We have a problem and we’ll admit it. We’re improvement addicts.
Constantly challenging ourselves to think things through and ask ourselves how things can be improved is part of our culture. And it’s not just when things need improvement. Our mindset is that things can always be improved. We never stop working at it.
Constant improvement applies to everything.
Whether it’s a client project or an internal process, Stryve’s open and collaborative culture encourages the team to ask each other for help. We bounce ideas off each other and work together to improve.
But it was when this approach became an ingrained process that we realized the true collective power of our team.
When we spot something that works well, we ingrain it.
Stryve Iterate & Optimize (or Stryve IO for short) was born out of a particularly awesome working session where the team put our heads together to find solutions for challenges on two of our accounts. It felt similar to the Notes Day tradition Catmull describes in Creativity Inc, where Pixar employees dedicate a day to proactively solving company challenges together.
Why don’t we do this every week? Why don’t we do this for every client? Why should we limit IO to clients? Let’s work on improving ourselves too. So we put our own spin on Pixar’s approach.
After we saw Get Shit Done Wednesdays dramatically improve our workflows, there was zero hesitation to add IO to our roster.
Clients love it.
Part of each IO meeting should be spent talking about how you can do more and do better for your clients.
For Stryve, that means analyzing each in-market campaign as a group. How do the stats look? What has happened in the past week and more importantly, why?
It’s helpful for the account team to have input from team members who aren’t close to the project. Fresh eyes force us to really think through every possibility. Clients love knowing that their account gets the creativity and brainpower of the whole team.
It keeps your resources in check.
IO is a great time to take stock of resource allocation. Dedicating time to assess things on a weekly basis helps you spot signals for potential issues early on.
In agency life, this means doing a quick green-yellow-red check on our resources. Are we green-lit on hours spent vs. allocated for each of our clients? If not, we can tackle “yellow” situations before they turn “red”.
It keeps you on your toes.
It’s easy to get caught up with client work and let internal improvement take a backseat. But does IO let that fly? Hell no. It’s just as important to dedicate time to improving things inside your company too.
Stryve-related items are an important part of our IO agenda. By tackling our own areas for improvement, we’re able to do our best work.
Can we better protect our clients by making our password procedure more secure? Should we switch to the new prototyping app Sarah tried this week? Can our service offering evolve to serve clients better?
The rules are there are no rules. Except two.
Stryve IO is one of the most important meetings in our calendar every week. In that hour, we work hard at improving everything that happens between these walls. That’s why the meeting never gets cancelled.
Every Stryve’r is encouraged to add ideas or challenges to the agenda and everyone’s opinion is important. Some of our most creative solutions came from team members building on each other’s ideas on the fly. That’s why discussions are respectfully candid.
Looking back, many of our best decisions have come out of our team working through challenges together. Having Stryve IO in our calendars every week has changed the way we improve ourselves and our company is better for it.