Introducing Frameworker days
Finding and nurturing our employees – or “Frameworkers” – is my main vocation at The Frameworks. Although it’s the foundation of our business and everything we offer our clients, describing what makes a Frameworker is a completely incommunicable thing. I know it when I see it. Whether it’s an indefinable spark in a CV from someone at the beginning of their career or the way a senior creative solves problems, it is that rare combination of intelligence, perspective and creativity that Frameworkers all have, whatever their role.
It’s an intangible quality a future employee doesn’t quite know is there, as it was in the intelligence and world view (and her seamless note-taking in English and Japanese) when I met our Account Executive Sakiko Suga in her last year at Tokyo’s Sophia University.
It’s in the way someone takes leaps, as I saw in the first presentation given by David Alexander 10 years ago as our most junior designer at the time – now he’s Creative Director.
It’s a way of continual reinvention. When I interviewed the new head of our Japanese office, Jiro Tatsuno, it wasn't his two decades at Dentsu, one of Japan’s leading agencies, that made him a Frameworker – it was the time he subsequently spent using his experience to help victims of the tsunami rebuild their businesses and their lives.
It’s in being the best of who you really are, as when we listen to our Managing Partner Lawrence James and his unbridled enthusiasm when he meets a new client (which is identical to his enthusiasm over challenges posed by IBM, having worked with the company for a quarter of a century).
These inimitable qualities transcend geographical boundaries. They are evident in every Frameworker, from London to Detroit to Japan.
Fundamentally, we are in the business of solving problems, but we aim to solve them beautifully – in our logic, in our design and in our continual desire to improve. Netflix famously noted: “The best thing you can do for employees is to hire ‘A’ players to work alongside them. Excellent colleagues trump everything.” Finding those colleagues and giving them the best possible scaffolding for their dreams is what I am lucky enough to do every day.
Setting the challenge
However indefinable a true Frameworker is, they are all great at what they do – and they want to be in charge of becoming even greater. So what’s the best way to accommodate and celebrate this desire for betterment? After much consideration, we decided to launch what we call “Frameworker days”. Because if we’re going to focus on anything when we hit our 25th anniversary in August, it should be our people.
The idea is simple: every Frameworker across our London, Detroit and Tokyo offices, is invited to take a day out to do something that challenges them, or to do something worthwhile for others (and if those two objectives can be combined, then all the better).
Frameworker days could be anything from conquering a fear of heights by skydiving to acquiring a new skill like learning to play a new instrument or taking up a new sport. It’s down to each individual Frameworker to decide what would best challenge them, personally or professionally.
The concept feeds into what we believe a Frameworker is and satisfies their need for professional and personal fulfilment.
It also dovetails with our philosophy. We’re asking Frameworkers to think about what is important to them and to take an element of that to challenge themselves. They must then focus on how to frame that task; what do they want to achieve? From there, it’s about making the day happen and working to complete the challenge they have set themselves.
Frameworker days give us a chance to showcase our people and their skills – which is why every Frameworker will have the opportunity to share their experience through our blog.
So look out for tales of inspiration, of fears conquered and of summits reached, as our Frameworkers illustrate the character and will to succeed that they bring to the office every day.