Introducing the MESA Method: Creating the Ideal Work Experience - Forte Labs - Deepstash

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Introducing the MESA Method: Creating the Ideal Work Experience - Forte Labs

Introducing the MESA Method: Creating the Ideal Work Experience - Forte Labs

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Accelerated Work Experiences

Accelerated work experiences or AWEs include any work format that compresses productive activity in time or space to deliver a result much faster than would otherwise be possible.

Popular methods include pomodoros, hackathons, design sprints, Scrum sprints, rapid prot...

As work has become ever more digital, distributed, and asynchronous over the past few decades, we have basked in our newfound freedom. Now we can work anywhere, anytime! And thus we find ourselves working everywhere, all the time.

The splintering of the experience of work into a million t...

A MESA is a 5-day, intensive work sprint delivered on behalf of a client, usually a large company or other organization. MESA Co. gathers 12-16 participants (which they have found to be just the right number) in beautiful, often exotic locations around the world, seeking to creat...

Here is the basic premise: the world is only getting more complex. This means there will be fewer and fewer proven solutions to problems. What we need is not a new and better solution, but a method for creating solutions quickly, in response to changing conditions.

At the same time, the mo...

The only way to solve the world’s most complex challenges is by working with the best in the world.

And the only way to do that is to keep the time commitment short, remove every obstacle to them creating value, and create an environment and a team where they can do the b...

The goal is to create a brief, but very intense working environment where a small group of carefully chosen participants can build something tangible to advance a mission or cause that they care about.

The method takes advantage of rapid prototyping tools, software-as-a-service, and modul...

The client is a “problem owner” responsible for an important challenge that they can’t solve on their own. Perhaps their main product is no longer resonating with a younger generation of consumers.

Their marketing channels are outdated and obsolete, but they are afraid to cannibalize them...

Day 1 is a “download day” dedicated to getting all the relevant information out of everyone’s heads and “out on the table.” This includes the external participants, who were chosen for their specialized expertise in the industries, markets, and technologies thought to be most rel...

Day 3 is for prototyping, which includes small groups writing copy, making mockups or landing pages, building demos, or producing short videos or presentations to demonstrate the viability of the ideas from the day before.

It is on Day 3, once people have to start making ...

Day 4 is focused on more advanced prototyping, taking the most viable prototypes to a basic level of functionality. The leader pushes to bring the fidelity of the prototype as close to reality as possible, including real code and functional backends whenever possible.

The ...

Day 5, the final day, is focused on wrapping up loose ends and preparing the final presentation. MESA Co. is adamant that the final deliverable cannot be just a presentation (or a report or briefing), but rather the presentation is a vehicle for delivering and explaining...

Where MESA shines is not in the explicit – the rules, structures, schedule, checklists – but in the tacit, the subtle, and the sublime.

They have found a way to use these subtle touches not just to create a memorable experience, but to produce results that more heavy-handed methods can on...

The table represents the intersection of pleasure and commitment. The pleasure of family and friends sitting together and sharing a meal in the evening. And the commitment of getting down to business, of giving everything you have to the task at hand.

Tables and the meals we eat on them are...

There is a deeper purpose to these rituals that is easy to miss: they imbue the entire experience with significance. They make the process of getting calories into our bodies much more than the sum of its parts: an affirmation of our values, a time of connection with the people we love most, a re...

MESA seeks to reintroduce and translate some of these rituals to the world of work. But not just for nostalgic purposes. It recreates them from the ground up, focusing them like a laser on one thing: producing results. It is a reinvention of the rituals that once bound us together in a shared pur...

The experience begins with the venue. MESA Co. very carefully chooses locations that support the results they are trying to produce. The venues almost always have a “wow factor” to inspire the participants with an environment that stimulates all the senses. Entering the venue as a group and seein...

The table is, of course, central. It is laid out with precise measurements down to the centimeter, in order to put people just close enough to work together, while giving them enough space to work. Each place at the table has a name on it, like a wedding where every seating assignment is carefull...

Every element in the space is chosen with intention: the chairs are comfortable for long hours of sitting and working; bags are collected in a central location so they don’t get in the way; the food is prepared simply and to avoid afternoon crashes; there are no clocks, giving the experience a se...

The real purpose of all these decisions and rituals is to change participants’ behavior, away from the counterproductive habits we’ve developed, and toward a more focused way of working that is rarely possible in a distraction-filled workplace. As you find yourself in an environment purposefully ...

Coming back to the everyday world, I’ve begun to notice a phenomenon everywhere: as soon as one person in a group takes out their phone or computer, everyone else is much more likely to do so as well. It only takes one person to check out for the atmosphere of human presence to start being sucked...

I believe that people naturally want to focus, but only if that focus will be protected and respected. They want to give their best, but only if that effort will be put to good use. As the idealism of wanting to do a good job collides with the fragmented reality of modern schedules, we b...

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