It’s shortly after 8 AM and the plane is still climbing to reach cruising altitude. The flight attendants are up and taking drink orders but I can’t hear them because of the Bose noise canceling headphones I have on and activated. When she gets here I’ll order a bloody mary. It is Sunday morning after all.

Mr. Irelan is with me on the flight as well but sitting in another row and next to the aisle. I prefer the window so I can see what’s going on if I want to while Ryan likes the option of moving about the cabin without interruption. Meanwhile, two time zones West of our position, Mr. Anders will take to the sky on his own flight.

The three of us are spending a good portion of our Sunday morning and afternoon to get to Philadelphia. As you may have heard, we have blocked out all of next week to completely redefine, rewrite, redesign, and redevelop our studio website. This is a project I have been waiting two years for and I’m very pleased that we’re finally getting to this task.

We tried this before. After the merger there was a genuine effort to recreate our online home but the challenge was too great at the time. The relationship between two companies and three studios was too green to tackle a job that all of us had deep personal and professional attachment. Add in a very busy project roster to make the whole shebang more difficult. There were other mistakes that we made which I hope we’ll document in some way in the near future. Happy Cog has a history and tradition of being open and honest, I don’t see why we can’t share that backstory, eventually.

Last December, Greg Hoy and I got together to talk through problems and opportunities that came up in 2011 and how to turn it all into positive actions in the new year. As it does each year, the topic of website redesign came up. Our biggest challenge in the past has been finding the time to get with all the people we needed to be involved. We have attempted in the past to schedule resources but time and distance always proved too much to manage around busy work schedules. So, we came up with a plan to get half of our team in one place, for one week, to completely overhaul our website into a proper foundation that we can use to progressively enhance over time.

The following week, right before Christmas, Greg and I blocked off the time on team calendars and met with project managers to inform them of an internal project that would require certain people to be unavailable for client work. We held ad hoc discussions to delegate preparatory tasks like content audit, requirements gathering, and writing new marketing objectives and strategy. By early January we were well on our way to a solid project plan. Two weeks ago jobs and responsibilities were delegated and assigned to each individual on the project team. Last week work started on creative direction and the formation of a technology/development plan. Meanwhile, the three principals met and made our final decision on the new brand in time for Helms Workshop to delivery the final brand package just in time for work to begin on Monday.

So far we’ve I’d say we’ve Hannibal Smith’d it.

The engines have just throttled back a bit and the nose has pitched forward ever so slightly which means we’ll be landing soon. With each mile closer to Philly my excitement for next week climbs closer and closer to “off the charts.” For so long, we have all wanted to make this happen and it’s finally coming together like Legos. Next week we’ll all be documenting this event in one form or another over blogs, Twitter, Cognition, and a variety of Path and Instagram accounts. Don’t forget to check our new Tumblr site to keep up with our progress and group antics.