We are highlighting another article from Bham Now about a team at Forge. Learn more about the Two Ravens team!
Among the many talented companies that work at Forge, the coworking space located on the second floor of The Pizitz residence building, is Two Ravens. Two Ravens is an “innovation consultancy,” “research and development,” “problem solving” company. Their team consists of six people, and they are always looking to a wide range of individuals in order to come up with the best ideas and constantly improve their business.
But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Who Is Two Ravens?
First, why the name “Two Ravens?” The team referenced Norse mythology and the two ravens of Odin when I asked about the origin of the company name. Mythology has it that the two ravens of the god Odin were responsible for flying all over the world and bringing information back to him. These ravens were responsible for bringing Odin information about the goings-on of the world from a third-party perspective. Two Ravens, the company, feels that this is similar to their business strategy. Their job consists largely of working with companies to be a third-party observant of issues or programs that the company may want to change or address. They bring an observant nature to the gathering of information, then they formulate action steps for those issues.
I sat down with three of the partners to discuss the company: Marc Beaumont, who has a background in Marketing, Donne Garvich, whose background is in tech and team building, and Dr. Lindsay Sutton, whose background is in Psychology, Behavior Analytics and Research.
The team at Two Ravens is quite varied. The best way to describe them is that they are a supergroup. Beaumont shared that the company is truly made up of people in different disciplines that have often worked together in some way in the past. He described them each as having their own unique “superpower” to bring to the team. Many of them worked at the same company previously, but quickly realized they generally had one common goal, so they decided to work together at their own company.
“The common core element that drove us is this really strong internal drive to improve the lives of other people. And what we were finding is this: we had these talent sets that were really complimentary but we weren’t combining them anywhere we had worked before to that end.” – Garvich
The following is a brief description of the company from Garvich:
“Two Ravens was created to help organizations better understand the problems and opportunities ahead of them, and to help them quickly develop solutions that they can bring to the world. We do this by providing research and development-based innovation services that blend expertise in behavioral science, marketing, technology, and operations.”
This thinking is one of the things that makes the company so special. Their approach focuses on research, development and ideation, yes. But the three words that each member used to describe Two Ravens came down to the following: ‘Empathy’, ‘Human’, and ‘Innovation’.
Empathy And The Human Element
A large part of the Two Ravens strategy is something called “empathy mapping.” This is what ties in the empathy factor to the human factor. They describe it as being the outcome of a sum of different observations the team has. This includes “collectively gathering as many different perspectives as you can. [Perspectives] that you’ve heard expressed through conversation, surveys and interviews.” Empathy is introduced strongly into this process. This is the point in which the team at Two Ravens starts to collect information about what the humans want.
They have noticed that a lot of top business men and women in corporate companies eventually become identified AS that company. The downside? Losing the human element. That’s where Two Ravens steps in. Dr. Sutton describes it like so: “Other companies may not dig into why a CEO thinks he needs an app. But we do. Who is it for? How are we changing a behavior or a process that people are engaging in? How are we changing the way they’re experiencing it? And there isn’t a single bit of tech involved in that.” That is purely a human process.
Though they realize that this process takes time, they believe it is worthwhile. The human relationships they are able to help their clients make through the empathy mapping process can be invaluable, as well as helping to find the root of the customers’ wants, needs and pains.
Two Ravens bills itself as an “innovation consultancy.” They know that many established companies have a sense of fear attached to the term ‘innovation,’ and are working to change that for the better. Beaumont sums it up nicely: “Innovation is a byproduct of our process. Innovation can sometimes feel scary when it is attached to disruption. Change is not always seen as the best thing, and innovation implies change.”
As Two Ravens’ clients go through this process, they find that those fears are usually unfounded. Dr. Sutton notes that behavior change often happens in small increments. She states that a company might move in small steps but that the output can be powerful: adding value to their clients’ and customers’ lives.
“It’s not scary and unattainable and unreachable. It’s here and approachable and can happen today.” – Dr. Sutton
The Forge Advantage
So what is the best thing about working from Forge?
Of course, the fruit-infused water and elegant, clean bathrooms are nice. The unlimited lunch options available at the food hall are also a nice perk. Overall, though, the community wins. Here’s what the Two Ravens team has to say about the community at Forge:
Dr. Sutton: “Community drives energy. We’re all hustlers in a way, and we are figuring out who we are as businesses. So there is that shared experience in a way. All the businesses are so unique, but the energy that is put out is so productive and positive.”
Beaumont: “The energy. It facilitates interaction. There is an energy dynamic that helps feed the office here at Forge.”
Garvich: “I love the fact that we have community, so we have external viewpoints. They are like coworkers, but they’re not attached to one particular silo, so we have access to people who have viewpoints and conversations, etc. talk to people that are in a whole different world.”
In addition to community, there was an overwhelming gratitude for the way that Forge founder, Kim Lee, has set up the co-working space. The team at Two Ravens notes that as a start-up, the last thing they were thinking about is office furniture. Or a printer. Or anything other than their business plan. They are thankful to Lee for creating an environment where they can come into work and be able to focus solely on their business growth.
Our friends at Bham Now featured Forge member Tiffany Martin and her new spin studio! Read on and find out why Tiffany chooses to work from Forge and what her studio has in store!
Ever been to an exercise studio in Birmingham that’s dedicated solely to spin classes? Not yet? Ignite Cycle owner Tiffany Martin wants to change that.
The Cycling Life
A University of Southern California graduate, Martin has always been into the gym scene and has worked in gyms and boutique studios all over the country. Before moving to the Birmingham, Martin and her husband lived in Boston. While there, she started teaching group fitness classes and cycling classes. It was during this time that she discovered her passion for cycling and how fitness can change lives.
“I fell in love with being an instructor and also being a rider. I love being able to create this amazing experience for people.”
Creating Her Niche
When Tiffany found out that her husband’s work would be relocating them to Birmingham, she decided it was time to find her niche in the job world. After some market research, she discovered that Birmingham has plenty of spin class enthusiasts, but no boutique cycling studios that are dedicated just to cycling.
“When I found out that there were no boutique cycling studios in Birmingham, I realized it was something I really wanted to create and bring to the area.”
Doing The Body Good
Tiffany’s studio will be named Ignite Cycle. Tiffany said the mission is, “to be a community for you to discover and become your best self, and cycling is how we do it.” Classes at Ignite will be full of music and fun! So fun that Tiffany describes the classes as a “party on a bike”.
“It’s a party on a bike, but it’s also a lot more than that,” Tiffany said. “It is that feeling where you’re somewhere and you’re dancing with a bunch of people—some you know— some you don’t. There is just this amazing energy among everyone because you are all moving together. Everyone is together feeling free, and with that feeling, you are doing something really good for you and your body.”
No Shame In This Game
Positivity is a huge aspect of Ignite Cycle. While working at other gyms and spin boutiques around the nation (Boston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Seattle), Tiffany found that there is often a sense of shame, rather than pride, present among fitness centers.
“The environment at Ignite Cycle will be positive,” Tiffany said. “It’s all about living your best life, appreciating your body’s ability to move, choosing the best things for you and enjoying what life has to offer and not feeling guilty or shameful about it.”
It’s this emphasis on positivity that Tiffany hopes will set the “Ignite experience” apart from other fitness experiences in the city.
“Instructors at Ignite will go through a six-week training program on safety, our method, and keeping the culture and brand consistent for everyone,” Tiffany said.
Tiffany plans to carry over her mission of positivity and motivation to her instructors as well.
When And Where
Ignite is set to open late this year or early 2019. The location will be announced soon, and we will bring you that information! Stay tuned for more information regarding when and where.
One thing is for sure, when you take your first Ignite class you’ll wonder if you can take a class everyday — and you totally can!
The Perfect Workspace At Forge
After completing her market research and coming up with the idea for Ignite Cycle, Tiffany began planning. She has spent the last year creating and developing her business model and brand while working out of Forge, a place she says she fell in love with because of its physical space and also the idea behind it.
Tiffany has worked out of the Forge space for a little over a month, and said that she feels like she can be very productive in the space.
What’s an ideal day like for Tiffany while working out of Forge?
“It’s a lot of community, coffee, and skittles,” Tiffany said. “The community is so great, it is really fun being aware of what other people are up to in Birmingham, and it is much more motivating than sitting on my couch with my computer. Forge also has a really great playlist, which is great to work to.”
Check out the original article here!
We are reposting this article from Bham Now- check out the original article here!
You might know who directs your favorite TV shows, but you may not know the mind behind the commercials! Enter Brandon Loper, a local filmmaker and commercial director working out of Forge in Birmingham.
Born and raised in Alabama, Loper graduated from the University of North Alabama in 2005 with a degree in entertainment media production. He lived in San Francisco, California for almost eleven years before moving back to Birmingham with his wife and two kids.
For a creative like Loper, Forge is the perfect spot to manage his projects. From directing his own films to working with big-name advertisers, Loper does it all from his spot overlooking Downtown Birmingham. We hopped up to the 2nd floor of the Pizitz to find out what Loper has planned for the future.
How do you define your work?
I’m a commercial director as my day job, so I partner with advertising agencies, production companies and directly to brands to execute a concept or flesh out an idea. A lot of times, I get a script and they’ll say, “Hey, we’d like you to put your spin on this. What can you bring to the table?” I’ve been lucky enough to do that for brands like Nike, Google, Twitter, Comcast, Starbucks… a lot of brands that have a lot of national recognition.
The heart of it is storytelling, which is why I’m pushing more towards narrative filmmaking. I just finished my first short narrative film that I submitted to Sidewalk. I also submitted the documentary I did for Nike last year, “Still KD,” on Kevin Durant and his run-up to winning the championship.
Where did you get your start?
When I moved to San Francisco, I got an internship in a large advertising agency called Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. I had a boss there, James Horner, who started a young director’s program. This was pivotal in my career because I’d always wanted to direct, but I viewed myself as the guy editing, shooting, writing, and making everything.
I got my first gig outside of the Goodby world directing with producer Dalia Burde exclusively for five years, and her production company produced my feature documentary, “A Film About Coffee.”
When I moved here, I went nonexclusive in an effort to work more with people here in Birmingham. It’s been fun to travel and see the world, but I really want to be home at night.
How long have you been working out of Forge?
Since January. I toured it in August of last year, before it even opened. If I’m in town and not hanging out with my family at home, I’m usually here. It’s great being downtown.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’ll get here after I take my kids to school, have my second or third cup of coffee, and then go settle into my spot. When I’m not co-working, it’s a headphones-on situation.
Depending on what I’m working on, I’ll take advantage of the phone booth, or one of the conference rooms that you can use for phone calls. I don’t take my phone calls in the middle because usually, I can’t really talk about what I’m working on, so I’ll go there to chat.
How is networking with others at Forge?
Kim Lee, the founder and CEO of Forge, is a major networker. A few weeks ago, we were having coffee in the kitchen, and I was telling her about everything going on. She says, “You’ve got to meet this person! You need to work together.” Later, we were meeting about me directing her TV pilot. There are a lot of cool connections. Working at Forge has been great because we can just pop into a meeting room and whiteboard it out.
What are you up to now?
I’m launching an online film workshop called On Set Prep, and I’m working with someone here at Forge who is helping me do the marketing and sales funnels. I’m really excited about that because I enjoy teaching and being a part of education. My course, On Set Prep, is a boot camp for people to learn to be a production assistant. We’re going to be launching it this month. I’m also looking to partner with local high schools and the Film Birmingham coalition. I’m very excited about what’s happening in the film community in Birmingham.
Loper is just one of the very creative people working at Forge.