5 ways I know we’re Beautifully Effective®
Beautifully Effective® is a mindset we apply to everything we do, so it can be tricky to define. In this blog, part of our ongoing series of articles on Beautifully Effective, Nicole, our Head of Delivery shares 5 ways we’ve been effective, beautifully.
I always find it difficult to summarise the meaning of Beautifully Effective, it means so many different things, and at Salad it is a mindset we apply to everything we do. So I often find it easier to recognise what we do to be Beautifully Effective, here are my top five examples.
1. We bring the best out in each other
We have quarterly vision meetings, which are typically a morning where we collectively focus on the business. These are a guaranteed opportunity for us to be working together as a single team. I always leave these meetings feeling motivated by the way we think creatively, listen to each other’s views, have empathy, and ultimately strengthen our relationships and expertise.
We are a small team of experts, each with our own unique set of skills, experiences and ideas. We’re also an employee owned business, meaning each of us has a responsibility to work well together and collectively act as owners. We recognise and respect everyone’s craftsmanship in what they do, including our clients. They know their business best, and we not only value that but make the most of their team’s combined knowledge and expertise.
We believe in the power of partnership, and that we cannot be Beautifully Effective without collaboration.
2. We solve problems
We are not interested in doing something simply for the sake of it, there has to be purpose in everything that we do.
We may start with a vague brief; “we want to redesign a brochure”, or “this login process needs to be improved”. Instead of taking that for face value, we dig deeper and try to understand why. What’s wrong with the current solution? What can be done better? We want to expose potential, improve and fix.
For example, we may notice that traffic to a key page on a website we manage has decreased. We’ll review this page from a creative, development and digital marketing perspective to uncover all the possible reasons for the decline before recommending an approach that not only helps regain traffic but improves it.
3. We bring ideas to life
One of the things I like most about my role is that I have the pleasure of overseeing our projects from start to finish. From exploring a brand with a mission or idea to seeing it come to life and make an impact in the real world.
In the early stages of any project, we work collaboratively with our clients to explore their businesses and discover their goals. What starts as scribbles in notepads, then evolves into a strategy and understanding of the client and the project’s KPIs, which is fed into each stage of the project. Our process ensures that each department is involved and can input their thinking and expertise, whilst working towards the same objectives.
I also see us do this outside of projects, for example our monthly Supper Club. When introducing a new member of the team, we naturally went out for some drinks and food, then it was queried, why don’t we do this more often? Supper Club was born! We now take it in turns each month to organise a meal at a restaurant or pub of our choice. Similarly, it was suggested we go on a team trip, and a few months later we spent a few days in Copenhagen.
I love that we try our best to make sure ideas are not just spoken about once and never thought about again. We aim to be proactive, use our initiative and make things happen.
4. We effectively handle change
Very early in my career I learned that things can change, and often there is nothing you can do about it. What you can control is how you react. Deadlines move, people get ill, and things take longer than expected. Freaking out will not help at all!
There will always be unknowns in the work we do, and as Head of Delivery, a big part of my job is adapting to these unknowns. Although, I definitely don’t handle change alone.
Communication and transparency are absolutely vital when it comes to handling unknowns and mitigating risks. Our process allows for the unexpected, and each stage gives opportunity to identify change and agree on the action.
We have project-specific stand-ups and regroup as a team twice a day. This allows everyone to be informed and for us all to “sing from the same hymn sheet”. Our communication and experience allow us to agree on decisions quickly and has made us resilient to change.
5. We see impact
As Matt mentions, without measuring impact it’s difficult to see how effective our work is. The design may look good, but does it achieve its purpose? Has it met its KPI? How has this benefited the business?
Our planning process is there to make sure our work has all the ingredients to be effective, but that alone doesn’t guarantee success. Throughout our projects we test, amend, analyse, compare and reflect.
This doesn’t just apply to the client work we do either, when we all agree we should start doing something in a vision meeting or project wash-up, we later look at what’s changed and what impact it’s had.
The five keys to Beautifully Effective
To me, Beautifully Effective working requires 5 key things; collaboration, craftsmanship, empathy, resilience, and measurement. At Salad, we try our best to live these values and apply them to everything we do.