Transforming the Volunteer Experience: A Case Study with the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross
Find out how our team took an innovative approach to improving the volunteer experience for The American Red Cross.
We’re always iterating at Collabo Creative, and we’re always looking for more and better ways to work together. Here are five recommendations for an amazingly awesome 2019.
Note: Collabo Creative does not receive compensation for any of the products we recommend. We just like them and think you will too.
In 2018, some of our best and most productive times came as the result of breaks, both big and small. Research shows that taking breaks “refreshes the mind, replenishes your mental resources, and helps you become more creative.”
Our team traveled to the AIGA Decipher conference in Ann Arbor in September and the Create & Cultivate Vision Summit in Miami in December. The change of environment was refreshing, and the people we met shaped our perspective in new and exciting ways. It’s easy to get caught in a rut; forcing a shift in perspective through traveling to a new destination can result in breakthroughs.
Trips are wonderful, but the cost (both actual and in lost time) means they’re an occasional indulgence. To seek the same benefits, our team has two strategies: 1) about once a week we work from a local coffee shop, and 2) every day at 3pm we take 15 minutes to stretch or meditate.
Find us at some of our favorite local spots: Provider, Calvin Fletcher’s, and the Neidhammer.
Download the Aaptiv app or subscribe to Meditation Minis podcast for breaks to treat your mind and body.
You may already know that we host a bi-weekly book club in the office. We love discussing our latest reads as a group but have found that it’s just not enough to satisfy our curiosity. Here are some of the titles that inspired us this year:
A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature’s Deep Design by Frank Wilczek
Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 12 Powerful Tools for Leadership, Coaching, and Life by Marilee Adams Ph.D. and Marshall Goldsmith
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace
Rebel Talent: Why It Pays to Break the Rules at Work and in Life by Francesca Gino
Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim S. Grover and Shari Wenk
It seems like there is a constant stream of new tools coming out all the time – it can be hard to keep up! If you find the right ones, however, they can make your life much easier. Here are the tools we tried and loved in 2018:
Dropbox Paper: We’ve been using the cloud storage for years, but really began to utilize Paper’s real-time document collaboration in the past few months. It’s great for our session agendas, co-creating blog posts and social media, and for keeping everyone updated as projects shift.
Wall-cling Whiteboard Sheets: These look similar to sticky easel sheets, but function like whiteboards – write, doodle, and erase as needed. They cling to walls without adhesive, allowing you to use them anywhere you have a wall, but need a whiteboard.
Slack: As our team grew this year, we needed to explore more ways to keep in contact. Between the web, desktop, and mobile versions, everyone has found a way to integrate Slack into their workflow. We have channels for different projects and initiatives, and the animated gifs help us find the fun when we need it.
One of Collabo’s goals for 2018 was to be more visible in Indy. We know we’re great at what we do (service design!), but we’re self-aware enough to know that things like networking cause a bit of unease.
We took action, joining groups like the IndyChamber, theCityMoms, and LinkingIndy Women. We set a goal to meet with one new person each week, and we’re actively working to expand our network.
Niki took it a step further and purposefully tried something that scared her: she took an improvisation class through CSz Indianapolis. After being introduced to improv techniques in our Design Thinking Everyday Jumpstart, Niki enrolled in the class hoping to improve her confidence when facilitating. Over ten weeks, she and her classmates learned to let things happen, accept what is, and build on it with a positive attitude. So far so good – she’s going back for another class in January!
Finally, we believe in bringing your whole self to the office, so no list would be complete without recommendations for what we’re calling “soul care” – those things that just make you happy.
“I’m so glad I got to go to Florida for sun and beach time. I feel much better when I have my feet in the sand.” – Pamela
“I changed the voice on my GPS app to Santa Claus. He doesn’t tell me the street names, but he does remind me not to be naughty when police are on my route.” – Niki
“I wear whimsical accessories because I don’t like to take anything too seriously. My purse looks like a cat and I just got a hat with a huge pom-pom on it.” – Maria
“Plants! I feel good when I’m surrounded by little green buddies.” – Ali
“I really like it when my feet feel good. I get pedicures when I can and wear my Bombas socks – they’re like hugs for my feet!” – Terri