Smashing’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2016

It’s that time of the year again, where we take time to reflect on the successes and challenges of the past year, and with renewed vigor, set a course for a new year that aims to be progressive, innovative and produces inspired results. With that aim, we sat down with our Smashing Leadership Team to discuss what their New Year’s resolutions are for our digital agency in 2016.


Brian Burke, CEO | Our agency’s path is on solid ground and I clearly expect us to build upon this foundation! Our year will unfold with a renewed focus on experimentation with new technologies that will provide inherent value to our clients and partners, with a keen eye to the humanization of these technologies via Motivational UX™. We will design for people’s lives, how they work and how they play, helping them realize their best through digital products and experiences that are carefully crafted for their expected shared and unique outcomes. And…we will have a ton of fun in the process!


Brian Marr, CSO | Rather than a resolution, I have a number of goals for 2016. One of them is to focus more of my time on work that has a beneficial impact on society. As an agency, we began doing more of this work in 2015 – something many aspire to do, but aren’t able to make work within their business model. My favorite example right now is a project we worked on with a doctor at the University of Washington to help severely mentally ill patients quit smoking. It’s a massive public health problem, and something we believe we can help solve by bringing experts from behavioral therapy and digital together. It always feels great to ship a product here. Shipping one that leads to an improved quality of life is just that much better.


Victor Allen, CTO | 2015 was a tipping point in many ways: the number of connected products, wearables and smart TV products has reached a critical mass which has been a boon for the companies that were able to take part. The flip side is that this can mean significant change for how organizations approach their business and interact with their customers. Digital leaders need a secret weapon to help them manage that change. In 2016, we’ll build on our successes in 2015 to be the technical partner that our clients can rely on to be that secret weapon.


Lisa Dawson, Director of Production | Just as the digital world continues to evolve, the way we work to bring our digital products to life must evolve, too. In 2016 I resolve to challenge myself and my Smashing colleagues to seek opportunities to be innovative in how we tackle our project commitments, working with each other and our clients to try new approaches and learn from our results. Process can be iterative, too!


Chad Otis, Executive Creative Director | Fortune favors the bold! I resolve to go for broke and to empower the Creative Team (which really is everyone at SI), to do the same. Technology continues to provide more and more opportunity to be creative, and the audiences we create for are more and more excited about creative solutions – not just tools as solutions to problems, but vibrant, engaging, connected experiences with heart. Let’s give them what they want in 2016!


Patrick Cousans, Executive Director, Client Engagement | Improve and evolve communication tools and protocols we use internally and externally. Legacy has us using email, instant messaging, video conferencing, cloud-based document sharing, version-control based protocols, stand ups, status meetings, and many, many more. These are all supposed to make us more efficient, more thorough and better informed. This avalanche requires immense time to manage, update and maintain. Communication specialization has become our own time and productivity enemy. Remember when everyone was not copied on every email you sent?

So my new year’s resolution is to help direct and simplify communication paths for Smashing and thereby become more productive. Less is more!


Lisa Forsyth, Director, Strategic Accounts | I resolve to re-energize my team around our core mission and values, gain a deeper understanding of their individual aspirations, and evangelize the connection between their aspirations and the strategy and goals of our organization. I will provide opportunities for people to work in areas that leverage their strengths and take into account their career aspirations, engage them in the big picture, and show them where their contribution has been, and continues to be, meaningful.


Charlie Barr, Senior Director, Business Development | My New Year’s resolution for Smashing Ideas will differ greatly from my personal New Year’s resolution. I plan to make it stick throughout the year, not just the first few weeks of January. Over the last few years we’ve expanded our expertise into a number of different industries. The projects we work on have an impact on how people conduct their daily lives. An area of personal interest is healthcare, specifically healthcare for children. I plan to research current trends/technologies and network with professionals in the industry to uncover opportunities for Smashing Ideas to create products or solutions that may revolutionize aspects of children’s health.


Drew Erikson, Director of Finance | My 2016 resolution is to look at core processes to see where we can evolve – we’ll only deliver great projects for our clients if we keep an open mind and keep changing.  Constant improvement is the mantra.

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