Launch

Launch Image

Launch is a word that holds so much potential in such a small innocuous package. It’s a letter away from lunch, which is often sought after and has its own appeal, but doesn’t quite capture the power. Launch is about huge ships sailing into adventure after you smash a brilliant bottle of champagne on the hull. Launch is a shuttle exploding into space to explore new worlds and launch is what we use describe the beginning of campaigns and the start of enterprises.

I launched a new website last week. A labour of love if ever there was one. It’s pretty, if I do say so myself, but its useful and that’s the bit that makes me proud and makes me think of the pleasure and privilege that comes with the idea of launch. Of course, I also launched a new brand for the organization, so that has something to do with my excitement. Branding is a tricky undertaking; it’s so easy to choose what you like versus what you are and what you need. That however, is discussion for another post. This one is about the start of big things and the beginning of real change.

Since late February I have been working on a rebranding project for my organization. The process has been cathartic, it required a lot of work, and a fair bit of reflection but it has easily been one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve worked on in years. There’s nothing like the intense research needed for a brand to get you to really understand what makes something tick. I’m nothing if not curious, so exploring, asking questions, comparing approaches and ideas and occasionally giving a poke to see what would happen are my idea of fun.

To mark the launch of the new brand we did a soft launch of the new website. Actually we launched what is effectively, 22 websites with more to follow shortly. The excitement, the worry, the late nights and early mornings, not to mention the lost weekends were worth it. As we worked, we kept talking about launch, the coming launch, the day of launch, the launch process. Although the public facing portion of the site took a fair bit of effort, it’s the portion that faces the members of my organization that really appeals to me. The focus was on useful. Could we have the functionality of digital employee engagement tools, things like, private messaging, discussion forums etc. and marry them to traditional membership offerings like a resource library, classifieds and event listings? The answer was yes. Now we see how they get used.

The idea of launch became so appealing it began to represent the aspirations of my entire team. That’s the other thing that launch meant. Orchestrated team effort towards something new and worthwhile. We were working in two different cities and multiple locations, yet we were in-synch. I’ve begun to think that I should approach all new things in my life as launch points. It would imbue them with relevance; it would inspire dedicated effort and more than anything it would speak to purpose.

If you’d like to take a look at my recent launch, you can find it here, opto.ca

What does launch mean to you?

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at freedigitalphoto.net

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