Since there has been a lot of discussion on the blog, Facebook, and Twitter about this week's off-site meeting that brought everyone at CBC Radio 3 together for two days in Vancouver, we thought it might be a good idea to tell you all a bit about what we were doing.
(If a summary of a two-day meeting sounds horribly boring, I will happily forgive you for should you choose to quickly skip to the next post...)
Why was there a two-day meeting for everyone at CBC Radio 3?
- We haven't seen each other all in one place in over two years and being face-to-face to hang-out and talk about challenges & new opportunities is always hugely valuable.
- We had THREE new members of the team starting within a few weeks of each other - the timing was perfect to have everyone meet each other and learn about what Radio 3 is and how it works. (Welcome to Web Developers Daragh Courtney & David Kartik, and also to Systems Administrator Paul Wolstenholme - three highly talented gentlemen joining our web team!!!)
- We have an exciting music project in the works at CBC and I wanted to give everyone a sneak peak at what it is. I am sad to say that this project is still a SECRET and we can't talk about it yet.
I'd love to, but I can't. Not because I'd have to kill you if i told you. Because someone would kill ME if I told you. Hope you understand - I have young children and it's not worth the risk. :-) (How's THAT for a teaser???)
Sooooo? What, you ask, did we do for TWO WHOLE DAYS?
- We did a workshop on Innovation and Creative Problem Solving. We all took a little test and (hopefully) gained some insight into how each of us solves problems and generates ideas most effectively.
- We learned that compared to an average group of people, we have more 'explorers' (ie: people who want to think outside the box - in some cases, WAY outside the box), we have a good mix of those who solve problems by talking about it with others vs those who solve problems most effectively with time on their own, and that we have a good mix of people who prioritize the human impact of decisions and those who make logical, task-based decisions. (Whew...) In case you're interested in psycho-analyzing my impact on CBC Radio 3, my profile showed me to be an extreme 'explorer' who works much better at solving problems externally with others and who prioritizes people over logic when finding solutions.
- We got a demo of a web-based product called Rypple that lets team members provide each other with feedback and updates on what we're working on. It's pretty cool and we're going to try it out and see whether it helps us give better feedback more often.
- We spent a good chunk of the afternoon talking about our team culture: what's great, what needs work, and how we're going to make it stronger and more visible as a priority all the time.
For those who are curious, the biggest issues we need to work on are workload and more time for creativity, new ideas, and risk-taking. We're on it!
- We reviewed ALL sorts of cool stats about how all of you used CBC Radio 3 last year. Some interesting factoids:
Thank you to ALL of you who helped grow CBC Radio 3 so much in the past year - the music has been fantastic, the community has never been more tightly knit and engaging, and Canadian musicians are getting heard more than ever before on CBC Radio 3 and beyond!
- We had over 10 MILLION tracks played on-demand last year!
- Visits to cbcradio3.com are up 40% over 2009
- The average length of a visit to our site is over an hour
- We doubled our Twitter followers in a year
- We doubled our downloads to the Sessions podcast in a year
- There are close to 100,000 fans of artists
- Close to 100,000 tracks have been 'liked'
- We had over 145,000 comments on the site in 2010
- We had a group dinner out together at Six Acres in Vancouver and then headed over to Guilt & Company for socializing and board games. I'm sure there are already many blackmail-ready photos on Facebook...
- I started the day by boring everyone to tears with close to THREE HOURS of research, data, and analysis of how Canadians use music and what else is going in the competitive landscape around digital music. Seriously - by the end of it, people were begging for mercy. Lesson learned. Next time, only TWO HOURS of research, data, and analysis...
- We had Ryan Holmes, the CEO of Hootsuite, come and talk to us about how they started and grew their Vancouver-based Twitter client into a world leader. Dave Olson from Hootsuite then gave us all a power-used tutorial which blew a lot of our minds, learning things we had no idea we could do.
- We talked about our SECRET PROJECT. (I'm sorry - I would want to reach into cyberspace and punch me in the throat after seeing that I capitalized and bolded SECRET PROJECT. I am an arse.)
- We gave everyone new CBC Radio 3 t-shirts! (Coming soon to trivia contests and other prizing opportunities very soon :-) )
And that's it. I can only speak for myself, but it was awesome.
We're so lucky to have such a great team here at CBC Radio 3, so it really is a blast to have everyone together in the same room at the same time. There were many, many terrific ideas generated and thoughtful insights into problems offered. And there were a lot of laughs, too.
Anything else you'd like to know? Ask about anything - EXCEPT for the SECRET PROJECT...
(I hope this is exciting like LOST secrets, and not annoying like M. Night Shyamalan secrets)
Director, CBC Radio 3