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November 05, 2015

Baseline to Exceptional

November 05, 2015

Raise your hand if you see an opportunity to help your organization grow but don’t know how to actually make it happen. Ok, that’s a lot of hands. Even when removing a barrier to growth appears straightforward, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to pull off right?

We were introduced to this challenge firsthand with our favorite .gif loving new clients, MOBI, and have a creative solution to share that may help break down the barrier.. Cold War style. Before we get there, let’s begin with some context:

MOBI Wireless

Nestled in the cozy Northwest corner of Indianapolis, MOBI has grown to become a major player in corporate mobility, or more simply, wireless device management. Just imagine if you had thousands or even hundreds of thousands of team members across the world that needed access to centralized software and tools. Sounds like a whole thing, right? Enter MOBI, who crushes it with easy to use software and amazing customer service to keep it simple.

As their market has begun to mature, they have a real opportunity to be seen as the top dog however this is no small feat when they compete with smart and experienced businesses.

Define the Future State

After setting goals and a slew of research activities, we had what we needed to begin putting the puzzle together, but in order for the crystal ball to reveal the perfect strategy, the MOBI team needed to weigh in.

Enter a new collaborative exercise, FTW. We turned to a wonderful framework we learned several years ago at the We Are City conference in Indianapolis. They used the labels baseline, distinct and exceptional to help define and understand the assets of our city. 

We repurposed these slightly to map the current state of all things MOBI:

  • Baseline - You do it and it’s needed in order to compete. That’s about it.
  • Distinct - Your marketing, software, culture (insert business function here) is completely different than what competitors offer.
  • Exceptional - The best. Your customer service, product or messaging is world class in the eyes of your customer and the market.

SmallBox Creative Director extraordinaire, Leigh Marino, created a visual way for us to map it all out, and to help bring our idea down from the clouds to a tangible level. After plotting the current reality, we mapped the ideal future state for MOBI. This gave us a feel for what needed to move the most and where to prioritize.

Baseline Distinct Exceptional

Crystal Ball Brainstorming

With clarity around which parts of the business needed focus, we pulled out the crystal ball and did some group noodling on ideas to take us from point A (today) to point B (2017).


For each major area of focus (such as Thought Leadership, Messaging, Marketing, Culture) we took a few minutes to write independent ideas down on sticky notes and then discussed them as a group. We ended up developing 70+ individual ideas as a group to pursue within our strategy.

Bonus: Group Hugs

Not only did this exercise help bring what felt like an overwhelming idea down to earth, but by tackling it collaboratively we were able to immediately align our strategy with organizational trajectory. Bonus points! It was also super fun and fulfilling to do it as a group. Maybe it had something to do with an amazing snack cart filled with bubbly drinks and treats, but there was definitely magic in the air throughout the session...

Leigh Dancing

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