Bringing Cocktail Napkin Ideas to Reality

It’s Thursday afternoon. And a long week already. You think your brain is about to explode because there is so much going on. Your business buddy texts you, “hey, what are you doing for happy hour? Wanna get a drink and catch up?” That sounds about perfect right now. The daily grind of working on this and that and demanding clients has you a bit down. And not only do you love a good cold libation you love the conversation you can have with someone who understands what you're going through. It is always a good motivator to chat with someone else who just GETS IT. You shoot back a quick text that says, “Yes, that sounds awesome! Where do you want to go?” You quickly settle on a place and out the door you go.

The bar is loud. It’s full of other people in suits and heels (or if you are in Charleston, SC like us, seersucker and bow ties) all of whom are meeting with co-works and colleagues for drinks as well as to talk about the day. The conversations are varied. Some are gossiping about their boss’s torrid affair or quirky management style. Some are chatting about their kid's fundraiser and everyone at work is on a diet so they won’t buy any girl scout cookies from her. Some are making grand gestures and prophesying about their next big thing. Your friend gets there all hugs and asks, “how are you?” The two of you make small talk while you order a drink and talk about what’s happen in your lives.

You’re three quarters of the way through your first glass of wine (or martini, or beer, or champagne, its up to you what you drink) and you start to loosen up and talk about how the business is going. It's going just fine. You’re making ends meet but it would be nice to take some time and really pull your ideas together and, as cliched as it is, work on your business instead of so much in it. You start to talk about all those ideas and go into the, ‘wouldn’t it be cool if…’ scenerios. Your friend grabs a cocktail napkin because they are conveniently right in front of her, pulls out a pen and starts writing ideas down. “This is how I see it” she says, “you need to get really clear on your brand and business and take a step everyday to get there.” From there the ideas start flowing. One right after the other. Before you know it, you're both saying how you need to get home and this was great and you need to do it more often. All of sudden all those things that were getting you down aren’t such downers anymore. You are energized and motivated to start working on your business. Ideas are swirling in your brain and you can’t wait to get started on each and every one of them.

Wouldn’t it be great to get this kind of motivation consistently and take that happy hour feeling into your work day and actually take those cocktail napkin ideas and make them into reality? It's no secret how we work at B&A. We like to have fun. There is no doubt about that. It pisses us off when we walk into an office and it's death by boring meetings all day. We have been very successful at working over happy hour on projects.

Years ago Ronii started Champagne Thursdays at B&A. Sometimes its been the team (and the team has been as big as 5 people). Sometimes its been with friends too that have dropped in for a glass. And sometimes it's just Ronii and I on Skype. But it’s a way for us to come together and talk about the projects we are working on and let ideas flow. No idea is too small or large for Champagne Thursday. It's our time to be creative and most of our best ideas come from these sessions. We work on a lot of brand strategies, tag lines and marketing ideas. Sometimes we work on creative client projects and sometimes it's B&A projects. But it's always fun and someone always ends up squirting champagne out of their nose from laughing (a bit more painful than you would think).

And can I just say.... GENIUS!!! It is the best thing that we've created. Really it is. Once a month we gather with our champagne or wine or beer (obviously we are equal opportunity drinkers), and talk about all those grandiose ideas we have and client issues and projects. It's always a relaxed atmosphere, cause let's face it, we are having a few cocktails and lounging on sofas or big club chairs at a coffee shop or sitting around a table in a restaurant with our liquid courage and plates full of cake. Any new ideas or strategies are thrown out on the table (literally, we use index cards) and discussed. There are no right or wrong answers or ideas. Everyone gives their opinion and ideas because it isn't in a stuffy board room where everyone is so cookie cutterish (yeah, that is one of my created new words which she is notorious for and Ronii is cringing and rolling her eyes... hehehe).

IT'S GREAT!!!! Really it is. Everyone is on the same level. Everyone is feeling relaxed and WANTS to share their ideas. Everyone has homework to bring to the table too. THEIR IDEAS!! We aren't just sitting around a table listening to our Chief Rockstar lecturing or demanding. We are all in on the discussion and are encouraged to participate because she has this knack of asking the right questions. The champagne helps gets those creative juices flowing and really helps with the open atmosphere. We have fun and laugh and GET SHIT DONE!

How do you run team meetings? Do you have any creative ways of getting the creative juices flowing? Will you try and get a few people together to try a Champagne Thursday? Hit us up in the comments or on social media and share some of the ways you creatively brainstorm and get shit done.

P.S. If you are looking to work in a fun setting like our Champagne Thursdays you are in luck because we have opened up a workshop. You can get all the details here