Many organizations struggle with self-education of employees. A very effective way to make learning enjoyable is for people to organize exploration days. Sometimes called hackathons or ShipIt days, these days are meant to invite employees to learn and develop themselves by running experiments and exploring new ideas.
Continuous learning and development and its key to the success of any individual or team is the subject of this Management 3.0 practice. While orientation training is essential to onboard and welcome new team members, continued self-education must be encouraged. Scheduling time for this sort of activity is essential to your organization’s success.
Some call it Education Days or Exploration Days, others hackathons or ShipIt Days. Google called it 20 percent of each workweek. Some schedule one day a month for the whole team, while others give freedom to each employee to choose. It’s all about encouraging your employees to experiment, play, imagine.
The job of management is not to select the best ideas; it is to create a great system that allows for the best ideas to emerge.
This chapter dives into when to hold these hackathons, even holding internal crowdfunding or straw polls to help choose the best ideas (instead of leaving it to managers to reject.)
You get the best out of your employees when you treat them as entrepreneurs.
“In a rapidly changing world where predictable Newtonian doctrine is no longer up to the challenges being placed on managers, Jurgen Appelo’s timely book provides an incredibly accessible leap into the thinking that is likely to define the manager of tomorrow.” – Deane Sloan, CTO at EquinoxIT
More Exploration Days tips & case stories:
- Case Story: “238 Things I Learned About Exploration Days”
- “Exploration days fosters continuous Learning”
- “Why Hackathons are bad for innovation” on Fast Company
- “Why Hackathons aren’t just for coders” on Harvard Business Review
- “Keep ideas flowing with Exploration Days”
- Video: Exploration days, 20-percent time, and innovation in the workplace
Check out our Leadership Resource Hub to learn about all the Management 3.0 practices.