Often when I describe the work that Spring Insight does with organizations, I talk about how we take small businesses with a strong offline culture and translate it online. Last week, we flipped that formula on its head and took the strong Spring Insight online culture offline. The Spring Insight team was created as a virtual team and for me “seeing” a team member meant looking out through the tiny camera of her computer during a video conference. To be sure, in some ways, that often feels more intimate than a traditional meeting. I always know the countdown taking place in one of my team members kitchens (4 days until grandma & grandpa visit!), I regularly get to see toddlers waddle through meetings in diapers and can keep track of decor changes in dining rooms. But, there are limits to what can happen virtually. We get a lot done for our clients but it never feels like there is time to focus on the growth needs of Spring Insight. So for a couple of years, I have wanted to have an in person Spring Insight meeting. This was the year to make it happen and here is what I learned from the process:
- Structuring content in a way that includes others in the conversation is way harder than just presenting and no matter how fluid you want the conversation, you can’t spend too much time planning how it will go. Did I have inside jokes and slide splitting laughter on the agenda? Nope, that wasn’t part of my original plan, but watching my team members connect in a new way and help our company grow by inserting their own ideas into my presentation was incredible (and the jokes were really, really funny!).
- Being in person gave us the flexibility to talk more in-depth about all our processes than we would ever have the opportunity to do on a conference call. One of my favorite moments from the meeting came when my web team learned about a tactic my marketing team uses for client engagement and decided to adapt it to their workflow as well.
- The company’s goals truly became “our” goals. In order to come to DC from all over the country my team had husbands take off work, dogs boarded, and grandmothers shipped in so that they could join me to plan Spring Insight’s future. The commitment they showed to this company was astounding and I never been prouder of our new goals, knowing that they represent our entire company.
- I like my team even more in person than I do over video conference (though I miss the countdown categories.)
P.S. Want to gain some value by hanging out with me in person? I’ll be speaking at the Greater Bethesda Chamber of commerce on May 9th from 8:30-10:30. Free breakfast! Click here to register and I will see you then.