1,000,000 laughs in 20 years. And we work in a serious business!
We held our first SMART Day in 1997. It was a big change at the time for a small growing company. Our SMART Day was where our management team Stopped (they had to delegate all authority for what they did day to day to members of a their team), we went off-site where we were uncontactable and Measured And Review our progress over the last quarter and the year, and finally we had time to Think (plan together as a group, or just Think without interruption or pressure).
We also laughed, at ourselves, at our teams, at what happened with customers, at what we got wrong and what we did well.
Over the years, the format changed to include all members of the team. Now everyone attends. Annual Leave is not permitted on a SMART DAY. These days are so important to us - To our culture, to our performance, to our energy, to our learning, to our friendship, that if you work here, you must attend. And they are more fun than most annual leave (except maybe the day I rode the California Screamin’ roller coaster in Disneyland with my 12 year old son).
We now STOP all activity for our SMART DAY, we continue to Measure And Review our performance against plans and strategy, we still THINK about what we do, how we do it, why we do it, and most importantly for whom we do it, every day.
It takes an effort for everyone from Galway, Sligo, Limerick and Belfast to gather in the one location. Watch the clip to get a flavour of our SMART DAY. We think it gives us an edge.
Finally at the end of the day (and well into the night) we make Time-to-celebrate. We celebrate individual and team successes over the past year.
And the one million laughs – well, it is our estimate of how many we have had over the 20 years.
I can hear some more as I type this!