The Dutch company called CDEF Holding (Cada Dia Es una Fiesta) is a special kind of organisation. CDEF exploits work and meeting places (Seats2Meet) and a social network (Mindz.com) for independent professionals. It has evolved into a very successful concept where people come to work and meet in an attractive and flexible environment. And it keeps evolving.
A trait of the organisation that triggered me, was the concept of what I call ‘every day strategy day’. It is a way of doing where every decision that the organisation needs to take, is seen as an opportunity to strengthen its collective view and strategy. Strategy not seen as something that is thought out by the top and disseminated over the organisation, but as a daily routine for all involved to question current practices and ways of doing.
One of the examples is that when the company had to decide on renewing their coffee machines, they asked themselves whether they were in the coffee business, as there were very good alternatives for excellent coffee nearby. (Seats2Meet provides free coffee and lunch for all visitors).
The traditionally as straightforward regarded decision to replace a coffee machine was used to discuss within the organisation, the essence and raison d’être of the company. And at the end of the day, it strengthened the collective view and reinforced understanding of where the organisation is heading. Pretty powerful stuff! And on a daily base.
Every day strategy day is not only a way to avoid continuing activities that no longer add true value and to collectively innovate everything you do (and be true avant-gardists), it also is a practice that continuously involves people and builds a collective view on the business.
It is an interesting element of true beauty, that could be tried in even the most capital-intensive and standardised companies. Or should you wait until the central planning committee comes with its next five year plan?