No, despite having a similar title this post is not about the classic song by the Finnish band Leevi and the Leavings (check them out, if you haven’t heard them).
Instead, I wanted to write about our average Friday, which also includes the elements referred to in the title.
Our Fridays are divided into two sections: the first part of the day is used for normal work activities, and the second part is called “Exploration Friday” (EF).
So, when, for instance, a developer comes to work on Friday, he or she will spend the first half of the day doing the tasks on the developer’s job queue.
After noon EF starts and developers can focus on “dreaming” and also in making these dreams come true.
All ideas are taken into account
All people have dreams, of course, some of which are realizable, others purely utopian.
Yet, all dreams are equally important, as they are necessary for allowing us to rise beyond the background noise of everyday life.
This is also our attitude in the EF: all ideas are worth hearing, but only some of them are really useful to turn into concrete action.
During EF everyone can tell their ideas to other developers. If an idea gets enough support and other developers want to join in, development project is started.
So, ideas can be developed further in teams of volunteers, but also, if needed, independently.
The results speak for themselves
EF projects and their results are monitored at regular meetings.
If project appears to be going nowhere and not meeting its targets, it is time to move on to the next dream.
This way we make sure resources do not get concentrated on zombie projects, but rather on innovations that either increase our own job satisfaction, or benefit our client’s business.
A good example of this kind of realized dream is our in-house time tracking software, which was developed purely as an EF project.
The application allowed us to get rid of the slowness and other shortcomings associated with the third-party software we used earlier. Hence, EF improved our efficiency and work satisfaction.
Dreaming benefits everyone
Those readers familiar with the realities of doing business are now probably wandering whether this really makes sense? Why should employees be allowed to do “whatever they want” on Fridays?
Quotation marks are required here, because our EF projects must, of course, be at least somewhat sensible. They have to be at adaptable at some level to Anders Innovation’s activities and future visions.
With that disclaimer in mind, my answer to the original question is an enthusiastic, YES!
EF allows programmers and other works to have time dedicated solely on creativity and innovation. This is something I have not experienced in any previous job.
EF allows us to get a break from our everyday routines. It allows us to dream of new products we could build for our clients, or small improvements we could do to make our work environment more pleasant, more effective and more systematic.
We need these dreams. When we can do what we are passionate about, it will ultimately bring benefit to all.