I returned a while ago from four weeks overseas in a family holiday. I had thought I would spend the down time in the evening catching up with my reading and writing some blogs I have had in my head for a while. I managed to achieve one of the two.

If you follow our blog you will know its fairly active. We tend to blog multiple times a week and have content from multiple members of our team.

This is not by accident, one of the few rules at OptimalBI is that you must blog. It doesn’t come naturally to some, and after the comment “I wouldn’t have joined if I knew I had to blog” from one of our earlier joiners (who writes some of the blogs I enjoy the most by the way, even when I don’t wholly agree with them), we make sure we mention it upfront before people agree to come onboard the Optimal ship.

We make sure we provide free time for our team during most weeks for people to write their blogs, and allow them to pick their own topics etc (but if course if they need idea they only need to ask me 😉 The reasons we are so passionate about blogging?

  • it helps build our team develop their personal brand, which will help them get cooler jobs when they decide to leave the Optimal craziness
  • it helps the team share things they have discovered with our other team members
  • writing blogs forces you to think and summarise what you have learned about something new
  • it helps our customers and community learn new things from us for free
  • it highlights our interest, experience and expertise in new things to our potential customers
  • it gives us great google search rankings

I haven’t been finding time to blog lately (do as I say not as I do, which is not a message I like or try and subscribe to).

I have been exploring and learning a whole lot (hence me reading a lot when away). But without blogging what I have learnt you won’t know that.  So thats about to change (sorry ;-).

It made me think that as well as providing time to blog, we also provide time for our team to explore and learn new things. Again an investment, but one that pays trumps in new and exciting work for customers.

In my experience being stuck on a customer site full-time for months on end results in you becoming stale quickly and eventually ends up in you delivering legacy solutions to those customers. The business intelligence market is moving faster than ever and customers are looking to companies like us to provide expertise and advice on how to leverage this change.

So it made me think about what other companies (semi) like us are doing in NZ. So I did a quick market scan.  It was pretty dire, not a lot of blogs, in fact lots of companies with the fateful welcome to our blog first and only post!

So my guess is they are either all busy onsite charging customers, or spend their spare time doing something else. Their choice I suppose, but not ours.