Strategic pause: The key role of Think Days at Strike
Have you ever thought about the importance of taking breaks for reflection? Well, Bill Gates did. In 1980, he introduced a concept known as Think Week. As part of his routine, Gates used to spend a week in Canal Hood, Washington, disconnected from the world, reading, learning, and, most importantly, thinking.
Yes, imagine being able to isolate yourself in a remote location, disconnecting from all forms of communication, and dedicating exclusive time to reading, learning, and reflecting.
Today that idea of taking an entire week just for thinking might sound a bit unconventional. However, Bill Gates' initiative can be adapted to the busy everyday lives of people and businesses.
We understand that in our daily routines, the notion of pausing may seem counterproductive. Yet, when there's a strategy behind that pause, it's when the most productive actionables emerge.
Within Strike, we firmly believe in the importance of moving not only swiftly but thoughtfully. This belief gave rise to the Think Day: a dedicated day of reflection per quarter. This is a compliment to Think Week that the managing team executes.
Constant movement prompts us to rethink how we have been working. Today, some habits or methods may no longer be effective, and that's perfectly okay! Embracing change is the key.
Regarding how this initiative evolved, our CEO Santiago Rosenblatt explains: “This is a practice we have been doing since we were 3 people in the company and it has evolved consequently. It started with Drop, Keep, Add, Improve and Roadmap planning exercises to now include workshops; we updated the method at least 3 times in the last 2 years”.
And he adds: “Originally we would take lots of ideas to get them into the roadmap to develop. Now, as we have gotten more mature as a company, there is a clear vision and feedback loop that allows us to switch to workshops in which everyone can learn and contribute about the different areas of the company.”
Think Day at Strike
The dynamics of the Think Day at Strike involve dedicating an entire day of our schedule per quarter to deeply reflect on areas or aspects where we could improve, bringing issues to light, proposing ideas, and suggesting possible solutions.
Indeed, one of our core values is 'Be Humble', and we believe that there is always someone who can teach us something new from another perspective. This space is ideal for putting this concept into practice.
Inside the Think Day dynamic
First of all, we block off our schedules for an entire day, disconnecting from anything that might cause distractions to achieve focus.
Each team leader organizes workshops for their respective areas and forms interdisciplinary teams, comprising six people from different departments. These workshops run for an hour each, with breaks between them.
In each workshop, we engage in various activities using collaborative tools like Miro and Figjam from Figma. These tools enable us to exchange ideas, collaborate as a team, and visually represent current challenges, the evolution of certain actions, pains, etc.
These sessions prove enriching in several aspects, as the main questions we seek to answer are: What have we done well so far? Where did we go wrong? Where are the opportunities for improvement? Where do we want to go?
After each Think Day at Strike, the thoughts don't simply fade away; instead, they transform into a roadmap for action and improvement. Every conclusion, proposal, and innovative idea born from the sessions is documented in order to guide us through the implementation phase.
So the insights generated during Think Days become triggers for meaningful change and growth. Through this documentation and commitment to follow-up, we cultivate a culture of responsiveness, innovation, and continuous improvement.
As a result of Think Day, several notable instances have emerged, including certain aspects of the platform, changes in work methodologies, and the most recent Automated Compliance Plan. These examples serve as proof of how important it is to take the time to pause and reflect.
Benefits: How the Think Day impact on our culture and strategy
On one hand, the workshops offer fresh perspectives that add significant value. For example, someone from Finance might propose improvements for the Marketing team. Being deeply immersed in day-to-day work, one might overlook details that an outsider could notice.
On the other hand, Think Day allows us, in some way, to create a Team Building space. We spend the entire day working with the same team, composed of people from different areas whom we might not engage with as much in our daily routine. This enables us to get to know each other more deeply, understand each other's thought processes, and generate meaningful debates.
So during this time, we learn from other areas and broaden our knowledge about all the improvement opportunities at Strike.