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#ShareaSmile Gratitude Cards

Small, smile shaped cards with fun, uplifting headlines. Colleagues write short notes inside to surprise coworkers with gratitude.

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Idea Title

Gratitude Cards Designed to Share a Smile

How the Idea will inspire the experience and expression of gratitude within an organization.

Expressing gratitude is a vulnerable act. The small cards are designed to make it easy and fun to show appreciation. A. They feature unique & funny headlines so people begin to smile even before reading the personal note inside. The card variety makes sure they don't get redundant. B. The small, circular shape keeps the notes short so they don't feel like a chore. C. The cards fold in half (creating a smile shape) so it can be placed somewhere interesting and surprising. (fun for all involved) D. Seeing the cards around the office (colleagues often save them and leave them on their desks) becomes a visual cue to reflect & act on your own gratitude. It isn't out of site and out of mind.

Who are you innovating for?

HR - Gives them a fun, inexpensive tool to immediately create a more grateful culture. Management - Gives them a more powerful and fun way to express their appreciation for their team members in a quick and memorable way. Employees - Acts a reminder to think gratefully and ask themselves "Who made my day, week, month? Who made me smile, and what could I write to make them smile?" The small cards act as a simple but powerful pick-me-up and morale booster.

What type of workplaces are you innovating for?

The cards could work in any organizational size. A pack could be handed out to each employee (designed to last one year) or shared within a team or department. The card's headlines are purposely gender and age neutral so they could work in any office environment. The only geographical issue would be a language barrier in other countries. But the headlines could be translated for other markets.

How you envision the Idea being introduced to your selected organization?

The cards could be introduced in a few ways. 1. (Big Reveal) HR Managers, Department Heads, and Team Leads could introduce the cards and explain how powerful a gratitude practice can be during an "all-hands" meeting. 2. (Gift Reveal) The same managers could surprise employees one morning, by placing a hand written gratitude card on top of a new pack, giving them a gift while showing how to use them. 3. If the organization has something similar to a "Fun Committee" then they would be a natural choice to share the packs around the office. The packaging describes how to use the cards, so implementation is fast and simple.

What obstacles, if any, do you foresee in implementing this Idea, and how would they be overcome?

1. Repeated use. As long as it's presented as a fun way to boost happiness and not a mandatory office game, I think coworkers will continue to use the cards, because the gratitude will be authentic. 2. Production & Affordability. Because it's a physical product, it needs to be manufactured. But I've been working with a manufacturer to create the prototypes, so it's just a matter of running a Kickstarter or pre-order campaign(or winning an awesome grant) to bring the costs down.

How will you test and prototype your solution?

I've already tested earlier prototypes and had great feedback that's led to different paper choices, designs and packaging to help fine tune the experience. I plan to test the latest designs with 3 companies here in Austin, TX. I'll be checking in weekly to see how often the cards are used, how people are reacting to them and to ask for suggestions to make them better.

What immediate next steps will you take if you receive an implementation grant.

Next steps would be: 1. Make any changes to the designs based on community feedback. 2. Identify companies that would be a good fit for additional testing. 3. Printing new packs to test the cards in a variety of new office environments. I've been developing this on my own as a passion project so far. So, a grant and mentoring from GGSC would be an amazing opportunity to learn from people I truly admire and offer the chance to test the cards inside great, motivated companies.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Piloting: You have started to implement your solution as a whole with a first set of real users. You may have started to develop a business model for your idea, including identifying key customer segments, relevant partnerships, go-to-market strategy, and draft financials.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

The idea emerged after taking the GGSC course "The Science of Happiness." I wanted to develop a fun product that made others smile and could compliment gratitude journals, by empowering people to share their gratitude in person. I wanted it to be real and tangible (apps and email are too impersonal), and we all love a personally written note. The smile theme informed the shape and design.

Tell us about yourself

I'm Colin Decker, an Art Director and Graphic Designer. My past role was Creative Director of a software company in Austin, TX. I developed these gratitude cards as a passion project during a travel sabbatical. My goal is to have a positive impact on the lives of a million people in my life (a new kind of millionaire). I'm hoping these cards are a good start! :)

Where are you / your team located?

My home base is Austin, TX.

Tell us about your experience

My background is in Advertising and Graphic Design. 15+ years experience, in quite a few fields. Everything from developing national tv/print/web campaigns for product launches, UI/UX design for smart home apps, and branding/packaging designs for startups.

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Hi Collin,

We are in the final hours of the Ideas Phase of the challenge! We see your post is currently unpublished. Was this your intention?

To publish your post please select the "Publish" button at the top of your contribution. The deadline is October 25th at 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

Looking forward to seeing you in the Challenge!