Trust me: I'm a poet
The following, with allowance for a bit of appropriately poetic licence, sums up the reaction when yours truly – an enthusiastic PR man at the time – brought an emerging new social media phenomenon to the attention of a client CEO:
There once was a powerful boss,
Who said: “Facebook? I don’t give a toss!
“I pay them to work
“Not to giggle and shirk.”
One wonders what made him so cross.
Perhaps not surprisingly given the nature of his business (sales-focused financial services) he simply couldn’t countenance the idea that his workers should spend any time at work on anything other than, well, work. Even when presented with evidence that his team was already using Facebook in a harmless – even positive – way by forming a company group page, his reaction was not so much “how can we use this as a force for good?” as “how can I shut this down?”
History does not relate whether his attitude has softened in the years since. I note it here only in passing, in fact, to illustrate the contrast with life at The Frameworks in 2012. Here, the focus is not on a slavish commitment to billable hours but on an honest commitment to getting the job done. This, in turn, means we are trusted to use our own judgment about when to keep our noses to the grindstone – uncomplainingly putting in the extra hours when we need to – and when we can take a bit of a break and, say, write a few silly poems.
Which brings us to our efforts to mark the UK’s National Poetry Day last week.
The output varied wildly, from the-whimsical-but-vaguely-relevant, from your correspondent…
A young star designer named Rand
Understood all about brand
He redrew Big Blue
And UPS too.
(But secretly loved Comic Sans.)
… to the super-keen verses of our newest writer, Philippa, who seems to have squeezed an awful lot of syllables into the humble limerick:
We’re a London-Detroit collaboration,
Spanning the big, blue Atlantic Ocean.
Our brains and our energy,
Equal perfect brand synergy,
While creativity is – and always will be – our passion.
And, alongside any number of surreal thoughts about pigs and rabbits, and in-jokes that won’t mean much to the wider audience, we had Matteo at his most philosophical-and-lower-case:
in the sky
and Helena showing off her haiku acuity:
Frameworks stars, shining
in the lengthening night of
our clients’ demands.
Star billing, in the end, though, went to Rose, who captured the mood perfectly:
There was a bunch of designers
Who for one day became a bunch of keen rhymers
The riddles that unfurled
Were the best in the world
And now they all call themselves writers!
We’re all back to work now, of course. In fact we’re busier than ever, as (among other work) we approach the sharp-end of three high-profile branding projects and kick off a couple more for good measure. But we all appreciate not just the way that last week’s versifying relieved the pressure, but also the trust that made it possible.
- Working life