NOTE: this article has been updated with results of the challenge - the update follows the original article
It’s easy for a company to get stuck in a rut, doing the same things day after day. The energy and excitement of the start-up days typically wane after a few years. Thankfully, Blue Compass always seems to be growing, updating and brimming with energy. I think this is partly because of the ever-changing nature of the digital industry, but also because we’ve been blessed with significant growth over the last few years. Still, we want to keep things fresh and try something a little different as we begin the month of October - enter the Blue Compass 30 Day Challenge.
All 30 members of our team have been tasked to come up with a personal challenge for 30 days. The rules are simple: create a challenge that will teach our team something new, takes you out of your comfort zone, and will be fun.
We crafted this challenge with three goals in mind:
Enable ourselves to do something out of the ordinary each day
Monitor the tactics and results of each challenge to allow the entire team to learn
Part of our inspiration for this is Google's Matt Cutts, who undergoes a new challenge himself every month. In fact, he gave us a shout-out via Twitter for our 30 days/30 team member challenge:
Starting today, we begin our challenge. In early November, we will get together and share the results. Was a challenge wildly successful? Great! Did it fail miserably? No problem! the team member gave it a shot, and we all learned something.
As October came to a close, our challenges ended and our entire team got together to share the results of each.
What followed was educational, inspiring and quite entertaining. I was truly impressed by each team member's experience and how many tangible results we received that will help us in 2016. Here are to show the diversity of challenges:
Pinterest promoted pins study
Kayla and Sara undertook a fascinating 30 day A/B test to see what type of Pinterest promoted pin images receive the highest engagement. It was amazing to see simple differences in an image impact thousands of people's response to the pin. We will soon be posting the results of the study.
Jordan spent a little time each day learning and created a website with her new skills.
A couple of our team members spent time each day encouraging team members with written notes and reaching out to contacts and clients they normally wouldn't connect with.
Stephanie G did a deep review of all Blue Compass clients' averages and benchmarks for stats like Google AdWords click-through-rates and Facebook remarketing impressions. These benchmarks will be used to give clients a better idea of their future campaign goals and successes.
.NET development research
Each day in October, Dave researched methods of test-driven development, pair programming, and other best practices trending upward in the .NET community. He shared some of his research with the team. Our developers loved the info, the rest of us smiled and shook our heads like we understood perfectly.
Katrina ran a few month-long tests with Gmail ads to determine the most effective best practices.
New office possibilities
Cary spent a little time each day researching and planning for Blue Compass’ next office (we’re outgrowing our space and need to move soon).
Coming soon: a custom texting app
David used his challenge to build a custom text messaging app to be integrated into our content management system.
They say a boat is safest in the harbor, but that's not what it's made for. Challenging ourselves to accomplish something outside of a few comfort zones was a great way to learn and grow - both individually and as a team.
Never tried a 30 day challenge? We encourage you to set your goal, give it a try and record the results.