On February 20, we closed our computers, put out-of-office messages on our emails, and hosted our first xDay. For a full eight hours, XPLANE designers, program managers, consultants, HR, finance, and even CEO Aric Wood broke away from the regular workday to fully focus on innovation and creation. At the end of the day, over our favorite craft beer, we all came together to discuss our hard work and findings.


Below is a snap shot of what some of the projects we worked on:


Team/Individual: Consulting Team

Goal: Organize previous projects in a reference library

Our consultants joined forces on xDay to create a reference library, showcasing winning examples of our client work. This internal, web-based guide provides a brief overview of successful projects, client goals, and final outcomes for the consulting team to peruse when they are putting together plans for new customers. Not only is this now a great onboarding tool for consultants, but it is also an amazing resource for current XPLANErs to use to generate ideas for our clients. The guide takes our team through the narrative of consulting, allowing us to filter our past work by overall goals, possible deliverables, and client industry.


Team/Individual: Aric Wood

Goal: Create a social media plan

Aric Wood wanted to spend his xDay working on a big opportunity for himself: social media. As CEO for XPLANE, Board Chair at Pacific Northwest College of Art, and Board Member of the Design Museum Foundation, Aric wanted to amp up his social presence by transitioning from a self-proclaimed ‘private tech guy’ to a real, reliable web resource. Through the day he created a mind map that planned out where he’d post, what he’d post, themes he’d post about, and how he’d get there. He set weekly goals for himself and is currently following his new social path.


Team/Individual: Roel Uleners, Creative Director

Goal: To capture the story of XPLANE

Creative Director Roel Uleners wanted to spend his xDay bringing together his love for XPLANE, his passion for magazine layout, and his interest in new technology. Inspired by the likes of WIRED magazine and Google’s Think Quarterly, Roel devoted his day planning out the inner workings of a new digital magazine that would document the ups and downs of the past 20 years of XPLANE. On top of creating an overall outline, Roel sat down virtually with XPLANEr Dave Gray for two hours over Skype to get the company’s story straight from the founder.


Team/Individual: HR

Goal: Create a streamlined onboarding program

On top of planning the full day schedule (from the breakfast to the beers), our HR team came together on xDay to tackle a task that had been looming over their heads: onboarding. By discussing their team’s current state and where they want to be in the future, the HR team spent the day diagramming what onboarding will look like for all new employees, from the initial new-hire emails to their experience when they walk in the door.


“In everyone’s roles there are always distractions,” Senior HR Manager, Katie Augsburger says. “It was nice to spend a day to really focus and put big ideas we had mulling around our heads into practice.” 


Stay tuned for more xDay project recaps. Our next xDay will take place on March 27.