So we just completed our first company all-hands meeting.? Previously, the closest we've come was having our two co-founders meet for coffee on Sundays, and the near unanimous attendance we had at bpmCamp 2010 at Stanford University.? The short version of how I feel about this: why didn?t we do this sooner?!
We included all the crucial elements of a good company meeting:
- Food.? We ate our way through some of Austin?s best restaurants.
- Fun.? We carved out time for getting out on a boat on the lake the last afternoon.? But we also made time for checking out the local Austin bands playing on 6th street (a shout out to Empty-Handed Vagabonds and to the lead singer of Dysfunkshun Junkshun).
- Location.? We held our meetings at the historic Stephen F Austin hotel.? The second floor balcony is a fantastic way to unwind and socialize after a day of business meetings, and the hotel itself oozes character and history. Often people ignore the setting of their meetings-? but this stuff matters!? The space you meet in affects how you think, how focused you are, how intimate the meeting feels.
- Content. Sure, we reviewed important company metrics and business goals. But we also put a lot of content together individually to give everyone a chance to hear what? everyone else was up to.? I was really impressed with the quality of thought and content that was presented - and more impressed by the discussion that followed.? I learned a lot over the two days we met - about our team as well as about the topics they discussed.
- Team.? Because we have a distributed organization, we have limited opportunities to gather in one place.? This is a really special team we?ve put together, and getting everyone in one place just made it more obvious how good they are.
- Surprise.? We also had a surprise guest-appearance from Phil Gilbert, VP of BPM at IBM.? The Q&A session was memorable, as his take on the BPM space.
- Shirts.? You've got to have shirts at a company meeting.? We rolled out fresh polo shirts and a surprise t-shirt addition to the lineup.
Often people will ask me why they should join up with BP3 instead of contracting - or why someone else would join up instead of contracting.? I guess if you don't try it out, it is hard to understand the difference - but this sense of team, of building something bigger than any of us can do alone - it is very powerful.? I think everyone in attendance could feel how special this was.? You just don't get that kind of validation and gratification as a solo artist. ? You don't get this sense of family.
So we're building a company.? And investments like this are required to reinvest in community and team.? To say thank you.? And to give everyone a sense of the possible.? Our company meeting just made it clear to our team (and to me) why we're special.?? Thanks to everyone on the team!
I have been informed that "BP3 All Hands Meeting" as an operating name lacks a certain "flair".? We'll work on? branding for our event.? We might just call it ?Getting the Band Back Together".