The team here at 6R like to attend talks and workshops as it is an interesting way to get information, network and it gets us out of the office. Last week we did just that. We attended Collective X Vivid Ideas “Shake, Rattle & Roll” which was an event put on as part of the Vivid Festival.
There was a line-up of inspirational thinkers passing on their successful strategies to disrupt traditional marketplaces. The information gathered in just a couple of hours had our heads buzzing for days!
One of (many) interesting strategies that came up at was by Kate Vale Managing Director of Spotify Australia and NZ about how Spotify have “Hack Week”.
What is hack week?
According to the communication sent out to the company:
……hack week is a chance for you to explore new ideas and collaborate on things you feel passionate about. Remember all those great ideas you’ve had that you never have time for because you’re too busy with your normal work? Those are exactly the kinds of ideas that Hack Week is made for! It could be a new tool you want to explore, an awesome product feature, a process improvement, an ambitious marketing campaign, or anything else that will help improve Spotify. Think of an idea and seek out others who can help you with it, or join up with someone else’s project. Here are some possible project ideas…
Hack Day / Week is a proud tradition born out of Silicon Valley Many tech giants hold regular hack days throughout the year to initiate collaborative brainstorming sessions that wouldn’t necessarily happen on a day to day basis.
You yourself know that when you step away from the issue or task the resolution magically appears hours later or how, when a friend asks you what you would do in their situation you are brimming with advice and ideas, yet if it were your situation would you see the resolution as clearly? And then the old saying “Two heads are better than one”.
At 6R we believe that….
People are better as part of a team; diversity in that team helps us to examine problems from every angle.
We look for diversity of backgrounds, skills, ages and experiences when we work with clients, it really helps to give different points of view on how to solve problems. Taking people away from their day to day, to collaborate with others, is a recipe for some great ideas.
Apparently quite a few big name companies believe in the worth of “Hack Day’s /Week” such as:
LinkedIn: “LinkedIn Hack Day is a monthly competition that pits the entire company in a battle to produce some of the coolest, geekiest, and most compelling hacks. The winners are rewarded with fame, fortune, and (most importantly) the hope to launch their hack as a product for all of our users”
Twitter: “Hack Week is one of the ways we actively promote innovation through experimentation around the company. This week, a wide range of folks here are taking time away from their day-to-day work to collaborate and develop ideas that they are passionate about.”
Dropbox: “Every year around Dropbox’s birthday, we revisit that spirit of shooting for the moon in an event we call Hack Week. It’s a chance for us to break from routine and explore our wildest ideas, whether or not they’re a part of our normal day jobs. Instead of talking about what could work, we put our heads down and try to make things work. Year after year, we surprise ourselves with what we can get done in five days.”
But you don’t have to be a tech giant or even a large corporation with many departments to have a hack day. We recently met a business owner who has one night a week called “Detention” where they ‘stay back after school’ to work on their business rather than in it. When you’re a small or medium size business it’s actually not easy to create the time and space for that big picture view and thinking, to stand back and think deeply about what’s needed to take you to the next level.
Regardless of your size, the principal is the same and simple. Check out the below tips and tricks to creating your “Hack Day/Week” aka Working ON your business rather than IN it.
1+ if you are a business with departments
+1 If you are a solopreneur but plan to collaborate with like-minded people.
Download your checklist here