Are You Speed Dating Your Co-Workers To Achieve Better Results?

November 8, 2011

in Ideas

How does innovation firm frog (web, twitter) create a more cohesive team between new hires and the old boys and prevent fellow frogs (they call themselves like that and their offices are known as “ponds”) having to introduce each other during client meetings? Solution: they organize internal Speed-Dating sessions!

frog has been growing quite some during the last year (from 600 to 1,500 employees) and one of the drawbacks of this was that it’s staff was not always able to catch up with the newbies joining the team . This issue was particularly felt at their New York studio and one of their creative directors –Dino Sanchez– decided to take matters into his own hands (together with general manager of the NY studio Carsten Wierwille) and created SpeedMe, an internal speed-dating session among frogs.

In Dino Sanchez’s own words:

“frog has grown quite a bit over the past year and with all our busy schedules it’s been a bit difficult to keep up with new hires. Creativity is something that hinges on critique and in some cases brutal honesty, so knowing your colleagues and being comfortable with them is essential to a productive process.” 

SpeedMe: Speed-dating session at frog's NY studio

“We wanted to avoid a situation where we were passing business cards to fellow frogs during client meetings. Really at the base of all this was simply the need to get to know one another a bit more, what projects we were working on and maybe even make some new friends.”

From idea to action:
“Carsten and I briefly discussed the idea of this on the way to playing soccer one night. We didn’t really discuss it all that much, because it seemed like an obvious thing to do. The structure of “speed-dating” was really a means to get through as many base level introductions as we could in an hour, so we took some of the questions and reappropriated them for a professional environment.” 
The next step is to transform the one-off event into a recurrent activity, maybe even across other studios:
“Of course we were not able to introduce ourselves across the 100 or so employees in an hour, so I see this as an on-going process. I think it was a way to get things going and let all the employees know that there was an effort to bring us all together. We received a pretty positive reaction across the office and have even been getting interest across our other studios. Hopefully we can figure out a way to get to know all 1500 frogs!”

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