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I’ve been fortunate to have been invited to speak a bit about employee engagement recently, particularly in relation to the way we’ve enabled employees to pursue ventures at Mint Digital.
In April I presented at the Employee Engagement Summit, which was an event aimed at HR professionals. My presentation was called ‘Why we deliberately plan to lose some of our best people’ (you have to give your presentations provocative titles, or nobody shows up).
I also took part in a breakfast panel on employee engagement with Purple Cubed in September, and was recently interviewed by the Institute of Leadership & Management on the topic of keeping small teams happy.
Throughout these conversations, there was a genuine curiosity about whether enabling internal ventures could be used as a way to empower people at other, typically larger, companies. Does Mint’s small size lend itself more to this approach? Could firms in other spheres use a similar method? Do internal ventures by definition make staff happy, or is it more nuanced than that?
I’ve had plenty of opportunities to think about what we’ve done at Mint, and why the way we’ve empowered staff via product ventures may/may not be a fit for other companies. By which I mean I’ve pondered and cogitated and come up with exactly zero solid conclusions.
Nevertheless, I’ve been persuaded that my thoughts around some of the questions I’ve been asked might be useful to some people, so here are five things you may want to consider if you’re thinking of enabling your workforce to pursue ventures aside from your core business.
We’re pleased to announce we’re partnering with the team at Agatha Christie Ltd to develop the best selling author in the world’s digital presence internationally. We’re thrilled to have been appointed in Christie’s 125th Anniversary year and look forward to sharing the host of exciting plans the brand has for future digital endeavours.
But, like all good detectives, we’ll keep the big reveals until the appropriate moment...
In the meantime, you can have a peek at our visual refresh of agathachristie.com’s homepage, developed as the first step in a lean site development ahead of the BBC series Partners in Crime (on Sundays throughout August).
And if you’re interested in approaching product development like a detective, we wrote about over investigative approach over here.
We sorry to announce that we’re shutting down FoldableMe. The final date for website orders will be August 31st 2015. We will not be taking any more orders after this date so if you want one last Foldable Hurrah then there’s still just enough time to create yours here.
We're very proud of what we've achieved with Foldable, an idea that came out of a hack day and then a trailblazing Kickstarter campaign back in 2012. However, as sales have slowed we felt the time was right to call it a day and focus our efforts on growing our other ventures at Mint Digital.
We're very grateful to all of our partners, suppliers, and everyone that's worked on the project, for making it consistently awesome over the past 3 years. But most of all we'd like to thank you, our customers. Your use of Foldable for weddings, conferences, team building, and even political protest has inspired us, amused us, made us go 'aw' and lifted us up many times throughout this tremendous journey.
If you're interested in other products at Mint or that started life at Mint then check out:
We're looking for a new designer to join us in London.
Find out more and apply. Must like lunch.
I’m delighted to announce that this year our annual rapid digital product development event known as (‘4 Days 2 Launch’) will be coming to Wales (where it will be known as ‘Pedwar Diwrnod I Lansio’).
Since 2006 we have disappeared to the English countryside for a week (mostly Dorset, maybe Devon) and rapidly built digital products in teams. These events and the products we’ve built have helped us:
1. Come closer together as a company. It’s the only time our New York and London offices come together en masse;
2. Develop some of our best-known and most popular business ventures;
3. Experiment with new technologies and techniques.
So why Wales, specifically Swansea, this year?