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COVID: A catalyst for positive change?

November 10th 2020

Turbulent times call for new ways of thinking. As the effects of the pandemic began to bite, we, at Think Jam, made a decision to ban what we call “busy work”, saying goodbye to time-sucking processes, wasted energy and unnecessary meetings. It was, and has been, a revelation. 

Granted, companies have always had to decide how working time should be spent; ensuring efforts are targeted wisely, that they’re investing in the right areas, but COVID has shone a blinding light on those decisions. Not just ones being made today, but those made months, or even years, ago. Examples of underused resources and wasted time now look so obvious. It’s provided a much needed reality check. There are things that need fixing.

Top of that list? Making sure the right people are doing the right things. For us, as an agency, there have been fewer films released, which means – of course – fewer campaigns, but the projects we are working on are bigger in scale. We’ve needed to be cleaner, faster, more focused, and we’ve done that by not only putting people in the right positions, but by giving them the right tools, too. Empowering them to do what they do best, by automating the needless, repetitive processes that we can now see hold them back.

Automation can feel like a dirty word. Ever since the Industrial Revolution, it’s prompted fears that we’d be replaced by machines, that robots would take over, that humans would become obsolete. But you’d be mad to try ploughing a field without a tractor, and you’d be mad not to use a tool that can shoulder your burden. Tools are so important! It’s a brutal reality of business that problems can’t be solved by merely throwing people at them. Tools, however, can enable existing teams to do more. Much more. Automation frees up time, it allows people to step up and with it, comes opportunity.

ReMake is the perfect example of such a tool (or ‘platform’, as my team would be quick to correct me). It’s swept a lot of stuff off our plate. We spotted a repetitive, time consuming task we could automate and simplify – video versioning – and built a tool (ahem, platform) to do it. It now runs in the background while we focus on the more important things. Time previously spent doing busy work is now spent innovating and trying new things. In retrospect, it seems ridiculous that our teams were ever bogged down with tasks that didn’t fully utilise all their talents. Creatives should be doing what they’re best at. Creating.

COVID has been the root of so many challenges this year, but it’s also taught me that there are three things we need to do at ReMake to take advantage of the old adage ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ – each of them inspiring us to make some really important decisions around the platform. 

  1. Don’t make it hard for people to make a decision. We’ve made it brutally simple to have ReMake as an accessory to your workflow, not a roadhump.
  1. Sometimes you just need to try something on to see if it works for you. Decisions don’t need to last forever – although, we’re confident we’ll be around for a while.
  1. Freeing your team from unnecessary work unlocks capacity, and that capacity breeds creativity – especially in times when so much in their personal life feels hard.

If we think intelligently about processes, and the tools that can make those processes easier, businesses are more likely to weather this almighty storm. And on a personal level, each of us can get back some invaluable time and headspace that we all so badly need.

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