The Wins Board-How it All Started

The Wins Board-How it All Started

We are now averaging 2-3 go! Tours a day, of which the first stop is always the Wins Board.  It is by far the most colorful and shining example about the culture we have and continue to develop here at goBRANDgo!.  If you aren’t familiar with our Wins Board, you can read my blog post from the beginning of the year on how We Celebrate a Winning Culture.

After the go! Tours, which include the Wins Board, our Open Book Management Scoreboard, go! Meter, 13 Step Sales Process Board, and our Website Production Board (we have lots of whiteboards here), recently added Mission go! Possible, and coming soon our Mission, Vision, Values display, more and more people have started to ask how we have come up with the different concepts.  The short answer is that they are all an evolution of something much simpler and/or different all together that we have borrowed, tweaked, poked, and prodded to make it go!.  Today, I’ll focus on how the Wins Board came to be…

When Brandon and I started working together in June of 2010, he had this fantastic habit of starting every phone call or greeting with me with “Hey, I’ve gotta win for ya…”  At which point, I would then share something exciting I was working on as well.  Like Pavlov’s dogs, I soon found myself salivating for good news every time my phone rang and it was Brandon.  So, this went on for a couple weeks, when I realized that as awesome as this process was, there were some things it lacked…first of all, it kept the wins only between the two of us and not the rest of the team.  We also didn’t get to hear how much butt the rest of them were all kicking on a daily basis.  On top of that, there was no tracking mechanism.  We are entrepreneurs, which means after we get done talking about one thing, we are typically off to the next shiny project, so there was no real staying power to make them stick (a little foreshadowing there for ya…).

So, Brandon and I started brainstorming ways on how to remedy that situation.  The first few ideas were doing things like an online Google Doc that everyone could add their wins…which allowed the wins to be tracked, but we didn’t like that because the wins wouldn’t be visible enough.  So, then we thought about doing a giant Post-It note and everyone could just write them on the wall…that took care of tracked and visible, but wasn’t really scalable or efficient (and scalable and efficient is a mantra that I’m sure everyone here can tell you I preach early, often, and always) because it would soon get cluttered and be difficult to decipher over time.  I bet you can see the progression in my head at this point…if the giant group Post-It wouldn’t work, what if each person on the team each had their own Post-It?!?  There are lots of colors to choose from.  Hmm, might be on to something here…

So, now that we know every employee gets their own Post-It Note to document their wins, how do we share them?  That came pretty quick and easy.  At the time, my desk was next to the white board and had a giant hutch.  So, throughout the week, we had the, then 5 employees, post their wins on the hutch and then we would share it before the Sales Huddle on Monday mornings at 8:30.  The Wins Board debuted in its current form on August 9th, 2010.

The next evolution came because I wanted to find a way to keep a record of all the wins in a way that would tell a story.  So, I made sure everyone was writing the dates on their Wins, so we could go back through, organize the Wins and see how the story played out over the course of several months.  Once New Year’s Eve of 2010 came, we ripped down all the Wins of the Board and put them on our conference table.  This was really cool for a couple of different reasons, 1) Seeing the sheer volume  of those Wins was proof in paper form of how much we had accomplished in a short period of time and 2) It was very motivating to see the empty Wins Board, which was screaming at us, ‘It doesn’t really matter what you’ve done, what are you going to do?!?’

The other thing I pulled from the big pile of Wins was that it would be utterly impossible to try and go back through and organize the Wins in any “story” fashion, so we needed to find a way to capture these Wins in another way…which is where the idea of creating the Wins of the Week post came from.  With this weekly post, we now capture the top Win or two from every employee and it’s out there for everyone to see and read, and Lisa had the awesome idea to add some fun, interpretive pictures, along with an updated pic of the Board, which really helps enforce our internal culture externally.

The next improvement came absolutely by accident along with a little idea-sharing.  So, in our very first Wins of the Week post, Brandon talked about how pumped we were to work with the American Red Cross on a new project and how well our Core Messaging Exercise and gone with them…and a really cool thing happened.  The Marketing Director for the Red Cross, Jessica Willingham commented on the post saying how much she enjoyed the exercise and how excited she and her team were to work with us…pretty cool, right?  So, I told this story to Scott Ginsberg and he let me know that anytime he writes something and mentions someone, he will send them an email to letting them know that they helped inspire that specific piece…genius.  So, starting the next week, any person that gets mentioned in our Wins of the Week post receives an email to let them know they had made the Wins of the Week with a link to the post…it’s really fun for us to see how excited everyone gets when they are notified of their “shout out”.

So, as you can see the Wins Board has been a continual and constant evolution starting with Brandon’s “Hey, gotta win for ya” all the way to an online and offline integration (that’s what we do!) that involves our team, the people we meet, and anyone that reads our blog.  We are extremely excited to see how it will continue to grow and what evolution will come next…one thing I know for sure, the way we have been growing, it’s getting harder and harder to find enough colors of Post-It Notes to go around!

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