Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

By Kelly Marderosian

It goes without saying. This is the time of year where we embark on major reflection, looking back on the year behind us and crafting resolutions for the fresh days ahead. We set family goals, personal expectations and dream big for business.

When 2015 roared in, it brought with it new colleagues…introduced challenges…created lessons learned….saw business lost…business gained.

What did it all mean? What did we learn? What are some of our key takeaways from 2015?

Here’s a look at some of my past year’s lessons and how we aspire to make 2016 one filled with purpose, goals achieved and little things in our world changed for the better.

Collaboration Matters.

Sit around a Consociate Media table during a creative jam session (yes, there’s music involved!) and like a flynt to a stone, you can practically see the sparks flying. The fresh ideas, the brainstorming, the collaboration. When it all comes together, it’s like magic. Or fire. Or whatever analogy you want to use here. Whether working from an office, or working from home, it’s imperative to collaborate with colleagues. Collaboration takes teamwork to the next level.

There is so much value in working side by side and sharing a sense of purpose. We – and by we, I mean our PR and marketing team at Consociate and our clients – are all in this together. To succeed together. To grow together. To be great together.

Organization is key.

Don’t want something to slip through the cracks? Two words. Stay organized. How you do that is up to you. But find a tool. Maximize its use and put it to work. Don’t let hours in your day be consumed by inefficiency. In our office, we use a cloud-based project management tool to maintain all of our active projects, communicate with one another and set deadlines on deliverables. But don’t be fooled. Getting and staying organized takes work, time and focus. In the end, it’s worth it.

Be open to constructive criticism.

Okay, this is a tough one…for me. Not many of us like to face the reality that what we did was not the best work ever. But truth be told, especially in a creative agency that’s built on stories and ideas, constructive criticism allows us to see what we did first and how to make it better the second time. If you think of everything you do can never get better or improve, then what’s the point? The goal is to learn more, do more, create more…and make it even more meaningful. You can’t do that without getting feedback on how to do it better.

I am admittedly very hard on myself and get discouraged easily…and then I tend to dwell on it. Stephanie once told me you have “you have ten more minutes to be upset, then you need to get over it.” It’s something her first newspaper editor told her when she had to put her first error report in the paper. Mistakes happen. Learn from them, don’t get discouraged and move on.

Work smarter. Not harder.

One major reality check this year? Slow down. Take your time. You WILL do better work. Earlier this year, our entire team took a breath. We actively slowed down, if that makes sense! We began weekly creative sessions. We picked small and large projects we were all working on and focused on them together. Taking the extra time to outline goals and collaborate will save time down the road and result in better work.

Use your vacation time.

Sounds funny, right? The truth is, our team likes to take their laptops with them on vacation so they can fit work in when time allows. I may be guilty as charged. Rudy jokingly says he will confiscate all laptops before anyone leaves for vacation! Why? Because he recognizes the value in taking a step back from work to refresh and recharge. Taking time to turn off your brain often awakes your most creative thoughts.

Make time for team building.

Team building isn’t just a way to get out of the office and enjoy time together, it’s also a way to bond and boost morale. Besides, the majority of people in the workforce spend more time at work than with our own families. Creating lasting relationships is important. Teambuilding also shows your employees that you value them and their hard work. At Consociate we went to Go Ape, participated in the RE Strong Run 5K/10K and enjoyed a holiday celebration at Waypoint Seafood and Grill. We are already making plans for our first team building adventure of 2016! It’s nice when you enjoy being with the people you spend the most time with, eh?

Be amazing.

When you have amazing team members, all possessing different skills sets and talents, the work speaks for itself. Ensure you have people on your team passionate about your goals so you can achieve them together.

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