Back in 2010 Toward was a very different agency. We were a smaller team of three designers, two developers and Mike. Mike was basically in charge of everything non-creative; New business, account handling, scheduling, project management, HR, studio management, coffee management and everything else that goes into running a busy design studio. We were at a tipping point. As our workload grew we were becoming disorganised, scrambling to keep clients up to date and projects on track. We needed help.
Enter Rob Mills. He arrived in November 2010 in the role of studio manager, tasked with the job of kicking our butts into line. One thing I’ve learned from running a business for 13 years is this: If you’re bringing someone on board to help fix a problem, you have to let go. Let go of ‘your way’. Let go of control.
That’s exactly what we did with Rob. We gave him full control and responsibility of getting us organised. Full authority to tell us, and the team what we were doing wrong. Freedom to bring in new processes, new techniques, new software to make us better—whatever it took. And, boy did it work.
Five years on and we’re now as regularly commended by clients on our project management, scheduling and communications as we are our work.
It was clear from the start, that as well as his organisation and management skills, Rob had more to give. His love for writing, interest in content and knowledge of our industry were all perfect ingredients for us to take Toward to the next level.
Over the last few years we’ve become much more content focused. It’s now the first thing we talk to clients about—from content audits and developing tone of voice to helping with content creation and management. This focus on what’s really important has not only allowed us to offer new services to our clients, but has improved the standard of our work hugely.
With five years at Toward under his belt Rob’s work here is done, so at the end of the month he’s leaving our team for pastures new, as content strategist for Gather Content (a company we really like!)
Of course it was a shock when he first told us, but as time has gone on it makes perfect sense for Rob. Content is such a passion for him, and he’ll now be able to focus on it full time. We’re sure he’ll be a brilliant asset to his new team.
Leaving a legacy
When you run a small company like ours, the importance of having ambassadors who are passionate about providing a great service cannot be understated. Rob has been an absolutely brilliant ambassador. Always going the extra mile to include us in articles and conference talks. Always pushing us to do our best work. Always making sure our clients are happy.
The processes, tools and structures Rob has helped us put in place are now part of our company and will go on and be developed long after his last day.
We now have an awesome team in place to continue Rob’s great project and studio management, and will shortly be welcoming an exciting new member of the team who will be in charge of our content services (more on that later).
So, as we say a big sloppy goodbye to Rob, I’d like to take this chance to say a big ‘thank you!’, from myself, Mike and the team. Roberto—Thank you for making us a better company! We wish you all the very best for a bright future.
To finish, I thought I’d look back at the blog and share some of Rob’s best bits, enjoy!