‘Away Days’…the phrase can sometimes conjure up images of colleagues awkwardly interacting, role play situations and forced ‘team building’ activities. The Octopus Blue away day, however was nothing of the sort and proved to be a fantastic day for updates, ideas, feedback and getting to know each other more!
In attendance, we had:
Andy Bailey – Founder & CEO
Alexandra O’Reilly – Operations Expert
Ian Hunt – Software Expert
John Walker – Software Expert (officially starting on 21st August)
To start the day, we met up in Tec Marina and began with an update from CEO, Andy Bailey who outlined some of the challenges we have coming up as well as noting our success so far, and future opportunities. A great preamble to the day, starting off on such a great, positive note!
Culture of Octopus Blue
Andy then spoke to us about the culture of Octopus Blue, why it is important and how we build it. Together we completed a retrospective on four key areas which led us to, collectively chat about each of these areas and how we ensure we are always supporting, encouraging of each other and that most of all we are a very happy team! It was also very good to know that we all had the same idea when it came to integrity, openness, positive intent and continuous improvement (or Kaizen…read on to find out more)
Octopus Blue follow the practice of Kaizen, the Japanese word for “continual improvement “. The Kaizen practice focuses on creative solutions, improving processes and constantly introducing small incremental changes in order to improve quality and efficiency. We follow the Kaizen way so that we are continually improving everything we do as a business, making sure that all of the information is passed to each member of the team. So far this is working very well for us!
The Kaizen Principles:
- Good processes bring good results
- Go see for yourself to grasp the current situation
- Speak with data, manage by facts
- Take action to contain and correct root causes of problems
- Work as a team
- Kaizen is everybody’s business
Happy Birthday John!
One of our newest members of staff (in fact he hasn’t even officially started yet) had his birthday on the day we met so it would’ve been rude not to stop for a quick tea and cake break to wish him a Happy Birthday!
In amongst all this, I gave the team an update on all things Marketing and HR (or People, as we like to call it) including new staff (of which we have quite a few in the pipeline) and Ian talked us through where we are with some of the latest products we have been working with.
Time for some Lunch
After all of this it was time to get out and have some lunch, and some fun! We headed into Cardiff for a bite to eat in Bills. Once we were re-fuelled we were off to have some fun in Breakout Cardiff where we were locked in a room with a series of cues to solve the case of a missing colleague. Despite all our efforts and very much working together, we didn’t quite manage to escape without the help of the very nice young man working there who let us have an extra five minutes. We could’ve still been stuck in there otherwise!
To finish off a great day and after a little rest we set off for Bar 44, Penarth for a delicious dinner of Tapas and a couple of drinks. As always, the food and service were fantastic!
All in all, a very constructive and enjoyable day. I am looking forward to planning the next one!
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