Typical 24: Craig Catley, StrategyBlocks
Human Resources

Typical 24: Craig Catley, StrategyBlocks

Craig Catley

Job title: Managing Director of StrategyBlocks

Company: StrategyBlocks

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Years’ experience: 28 years


  1. What time do you reach the office each day?
    My mornings have a pretty steady routine, and thanks to New Zealand’s light traffic, I get to the office around 8:10 each day.
  2. Is your job varied?
    Working with new companies every day and learning about their business strategies leads to a lot of variety. Strategic planning is essential to all companies’ market success, so this puts me in front of a lot of diverse companies in different sectors.
  3. Is your job creative?
    Yes, I think sales and marketing is certainly creative. You constantly need to be changing and adapting your approach and messaging. The market is always on the move. Also, working with creative people affords me a lot of opportunities to think outside the box and see how I can make strategic planning both functional and creative.
  4. What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
    I always seem to be preparing for the next big thing. It could be reading, or building strategic plans, or adapting presentations. Email does consume a lot of time as well.
  5. Do you personalize your desk?
    Apart from my gadgets, which include an Amazon Alexa, UE Boom and a Blue Yeti microphone, I am a clear desk person. However, my daughter thinks it’s a bit dull, so every Father's Day I get a random object of some sort - currently including a plastic cactus, articulated hand and a bean filled Storm Trooper.
  6. Would you describe yourself as creative?
    Yes, I would like to think so. I am visually creative when it comes to strategy. I enjoy creating detailed illustrations of strategy maps and dashboards.
  7. Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
    The first thing I do every morning is check the new StrategyBlocks 30-day trial accounts. It is always amazing to see where they are coming from around the world. When we can, I enjoy catching up with my wife Leanne and a green tea before my day gets underway, after the school run.
  8. Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
    Generally, on my own, but I keep in close contact with my development and marketing people.
  9. How many hours on average do you work a day?
    I probably wouldn’t go over 50-60 hours a week, but I must admit it is not something I track. StrategyBlocks is doing more work in the US so early morning video conferences are not uncommon.
  10. Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
    I always try to keep my office door open. I want people to come in and chat, so ad hoc meetings take up a good proportion of the day.  Of course, I get StrategyBlocks to do the work for me by allocating activity and tracking progress, but responding to email can still take up half my day if I let it.
  11. Do you use social media much for work?
    I like LinkedIn and use it every day. I’m trying to get more active on Twitter.
  12. What do you enjoy most about your work?
    Sales and marketing offers variety; no day is like the last.  But, you have to learn to accept the bad days when they come along. I guess that is part of strategic thinking in life or business, you have to learn to adapt your plans when things change.
  13. What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
    I like music. I have 2 electric guitars in my office, and I grab my Jackson if I have a spare 10 minutes, which, unfortunately, is not that often. My music tastes are often dominated with guitar, anything from flamenco to metal.
  14. What do you do for lunch?
    I try to catch up with my wife, but otherwise lunch is at my desk and I will work through. My favourite lunch time cuisine at the moment is Armenian.
  15. Do you socialize with work colleagues?
    StrategyBlocks has a very social culture, everyone gathers on Friday afternoons for craft beers and the occasional game of Cards Against Humanity.
  16. Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
    Writing website content – that’s the worst!
  17. What is your last task of your day?
    I usually turn off my PC at around 8:30 p.m., but that evening time is a good opportunity to respond to any emails that have been hanging around from earlier in the day.
  18. How do you like to relax after work?
    I like to have a glass of wine and watch Netflix.
  19. Do you keep checking email through the evening?
    Absolutely not (yes, if I’m telling the truth).
  20. Do you take work projects home with you?
  21. What would you say to your 20-year old self?
    I landed my first big software sales role at 21 selling ERP solutions. I was young and it was intimidating to call on CFOs and discuss their businesses. I would say to myself, “you are making the right choices. Be tenacious.” I’ve realized that attitude has helped me many times in my career and led me to where I am currently.
  22. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
    Definitely a rock guitarist. Angus Young’s job looks pretty good - perhaps I could slot into AC/DC.
  23. What device did you use to answer these questions?
    Toshiba Tecra notebook.
  24. Do you use your own personal device for work?


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