This post originally appeared on ArcticStartup.com during our “strategy days” at the company.
So we decided to have strategy days at ArcticStartup. You know, the couple of days per year when the company gets together and decides on their future. However, we decided not to do it the “standard way”.
Most of the time strategy days for a company, or even for a startup, means: “getting everyone together to talk about great future goals that will be well documented and never implemented.”
We have been there and done that and it just did not feel right. Instead – we decided to implement strategies and activities right away. On the spot.
We created two teams. One was asked to come up with any new concept or a strategy to make our events the best in their category. The other was a free-for-all team, they were allowed to do pretty much anything as long as it affects our business in a positive way. Anyone could join any team.
Then we set off to cook some dinner, enjoyed a lot of chocolate cookies together and got to work. My team was the free-for-all team and we realized that there is absolutely no way anyone can buy our services from the ArcticStartup.com site itself. Nor do we properly work with our newsletters. We decided to fix that, with basically no designers or technical people on the team.
In a normal “strategy weekend”, we would decide to create this shop sometime in the distant future. Write it down. Look for offers. Decide who would be doing it. Etc.
This time – we jumped right in. Registered a shop on Shopify, created a list of products, a sub-domain, started adding products and working on the design. In less than 24 hours, it was live and you could get anything from the shop for 10% discount. We even did a test purchase and connected it all to a working retargeting campaign on Facebook.
The beauty of it is that it did not simply create something we have been missing. It also fixed many old issues and generated actual strategies for the company as a whole. We fixed the text copy on all our Arctic15 and Media Honeypot tickets, we automated our Facebook marketing, we changed our corporate product offerings, we removed poorly performing products from the portfolio, came up with future products to create and focus on, created new internal teams, found communication enhancements and a lot more. Implementing it all in less than 24 hours.
All of that was done with just one part of the team. The others were focusing on events and came up with a cool new concept on how to change the whole event-going experience.
Having founded a few companies and worked in many others – I have never been in a strategy weekend that would have been quite as efficient as this. It is quite similar to running a hackathon, however, we did not have any technical skills in the team during the past 24 hours and were still able to pull it off.
To us – this was a great new format and we hope that you can learn from it as well, and consider doing similar sprints with your team. Last night we ended the night in a 4 people jacuzzi with a team of nine, enjoying late-night refreshments and having a lot of laughs. We think that the concept of strategy is dead as we know it. From now on we are all about implementation and setting good measurable goals.