Before I've read the amazing Drive by Daniel H. Pink I've never heard about FedEx day, Atlassian and dozen other cool things. But that has now changed and following the book I decided to make the world better. Well, maybe not the whole world but the bit nearby. Speaking precisely my department within Symantec.cloud in Gloucester.
The first thing that is going under the hammer is innovation. This is a nightmare for many companies, I imagine. Projects, deadlines and so on makes most people spinning circles and fighting their battles only to survive till the next day. It's just natural that in that environment it's difficult to switch to another track and think outside the box.
To battle that, I've decided that we should follow the best and try FedEx day here at Symantec. It took me a while to convince our director but finally I've got approval to organise that so I got the ball rolling. Now I'm quite excited and can't wait to see how that will work.
As I understand, and please correct me if I'm wrong, it was Atlassian who first came with an idea of periodic innovation spin and called it FedEx day. There is extensive information available on their website here. Since then, many companies did the same and Google is full of stories for you to read. Now it's time for Symantec to join them.
So what is the FedEx day? Let me quote Daniel H. Pink:
One of the ideas in Drive that has spread the fastest and the widest is the FedEx Day. Invented by the folks at the Australian software company Atlassian, these one-day bursts of autonomy allow people to work on anything they want (as long as it’s not part of their regular job) — provided they show what they’ve created to their colleagues 24 hours later. Atlassian dubbed these innovation jamborees FedEx Days because participants have to deliver something overnight.
Source: How to deliver innovation overnight
FedEx Day in Symantec
Simple, isn't it? Yes, in theory is but implementation isn't so easy. Especially in high paced environment where every minute counts. It took me a while to break initial barrier and get the idea approved for implementation.
And this is just the beginning. The first FedEx will be in December, so I have just two weeks to ensure all is ready. In those two weeks I have to organise few things and then ensure that whoever wants to take part in it will actually be able to do so.
So how are we going to do this? I want to follow the Atlassian as much as I can. At end of the day their method is successful so why should I invent my own. The main and only difference will be that our FedEx day will happen monthly so our schedule will consequently be slightly more compact. Every month, for the next half a year, on the first Thursday of the month we will cease all standard activities to clear our minds and focus on making things better. I know it will be difficult but we can do it.
Once we will be over I will post some summary. Now it's time to get back to work.