“If you can put it in an email, don’t call a meeting…” is a common meme that frequents most workplaces.
“I’m absolutely STACKED – did that really need to be a meeting?” is something colleagues mutter to each other as they slope off back to their desks – “why can’t they just pop it in an email next time?”
We are definitely all guilty of not taking a break from a looming workload, especially for a meeting which we feel we definitely don’t have time for. However, there’s something refreshing about team meetings at Idenna – a fresh perspective, both in office and mind, a chance to catch up with our colleagues, and an opportunity to share conquests, struggles and innovations from the previous week.
The Wednesday Meetings at Idenna start pretty promptly, at 9am. Shame on you if you burst through the door with sandy feet and a mumbled excuse about tractors/bin lorries/losing your dog.
We try our utmost to make sure as many of the team are present, arranging Account Management meetings and shoots at other points in the week if possible. In the busy summer months, it’s one of the only times in the week that the entire team will be under one roof – amidst projects, shoots and external meetings. Our team has almost got to the point where all 14 of us barely fit around the middle table. Still, we squeeze our chairs and coffees together and start our mid-week the right way, every time.
The structure of the Wednesday Meeting is the same every week. Starting at one end of the table, we snake round one after another with a success, a challenge and an innovation of the week. The successes range from thanking someone for dropping whatever they were doing to jump on a last minute/urgent project, a brief that was perfectly executed, or an exceptionally happy client; the super successes are followed by a single clap (a serious sign of Idenna approval). It’s helpful to talk our challenges through with the team. Either someone will have been in a similar situation, or a colleague will heroically swoop in and relieve your workload slightly, whilst you tackle your problem head on.
Innovations are a recent add-on, where we are invited to tell the team about an innovation or observation that we’ve spotted in the big wide world since the last meeting. These can range from thought-provoking advertising, ingenious Instagram campaigns and (scarily) targeted marketing; to nunchucks, Cards Against Humanity and the occasional “I’ve observed that it’s sunny and the surfs been pumping for a week…”
These get-togethers normally spill over an hour, fuelled by green tea, coffee, mid-week musings and the occasional howling dog. Ideas are formed and shared, Stories for Change proposals are pitched and approved, laughs are had, and weeks are successfully broken up with a good old slice of human interaction.
In a world where it’s all-too-easy to get lost in screens, avoid answering the phone or speaking face-to-face, and occasionally feeling a little snowed-under with work, the Wednesday Meetings are a refreshing, simple way to spark conversations, share ideas and bring the team together – in more senses than just around a table.