Thomas Edison wrote himself a hugely ambitious todo list.

Elon Musk wrote a ‘secret’ 10 year master plan for his company. And followed it with another.

Here’s one for The Shop.

We will:

  • Use design sprints to help organisations solve difficult business problems in five days.
  • Continually improve the design sprint process, so that organisations get the most effective solution to strategy, product/service or marketing/campaign challenges we can offer.
  • Provide no other consulting products or services.
  • Build a large network of well-vetted partners to help organisations deliver ideas that come out of their sprint.
  • Charge a small referral fee for onward recommendations. Pay one if you refer business to us.
  • Create a space where the work happens. It will be designed so that participants have everything they need to be able to focus on solving the challenge (facilitation, strategic and creative help, comfort, quiet, coffee, food, materials).
  • Base The Shop somewhere where we don’t have to pass high rents to our clients.
  • Base The Shop somewhere on the periphery of ‘normal’ locations for consultancies/agencies. This is both symbolic, and practical, putting clients closer to their customers.
  • Build software to help people plan and prepare for sprints, manage activities during the week, store research and ideas for future exploration and maintain their commitments to the solution.
  • Charge a low flat fee (we also offer a very high flat fee option to be competitive with the large management consultancies, offering a 99% refund on completion of the sprint week).
  • Launch sprint conferences, where people from different organisations come together to work on a shared problem or theme. They also learn how to sprint, so they can take it back to their organisation to help make working there better.
  • Share what we can. Be absolutely discreet about what we cannot.
  • Sell our by-products (e.g. space, custom materials, software).
  • Once a Shop is running 15-20 sprints a year, open another. Repeat.
  • Run the company fairly for its employess – fair pay, family-friendly hours, offering significant personal development time during the 30 weeks a year we’re not working on client sprints.
  • Actively maintain a 50/50 gender split among staff. This will be true at all levels of the organisation.
  • Give 5% of the company to charity.
  • We will happily work with weapons manufacturers to develop well-funded peace initiatives. We will work with big tobacco on similarly well-funded smoking cessation programmes. We operate a vetting policy.
  • When we are hiring (we’re not, yet), applicants need not supply their name or any other information that may cause us to discriminate against you.
  • Always be the little guy. We value speed, affordability and accuracy. They say you can’t have all three. We work to prove ‘they’ wrong.

We will update this plan when we have new/better ideas. If some things aren’t working, we’ll leave them here so others can learn from them.