Artisan Blog

Managing a Remote Team

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Managing a Remote Team

Remote work is on the rise. Taking advantage of the increasingly robust connective and collaborative capabilities of digital technology has been statistically shown to reduce employee stress, improve employee engagement, and save time and money for companies.

It just requires an ever-so-slightly modified style of management.

Digital nomads will play increasingly important roles in the future of business. If you’re a manager, it’s time to prepare yourself to help foster success for employees and contractors who work mostly or entirely off-site. Here are some key tips for managing a happy and productive remote team.

Start With Onboarding

From your onboarding and training processes onward, make sure your expectations are clear and that remote work best practices are baked into the culture of your business and enthusiastically embraced and understood by your team.

Facilitate Transparency

When employers, managers, and professional collaborators can’t hold regular in-person meetings, clear systems for accountability and transparency are crucial. Make it easy for remote team members to track and report on their work and to reach out to others for help as soon as they need it.

Use Technology and Stay Connected

Even if different members of your team live in different time zones, they need to be able to communicate with each other, as everyone must feel connected. For example, Zoom and slack can help you hold weekly video meetings, even if they’re simply status check-ins. Use the most appropriate project management software to track responsibilities and accomplishments and to enhance off-site collaboration. Build a strong company culture, encourage your team to support each other and take pride in what they do together.

Hire People You Can Trust, and Trust Them

The people who are best suited to remote work are generally highly motivated self-starters. They take responsibility without too much guidance or external discipline. They communicate clearly, sincerely, and consistently.

Take extra care to only bring in those who can contribute their best efforts to your team without peer pressure, micromanagement, and constant attention. Then, let them work. When managing a remote team, instead of being a taskmaster or a disciplinarian, be free to serve as a resource and a positive example of how people can work closely together without the need for geographic proximity, cubicles, or Casual Fridays.

Artisan Creative runs on the efforts of a tightly bonded and highly successful remote team. We have been a remote workforce since 2009 and understand better than most, the unique challenges of managing a remote team and how the right approach can set you up for success. We’d love to share our expertise with you. Contact Artisan Creative today to learn more.

 

We hope you've enjoyed our 516th a.blog.

 


The California Job Market

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

The California Job Market

California is home to the world's fifth-largest economy, worth nearly $3 trillion per year. Much of its economic activity is based around Greater Los Angeles (the entertainment capital of the world) and the San Francisco Bay Area (home base of the tech industry).

If you're building your career in design, technology, or a creative field - or you're launching or expanding a business of your own - which of these two world-class cultural nodes is a better fit for your skills, goals, and temperament?

San Francisco: All Hands on Tech

The Bay Area served as the cradle for the personal computing revolution of the 1970s, the popularization of the World Wide Web in the '90s, and the current dominance of giant Silicon Valley corporations such as Google, Apple, and Facebook in global commerce, communication, and culture. It's the place where engineers and entrepreneurs first fully embraced the world-shifting potential of connected gadgets.

With record-low unemployment and plenty of San Francisco open jobs, designers, developers, marketers, and other tech-savvy creatives are still feeling the love in SF, even as the city deals with staggeringly expensive... well, everything, especially housing. The city has its problems, and it will need its best minds to put their heads together and think up unprecedented solutions - and that’s what the Bay does best.

Fresh opportunities arise at the intersections of tech with other emerging fields, and the tight-knit cultural communities of SF are ideal for the formation of these sorts of symbiotic relationships.

"The Bay Area has a history of bohemianism and sophistication that is now melding with a technology-driven culture," says author and economic geographer Michael Storper, in conversation with urban studies theorist Richard Florida. "One hopes that the Bay Area will not become a one-horse town, but will retain the mix of culture, criticism, eccentricity, and hard-driving entrepreneurship that has made it so dynamic for so long."

Los Angeles: The Show Must Grow On

Since the beginnings of film, LA has led the world in entertainment. Now, that's creating new opportunities in technology and content as tools change, economic power shifts, and showbiz dramatically evolves.

“We’re going through a renaissance at the moment because of the growth of entertainment and content,” says CBRE vice chairman Jeff Pion, in a Curbed exploration of LA's growth in tech. “There’s a merging of tech and entertainment, and content is king at the moment. The potential for harnessing the existing entertainment workforce in LA immediately is incredible... Five years ago, a founder who wanted to keep their company in LA would get a lot of questions. Today, it’s like, why do I need to be anywhere else?”

Bay Area beasts such as Google and Facebook have bustling offices in Silicon Beach, as well. And SoCal is home to its own thriving breed of tech unicorns. With its deliberate and widely supported efforts to improve mass transit, build more affordable housing, and mitigate the stifling effects of its legendary urban sprawl, LA city is rising to the challenges of changing times. Los Angeles open jobs are more interesting and diverse than ever before.

"LA has had some hard economic times, but there is no doubt that it is an increasingly worldly city with an effervescent artistic and intellectual culture," says Storper. What LA needs is to harness these advantages to better fundamentals: better and denser leadership structures, more connectedness among economic communities, more employment density, better basic education, and a focus on skills."

Golden State of Mind

Los Angeles and San Francisco are both changing landscapes. Creative professionals and business leaders in both cities are defying outmoded stereotypes to nurture new ideas, build new communities, and help determine the futures of the places they love.

There's much more to LA than great food and warm weather. And SF isn't just for hippies and geeks.

Artisan Creative has many years of experience in the San Francisco and Los Angeles markets. We're immersed in their communities, we pay attention to changes, and we see new opportunities as they emerge. Contact us today to start building your own California dream.

We hope you've enjoyed our 515th a.blog.


Why We Love What We Do

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Why We Love What We Do

This February we celebrate 23 years of being Artisan Creative. Twenty-three fabulous years of creating relationships based on trust and of teamwork, collaboration, and support.

Thank you for being on this journey with us. We couldn’t have done it without you.

To celebrate and in recognition of Valentine’s day, we asked our Artisan Creative a.team to share 23 things they love about what they do every day and why they love working at Artisan Creative.

  1. The Artisan a.team
  2. The impact we create every day in people’s lives
  3. Our core values
  4. Our life/work integration mindset
  5. Flexibility - working to live and not living to work
  6. Seeing life-changing opportunities through the work we do
  7. The amazing people we work with
  8. Ability to work from anywhere. Remote/Virtual office
  9. Building impactful relationships
  10. Connecting people to opportunities
  11. Supportive team
  12. Working for a company that finds jobs for artists
  13. Use of relevant and current technologies
  14. Being organized and efficient
  15. Interesting team building exercises
  16. Employee ideas are heard, considered and acted upon
  17. Learning from a dynamic and supportive team
  18. Connecting with great people and changing lives
  19. Building long lasting client & talent relationships
  20. Integrity, respect, and honesty of the team
  21. Making a difference
  22. Focus on personal and professional development
  23. Being a woman-owned business

Our core values were created by the a.team. To learn more about how we create impact, please connect.

We hope you've enjoyed our 509th a.blog. Happy Valentine’s Day.

 


Favorite Books & Shows of 2018

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Favorite Books & Shows of 2018

As the year comes to end, we wanted to recap some of the fun shows, movies and books of 2018 that our a.team has enjoyed. We are clearly an eclectic group with a wide array of tastes. Hope some of these resonate with you too! What were some of your favorites?

Favorite Books of 2018

Favorite Movies/TV Shows of 2018

We hope you've enjoyed our 501st a.blog.  We wish you a happy holiday season.

 


Our Top 25 Blogs

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Our Top 25 Blogs

We are thrilled to publish our 500th blog today. As we approach the end of 2018, we’d like to share some of our a.team’s favorite blogs.

These cover a range of topics from self-development and time-management to job search, hiring and much more.

We hope you enjoy this top 25 greatest hits compilation.

We hope you've enjoyed our 500th post.  You can find plenty other tips, inspirations, best practices and advice on our a.blog.

We look forward to connecting.




Define Your Personal Brand

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Define Your Personal Brand

 

As a creative professional, no matter what projects you pursue, you can create a lot more opportunities for yourself when you establish a clear, concrete, and powerful personal brand.

Here are five steps to help you define who you are, what you do, and where you want to go.

Get to Know Yourself

No matter what work you do, you have your own skills, style, and experiences that are unique to you. Together, they make up a professional persona that differentiates you from your competition. The more specific you can be about your persona, the more consistent your brand can be, and the more work it can do on your behalf.

Developing an effective personal brand requires taking an inventory of what you do well, how others see you, and how you can help them. It can be difficult to look at yourself objectively, on the flip side, this process of inquiry will pay enormous dividends throughout your career.

Check Your Humility

To maintain a healthy grounding in reality, it's important to be realistic and think critically about yourself, your strengths, and the areas in which you can improve upon. When you're building your brand set this aside for the moment and begin with an open mind.

Flatter yourself. Emphasize your strengths. Present yourself as a legend, a rock star, larger than life. You can always be humble and approachable after people are intrigued!

If you have trouble getting excited about your own brand, this classic Creative Mornings talk from Richard Sauerman will provide a jolt of encouragement and help you fall in love with yourself a bit.

Go on a Vision Quest

Create a detailed picture of where you want to go in your professional life, and your mind will begin to automatically strategize how to get you there.

Before you begin the detailed work of building your personal brand, try this visioning exercise. It will help you understand why you're doing all this. Imagine the fruits of your success and you'll whet your appetite for the work it requires.

Become You, Inc.

Now it's time to open your toolbox and assemble the nuts and bolts you will use to build your brand. You'll develop your own style guide, visual assets, slogan, elevator pitch, and everything else a business needs to distinguish and differentiate itself.

To do this, you can use the same assignments and techniques that top agencies use on branding projects for multinational corporations. This article on the best practices of in-the-weeds brand-branding lists all the essentials you'll need, with examples from some of the world's best-known corporate brands.

Knowing how to stand out in the crowd is key to defining your personal brand.  Check out Winnie & Lorrie Hart's book on Stand Out for more details.

Get Engaged

Your brand may be born in the studio, and it will come into its own when it learns to survive on the street. As time goes on, you will develop and iterate on your brand based on how it interacts with the outside world at networking events, in pitch meetings, online, in the work you do, and in the content you create.

Whether you're an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in between, you'll ultimately build your brand through active engagement with your professional community. The more you do this, the more opportunities will open for you. It pays to be strategic, mindful, and deliberate about it.

Consider what you’re comfortable with, and then go slightly outside that zone. You’ll bring back some interesting insights.

At Artisan Creative, we pool decades of experience in the world of creative work to help you become your best professional self and hit goals you didn't know you had. Contact us today to find your next invigorating challenge.

We hope you've enjoyed the 499th issue of our a.blog

 



With Gratitude

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

With Gratitude

“Start with gratitude. Then get to work.”

-Beth Lapides

During this Thanksgiving holiday season, we at Artisan Creative celebrate our clients and talent whom we work with all year. By working with the finest people and organizations, we always find ourselves amazed by the skills of our talent and the openness of our clients that facilitate the making of great matches. This gives us pride in the part we play in impacting careers.

This would not be possible without the courage and selflessness of those who hold up our communities from behind the scenes. We share our immense gratitude for the people who do so much to keep our society functioning at the hardest of times.

In the last few weeks, the Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire have posed unprecedented challenges for our home state of California. In response, Californians have come together to rally behind deeply affected families and businesses, and to support charities and emergency workers who are saving lives and helping communities prepare for rebuilding and recovery. We encourage joining these efforts and giving in the ways that are most effective, using wise-giving guidelines to make sure our dollars do the greatest possible good. Volunteering at your local shelter, donating clothes and essentials, supporting our firefighters are all ways we can help.

The people we work with have taught us much about strengthening our networks, bringing out the best in each other, and banding together to accomplish seemingly impossible breakthroughs. We enter this season in optimistic spirits, and we could never thank you all enough!

Our Artisan a.team is grateful for so much this year, our collective thanks are outlined below:

We are thankful for our health, loving spouse/partners, our children, our fur babies, our families, our A.team co-workers, our home, our company, our personal freedom, our friends and support system, our breath, our opportunity to travel, our ability to have life/work integration, the opportunity to work remotely, and our California.

We wish you and yours a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.


Create a Creative Workspace

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Create a Creative Workspace

Living things don't exist in isolation - we are who we are through complex interactions with our environments. This means building strong relationships with colleagues and coworkers. We can also pay more mindful attention to the details of our physical surroundings. This can help us bring our workspaces into harmony with our projects, our values, and our personalities.

Whether you work from home or have a desk/cubicle in a larger office, these tips can help you spruce up your space, which can help you become happier, more productive, and more creative.

Shed a Little Light

The light you work under sets the tone for what you think and what you accomplish. It can have a powerful effect on your psychological and ocular health. If you can, invest in a stylish lamp you love. If you love to work with your hands and you know a bit about electronics, you can even try making your own.

Know Your Ergonomics

We did not evolve to sit at desks all day. But with a basic understanding of the principles of ergonomics, you can make your work much easier on your health, and feel better as well. Understand what you need from a chair, how to place your equipment, and how to sit. You'll feel better, accomplish more, and preserve your long-term health.

Keep Your Vision in Sight

Keeping your vision board prominently placed in your workspace can help you stay cognizant of your larger goals and mission. When you're in danger of getting lost in the details, your vision board can realign your mind with a larger perspective. Whatever you're working on, the big picture is only a glance away.

Add a Splash of Color

In every culture, colors have deep symbolic significance. According to color theory, the right combinations of colors can inspire new ideas and perspectives. In your space, experiment with colors to find your ideal aesthetic and psychological balance. You don't need to turn your office screaming neon pink; minor accents can be enough to alter your brain chemistry and enhance your insights.

Go Green

When we strengthen our relationships with nature, we put ourselves in touch with the rhythms of the earth and the essence of life. Bringing plants into your workspace (even just a modest succulent) can freshen your perspective. Taking care of a plant also provides a sense of responsibility and accomplishment, a valuable reminder that what you pay attention to always matters in this complex web of existence.

Work Within the Code

When we innovate within the rules, we become, as Proust writes, "like good poets whom the tyranny of rhyme forces into the discovery of their finest lines." If your employer has rules governing how you can decorate your space, this can drive you to be more creative, not less. Go through the rulebook in detail, and figure out fresh ways to let your personality shine within the structure. This can inspire you and those around you to look at established guidelines with a fresh perspective.

At Artisan Creative, we support all aspects of your career, because we believe the best work can only be done in the right environment. Contact us today to learn more.

 

We hope you've enjoyed the 490th issue of our blog.


 

 




Employee Ghosting and the Value of Respect

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Employee Ghosting and the Value of Respect

Which one of these do you feel is harder: to be rejected outright, or to be simply ignored? Today, many employers are facing this question almost on a daily basis.
 
In dating and romantic relationships, the practice of one partner ignoring another - not responding to texts and treating all attempts at communication with radio silence - is known as "ghosting." Similar practices are steadily creeping into the business world, with a wave of talent and prospective employees not showing up for scheduled interviews and agreed-upon start dates, or even for jobs they've already committed themselves to. Ghosting is giving hiring managers and employers a scare.
 
How We Got Here
The United States is in an era of low unemployment and sustained economic growth. As the demand for new talent outpaces supply, employers have struggled to find the right people for all of their open opportunities. Talent and employees thus have much more power than they did during the Great Recession when many lost their jobs with little fanfare and interviewers often ignored candidates they didn't want to hire. The new reverse imbalance manifests in cavalier employee behavior such as unannounced absenteeism and a failure to communicate.
 
According to USA Today, as many as 20% of workers in some industries now engage in ghosting practices. This trend is negatively impacting large and small businesses, along with their customers. On the other hand, it's inspiring conversations about how workers and employers can treat each other better, to foster more healthy and successful relationships down the line.
 
In order to facilitate mutual growth, the culture of work requires trust, respect, and core values to be shared between employers and employees. As any discerning politician can tell you, it is foolish to pin one's fate to shifting, unpredictable trends in economics. We advocate that employers, employees, clients, and talent use the advent of ghosting as an opportunity to get reacquainted with the core values that can sustain them through booms and busts.
 
Communication
As a talent, it’s ok to reject opportunities that aren't right for you, however, do it in a manner that respects the offer and lets any relevant stakeholders know. Honest compassionate communication always makes the truth easier to convey, and with an appropriate heads-up, everyone should be able to move on more smoothly. When leaving your current job, give two weeks' notice when possible, and offer to tie up any loose ends in your work to facilitate an easy transition.
 
As a hiring manager, when you decide not to hire a candidate after an interview, let the candidate know. If you can, provide some constructive feedback, even if it may not be what the candidate wants to hear. It can be difficult to deliver bad news, however, it's worth it if it means supporting a culture of openness and mutual respect. It is also important to acknowledge that it's a candidate driven market, and many candidates are experiencing multiple interviews. Providing timely feedback is key, especially if you are interested in the next steps with a candidate.
 
Transparency
When we give accurate information to others, we empower them to make better-informed decisions in the future. We also invest in the strength of our own reputations, because everyone appreciates those who deliver the truth with respect and understanding.
 
As your circumstances change, make sure everyone around you knows what they need to know to prepare for any impact this may have. As a talent, this means letting your employers or recruiters know if you are available. As an employer, it means keeping your team informed about the state of the company and letting them know you're all on the same side.
 
The world is small, and life is long. As technology makes us all more closely interconnected, our reputations, previous actions, and patterns of behavior are more likely to open or close new opportunities for us. If you must exit a difficult situation, and you do so with grace and full disclosure, you will more likely find support from your former colleagues when circumstances change and may be less in your favor.
 
At Artisan Creative, we believe a culture of respect is paramount in all human endeavors. We give our talent and clients the tools and support they need to succeed when they lead with their values. Contact us today to learn more.
We hope you've enjoyed the 488th issue of our a.blog.


The Design History of The Flag

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

The Design History of The Flag

Wishing you a happy 4th of July!

The contemporary "stars and stripes" design has its origins in the early days of the republic. The original version of the design was officially adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1777. Francis Hopkinson took credit for its design, contradicting the legend propagated by the descendants of seamstress Betsy Ross that she created the first flag from a sketch by George Washington. Most specifics of its origin are lost to history, though its symbolism has been fairly consistent.

The official flag design has gone through 26 variations since 1777. The current version, with 50 stars and thirteen stripes, has been in use since July 4, 1960, when it was adopted to honor the addition of Hawaii. It will likely change again if Puerto Rico or the District of Columbia achieve statehood.

The number of stars and stripes has represented the number of colonies and states in the union, although sometimes not exactly (to avoid clutter, among other reasons). Traditionally, the red represents valor and strength, the white represents innocence and purity, and the blue represents perseverance and justice. Although mass-market reproductions use different shades, any flag produced by the government must use pure white (#FFFFFF), Old Glory Blue (#002868), and Old Glory Red (#BF0A30).

Numerous artists - Norman Rockwell, Jasper Johns, Barbara Kreuger, Robert Longo, and thousands of lesser-known pop artists and graphic designers - have taken their liberties with the flag, incorporating it into their work to convey a spectrum of emotion and meaning. Among many other ideas, the flag represents an expressive and creative freedom that has generated a bounty of design work, from the reverent and patriotic to the humorous and subversive.

Outside of a few Scandinavian countries, few nations have the reverence for their flags that many Americans do, particularly those within and adjacent to the US Armed Forces. Conversely, the desecration and abuse of the flag, as a form of protest, has been widely practiced and consistently deemed protected by the First Amendment.

One of its most powerful messages is a celebration of the ability to rearrange traditional symbols to honor history, to question tradition, or to communicate something new. The work of artists, graphic designers, and artrepreneurs affects how we think, how we live, and how we consider the world around us. In any context, it is an urgently important discipline and pursuit.

Celebrate taking charge of your creative career. Contact Artisan Creative today to learn more.

Wishing you a Happy Independence Day.

We hope you've enjoyed the 478th issue of our a.blog.



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