Tag Archives: Staff

Happy Holidays from the Horse & Cart family!


Click to view larger image.

We wish you a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year from the Horse & Cart family!

It’s been a fun and eventful year for us at Horse & Cart and we thought what better way to express it than that with a mash up of miscellany.

With no intention of dipping into that dangerous territory called “year in review”, we thought we’d highlight a few. It would be a big year for any company that started with one name, in one office, moved and rebranded. Fortunately, our infrastructure largely constitutes laptop-on-a-table-and-a-chair. We’re also a branding company, so reinventing ourselves as Horse & Cart was squarely in our wheel house. We love this client (Horse & Cart) btw, and they seem to have nothing but glowing things to say!

With the big stuff in play we also had a parade of challenges big, small and enormous including our very first US network TV ad. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, (and it’s the very soul and spirit of Horse & Cart), is that it’s our extended team of colleagues and clients that make the magic happen. None of it would be possible without you, and we tip our hats, hoist our glasses and raise a cheer to you for a fantastic year.

As we look forward to 2015, we hope you all enjoy a warm, wonderful and restful holiday with the people who matter most, and take some time to appreciate yourselves and all your hard work and success.

As a small token of our thanks to everyone in our growing network of clients and partners, we give you this bit of one page love and a little link to our light and lovely holiday card “mini year in review”. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

All the best in 2015!

– The Horse & Cart Family

Fun Friday Post: We’re Bloody Rockstars!

Happy Friday! We can only hope your day is rocking as hard as ours. Granted, not every office space comes equipped with a drum kit. We appreciate our fortune. Here is the Brendan & Brendan (soon to be Horse & Cart) team showing you our signature drum poses. Top this.


Brendan “The Dragula” Sera-Shriar


Sarah “Lethal Swirl Girl” Taki


Drew “The Cross” Everett


Moniba “Silent Killah” Ali


Alex “Teen Angst” Arsenault


Brendan “TITANIUM” Tully Walsh

Your move, internet.

Fun Friday Post – Facts About our Team

Hi everyone,

It’s Justine again, one of the interns here at Brendan & Brendan.
I was asked to work on an intern orientation package and I added a section entitled: Fun Facts about Employees. I thought I’d share this with you as our Fun Friday Post!

Fun Facts:
ThePoet a.k.a. digibomb: digi is full of fun facts, but we could only choose one, so here you go: digi is actually a published poet.


TheSaint a.k.a. Tully:  Tully ran for the provincial elections for la CAQ and was nicknamed the Colonel.

Tully CAQ

Beth: Beth collects magnets from every place she goes, so soon she’ll need a bigger fridge!

Leila: Leila was employee # 1 at Brendan & Brendan and she used to look like Dora the explorer when she was little.

Moniba: Moniba secretly wishes that she had super powers and would love to see a zombie apocalypse.

Drew: Drew lived in Kanata, so he was able to give us a tour of Ottawa when we went on our Ottawa WordPress road trip!

Linnea: Linnea speaks four languages German, Swedish, English and French.

Vivien:  Viv used to make furniture and her favourite piece is the table below.

Vivien table

Harris: Harris developed his Ghost Riding skills in Abu Dhabi.

Laura: Laura’s father won a trip to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Stephen: Stephen lives in Chateauguay and used to be in band, just like Beth!

Justine: As for myself, I have lived in 10 different cities/towns: St-Georges, St-Aurélie, Squamish, Vancouver, Kuujjuarapik, Montreal, Alexandria in Virginia and Singapore.

Singapore Dragon Boat
In case you were wondering this is Singapore, and I’ll let you guess who I am on this picture 🙂


How Do You Prioritize in a Holacratic Workplace?

reader requestAccording to some people, holacracy is total anarchy. No job titles, no formal management or hierarchy – then how do we get our work done?

By reader request, I’m writing more about holacracy at Brendan & Brendan. We got some very interesting questions in via email that I responded to, and I’d like to share the answers. Here are some of the questions we received, along with some very thoughtful emails:

  • How does your organization determine priorities?
  • How dynamic are the priorities? How do they change and to whom and how are those changes communicated to re-direct the team in a common direction?
  • What methodology was used to enable your team members to feel confident in making a decision and/or persuading them to MAKE a decision?

And my answers, which I have elaborated on.


At the start of every morning the team decides on priorities. We even decide on secondary and tertiary goals for the day and week, such as what we would like to sprint on that afternoon and the next day.

Sometimes, but not always, a client will throw us a plate. This means they need emergency work to be done. That will take precedence and we will have to push some other work (internal/external) to the next day. Or sometimes one or two people can handle it on their own and the rest of our schedules aren’t thrown too far off course.

In terms of our priorities, internal (ex. blogging, business development and making sure our own resources are up-to-date) and external work (ex. client work) hold the same priorities based on the deadlines we’ve given them. We’re still a growing business, and so often our internal work needs to be done just as urgently so that we can continue to grow our client roster and continue to thrive.


Here’s a shocker: we all have the ability to change the team’s priorities. Everyone is on equal footing. I will say, though, it comes down to confidence.

For example, I’m not always truly confident in my priorities being the team’s priorities, but I have the option to broach the topic with the team every morning. Then we can all decide together on who is working on what.

For example, if I need a designer to work with me to execute the work I’m responsible for, I can sprint with a designer that day. Also, occasionally, we get urgent calls from clients; from there we can alert the team and call an emergency tactical meeting at a specific time on how to divvy up the work or work together for a set period of time (ex. 1 hour).

In another example, sometimes we are not all in agreement about how the work should be executed. It’s difficult to create work in a vacuum, and it’s often not as good as taking a collaborative approach. When the team comes together, though, we can often figure out the best possible approach to executing work, coming up with new ideas and helping one another out. This is the main goal of creating team sprints.


Changes in priorities are communicated in the morning or throughout the day. Changes in how we work together are communicated in governance meetings.

Ordinarily, priorities are first communicated in the morning scrum. If we hit a speed bump or are otherwise waiting for approval on something, though, we’ll move on to another task or project. This way, we’re always moving forward and able to keep up the pace on our work.

But if we need to switch teams, or are otherwise finding tension in the workplace, that belongs in the governance category. We don’t always agree on everything, and we are all highly opinionated people, so it’s important to address tensions before they become actual problems. If I need someone to step up on a project, or I am lagging behind, this is addressed in a governance meeting, too.


A governance meeting is also how we determine decision-making within the team. I know I totally skated over it in my last blog post, but a governance meeting is the opposite of a tactical meeting.

Governance is basically how the team governs itself. So whereas tactical is for figuring out who “owns” what work, governance is to help the team members gain the confidence they need to start making their own decisions on their own work. This lets us decide for ourselves what we are comfortable with, and everyone can participate in setting team standards (ex. where to put things, how to name files, etc).

Governance meetings are also where team members discover new skills in each other. People who are better at customer service often take on more of a account management role, while those who are more technical-minded tend to handle the day-to-day operations, and in the process, we often find out about skills our colleagues have that we weren’t previously aware of.

Next up, how we do governance!

Fun Friday Post – 7 Things Interns Can Expect at Brendan & Brendan

Hi, My name is Josh.

I’m a drop-in intern at Brendan & Brendan for the day. I’ve worked in marketing before, but it hasn’t been anything like what I’ve seen here during my first day. I learned about Brendan & Brendan when co-founder Brendan Sera-Shriar spoke at the John Molson Marketing Association’s Creative Marketing Conference last Friday.

When he offered to let students visit the office and see how they do things I couldn’t resist. Here are a few of the things I’ve been working on with fellow intern Katie Patrick today…

1) An SAQ run – it’s not Friday if there’s no beer and hard liquor in the office 


2) Somehow being talked into footrest duty


3) Making Coffee – there are no secretaries here, so that’s where we come in!


4) We still aren’t sure how many interns it takes to screw in a lightbulb. You might say we’re in the dark on that one.


5) For some reason this computer wouldn’t turn on


6) Interns need to earn their keys at Brendan & Brendan – this is how we get to work


7) And that’s only the beginning…

For marketing students with a keen interest in working in a creative industry that’s changing faster than Craigslist’s ‘For Sale’ ads, the offer of stopping by for the day to help the team out and learn is a standing one.

Happy Friday : – )


Happy Holidays from the Brendan & Brendan Family!


We wish you a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year from the Brendan & Brendan family!

It’s been a long and fruitful year for us at Brendan & Brendan, and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without our staff, clients, supporters, friends and family. Looking forward to 2014 we expect to have an even better year as we continue to grow our family of clients and staff.

We put together this little vintage family photo shoot and landing page to say thank you! We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting it together. We would also like to give a warm holiday shout out to Joshua McRae, Co-founder / Editor-in-Chief of MTL Blog, for taking this wonderful photo.

All the best in 2014!

– The Brendan & Brendan Family
Check out the Brendan & Brendan Story to see how it all began.

Why You Should Have a Holiday Party

Our Holiday Party Was Better Than Yours

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 10.19.25 AMAre you dreading your office holiday party? Why? Don’t you love going offsite on a Friday night and trying to make the most of your two drink tickets, just to see the same people you saw all week? And remember not to get too low, so your thong doesn’t hang out?

One of the funny things about working with so many different clients, is that even though we’re in regular contact, we don’t see each other. So this was an excellent opportunity to speak together and get to know each other on a more friendly plane. We’d like to thank all of our clients who attended our Holiday Egg Nogger last week, it’s a very busy time for everyone, but it was great to see some of our friends in the house: HappyBox, Floop, iStore, M3P and Provocateur !

In case you missed our top 10 best moments of the holiday party, you can read them here.

Here’s what really went down:

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 10.20.08 AMA couple of days before the party, we were decorating and realized we wanted to keep things religion-neutral. So we opted for white fairy lights and Moniba and I got our arts and crafts on, making silver snowflakes and bright blue #keepmarketingfun stars.



Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 10.20.20 AMWe’d also like to thank our AWESOME DJ , Chris Pare, who spun excellent tunes all night long, our partners and staff who spent countless hours shopping for food and drink, and finally putting it all together #patourselveontheback 


You can see more pics on flickr.

It’s not too late to spend a little time and money to put together a fun night out for your clients and staff, it’s always appreciated, oh, and don’t forget to invite us!

What are you looking forward to for your office holiday party? Or are you skipping it altogether?