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Death to Drywall

The phrase “death to drywall” is not something you hear every day, especially in a business context. But it’s become something of a rallying cry here at MicroStrategy. It all started with our CEO Michael Saylor gazing at a map of the world outside of my office. Instead of wondering what the weather was on some exotic island, he realized that we could, and should, be making greater use of the space to stimulate awareness and drive insights into company performance by displaying various dashboards.

Thus, “death to drywall.” In short, we believe that everything in a work setting – whether it’s watercooler conversation, wall art, or a television in the waiting area – should open up opportunities to promote greater transparency, agility, and cross-departmental coordination. 

So when you walk into MicroStrategy’s offices, you’ll encounter dashboards highlighting performance KPIs and other critical information. In fact, there are over 30 screens in our corporate headquarters that constantly scroll through dashboards that cover the performance of business units including technical support, sales, marketing, quality assurance, product development, customer education, and operations performance.

When we started down this road, some amazing things began to happen. People would stop and stare at the data, and best of all they would engage with it—from day one, the dashboards started stimulating questions and starting conversations. Everyone wins when employees are surrounded by the information, reports, and KPIs they need to motivate action and perform their jobs. Meetings become more efficient because they are dealing with real-time data. And individual jobs become more efficient because the backlog of tasks and supporting data to complete them is as transparent as possible.

Michael practices what he preaches and proudly leads by example. His office, which holds about 100 meetings a month, boasts a 12-panel video wall that allows teams to present results and discuss challenges in real time. Each meeting relies on dashboards to drive the discussion, deliver progress updates, illustrate outcomes, and assign actions. Every MicroStrategy employee who joins Michael for a meeting knows he prefers dashboards over presentations.

"Death to drywall" is about being engaged, precise, agile, and transparent.

Looking to boost productivity in your office? Check out this video of our CEO talking about "death to drywall" and become part of the movement to bury the notion that office walls are purely ornamental. Convert the walls of your workspace into a canvas for data that promotes collaboration, productivity, and progress.

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