Tumblr in Meatspace Experiment

We came up with a neat, cheap idea at the creative agency where I work that I thought I’d share. We were brainstorming about ways we can make the agency better – how we can make everyone in the company feel more involved and invested, and really leverage the wealth of experience and ideas of everyone here.

A recurring topic in these meetings is communication and transparency. We’re a small company, but even so, we don’t always feel like we know what everyone else is working on. We get so focused on our own work that we never stop to look up and see what the person right next to us is working on.

One thing that makes this agency different than a lot of other companies is that everyone gets to be creative. Your job title doesn’t matter, and your ideas are welcome. A developer’s creativity is just as valued as the design department’s, and that’s pretty badass in my opinion.

We also wanted to help nurture the sense of company innovation and a culture of creativity as part of our everyday lives there. So how do we open up the work we have – and the work we want – to everyone in a way that doesn’t create more work?

We thought about a blog or Basecamp project, but the reality is that we’re all very busy and no one will visit the url. We didn’t want to ask people to set aside time in their schedule to work on something (and thus potentially dilute the overall quality of our work as people get spread too thin or get distracted by other projects) but we want to invite them to be inspired and to inspire others.

One thing we came up with was a meatspace Tumblr. A wall in the office that’s devoted to projects we’re working on or pitching, with space underneath where people can add… anything they want. It might be a picture, it might be a note, it could be ASCII dicks (okay, let’s face it – there will be ASCII dicks), whatever strikes your fancy. Everyone is invited to contribute and no one is obligated to.

This wall should be in the middle of the office, so you can’t help but notice it. Being inspired by what others have contributed is as simple as walking to the common area to get a coffee. Adding your own inspiration is as simply as taping an image or writing a note.

I love this idea, and I can’t wait for us to implement it and see what happens. If you like the idea and decide to give to give it a try, let me know how it works out. One of the great things about it is that it works for any kind of company, not just agencies – and it works for everyone, introverts and extroverts alike.

What do you do to inspire creativity in your office?