs to be done in a clinch.
- Do we really need an experience to work food and an early weekend celebration into a business setting?
Some of our best ideas have come from brainstorming sessions. Something about the atmosphere and the noise and the opportunity to go a little wild(er) really shows that all you need to solve a problem is just more brains than one.