Diary for March 24, 2019

A Lake Geneva vista from my afternoon walk. Saint Sulpice, Switzerland, March 2019.

A Lake Geneva vista from my afternoon walk. Saint Sulpice, Switzerland, March 2019.

Transition seems like the theme of the past year, and this month has given no exception. Fortunately—as with all the transitions this past year—the shifts of March 2019 have proved good ones.

Projects Wrap

On the FrogDog front, a few big client efforts have entered their final stages. When we reach this point in projects, I have feelings of excitement (we did it!) and relief (race complete!) mixed with a sense of the bittersweet. After big pushes and a lot of work—often over several months and even a year or more—we try to remember what it felt like before we worked every day with these client teams and these projects.

However, finishing up projects means the opportunity for new ones. An aspect of my work I love most? The variety it brings.

Projects Evolve

As these projects wrap, other efforts commenced the transition from their initial sprints to phases in which we watch the threads we’ve wound spool into the world.

Marketing campaigns mean a huge load of initial work and set-up ahead of their launches, from research and analysis and strategy and messaging and tactical planning and goals and metrics setting, through to developing all of the creative and buying the ad space and developing the digital platforms and algorithms—and beyond.

Once campaigns launch, we monitor, see what happens, watch how the activity tracks, and adjust. The sprint phase has exhilaration and anticipation, yet it exhausts. By the time the sprint ends, the entire team pauses, hands on knees, to breathe and watch the weeks of intense effort emerge into the public sphere.

Team Transitions

Over the past several months, a member of the FrogDog team has decided to make a career change. The excitement of seeing him carve a new path mixes with the wistfulness of knowing we will now work in different spheres. In three years, we’ve experienced a lot together.

In small companies, you grow much closer and go through much more in tandem than people in larger companies do. In larger companies, the work and its affiliated experiences spread across a much larger group. Employees at larger companies have less of an all-in-the-same-boat-frantically-rowing-together-in-a-shared-direction sensation than people in smaller organizations. For better and for worse.

Another team member will head for maternity leave at any moment. I can’t wait to meet the new arrival. In preparation for her time away from the corporate world, we’ve worked hard to wrap up as much of her workload as possible and to temporarily transition her ongoing work to other people so that clients have no hiccups in our efforts—and so that she can have the time she needs away from the office and with her plus-one family without us bothering her with questions.

New Projects Ahead

As one employee moves on and another prepares for family time, we’ve grown incredibly selective about the types of projects we’ve accepted for the next few weeks and have shifted other work to the summer months. Ongoing projects and existing clients take priority from the team in the near term.

And though this means I’ll take on an even heavier workload over the next several weeks, it means as well that I’ll have an opportunity to reset, assess the right blend of new team members, and think through improvements to our workflow and project mix and delivery methods. The time to reset and explore will help the company. Even from this early-stage vantage point, I see huge gains ahead on several fronts.

Acclimating Continues

We have work, errands, set-up tasks, and other obligations that need meeting, and still Arnaud and I grow more adjusted into our lives in Lausanne each day.

This week, we met new friends for dinner on Thursday, had dinner with new-to-us couples on Saturday night, and enjoyed a Sunday of time to get outside, tie up personal loose ends, relax, and recenter for the week ahead.

Given that not long ago we spent every moment of every weekend in frantic set-up mode, I’d say we’ve made good progress on acclimation.