Annual Mutters' Trip
Aligned And Ready To Unwind
Posted by Ignacio Vago
on May 5, 2021 · 6 mins read
We're Growing... a lot.
As our team of Mutters continues to grow... a lot, we look forward to all opportunities where everybody can come together. In our latest blog, post we talked about the Annual Mutters Day and our experience working remotely. We reinforced that we believe we don't need to be in the same room to get the job done as long as you allow for ownership, trust and communication.
However, we also believe, old fashioned face-to-face time greatly contributes to getting to know each other. We work better together and enjoy our work more if we share a common vision and a set of values and these need a personal touch. This is what our company retreats are about: revisiting our values, our goals and our Why.
For this year's edition we decided to travel to the laidback city of Tandil, known for it's hillsides, beautiful walking trails and delicious cheese and salami. In short: Fun outdoor activities + Amazing Scenery + Great Food = the perfect location for our team's downtime.
Why, How, What
In his renowned book, Start With Why, Simon Sinek reiterates on various occasions that "We Say WHAT we do, we sometimes say HOW we do it, but we rarely say WHY we do WHAT we do".
Why is the Why important?
- People don't buy WHAT you do: They Buy WHY you do it
- If you want to build long-term quality relationships with customers you must work on loyalty to your brand through inspiration not manipulative techniques. You can inspire through your why.
- People want to belong. Growth is achievable by attracting like-minded individuals to your organization. In his words: "When employees belong, they will guarantee your success. And they won't be working hard and looking for innovative solutions for you, they will be doing it for themselves". Inspiration can cause a perspective change in employees, turning tasks the might not like into necessary tasks to achieve a Why.
- A sense of why, leads to a strong sense of purpose which may make employees process of moving through mistakes easier, turning them into steps on the way to achieving the Why.
- A company's success may depend on both the company and it's employees aligning their why. If both parts believe in the same things less tensions will arise. For example, leaders and partnerships should be aligned with the company's why or the company could face a loss of trust from employees and customers.
- Sinek tells the story of two tradesmen; their job is to lay bricks for a cathedral, a cathedral they will most likely not see finished. One tradesman hates his job whilst the other finds it inspiring. This is because one sees it only as a job, placing one brick after another, whilst the other knows he is building a cathedral and it sees it as a mission. Aligning oneself with a mission produces a sense of purpose.
- Companies must sustain the clarity of their why in time, otherwise it begins to deteriorate. It is fundamental to integrate the WHY into the company's culture for it to continue to succeed even if things change, teams change or founders (company's visionary's) leave.
- "Achievement is something you reach or attain, like a goal. It is something tangible, clearly defined and measurable. Success, in contrast, is a feeling or state of being". In short, achievement is what you do (Your What), you set a goal or metric and achieve it, but success is why you do it. Being successful is not the same as feeling successful.
Why Mutt Data
As technology progresses many companies begin to feel pressure to innovate and boost their business using data. In many cases, the recommended solutions are short term fixes or bad fits for a particular problem, sometimes these solutions are simply outdated or there is a general lack of know-how or cultural lag on how to properly execute them.
We recognize problems that can be solved better using our know-how and a high-performing, specialized team of Data Scientists and Date Engineers. The best long term solution is to build a data system that takes automated decisions and actions. For these systems to work as intended and run efficiently we need to apply good engineering practices.
TL;DR: We go into work everyday because we believe there's a better way to grow businesses with ML based systems and we enjoy the challenge of getting things done in a way that offers more long term value to our clients.
From a technical perspective, we have operative processes and defined phases (Discovery, Development and production) we go through to achieve our why. You can read more about that here. However, more importantly, we achieve our why through our culture and our values. As our company grows our values have evolved into the following four pillars:
We are Data NERDS. We look at each client and each project as a challenge in itself. Instead of simply getting through a list of to-do's we investigate new solutions and the best way to implement them end to end. We like complex projects that drive us to design and implement complex solutions that require a team effort.
Sometimes, great ideas come from thinking out of the box. Our day-to-day activities can keep us from little moments of inspiration that arise randomly whilst doing other things. AMT was a great opportunity to talk about random tech, crazy ideas and solutions and to just go with it to see what came up in a relaxed environment.
We Have A Positive Mindset We understand mistakes can happen, we believe in taking failures as learning opportunities, we are optimistic in finding solutions and improving through feedback. We try to work in a positive environment, AMT serves as a laidback extension of that environment where we can focus on relationships. When we come back to our remote "offices" we come boosted. Additionally, after each AMT, company event or onboarding process we share feedback forms where Mutters'can tell us what was great, what was bad and what we could improve. Many of our new processes and practices are born this way, there is no negative feedback only positive suggestions.
We Are Open Team Players A team is greater than the sum of it's parts. We apply this on our projects and our day-to-day work. A lot of work goes into planning our trip, our HR and administrative teams take great care into planning out every detail so that everyone has a meaningul experience. This means brainstorming together, listening to all ideas and working together to bring the plan to life. Most projects require multi-disciplinary teams, even the planning of AMT. Our events are where we strenghthen bonds between different teams and people with different disciplines that might not necesarily always work together.
We Focus On Efficient Execution We take ownership, we hold ourselves accountable for delivering valuble end-to-end solutions using the best practices and tools available to do so. During the main AMT talks we revisited our projects, our values, and asked ourselves how we could improve.
TL;DR Being a Data NERD is always being willing to learn and improve, using criticism and feedback as a tool for growth and continous learning. AMT provides us with the perfect environment to promote discussion, ideas and inspiration.
Mutt Data helps companies drive business value developing automated data products. We offer end-to-end functional solutions and the skills needed to maintain and execute them by working together with our clients.
Finally, aligned and ready to unwind
It's not all shop talk though, we also had some much deserved team downtime taking full advantage of the hotel's pool, jacuzzi and amenities. Well rested and fed we put on our hiking gear and set out for some trekking and group photos as seen below (glamourous falls deserving of slow-motion effects not included).
We also managed to catch some Mutters looking over the beautiful landscape in a Simba-esque posing style.
After finding our way back to the hotel, we took part in some good old fashioned gaming. Luckily, we had a projector for important presentations that served a double purpose.
On our second day, we went full foodies. We visited a local Beer Crafting Company and learned all about the different processes in it's production followed by a tasting.
To keep the theme going, we visited a local restaurant for a full-blown asado and a visit to the cheese market for some touristy shopping for friends and family.
By the end of the day, we had eaten so much cheese, salami and asado that one Mutter even promised to go vegan! We should probably check up on that...
We hope you've found this post useful, and at least mildly entertaining. If you like what you've read so far, got some mad dev skills and like applying machine learning to solve tough business challenges, send us your resume here! at email@example.com.